About Me

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I am a mother of two girls and live in a two hundred year old house in a Dorset village. I love to bake, knit and sew. I love social history and collect vintage everything, I sell the overspill on Etsy

Saturday, July 09, 2016

1940s, Knitting and a few thoughts

A little Poole Pottery vase filled with flowers from the garden. Our garden is wild and lush at the moment and the best entertainment is watching our two young cats ambushing each other and play fighting.

I have been spending hours listing items to sell on Etsy. busy packing sold goodies into boxes and bags and sending them off. I have just listed a huge bundle of 1930s embroidery patterns, so gorgeous. Someone will have fun with them I'm sure and if they don't sell I might start embroidering again. It is a craft that I love. Here's a few of them
Aren't they lovely?

I have also had my mind on knitting and now have quite a few Vogue Knitting books in my store. I have quite a large hoard of them here. When I was going through them I found this pattern which is, I think, from 1961. It is such an unusual and beautiful design. So autumnal and I love the colours

And I found this, I am sure that it is Jean Shrimpton. What do you think?

When I got to the 1960s editions, after 1962 I don't know what happened to Vogue Knitting but the quality went down so much in my opinion. I didn't even list the magazines as I didn't like the patterns at all. Anyone reading this who would like them just contact me here or on Twitter @ruralidyllic  and you can have them.
When I was listing I saw that there are so many PDFs of patterns. I really thought that PDFs, especially of Vogue patterns, was copyright infringement. I have even seen a government statement about it. I wonder what the knitting companies think about it? It's allowed on Etsy but not allowed on Ebay.

I have been doing some knitting and am knitting this little cardigan from a Debbie Bliss book

 It's in Baby Cashmerino. Oh my, I really love that yarn, so soft and good to work with. I love knitting with colour and fair isle is my absolute favourite to knit

I have also been looking through my pile of 1940s magazine clippings

Gorgeous party dresses. These are from 1939, who would know that we would be at war for the next six years? Dresses were going to start being very skimpy when rationing came in.

A page full of adverts
That Neweys ad is a bit strange. Going a bit over the top for fastenings!

I also have instructions for keeping your chintz crisp and fresh

And a great idea for a baby carrier that could be utilised today

Are you doing your bit? To save fuel? With some very good hints and tips, most still relevant today. Our grandmothers were very wise

There are also patterns for this stylish sweater and cute baby's outfit. If you would like the patterns, contact me either here or on Twitter at @ruralidyllic and I will try and make a PDF for you (oh the irony) and if you have got this far, thank you so much for reading. I always welcome comments and if you do I promise to visit your blog and follow you.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

1943 Making Do

Today we are in 1943, I'm glad about that as 2016 is making me want to cry, the loss of Bowie and now leaving Europe? It's been a rough year, both at home and in the news.
This little one and his friends keep me going
He was sitting on the window seat and looking intently at the falling rain.

When I was looking in the big bookshelves for items to sell in my Etsy shop I found a long forgotten bundle of clippings

I wasn't really sure what to do with them, they are interesting, little snippets of social history. Easily seen as rubbish by some people. Most of them are patterns and ideas for how to look a bit glam when you cannot afford anything. Gay was a word often used then with its original meaning and it is completely apt for what people were doing to adorn their clothes
This little snippet is full of ideas for looking good on a tight budget, from reading it, it sounds like small pieces of brightly coloured material were easily obtained

I love the idea of making your own bras, unbelievable today but I found some very cute underwear patterns in one of the dressmaking books that I was listing

And if you were no good at sewing, how about knitting some

 I love the idea for this baby's bib with "Don't kiss me" embroidered on the front. A cold is never nice for a little one and if it turned into an infection the doctor would have to be called and that cost money.

And a way of disguising holes or marks in a skirt. I must say that I really like this idea and might well look out in the thrifts for a plain skirt to do this to
add a cute little homemade handbag and you are all set
There also some weird and wonderful items amongst these snippets. This knitting bag pattern and the toys

So many of the magazines and patterns that I list have these ideas in. In unheated houses bed jackets and hot water bottle covers were useful items. In one of the Vogue Knitting magazine that I have I had a pattern for a bed jacket with gloves at the ends of the sleeves "for night time readers" One day I am going to knit myself a bedjacket. I have to finish my fair isle cardigan first and my tea cosy.
I'll finish by showing some of the Stitchcraft ideas and hope that this is a better week. If anyone is interested in seeing more snippets please message me either here or on Twitter where I am @ruralidyllic Also my shop is here

I love this hat and gloves

These floral corsages are wonderful

Great combination horses and fairisle

PS A lot of the images here can be enlarged and the patterns used if you are inclined to do so

