A chat with Tom of Holland

I am sure that many of you may be familiar with the work of my good friend and woolly comrade Tom van Deijnen, also known as Tom of Holland. Tom is perhaps best known for his expertise in, and celebration of, darning, which he puts into practice in his classes and workshops, as well as… Read More

Mrs Sew and Sew interview

Since my sister bought me this book a while ago, I have taken all my darning advice from Mrs Sew and Sew — the fictional character invented by the British Board of Trade to promote practices of mending and making do. When considering war-time rations, we perhaps first think of food and fuel, but clothes… Read More

out with the old

You may remember that a year ago I decided to stop buying clothes for the duration of 2008. My decision to do this was sparked by a couple of things. I had been reading a bit about darning and mending and wanted to think about what repairing and caring for one’s clothes meant. Also, since… Read More

all change

Today I put away my summer clothes, and removed the winter ones from storage. I always find it a bit depressing having to encounter the berloody tights again . . . but it is nice to see warm winter dresses, sweaters, and coats. Anyway, before I pack the summer stuff away, I thought I’d show… Read More

sewing mania

My attempts to refresh my summer wardrobe without buying anything are reaching interesting lengths. I seem to be spending all moments when not working, eating, or snoozing at the sewing machine. If my maniacal dressmaking activities are boring you, look away now (I fear that the thrill of my new clothes is certainly wearing thin… Read More

functional poetry

I have been making a start thinking about Belle’s quilts. She lived near Blackpool, and the first quilt will be a jolly sea-side-y affair, made up entirely of her stripey tops and T-shirts — of which she had over thirty. In the summer she was always in stripes. I’ve been looking at different methods of… Read More