Category Archives: From The Sewing Room

Another Find, Another Project

Well after all that rain on Wednesday and having G’daughters too, I definitely needed a different sort of challenge. I’d seen a picture in a magazine recently of a foot stool/ box made from an old wooden fruit box.  I happen to collect old wooden boxes most of which hold clay pots in my summer house. One though had been languishing at the back of said summer house getting damp and cobweby. Out it came with a quick brush down and a dry off in the greenhouse. I had some fabric left from a bag I made a while back, the foam came out of a pillow I was throwing away, so really it cost me 80 pence for the hinges…..not bad eh….

This was so satisfying to do. It now houses my binoculars and wildlife books, keeping the sun off them, plus a seat too…. And the price of the one in the magazine £145….. Sue




Filed under A spot of recycling, From The Sewing Room, Rain

Elvis has finally left the building

After two and a half weeks Elvis has finally left the building. Intrigued, let me start at the beginning ……..

I had a visit from Mrs M, asking would it be possible for me to make an Elvis suit for the 13 August as The Madeline Rust were going to be performing in a charity event at the Waterfront Festival, Nottingham, but instead of performing their own songs the theme for the whole event was ‘Songs from dead rock stars’ also to possibly dress up as one too.. So this is where I come in……

So working from just a few measurements and looking at a halterneck jumpsuit that she already had, we made a toile. (That’s a trial garment made from gash fabric, the blue garment in the first picture) .

After several fittings with nips,tucks and darts, lots of stage type glitz and sparkle we ended up with this. And what a pleasure it was to do too. Love you Mrs M for keeping the sparkle alive….

And what did it look like on the day ……

Elvis 11

She and the whole band looked truly amazing, they put their hearts and souls into their performance and did some brilliant covers.


I can definitely see this outfit turning up on stage again in the not too distant future….



Filed under From The Sewing Room

An Island in Stitch

My boot soles are now a few centimetres thicker today and I don’t think the weather forecast is set to get any better. Those last few bulbs are going to be my Achilles heel.  Ha Ha.

So here I have been in my workroom looking at pictures that I took in the summer of trips out, trying to be inspired, when I strayed a bit and started looking at magazines. Here I found a brilliant picture of somewhere that we visited this year.  Ynys Llanddwyn, Newborough Bay, Anglesey. Well that was it, I had an urge to replicate this in stitch.

Starting with the original image I roughly drew out the positions for each piece of fabric. Once pinned on I backed the whole piece with some pelmet stiffening. This gave a solid foundation to withstand the repeated machine stitching. Small details were added for the little hut and the lighthouse. I stitched, frayed and painted with watercolour to add highlights and depth to the picture. I am very pleased with the result, I hope you like it too.

Here is a little bit of folklore that accompanied the picture in the magazine.

Ynys Llanddwyn is unofficially known as Lovers’ Island, named after St Dwynwen, who lived here in the 5th century, she is said to have given advise to lovers seeking help with their relationships. On her death her hermits cell on the island, but no longer there, became a place of pilgrimage. Even now St Dwynwen’s Day,  January 25th is the north Welsh equivalent of St Valentines Day.

All my information and image came from the Landscape Magazine UK.



Filed under From The Sewing Room, Machine Embroidery, Textiles, Uncategorized

Is it another Bag ?




No it’s a Journal….made using hessian wallpaper that was used in our first conservatory 30 + years ago and found in the loft. Lined with some found old linen fabric and the pages are 1000 grade lining paper washed with water colour paint to age them. The buckle was found in my stash box and is goodness knows how many years old. So using all old materials I have created something that perhaps looks new but feels and smells old. I am going to use this journal to record lots of textures that I find in and around the garden, using mixed media to replicate, eg hand stitching and french knots to look like moss, maybe painting, torn paper who knows  … this space, this might be a full years project.


Filed under From The Sewing Room

Loose Connections

Don’t you just love it when life throws up some nice surprises that are loosely connected. This happened this week.

It all started a couple of months ago when I bought a pair of 1950s Lucienne Day curtains from our local Oxfam shop. These are now in my stash pile waiting to be transformed into something else, but anyway I digress. So last Sunday Mr Malc was walking to the allotment when he saw a young woman coming towards him walking a dog, nothing unusual about that, but as she got nearer he thought he recognised her. Well he did and we haven’t seen her for 30 years, so to cut a long story a bit shorter, we asked her to dinner last evening. We had a fantastic catch up, and found that she was house sitting for a friend whilst the house was being cleared and sold. I had been telling her about all the things I buy from charity shops and mentioned these curtains. She immediately asked if she could see them, and yes you guessed it, they had been taken to Oxfam by the family selling the house. The last connection is that the house belonged to my daughters English teacher and I had also been in the house many years ago to give the teachers husband lessons on machine knitting……


Oxfam purchase ‘ Tarn by Lucienne Day 1957 ‘

….but the biggest connection is that we have found a long lost friend who will now stay in our lives…. 🙂


Filed under From The Sewing Room