Maggie goes to Brussels and scores big time

My mother rejected a ‘thank you’ letter I wrote, aged about seven, for a relative, on the grounds that it a/ didn’t actually include the words ‘thank you’  or b/ refer to the gift received and c/ it wasn’t a letter, rather a detailed list of things that I’d received that Christmas, including stocking fillers.

Unsurprisingly, I was asked to rewrite, this time with firmer guidance on the defining features of a gracious ‘thank you’ letter.

Now, this post is neither a ‘thank you’ letter, nor will I seek any maternal approval before publishing. But this IS a list.

A list of things that I found, during a MOST enjoyable weekend’s thrifting and looking at Different Things in a Very Groovy European city. I just wanted to share my joy of acquisition!

So, dear reader, this weekend Maggie went to Brussels, found a 3-day brocante in Petite Suisse  and foraged for stuff and found:::

red pop flowers

::: red pop flowery cotton fabric – enough for a shell top


fruity flowery fabric

::: fruity stripey fabric, two curtains’ worth


red trees fabric

::: some red-y tree-y fabric – oddly, the lining of the fruity stripey curtains above. I don’t think I’d have combined the two – they seem such different characters.

hem marking kit

::: a device for self-farting a chalk dust line onto your skirt to give it an even hem, complete with bag of white powder and instructions. Not an enema kit, despite appearance to contrary.

cat pot stand

::: an enamel pot stand decorated with rather pissed-off looking cat.

simone bag

::: a beautifully faded denim bag with tan pleather trim, which used to belong to the seller’s grandmother, who was called Simone. It included a faded blue hankie, neatly folded up inside.

Femme d'Aujourd'hui cover

::: a November 1940 Femmes d’Aujourd’hui magazine, parchment-soft and not even yellowed with age – oranged with age. Unless it was supposed to be like that and only uses three colours in the print (which on inspection it seems to). Must have been cheaper?

Femme d'Aujourd'hui 3

::: with a centrefold feature on “For decorating, repairing, transforming – knitting!”. I’m seeing some pinchworthy refashioning ideas there!

brussels pics

::: a photo of a hair-do, the like I’ve never seen before, but think, given the right kind of brushing and barmy abandon, I could emulate. The hand written inscription on the back reads “Emmanuel de Longrée et sa belle fille Margie (femme de Stanislas)” which roughly translates as “EdL and his daughter-in-law* M (wife of S)”. Never mind her shield shaped hair, what’s Dad got on his head? A sock? Loving Margie’s choice of puffed sleeve canoe-ing ensemble.

*08.09.09 I mistranslated this as ‘beautiful daughter’. Thanks for the correction! I do think she’s beautiful though.

::: oh and some chocolates, but I’m afraid they’re not available for pictures right now? If you want to just *look* at the really posh chocs I indulged in, check out Pierre Marcolini’s website. The chocolate is quality confectionary indeed.

Hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did. Next post, the spectacular vintage pattern donation from the very lovely Monsieur Taibi, my host.

I’m off to scoff savour a wee choccy now. Nom nom.


Maggie goes to a boot sale and scores!

Hello: Miss Magpie reporting here. Went out on the browse/acquire this weekend and happily scored twice at the Chiswick Boot Sale on Sunday – within Wardrobe Refashion rules.

Took my camera in hope of putting together some type of story, but was too knocked out by the cornucopia of toot, jewels, oddities and general rummage-worthy piles of textiles to photograph any of it. All those people, things and inside-out houses – whole lifetimes of acquisition there for the taking. If my mind was up to it, I’d have something to say about acquisition and consumer society.

When I got home there was a funny bite on my hand – I think I disturbed something having a snooze while rummaging through some pile or other. Ack. Note to self: people get rid of their *rubbish* at boot sales. We salvagers don’t want EVERYTHING people throw away.

bedjacket lo

1. two vintage patterns, dug out from a box of very janky assortments. I’m seeing an outdoor jacket from the bedjacket, lined. And the slippers are a must-have! They are the odd little dark blobs in the left hand corner. Sling backs, I believe.

airhostess dress lo

And should I ever wish to take to the skies to serve international travellers tea, coffee, chicken/beef or lottery tickets, I’ll be fashioning a uniform from the dress pattern for my interview. They’d be mad to turn me down.

green flowery curtain

2. a pair of vintage curtains. And guess what – they’re green and flowery! But they won’t be appearing on any window in our house, rather I’m itching to get my scissors to them, run em through the sewing machine and walk them out the door.

But I need help. Any reader dropping in from blogland – what sort of pattern should I make this up into? Ideally, it’d be an era-appropriate dress, skirt or coat shape for this fabric. The flowers are approx 6″. I’m thinking a-line, sleeveless with some detail at the neck.


About me

I started this blog to help me Get Things Done: sewing and knitting mostly.
But now I have a daughter! So I continue to daydream in enormous detail about what I'd like to make, but squeeze the 'doing' into precious naptimes and evenings.

Can I keep it up? Time will tell!

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