Second Hand September aims to raise awareness of fashion’s environmental impact
Create a twenty first century version of a nineteenth century, Smoking Cap from an up-cycled 1980’s jacket. I made this for my brother who loved wearing smoking caps. Here it is modelled by the beautiful Elsa.
The embroidery on the Jacket was beautiful but the style was somehow lacking. So I chose to turn it into, what used to be called, a Smoking Cap. This is in essence a pill box shaped hat often with a central tassel.
You will need
Old lined jacket
Pen and paper
Optional a tassel
Instructions .We made a pattern with the crown, top of the hat having a 18cm diameter. The brim of the hat is 8cm deep x 59.5 cm long including the seam allowances. Cut a paper pattern and then cut a calico pattern and sew the calico brim onto the calico top. Try it on for size and adjust as needed. It should be a little bigger than the finished hat, as the finished hat as a layer of wadding in it.
Cut the jacket into pieces and then lay the pattern pieces on them so they use up the best parts of the pattern. Pin and cut out the pattern pieces. Remember to add more seam allowance if you need to make a join.
Cut the interfacing so that it is slightly smaller than the pattern pieces. Pin it onto the wrong side of the hat’s crown and brimSew the wadding onto the brim. Pin the crown onto the brim, and sew them together, including the wadding around the crown
Using the jacket lining, make a lining for the hat as you did the one from calico. With wrong sides together, and the bottom edges turned under to neaten, sew the lining into the
outside cap. Sew a tassel into the centre of the cap.
Just a glimpse into this gorgeous book will affirm Lucy Haywood’s love of all things vintage, a love that was inherited from her parents. They spent all their free time at antiques fairs and so she grew up in a home filled with old furniture.
Her first flat was adorned with antique
finds and vintage clothing and she realized that she was drawn to a creative
When her daughters were tiny she created a business that would work alongside her role as a mum. She began by hiring out her vast collection of vintage china for weddings and other events. This led to opening first a little shop in Sussex and, then as the business grew, a large, draughty barn, inviting other collectors that she met to sell alongside her. She hosted sales in village halls and gardens, and The Country Brocante was born.
grown and evolved from its humble beginnings, and now hosts seasonal fairs at
stately homes and estates in Sussex and the Cotswolds. The exhibitors
specialize in various different eras and styles – some offer classic French
brocanterie, others have a traditional English style, and some a blend of both.
faded elegance of France and the English cottage charm of vintage china and
chintz come together to create a uniquely beautiful look that is, the essence
of the Country Brocante style which is captured in this book.
The book opens with examples of the
colour palette, which is oh so instagramable. Examples are given of Pale pinks,
Washed whites, Seaside blues and Soft greens.
As Lucy explains, there is a myth that
White is cold hard and clinical. The secret is to search out muted, chalky
whites that provide a perfect backdrop for the time worn patina of antique and
vintage finds. White-painted furniture only grows more beautiful with age, and
when it is teamed with old linen sheets, white sofas and all-white china, the
effect is easy, relaxed and lived-in. If you have a collection of mismatching
modern pine furniture, invest in a pot of one of Farrow & Ball’s
just-slightly-off white shades and give pieces a lick of paint for instant
shabby chic appeal.
To create a Country Brocante home using blues, seek out subtle shades from silvery pale blue to faded indigo.
elegant and feminine, for me pink is the most romantic of colours and effortlessly
exudes vintage charm. Even the smallest of details, such as a posy of pink flowers,
will bring warmth to an interior’ says Lucy.
using pinks, If pastel pink feels too sugary, try a rich raspberry shade
instead, which looks fabulous against pearly grey or duck-egg blue walls and natural
colour of 2020 being Tranquil Dawn a soft green hue inspired by the morning
sky, and Lucy waxes lyrical about green.
colour could be more reminiscent of the rolling English countryside than green?
