New Web Address!

Hi folks! As you may have noticed, Dobbin’s Bobbins has been a bit quiet recently. Not only is this due to me focusing on uni work (for which there is never enough time!), I’ve also been busy moving domains. Dobbin’s Bobbins has officially dropped the ‘WordPress’ part of it’s address and can now be found at dobbinsbobbins.com. Dobbin and I look forward to seeing you there!

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Announcing the World Book Day Blog Tour!

This year World Book Day falls on Thursday 3rd March and to mark the occasion a selection of incredibly talented sewing bloggers from around the globe are coming together online for a literary themed Blog Tour!

The tour will run throughout this week (Mon-Sun), with bloggers posting creations inspired by their favourite childhood book each day. I will be uploading daily blogposts featuring teaser photos and links to the participants blogs where you’ll be able to find out much much more about their creations! And if that’s not enough, be sure to check out #wbdblogtour on Instagram & Twitter for exclusive sneak peeks.

I am ridiculously excited to be hosting and I cannot wait to share with you the wonderful things that the participants have come up with. Here’s the line up…

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Alongside the blog tour, I’m also running four (yes four!) giveaways!

All you have to do to win is enter the Rafflecopters below. You have until 12th March (12am, GMT). Winners will be drawn randomly by Rafflecopter. (You must be 18+ to enter. Giveaway void where prohibited by law. Giveaways 3&4 are open to UK Only due to postal costs.)

Giveaway #1: a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • 1 pdf pattern of choice from Brooklyn Pattern Co.
  • 1 pdf pattern of choice from Coffee & Thread
  • Tinny pdf pattern from Straightgrain
  • 1 pdf pattern of choice from Welcome to the Mousehouse
  • 1 pdf pattern of choice from Pienkel
  • 1 pdf pattern of choice from Compagnie-M
  • NEW Trinity Tee pdf pattern from Rock the Stitch

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Giveaway #2: a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • 1 pdf pattern of choice from Sew Much Ado
  • 1 pdf pattern of choice from Coffee & Thread
  • Tinny pdf pattern from Straightgrain
  • 1 pdf pattern of choice from Welcome to the Mousehouse
  • 1 pdf pattern of choice from Nell Patterns
  • 1 pdf pattern of choice from LBG Studio

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Winner #3 (UK Only): a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Pop-up edition of We’re Going On A Bear Hunt
  • Belle & Boo: S is for Sewing
  • My Sewing Machine by Jane Bull
  • Stitch by Stitch by Jane Bull
  • Creative Craft With Kids
  • Mollie Makes magazine

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Winner #4 (UK Only): a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric
  • The Liberty Book of Home Sewing
  • Merchant & Mills Workbook
  • Sew Japanese
  • Mollie Makes magazine

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I want to say a massive thank you to the talented pattern designers who donated their patterns for this giveaway! Thanks also to the wonderful folks at Quadrille, DK, Walker, Pavilion & Mollie Makes for sponsoring the giveaway with such incredible literary donations. Your generosity was overwhelming and the winners are incredibly lucky. I’m only sad I couldn’t enter myself!

 

On a final note, if you are feeling charitable, please please please click here to donate to Book Aid, an incredible charity who work in partnership with World Book Day. They raise money to support libraries across Africa, changing the lives of so many children, inspiring new readers and helping their education flourish. So often we take the joy a book can bring for granted. Why not spread the joy?

Secret Project Revealed!

It’s official, I am a costume student once again and the uni project I’ve been dreaming up for the past eight months or so has finally begun. And I’m very excited about it!

Did anyone recognise the quote/clue I gave in my New Years post? Well I can now reveal that it was a line from the song ‘Be Optimistic’ from the film Little Miss Broadway(1938) performed by the one and only, Shirley Temple.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I absolutely love the clothes the famous child star wore throughout the height of her career in the 1930s. So what is this dream project of mine? It is, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, to recreate a collection of garments once worn by “America’s Little Darling” herself. Inspiring children’s fashion around the world, Shirley’s wardrobe was truly remarkable.

Exactly which designs I’ll be replicating is still being debated and I’m open to suggestions. Do you have a favourite that you’d like to see me make?

(All images sourced from Pinterest)

 

Happy New Year!

