Tuesday 19 April 2016

What's new, pussycat?

Lately I've been having a bit of a Spring purge, chipping away at all the endless things I don't need. It's the usual pass it on to friends, charity shops and ebay scenario. I try not to pass anything more to landfill than absolutely necessary.

I'm hoping eventually to be able to reintegrate the small bedroom back into the house as usable space, maybe with my sewing machine set up so that it's much easier to do little sewing projects. In the meantime, every now and again, I claim the dining table and then there's fabric and thread everywhere for a few days.
I've taken up patchwork again, slowly. I'm sure I'll decide eventually what to use it for.
Sometimes a stray pin finds its way onto the sofa or rug, and then there's a massive yelp as human flesh yields to sharp pointed metal. I get told off and hang my head in shame, but somehow it keeps happening, so I think everyone will be pleased when the sewing department is rehomed.
I knocked up this little bag with some leftovers. It's very useful for days out. The turquoise fabric is what's left after making a dress and a pair of shorts, and the pocket fabric also has a matching cushion and porch curtain.
I know you're supposed to stand three quarters on and do something with your leg to make you look slimmer. Maybe even brush your hair. But, let's be honest, this isn't Vogue.
I've been growing that belly this winter, since I've been unable to play my beloved tennis, but it's time to sort it out. Walking, salad and weekend-only alcohol are on the cards.
I've also been following the rule of dealing with things on the mending pile before starting a new project, so hems have been altered and other scintillating things of that nature. The dress above was a 1960s Hawaiian dress before, but huge and in a different style. Luckily the main pieces were intact so I unpicked it all, made a pattern from another dress I wear loads in the summer, and remade it.
The much worn 1960s dress having a day out in Dordogne, last September
My current project is to recycle loose covers from our old sofa, which, after 20 years service, has been retired. I'm currently unpicking what feels like miles of stitching. In its next life, it will be a dress.

Talking of creative things, a while ago, I received the most wonderful surprise package. I came in after work to find it on the kitchen island. I was mystified, so I started ripping it open. Everything about it was beautifully done. The penny was starting to drop. It was a gift from the lovely and talented Lynn after I commented on her blog. I once had a writing case very like this, which had belonged to my dad, and which was stolen in a burglary, years ago. So this replaces it. I can put special bits and pieces in it.
Thank you so much Lynn, it was the kindest thought. I love it. x

So how about you, has Spring had any effects on you? Any cleaning and tidying? Or are you inspired to start a new project or regime?

I loved hearing about what's happening in your towns and villages, thank you.


Lynn Holland said...

I am very envious of your tailoring skills and that bag and patchwork. I can't follow a pattern or stitch a straight line to save my life, so any dressmaking is out the window for me. Good job we've got super Val to do all our alterations and make curtains into frocks for me.
Is that a Julie Arkell paper machie doll I've spotted on your shelf at the top of your blog ? I will be green with envy again if it is. Her work is fabulous.
Glad you like your little writing case Tanya and thank you again for the card.
Lynn xxx

mondoagogo said...

Oh, what a gorgeously cheerful bit of patchwork! I must get started on the patchwork I keep saying I want to do but never get around to because ugh ironing. But you have inspired me again, thanks :) (nice bag too!)

Polyester Princess said...

I have been doing a bit of tidying up myself and I don't like to contribute to the landfill either. Everything is about recycling in Belgium anyway. You actually have to pay for throwing things away. Not that I would otherwise do it. It's either going to the charity shop or given away and I have a whole pile of things I'm planning to sell some day. I love the patchwork and the bag you've made. Oh, and I know all about "the belly". xxx

Ivy Black said...

Ha! I'm glad someone else gets a telling off for leaving pins in places they ought not to be!! Love that bag and that is one beauty of a frock with a beauty wearing it. I've been growing a chunky pair of thighs since winter myself...all bought and paid for as my nan used to say!
The get rid of the unfinished pile before starting a new bit of sewing doesn't 'arf work I 've found.

What a beautiful writing case; a fab gift.

Vix said...

Snap! that's our plans for the other bedroom, too. A stray pin and the noise of the machine drowning out Star Trek have pushed Jon to the limit!
Your conconctions are fabulous, that bag is gorgeous and the remade dress an absolute beauty (and the chick inside it). Love that photo of you strolling around the Dordogne. Like a film star, you are!
What a treat that parcel from lovely Lynn is. She's a sweetheart.

Anonymous said...

You have been busy! That room will be great as a sewing hub. It's good to have a clear out .That old sofa certainly served its time!!�� Look forward to seeing what has replaced it xxxx

Sue said...

I have an entire room I like to call the spare room but there is actually nothing spare about it. Full to the brim with my projects! All summer I told myself I would sort it but it didn't happen so maybe now it is cooler I may unearth my sewing machine in there. That bag you made is adorable, and I relate to the pin thing. I always manage to leave at least one pin in a handy position for someones bum. With your good weather coming will you get back into your gardening?

Kylie said...

Love your 'new' frock Tanya. Very "Paradise Hawaiian Style"
I also love that painting of the lady, head on cushion (?) I spy in the photo of you modeling it. Did you paint it?
I admire you for unpicking couch covers - that would do my head in. I'd rather go to the dentist actually!

Curtise said...

Cleaning? Tidying? Sewing? These are alien activities, and I miss them. Well, not so much the former two, although the house is in dire need of them. You are obviously in a sorting it out frame of mind, Tania, and cracking on with great success. The back bedroom plan is a good 'un, but I think the pin thing will still happen - the buggers have a life of their own...
Loving the remade dress (I see no belly!) and the bag, and your gift from Lynn is beautiful - isn't she kind?
I am so far behind with blogging, it's become an complete embarrassment, but I am trying hard to make time for my best girls - and you're one of them, darling! Xxx

Mim said...

Oh, what a lovely thought of Lynn, that writing case is a really lovely gift.

Your sewing projects are ace. I'm especially impressed that you made a pattern from another dress. If your crafting's anything like mine, though, it will all still find its way into other parts of the house even when it has a room of its own...

Optimistic Existentialist said...

That dress looks so beautiful on you!! :)

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...


I'm sure I left a comment on here soon after you posted it but I'm buggered if I can find it now! Maybe there was a blip because, if you remember, you said your comment on my blog didn't appear either... hopefully it will have sorted itself out by now.

I love your patchwork and bag and the dress is fab - I do wish I had better sewing skills. Lovely present from Lynn, too. What a nice thing to do.

Sorting out and organising is one of my favourite things to do.It's lovely to get rid of unused and unwanted stuff. I'm just about to donate a large bag and go to a swishing event - goodness knows what I might get!

Hope your week is great