Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Things My Friends Get Me To Make

Sooooo, I love my friends and family, I really do, but sometimes I have to question not only their sanity in the things they ask me to make, but also my own in so readily agreeing to these odd requests.

Enter stage right Lucy, actual sister of my honourary sister, Katie, mother of Bertie and Pippa: "Holly, I'm going to a wedding in Barbados on Thursday and would really like to take some Mr & Mrs beach  towels as a present, but I can't find any, can you make me some?"  I am paraphrasing a bit (lot) but that is the gist of it.

Of course, like the idiot I am I agreed, as you do for friends, on the proviso that Lucy provide the towels as I didn't have time to go shopping for some.  It was only afterwards that I realised I didn't have a free night between then and Thursday (teaching Monday and Tuesday, dancing Wednesday).  Not a problem - I am queen of doing things better when I have the time pressure (hello, dissertation!).

Now, I was expecting pretty white towels and had planned to used some gorgeous grey roses fabric I had in my stash from this dress (available here and here too), which I still love and still wear, having put a new zip in it.  Elegant, sophisticated though.

However, when Lucy turned up, she had blue and white stripe beach towels with a red border - the only she could get apparently.  This totally threw me . . . for days.  I rooted through my stash - all two draws and giant box of it to find a suitable fabric and was coming up with nothing. Finally, on Wednesday before I went dancing I remembered that I had some red pindot fabric somewhere left over from the last rainbow dress I made and hunted for it.  It was in an entirely different drawer, where i also found a half-made dress that will no longer fit Pippa if I finish it, so I will have to find another two year old to give it to.

Anyway, my idea was there.  I would applique a Mrs & Mrs using this fabric.  I bonded teh fabric  to some bondaweb before going out and then finished it off when I got back in from dancing.  I was on a bit of a high as I had finally managed to master a step that had been getting my feet in tangles for the preceding few weeks, and I managed  to tap my heels more than my ankles in a jump move for the first time ever . . . and when I am on a high things get done.

I find applique pretty simple these days.  I use an old buttonhole foot so that I can see what I'm doing and so it glides over the stitches easily.  In this instance I used red thread.  I toyed with white and blue but decided red was the way forward.  My only issue was teh twists and curves and trying to get the bulk of the rest of the towels through the little gap in my machine - this is where I should have a quilting machine with an extra long arm, but I doing have a spare few thousand and can't warrant it as I am mostly a garment sewer.

I did get to use my new silk organza pressing cloth, which I am very happy with.  And to make these I have ticked off one of my to-do things for this year from this list - I have used my overlocker!  It has only taken me nearly a year.  Anyway, I ordered a metre of silk organza from eBay and then waiting aaaages for it to come as I didn't realised I had ordered it from Asia.  Then, I cut it into four and overlocked the edges (it was a good starter project).  I then added a ribbon to one corner so I can hang them and a little button for prettiness and voila.  I have also made a start on the jean task - I have made trousers but I am trying to perfect the fitting.  And I keep thinking about the coat, but am unable to decide on pattern/fabric.  I will have to get on with it though as we have had a few days of sun here in Yorkshire so I'm guessing summer is now over.  I always have plans to sew for Phil but never quite get round to it, and I am totally rethinking that Burda dress.

Anyway,  to finish off the towels, I added a little red heart button on each towel from my stash.

I  think Lucy liked them and I hope the bride and groom like them.

I showed pictures at work the next day and got from my colleague, Sal "I'll bring Seth's stuff in and you can put his name on everything!.  Of course, I said OK.

Anyway, I'm on with a commission today and my head is in the right place to get on with it so I had better do that.  First, I'd better go collect the fabric from the Royal Mail sorting office.   I'll let you know how it goes . . . .

Happy Crafting!



  1. What a lovely and original gift. I am sure they will be pleased. I did this technique at Xmas with some cushions. It's really satisfying isn't it. Well done on your to do list K xXx

  2. I don't mind the applique, but on giant beach towels I need a bigger machine xx


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