You Shall Go To The Ball

Isn’t it incredible? There I was in my last blog post, plaintively crying, ‘I just wish someone was here to SHOW me.’ My voice must have carried – all the way up to Macclesfield. Not one, but two Fairy Godmothers turned up at the same time.

Di and Jane are staying with us for a few days. Di is my boyfriend’s mum, Jane is her best friend. They’ve known each other for over 30 years and between them have two lifetime’s experience of sewing. Here they both are:

Two lovely ladies

I arrived home from work yesterday. ‘We’ve been admiring your sewing,’ they said, with all the casual insouciance of two Angels of Mercy about to guide a lost soul back onto the sewing path. I found myself shrugging on my McCalls 5815 jacket shell for them. Two minute later fingertips were gently prodding and poking, adjusting and pinching. The shoulders need taking in even more, but apparently the back is sitting very well. Di made an excellent suggestion for adjustment of the shoulders. Don’t rip out the sleeves, take in the panelled seams. Hurrah, hurrah and thrice hurrah. I would never have come up with such a simple but effective plan by myself, despite the fact that there the panel seams were, staring me in the face, silently willing me: Take me in. Take me in!

Then I told them about the lining debacle and my utter inability to understand the pattern’s lining instructions. ‘Where’s the pattern?’ Di enquired, with all the quiet authority of a surgeon asking for someone to pass the scalpel. The three of us stood over my table, peering at the two sheets of instructions. ‘There!’ Jane stabbed a finger at one of the early – very early! – directions to cut an extra set of front panels to use as the inside front panel lining in the same fabric as the main shell. (Keeping up?) I’d forgotten about that instruction that had last been read – ooh – weeks ago. I have opinions on writing up a pattern that way. I won’t share them. You can probably guess.

As Ian cooked dinner, the three of us talked and talked and talked about sewing. Di learned on a treadle sewing machine. She has a tailor’s dummy in her attic that she’s going to bring down for me! Jane has been helping her daughter make a circle skirt with red and white polka dot fabric. (Part of me melted just to hear this fabric described.) I popped into the kitchen to see how Ian was getting on. ‘You’re talking about sewing a lot, aren’t you?’ he said without judgement or laughter.

I am busy as a busy thing until at least next week. I won’t be able to start sewing again until then. But I am reinvigorated and so grateful to a pair of lovely ladies who came to stay and poured salve on my tired sewing soul. I shall go to the ball! Wearing the McCalls 5815 jacket if it ruddy well kills me. Now, tell me. Do you think it would go with a tiara…?

Random photo of happy fabric colours.

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2 Responses to You Shall Go To The Ball

  1. Erica says:

    Oh, I’m glad you were able to get help with your sewing! I do not have any one to come to my aid with my issues so I just trust them to my fellow bloggers! But I’m positive it is much better to have someone who is seasoned to tell you where you went wrong. Happy sewing!

  2. Sarah Huggett says:

    Mum (Jane) just told me to look at this blog! I love it! The red polka dot skirt was an experiment to see if I liked sewing. It went well and am now the proud owner of my very own Janone. Although not very prolofic have sweated and cursed over a fitted cotton dress and a stretch jersey dress (stretch jersey, sounds so innocent – on a normal machine – absolute NIGHTMARE). I even created my own tailors dummy which involved mother taping me up in brown packing tape. No I’m not joking. But of course – everyone should have a brown tape effigy of themselves in the spare room for visitors to look agast at.
    Have decided I need a portable craft so have just taken up knitting. Entry level scarf work thus far.
    FYI Goldhawk road has a load of fabric shops and if you feel liek treating yourself, The Cloth house (2 of them) on Berwick st
    Readin this has inspired me to do a wool skirt I’ve been meaning to start for ages..

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