This Old Thing – Vintage Patterns

this-old-thingIf you’ve been watching Channel 4 recently then chances are that you caught a bit of Dawn O’Porter’s new show ‘This Old Thing’. In it Dawn tries to convince vintaphobes (my new word, do you like it?) to swap their brand new mass produced clothing for the unique wonders of vintage. She’s mostly successful and is certainly introducing a whole new group to second-hand (excuse me vintage) clothing.dawnoporter_2954682b

As for myself I’ve always had a bit of a love hate relationship with ‘vintage’. I love historical fashions (I’d be dressed in a bonnet everyday if I could!) and I love being unique so vintage definitely appeals. However I don’t always love vintage stores, I’ve visited several which were cramped, badly lit, musty smelling and generally uninviting. However all of that would be nothing if I bagged a real vintage treasure, unfortunately many are now overpriced and underwhelming and their idea of good quality clearly differs from my own.

On the flip side when vintage is done well, enticing stores with bright colours and enthusiastic staff, it can be incredibly exciting. Only the other day I was bouncing about my house with glee having found a 1970s Clothkits dress in perfect condition and it cost me the princely sum of £8!

However I have an unwavering passion for vintage patterns! With them I can create wonders from the past with my own two hands, I could even use vintage fabric if I wish. The end result is just as unique, and even better, I can tailor things to my own choice and size. I could even make them again!

patternRecent acquisitions include a wonderful collection of knitting patterns. I can actually remember many of these sitting about the houses of my relatives. The best creation by far though is a wonderful Teddy pattern that my Granny knitted for my brother when he was a baby.snidneys2

The Teddy was named Sidney and was dearly loved. Unfortunately my brother (being a baby and all) had the audacity to throw up on him and thanks to a trip in the washing machine he stretched and never looked the same. Despite this Sidney became something of a phenomenon in my little village and before we knew it Sidneys (all named after the original) were popping up everywhere, knitted loosely to resemble our stretched one. Of course what none of those knitting Mommas knew was that Sidney was named by my Father after Sid Snot who was one of Kenny Everett’s many characters!snidneys2-crop

I picked up my needles recently and knitted my bro a brand new bear. However what I hadn’t expected was the size difference between the new bear and the original, it goes to show what a washing machine can do to hand knitting. If it hadn’t been for this gorgeous vintage pattern Sidney would have spent the rest of his days alone but now he has a significantly smaller brother to keep him company.

So I guess Dawn is right, there’s still life in This Old Thing. 🙂


Crochet Jam Pot Cover Tutorial

Autumn is the season when trees are laden with delicious fruits and berries. This makes it the perfect time to make jam, marmalade, chutney, the list is virtual endless.

Home-made preserves and chutneys also make wonderful presents, with most varieties being able to be made well in advance. Adding your own label adds  the first personal touch, but you can complete it with today’s tutorial. With a crochet hook in hand, you can make a very quick and simple Jam Pot Cover. I think it has a wonderful retro appeal which looks fabulous sat upon a shelf or dresser.


I used DK Cotton yarn and a 3.5mm crochet hook.


ch chain

sl st slip stitch

tr treble crochet

Round 1

Start with a slip knot and work 3 chain.

11 tr into 3rd ch from hook, join with sl st to top of beginning ch 3, (12 stitches).

Round 2

Ch 3, 1 tr into first st and then work 2 tr into every stitch from the previous round. Join with sl st, (24 stitches).

Round 3

Ch3, *1 tr into first stitch, 2 tr into next*, repeat from * to *round the circle and then close using a sl st. (36 stitches)

Round 4

Ch 3, *1 tr into first stitch, 2 tr into next*, repeat from * to *round the circle and then close using a sl st. (54 stitches)

At this stage check whether the size of your work is the same as the top of the jar lid.

If it is the same size as the lid you will complete one more round in the same way as rounds 3 and 4, if it is smaller than the lid you will need to complete two more rounds.

Round 5

Ch 3, *1 tr into first stitch, 2 tr into next*, repeat from * to *round the circle and then close using a sl st. (82 stitches)

Round 6

Ch 3, 1 tr into every stitch from the previous round and then close using a sl st. (82 stitches).

Round 7

Ch 3, 2 tr into every stitch from the previous round and then close using a sl st. (164 stitches)

The jam pot cover is now complete. All the ends need to be woven through the back of the work and cut off. The cover could be gathered using a piece of ribbon or as I have done by making a length of chain. You will need a chain long enough to go around the edge of the circle and then add a few more centimetres.

Thread the chain or ribbon through the stitches of Round 6.

Place your cover over the top of your jar and gather by pulling the chain or ribbon and tie in a bow. This will make your jar of jam look really special and far more appealing!