Sewing the everyday

elizabeth's_avatarHere’s a thought:  have a look around your house and see what’s sewn fabric.  Not just clothes and cushions, but things like tea towels and pot holders.  Then have a think about how much we need these things, and how much value we place on them.  They are two different thoughts.

It used to be that young girls would spend their teenage years carefully sewing pillowcases and nighties and baby clothes and tea towels  and table cloths (usually with cross stitch).  These would be put away in a hope chest or glory box to be hauled out when she got married and set up her own home.

Then mass-manufacturing and Women’s Lib (which is a great thing, don’t think I’m saying otherwise) happened and this sort of everyday sewing just… stopped.

It’s easy to go to GreatBigChainStore and buy the things we need, but then we don’t tend to appreciate them.

IMG_1396This cotton duck was on the clearance table at $6 a metre, then 40% off, so the three metres I bought (the lovely sales lady gave me the remaining 50cm on the roll just to get rid of it) cost me $10.80.

I started off measuring careful right angles, then I realised that tea towels just need to be absorbent.  They don’t need perfectly even hems, so I fired up the overlocker and whizzed up 14 tea towels (adding ribbon loops at one corner) in about 20 minutes.  They work perfectly and I’m pretty sure no one else has this design.

IMG_1404Then there are those scraps that are too big to throw away, but not quite big enough to make anything.

This pure wool tweed was a remnant from Potter’s.  It was big enough for me to make a Sherlock Holmes-style deerstalker hat (every gentleman should have one), a pencil skirt, AND three pot holders.

They’re simply folded (one of them is four layers, the other two are three layers) to make them thick enough to insulate the holder’s hand from the lava-ously hot pot, then sewn together in a spiral so they hold their shape.  Again, I whizzed through the overlocker so they don’t fray.

The only downside is that, because they’re wool, if they get grotty, they need to be handwashed.

While I never had a glory box, I now have household necessities that I really appreciate.


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