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  1. Handmade has in recent times got the reputation of not being as good as other commercially produced times. Why is this?

    Is it because our mothers/grandmothers may have been taught to sew, but their success rate wasn’t that good? Indeed, discussing homemade childhood outfits with a degree of horror is a common topic in groups of women of a certain age!

    The ability to sew in a straight-line sounds humorous but not everyone can do it!  Maybe it is in the genes: when I look back at my family history I see many dressmakers and milliners. You also need a creative vision of how fabric will look when made up, and patience and an attention to detail are essential. Fans of The Great British Sewing Bee will have seen the unflappable Ann http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0165nv7  diligently working to create a perfect piece without the aid of a speedy industrial sewing machine that sounds like an angry wasp or a commercial steam press which smoothes the life out of fabric. I think industrially produced items often look tight and stretched from skimped fabric and over pressing.  Then there are those annoying dangling threads where the maker hasn’t had the time to finish properly.  It is becoming more and more difficult to buy well-made and affordable products.

    An experienced sewer can demonstrate that they have mastered the basic skills and are creative. Every item uses carefully chosen fabric, cut with care and stitched with an experienced and critical eye. They will present an item without a fault or flaw, which will last for many years.

    This is what you are paying for in the ‘handmade’ label.  So, if you want a premium quality item that will last for many years, then ‘yes’, handmade is worth paying extra for.

    lc91 lingerie case gold edge

  2. I do love ‘statement’ jewellery. In fact I love all jewellery and have been lucky enough to have had some wonderful pieces passed down to me, or given to me by my family at special times in my life, nothing worth millions and largely costume jewellery. But in memories of who once owned them, these are worth their weight in gold!

    My children have given me a new way of looking at my jewellery.  If they feel the need for a relative who is sadly no longer with us to be at an occasion they say to me ‘wear Auntie ...‘s’ necklace, bracelet etc. Sometimes the girls ask to wear the jewellery themselves. This seems to have developed into a new tradition in our family. Sadly we can’t keep our loved ones forever and have to let them go. It is comforting to feel something belonging to a past family member next to my skin – it is like feeling their love is there with us. Making them still part of the occasion in spirit if not in body.

    This idea got me thinking about Vee Pretty.  Why not add a brooch to a lingerie case or nightdress? A necklace, or bracelet could be carefully stitched in place as a decoration. And what a wonderful way to or prolong the life of a broken piece of jewellery from someone important to you.

    If you don’t have anything suitable in your jewellery box then take a look at www.glitzmuseum.de. Here you will find some of the most beautiful pieces of European and America 20th Century costume jewellery from the designers of the day, all in excellent condition. Laura has got exquisite taste and I just have to browse her shop on a regular basis!

    lc23 +lace         lc45 with bird   lc53 with feather