It brings to mind the exterior of an old garden shed, lichen and moss growing
over a weathered stone garden ornament, or a simple green bucket holding roses
just picked from the garden. But green is for indoors as well as
out. There are so many shades that work in a country-style home, from faded sage to olive to sea foam. Just keep your shades subtle and sludgy and you can’t go far wrong. At the Country Brocantes, a keen eye will seek out the softest, most subtle green pieces, choosing battered enamel buckets and garden chairs to take home and treasure.
As well as colours the book shows examples of
architectural antiques, time worn textures , art, and shows examples of how to work
them into your home.The houses included in this book, whether old Suffolk
cottages, Georgian farmhouses or modern properties all have in common the
inclusion of timeworn objects. There are salvaged shutters and doors, shelving
fashioned from old scaffolding boards and pieces of painted furniture still
clinging on to their original finish, flaking and peeling though it may be.
Despite their age and their state of repair, these items manage to look
current, exciting and utterly beautiful in their current surroundings.
book! What a look! I highly recommend it, as much for the gorgeous images by
Ben Edwards as for the valuable information given by Lucy Haywood.
Annie Sloan paint in Provence and Aubusson, Annie Sloan furniture wax, Old tapestries, Thread, Paper to make a pattern, Upholstery tacks, Decorative upholstery nails, chair to upholster
Equipment A cotton rag, Sandpaper Paint brush, Needle-nosed pliers, Pins, Paper Cutting Scissors , Dressmaking scissors, Sewing machine, Iron and ironing board, Small pin hammer
1. Using the needle-nosed pliers prize out
any old upholstery nails and tacks. Carefully remove the fabric and pin the
pieces, right side up, on the paper and draw round them and then cut out to
make a pattern. Cut out the patterns.
2. Place the tapestries on the chair and arrange and re-arrange until you are happy with the composition. When you are happy, create sections of tapestry patchwork by machine stitching oblongs onto one another. Iron all the seams flat.
3. Pin the paper pattens onto the wrong
side of the tapestry patchwork, allowing at least a 5cm (2inch) seam allowance
all the way round each piece. Lay the sewn patchwork on the chair and check you
are happy with it before cutting it out.
4. Paint the Provence paint onto the wooden parts of the chair and leave to dry. Paint the Aubusson over the Provence and leave to dry. Sand back parts of the second colour. To finish the paint work, rub in wax with a cotton cloth,
5. Pin each section of the tapestry onto the chair. Start attaching the pieces using the upholstery tacks. Start with the front of the chair. Begin in the middle and work outwards, stretching and pulling as you go. Apply a tack every 3cm(11/4in). Pull the fabric so it is as taut as possible before you put in the tacks. When you have reached one end, go back to the middle and start again, working in the opposite direction.
6. Repeat the process to attach the other patchwork tapestry pieces on the chair front and then the chair back. Always work from a centre point outwards, applying tacks in one direction and then the opposite direction, so that you don’t get twisting and distortion. Check that you are happy with your work and make adjustments as necessary.
To finish hammer the decorative upholstery nails down the sides at the back of the chair, covering the tacks you previously hammered in.
Annie Sloan has just launched her third Bookazine , The colourist (hard copy, editorial like a magazine, no adverts like a book). Here is the interview I did with in her, in her eclectic studio and headquarters, about her life, passion and rise to fame. Annie Sloan is known for her paint company and in particular her chalk paints. She also produces at least one book a year on different aspects of painting, decorating and up-cycling furniture. Recently she added a limited edition of printed textiles to her products.
JB Did you go to art school originally and if
so where and what did you study?
AS I went to Croydon art school to begin with and
then I finished at reading University, I was at art school for seven years.
Stared off doing a foundation, which I actually did for two years whilst I
tried to figure out what I was going to do. I wanted to do everything!! In the
end I chose Fine Art because Fine Art seems to be the basis of everything.
JB Annie I met you many moons ago when we were
both craft authors. Can you tell us how you made the leap from being an author
to running your international paint company?
