Ghoul Guides


Back in September I bought myself a 50s Girl Scouts uniform with the intention of covering it in handsewn patches that were gathering dust in a ruby slipper sparkly box on a shelf in my room.

These patches were made by fellow artists and crafters, or "crafty babes" as we say on Tumblr. They include patches by Hanecdote, Milk Lake, and Dany Reede. Hanecdote is the Etsy alias of my dear friend Hannah Hill, who has vowed to create an "international club where it is now your duty to kick butt with sass and attitude" through her Ghoul Guides patches. Hannah creates dozens of designs from the cute to the saucy, stitching up alternative merit badges to be worn with pride. And, fingers crossed, she should be re-opening her wildly successful Etsy shop today!


Milk Lake is Rachel Parent, lover of growing her own and gardening, folk art, music and culture, and Joanna Newsom. Her hand-stitched wall art and patches are so charming in their soft tones and floral patterns; she puts a lot of detail into each piece and each stitch. As she's such a Joanna Newsom aficionado, I just had to commission her to make me a "poetaster" patch, which is displayed close to my heart on my dress. I consider myself something of a poetaster; not a master poet, by any means!


Next to my poetaster patch is a Girl Scouts Walthamstow Division vintage badge. I had to pay homage to my hometown somewhere!

I think this is my favourite Hanecdote patch. So punny.


Dany Reede makes a whole plethora of art, from painting and drawing to printmaking. He also makes the sweetest of broken hearted hand and machine embroidered naive patches. The "Lonely Hearts" one in particular is inspiring me, with my obsession with moons, paper or otherwise.



Thanks to Katrina Bautista for pictures. I will wear my Ghoul Guides dress with pride, and try to do Hannah proud too by kicking butt with as much sass as possible!

Pop to The Shop


It was about time to stock up on hankies, doilies, and antimacassars for my embroideries, and so I made a little trip down to Cheshire Street just off Brick Lane today, to my very favourite shop in all the world; the eponymous The Shop.


The Shop is crammed from floor to ceiling with vintage textiles and haberdashery, from silk scarves to lace and crochet. It's part Aladdin's Cave and part granny's attic, and entirely a wonderland for a textiles addict like me!


I could spend hours rifling through the old tailor's draws filled with embroidered linens; it's incredible that so much delicate, intricate needlework is stockpiled in such a tiny space, and sold for tuppence! The prices are so reasonable I always come away with a stack of linens for future projects.




If I get around to making up some of my vintage dress patterns this summer, I shall have to return for some gorgeous 50s or 60s fabric (of which there is plenty!)


Not only is The Shop stacked with vintage textiles, it also boasts a considerable selection of vintage clothing, at equally reasonable prices. Particularly gorgeous is the choice of lingerie and night wear; today I fell in love with a beautiful hand embroidered peach 1920s pyjama set (and demonstrated tremendous self-restraint in not buying it, considering how gorgeous it was!)


The Shop opens Monday to Sunday, and I implore you to get down there if you're as much of a textiles nerd as me, if only for a feast for your eyes.

Here's my haul from today:


It should keep me busy for the next month or so!