Monday, 19 March 2012

Psychosexual Stages of Development

It's the time of year that everyone seems to be having a clear out or a re-organisation of stuff. All those anal retentive personalities are reorganising and the anal explusive are clearing out. I'm not too sure which stage I got stuck in but I'm not spring cleaning just yet although my parents seem to be at it continually throughout the year. My mother made all my clothes when I was a child and right up to the age of 18 or 19 she would make me one off pieces that no-one else had. She is the one to thank (or blame) for my sewing addiction today. See, Freud had a point - it's always the mother's fault! 
When visiting my parents the other day my dad said he found some old sewing books and would I like them? Would I what? Of course I would. He then presented me with three volumes of Golden Hands. 

Does anyone remember or know of these? 

It was a magazine series from the early 1970s about sewing, knitting, crochet and all sorts of crafts; with tips, diagrams, clothes, ideas and reviews about collectable handmade items: there are articles on  the home, children's wear and dolls clothes. Practically everything you would ever need to see and know about making things.
I have a vague memory of flicking through these books as a child - I would have been 10 or so - and planning my adult look from the images and pictures presented therein. That childhood experience has created the adult I am today. Now, 40 years later, there's a lot in these books that is still wearable.

Two of the crochet projects in the books and just look at the different styles! The books cater for all tastes. Take away the hairstyles and styling and you could wear both of these today.

How about knitted patterned tights? Full knitting pattern printed in the magazine and of course you can knit any colour you like not just what's available in the shops. At my rate of knitting speed if I start now they might, just might, be ready for next winter.

There are of course some ideas that we just wouldn't entertain at all nowadays: a bedroom that has matching wallpaper, cushions, bedspread and curtains! Kind of a camouflage look.
The other startling thing are the prices! The last page in every magazine has an offer: in 1972 a mannequin cost under £10 ($7) with 50p PandP! 

And this has been my favourite of all time. I remember this image clearly from when I was a child: I loved it then and I love it still. The article is about making the macramé belt and accessories but it's the dress that has always caught my attention.

I bought a handmade leather belt the other day from Urbandon on Etsy - he's one of the few male sewers/designers that I follow - and he makes not just unique and unusual clothes but accessories, jewellery and lots of stuff. Don also has a 'no extra words' policy on his blog, so it's really quick to read.

Anyway - it was this picture that clinched it for me - I see similarity with the picture above - no Rorschach test needed. Straight but slightly flared dress, loose but eye-catching belt and not an extra ounce of fat or lumps and bumps!

This is what I want to re-create in the sewing room. I have the belt - thanks Don! I have a marl grey jersey but no pattern.

Does anyone know of a pattern that kinda resembles the lilac dress above? 

I'm not fussed about the hood but want the length, the sleeves and the simplicity. I just think this would be a great dress for cool summer days and summer evenings but I need to watch that the finished garment does not look like a dressing gown or nun's habit - now that would be interesting to analyse.

With this dress and my sexy belt I'll be as lithe as the model and just as dreamy!!!!!!! Mmmmmm. Either my id or superego is at work here - definitely the alter-ego is exerting influence again. That Freud - he was right all along.

I'll post up more wonderful pics from Golden Hands as I work my way through them. If anyone can advise on copyright I could even publish some of the patterns for crochet or knitting.

Thanks for reading. Ruth


  1. I am soooo jealous!! Your new crochet books are fabulous! Lucky you.

    1. It would be even better if I could crochet!

  2. Hey Ruth! I love the tights on the left side of the picture!!! Too cute. Have fun with these wonderful magazines!

  3. I think I still have my Golden Hands collection in my attic somewhere. I should dig them out and have a fresh look now that "retro" is in again. I collected these in my late teens and early 20's because they had so many different types of crafts explained really well and illustrated with lots of lovely colour pictures.

    As for the dress, why don't you just use a well-fitting t-shirt pattern and extend and widen the hem? You can add a hood or not as you like.

    BTW £10 was worth more like $25 in 1970. In other words, the buying power of a week's worth of groceries in those days. Let's see: eat or sew? Decisions, decisions. Unfortunately they wouldn't post it to me in Canada for 50p. Darn!

    1. Wow, just had a look at your blog - a lady of many, many talents. How great that you remember these magazines too - I'm getting the string ready for some macrame!

  4. I agree with Louisa above-use a tee or tunic pattern. I had a djellaba in the 70s very similar to that. Maybe Folkwear has a pattern. Cool books for you to play around with.

  5. I was in my mid-twenties when Golden Hands was published. I had a subscription and collected every single issue in their binders. Last year, I gave them to a dear friend, mother of my step-granddaughter. She was thrilled and I know they will be cherished. I kept them with me for over thirty years and they will be around for a while longer.