made in england

What a coup! A pair of tweed Austin Reed plus fours found in a vintage shop recently had my eyes practically on stalks, let me tell you. Such quality, as you would expect, and it must have taken me, ooh let me think, all of two whole minutes to snap them up.

You know how crazy I am about wool, Liberty and linens, right? Well, because I'm feeling the respect towards the memory of Mr Reed (who started his quintessentially English company back in 1900, boasting Winston Churchill as a client during the 1940s), I cut into one of my favourite prints of all, poppy and honesty, which I used for this top.

Now I'm not suggesting for one minute that the great Winston C once wore my star buy. More like a dashing huntin' shootin' fishin' chappie reminiscent of those gents over at Downton Abbey, I'm guessing. I wish! Actually I've just been reading about the Downton producers and their massive fashion faux pas for the Christmas episode. Set in 1919/20, they put Lord Grantham and his mates in leather gaiters, when plus fours would have been far more accurate for the time. Tut tut ..

I love these gentleman's breeches, not just for the beautiful fabric and lovely buttons, nor for the couple of exquisite darns that a wonderful housekeeper (or wife) blended in so well. But rather than forcing the main man into them, I made purses and then something a wee bit different. And despite it being impossible to choose a favourite child or preferred pet, I have to confess I am chuffed to bits with this couple of extra large pouches which have just been put into the shop.

Large enough to house a few supplies for a small sewing or knitting project, I incorporated one of the deep back pockets onto the outside of each one. These pockets are going to be perfect for keeping a few handy small tools, such as sewing needles, stitch markers, row counter and the like. The type of accessories that so easily get mislaid. And of course, I shouldn't assume that everyone sews or knits, so there is ample room for a slim journal or two with some pencils and the outer pocket could be used for coins, or an erasure and a sharpener, perhaps.

Finally, the pouches have been prettied up with vintage lace, a different piece for each one, and then lined with strong floral linen, which you may remember from this recent dress project. Waste not, want not!

Oh by the way, I think I should explain my sporadic blog hopping of late. My computer won't allow me to comment on blogs with the embedded comments format and I think there may be a bug somewhere in the system. When the main man is around I nick his iPad, which works fine (apart from the irritating predictive text which drives me crazy) but when he goes away, I'm stumped! Does anyone else have this problem? Mind you, I guess you won't be able to tell me, given I have the embedded format too!!

What are you up to this weekend? I've arranged a play date for the children, although my son snorts at the term and insists it's 'hanging out'! A spot of baking, some good warming food and a brisk walk or two should do it. Ah, and there's the biggest swear word of them all to contend with .. Homework!!

Happy weekend, everyone.


  1. Well I can obviously type a comment - whether or not you will receive it is another matter! Love your pouches and that fabric is beautiful and combined with your lovely linings and lace makes for fabulous purses. Have a good weekend.

  2. these are great~ love the little buttons and pockets :)

  3. Love the tweed pouch and the combination with the lace

  4. Hello Kate, I too love your delightful pouches, how unique to use that wonderful Tweed.
    I am holding out a little Kate ,but have viewed your on line 'Made with love shop' Which is beautiful! Will be doing a little spending this next month, would imagine! hehe..
    Dare I mention for the big 'C', which is approaching us very soon.
    Hope you have a weekend full up to the top with all those Family adventures...
    LoVE Maria x
    I am very rubbish with all the techo stuff, so sending this out with faith in my little old lap top, in reaching you.
    Love Maria x

  5. Beautiful combination Kate. Love the play of textures and the pretty lining.
    I inherited the same needlecase from my Nana's sewing kit. Yours in in much nicer condition:)
    So jealous that you get season 3 of Downton Abby so far before us Canadians! I'm entirely hooked.

  6. That is so beautiful Kate and I do love how you've incorporated the pocket into you makings.

    Have a lovely weekend,

    Nina x

    ps. I think I must be the only person I know that doesn't watch Downton Abbey. Period dramas and all that for me - is that a big no, no?

  7. Hi Kate, I'm loving the way you're incorporating this gorgeous tweed into your pouches, pockets and all. I have watched about two episodes of Downton Abbey...reminds me of Upstairs Downstairs which I watched from beginning to end. I may watch it when all the episodes are available on DVD and then get the whole lot from the video shop and watch it all in a weekend!

  8. Such a classic. Really love what you have done with the tweed.

  9. I am also crazy about tweed and would die to have good (second hand) shops to acquire some for my projects. It's quite expensive to buy it here in the fabric shops :(

  10. These are so beautiful wow! I love that you incorporated the back pocket into one, that is both practical and pretty, my two favorite things. - Annie

  11. Love the pouches Kate, cleverly done with the pocket, mind you I'm sure the 'main man' breathed a sigh of relief when he knew he wasn't going to have to wear the plus fours!! ;)
    Have a lovely weekend, it sounds good,
    Vivienne x

  12. Mr. P refuses to watch DA since they had Lord G wandering around indoors in a uniform with leather belt. No, I didn't understand the faux pas either... Love the plus four purses. Winston would definitely have approved! C.x

  13. What gorgeous pouches, I love them and your post about the whole business!
    I have yet to fall down the DA rabbit hole because I'm sure once I do it will suck me in hopelessly.


  14. oh so lovely, the use of the pocket is just brilliant! x no idea how the embedded thing works, I seem to be able to do it..... it's the annoying verification words that drives me bonkers

  15. Fabulous finds! I love how you incorporated the trouser seat! But please no season 3 downton spoilers :) I am almost through season 2!

  16. I love the tweed and lace combo, such a perfect pairing.

  17. *LOVE* the pocket detail. How fab to find such things.
    Can't help with the embedded whatevers but can sympathise with the spellcheck on the iPad!

  18. And here I was, looking for the photo of you modeling them! What a great find, and what good use you've put them to. T x

  19. Such beautiful linings inside beautiful pouches and purses Kate. Love that you have incorporated the pockets too. Wouldn't it be fun to know who wore those breeches in the past? Mr. Fancy pants himself :0)
    Wishing you all a wonderful weeekend, Alice has done and dusted her homework this morning and now we can all relax :o) xox Penelope

  20. These are treasures Kate, as clearly were the plus fours. I tell you if I'd been in that store when you were there have been an unseemly scuffle to get these!

    Re. the comments problem, have you tried the various alternatives under 'Comment as'? Might be not all are a problem. Or do you mean you can't open the comments box?

  21. I love the way you've used the pockets! Also a big fan of tweed and lace, lovely.

  22. I especially like the linings you've chosen ... adorable with the tweed!
    Barbara :)

  23. I love your zippy bags - they are seriously beautiful!

    I have the same commenting problem if I use Chrome to browse blogs, but it is OK in Firefox. I do find it infuriating when I forget and my carefully crafted comment gets swallowed up into nothing, and Firefox is so much slower than Chrome. I am fine with non-embedded comments though.

    Pomona x

  24. I love your pouches ! Tweed, lace and Liberty mixed together, it's a beautiful idea.

  25. Fan of those little bags made from that fantastic trouser fabric!


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