I’m currently at my grandparent’s place in West Sussex. I picked up some teaching work in Germany over the summer (and some as yet unknown other destinations too), so I gave up my sublet room, put my stuff in storage for the summer, left London for a while, and am spending the next 10 days wandering around Kent and Sussex until I fly off. My grandparents’ place is in a small village called Aldwick near Bognor. There’s a shingle beach, lots of bungalows and old people, and hydrangeas everywhere. It’s about 3 minutes from a very quiet beach (apparently Robert Smith lives here too, but I haven’t seen him). My nan died last year, and my grandad is now in a home, with dementia, so the house belongs to my mum and aunt. They are currently refurbishing it and clearing out decades of things. The heavy lifting had already been done, but the other day I went through my nan’s fabric stash for anything I wanted.

cupboard

 

My nan was a dressmaker all her life, so she had a huge amount of supplies in the house. She was very into patchwork, and no-one hoards scraps like a quilter. This whole cupboard, chest of drawers, and another set of drawers are full of textile stuff. The drawers will be mine too when they’re empty. Unfortunately most of the space is full of endless bags of patchworking scraps, but I did find a lot of stuff I liked.

patterns 1

A big box of patterns. Unfortunately most of them are for 80s bridesmaid’s dresses . . .

patterns 2

. . . but I did find some things I liked. Luckily I’m the most average size possible in vintage clothes patterns.

binding 1

I’m never going to have to buy any binding again in my life. My mum thinks I’m fussy for using it on seams and hems, but this big box of the stuff in my nan’s professional supplies vindicates me I think.

binding 2

The colours I chose. I don’t need a massive boxfull.

binding 3

I like the design of the label.

buttons 1

There is nothing so soothing as going through a tin of buttons when you’re not looking for any button in particular. In textiles class when I was bored and didn’t want to do a worksheet about the washing properties of rayon, I’d either look through the buttons or iron something. The only time ironing seems the more fun choice.

  buttons 2

The ones I picked.

eyes

My nan seemed to be planning to sew loads of Stars Wars creatures. Or lots of frogs.

dolls

She was also really into dolls. REALLY into dolls.

fabric

Some fabric remnants I picked out. Some of them I recognise from the patchwork quilt she made for me. It’s a pity there wasn’t more of the green daisy fabric.

punch

A useful tool for eyelets, belt holes and press studs.

trim 1

Everything I own is going to be covered in 70s folk pattern trim now, you just know it.

trim 2

I can’t figure out if this is hideous or great. It would be a lot better if the cat had a better face.