In the past few years I've discovered the "stash". I know those who patchwork and sew will smile at my innocence. Who knew there would be such beauty in all those pieces of fabric.
I am trying to improve my sewing and knitting, I think they are skills that develop with repetition. Often when my sister visits, I get her to teach me how to do something I haven't been able to manage on my own and slowly I'm becoming more confident and happier with my finished work. Suzanne, who runs the sewing circle where I work, is going to teach me how to darn. I have a couple of jumpers that have small holes in them and they will have many more years of service when I fix those holes. Darning was the way women used to mend socks, jumpers and precious hand made clothes. Most women knew how to darn and mend but along with a lot of other useful activities, it's no longer common. In the past, women made do with what they had and it was seen as wasteful to throw something away simply because it had a hole in it. We need to get back into that mending mindset because the true cost of "cheap" clothes is damaging our environment.
One of the handicrafts I've discovered is stitchery, or as my grandma would call it, fancywork. I love drawing patterns and stitching them to see what they look like. They make wonderful gifts as they can be tailored to suit the person who will receive it and although they look complicated, they're quite simple and straight forward to make. Pictured above are two works in progress that will be given as Christmas gifts this year.
I have big plans for my little sewing room. I hope it will be a place of homely creativity, where clothes are given a second life, where my sewing talents develop, where fabric and stitch combine to produce beautiful gifts and where all aspects my simple life will continue to emerge and sustain us.