Friday, 14 March 2014

Who on earth sews on a HOLIDAY?

My mother's lovely old Necchi sewing machine

I am always making something. Actually most of the stuff I make isn't for me at all. Something I am trying to remedy!

 I have arrived at my parents house in the past, and been faced with a large roll of furnishing fabric, and a lounge suite. Dark Brown. Kinda velvety. Not my favourite but it was very forgiving fabric and I managed to do a good job with my mothers old Necchi sewing machine.
This machine has defined what I do in my life. Given to my mother before I was born, it was the first machine I ever used,at about eight years old, and the first thing I ever made were rolls and rolls of  crepe paper Christmas decorations.  Cut strips of the paper and place together with white on one side, red or green on the other. Sew all the way up the centre, then cut into the edges of the paper to form a fringe. Twist and stick up on the ceiling.  Ever so retro! They lasted for years and years. From then on the Necchi was my favourite thing. It has a book of patterns that you can produce by slotting a lot of cogs together. I was fascinated.

When my family left what was Rhodesia, and moved to the UK, I used to go to church jumble sales and buy things and rehash them. Good old Necchi sewed them up again. We lived there a year, and then we moved to South Africa, and I  wanted to study to become a physiotherapist. I really wanted to be a vet, but a very sexist male vet said girls were too weak to become vets.

I didn't get accepted. My Dad saw an advert in the paper, "Fashion Design as a Career" and so I did that instead. 

Clever Dad. He saw what I just couldn't see.

So, here I am, on holiday, using the same machine. (Now 56 years old!)

 She still purrs away, and if she wasn't so terribly heavy I would bring her home with me. She weighs 15kg!

So, this time, so far, I have sewn a new net curtain for my Dad's lounge window. The cat ripped the old one. I hate net curtains, but you know how oldies love them.....

Karen and Dad on her new section
My sister and her partner have bought a hill and they are going to develop an eco campsite in the Valley of 1000 hills, and will be living in a caravan for a while. For her birthday I re-upholstered the squabs, changing them from grotty smelly dirty brown floral fabric to more modern grey, and I'm halfway through doing the curtains. The caravan is a very mouldy smelling old seventies thing.  Curtains are in a knit fabric, a bit of an experiment, but material is already available, so that's what she wants to use. As Durban is so humid everything goes mouldy and smelly if things are closed up for long.

Valley of 1000 hills
CAT the cat enjoying her new cat blanket infused with catnip

These were her adorable kittens
The cat that has adopted my father is very sweet but I don't think she had much of a good time as a kitten. She was a stray that produced the most lovely kittens when my Mum passed away and she has stayed on with my Dad and is great company for him. I bought some catnip and have made her a few catnip mice and a cat blanket for her to sit on with some catnip inside. She has turned into a very crazy sexy beast! I think she must be stoned!

I'm going to make one for my sisters cat too.

But I have made something for myself. I downloaded a program that gives you free pants and bodice blocks. Enter your measurements and hey presto out comes the pattern that will fit you. Hopefully anyway!

 I have a new wide format printer at home so I had a great day getting the printing correct, and as I had run out of time and had to leave for SA I took my patterns with me. I found some black velveteen in the bottom of the very musty linen cupboard and made up the pants pattern. Well, I am on a diet. I don't think I have lost that much weight, but sadly the pattern was WAY too big.  I took off 4cm on the back side seams , all the way down the leg, and 4cm on the front and back waistband and they do fit very well now. I also removed the darts at the back, and moved the front dart over my hip bone, which I find is a much better place to remove excess fabric.
The pictures are awful. Ghastly!!!

 I was so proud of my new velveteen pants, now I'm not so sure!

they feel better than they look!
Hmmm... more sit ups required! and make them shorter!

So... two weeks down and another 2 to go. Whats next?
Adust some shirts for my Dad,I think. And then? I have no idea!

1 comment:

  1. That's a fabulous story about your old sewing machine! And the cats look ADORABLE.