Friday, 27 November 2009

Too much mustard?

Back in August when my local sewing shop began getting in their winter stock I practically fell to the floor in a swoon when I saw this mustard-coloured wool suiting. Thinking of winter bags and wishing the last days of summer away, I bought some right then and there, along with a little dark blue to go with it, as one of my favourite winter coats is just that colour (I was unsure if I was making it for myself or not...but illogically I tend to only make things that go with my own clothes). I'd had this weird up-and-downy scallopy effect in my head (I wonder if there's an official name for this technique - I'm sure that I've seen it on children's clothing before. It reminds me of honeycomb though...so for this reason this will be called The Honeycomb Bag) for a long time and couldn't wait to try it out. It made my head ache trying to work out how big the pattern piece needed to be to accommodate my scallops and they took far longer to execute than I could have possibly envisaged (for it needed to be done for both sides). However, I'm sure that I remember that Julia once wrote about giggling to herself as she sewed something that she found especially delightful (I'm so sorry to pin this one on you if it wasn't you, Julia - I can't find it in your archives!), but anyway, I must admit to partaking in a little of this mad laughter, for despite the time-consuming nature of it, the finished effect made me feel quite giddy.

So what a shame then that I ruined the whole bag by making some hideously thick piping for it and then installing a frumpily thick tab on it too. When I'd finished I hung it up on our cupboard doors (this is where all finished bags spend at least a couple of hours, so that I can decide whether I'm happy with everything) and sat feeling rather gloomy...would it be too over-dramatic to say that looking at my own poor workmanship and the bag's ugliness made me want to poke my eyes out with a fork? It stayed there taunting me for a couple of days, and then I put it away in my cupboard of finished Made by Florence shop items (which was a mistake, because it completely ruined the karma of the cupboard for me). Anyway, that was August and this is now. When getting something out of the cupboard this week I suddenly realised that I would either have to snip the bag into tiny bits to obliterate any evidence that such an eyesore ever existed...or would have to gently take the whole thing apart with my seam ripper, install some narrower piping and leave the cumbersome tab off all together. On environmental grounds I chose the latter.

I phoned a dear friend (who is incapacitated having just broken various body parts while cycling DOWN a hill as fast as her legs would turn the pedals...even she doesn't know why she chose to do this, but it just makes me love her all the more and makes me think of the Lotta books) and sat unpicking stitches while we giggled over what a loon she can be at times and the logistics of getting dressed without fully-functioning limbs.

And a couple of hours later I felt as though the bag had been rescued from the brink, even though Mr Teacakes says that mustard doesn't really appeal to him and looked slightly pained when I asked him what he thought of it. But then I have the same reaction to polyester football shirts, so that's fine, I suppose....for mustard makes me happier than a happy thing (NB. luckily Mr Teacakes understands the importance of not wearing this type of shirt at any other time than when actually playing football himself...which makes me even happier than the colour mustard).

Here's some close-up scallop action.

Other sewing this week has been canine related. Long-time readers may remember that a long time ago I made this cushion featuring a Westie dog for a friend of the smallest Teacake. Anyway, they recently asked me if I might rustle up a matching Christmas stocking, which of course I was only too happy to do.

I hung this up in Zebra-girl's room to photograph it as that's where the sun was and sweet little Honey happened to be sitting at the bed head with her paws resting over one of the little cats that decorate Zebra's slipper socks (bought from Monsoon in case your own girlie might like a pair...or inspiration for those of you who can actually click your knitting needles together like Dorothy and her red shoes...I'm like a farmer in wellingtons for that particular activity, which is why the slipper socks are bought, rather than homemade...but oh how I'd love to make stripy cat-adorned slipper socks). I was unsure as to whether she had noticed what was on the socks, and whether the paw was protective or predatory...but she looked so scrumptiously lovely sitting there in the sun that I had to take a photo of her.

Anyway, even more exciting than bags, stockings or cats is that we are off to meet a new baby this weekend - my sister-in-law has just had the most gorgeous little boy and the smaller Teacakes are beside themselves with what cousinish fun might be in store over the coming years. Horah!

Thank you so, so much for spoiling me with so many lovely and kind comments on my last post - I'm delighted that all three pictures have now been sold. If anyone is interested in commissioning one they are priced at £40, including framing and p&p (UK mainland only - overseas postage will come to a little more).
Wishing you a lovely weekend.
Florence x
p.s. for photos that are less grainy and blurry (why do you do this blogger?!) you can visit my photostream at Flickr.

10 comments:

  1. I can't quite decide which is more beautiful - your cat or the mustard bag. Pretty sure I am in love with both, though.

    I also have no idea why I've never discovered your blog before - it's lovely, and will definitely be back.

    :)

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  2. Love your blog. The purse is so cute. I love that mustard color and the pleats.

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  3. Oh Honey looks so much like my own beautiful Daisy cat who finally passed away last year aged twenty. It made me smile to see that pretty smiling face again in your photo. Lovely sewing as ever Florence. You amaze me with your ability to rip things back and produce something wonderful second time around. i am shamed into addressing my own sulky attitude to my mistakes.

    Florence I will email you this weekend about NOTHS. I have so much to say about my own experiences, but had Isabella poorly all week and orders to do - not my most fun week, but all is well now. Make sure you have a slice of cake and a drink to fortify you when you open the email as it may be rather wordy I fear! x

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  4. Well there is not too much mustard, I like that its different. I love the cushion-not seen that before and the stocking is just darling.

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  5. Ooh I really like the scallops and the mustard suiting. So lovely. The stocking is beautiful too - I hope you're bringing lots more next Saturday!

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  6. There's never too much mustard!! I love the details on the bag especially.

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  7. It's Saturday morning here in Brisbane and I'm sitting in front of my computer with my first cup of coffee for the day. And of course I'm reading your blog. Ah, once again you've made by day.

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  8. hehe Florence. Yes it was me, Here is the post: http://marmaladekiss.blogspot.com/2009/08/just-right.html

    What a shame the mustard tag didn't look quite right. I know what you mean about these moments casting gloom over an otherwise perfect project.

    I too have been making friends with my seam ripper today :(

    xx

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  9. A very chic bag - and I am with you on the shiny football shirt front. Such a lapse in taste and style means that I can't at any time bring myself to watch football.

    Pomona x

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  10. The bag is gorgeous - I love the scallops. It reminds me a little of honeycomb smocking.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x