Fabric noticeboard tutorial

Remember that fabric that I used for the sewing stool and was sad that I couldn’t keep? Well, I found a use for the left overs: a new fabric noticeboard. I’m not sure about you but I always have a gazillion bits of paper cluttering the place up and tickets and mementos that I want to hang onto. Well despite already having two noticeboards to cater for this, the paper was mounting again so I thought, why not have a third. And, seeing as cork boards are so darn ugly, it made sense to cover it with that gorgeous fabric.
As you know, I’m never one to spend an hour perfecting something that can be done in 5 minutes flat. This project was no different. I simply stretched the fabric round and used the trusty staple gun (gotta be my favourite thing ever) to attach it to the wooden frame. With some fabrics- like this one- you need to check you’re keeping the pattern straight. After that, I made a ribbon border. As the base is cork, there was no need to glue or staple this on- I just cut it to size and pinned to the board. Then got pinning all my bits and bobs on it. Ta da! No more clutter!

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Tutorial: upholstered sewing stool

I’m obviously getting too good at this DIY malarkey.  My mum has set me a ton of  sewing projects to get through.

The first was this manky old moss coloured sewing stool. It’s been sat in a cupboard since I can remember and was in need of a bit of love. We were umming and ahhing about what to do with it. I wanted to recover it with a bold floral print but my mum wanted something plain and oatmeal coloured.

Then, when I was browsing in my local fabric shop I came across this fabric. A compromise if you will: neutral but with a graphic print. I love it and was slightly jealous to be using it for something I can’t keep. Oh well.

Anyway, lazy as I am, I didn’t even bother to take off the old fabric. I simply grabbed my fabric and stapled it over the original stool cover. When it came to the sides I cut four pieces  to length (plus an additional inch for seams) and sewed them together to make a sort of empty box thing (ha- so articulate).

Fortunately my measuring was right and this was a snug fit. I shimmied it up the sides, ensured the seams sat on the corners and stapled the fabric over the top and under the bottom. This required the removal of the feet but they screwed on so it wasn’t tricky.

Then I added the finishing touches in a contrast pink ribbon- a pull tab to open the stool and trim to cover the staples and rough edges of fabric where I’d stapled it on the inside.

Considering this is only my second or third upholstery project, I’m pretty chuffed with how it turned out. I don’t think my staple gun will be in the cupboard for long!

Vintage advertising prints

As you may have noticed from the last post, I rather like vintage advertising prints and, truth be told, I have a LOT of them. I think that you can get a real insight into what people were like (or at least what advertisers thought people were like) years ago and they’re a piece of actual history- I love seeing the trends, the design, the products of the time. They are always so much more glamorous than the ‘hard sell’ garish designs of today and the fact that they’re illustrated makes them feel like proper pieces of art. It helps, I guess, that people had to be a lot more artistic before photography.

I seem to have accidentally acquired quite a collection of the things in the last year or two and they’re all over my walls. Hey, if you’re stuck in a single room that you can’t decorate- the walls are the focus of a lot of your creativity!  The attraction of the adverts, other than the fact that they look lovely and are black and white  (always a plus for me!), is that they are easy to come by and, at around a fiver a print (unframed), they’re pretty cheap for a piece of art you can pretty much guarantee none of your friends have hung on their walls.
So, following last week’s purchase of the 1930s Jaeger print I picked up at the Islington Pop-up Vintage Fair, I thought I’d share some of my monochrome collection…..

1931 French perfume advert

1931 French ‘Eau de Cologne’ advert

1937 Jaeger clothes advertising print- I wish they’d sold the clothes too! The bottom coat is incredible!

French ‘Charmis’ advert- unknown date. That is some seriously glam underwear.

Roman Holiday Film advert- starring the beautiful Audrey Hepburn

I couldn’t finish this post without adding this print in, I know it’s not technically an advert but for me it’s completely tied up with the adverts. These are the people that would have seen them and maybe bought the products. And there’s something about this image that I can’t quite keep my eyes off. It’s a picture of VE day and they look so happy and relieved. I see this as a little piece of history too and one quite fitting considering it was Remembrance Sunday a couple of days ago.

Islington Pop Up Vintage Fair

This Sunday my boyfriend took me to The Pop Up Vintage Fair at Islington Assembly Rooms. It has to be the best one I’ve been too. The rooms were beautiful and completely made to be filled with vintage treasures and there was a really cute pop up tea room. AND they had an amazing live band called The Spinettes who sang 1950s tunes in gorgeous rockabilly dresses.  I picked up two lovely vintage rings and when I wore one of them today I got loads of nice comments. I also bought a fab 1930s advertising print by Jaeger which will go with my expanding collection of vintage adverts (more on this at a later date).

The fair was run by Pop Up Vintage Fairs London who run loads of similar events with stallholders selling vintage fashion, jewellery, homewares and prints. The next one is at Spitalfields market on the 17th November. If you like what you see, I’ll see you there!