Too often it’s easy to focus on everything you didn’t achieve rather than everything that you did. I’m sure when I look back in 10 years time 2015 will have been an incredibly important year. I bravely took a step away from uni to take the time to work out my own aspirations and dreams, rather than continuing along the treadmill in sync with everyone around me. In creating Dobbin’s Bobbins, I took the first steps to achieving those dreams, and put positive goals in place.

2016 won’t all be plain sailing. There will be highs and lows. But I’m going into it with belief, hope and courage. With a fresh and new found energy, I’ll continue to focus on goals that inspire and excite my creative mind, leaving any baggage to one side. So what can you expect from Dobbin’s Bobbins in 2016?

First things first, I’m heading back to uni (to my Costume degree) and I have an amazing project up my sleeve. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I hope you will all love it too. I’ll be blogging as I go as well as sharing some tips and tricks I learn along the way. I don’t want to give away too much just yet, but here’s a little clue (and something I’ll live by as I do it!)…

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Even though uni will be keeping me incredibly busy, I’m going to make a real effort to find the time to sew for pleasure too. Although I’m sure new pattern releases will be too enticing to resist, here’s a few that I can’t wait to sew during 2016.

Obviously Straight-Grain’s Tinny dress had to be on my list! I love the story behind the design (it was based on a story-book character’s dress) so of course I bought the pattern when it was re-released and I’ve been desperate to give it a go since. Another pattern that I’d love to sew is the Norah dress by Mouse House Creations. It’s been on my radar ever since it popped up on my Pinterest feed years ago. It’s a beautiful vintage-inspired design which I’ve just never quite got round to. Finally, I wanted to mention the Cocoon dress by Heidi&Finn. Although a completely different shape and style than I would ordinarily choose, I fell in love with it as soon as I spotted the incredible results of it’s pattern testing on Instagram.

On a different note, I had such an incredible time at this year’s Sew Brum which took place at the end of October in Birmingham. As it was my first meet-up I was obviously very nervous before going, but I’m so glad I did! It was amazing to meet so many other sewers, as well as putting faces to blog names and accents to profile pictures! I love being part of such a welcoming and friendly community, and I know that I will definitely be attending more sewing meet ups in 2016!

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Finally, 2016 will be the year (if all goes to plan!) that Dobbin’s Bobbins will release it’s first ever sewing pattern. Eek! I’m incredibly excited for this next chapter in the Dobbin’s Bobbins journey and I hope you will be too! So stay tuned!

What sewing plans have you got for the new year? Or have you got any sewing resolutions instead? I’d love to hear from you! Anyway, Happy Sewing and a Happy New Year!

My Top Ten Online Sources for Vintage Inspiration!

There’s nothing I love better than to pass the hours lost in a world of vintage inspiration. And I particularly love when fellow sewers share their discoveries for others to enjoy. So with that in mind, I thought I’d let you know (in no particular order) my favourite corners of the internet to productively procrastinate!

1. NYPL Digital Collections: Creators Studios Fashion Collection

I have to thank Erin over at Brooklyn Pattern Company for introducing me to this site. It’s incredible! Soaring above and beyond other fashion illustration collections in its sheer scale (there are over 1000!) as well as its quality, this is one you don’t want to miss. Practically every design features something a little unusual that is sure to inspire. Plus, once you’ve finished going through the Creators Studios Collection (and it’ll take you a while!), there’s the André Fashion Illustrations Collection & 19th Century Female Fashion Illustration Collection and so much more to keep you busy!  I don’t just lose hours to this site, I lose entire days!

2. FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) Museum Blog

Rachel Harris founded the Museum’s blog in 2009, and has since created a wealth of archived blogposts which span from jewellery to textiles, and wedding dresses to children’s clothes. Even before I became aware of this blog, I’d been pinning their images on Pinterest for years. One particular thing I want to note is the large size of the images which mean you get to see a lot of detail, which in my eyes is always a great thing.  Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell took Rachel’s place at the helm in March this year and I’m a fan already!

3.  New Vintage Lady

I LOVE Shelley J’s ‘Catalog Sunday’ blogposts! Each week she posts a collection of vintage catalogue pages which are sure to inspire. As well as beautiful clothing, she often includes scanned pages of accessories, like hats, bags and shoes, which are so easily overlooked and underrepresented on the web. Perfect for Sunday downtime browsing whilst you have a well-deserved cup of tea after a long week!

4. Vintage Everyday.

Love social history? Love candid photography? Then you’ll love Vintage Everyday! This site is a great resource for ‘real’ clothes of the past rather than the styled designer examples we become so used to seeing. It’s also jam-packed with incredibly interesting shots which capture historical moments like you’ve never seen them before.

