Monday, 5 December 2011

Crazy patchwork….

…. Or patchwork that sends you potty!

Last month, I started a new project (actually I started it on the first of the month if you’re interested!). A project that incorporated something totally alien to me…. Patchwork! Bet you couldn’t guess from the title eh!
I decided upon making a cushion cover as it was relatively small, and its something that is much needed - mine are rather dull and flat looking!
It took me four days in total to complete all the hand sewing, and blimey did my poor fingers pay for it! I’ve never done so much hand sewing in my life and I’m not sure if I ever want to again. I probably would average at about 18-20 stitches to an inch ( I say this with crossed eyes!) It was indeed enough to send me potty. Though luckily for me I didn’t have the added hassle of cutting out all the templates or the tacking of the patches as it was already done for me. You see, I had a box full of the patches come into my care, so all I had to do was to decide on how to arrange them and get stitching! I may moan and groan about doing patchwork now, but I suppose in some odd way it was quite an enjoyable project whilst I was stitching away…. Well it must have been because I finished it pretty quick and I did very little knitting!  (I say ‘finished’, that’s a little porky, as I’m still to find a nice piece of fabric for the backing.)

So here it is! My first attempt at patchwork!
As it’s not much to look at yet I have taken some photos of a patchwork with more interest and skill involved!
It’s one of my first and favourite items in my collection, and it’s very much treasured.
I started to collect twenties clothing before I found out that it was really far too much out of my league and before I moved on to the thirties and forties (which in all fairness is becoming the same way!)
It’s certainly a piece that has seen happier times, when its jewelled silks and velvets were paraded with such gaiety and pride for the marvellous handiwork involved in making this technicolour cutie. Unfortunately it has lost its sparkle somewhat. No more to be worn with all its shattered patches, and only to be admired by all who visit my room.
This little lovely has been hanging up on my wardrobe since I purchased it. I hadn’t the heart to pack it away. Well, what’s the point? The condition is ‘knackered’ yes, but I might as well get the enjoyment of seeing it every day if I can’t wear it!
I can only imagine where this dress has been and what the original owner was like. What about all the patches? What outfits did they get cut from? Grannies wedding dress maybe, or how about the girls first party dress!  Oh, what it would mean to know exactly!
it should have more of a dropped waist but it has been taken up a bit!

Worn by yours truly...

The inside....

the back... with funny arms!!!

...some of the patches and just look at all the lovely stitching!

and the inside!
I have my sights on making a crazy patchwork dress or garment of sorts of my very own…..maybe when I have some nice scraps and oh yes, some patience would be handy in the sewing department too! I'll keep you posted!!!

Tupney x


  1. What a lovely patchwork flapper you make! And great job on your own patchwork! You'll have to show us the finished cushion when you're done. :)

  2. What a fabulous dress I wonder if it was a fancy dress costume? It certainly is a piece that deserves to be seen.

  3. Love the dress.Think I might make one of my own but my big question is where did you get those white flapper stockings in the picture?I am hunting everywhere for something like those.

  4. I love it. People always think the 20s was about straight sheer up and down, one colour dresses- in fact they were so much more colourful and forgiving than that! What a fun frock.

  5. How fascinating, I've been doing patchwork for years.

    It looks as though someone used an old quilt top to make this. It does make for hours of interesting speculation.

  6. what an amazing dress! A real labour of love for somebody.

  7. That's such a brilliant dress. I agree with Perdita, people forget how gaudy the 1920s could be.

    I'd guess for a crazy patchwork garment it'd be easiest to take a paper pattern, draw random lines over it and then cut the pieces off separately, wrap them in fabric and piece them back together. (Cutting, covering and attaching a piece before cutting another off the main pattern, or you'll end up with a fabric jigsaw puzzle and no straight edges or sky pieces to help!)

  8. Starz: the stockings are original art silk I’m afraid, but I’m also on the look out for a wearable pair… so if I find a stockist I’ll share the link! T x

  9. it's absolutely fantastic! I've been browsing the world of Tupney when I should be working, oops.

  10. What an amazing dress! If you're a fan of patchwork you might be interested in the work of my good wife, the artist Kate Tilley, who use patchwork in her sculptures. You find her at


Ta very much for your messages folks!

Tickety Boo Tupney xxx

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