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 I originally made these curtains from Laura Ashley fabric for my daughter’s bedroom in the 1990s.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.
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
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.
The ‘honeymoon’ bed runner was hand placed and quilted from vintage upholstery fabric swatches, Laura Ashley scraps from the stash and a little modern gingham, embellished, as usual, using a collection of vintage mismatched buttons.
The completed bed runner
Also on the bed are a couple of cushions, crocheted from scraps of colour coordinating yarn. Just a couple of giant granny squares, crocheted together to form the frill.
Then it was time for handmadebysoo to try a little ‘up-cycling’, adding a modern Laura Ashley hydrangea fabric cover to a vintage Lloyd Loom style linen box. There was no need to do anything to the original paint finish. Even the braiding was saved and re-used.
Following our big move to Lincoln from Kent, we have been very busy unpacking countless boxes. With just a few remaining and our minds beginning to turn, already, to decorating, it was time to get out the sewing machine and run up a few new cushions for the garden. The colour scheme was chosen to match our bright red new garden parasol. All the fabrics are from my remnant stash and include, as ever, vintage upholstery fabric samples, Laura Ashley swatches and, on this occasion, some lovely soft vintage cotton sheets found in a Lincoln charity shop. Sold as ‘dust sheets’ at just £1 each, I decided they were worthy of a much more crafty use!