Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Creative Space - that old familiar sound


Growing up there was one sound regularly heard in the late hours after us kids were all in bed. It was the sound of my mother's Bernina as she sat sewing at the dining room table.


I can't remember a time when my Mum wasn't sewing or mending something. Despite having a sort of mezzanine/craft room up in the back shed - think farm shed - not of the Country Style variety - a real farm shed, the sort you build with your neighbours using timber from the farm.
To get to the' sewing room' you passed all the metal bins full of various animal feeds and then fought your way up the stairs (due to the various boxes containing sewing projects that overflowed from the room and cascaded down the staircase forcing your ever closer to the edge with no rails). Once you made it into the room you were surrounded by a WHOLE LOT OF FABRIC (it is hereditary you see) and a view over the chookruns/gardens beds. It was nearly always a total mess and I can see why Mum choose to set up at the dining room table.

All of these thoughts came back to me as I set up my Bernina at my dining room table to sew & mend last night. The sound it makes is so familiar to me & the stitching so simple & solid when compared to the new Janome I have been using of late. I automatically slip back into Bernina-mode, dropping all those quirky Janome habits that have snuck in (like pushing down instead of up for the reverse button).


I started with the mending pile......




Tim rolled his eyes & muttered something about patching clothes within an inch of their lives and the fact they cost next to nothing to buy new. He doe have a point about my ability to patch a patch rather than throw out clothing that is otherwise fine, super comfortable or a favourite. But the bit about new clothing being so cheap......don't even get me started on that one. Anyone who has ever sewn clothing knows that someone (think women in a sweatshop) somewhere (mostly China) is missing out so we can buy our cheap clothing. Anyhow before I go on, & on, & on....

Tim is of course happy to be on the receiving end of my mending-ways

fixing shabby China-sewn favourites (again! I'll have resewn every seam on these soon)


flipping the worn out collars on work shirts....



I then got started on some sewing for an upcoming market (my first in over a year). I've been wanting to make up a smock style tunic using a heavier linen/cotton fabric. There was much indecision regarding what binding to use
stripes

or spots

The spots were my preference but I needed a navy spot to match the navy linen, so I went for the candy cane option

I liked the result but for a market this style of binding takes too long so I'll have to come up with an alternative that is faster to make. By the time I was finished (I really, really dislike pinning & gathering) I was really actually ready for bed but decided to finish a couple of other bits off. The first I'm-too-tired-to-be-sewing-anymore warning was sewing the leg cuffs on inside out.


Convinced this was actually a brilliant modification & would be far more comfortable for baby to wear I pushed on for ONE-LAST-THING, at which point I overlocked into the strap of a dress. After much cursing & blaming of the overlocker I packed up & went to bed.


More creative spaces than you could ever imagine over at Kootoyoo. Take a packed lunch.


P.S. Mum, the reason I was set up on the dining room table was that I couldn't get to the other machine due to the MESS!

22 comments:

Liz said...

hello!
May i ask about the collar repair? Do you unpick, turn over and resew? And is it very difficult/ time consuming? thanks for your blog, it's a favourite.

beccasauras said...

Ha, what a familiar sight at the sewing cabinet! And yes, you're right about the new clothes, always needing mending etc. I get lots of 'new' stuff at the oppy, then chop it up to use the fabric. But I don't think I could be bothered mending collars, lucky I don't have any to mend!

Little Snoring said...

Heyho, I have that very same Bernina! It was my Grandmas and still works a treat!

Shame about overlocking the dress... grrrrr

Amber said...

Looks like my sewing room in your pic!

74 Lime Lane said...

this is a certain cosiness and comfort in your space with that lovely story! love the smocks!

Caroline said...

The words "work horse" come to mind reading your post. My favourite thing is that dress with the stripey trim - too cute!

flossy-p said...

That patched-up bum is SO cute, and the binding on the edges of those little tops is soooo pretty.

I too love the steady, unfaultering sounds of my old machine.

Kylie said...

I prefer mending favourites too Angie... somehow they just have more personality that way :) Kx

Chicken Willow said...

What a productive night...until the last couple of items!

MonetPaisley said...

My favourite is the mess, so glad its not just me. Love seeing what everyone is up to

Cotton Kiwi said...

What a lovely story. My sewing room is a complete tip too. The carpet is even rolled up at the moment so I'll be joining you at the dining room table tomorrow too.

Kate said...

I have that same old Bernina too. And its true, my new girl sounds different. Love that smock so much. Hope you find a less time consuming way of finishing it. X

Two Tuesdays said...

I, too, love the sound of the sewing machine at night. It must be a seventies child thing; when I was a share-houser lots of my flatmates would comment how comfortable the sound of me sewing to all hours in the dining room was.

I have the same new Janome and I despise it. I rue the day I let the salesman talk me into it.

Jodie W said...

wow, you've been very busy! And what is it about sewing at the dinning room table? I feel like I'm more productive there :)

ecoMILF said...

great post. looks like you got so much done. i have a lot of mending to get done too... hmmm you may have been the inspiration i need! xo m.

Michelle said...

I love that collar idea! I was just looking at my husband's worn collars today as I hung them on the line thinking I'd have to chuck them - would love a tutorial please!

dillpickle said...

That looks something like my 'sewing' table at the moment (though yours is less messy ;-))!

You had a very productive evening I think! And like several others, I'm also very interested in the whole collar turning business. Some guidelines would be very useful!

Lauren said...

Lovely to see you back, Angie and doing a market soon!! Yay!! That little top is so lovely. Which market are you doing? I totally get the mending things approach too. I just hate how disposable our wardrobes have become. Cheaper materials mean higher turn over, or more mending, sadly.

Thanks for visiting my place and chatting about jars :) I inherited some quite similar from Mum when I left home, but I love these most. I have a tiny one that matches them too. I'd forgotten they would work for preserving! I have some white rubber rings I found at Habitat one day. I got a pack of eight for about $5, but haven't seen them again since.. Do you think they'd be ok? The proper orange ones are better huh? I was considering asking mum to hunt some down for me on the mainland... But a friend in Paris! Well that is fortunate! x

Victoria said...

Love the smock - it looks gorgeous.

dash robin said...

I am smiling seeing some other peoples work stations looking just like mine...wherever I can squeeze the machine in, on it goes! And great to see repairing of things-its so rare but ace-I chop the bottoms off too short pants for my kids and hem them into shorts! Love your blog too...

Tania said...

You know the bit where you came over droopy-lidded and really needed to be in bed? Well the sewing that happened then is so like mine - only on a perfectly alert (possibly even slept eight hours the night before) day! Er, smock style tunic = gorgeous.

PS. Sent package today. Hope you like 'em!

Cindy said...

I loved the stripes, so cute, but no way you can do those babies for markets that I could figure.
I often wonder if my kids will carry on memories of having me sew-humming

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