Yesterday, I had The Mother of All Clear Outs. A lot more housework than ever normally happens was done, cupboards were emptied and organised, and lots of things were ruthlessly culled whilst no one else was watching to object. I am telling you this, because this kind of behaviour doesn't happen that often. Don't go sharing this with anyone, but, once I got over the `oh, my goodness - the entire house looks a complete mess now, why did I ever start this process?' tidying hump, I found myself quite satisfied in the end.
Don't go worrying about me turning into a Proper Housewife (as opposed to the Slummy Housewife who flies by the seat of her pants that I really am). Sewing will still win over my affections when faced with a choice between it and housework. Having six people to keep in clean pants and provided with meals (to be complained about by at least one family member at any given time!) and everything else that goes with it takes an undeniable amount of effort. There are times when I have to admit that life would run a lot more smoothly if I devoted more effort to going beyond the basics of running the house as I do sewing. But. There has to be balance, doesn't there? And, I have long recognised in myself that sewing for pleasure is part of what makes me tick. Making time for this, over doing more regular clear outs etc, keeps me a lot more happier than if my house were perfectly organised and tidy.
In the spirit of balance, after The Mother of All Clear Outs yesterday, I felt that today deserved to contain a bit more, well, fun and frivolity. Mary Poppins I am not.
Today, the sun was out bright and early, so I decided my bare legs would be too. Time for a first proper outing of my newly made spring clothes - my Sew Over It cowl(s) and chambray Kelly Skirt with vintage buttons. Hurrah!
My friend Lucy took these pictures for me whilst we were at the park with another friend. Charlotte loves playing with my sunglasses, but helpfully trotted over and handed them to me - a blatant little photo bomber, huh?!
I've made two versions of the Sew Over It cowl now - and love the pattern. As already mentioned, it spurred me on to get my overlocker out, clean out all the fluff that had built up, and spend time learning to thread it up properly.
When making the tops, I enjoyed taking my time to finish all the edges nicely on the overlocker, before switching back to my regular machine to twin stitch the hems. The pattern is so simple, that even with slowing down to aim for a really professional finish inside and out, I can still whip one up from start to finish in a short evening of sewing. After the mamouth effort of making a coat during the first part of the year, some quick projects are very gratifying.
I'd deliberately planned for these two tops to go with the Kelly skirt I had made as a sample for my current beginners' course. I'm pretty pleased with how it's all come together - the buttons being my favourite element, and, the discovery of just how iron dependent the skirt will insist on being being the only slight fly in the ointment. Still, you can't have everything. Maybe I'll turn over a new leaf and iron this as it comes out of the wash, and not leave it to get buried under the other clean washing awaiting attention in the airing cupboard...
The final photo is in the other version - I did a cheeky change in the loos of the Pavilion. If you are wondering why I am smiling, it is because I have just indulged in my favourite guilty secret relating to Bedford Park - a BLT in the cafe.
It occurred to me as I was thinking about writing this post, and also the fact I have fabric ready for another three cowls (!), that spring seems to be the time of year for me to make several of something. Last year, it was the Tilly and the Buttons Coco. I wonder what it will be next year, to pop along at just the right moment to inspire me into some sewing to refresh my wardrobe in time for the warmer months...?