Thursday, 3 February 2011

Catchin' up with Kathleen N Lily's

Greetings loved ones!

As we gear up for Lincoln and Nottingham's Affordable Vintage fair this weekend [no rest for the wicked eh? I guess seeing all your smiling faces and hunting for a velvet get-up worthy of Prince constitutes a 'hard life'] we caught up with Nottingham stitchin' witches, Kathleen N Lily's.

In addition to a myriad of ready-made vintage clobber, we here at Judy's are all about the craft[not the dodgy 90s witchcraft flick...well, maybe on some days...] With our wallets more moth-ridden than moneybags, many of us don't have the funds to buy our jewellery new; a new top a week has taken a back seat and the only alter we kneel before is a good alterations girl. Seizing the niche, Notts girls Kathleen N Lily's are part of the solution. Offering fabric packs, whacky accessories and haberdashery advice to anyone with ears, the girls are waging war on fast fashion. Needle in hand, the ladies get to the point about their war against the mundane, their Sherwood heritage and their love of the fairs. Less make-do and mend, more make-new and mend - Neil Buchanan, eat your h-art out...

Q: Hi Ladies! Tell me a little more about the history behind Kathleen N Lily's...

A: 'Kathleen & Lily’s is the home of sewing witches Rachael Kettleborough and Jenna Round. Born with needles in one hand and a junior hacksaw in the other we fight the war against the mundane. Our weapons are vintage recycled and customised clothing and hand crafted jewellery & accessories.
We hand make whimsical, charming, nostalgic and sometimes scary jewellery and accessories using vintage materials. All our garments are vintage, customised or handmade and every item is lovingly packaged with recycled paper, vintage comics, playing cards and wallpapers. We also sell a range of haberdashery, including fabric packs, customising kits, rammel bags, paper packs, sewing kits, buttons and pincushions.'

Q: You've recently moved on from your Mansfield Road headquarters- are you kids quite difficult to 'pin' down?

A: 'We opened our shop in 2005 after studying at Nottingham Trent University and started our online shop in 2009. We tour the country with the UK's largest vintage troupe, Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair and over the summer we trade at Y-Not, Dot to Dot and Indietracks festivals. We also visited Vintage at Goodwood festival and offered our ‘Sewing Magic’ clothing alterations service which had the public bewitched. Over the past few months we’ve started offering sewing classes from our Nottingham shop and we were voted most popular course at the ‘Nottingham Loves Learning’ event'

Q: Looking at your creations, some vintage fans may get a sense of deja vu - where have we seen your wares before?

A: 'Ha! We’ve supplied garments for film and theatre such as The Unloved, This is England and Control, as well as creating the costumes for Little Shop of Horrors at the Nottingham Playhouse. We’ve been very lucky to have some of our favourite ladies adorn themselves with our wares, Tracy-Anne from Camera Obscura, Rosa and Katy from Peggy Sue and the Betty and the Werewolves girls.'

Q: As local lasses, what's it like trading on your home turf?

A: 'Nottingham is a great city, the two university's and city's colleges provide a large population and there's some really interesting courses available. There's a thriving arts scene here and i think Nottingham people have a really strong sense of style - they know what they want. All these things make it a great place to start a business such as ours and a brilliant place to bring the fairs.'

Q: What does the future hold for the glue-gun gurus at Kathleen N Lily's?

A: 'With the shop closing at the end of January, we're free to concentrate on our online business. We love doing Judy's to - it's the perfect way to meet other like-minded people and also to build relationships with your customer which you can't do online. The costs are low and most of the fairs are at the weekend so its easy to continue with a day job and build up the business. We will also be selling jewellery at Davenport Shop of Originality and Recreation. We'd like to concentrate on designing and teaching - closing the shop will free up our time and allow us to nurture our the mend-and-make-new revolution.'

There we have it folks - inquisition over. The ladies live on to stitch another day. For all those in the midlands this weekend, pop over to Nottingham's Affordable Vintage Fair to see them in action. For the meantime, viva la revolution!

That's all folks,



  1. Love Kathleen and Lily's! Can't wait for the Nottingham fair tomorrow!

  2. wow they seem really amazing! :)

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