Cloth Kits - Tempus Fugit

8 October 2012

Almost a year ago I went along to the Knitting and Stitching show - that behemoth of textile fests - at Alexandra Palace.  When I say it's an assault on the senses, I do mean that in a good way. It's like entering a North African souk that's also unexpectedly celebrating Holi with a bunch of Rajasthanis (granted, with a few nannas from Northampton thrown in for good measure). So many colours, so many textiley temptations...

Knitting and Stitching Show 2011. 
Gah. How did I manage to photograph the most staid moment of the entire day?

In and amongst this delightful maelstrom I came across a stall selling Cloth Kits. These are marvellous little bundles that promise to become small dresses or dungarees for children or maybe skirts for full grown ladies. Even the most cack-handed of crafters should cope... 

These packages of delight include the fabric, thread, buttons and very clear instructions needed for project in question. Cunningly, the pattern is printed onto said fabric so it is a simple case of cutting along the lines. No need for pinning flimsy bits of tracing paper or using a surfeit of tailor's chalk to get your pieces ready. Huzzah! 

I had a recipient in mind for one of the delightful pinafores thus I bought the Age 1 to 2 bundle. The wee lassie at the time was 4 months old so I had loads of time in which to  put together the pinny for her first birthday party.

Holy crumbs, those months zipped past. And so did the first birthday.  And, as you know, the sewing machine was stuffed. Recipient was about 14 months and still the bundle remained whole and the pinny unformed. I decided that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. A weekend en famille was planned and I knew I would have access to a working sewing machine. I would finish this frock come hell or high water.

Weeellll, I have a confession. The weekend got slightly busy. Time was ticking. I was getting more anxious about the fact that the Cloth Kit was getting no closer to realising its full potential. The child in question was still growing at a startling rate of knots. 

So my mother stepped in and made the frock.

Ooooh. Cloth Kit loveliness.

For the record, I lovingly sewed on the buttons.

Isn't it a thing of turquoise, corduroy beauty? One thousand hoorays to my mother, one thousand hoorays to Cloth Kits and a tiny, slightly lacklustre shake of a small flag for me (the buttons! I sewed on the buttons!). 

What makes me happy? Stylised, skandi-esque, 70s-tastic, floral motifs. Yeah.

Who would have though that a corduroy pinny could come to sum up the aphorism Ars longa, vita brevis? Answers on a postcard and keep those footnotes to a minimum please.

And in other news, the Knitting and Stitching Show 2012 is about 72 hours away from opening. Unleash the nannas of Northampton! I'll be there with sharpened elbows first thing on Thursday morning. Watch this space for a review and inevitable gloat over crafty acquisitions and materials. There may even be another Cloth Kit in the hoard-that-is-to-be...

(Images: Zoë F. Willis)