Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Child of the 70s

When I was small enough to have my hair washed just once a week (and always on a Sunday night) the only good thing about having to endure my ears being singed by my mother's terrifying and antiquated hairdryer, was being able to read a catalogue while my hair was dried.

The catalogue I loved the most was the Clothkits catalogue. Many of my clothes came from Clothkits and so did those of my friends in the village where I grew up. Clothkits sold fabric to make clothes for children and adult in mad, bright 1970s colours and bold designs. The colours of the girls dresses were so weird that Clothkits also sold matching tights and knitwear because you'd never be able to find that exact shade of turquoise or burnt orange anywhere else. I would gaze at the catalogue for hours loving all the matching colours and funky patterns. I don't remember asking my mother to make me anything specific from the catalogue - I loved it all.

When I came back to sewing after my children were born I remembered Clothkits and tried to find out where I could buy their kits. I was so disappointed to find that they had gone out of business in the late 1980s.

And then...bored at work and randomly clicking through sewing blogs and flickr, I discovered that in February of this year, Clothkits was relaunched! Their new range is breathtakingly beautiful - the colours and simplicity are still true to its 1970s bohemian origins but with elements of modern design that are bang up to date.

At present their range is small - the children's clothes are only for girls up to age 6 and there are just two skirts for adults - but they are planning on bringing out more very soon. O already wears age 7 clothes so I haven't bought her a dress pattern, but I couldn't resist the Cloth Kitty doll pattern. I had at least one (possibly both?) of these original Cloth Kittys when I was small and I remember my friends having them too (and we used to dress our Sasha dolls in Clothkits dolls outfits too - remember Sasha dolls?)

Today the parcel from Clothkits arrived...

..and I was very, very excited because not only is the kit just how I remembered, but it is packaged so wonderfully as well - all wrapped in tissue paper and accompanied by a hand written note thanking me for my purchase. With customer service like that they deserve to be back in business!


The other post I got today was pretty amazing too. This note from Anna in the Cath Kidston stationery I was drooling about in my last post. Incredibly, it's even nicer in real life than I had imagined - there is a sticker to fasten the envelope!

And O had a parcel from my mother with this beautiful cardie inside - knitted in the softest angora yarn and trimmed with ribbon. I didn't even know you could knit in ribbon


  1. Well, this one has moved me to comment!!! I remember it all so clearly, in fact I was so rubbish at sewing and clothkits was so easy that I had one of their skirts to make when we had to make a skirt in U3 at school! Didn't they advertise that their dolls clothes fitted Sasha dolls too? I certainly had some clothkits clothes for my Sasha dolls. Looked at Sasha website and was rather alarmed at the hair on the baby doll!! I don't remember my blonde one looking like that! You had a black haired girl and I had the auburn one, am I right? Your memory is far better than mine. ABxx

  2. Wow, the cardigan is beautiful, isn't your Mother brilliant? Glad you liked the stationary- the stickers are the best bit of all, as well as deciding which patterns clash the best. Sadly I don't remember Clothkits but am very envious of the dolls and outfits-orange tights? Fabulous!x

  3. p.s- have you told Moss Stitch about the adults skirt? Think she did a post on Rob Ryan prints a few weeks ago- Clothkits have a skirt designed by him..what a weird coincidence x

  4. the cardigan is gorgeous, love that ribbon trim!
    clothkits sounds lots of fun, just off to check out the website!

  5. Ooh ooh!!
    I have bought the Rob Ryan clothkit skirt about 2 weeks ago!!!
    Love the way it came in it's box, ribbon and tissue!!!
    I'm going to dye the fabric as I am not a black and white kind of girl - as I do think it really will make my bum look big in this!

  6. I have serious stationary envy right now!
    Loved your post on letters - I was bought a leather writing case when I was 10 - which I still use.

  7. Ok, gorgeous sweater! just beautiful! Never heard of clothkits, but so neat when that stuff is resurrected. and the hairdryer burning the ears thing... ewww. that's SO uncomfortable! :) you guys take care!


  8. I don't remember clothkits but I did have a baby boy sasha doll in navy blue dungarees who resides in my mums loft!


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