Published Categorised as Crafts 5 Comments on Haber­dash­ery

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.



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.


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


She was also really into dolls. REALLY into dolls.


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.


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.

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  1. @Vicky- You have to find some­thing to sew the 2m of cat braid I gave you onto now.

    @Claire- surely you don't need any more supplies in the Shed?

    @Ingrid- good luck with the disser­ta­tion! Soon you will be freeeeeeeee.

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