I stumbled across a great stash of “100% Woven Cotton, British Made” handkerchiefs, new in sealed packets, in a car boot sale. I was touched by the evocative names machine embroidered on their corners. What became of Ada, Queenie, Nellie, Bessie, Winnie, Minnie and Dorothy? By way of upcycling the fine fabric and using up a quantity of embroidery thread that had come my way following an expired enthusiast, I created this summer top, by joining the squares with a faggoting stitch. It has become a wardrobe staple and great conversation piece. Mostly the panels contain names of people dear to me. And a dog.
Yarn bombing is nothing new but I was recently overjoyed to see these fine examples in downtown East Preston, West Sussex. I spotted almost instantly that the nautical theme was only partially adhered to, and that the crocheted acrylic motifs had been lovingly fully fashioned to the tree trunks, lending an air of upside down 1970’s loon pants. These surely would have taken some time in the planning and execution. Bravo East Preston Creatives. SaveSave
Friday 4th May. BBC 4. 9pm. Costumes for the cinematic reconstructions. The Jazz Ambassadors tells the unknown story of when America deployed jazz legends like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman and Dave Brubeck, along with their mixed-race bands, to fight on the frontlines of the Cold War. The plan was that they’d criss-cross the USSR, Asia and Africa, celebrating American culture and changing perceptions of what it meant to be black in America. In reality, these tours gave the Civil Rights Movement a voice on the world stage when it most needed one. Drawing on incredible performance archive and detailed personal accounts of the tours, as well […]
This gem was languishing in a London charity shop when I was attracted by it’s decaying splendour. When I discovered it, the pale green Tulle fascinator was almost completely shredded, so I hastily removed it, but you can still see the same fabric inside, stitched to the blocked straw Clover leaves. Construction is supported by a millinery wire frame and the Russia braid that gives detail on the leafs and stalks is now faded to the palest green. The jury is out on the main fabric – it feels soft, the texture of brushed Nylon, and it’s hard to see if it was knitted or woven. There are no manufacturers […]
As an antidote to the frenetic pace of life as a London based freelance Costumier, juggling contracts in TV and Theatre, I want to make time to document some crafts and skills that are becoming eroded by modern life. I want to offset the high tech world of the media, long working hours and a work/life balance that leaves precious little time for hobbies and pastimes by celebrating hand made items, each piece a tangible reminder of the lost value of everyday domestic craft. It gives me great joy to discover and rescue a piece of work that has been lovingly created, but somehow abandoned to a charity shop, car […]