Retro mushrooms breakfast set

How do you like your mushrooms? This is the breakfast set I designed for issue 84 of Simply Knitting (on sale now, you should be able to get a copy in WH Smiths or online via My Favourite Magazines). My brief was simply to design a retro-inspired breakfast set incorporating a fabric element.

My tastes are generally early to mid 20th century, but as soon as I saw this fabricon the internet I knew I had to use it. It’s Michael Miller ‘Retro Mushrooms’ in the ‘Spice’ colourway; it’s out of production now but you may still be able to find some if you like it too. I looked in my local patchwork shop (Country Threads in Bath) and they didn’t have it, tried another high-end craft place (The Makery, also in Bath) and in the end gave in and ordered it online from Fabric Inspirations. Good, fast service. I try not to do mail order too much because I always end up adding extra things to justify the postage. Somehow two lots of Japanese linen also found their way onto my order, one of kitschy little forest animals and one of amazing red and blue retro robots.

The knitted bits of the mats are really easy to make, and you don’t need a sewing machine for the cloth parts. I don’t own a machine, so the ones you see here are all hand-stitched. None of the vintage dining set patterns I’ve seen patterns for are knitted, and this is definitely retro-inspired and not an attempt authentic repro, but I’m pleased with how it came out, nonetheless.

Part of the reason I haven’t cracked on with making my 1940s bag is because I’ve had commissions on the needles, including a Halloween knit that I’m ever so pleased with. However, it will come!

Rhian, The Crafty Geek, has a fab pattern for slouchy socks in this issue too. Thanks to Simply Knitting's editor, Debora Bradley, for giving me permission to use the photo from the magazine.


  1. These are lovely and the fabric looks great teamed with that lime green yarn. I've seen this fabric before and had wondered about making a retro 70s pinafore for my daughter out of it.

  2. Thanks for the nice words, chaps. My favourite design I've done recently is yet to come - I've done something for the mag for Halloween that turned out better than I'd dared hope.


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