5. Shorpy

Similar to Vintage Everyday, Shorpy is another historic picture archive packed full of candid shots of everyday life.

6. Miss Shirley Temple Archive Blog

Whether you’re a fan of her films or not, there’s no denying that child star, Shirley Temple, wore clothes in the 1930s & 40s that can only be described as truly scrumptious. This blog archives thousands of photos of the young actress and is a fantastic resource for film stills, clips and candid shots highlighting previously unnoticed (and often unusual) design details of infamous costumes.

7. Wearing History

Self-proclaimed costume history and vintage fashion nerd, Lauren over at Wearing History has created a blog with years’ worth of posts crammed full of vintage fashion plates, photographs and historical sewing tips.

8. VintageTextile

VintageTextile deals in vintage and historical garments, and their listings are simply beautiful. I love that every garment has its’ own detailed page with fantastic close up shots and historical background information. A lover of interesting antique textiles, VintageTextile specialises in pieces that any textile enthusiast will melt over.

10. Fripperies and Fobs

This blog is a fantastic archive of costume. Andrew has cleverly curated thousands of beautiful historical and vintage fashion photographs, bringing them together to make the feed of Fripperies and Fobs one you should all add to Bloglovin!

10. Met Museum

Last but not least, is a bit of a cliché, but no list would be complete without it. As a Brit who was always nudged in the direction of the V&A by tutors over the years (not that I’m complaining!), I was (incredibly) late to the party with this great resource. Their online collection is so expansive that I am always discovering new things. I only wish I could hop across the pond to see my favourites in person!

So there you have it! Please let me know what you think to these sites in a comment below. It’d be really great to know if I’ve guided anyone towards inspiration! Or if you have any different favourite sites, I’d love to know what they are- you can never have too many sources of vintage stimuli!

Foxes!

Foxes are everywhere at the moment aren’t they?

There is a real trend happening currently throughout fabric design and the online sewing community. Who could forget Kids Clothes Week’s plethora of fox cubs? And whilst I am certainly not a ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ kind of girl when it comes to sewing, I do have my reasons for wanting this particular trend to continue long into the future.

Here are my picks from Spoonflower. I think I would honestly buy all my fabrics from there if I could afford it- the inspirational prints are never ending!

Spoonflower Fabrics

Spoonflower Fabrics

Honestly, there were so many others I could have picked as well, but these stood out for me. They’re just great aren’t they? Clockwise they are: Sleepy Mountain’s Coral Fox, Emily Sanford’s Tribal Fox in Grey, Jgreenwalt’s Fall is for Foxes, Sugarcookie’s Riding Hood,  Emily Sanford’s Tribal Fox in Pink & Kimsa’s Sleepy Fox on Coral Background.

And just think, with those fabrics you could make skirts for little girls just like these from Marcelines Wonderland and Little Poms.

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Patch pockets will never fail to spruce up a garment and make it instantly cute. And what a great way of using up the scraps of fabrics you have left over from bigger projects?

If you don’t want to splash out on fox printed fabric, sewers can alternatively follow the trend with fox dresses. Check out these gorgeous examples from Wild Things Dresses and Brittney at Sewing for Four.

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They’re just so clever! And I can’t imagine there’s a little girl out there who wouldn’t love a fox dress (apparently Brittney’s twins are both claiming it as their own)!

And the trend doesn’t end with sewers. Knitters are getting involved too!

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Although I don’t have much confidence with knitting, I’d definitely have a go at these (from Ravelry and Sincerely Louise) in the future. I think that the swearing and headaches that they’d cause me would genuinely be worth it!

And even though all of these incredible pieces are reason enough to love this trend, the most important reason for me is quite simple. I grew up in Leicestershire, and am a huge fan of Leicester City Football Club aka. The Foxes. So let me introduce you to my favourite fox of all…

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It’s Filbert with two little fox cubs from the early noughties. Okay, I’ll be honest, those little fox cubs just so happen to be me and my little brother back in the day.

Leicester have very much been the underdogs of the Premiership this season, but the team has never given up hope and continue to fight to avoid relegation. I’m no footballer but  I’ll certainly continue to be inspired by their fighting spirit and despite any personal setbacks I’ll continue to sew and follow my creative dreams. Keep The Faith!