Tag Archives: learner

just what I need

With my Open University course just starting and my partner currently out of work, what is that I need? Oh yes, a new crafting obsession to suck up my time and money.

I resisted all my mother’s attempts to teach me to sew, which of course I now regret. A few months ago mum passed on to me my grandmother’s sewing machine, a 1950s Singer beauty. I had no immediate plans for it but mum has her own machine and wanted the space in her house; my plan was that once I’ve graduated I’ll take some evening classes and learn to sew.

However.  Next Thursday is World Book Day.  Son’s school have asked the children to come dressed as their favourite adventurer or traveller from a book.  Son insists on going as Aragorn from Lord of the Rings.  Ah.  Something nice and easy.   While we did manage to knock up a Fantstic Mr Fox outfit in one evening for Roald Dahl Day
Fantastic Mr Fox
an Aragorn costume is more of a challenge (for which read, I can’t knit or crochet it).  Then I remembered the machine sitting gather dust (and cat hair).   The nice people on the internets provided bags of information on making a cloak and a tunic.   Got some fabric from Abakhan (son insisted on black, inaccurately) and made a pin cushion for practice


Then I spent the whole of the rest of the weekend making the cloak and tunic.  Looking on it as a chance to learn sewing skills as well as win Mother of the Year (and having been raised in the school of if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it properly), I’ve tried to make a good job of the cloak (also I think it could see lots of service, son still loves dressing  up); the tunic is more of a bodge job as the weekend was running out and I don’t see it get much repeat wear.  But still, not bad for a weekend’s work from a novice seamstress.

Now we just have to fashion a sword and dagger (I’m thinking cardborad and silver paper) and we’re all set for Thursdsay.  Son has promised me I can take photos of him in costume as my fee.  And I am barely resisting the urge to build a stash of fat quarters …


I’ve joined the Seamstresses’ Guild

look at the skirt wot I made
'made by me' skirt

I really enjoyed the sewing class yesterday. Thanks to lovely Emma and Natalie (Made by Me) I have finally made a garment without it being chewed up and spat out by the sewing machine. I love the fabric and colour, and really like the hem and the way the skirt falls. Hopefully I will get to some more of their one-off workshops and once I have all my OU out of the way I’d like to maybe take an evening class. And/or turn up at my parents’ with a bolt of cloth, a pattern and a ‘muuuuuum….’ look on my face.

Oh it turns out that a respectable almost-married woman like myself is unlikely to be admiteed to the Seamstresses’ Guild. At least I am a member in good standing of the Ankh-Morpork Guild of Knitters and Allied Crafts.

guild coat of arms


Last year I taught myself to crochet and became proudly bi-craftual. Now I am going to break my final craft-frontier, the one my mum could never get me over, and learn to use a sewing machine. I have signed up for a sewing workshop next weekend, to learn to sew and make a skirt. And mum says I can have my gran’s old machine if I want it. Yay hay for crafting.

Meanwhile in sock-land, I have taken yesterday’s needle-loss as sign from the knit-goddesses that rushing to make these socks isn’t a good idea and have them on hold (possibly for a Christmas gift). Instead I will concentrate on Mum’s birthday gift, I’m planning to make her a Jeannie shawl and am taking the opportunity of being in London tomorrow to go to Stash Yarns for some Smooshy.

at least some people appreciate their socks

Yes I am still bitter about the whole sock-shrinking incident and intend to carry this grudge around for a long, long time. Still at least someone in this house appreciates the joy of hand knitted socks. Son’s cub leader is having a baby and I’ve been encouraging him to learn to knit so he can make something for the baby. He says he will, and that I should make the baby some socks, because that they would make the baby sleep because they are all warm Awww. Way to get yourself more socks made, son.