After the longest quest to find a copy of my holy grail – aka Mollie Makes – I finally tracked her down. Good to discover that the magazine is produced to a convenient bag-friendly size (like) with stroke-hungry matt paper (like) and with a really wonderful informing eye (like, like). But my eyes popped out on stalks when I spotted this near the back of the mag.
Mollie Makes... vintage strawberries
Good golly! Those are my vintage strawberries! OK, this wasn’t altogether a surprise as I had been commissioned in the conventional way. But seeing the final product – well, almost the final product – is a new and intoxicating experience for me. I’m awash with conflicting emotions; like a parent watching their child hash dialogue in their first school production, I simultaneously glow with pride and squirm at the less-than-perfect qualities of the execution. That embroidery…! I know, I know. I only threw it in as an afterthought. Still, they are my babies alright, and I’m happy to see them out in the big wide world.
So, Mollie Makes issue 2 carries a how-to (also by yours truly) on making your own vintage strawberry emeries. Historically, when needles were expensive, emeries were necessary to condition, sharpen and de-rust them. Now emeries are mainly for fun, though you can use them for their originally intended purpose if you like. They are quite straightforward to make, once you know how. Create them fatter, thinner, bigger, smaller, quirkily topped or not. I guarantee that they are addictive, though: make one and you’ll soon be tinkering with another.
True to my philosophy, most of those fabrics are genuinely vintage and/or scrap. For example, the red one with ditsy white flowers over there on the right was a leftover from a dress I made when I was 16 (that’s almost 30 years ago, folks – and no, I don’t ever throw anything away, obviously).
To celebrate this happy event, I’m arranging a series of Vintage Strawberry Workshops to coincide with the publication of issue 2 (from 9th June onwards). If you happen to run a craft boutique or making establishment, do get in touch for booking details. Have Stitchmobile, will travel!