Friday, 2 September 2011

Broochy Love

Today, we're touching on a subject close to my heart, literally, as I do love a good brooch, dear reader. The sparkly paste ones aside (of which I have many, more of those next week), I am rather pottily partial to the felt variety.

At Twinwood last weekend, I was very taken with this little ensemble in the CC41 exhibition.

I was first drawn by the dress, I also admired the shoes but then...I spotted the brooch. A lovely little hand-crafted number, made of felt, make do and mend style. (This reminds me, have any of you been catching the super series about Pathe newsreels on BBC4, showing loads of fantastic vintage footage, including some of the make do and mend variety?)

Then in one of the other huts, I spied this display with more lovely brooches. These felt ones look modern I think, looking at the colours of the felt, but made very much in the vintage 1940's style. I went a bit giddy at the sight of the photocopy of the booklet which shows how to make felty jewellery. I've been looking for one of these for the longest time, still no success alas. Never mind, I do like a mission!

This all made me think, perhaps you'd like a shifty at my little corsage collection?

Those ones are all vintage and very treasured possessions indeed. The one below is not really a corsage is it, but I thought I'd slip it in anyway. It's not in great condition but I'd been after one for a while, the fact that it's had a past life I rather like, anyhow. I bumped into Clare at Shepton Flea once who had bought one of these brooches and a note with it suggested it was worn by land girls. When I bought my brooch from a well-known '40s dealer, I asked her about it and she said she'd heard they were made by prisoners of way. Anyone else got a clue?

You might remember me making this little brooch using the pattern for the woolly flowers from Jane Brocket's book. I rather like this one, I generally wear it on this knitted top (purchased from the fantastic dealers, The '40s Room. It is new but made from an original pattern). I had a few compliments about my brooch when I wore it on this top last weekend. How very nice!

I am also rather partial to these little brooches and have a few in various colours bearing different embroidered words and decorations. I've made these myself and also made some to commission bearing the customer's own choice of word. (A few remain in my Etsy shop here.)

It's not a vintage design but I hope it captures the spirit in a fresh and modern way. It's currently living on this fab original knitted cape from the '40s (bought at Vintage at Southbank).

What really got me onto this post today was that I decided to indulge in a little corsage making. I purchased this sad little corsage at the '40s event in Pickering a few years ago. I like it a lot but as you can see, it was not that well stitched together and has fallen apart.

I helped it on its way a little (!) so I could see how it was made up.

And I thought I'd have a little go myself! Et voila...

I have certain outfits I like to wear my corsages with. The divine pinky purpley one (bought from Donna during our weekend at Cowslip), goes fetchingly with one of my favourite 1940's frocks (bought from The '40s Room at Pickering a few years back).

The red one I've just made, I think may look quite nice with this vintage dress (bought last weekend at Twinwood).

This little felty number is an original '40s piece, also bought at Twinwood last weekend. My beady little eyes homed in on it and though it was a little pricey, I knew I would regret it if I didn't buy it. It will look swell, I think, on my most prized 1940's dress (bought at Vintage at Southbank). It really is a fabulous dress, beautiful heavy linen fabric in super condition, stunning Autumnal colours and such a classic '40s design with it's ruched bodice, gathered shoulders and flattering midriff panel. I cannot wait to wear it!

That my friends, is it for another week. Hope you enjoyed that virtual stroll through my felty flowers. Do you know, I think I'll pack my felt and my needle and indulge in a little more make do and mending this weekend. Hope it's a good one for you...


  1. A girl from my own heart! I have a quite a collection But I have so many of them I am in the process of selling some
    Julie xxxxxxx

  2. You have some lovely vintage things don't you? Your little 'Landgirl' brooch is similar to one that I have - mine is made with embroidery thread and has more 'stems' than yours. I fell in love with it many years ago and bought it for pennies from a local market. Your last dress looks like those that my Mother used to make and wear though I don't think she ever was able to afford linen. A lovely post altogether.

  3. Amei suas flores de feltro,muito delicadas,bjsss

  4. I'm a big fan of the brooch- can't understand why brooches don't get more press,they are full of possibilities and the mix and match potential with outfits is enormous.Something particularly satisfying about coming across a really good brooch.

  5. My grandma used to make beautiful hats full of lovely corsages I wish we still had them, I love the knitted cape. Have a lovely weekend.

  6. I've been on the look out for one of those Bestway felt jewellery pattern leaflets too, but to no avail either. I love the way you've matched your brooches to an outfit, oh and that cape looks so delightful.

  7. I love your beautiful felty brooches but I LOVE your little green cape even more - it is just gorgeous! M x

  8. Absolutely fabulous corsages.I love brooches and wear and buy them on purpose as they are very often deemed unfashionable on the whole which I think is a shame.

  9. Sigh, what gorgeous, gorgeous clothes - I'd love to dress in things like that every day!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

    S x

  10. Wonderful, sweet, pretty brooches. I have a few vintage ones myself, but I have never seen handmade brooches here in Kansas City. They are wonderful. I may go and buy some felt tommorow and give them a try. Thanks for sharing. Ellen.

  11. Fabulous treasures! I wear brooches quite often and usually get comments on them as they are much less common than other types of decorative adornment. By the way, I've spotted your brilliant hen collection. I had one very similar to your smaller white opaque one that belonged to my grandma. Unfortunately, as a result of a very severe earthquake that occurred exactly one year ago today, my beautiful hen took to her wings and flew off the top of the piano, losing her head, and several other parts, upon landing. I've still got her tucked away. I'm sure I will find another hen, or even a whole collection, one day. A vintage challenge! XXX

  12. Ooh, Hen. what wonderful finds! Very jealous of those dresses! I have quite a growing collection of felt flower corsage too... and also trying to make some out of lovely old bits of felt, I was given to understand that such items were made by wartime ladies as there was so little else available. I can now see why you were so admiring of the pink knitted creation on my blog this week. Wait until you see my scrummy crochet cardy that I bought for myself at the Portscatho fair! have a lovely weekend. xxx

  13. I love alll your dresses especially the one you got from Twinwood and that little blue cardigan is such a lovely colour, I'd love a rummage in your "vintage" wardrobe!! I think a brooch compliments an outfit and always wear one. Lucey x PS Have you seen the work of Jessie Chorley textile artist? There's a bit of Julie Arkell going on there, all wonderful stuff.

  14. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and am coveting your gorgeous brooch collection!

    Heather x

  15. What lovely brooches, just so pretty. Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  16. How adorable! I've never seen anything like them, let alone a whole collection. It would be great to have your post on Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  17. Such sweet little creations!! Beautiful!

  18. Beautiful brooches, dresses and cardigans. You do have some really lovely vintage items.
    Wish I'd spotted the BBC4 Pathe programmes, hope they will be repeated
    Carol xx

  19. Dear, i just want to say that it is always a pleasure for me to read your current news! I am a big fan! Kindest regards Nicole

  20. Some lovely brooches Hen, I have a few but never remember to wear them! :) x


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