Tuesday, 19 August 2008

New things in my webshop # 3: Clothkits

1978 Lyndhurst, originally uploaded by knautia.

Back in the day (1970s and 1980s) Clothkits were THE thing that middle-class crafty British mums made for their kids.

clothkits winter 1974-5, originally uploaded by maximum.mouse.

Started by Anne Kennedy in 1968 and run from her kitchen table, Clothkits was one of the original 'mumpreneur' craft businesses, which went on to be hugely successful. Anne's idea was simple: design great, groovy clothes and accessories for kids, print the pattern onto good-quality fabric (cotton or corduroy) in multi-sizes, and send them out by mail order with little packs of notions, so that mums with even the most basic sewing skills could make their children's wardrobes with pride.

I remember Clothkits and I was so excited when another mum, Kay Mawer, bought the old Clothkits business last year and relaunched it. Kay is awesome, she has created a fab new range of Clothkits for modern kids, but with a nod to the heritage of this iconic brand. I am so excited to be launching Clothkits in Australia on the Lark website!!!

Here are some of the fab kits I have in my first shipment - yes, these are kits, you have to make them, but they come all bound up in cute packages with thread, buttons, woven labels and (in some cases) Liberty print fabrics for lining. I promise they are so simple to make, but they also make a great gift if you don't like to sew.

And (deep breath)... I have saved the best till last. As well as raiding the Clothkits archives, Kay is working with contemporary designers and illustrators on some of the kits. And she has commissioned none other than the wonderful Mr Rob Ryan to create a grown-up skirt kit. I love this so much and can't wait to make one - it's called the 'Hold Me' skirt and comes in white sateen with the beautiful Rob Ryan screenprint. Some people have even framed them.

I have a small number of these kits in my shop, as well as the children's kits pictured above (my faves = Smiley Lion Overalls and Happy bees Pinny!). They come with full instructions. Make time!


CurlyPops said...

Oh wow, how exciting...that might be something that even a novice like me could whip up!

AnastasiaC said...

i love that Rob Ryan skirt...beautiful!!

pamma la said...

not some other charming new crafty for me to covet and want to try!
this is my very first stop at The Lark and I am already a fan! I'll be back!!

Kirsty said...

That top flickr pic is to die for. I love clothkits - just gorgeous.

Pear tree cottage! said...

What s great idea and to think you are now bringing them into Australia..........and me with 9 little muchkin grandchildren, wonderful idea for gifts with fun for the giver attached to it (made with nanni love!)

You know I sit here and look through all your posts today and I have this "If only I was 20 years younger" I would be there for you my dear lady.......manning the stand, hunting out supplies, you name it! You are one very special person.

Like yesterday you were on my mind..........lots and lots of golden books at an op-shop in Bendigo all old and ready to use.

see you soon lee-ann

Bec said...

Well, what an exciting post!!! I LOVE those outfits they are so cute! and I ADORE Rob Ryan.

Kitschen Pink said...

Amazing! I remember making clothkits in the 80's! What great news and that Rob Ryan skirt.... wow! t.xx

iRiS said...

oooo I just stumbled upon your blog thru the game THIS IS and three buttons blog BUT have loved the LARK products for a long time
My daughter drooled (literally) over your knitted rattles thru her teething stage hahahaa
your stuff is amazing!

and funnily enough I just found clothkits over the weekend thru another blog...gotta love the blog network and was thinking of ordering from OS BUT now im off to find them on your site woo hoo! cant wait to get some....do you have the trellick skirt??? off to find out hahaa!

potty mouth mama said...

Wow -these are genius!! As always, I love anything Rob Ryan. That skirt looks positively dreamy!

Black Eyed Susie said...

Ah, I've been trying to remember that name. My mum used to dress me in Clothkits stuff! I remember on wrap skirt with a flounce all the way round in pink and purple. Butterflies and flowers everywhere. I loved it - thankfully my tastes have matured since then and Clothkits obviously have too. I want that skirt!