Friday, 24 April 2009

Girls in multicoloured dresses..

When I was a little girl, we would go on holiday to my Granny's house in the beautiful Sussex town of Lewes. If the days were sunny we would head to the seaside and spend the day doggy-paddling in armbands and eating sandy sandwiches and if it was rainy we would get the brollies out and sashay down the high street,popping to the charity shops( my love was formed at an early age!) and ending up at a shop halfway down the steep hill.Without doubt a trip to Clothkits was as traditional as the seaside days.

Behind the wooden frontage, the shop was packed with fabrics and patterns. Rows of dresses for grown up ladies and small ladies. You would choose your style,your colour and pattern then take it home and sew the item yourself. There were even squashy dollies that could be yours all with their own character and outfits.

I would love picking out the fabrics with bold and decorative patterns and remember poring over the catalogues. No wonder I still adore bird and floral prints.But really it was Granny that was in charge, she and mummy,dearest would hold up dresses to us and compare which flowery pattern was better, dungarees or dress? It was all wonderfully hippy and boho!

I had been thinking about this shop recently, what with all the homespinning sewing and crafting,that it would be perfect and what d'ya know... it's back!
I couldn't believe it when I read this article and immediately scoured the Clothkits website with delight and nostalgia, recognizing the old prints and being transported back to those childhood days. The business is now run online and they have reinvigorated it with designs by Rob Ryan such as this fabulous skirt-

Even the pattern is a masterpiece

There are many beautiful things, lots more birdy themed clothes which is always a good thing.

Cute sundresses for wee folk and I have my eye on the birdy skirt below..

As well as this magic tree skirt

Better get granny tied to the sewing machine again!

And the kid's stuff is adorable. Almost worth stealing a child for..

But what really got the tear ducts wobbling was seeing all the old fabric and patterns again. It was truly evocative of that time and immediately took me back. I adore all the bright colours, this green one was a particular favourite. I'm sure my mum had these very hippy dungarees in the print!

I wish they would bring back the old patterns

And we definitely had a pocket storage thingummy made from this pattern.. Wonder where it is now..

There is a whole section on the website dedicated to Clothkit memories, I'm not the only one with a hankering for brightly coloured printed cordouroy.

Fabulous... health food shop wholesome!

(pics from flickr and clothkits website)


h for hellebores said...

Clothkits! How fabulous. I am instantly back in 1979 scraping Angel Delight out of a Tupperware bowl when I look at those pictures.

Flora said...

Haha! Is there no greater pleasure than that?! My turn with the spoon and I hope it's butterscotch flavour!

Peonies and Polaroids said...

What gorgeous clothes! I'm in love with the kiddie dungarees on the stolen child.

Anonymous said...

Wow - I wish we had something like that here in Canada. I'm tempted to place an order even though it is 2.5x more expensive in CAD dollars. That black and white skirt is amazing & I have the perfect little girl for all the child stuff...

Flora said...

Ha ha! I have found a blog twin! Not only that, a fellow Clothkit-worshipping one! Pass me the pincushion and lets get stitching. Life's funny aint it.

Flora said...

Yay for Floras! And even funnier because I was found your blog yesterday through Petit Oiseau and then got totally distracted by your stained glass website and was fantasising about how I could fill my windows with colour!
I can see now looking back at the Clothkits website, the influence being dressed in all those prints had on me.

Hi Meli-Mello, thanks so much for commenting,and that is rubbish indeed about the exchange rate..Boo!
but think of how adorable your little girl will look.. Go on place an order! Than post the pics for us to drool over!!

And Peony, the dungarees are dreamy aren't they, I would wear them!Especially as they would go with our own camper.

Meg said...

"This bell will ring when you take me in your arms and hold me"??? Have we not progressed from being passive homemakers waiting for our lovers to make things happen??

I say: let's keep the patterns of Clothkits but surely it's time we updated the fabric to represent the modern women we are.