thomas pink and me

Any amount of sewing has been a rare commodity since the school holidays began. And when I eventually have got going, I've ended up turning in in the wee small hours and feeling truly incapable of functioning the next morning before having that first cup of tea. Or more! My latest creation was completed early last week, I think, but family circumstances have brought me back down to Cornwall. Quite honestly I barely have a clue as to what day or even date it is, never mind anything else, and so photographs were only taken today during a more than welcome break in those ever-growing clouds!

Following on from this post, I had a lovely chambray number all lined up for a revisit to Daddy's upcycled shirts. Only I don't mind admitting it gave me a fair few thoughts every night before sleeping in terms of what exactly I should do with it. The problem being the two massive breast pockets, and I really do mean huge so it's had me pretty foxed. I considered making a wide tote bag, the type you sling pretty much your entire life into, but in the end put it to one side (for yet more bed time analyticals - sure beats counting sheep) and took the easier option, a.k.a. changing to a different shirt altogether. And so the ever lovely Thomas Pink and I were reunited once again.

I've come to the conclusion that men are so lucky to have City shirts, beautiful soft and gentle fabrics that they are. Lovely to sew with too, although sadly there's not much room for mistakes. Every pin hole shows as I would find out soon enough.

I also did learn to my cost that sewing deep into the night really does not pay, since I made several errors and found myself unpicking pretty much all the work I'd lost sleep over. The biggest mistake came when I inadvertently snipped beyond the row of stitches around the neckline. I was using super large scissors at the time which even then I knew was a foolish way to behave. I know it even more now! At the time I thought I'd do a make and do, adding a further little bit of stitching just outside of the cut. The only trouble is I managed to get it puckered, not noticing of course until both the collar and binding had been pinned and sewn on. Rats. I couldn't make and do that one, which is how my sewing began the next day.

Whilst feeling particularly lucky because the children were deeply involved in a lovely little game, I quickly grabbed the chance to unpick and then re-pin. But sadly the game ended abruptly so rendering my ironing/pinning/working board an almost permanent fixture in the kitchen, taking up space and gathering dust at a rapid speed. Not too tidy but at least ready for action for when the next opportunity should arise. All this stop start is no good for the 'flow of the sew' which meant the stages were many and this little project took quite a time to complete. Slow progress being a very frustrating state of affairs.

In short, sewing way into the night is not to be recommended, but I must be thankful that it wasn't the cutting out I was doing at the time! And so, as I sewed the night hours away, listening to Il Divo on repeat (a CD which I do rather like but quite frankly had neither the time nor the inclination to get up and change) I made a mental note or two -

a) persuade husband that it is most definitely a good idea to buy shirts without pockets in the future, large ones being definitely outlawed;

b) any particularly lovely ones could possibly be bought by the pair? Not that I have my own interests in mind, naturally!

This blouse by the way, is based on one from this super book, Japanese of course, only I kept the original buttons intact so it still has its City shirt roots. I don't remember Daddy ever climbing trees in his though ..

Happy weekend! x


memories of cornwall

Back in April I posted this photo of the view I grew up with and even now I think I'd be hard pressed to find better, it always manages to draw me in. Whatever the weather, no matter your location, St Michael's Mount is always a formidable presence.

Incidentally, if you should find yourself visiting the Mount this Summer, you really should check out the Avalon Gallery in Marazion. Not least because you can have a 'geek' (as the Cornish would say) at some of my own work, but it is filled with some stunning artwork (including my very very favourite Jenny Birchall, other jewellery and fantastic local crafts (such as Poppy Treffry).

Hydrangeas always remind me of Cornwall. They are so abundant there, in all colours. They can be found in the parks, lining the roads and also plentiful in my parents' garden.

Last year they grew a huge variety of vegetables but this year concentrated on a much smaller number. Less work. Maximum flavour. And it made me feel a little bit envious that we haven't got even this amount of self-sufficiency at our own home.

And because they are not sprayed, luckily there is a very satisfactory amount of pest control to be relied on.

But of course MLF wanted less relaxation and much more action, so we were tourists for the week too ...

Happy whatever day it is, I'm afraid I'm losing count! x