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dispatches from 1920

Good morning from Dorset, I have decided that I am going to start writing again after a very long hiatus and then an even longer period of procrastination after my last post. I love writing, it gives me a creative buzz followed by more creativity.
After the debacle of my last job (which I will write about when the thought of it becomes less painful) I have been enjoying a period of rest and have resurrected my Etsy shop and also am trying their Pattern site. I have been really encouraged by my Etsy sales and am listing new items on a daily basis.
One of the items listed is this magazine from 1920 which is a wonderful piece of social history from the Flapper or Gatsby era.  What seemed to be the worst war ever had just ended (WWII, "The War to End all Wars") The world was recovering from the Spanish flu epidemic, which killed nearly as many people as the actual war. Near to where I live there is an old churchyard and I remember seeing rows of tiny headstones, a whole family with children died in 1919, probably of Spanish flu.
The mood of 1920 was relentless cheerfulness, whatever you do, don't stop smiling and dancing. If you fall you will never get up.
The magazine demonstrates that whatever age you live in the concerns and problems are the same and people overcome things if they give it time. This has been a real lesson for me and has helped me through many troubled times.
Does your complexion look like mud?
The answers were the same in 1920, exfoliation is recommended using a flannel and soap, the use of cold water and a warning against "peels" Proprietary creams are suggested, "non oily".

Is your child peevish?

Liverish and irritible? Syrup of Figs! That's the stuff, release all that bile and unpleasantness and your child will be bright and energetic again. The aforementioned remedy was used in many households in a prophylactic way and dispensed on a weekly basis, often on a Sunday evening after the weekly bath, Children dreaded it and this practice lingered on until the 1960s.

The baby advice is sweet.

Making sure that baby is warm at night whilst ensuring that he has fresh air. Baby should be "like toast" Sensibly, the use of fires and hot radiators is warned against, also heavy blankets etc. Layers of warm, loose clothing, including mittens, is the answer.

And a nursery checklist which I think is lovely

The advice remains the same, every baby should have a guardian who loves sunshine, smiles, smooth running and restfulness.
In the twenties many households with young babies were probably dealing with grief, husbands with PTSD (AKA shellshock) and life changing injuries, wives who may have had affairs when their husband was fighting, women who had enjoyed brief careers but were now back in the home having given up their jobs to homecoming servicemen. Times were not easy and magazines like this with their cheer and homely advice were a great comfort.

This is the closest that I can find to an agony aunt in the magazine.

Queries about necklines and what to do with a length of black fabric. I'm sure that there were far more pressing problems...

From the fashion parades

Shorter evening cloaks with very precise measurements, these must be those little capelets so often seen in 1930s designs, atop the long bias cut frocks.

The whole magazine, which has many, many articles and a lot of lurid fiction (think Barbara Cartland on speed) is for sale in my shop at http://www.lechatrire.com/listing/398083447/antique-womans-magazine-home-chat-1920

What a long blog post this has turned out to be. Please take a look at my shop if you have time, many weird things to be found there and I love favourites.  Back to reality for me, Tesco and Lidl on a Saturday...

Friday, May 13, 2016

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Turn and face the strange)

Changes, boy have there been some but I am back, after four years. During those years I have had good times, most excellent times, bad times, sad times and some very mad times but I'm here and I am back to stay. I'll write a proper post later today but I just want to say how great it is to have found my blog again (That was no mean feat) and to have my little, illustrated internet diary under my wing again. The photo is of one of the latest additions to the family, Ferris who has just turned one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The past comes to life

One of my Twitter friends posted a link to this blog and I love it. I have always been interested in street fashion and to see it from 100 years ago is a real treat.
Edwardian photographic subjects usually look very sombre and to see these girls smiling is a breath of fresh air, you can almost hear them chatting and laughing. Edward Linley Sambourne was truly ahead of his time.
Another great set of photos of Victorians smiling can be found here

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Happy Easter!

It has been a strange week here, chaos has reigned and nothing seemed very relaxing. Lots of bitty things have had to be done. I had got used to the warm weather and when more seasonable weather arrived it seemed freezing. I am hoping that this weekend will be a good time to recharge my batteries.
I had a job interview on Thursday and I want the position so much that it almost hurts, I will find out whether I have been successful on Wednesday.
I am a Registered Nurse and my sickness record over the last two years is horrendous. I am fit and well now but it is so difficult to get employers to look past that record

As usual I have been amusing myself by baking cakes. This year's Simnel cake is above.

Then there is the Apple cake, this is the second one in less than a week as my husband cannot leave them alone. I have enjoyed the novelty of using my long lost bundt tin.

Hope that you have a lovely Easter with eggs and lots of chocolate