Sew-in-Company’s contribution to a ‘100 Years of Women’s Suffrage’ celebratory banner is a square based on the cover of a book by Clara Rackham (1875-1966).
Clara was an astonishing suffragist, local councillor, magistrate, factory inspector, suffragist, educationalist and prison reformer in the early 20th Century. Her civic legacies are numerous around Cambridge (even the swimming pool by Parker’s Piece was one of her achievements); she was also one of the dignitaries present at the opening ceremony for Rock Road Library in 1936 – one of the Rock Road Library’s first ‘Friends‘!
A month of minor projects:
The combination of navy and black and shiny pocket edging was necessitated by shortage of fabric – the elasticated back of the grey stripy version of the pattern was replaced by darts to avoid the potato sack look.
A talented friend occasionally performs as a caterpillar to entertain children.
Of course, the piece concludes with a transformation into a butterfly – but the wings provided with her costume were a little underwhelming.
Sew-in-Company was keen to tackle the challenge using scraps of old lining fabric and silk.
…. and made a bag to discretely transport it to performances (Sid is not impressed).
May and June have been fallow months for creating – too much gallivanting and way too hot in the sewing room!
Despite the heat, the DofE student has made progress with her project, wedding suits have been altered, darts added to a linen dress, curtains made and shortened (my least favourite tasks) and a stunning wedding gown adjusted – providing three different fabrics to create a plaited headband.
The fabric cut from the curtains will be used for a quilt – the hunt is on for complementary scraps!
On Friday, a project which has taken over three months to plan and execute was collected. The challenge was to convert a set of ‘pre-loved’ curtains for use elsewhere in a seaside holiday home where the ‘vintage’ brown print curtains were in need of replacement. The recycled curtains, a good quality plain textured weave, were too short and there was not quite enough fabric to cover the expanse of windows in the new location.
Sid carrying out an inspection of the fabric:
The solution was to create two sets of curtains by adding blocks in complementary shades of ocean blue – representing the ocean horizon beyond.
Original heading tape and linings were retained and matched.
The result is very pleasing – 10 curtains matching top and bottom!
The fabric remnants were used to make half-a-dozen unique cushions.
Design and calculations
A spare tweed scrap, some left-over, padded curtain lining (making satisfyingly, stiff protective edges) and an afternoon’s enjoyment!
I am often asked to help adjust ‘off-the-peg’ bridesmaid dresses, not my favourite task (it’s much more satisfying to start from scratch) but I am willing to oblige!
The pale green dress was taken in, an additional lining was inserted, a sash created and the strap adjusted.
Waist Definition Required
Much better fit!
The royal purple dress (on the right) was shortened and the straps were adjusted to address an ‘underarm’ gape.
Right-hand Bridesmaid, Dress Alteration
Photo courtesy of Mister Phill
Great Grandmother Pat is a popular wedding guest and wanted something special made from a remnant of synthetic fabric bought in the 1960s from Gordon Thoday’s – Cambridge’s most popular, much missed fabric emporium. The bluey-green print with ochre overtones was not the easiest colour to match – but the blue silk is complementary.
The outfit has now enjoyed three weddings and is hoping for more!
Yorkshire Wedding, July 2016
Cambridge, July 2013
In 2016, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings commissioned some ‘corporate’ bunting to add a party atmosphere to the site of their annual volunteer working party at Greatham Church – it made another appearance at the Lumsdale Working party in 2017 and at Eastbury Manor in 2018 – Barking & Dagenham video.