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Brooklyn shopping

Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea Market

We went to the famous Brooklyn Flea, but to the Saturday one at Fort Greene, not the main Williamsburg one. It was pretty good – quite small (I guess the main one is bigger) and a lot of vendors selling new stuff but a few gem stalls with that awesome Americana I was hoping to find. Sadly the crates at $25-40 each were never going fit into my suitcase home…

Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea Market

But I did pick up a little 50s wooden K from a guy with a fantastic stall with little collections of just about everything: shoe lasts, baseball cards, gumball toys and so on. I fancied one of the big metal letters too, but again with the suitcase space.

Junk, Brooklyn
Junk, Brooklyn
Junk, Brooklyn
Junk, Brooklyn

Back in Williamsburg near our apartment on Driggs & Bedford was a big old emporium full of wonderful old junk – I think the store actually is called Junk from a bit of google research, and most reviews I found say it’s overpriced tat. It actually seemed fairly reasonably priced to me given that mason jars were selling at the flea for $25 each and they were $5 a go here. Old soda bottles and medicine bottles were $3-4 each too. I made away with a sweet grey and yellow bowl and some old cotton reels. Very sad the amazing huge lamp at the left of the last photo couldn’t come home with me too.

Bit of a tangential story here, but I love the NYC weekend stoop/yard sale culture so very much and this explains why. Sunday was a 30-degree day where we’d walked a hell of a lot and my poor swollen feet were completely clapped out from my shoes rubbing like crazy. I sat on a bench to recover a bit opposite a lady doing a yard sale, and she offered me some sandals she was selling for $3. Turns out they were nearly new Aerosoles and when I slipped my foot in it was like the heavens opened. No pain any more! I skipped down the street and that’s when I found some free mason jars.

Brooklyn Flea Market

They were laying outside someone’s house in a box on the street saying FREE on it, so I helped myself to a few. I guess they were used for someone’s wedding since they had ribbons on and a little candle wax left in the bottom. Love me some free street treasure. Best Day Ever.

Madewell, NYC

It wasn’t all cheapskatery. I had a proper shop over in Manhattan at Madwell. Damn I love that store, please come to the UK? The aesthetic’s so very me and the clothes really feel very nicely made. I got a colourblocked sweater, nice rust-coloured trousers and a speckle grey cardigan – good autumn basics. I also bought a knit biker jacket from Anthropologie: it’s a bit cheaper over there.

Brooklyn shops
Brooklyn shops
Brooklyn shops

The hipster grocery stores are a real treat to browse. Who knew $26 artisanal bitters could be so enticing?

Shops, NYC

Did a bit of interior store window shopping too: CB2, Jonathan Adler, West Elm (who I’m excited are opening up in London very soon), Paper Source. Sadly I didn’t make it to a Williams Sonoma this time, perhaps my favourite store discovery in San Francisco, but as they own West Elm too I am hopeful they might make an appearance on these shores sometime too.

Fired Earth vs London Underground

underground

I’m loving this new Underground 150 collection from Fired Earth, a collaboration to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Tube.

edwardian

The Edwardian range, based on original early 20th century tile molds.

landmark

These Landmark tiles are also reproduced from original molds from 1939.

signage

Some classic Underground signage recreated in faithful typefaces.

posters

To complement the range they’ve also got a fabulous range of repro posters spanning the entire 20th century.

See the whole range here.

New on Etsy: Large art prints

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Just a quick one to say that my Etsy shop is back online, and now I have some brilliant larger (A3) size versions of some of my favourite prints – Tea & Books in grey/yellow and green/blue, and Coffee Spoons – up for grabs.

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And for all of next month I’m donating a proportion of each sale to International Cat Care, a charity who help cats in lots of ways, from promoting proper welfare to providing advice to vets and owners. (The rest will go towards Yoni’s astronomical vet bills.) So pop on over and pick up a print!

Recent sews and The Shop

Firstly, thank you so much for all your comments and messages about Yoni. It was amazing to hear what a loved little cat he is from all corners of the internet, and hearing from you really did help me get through the days. He’s back home now, slowly getting used to normal life again with an extra big dose of love and support from us.

As promised, here are the things I made during my anxiety-induced sewing spree while he was in the vets.

Tania culottes

First, a pair of jazzy culottes! I love culottes: the practicality of breeze-resistant shorts with the cuteness of a little flippy skirt is a winner to me. The pattern is the new Megan Nielsen Tania culottes, bought from M is for Make.

