• Knitting,  Vintage

    1940s Joan Crawford Knitted Jumper

    My usual posting, and making, schedule has been interrupted by the arrival of some work. I’ve been working on a local outdoor Shakespeare festival as a wardrobe assistant. So far I’ve mostly been working on Henry V, however this production is set in a WW1 field hospital, making it my 6th WW1 production in 4 years. I’m hoping to update my portfolio with some production shots once they become available but in the mean time enjoy this photo of some of the adorable company I’ve been keeping.

  • Sewing,  Vintage

    1940s Pyjama Playsuit

    When I started this blog I wanted to inspire and motivate myself to make my own clothes and it looks like it has worked! I have been sewing for 10 years and finally, I have made something exclusively for me to wear; a 1940s playsuit.

    I can’t believe it!

  • Sewing

    PSB – Challenge No. 3 – Abstract Embroidery Art

    Abstract Embroidery Art - Retro ClaudeAbstract Embroidery Art - Retro Claude

    And now for my final Petersfield Sewing Bee challenge. I put an abstract twist on this challenge and came up with my abstract embroidery art.

    The focus for this challenge was embroidery, inspired by the embroidery therapy that was offered to many soldiers across the world after WW1. Surprisingly ahead of its time, embroidery therapy tapped into the therapeutic nature of lots of handicrafts and helped soldiers deal with their psychological trauma.

    For this challenge we were provided with 1 metre of linen. We could use as much or as little as we liked and we could do any kind of embroidery that took our fancy.

  • Sewing,  Style

    PSB – Challenge No.2 – Dress Refashion

    Charity Shop Playsuit Refashion - Retro Claude

    Charity Shop Refashion - Retro Claude

    Charity Shop to Playsuit Refashion - Retro Claude

    And so another Sewing Bee challenge is complete! Continuing the WW1 theme, this challenge was again inspired by war time austerity but unlike the previous challenge, challenge No. 2 required us to make something new from something old. Or as I would call it, a refashion!

    I love a refashion. I think it is so inspiring to transform something unwanted or unloved into something new and exciting. For this refashion, I headed to my local charity shops to find a likely looking garment for a makeover. I struck gold with this enormous, boxy maxi-dress which was … 100% linen eek!

  • Knitting

    I Made a … 1940s Crochet Hat, Again

    Back to crochet hats! After the success of my first 1940s crochet hat, I decided to try out another pattern. This one is more of a bonnet or Juliet style and had a large frill around the front.

    Having learnt from my previous mistakes this hat went much smoother. However, when I came to the frill around the front I decided to make a few changes.

  • Costume

    Commissions Commissions – Edwardian Lady’s Maid

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    I am so pleased that I am able to share with you another historical commission, this time for a Lady’s Maid from 1901. Most of my commissions start with a photograph or reference picture sent to me by the client. We then usually have a conversation which goes, like this but with short sleeves and in black, or something like this but not so fancy. I then do some research of my own, looking for historical references that I can base my designs off (this is why my costumes Pinerest board suddenly has a lot of servants on it). I then finalise my designs and send it back to the customer for approval before I get to work.

  • Knitting

    I Made a … 1940s Crochet Hat

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    I am very fortunate in that I suit every type of hat I have ever tried on. However, I am also incredibly unfortunate in that I have an enormous head and lots of hair meaning I can never find hats that fit. So I thought I would give making my own crochet vintage hat a go.

    As part of my Costume Production degree, I was lucky enough to undertake a week of basic millinery. We looked at 19th century hats and bonnets and I ended up making a 1880s style riding hat. Here it is in all its feathery glory: