• Knitting,  Vintage

    The Rizzo Blouse – Poison Grrls Test Knit

    I recently had the opportunity to be a test knitter for the latest pattern from Poison Grrls, The Rizzo Blouse. Being a test knitter is something I have always wanted to try, and it was such a pleasure to work with Amy.

    The pattern is GORGEOUS. I love to knit vintage patterns but they can be so crazy. Literally, scratching your head, turning things around. Constant WTF.

    But the Rizzo Blouse is knitted in one piece, top down. No funny yokes, no side ways construction. Yes please.

  • 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!

  • 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

    On Staying Sane and Knitting

    Why Knitting is Good for you
    Why Knitting is Good for You – Retro Claude
    Why I Knit
    Why I knit and why you should too – Retro Claude

    I have been umming and ahhing about whether to talk about this on my blog but have come to the decision that it is worth sharing. This post is about knitting, but also about something very personal.

    I have a chronic illness, and although I have lived many years with little to no symptoms at all, all of a sudden I am back to a very bleak place with my health. I am incredibly lucky that I have a very loving family who are looking after me as I take some time out to rest and recover. But I must admit the shock of complete inactivity has taken a heavy toll on my mental health.