Twenties Bloomsbury Cushion

Several years ago, we moved from a Victorian house to a Thirties house. It’s still a work in progress, but the living room is starting to take shape, with some nods to the era.

While Art Deco – think Fred & Ginger film sets – looks striking and modern, it doesn’t feel very homely. At least not when I’m used to Victoriana and Art Nouveau. So, we’ve been researching different looks from the Thirties. The only other two categories I’ve found are ‘Home Front’ going into the Forties, and Bloomsbury  Set arts and crafts, from the Twenties into the Thirties.

Thirties home interiors (bottom right, Bloomsbury house, Charleston, Suffolk)

I think our living room will be a mixture of these. There are clean lines and Art Deco motifs, alongside colour and pattern. When it all comes together, I’ll post a photo of the room.

I’ve been busy knitting a couple of Bloomsbury style cushion covers, in colours to match the wallpaper. One is now complete, and I’ve nearly finished the second.

Finally finished the light colour way cushion cover, in complementary colours to co-ordinating with the deeper coloured cushion cover. The buttons are a vintage touch.

Charleston Bloomsbury set cushion cover

1930’s style Rowan knit

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This knitted top is a pattern called Charleston from Rowan magazine 39. The designer was inspired by the 1920’s and 30’s. The drape is intended to be on the front, but having looked at some 1930’s evening dresses, I put the drape at the back.

The fashion was to have the detail at the back, while often having a high neck a the front. Silks and satins are perfect for drapes and bias cut skirts. It was a challenge to knit and attach the drape to hang nicely.

The idea of attaching or incorporating jewellery into ones clothes is coming back into fashion. Check out Prada and Chanel for modern reinterpretations. I’ve started wearing my vintage brooches on my coat and jacket pockets.

This aspect of the 30’s style is reflected in the beading along the front, back and in the straps. I used clear and pearl beads (each threaded onto the wool – Rowan Kidsilk Haze) so there is just a hint of sparkle. The fine lace pattern around the waist/hips adds interest. I enjoyed knitting this and it is comfy to wear as well as pretty.

Some close-ups of the beading at the back and the lace.


Original 1910’s dress (Downton Abbey style)

This beautiful, delicate dress was entrusted to me by one of my friends. It belonged to a relative who wore it during the period, probably, 1910’s – notice the looser fit, the belt at the natural waist, shin length.



Made from silk, tortoiseshell belt buckle, which has possibly been replaced. Embroidery of flowers, pin tuck pleats, peter pan collar and front detail.

Embroidery on skirt
Pin tucks on back
Collar, back
Collar, back
Front panel
Sleeve cuff
Sleeve cuff