Jul 26

Vintage Strawberries to Vintage Southbank

I’m super-excited (and not a little awed) to be taking vintage-strawberry-making to Vintage Festival 2011 on the Southbank this weekend, helping to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain. I cordially invite you to join me and the Mollie Makes team for a FREE crafternoon in the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall! You’ll need to pay to get into the main festival, but there’s no extra charge for the workshop (Yay!). Choose to make strawberries with me on Friday 29th or Saturday 30th July, or join Sara Sinaguglia, apple-cosy crocheter extraordinaire, on Sunday 31st. Just sign up for a workshop when you arrive. Spaces are limited, so don’t delay!

More details are here on the Mollie Makes blog. In the spirit of post-war Make Do & Mend, I’ll be taking along lots of vintage fabric scraps and upcycled elements (vintage beads, buttons, bows and threads) as well as some new. I’m currently packing frantically, including bubble-wrapping my prop sewing machine Winifred, a 1933 hand-cranking Singer (which we sadly won’t be using as she has a tendency to misbehave when it comes to stitch tension, but she looks fabulous). Yes, the workshop will be hand-sew only, but I’ll part-prep the strawberries for you so that you can spend a lot of time embellishing them and making them your own (the fun part).

Winifred, a 1933 hand-crank Singer

Coming to the Southbank this weekend...

I’ve been recalling the last time I had a work engagement on the Southbank. It was more than 20 years ago (an era which would now be considered vintage, at least on Etsy). In those days I was a publisher’s publicist, opening the Twiglets and pouring the cheapest possible plonk (in the great publishing tradition) for a Terry Pratchett book launch at the BFI. We used to have the invitations produced (glorified photocopies, really) at a printer’s around the corner from work, and not many more than a hundred would have been ordered. To my eternal shame, I subsequently used some of the priceless leftovers as patchwork backing papers. Aherm. Will posterity judge me harshly for such upcycling of irreplaceable vintage Pratchett ephemera? Perhaps you’d better not answer that. Are you carrying any ‘really-shouldn’t-have-destroyed-that’ upcycling regrets? Please share them cathartically in the comments below and make me feel better about my act of literary memorabilicide.

Upcycled Pratchett invitations

A memento of my last SE1 work engagement

And I didn’t even finish the patchwork! the layers of guilt are piling up…

Anyway, check out the film above and let the festival’s originator, Wayne Hemingway, walk you through the various attractions. Things crafty and upcycled are mentioned 4 minutes 10 seconds in. Hope to see you there, if you can sandwich me in some time between Tracey Emin and the Avenger-thon! Now, where did I put those cat’s-eye spectacles…?


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  1. Woo Glchrist says:

    Oh have fun – I am jealous!!

  2. sweetmyrtle says:

    this is great.. hope you have fun!

  3. catherine says:

    OOH, thank you for reminding me of this event. I hope to go on Friday, if I do I will say hi, if you are not too busy

  4. @RuthSinger says:

    upcycling regrets have been blocked from my memory mostly, but i did cut up a 1920s silk blouse when I was a teenager. also at some point I chucked *all* my 50s and 60s dresses collected for pennies from jumble sales as a teenager AND all my own-sewn clothes from the same era. Keep searching my mum's loft, but they are all gone. So tragic.

  5. Julie says:

    I don't have any regrets to share today (though I do deeply regret that my mother didn't think to save me her early 60s clothes, but I couldn't really have done anything about that!) but did want to comment on how beautiful your Winifred is! I also have an old Singer – from 1893, actually – and maybe I should do a post on that one and one from the 50s I also scooped up at a local charity shop. But as much as I love them both, your Winifred is so beautifully ornate and delicate – she's absolutely charming!

  6. Claire says:

    Hope you've had a great time :)

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