Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Plain sewing and feathered stars

Feathered stars are most definitely NOT plain sewing, but more about them later...

The school holidays are nearly over and the last couple of weeks have been busy with the more mundane tasks in life: turning out cupboards, tidying, mending and generally getting ready for a new term.  This is my younger son's last year at school and he is preoccupied with thinking about the next stage of his education. My daughter by contrast, having finished at university, is home to live for a while, as she starts her first job up in London this week.  So lots going on, which has limited my sewing time and shifted my focus.

As a consequence of all that, my finishes have been rather dull ones which don't merit a photograph:

  • I have made four 'housewife' pillowcases with plain white cotton fabric which I recall my mother offloading on to me many years ago, so it is probably forty years old.  Very plain but satisfying to make (though I struggled for a while to work out how to enclose all the seams).

  • I sacrificed some old cushions to refill a couple of pillows whose feathers had disintegrated, and made a new small rectangular pillow pad to fit a small cushion cover I made a year ago and hadn't got round to finishing...

  • I resurrected my dressmaking skills to cut down a long tweed skirt (from my teens, when we used to wear long in the evenings...thank goodness those days are gone) and made a simple A-line skirt for my daughter as the tweed was just too gorgeous to throw away.  Just the hem to do when she decides on the length she wants.  Gosh, I struggled to make a 5/8" seam allowance - I kept wanting to sew 1/4" - I have been a patchworker for too long!

  • Plus a variety of repairs to clothing; my mending basket has been overflowing for some time, but it's more pleasurable to make quilts out of pretty new fabric than to patch the knees of a pair of jeans, don't you agree?

Altogether a glut of what used to be called 'plain sewing', the ordinary domestic stuff of a housewife's life in the old days, and a very important skill in thriftier and less affluent times.

By way of contrast, I have been working away on my Feathered Star blocks, a UFO from a long time ago which I resurrected here.  I finished all nine blocks and have made the cornerstones, so my challenge is to get the blocks sashed and the top together by Friday.

 To close, a taste of summer: I have been using cleaned out drinks containers as thread/scrap tidies.  Cute, but I still won't be showing you a picture of the floor... I am such a messy sewer, and yet I love to produce good, neat work.  That's why my favourite part is hand stitching the binding!


  1. I love your feathered stars. I save a PDF pattern for doing some 7 or 8 years ago and I'm still not sure yet what colors to choose. I love your red and gold. And I agree, a 5/8 seam allowance look very large when you come back to it.

  2. On another topic, you are a no-reply blogger.

  3. Hi Chantal, Thank you for your comments. It is great to hear from you. I am not quite sure what a no-reply blogger is. I am still learning the technology and jargon (I'd rather spend time sewing than on the computer, but I know I will never learn unless I spend the time....). And thank you for replying to my comment on your blog. I look forward to seeing more of your work.