AS Yes I remember well!! I wrote books and I was also going out and painting for people who had commissioned pieces. I had a young family and I wanted to be able to have something that I was doing and making but that could be sold whilst I was still raising my children. I was looking for something, I got the idea for paint from other paints that were around at the time. People were beginning to think back to traditional paints such as milk paints. From that idea I started to think about what I could make, and one thing led to another.
JB What made you want to produce your own paint
and was it difficult to find a manufacturer?
AS Once I became keen to make a paint, I happened
to mention it whilst out for dinner in Utrecht. I spoke to a Belgium man who
just happened to know someone who owned a paint factory and made paint.
JB You have to create a range of colours and
obviously some will sell better than others, was it difficult in the beginning
to know which ones would sell best?
AS I wasn’t thinking about selling to be honest, I was thinking about
what colours I would want and need. Money doesn’t come first. I was already painting furniture and I was
after certain traditional colours that weren’t available. It was important to
me that I could mix colours to make other colours, just like an artists paint
JB Can you influence sales of certain colours by presenting a
fabulous upcycled project on your web site or blog?
AS We do know that when we get something printed
in a popular magazine, we often see an influx in sales of that particular
product. I think that’s the same in the shop, if I painted something in
Antibes, people would buy more of that colour.
JB You sell abroad do any of your suppliers hold
how does this work?
AS No we don’t have any franchises at all, the
reason being that we are a creative company and I feel to offer someone a
franchise is too restrictive. Creative people need to be able have there own
style, we just look for wonderful shops to sell the paint, run workshops and be
inspiring. We love passionate people to get involved.
JB Are any members of your family involved in running the business
and if so what roles do they perform?
AS My husband works with me, he is in charge of
the finances. He’s the calm cool one!! My middle son Felix is the Brand
Director and has a Graphic Design background, he’s very much like me but also
completely different. Felix’s partner Lizzy is also involved in the business,
she does the Digital Marketing but at the moment has just had her third baby so
she is on maternity leave.
JB What is a typical working day like for you or is there no such
AS No such thing!! Every day is different, tomorrow I am off to
Venice, we make some of our woven linens , so I am off to do some colour
matching there- it’s important to get these things right! Last week I was at
conference in Rotterdam with our European distributors. I was painting
yesterday, working on some new products which I am excited about. We are
painting furniture for photo shoot in London next week. I am also doing plenty
of events this year. (Handmade Fair in London September and I also do The Country Living Fair). Things are
JB One of the reasons I am interviewing successful
women who are over forty is that they have often had to take a career break, or
had to slow down to deal with child care and or aged parents. Have you ever had
to deal with either of these of issues and did it impact on your creative life
AS Yes and no, I didn’t really start the business
until my children were a little bit older, I was 42 when I started making the
paint and running the business. I wanted be a around when the kids were small
so I suppose I put it hold for awhile, I always worked but was able to be there
when they were ill and look after them.
JB You run creative workshops at many different
events and venues. Do you enjoy doing them?
AS Yes I do! I love meeting people, I find people
JB You collaborated with Oxfam producing a colour
for them how did this come about?
AS Well it was just one of those magical things. Oxfam are based in
Oxford, hence the name Oxford and Famine, and they were looking for a paint
company to work with. The discovered that we were also in Oxford, it was a
marriage made in heaven. They asked us if we were keen to collaborate and I
didn’t even think twice about it.
JB What did it involve and did you enjoy the
experience? AS It was one of the
most excellent experiences of my life, so impactful. I went to Ethiopia and
made a colour inspired by my travels. It makes you realise that people are
people, for me it confirmed that money is not what it’s about- it’s about other
things. The people there are just amazing, they do need things but they are
still vibrant and positive.
JB What is the best part of your work and what is the worst part?
AS Collaborating with some amazing people and
groups, it’s just so incredibly special to work with some wonderful people and
places. It’s open up so many worlds for me, such as Oxfam. Worst part endless
days were there are just so many meetings and I can’t get any painting done.
