Finally, I have found the photo I referenced in a previous post (Clothkits Fundraiser). My memory was a little off what with it being my fifth and not sixth birthday, and the outfit actually being a skirt and waistcoat combo (this was 1981 in deepest Somerset after all). But it was my best birthday cake EVER and one of my most favourite childhood outfits.
When I was a child there was a shop in Bath that sold Clothkits – clothing sewing kits (see what they did there?). They were lush, I remember a particular favourite being a pale blue sundress complete with matching bolero padded jacket. I loved it. The outfit also features in a photo taken of me when I wore it on my 6th (I think) birthday and had my best birthday cake EVER. (Sadly, the photo is in the UK so I can’t reproduce it here for you!)
Anyway, Clothkits has always held a special place in my heart what with it being totally entwined with brilliant childhood memories and it selling easy to create, perfectly lovely, make at home clothes. Clothkits has an interesting history and, when it became a victim of its own success, it almost didn’t make it into the 21st century. Happily though it has made it, and, now based in Chichester, it still sells the loveliest cloth kits you can possibly find. I have several on my wish list (the Liberty print tea dress would make a really fabulous birthday present if you’re reading this Steve!).
Following the tragic earthquakes that took place earlier this year in Nepal the wonderful people at Clothkits decided they couldn’t just sit by and watch the devastation but have set about raising some money. Now the way they have gone about this has been rather ingenious. They started by selling off all their fabric remnants (yes, a great way to clear the stock room) for just a £10 donation to the DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal. This then launched the Scrap Fabric Challenge. The purchasers of said remnants were invited to create something with them that could possibly be auctioned to those less imaginative/time rich/creative/talented/motivated (delete as appropriate). This week has seen the Scrap Fabric Challenge items listed on Facebook and there are some delightful creations from a bunny to a pair of kids dungarees.
The auction is now open* on the Clothkits Facebook Page…. Go ahead, buy a handmade gem, and justify it by knowing that the money you pay will be going to make a huge difference to lives that have been affected in a way that we can’t even imagine. (Please note that if you are outside of the UK and win an item through the action you will need to cover the postage cost).
If you miss out why not make a donation anyway – Nepal Earthquake Appeal.
*Auction ends at midnight on Sunday 7th June, 2015 (yes, that’s the day after tomorrow, so hop on over and get bidding… Clothkits Scrap Fabric Challenge).
Last week I set myself three tasks the first of which I blogged about in Handmade Tale – Baking – hop on over and take a look I won’t mind (and it includes a link to a wonderful lemon and raspberry cake recipe from Richard Burr!).
The second and third of my personal tasks were sewing based, something that my Mum taught me many years ago. I remember a beloved polka dot circular long skirt that I wore and wore and wore that Mum had made for me. Simple but perfectly proportioned, it made me feel like I was 5 foot 10 instead of the diminutive 5 foot 3 and a half (don’t forget the half people, it does make all the difference!) as it swirled around my ankles. Then, there was the ball dress Mum made with a red silk dupion bodice and short layered chiffon shirt that Mum hand hemmed and which took her hours and hours because it was so full. The school ball turned out to be a disappointment as my then boyfriend got hideously drunk and ended up spending the evening in the toilets, but the dress. Oh, I loved it, more than the boyfriend by a long stretch, and it made me feel positively beautiful. I still have it hanging in the wardrobe, along with the Liberty print hand smocked dresses Mum had also made when I was a child. You’d have thought that with this maternal influence I would have regularly sewn clothes for myself and my children but sadly I have never made time to do it. I have however regularly lusted after the fabrics sold at Millie Moon in Frome and the gorgeous retro kits from the legendary Clothkits. I have even devoted many evenings to knitting jumpers and cardigans for the children. I realised recently that I now have the time to sew and the Great British Sewing Bee had motivated me enough to get the sewing machine out of its rather dusty box.