It seems timely to post about sewing, what with The Great British Sewing Bee starting later this evening. I'm not sure what competitive sewing will do for me but it certainly beats the endless talent shows/reality TV onslaught. At least, I hope so. At the very least I may pick up a few ideas.
In true 'make do and mend' style, my sewing kit is often wheeled out when a seam tears or a button comes off. But I also have a sewing machine and have made a few basic items. I actually quite enjoy it.
I bought the sewing box years ago from some catalogue shop - possibly Index (does that still exist?) and it's very similar to my mum's. Her sewing machine was an old Singer though, with a metal treadle. It folded away into a big wooden unit and my Grandad bought it initially for her sister (who was more interested in hairdressing). Mum's sewing box was a source of fascination for me as a little girl. The rolls of thick white elastic were my favourite; the long-suffering cat would sit there as I played 'vet' and bandaged its legs, then stagger off with its limbs stiff and bound. Pinty, if you're reading this from up there, I'm truly sorry.
My kit consists of many items: needles, pins, buttons, cotton, darning wool, Dylon dyes, sewing machine instructions and parts... some of the stuff in there has been picked up over the years from flea markets and junk shops, and bought purely for the retro packaging.
Of course, some of these things will probably never be used. But others (tailor's chalk, tape measure, pinking shears) come out quite often. I need a new pair of scissors, come to think of it.
That means a trip to John Lewis. It's the only place I know with a decent haberdashery department. Future projects may well include me trying my hand at quilting - I would love to do that - and possibly making something to wear. If I find the right fabric. It seems that most places now only sell upholstery fabrics and material for soft furnishings. Dressmaking fabric's pretty hard to find. I know you can buy online but surely you need to touch and feel first? I'll keep an eye out and put my faith in the laws of attraction.