JB Who or what inspires you?
AS The Punk approach to life is absolutely
fabulous- anyone can do anything!! You don’t have to be posh, you just have to
be interesting. People inspire me, I talk to everybody and want to find out as
much as I can about others.
JB How long have you been working as a
AS I suppose since 1975, so guess over 40 years…oh
JB What advice would you give to any designer
starting out today?
AS Don’t give up, practice and keep at it. Trust
your gut. It doesn’t happen overnight. Someone once criticized me in Art school
and it really had an effect on me, don’t let criticism put you off!!
Many thanks Juliet. Photography by Antonia Attwood RCA
I, like many of you, am saddened by the downward spiral that M&S seem to have got themselves into. Apart from Bra’s and pants, nothing in their fashion range has appealed to me for a long time. However they have excellent food offerings, and their interior products and furniture are stylish well made and well priced.
With the changing season as we move towards Autumn, we instinctively feel the pull towards a cosy, welcoming space to withdraw into.
Whether your interiors preferences are inspired by rich colours, warm tonal shades or restful neutrals M&S Autumn Winter collection offers simple stylish updates for any home to create that perfect retreat from the busy day.
Contemporary designs are blended with classic influences to create a timeless collection that will give your home enduring style.
Decorative accessories and statement textiles offer an instant interior refresh alongside modern upholstery and furniture designed with on-the-go family living in mind.
Seasonal colour highlights of peacock tones, sea foam and teal are paired back with an accent of warm nectarine to kick off the new season. Classics are re-imagined in casual shapes and textures, while layered textiles and metallic accessories offset easy living with a soft, modern glamour.
Decorative florals adorn plush velvets for a new take on maximalism, while delicate blush corals are paired with deep aquamarine and petrol tones for a bold yet sophisticated interior.
Underpinning the colour stories for the season, this new take on cleansing neutrals creates a stylish canvas on which to layer your favourite pieces- creating an oasis of tranquil, that will always remain timeless. Yet again it feels as if the Scandi look is a strong influence.Casual layering and relaxed textiles in calming tones of ecru and warm grey make for easy styling and create a war, serene palette for the home.
This Autumnal story of rich mulberries spans a jewel-toned palette of deep boysenberry, rich oxblood and delicate heather.
Highlights of dark charcoal and black give this classic colour story a contemporary feel, while statement prints in casual fabrics are juxtaposed with marble and brass accents for a glamorous feminine collection of seasonal pieces.
This innovative up-cycling book makes use of a material we all have around us – Men’s shirts. Those of us with men in the house will undoubtedly have, no longer, used shirts lurking at the back of wardrobes. Those who don’t have a shirt-wearing male to acquire shirts from can pick them up fairly cheap from the charity shop. Plus of course there is no reason why women’s shirts can’t be used for these projects either.
The projects in this book are cleverly catagorized by type of shirt used to make them: businessmen’s shirts, creative men’s shirts, outdoorsy men’s shirts and sporty men’s shirts. The projects include soft toys, quilted duvet cover, a beach bag, storage boxes, and a pretty peg bag and they make use of the whole of the shirt including, cuffs, collars and buttons.
The instructions for each project are set over several pages with large step by step photos to guide you as well as a photo of the finished project plus any templates you need are at the rear of the book. The book is easy to follow and would be suitable for all levels of experience.
I loved this “Joseph” sweater, I bought it second hand when my daughter was a baby. I had worn it to death and washed and washed it. In the end it was so felted I got a very talented lady to knit me a new one and I made a cushion out of the original.
You will need
needle and wool
Old cushion pad
Using the seam un-picker, open up the side seams.
Cut two rectangles from the front and the back of the sweater, and with right sides facing, pin and then using a 1 cm seam allowance , sew them together round 3 sides. Leave what was the bottom of the sweater open, as they are neat edges.
Turn the cover through, insert the cushion pad, close with an over sew stitch.