Today was a day for staying indoors and bringing some sunshine into the house with some up-cycled curtains. I originally made these curtains from Laura Ashley fabric for my daughter’s bedroom in the 1990s. I have cut them down, re-lined them and added new rufflette tape. Sewing them transported me back to my daughter’s lovely sunny bedroom when she was a child – the fabric is a little sun-faded in places. Other damage the curtains had sustained is thanks to her pet rabbit at the time, who was partial to a little nibble on the edges of the fabric. I’ve incorporated the faded bits and the bunny damage along with all our happy memories in the ‘new’ curtains. The material is so pretty that I don’t think anyone will mind. They certainly brighten up my laundry room on such a dreary day.
sewing new rufflette tape
‘vintage’ Laura Ashley fabric
I couldn’t remember the name of the fabric, but Laura Ashley have very kindly reminded me via Twitter!
@LauraAshleyUK upcycling ‘vintage’ LA curtains, but can’t remember the name of the fabric. Can you remind me, please? pic.twitter.com/43KFVIuuVd – Feb 22
Laura Ashley @LauraAshleyUK
@handmadebysoo I can confirm this was our old ‘Dotty’ fabric and this colour way is named ‘Poppy’. I hope this helps, thank you.
10:06 AM – 23 Feb 15
Heart tailor tacks
My happy crafty moment came this week as I was watching The Great British Sewing Bee and spotted contestant Lorna making good old-fashioned tailor tacks. So glad I’m not the only one still using them! Can’t wait to see what’s made everyone else smile this week over at Planet Penny.
People often ask me when I first started knitting. The answer is that I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t knit. But I can remember learning. It was my Mum who taught me. Mum knitted all the family’s jumpers and cardigans and was never without her needles and wool whenever she got a moment to sit down. I was fascinated by the colour and the patterns of her work and asked her to show me how to knit. I was around seven years old. So that afternoon, just as she had taught me to read, my Mum taught me another life skill that I have continued to enjoy from that moment on. It was a revelation. You could really achieve that much just with two basic stitches? And when you got to the end of the row – no big mystery! Just turn around and start knitting again. Later, Mum taught me to sew, from replacing buttons to full blown dressmaking. By the time I went to secondary school I was making all my own clothes, so, thanks to Mum, I could choose to study ancient Greek at school instead of taking domestic science. The last project we worked on together was my wedding dress. My happy Friday moment came today, unexpectedly, when I was looking through my fabric stash and found a remnant of the cream satin we used. The dress itself is safely packed away in the loft along with my grandmother’s veil, which Mum and I also both wore on our wedding days. The feel of the fabric transports me back to the counter of Dickins and Jones in Regent Street, where we finally tracked down the fabric we wanted. We were both so happy and so relieved. The dress turned out even better than either of us could have imagined. Thanks, Mum, for all those happy memories. x
Mum 1935 – 1988
on her wedding day
my cotton reel jam
My Friday smile comes this week at the thought of a little bit of me time at the end of a busy week and a sewing project I’ve been mulling over for a while. I just need to choose which cotton colour to use! …
Being a summer type of person, I have never really liked January. All those cold dark nights and the flat feeling that Christmas is over for another year, with spring still a long way off. It’s even worse that in January I get to be another year older, although inside my head I am still 27!
So this year I stitched this little celebration to mark the passing of the winter months and gave it to M whose birthday also falls in January. DeeDee and Ailbe feature along with some seasonal flowers, a snowflake and some champagne to cheer us all.
During our snowy walk this morning, on this last day of January, Ailbe decided that, unlike Julie Andrews, snowflakes on his eye-lashes are definitely not one of his favourite things.
I am indebted to the kind and thoughtful family who donated this beautiful antique, in immaculate condition and full working order, to a charity shop, so that I could come along and buy it, realising a long-held ambition to own one of these hand sewing machines, just like my grandmother used to have. My 1933 Singer will take pride of place in my sewing room and, I hope, help me with countless sewing projects to come.
1933 Singer model
Congratulations to Joanna and friends on the successful launch of your beautiful bridal studio today.
With best wishes from Soo