Friday, 11 November 2011


I made myself this ring pin cushion the other day
it's really handy (pardon the pun) because you've got the pins just where you need them

There's a bit of history behind the fabric I've used.  
When I was in my twenties I made a lot of my own clothes because I didn't want to be wearing the same as everyone else.  Whilst on holiday in Austria I bought a couple of lengths of cotton fabric.  I made one into a skirt but didn't use the other one.  Then about 10 years later I used it to make a pinafore dress for my daughter. (The pin cushion was made with an off cut.) 
Here she is wearing it on Christmas day  - sorry for the poor picture quality, it's a photo of a photo.

Still on with the pinafore and going back even further; when I got my first job, my wages were £7 a week.  Yes that's right £7 a WEEK!  Before you go thinking that I must be ancient, this was in the 1970s.
I could never afford to buy anything from Laura Ashley but I got one of her dresses at a jumble sale.  It was black with small white flowers on, gathered from the bodice and very long with a couple of pockets.  It reminded me of the Waltons so I bought some gathered broderie anglaise trimming and sewed it just inside the bottom hem so that it looked like a petticoat showing.  I didn't actually wear that dress much but I loved trying it on and looking in the mirror.
When I eventually got rid of the dress I unpicked the broderie anglaise and kept it for future use.  And that is what you can see peeping out from underneath my daughter's dress.
She's all growed up now and making her own clothes!

By the way, if you want to make a ring pin cushion of your own, I used this tutorial.


  1. Lovely pincushion :) Many years ago, when I was still at school! I too couldn't afford to buy the Laura Ashley fashion.... My jaw used to drop open at the prices, however... upstairs in the shop, they had a basket full of small scraps of fabric, and I could afford these. I recently found a very small piece in my childhood home, I was delighted :)
    Sue Xxx

  2. What a clever idea - and so practical. I too remember being thrilled with my first pay packet - like yours it was £7.00/7.50, something of that order! Different times.

  3. I am loving my ring pin cushion thank you and in my fav colours :)
    H x

  4. I started work on £14 per week in 1976. My pal got £16 on the dole!!! Lovely story. x

  5. What a fab story. You must have been really excited to find that Laura Ashley dress at a jumble sale. x

  6. Fantastic story behind the fabric - thanks for sharing! And thank you very much for the link to the tutorial. I really need something like that, so will try making one soon.

  7. Ah that's such a lovely story! I think this is part of the beauty of making your own clothes and refashioning fabrics into something new: there's always an interesting story behind them.

  8. Georgia I love your pinny from your previous post! I cracked up at myself, as when you said 'maybe she got the hammer' For a minute I thought you meant as in 'hit with'!!! lol.
    (I need more sleep :o)

    And I love this post. The story behind it is great!
    Come on then...what were you doing for your £7 per week?

    Have a great week my dear, and take care,
    Love Donna xx

  9. Hello Georgia! Hope you're well!
    It was lovely to read your memories, you made me smile!
    Michela x

  10. I remember wearing a blue print skirt with the petticoat hanging down - I can't remember if it was Laura Ashley, but it looked like it, with the frill, etc!

    Pomona x

  11. I can remember the days of earning £7 a week and owning a couple of Laura Ashley dresses. Wish I had kept my favourite, that was black and white too with 'leg of mutton' sleeves. In the 70's they used to sell bags of squares for patchwork, I still have some pieces in my stash.
    Carol xx

  12. Ah, I remember the days of Laura Ashley! Too expensive for me, too.