botched

I am out of sewing practice. At least that’s my excuse: yesterday I managed to make a botched job of things . . I bought this tweed when visiting Harris a couple of years ago – I love the bright blue, green, and orange flecks sitting in among the herringbone. My idea was to turn…

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matchy matchy

Wool — being wonderfully warm, breathable, and flexible — really is the ultimate Winter fabric for someone who likes to be outdoors. I have worn a near-as-damn-it 100% wool outfit every day so far this WOVEMBER, and fully intend to do so for the rest of the month. I’ll say more about some of the…

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racy mending

I have been playing around with ideas about mending and darning for a forthcoming article, and have been turning up some interesting tangential things in various digital collections. Pictured above are “Chicago’s top models for 1922” who have been co-opted to advertise the novel innovation of the seam ripper. The caption reads “Ripping is a…

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shirt –> handkerchiefs

Tom was getting rid of some shirts. This one was very old and worn. But I loved the fabric — a soft, light weight cotton shirting with a very high thread count, a bit like Tana Lawn. I just couldn’t let it go to the charity shop. A while ago, Felix sent me some lovely…

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another dress

Here’s another dress I made for myself over the holidays. This is something I intend to wear for work: it is neat and smart, but also easy to get about in during my daily walks to the station and back. The pattern is Vogue 8146 — one of those ‘easy’ Vogue suit patterns, which includes…

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more on mauds

(photo from J.G. Martindale, The Scottish Woollen Industry, (1954)) You may remember that a while ago I got all excited about the maud — the traditional shepherd’s plaid that’s woven and worn in the Scottish Borders. You can see one above being used for its original function — protecting the shepherd and his lambs from…

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tweed frock

In a couple of weeks time, I shall be going to the US for some work-related events, chief among which is delivering a talk in this public lecture series. I don’t mind admitting that I’m the sort of person who thinks about what they will wear some time in advance of such an occasion. My…

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tweed

So, you didn’t think I could travel to Harris and Lewis without mentioning tweed? Tweed is woven through the landscape of these islands and its important traditions are still very much alive. I spent several days in tweed heaven. Just imagine the sensory overload of this fabric-filled warehouse in Tarbet. Tweed as far as the…

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repair

A few weeks ago, something rather unpleasant happened while we were camping on Islay. I’ve not talked about this much. I found it quite disturbing at the time, and — because it happened in a place I am very fond of, while engaged in an activity that I love — I’ve not really wanted to…

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V8468

. . . is the pattern number of my new dress. It is an ‘easy’ vogue pattern, and, having worked myself up (or perhaps down?) into the the zen-like state that I must be in to cut out fabric and sew at the machine, I knocked it up over a few hours yesterday. I used…

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finish

I’m working on something at the moment that is relatively simple in design. Lots of plain knitting, but now the fun begins, since its devil is definitely in its detail. This garment is all about the finish, and I’ve re-worked the bottom hem and its edging several times to get it just right. Despite ripping…

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the grand owl prizegiving!

Yes, its time to announce the parliamentary victors, and give away some owlish prizes! There are 57 owls in the parliament. I excluded myself and my knitting comrades (Hannah, Kate B and Melanie) from the fun; put the remaining 53 names in a ‘hat’, and selected one at random. Congratulations, Elizabeth! You are officially the…

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remember . . .

These? I had forgotten just how much I liked them until I stitched up another. This one was made for my friend Mel, who I am thinking about today. You will recall that the basic construction of these pincushions is Japanese, but the aesthetic of this one has (to my mind, anyway) somehow morphed toward…

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out with the old

You may remember that a year ago I decided to stop buying clothes for the duration of 2008. My decision to do this was sparked by a couple of things. I had been reading a bit about darning and mending and wanted to think about what repairing and caring for one’s clothes meant. Also, since…

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oi!

No peeking! Yes you! You know who you are! You said you wouldn’t look! . . . Actually, those who I’ve placed under a three-day blog embargo are good at keeping their promises, and if I don’t blog this now I probably never will. The seasonal craft wagon trundles ever onwards. Very soon, it will…

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