On Saturday I went to a Make do and Mend event at the Museum of London. I was incredibly excited about this, firstly because I love the Museum of London, its such a vibrant place to visit and secondly because my absolute favouriteist jewellery designers Tatty Devine were running the workshop!!
I had incredibly high expectations for this event. I love adult events at museums; every one that I have attended has been excellent. What’s not to love? Museums, jewellery and making and mending! Getting stuck in, sewing, chatting, tea and cake, pliers, mess, gems, chains, ripping, cutting, giggling, fun. Sounds perfect.
This was the first time the Museum of London has run the event. I love the brilliant idea of hosting a make do and mend, particularly with an awesome designer during fashion week. I think my expectations were a bit unrelestic. I envisioned round tables with sewing kits, 1940’s clothes rationing style, bits of material, cotton reels, sewing machines, and oddly gingham ( I imagined lots and lots of gingham) and then with Tatty Devine there, glitter, Acrylic, leather, gems, shiny things and general all round quirkyness. So I had brought with me a few pieces that I wanted to make do and mend; a dress that I wanted to learn how to turn into a skirt, some jewellery that could be revamped into something else and some material that I wanted to use the Museum of London collections as inspiration to make something awesome.
Instead of gingham there were powerpoints.
And then came Harriet Vine one half of Tatty Devine. She is awesome, down to earth, honest, quirky and lovely to work with. Harriet, along with Amy and Kirstie, two brilliant members of Tatty Devine, had brought along a whole table full of bits and pieces for us to work with. It was great. It was fantastic to watch Harriet work, it’s such a nice vibe, playing and fiddling with different bits and bobs, trying different things until you come up with a fabulous piece of jewellery. I became addicted to watch faces, googly eyes and a funny little plastic lobster. I now can proudly say I have made two rings and a necklace all by myself! What is better that Tatty Devine have inspired me to try and be more creative. I normally buy my quirky jewellery, but I have always wanted to make my own, but I never felt I could do it. I am a bit clumsy with my fingers and normally glue my fingers together with superglue. The prospect of sitting down with chains, links, clasps, and hoops was a bound to end in disaster. I shall now be raiding spitalfields market for old bits of tat that I can re-purpose into something fabulous. This was simply excellent.
But I kind of feel there could of been more Museum of London in there. Next time I want to feel the museum throughout! The Museum of London has such a diverse fashion and clothing collection as a social record of London and I want to see it, touch it! I want to hear stories about the history of make do and mending, turning the concept into something more modern, but inspired by the past. I want to learn about London’s unique fashions. Play with material, jewellery and re-imagining past fashions in a new unique way. I want to be inspired by the past and let it affect my present. Even thinking about it now, I want to peruse the dress collections, find something amazing, possibly Tudor, and try and turn a mundane shirt into something fabulous. I am inspired. I am also more in love with Tatty Devine and their gorgeousness, than ever before.
2 thoughts on “Do you make do and mend? Tatty Devine and the Museum of London do!”
Thanks for coming to the workshop, we’re really glad you got inspired.
Not sure if you knew, but Beatrice Behlen, Senior Fashion Curator from the museum, was scheduled to be there to talk more about garment history and share some historical fashion accessories, which would have given you more of a context for the workshop within the museum setting. Sadly Beatrice couldn’t make it due to totally unforeseen circumstances. The Museum have kindly offered for anyone who attended the workshop to go to another talk or event for free, to make up for Beatrice not being there, so contact them to sign up for something else! We heard there’s a fashion event with Carol Franklin and Wayne Hemingway which sounds brilliant and would give you lots more inspiration!
Cool, I had an excellent time. Thanks again! Thanks for letting me know that Beatrice couldnt make, a bit more museum collection context would have made it all the more brilliant. It would have been good to find that out during the workshop though. I love that the Museum are working with lots of different designers! bringing collections and ideas to a new audience. Can’t beat a bit of a Red or Dead chat mixed with Vintage at Goodwood!