Thanks to a recession and TV programmes like Kirstie Allsopp's Handmade Home the interest in needlecraft and the decorative arts has been phenomenal. John Lewis's Haberdashery Dept told me that when Kirstie's TV series first aired sales of sewing machines shot up by 40% and my good friend Nadine who works at the The Cotton Patch told me they completely sold out of the felting tools and mats within days of the needlecraft episode showing on TV taking all of the 90 they had in stock. Clover the company that makes them just can't keep up with demand.
Make do and mend has become fashionable again with people buying old clothes and furniture from charity shops and flea markets and upcycling them. Vintage is the new buzz word and anyway it sounds better than saying second hand. Fashion designer Wayne Hemmingway is also pioneering vintage in a big way and fans of vintage will be pleased to know that Wayne is bringing his Vintage 2012 festival to Boughton House, Northants this year so us Brummies won't have to traipse all the way down to London.
Knitting is fashionable once again and if anyone still thinks knitting is boring then take a look at the great patterns and yarns on the Rowan website. I always love to have a a bit of knitting on the pins even if it's only a scarf. Knitting groups are popping up everywhere and a great one to join that's local is Stitches and Hos a monthly knitting club at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath who meet on the last tuesday of every month 7.30 pm onwards in the back room. So you can stitch, bitch and enjoy a drink at the same time. It was Stitches and Hos that were responsible for Bully's Christmas Sweater in the Bull Ring.
It's interesting and fun to be creative, to turn an old jumper into a cushion cover, make a shoe rack out of old pallets, turn an old pair of men's trousers into a dress, or sew beer cans together to make a lampshade. So get making as handmade and vintage is now de riguer.