Fruit?! I know, I know, you just want to see the sewing but I wish to draw an analogy and so I beg a minute of your time kind ladies and sirs.
You see, it occurred to me as we munched our way through possibly the last bowl of home-grown, organic, free-range, cruelty-free strawberries that there is a connection between sewing and strawberries. No, it is not to do with the much discussed price of a bowl of strawberries and cream at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Nor do I mean that my sewing is prone to aphids and mildew. What I realised as I ate the last of our garden-grown strawberries is that, although they were delicious, they have required some considerable effort:
In the autumn I tended to the individual plants, making sure they were weed-free and had plenty of space. In early summer, I lifted the developing berries onto a bed of dry leaves in order to dissuade the slugs and woodlice from making them their meals or homes. As the fruit has ripened I have fended off snails aplenty (we appear to offer suitable habitat to every polymorph of the banded land snail, I swear we could house a national collection) and it’s been a daily race between me and the blackbirds to see who spots the ripe fruit first. All in all, it has been hard work. But we have been rewarded! The fruit, although variable in size, knobbly and misshapen, has been fragrant and sweet and we have shared it with the legions of invertebrates and birds that share our patch of green.
I think that it is the same with home sewing. There is much effort involved and, for me, although my ‘reward’ – the finished sewing product – may be a little misshapen and knobbly, it’s hand-grown, me-made, and the sense of achievement is fragrant and sweet.
Oh my gosh, after all that, finally, tell me, what did you sew?
OK, you ready? I sewed:
The culottes are New Look 6626, for which I have no envelope and no date. I suspect them to be of an early 80s origin but I’d love to have a precise date, can anyone oblige? I cut a size 12, which, when the origami-like sewing was over, was surprisingly close to my preferred fit although I did have to make very narrow side seams. And a tiny hem.
The top is based on the bodice section of the dress pattern created for the V&A Golden Age of Couture Exhibition.
The whole outfit had quite a croquet vibe,
and is pretty sport friendly:
“Snow, rain, thunder… Lightning!”
What about The Secret Sporty Thing?
Oh my goodness! Have I forgotten to tell you what my Secret Sporty Thing was? You have been most patient. The Secret Sporty Thing, the Thing that necessitated the wearing of long sleeves: It was tree-top, it was an adventure and it involved ropes and helmets*. Here’s some evidence of me and my close kin stepping off something high, I’m about 2 minutes in:
Karen, thank you for being an effusive, gracious and inclusive host. Sporty Summer Sewathon, I salute you!
* High Ropes Oxford: Most brilliant!