Tagged: Selvedge Magazine

Apr 26

The Stitch Society* apron

 

 

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An array of aprons c/o The Stitch Society*

 

I’ve been on a quest for the perfect apron for a while now, and I think I’ve found a compelling solution in The Stitch Society*‘s offerings. It seemed appropriate to share details during Fashion Revolution Week when we push for fairer conditions in the garment trade.

I caught up with The Stitch Society*’s Charlotte Meek at the Selvedge Fair at the Assembly Rooms in Bath last month.

 

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Charlotte Meek of The Stitch Society* at the Selvedge Fair in Bath

 

All her aprons are individually crafted here in the UK, from robust materials and often using remnants for pocket linings, and vintage buttons to secure the straps. They’re soulful labours of love, equally perfect for the artisan maker, or just in the kitchen or craft room at home.

So, I had to come home with one.

 

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Delightful packaging – with matching pouch and ‘Friend of The Stitch Society*’ badge

 

Here’s what I love about it:

  • Robust striped twill
  • Deep, capacious pocket – lined with a remnant of fabric, in this case a vintage piece of Liberty from Charlotte’s own family scrap-bag
  • Made sustainably/fairly here in Yorkshire (‘God’s own county’, they say), UK
  • a 10-year no quibble repair guarantee

Yes, Charlotte (who loves mending) will take your apron back any time to fix it for you.

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Vintage Liberty remnant lining pocket

 

But, if you’d rather make your own apron, you can also buy their pattern here.

When it comes to sustainable, soulful aprons, I think The Stitch Society* has really got it all covered. I’m looking forward to wearing this one out. She’s called ‘Martha’, incidentally, and is dubbed ‘the workshorse of the range’. Perfect. I’ll be proudly wearing her for my next darning workshops (early June and early July) at A Yarn Story.

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Ready for work

 

Check out The Stitch Society site for further apron details.

 

 

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Nov 19

Scrap of the week #26

 

This is another little something I nabbed at the Selvedge Winter Fair.

Dyeworks scrap bundle

It set me back all of a fiver: not bad for Chelsea! But just feast your eyes on the scrumptious array of naturally dyed linen and hemp scraps. They really are textile treasure, the handiwork of Polly Lyster of Dyeworks, based almost in my neck of the woods in Gloucestershire. Polly is a dyer who also sells wonderful antique textiles. You may have seen her featured in the pages of Selvedge magazine. Her wares are impeccable; even her card is simply beautiful, painstakingly printed on an old-fashioned letterpress.

Dyeworks scraps

Polly went through all the scraps with me, kindly telling me what product had been used to dye each piece. Foolishly, I didn’t write it all down at the time and forgot some of what she said in all the Selvedge excitement. but I remember that the top one is madder, the yellow has some onion skin. Most have been dyed and then over-dyed, so colours achieved are endlessly, subtly variable.

What will I use them for? Well, I may combine them patchworkily with some indigos bought last year at the quilt show in Birmingham. I’d love to embroider on them. They are so tactile that they positively cry out to be handled, so I think they’d make lovely purses or tool wraps. I’m imagining these would come in handy should I ever be called on to visibly mend an antique shepherd’s smock. Yes, a little unlikely, but you never know. Don’t you think that the next time Monty Don snags an ugly hedge tear in his favourite Old Town gardening jacket, this type of fabric would make the ideal start to an artisanal patch repair? Nothing too perfect, mind. Do keep watching Gardeners’ World and just remember that you heard it suggested here first!

 

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Nov 12

Scrap of the week #25

 

These deliciously vibrant wool and silk Wallace Sewell ribbon-like woven trimmings were being sold on the Ray Stitch stall at the Selvedge Winter Fair at the weekend. I see that you can buy them on the Ray Stitch website too (though I got a better deal at the Selvedge fair – another good excuse to go next time, should you need one!).

Wallace Sewell ribbon trims

 

There’s so much you could do with these strips. I can see them gathered simply along their length to create elegant ruffles, or knife-pleated. They could be applied to a cushion, or the front of a jacket.  Or turned into corsages, or buttons. The zingy colours are so rich that a little goes a long way, so I’d like to try cutting some  of the silk ones into short lengths as tabs or tags, or jewel-like visible mending patches, making a prominent feature of their frayed edges. Or I could just wrap them around the gifts of fortunate friends.

Wallace Sewell woven strips

 

And what would you do with them?

 

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Nov 11

Selvedge Winter Fair

 

Yesterday I had a really magical day in London at the Selvedge Winter Fair.

It was my first time at a Selvedge event though I’ve been hoping to get to one for years. Selvedge magazine — in case you haven’t encountered its square format, matt paper, and distinctive print scent — has to be the read of choice for the textile cognoscenti. It’s always creatively stimulating and often delightfully obscure. The visuals are exemplary, and the tone of the text is knowledgeable, direct and unpatronising. Published six times a year, Selvedge is available infrequently enough for you to work up an appetite for the next issue, and to make the £9.95 cover price just about affordable (though, of course, you get a better deal if you subscribe).

So eager was I to be at the head of the queue for the Winter Fair’s 10am start that, blearily clutching my Earl Grey, I caught the 7.13 train from Bath Spa. The fair, by reputation, fills up fast, so getting in early to a relatively uncrowded hall is worth making the effort for. It wasn’t just the fair; I was looking forward to meeting up with a handful of friends there too. And, according to plan, there were just a couple of people ahead of me when the doors opened.

The Chelsea Town Hall location was a new one for Selvedge, much bigger than those previously used. It is grand and capacious and did the job, though the lighting in some areas left something to be desired.

As I wandered around I was a little starstruck by some of the craftspeople and their beautiful wares, many  familiar from the pages of the magazine. Ellie Evans pincushions, for instance. They are marvellously weighty in the hand, being full to the brim with emery.

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And I have long been drawn to these felt clogs, spotted on the Selvedge Drygoods stall…

Selvedge Winter Fair 2012

Julie Arkell had a stall. I didn’t speak to her, but one of the joys of an event like this is being able to deal directly with the designer/maker, to hear unmediated how they have created an item you are interested in buying. That is a really charming experience. As was getting to spend so much time with talented and delightful fellow visitors Ruth, Alison, Jo and Jo’s sister-in-law. Thanks to all for hanging out  — I really had the best time.

Having resolved not to buy anything, quite predictably all of my good intentions went out the window in the face of such extreme textile temptation. Most of my purchases were gifts and I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but here are some of the things I enjoyed seeing:

Abigail Brown‘s birds

Dyed blankets from Sasha Gibb

Knitwear by Di Gilpin

Knitwear with scrap textile strips by Mary Davis

Welsh loveliness from Damson & Slate

Upcycled blanket wares from Matilda Rose

Painted textiles from Emma Bradbury

The redwork embroidery of Stitch by Stitch

However, rest assured that I’ll be able to show you some more Selvedge Winter Fair delights in tomorrow’s Scrap of the Week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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