From My Mother to Me #4 - and Last Call for Miss Matatabi Giveaway!

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 09:01

It's my turn on the From My Mother to Me tour of nostalgia.
Now please forgive me, but I'm a little late with this post. (The sun shone and I went camping with my family instead of writing/sewing this weekend).
And to be honest, I was a little stumped about what to write...

Two years ago for this series I wrote a lengthy post which took hours of picture research, describing how my mother really was an accomplished, perfectionist seamstress, making her own fabulous Vogue coat aged 16.

So what could I write that was 'Fresh' this time round?

Now this is a bit of a niche - but sewing during my childhood was synonamous with one brand; Clothkits.

Clothkits was a 'Big Name' among certain families in the 70s and early 80s. They produced pre-printed kits to be sewn into clothes for kids and women.
They produced a mail order catalogue, and I remember the little thrill of it arriving and choosing dresses with my mum.
The clothes were a bit 'folksy' and very designy - just perfect for my art teacher mum and architect dad, who in their own way liked to break away from conventional design.
This picture above, shows me  (on the left) and my twin sister in our matching red Clothkits dresses.

And this one, me on the left again in blue. I think this is my sister and I on our first birthday. Again in our Clothkits folky dresses (on a basket chair and sheepskin rug - How 70s is this?!)

I'm on the right in this one, in the orange dress. It's another Clothkits dress, and I remember loving it so much! The printed yoke and the orange colour! My sister (in the middle here in a green Clothkits skirt) had a matching white dress which was very pretty. Clothkits printed kits would usually come with matching dolls clothes too. Somewhere I might even be able to dig them out.

And here's the home made 70s family. My mum is wearing a Clothkits vest, my sister and I are in hand embroidered cheesecloth blouses, made by mum, and pink floral skirts made by my grandmother, who is cuddling my baby brother in this picture.

My grandmother used to make us clothes occasionally too, two of everything and she'd use the scraps to make dolls clothes. I still have tiny doll's skirt in this pink floral print somewhere. 
Not everything handmade was Clothkits, these floral dresses weren't. But aren't we cute! 

And this picture I think must be one of my favourites from my childhood..... This very image inspired my mother to take a creative journey.... But I'll need to share that for another day.

 I still love Clothkits, and the company was revived and rebranded in the 2000s and still sells printed kits for clothes. But there's something about those original 70s designs that was so ground-breaking, and so quirky that I really, really loved.
And I love that my mum was bold and brave in her taste.Thank you!

Now, if you're very quick the Miss Matatabi giveaway is still open! Last call... clickety click!

Thank you also to all my wonderful contributors. I do so love your stories and taking time to share. 

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  1. Wow, so amazing seeing those pictures! My mum was not an enthousiastic sewist, she did do some knitting though. I do remember there were plenty of thoseready to start kits around in the eighties: pattern and yarn for a sesame street sweater, or everything for sewing up a stuffed animal.

  2. Beautiful memories, love those cloth kits.

  3. Love! My mother is to me this jack of all trades. She is just amazing at whatever she does and she has done sooo many different things. She inspires me and is such a great example to me that I know it is possible to reach my dreams simply because of her and all that she has taught me. I love to see because I grew up watching my mom sew. I just hope to be as good as her some day!

  4. (My Momma died before I was 2yrs old...i was passed to Foster Homes, & relatives that didn't want me..neither did my own Dad...)Soooo.... I want to leave my Children with Heart Memories of how much I Loved them, and know I taught them to be fair & honest people, hard workers...and to Love God.

    Thank you for chance to win your Give-a-way! :)

  5. Lovely story Victoria and what a great pictures you shared :) <3


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