Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Frock Me at Home

A friend of mine encouraged me to visit the Frock Me at Home vintage-fest at the resplendent Chelsea Old Town Hall this Sunday (not that I needed much persuasion, but hey hoe). This is the second occasion the usually fashion-exclusive Frock Me shebang has turned its attention to us homeware lovers, and there were goodies galore. It has to be said, I was slightly disappointed with the amount of homewares on offer as there was still a huge amount of fashion for sale (at least 50%), and the bulk of the homewares were textiles, with probably only about 15-20% 'hard' homewares. Luckily, the textiles were so eye-wateringly glorious that I was kept enthralled for several hours, and even dusted the cobwebs off the ol' wallet and parted with some Serious Cash (£35 for a single item - not a lot to some, but for a car booting/charity shopper rarely crossing over the five pound barrier, this was my equivalent of hitting Louis Vuitton with an AMEX).

There weren't any real bargains to be found, but prices on the whole were fair apart from a few slightly cheeky vendors asking over the odds for mass produced 70's bits. Several of the vendors seemed to source much of their textiles in France, including some gorgeous patchwork throws from the 30's and 50's, plus an abundance of crochet so rich with detail it's a wonder the makers lived long enough to finish it. And Alan Bradbury's stall, occupying the whole stage at the back, featured a huge amount of vintage trimmings, rik-rack and threads, which always make great craft cupboard staples. 

I think the trick to avoid being overwhelmed by such an abundance of treasure (I spent much of the first half hour simply standing still, wide-eyed and gasping like an oxygen-starved fish might behave) is to try and think of how you might use or repurpose whatever it is that's caught your eye. Could those too-short curtains be used instead as a trim on a longer pair? That gorgeous crochet tablecloth used as a decorative wall hanging, or curtain pelmet, allowing the daylight to emphasise its details and trim?

In the end, I picked up the following and plan to use it thus:

A tea towel from 1980, complete with calendar from said year. I love these bold colours and simple, curved illustrations, and as this is the birthyear for both me and the boyf I think it would have simply been rude not to part with the £2 it cost me. I plan to frame it and put it on the kitchen wall of our Future Home (no wall space at the current houseshare abode, so in the meantime this will most likely be confined to the garage full of stuff at my parent's house also awaiting the same fate).

A silk scarf and oversized hankie: The colours on the former were too outstanding to not snaffle this up, and I love the delicacy of the sheer fabric of the latter. I'm thinking... cushion covers?

An old unfinished French tapestry: the unfinished section really sold this for me - I'm a sucker for being able to literally see the handiwork and 'real-ness' of things, and the story it tells. Who was embroidering it, and why did they stop? Again, perhaps a cushion cover, backed with some vibrant red or yellow fabric to pick out the detail?

And finally, my £35 piece da resistance: my hand embroidered, floral linen folksy tablecloth, currently being repurposed as my bed throw. I heart it so much, I've taken to staring at it in awe when I first wake up in the morning. Again, once I'm in the Future Home maybe I'll be able to return it to its intended tablecloth function or even use it to cover a sofa or chair, but I couldn't keep it squirreled away until then.

Crafty updates to follow on how I end up re-using my other finds!

No comments: