#1year1outfit – Local Clothes


Welsh woollen fabric – undyed – yes, this is the colour of sheep. Or some sheep anyway. There are two metres of it; more than enough to make a skirt like this.


If it looks familiar that’s because it’s the 1934 skirt but with the inverted back pleat I saw Mrs Durrell wearing in ITV ‘s The Durrells.
This is the beginning of my #1year1outfit project.
The skirt poses lots of questions:
Where can I find local threads?
What about fastenings, petersham, bias binding?
And what are the alternatives?


I have a vast collection of snap fasteners,  hooks & eyes etc. Most of them were found in old sewing boxes and date from the 1970s & earlier when Newey made them in Birmingham. Now, is it in the spirit of the project to use these vintage notions? Please let me know what you think.
I thought I had found an answer to the thread : silk spun in Macclesfield. But it turns out it isn’t.  So if anyone knows of any thread spun in the UK I’d be glad to hear of it.
I’ve been finding out a lot about long gone fabric and sewing industries and will be posting about them as the project continues.
If you are interested,  I bought the fabric from Cambrian Mountains Wool. It’s a new project and very local to me – I live in the foothills.
The top and other garments I’ll leave for future posts.
Thanks for dropping by.
Norma x



Filed under #1year1outfit, 1930s, Clothes, dressmaking, textiles

23 responses to “#1year1outfit – Local Clothes

  1. How wonderful to find some local fabric. I’m sure it will look great as a 1930s skirt. It’s a nightmare to find threads and notions. I ended up with European linen thread and I did find some local ceramic buttons. I ended up with a button-fly on my trousers which worked out great. For interfacing I used some Irish linen. I think compromise is no bad thing – I think this project is all about trying to find new resources.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really interesting just doing the research.
      I think vintage notions are the way to go. I have quite a few – people know I will try to use them so I ‘ve been given a lot.
      I will look into European thread – thanks for that.


  2. Those sheep have some heavy fleece on them. Their faces are different than any other sheep I have seen. I saw herds in the American west. For the notions–estate sales, garage sales, charity shops, yard sales, internet. a local sewing group, local quilting group? I did a quick and there are people selling Welsh products on Etsy in Wales–worth a shot? The wool you bought looks nice and soft. I look forward to the whole process.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Cottee Fibers looks like it’s in the U k but they don’t come out and brag about where the plant is that they spin thread in either. It looks like they might be what you’re looking for though. I suppose you can call them and ask. It couldn’t hurt. Good luck on your challenge! I just got a bunch of patterns since Butterick/Vogue/McCalls/Kwik Sew is/was running the super sale on their entire stock of discontinued patterns. I picked up about $250.00 in patterns for $40.00! (All discontinued patterns were $1.99- $3.99) Hopefully I can start my new wardrobe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. -Oh, and make your own bias binding… If you can find the local cloth. Another idea would be to use old clothing you may not wear anymore. It may not be local originally, but its repurpose cuts a lot off the carbon footprint of buying new. Even if the new is local. Old clothing you already have, can’t be any more local!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think using the vintage notions is definitely in keeping with the spirit! I love nothing more than putting buttons, zips and fasteners to good use that have been left unused in a previous life. Good look with your search for UK spun thread, keep us posted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! such beautiful fabric! and I can’t tell you how envious I am that you have found some totally local fabric and so many locally made notions too… completely non-existent here 😦 For thread, maybe use local handspun yarn? I have to say that over here we collectively decided against secondhand clothing or notions for the challenge that were not in themselves a local product… we were very strict! However I think for this year Nicki introduced a few different “tiers”, one of them allows use of imported goods that were being recycled? Anyway, I’m looking forward to your progress Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am enjoying the process so far -just the discussions are interesting. The local notions are all vintage so far – not a single factory I’ve investigated is still open. Shame isn’t it?
      Thanks and good luck to you too. I’ll be following everyone’s progress closely.


  7. I love this idea and really admire you for doing it. Does your fabric smell of sheep? My Fair Isle pullover is knitted using 100% sheepswool from a heritage British sheep breed and it has a really distinct sheep smell!
    I cannot wait to see your Louisa Durrell skirt. I know I’ll need to make one as soon as I see it! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think using vintage notions is very appropriate since they were made in the U.K. I wish you happy hunting and successful shopping locally to fulfill your needs. I’ll learn along as you share info on this part of your project.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. test out. Involves linen fabric


  10. That fabric looks like it will make a gorgeous skirt! I love your commitment to sewing in the past. The neighbourhood in which I live in Toronto was right where the first commercial clothing factories used to be. Some were still in operation when we moved here 16 years ago, when you’d walk down the street and hear the machines through the open windows. And on trash collection day, the street was full of remnants in bags and the old spools the fabric came on. Today, the buildings are all being converted into fancy restaurants and bars but at least the historic buildings have remained standing. All that is left of the days that the area was the sewing heart of the city are a few dusty old fabric and notions shops that I love going into! The area is called “The Fashion District” which is confusing to those who don’t know the history, as there aren’t many clothing shops!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a shame when the factories and workshops close but at least you have the buildings and a few shops.
      I think I visited there back in the 1980s but I don’t remember it well. Loved Toronto!
      Thanks for your encouragement – it makes it all even more fun


  11. Pingback: OneYearOneOutfit – Linen on the Lawn | She Sews You Know

  12. Pingback: A Very Local Skirt | She Sews You Know

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