Tania culottes

The pattern was really fun to put together – it felt almost like magical origami creating the pleats and crotch with simple folds and lines of stitching. The only thing I mucked up is the waistband with some wobbly topstitching – I might unpick and redo it neater. I also haven’t properly finished the bottom edge yet because I’m terrible at hemming, so it’s just overlocked for now.

Vintage fabric

The fabric is a vintage piece of 70s polyester with a gorgeous Scandinavian-looking mountain print. I love how the patten drape makes the peaks point up and outwards, a little reminiscent of fireworks. Just don’t make the mistake I did of ironing interfacing onto polyester with a hot iron – I burnt a clean plastic-scented hole through my first waistband piece, and luckily had just enough fabric to cut another. I’ll definitely be using this pattern again; in fact I’ve just bought some jersey that I think will make a great no-zip-required version.

Feather tee
Vintage fabric

(Excuse my face, I appear to have the dead eyes of someone who’s been worrying for three weeks straight..) This is another Scout, although radically different from my last one. The front is made from a vintage silk scarf, which was happily just the right size for the pattern piece. The sleeves and back are the same grey jersey as my ballet dress. Very pleased that this turned out just how I imagined it. The Scout tee is such an amazing pattern: so simple but hangs so well despite having no darts or shaping, and the possibilities for creative variations are vast.

Vintage fabric

Finally, a fail. I tried to take photos but they looked too awful to share! It was supposed to be a Sureau dress by Deer & Doe, made from a super soft piece of vintage cotton with an abstract tulip print, above. It seems in sewing that lots of small mistakes can add up to a big mess of a garment, which sadly I think happened here. I chose a size too big so the fit isn’t quite right. The neckline was gaping so I attempted a shoulder-line fix, then added a half collar which sits wonkily. The sleeve caps billow at the back. The skirt twists annoyingly to the side. I’m not sure if I’ll try and fix it some more, or cut it down into a skirt maybe. It would be a shame to waste the pretty fabric completely. Perhaps I should start making toiles before cutting the real fabric.

theshop1

All of the fabrics came from The Shop on Cheshire St, which I visited with Jen one lunchtime (check out Jen’s blog for some much better photos and info, this unprepared blogger didn’t have her camera). It is indeed the treasure trove that countless bloggers promised: walls lined with shelves of vintage fabric, with even more stuffed into drawers and baskets underneath which you’re encouraged to rummage through. There’s everything from recycled curtains to half-finished handmade skirt pieces, plus loads of large pieces of 2-4 metre long cottons and polys, perfect for skirt or dress projects.

theshop2

There’s also a great line in vintage notions, and basket upon basket of vintage silk scarves at around a fiver a pop. At the back are curtains, cushions and clothing and there’s also plenty of knitted scarves and crochet blankets. Prices are eye-poppingly amazing, ranging from a few quid for the smaller bits to no more than £15 for larger pieces (my take-home stash that made everything in this post was only £18). You’d be hard pushed to find such a lovely variety of prints in new fabrics for those kinds of prices. Find The Shop at 3 Cheshire St just off the top of Brick Lane – I’ll be back to replenish my stash very soon.

Brighton home buys

Brighton home buys

I brought back a few souvenirs for the house from Brighton, and gave the fireplace yet another rearrange…

Brighton home buys

I was happy to spot the Cable & Cotton shop in Brighton as I’d been hovering over the ‘buy’ button on their website for a while, after seeing their lovely bespokely-coloured bauble lights on Kerry’s blog. The shop’s a fun experience where you can fill a basket with your selection of colours from the containers, then you receive your appropriately-sized fairylight cable at the till. We picked some tones of yellow and grey to sit in our non-functional fireplace and make it feel a bit more cosy.

Brighton home buys

I’ve got a bit of a thing for West German / lava / studio pottery at the moment – again I blame blogs for kicking off this obsession, namely Fat Cat whose collection I’ve been coveting for a while. They remind me a little of the stuff my parents and aunt had when I was growing up, so there’s a certain nostalgia to my fondness for it. Sadly (or perhaps a bit luckily) it’s not Josh’s aesthetic cup of tea at all so I can’t go mad and buy loads to throw onto every spare bit of shelf, but I think a few selected pieces in more muted tones look great.

Brighton home buys
Brighton home buys

I got the Colin Pearson stoneware goblets from the Marina Car Boot for a fiver, and the brown tenmoku vase and candle dish from the Kemp Town Flea Market, £9 for the two.