The roses were certainly blooming in Picardie for the wedding of my niece [...]
Forgotten TreasuresCreated by Jane in Jane Lawson's Blog
A New year, a resolution is called for. Nothing too major, nothing I know I shall fail at within the first hour, and nothing that I intend to share with those who inhabit this house on a permanent or temporary basis.
The resolution is to finally, after over forty years, sort out mine and my late mother’s work boxes and remnant cupboard.
My mother was an excellent needlewoman and I remember her making all my clothes without even needing a pattern. Indeed, she used to go to the posh shops in Nottingham, try on the latest styles, announce that they did not meet her exacting standards, and then return home and make a copy which was indistinguishable from the original (apart, that is, from the fact that the fabric came from the market).
I also remember evenings by the fire when she sat with a big bag of darning and mending, mushroom in hand, tackling my father’s socks and turning collars.
I was never so skilled, but I used to make dresses, skirts, blouses and school uniform pinafores for me and the children. And, in the 70s and 80s I made patchwork items which were quite the thing.
However, my daughter’s teenage years arrived and the lovely Liberty prints were declared old fashioned, I went back to work full time and the sewing was neglected. Two work boxes, mine and my mother’s, together with two cupboards full of remnants bought in the sales, have sat almost untouched for well over fifteen years.
And what treasures there were. The old mushroom still there, ancient tape measures with no centimetres marked, knicker elastic, button thread, old packets of hooks and eyes priced at one and fourpence and, best of all, a card with fourteen shades of stranded lisle marked Hose Mending. The button box is a treasure place of shining and colours and gilt and glory. And, like the cupboard with the fabrics, each one brings a memory of a summer dress or a skirt made for a party or a sensible winter coat.
And now it’s tidy and organised and I feel quite inspired. I’ve already made two patchwork cushions – fabric from daughter’s school tunic C 1990 and Liberty needlecord from 1985 – and I’m working on a another one which will be decorated with buttons in small groups bordered with running stitch in linen carpet thread.
So, some of the ‘stuff’ is now being used to good purpose, although, somehow, I can’t see myself using the stranded lisle any time soon.