Thursday, 28 April 2016


I've signed up for Me Made May, though I've failed to master the technology for adding a widget. If you're interested in finding out more about it you could visit the sozowhatdoyouknow blog which is on my 'places I like to visit' list.
The object of the challenge (not competition) is to encourage those of us who make clothes, to wear them more often. I've always sewn, but what I've sewn has rather depended on circumstances. As a teenager I made clothes because it was cheaper to make than buy (those were the days!), but later I made posh clothes for special occasions (more affordable when you consider the one off nature of the occasion) and work clothes. I worked in factories where I was required to wear a suit, but didn't fancy spoiling an expensive outfit on the shop floor. Now I live in jeans and T-shirts all day, every day, so get value for money from their purchase.
So, for my challenge, I've decided I will not only try to wear at least one item of clothing that I have made or refashioned each day in May, but I will endeavour to break the jeans default and wear something else at least once a week!
You will know that I've not been here for a while. This is because I post on Instagram as a way of showcasing the work of myself and my students. I now teach sewing a couple of times a week so should probably cease to be hausfrau!
You could choose to come find me at where I write little but post photos regularly.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Time's passed

It's been a very long time since I appeared here, partly circumstance and partly an inability to make my photos upload. Let's see if I can make my new toy give you a feel for the last six months!
A chair stripped and rebuilt for one of my sewing students, originally upholstered in 1916 in Manchester, probably for the lady's grandmother.
A reversible coat for one of my fellow upholsterers.
A trip to the Lake District.

Coming next, competition at the local show.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Whoops a Daisy Angel

I have been to the village school’s Key Stage 1 Nativity play this week, despite the fact that it is a couple of children from Key Stage 2 with whom I work and the warning from one that “They’ll forget all their words and be rubbish. I don’t know why you’d bother when you don’t teach them.”
I love a Nativity play. For me, half the charm is the bits that go wrong! It was delightful, lots of youthful singing (always slightly tuneless don’t you think?) with a bit of acting and humour thrown in for good measure - and completely priceless of course!
I’ve performed in a few Nativity plays myself. One of my earliest memories is of walking down the school hall between rows of chairs wearing a sheet tunic and a dyed blue sheet headdress put on with elastic as though it were a hairband. Unfortunately I also remember being mortified because I had to hold hands with a boy who was so nervous at an early rehearsal that he’d wet himself and of course the rest of the class weren’t going to let either of us forget it! Better, was singing ‘We three kings’ with two others, each singing ‘our’ verse alone; I brought myrrh. And best, was playing the angel Gabriel in my last year at Primary, though I recall that learning the bible version of the words was tricky because they weren’t the same as the carol’s!
That was a very long time ago. More recent memories are of Youngest as a very proud Mary in a tableau as a Reception child at the end of a review by the rest of the Infant School - she didn't actually drop Jesus, he was saved by her grabbing a leg! Though she’s since been in a number of Christmas productions, she’s never been in a traditional Nativity, and neither has Eldest since she played a star (narrator) at her first Christmas in school.
Last night Youngest performed in Down the Rabbit Hole with her sixth form friends at school. She had devised the play from Alice in Wonderland; performed three minor roles; organised props and costumes; directed the production and was also selling the tickets. (It was a triumph though I say it as shouldn’t.)Then she went to an after show party and sleepover. She is exhausted!
It is her birthday on Monday so, as usual, we are hosting grandparents and godparents to a slap up lunch tomorrow: an opportunity to remember her day before Christmas sets in.

(While Blogger is at last letting me post it has decided to stop uploading photos. Hmph.)

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Selling chairs

With Tuesdays full of people sewing and Thursdays full of upholstery I don't seem to get all my chores done and 
I'm struggling to find time to visit here, never mind read all my favourite blogs. I've also finally got around to setting up an E-bay account to sell off some of our better stuff. I'm not really clear how it works and somewhat sceptical about the possibility of earning more than the 99p you're encouraged to put as your starting price. With thousands of listings I wonder how anyone finds anything!

This pretty caned chair is my latest piece of work, though I grant it's not upholstery. Learnt at the same class and very satisfying. The chair was given me by my in-laws as a possible project but they don't want it back - even repaired - and we don't need another occasional chair... For your information, you apparently pay for caning by the number of holes in the chair. That's 80 in this instance, and it's not £1 a hole - though our teacher refrained from telling us what she did charge. So I shan't be popping it on E-Bay for 99p!

Sadly I'm unable to make the system load a picture, may try again later but I need to get suppr organised so I can watch Strictly and Dr.Who!

(Since I can now add photos I thought I'd better add the cane chair! 12.08.14)

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Ta Dah!

The owner has collected and paid for her chair - result!
We are off to Dorset for the weekend and the forecast is rain.
I am still not getting proper typing etc. from this page so blogging has become somewhat of a chore: sorry!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Progress in pictures

completed back

springs tied down

tack roll and stitchiing

fibre layer

forgot to photograph the horsehair layer and I'm not undoing it now!

Friday, 4 October 2013

autumn term

The autumn is well and truly upon us: we have finally finished the runner beans and are deluged with apples instead, and upholstery classes have begun again.
My latest piece is a commision which will cover the materials and tuition, so I get to learn for free and the owner gets her chair revamped.
Youngest is now a sixth former with a lengthy reading list and Eldest is back in Oxford though not quite back at university yet - we deliver the rest of her stuff when she moves back into hall next week, always assuming I've found and packed her requirements!