Eek! How exciting – the very first post on our brand spanking new See What I Made blog. I had no idea quite how much mental energy this would take but I’m hoping that once I get started I’ll be on a roll! This must be how an artist feels when faced with a blank canvas – terrified! A few weeks ago I was churning out sewing projects like I was on fire, coming up with multiple blog posts a day (in my head) but now, having spent at least three weeks trying to work out how to add a facebook icon to our sidebar, I’m totally over it.
One thing I have not tired of, however, is thinking about what to do with the many metres of African fabric I have purchased in a frenzy this summer. It must be something to do with my African heritage – to look at me, I’m Irish through and through, dark hair, freckles, pale skin, purple veins near the surface – the whole kit and kaboodle, but last week I had a conversation with my Italian dentist which went along these lines;
Me: I’ve got six wisdom teeth and one of them is annoying me.
Dentist: Eet is nat passible, only Africans have seeks wisdam teeth. (He may have done his training in Jamaica.)
Me: ( looking sceptically at my pale freckly arms) No, it’s true, I do.
Dentist: hoh ma gatt, you have seeks wisdom teeth!
Me: I know- sure I told you that.
Him: you need to check your family history…
Hmmmm, this may explain my obsession….Anyway,with the first piece I bought, I have made a pencil skirt, my other big love this summer – with trainers, like a middle-aged Eliza Doolittle (the pop-star, not she of the bad grammar and common ways).
I was so excited by the skirt that I decided to make a jacket with what was left over ( I bought a lot – I couldn’t help myself). It’s quite stiff cotton because of the residual batik wax and also the fact that, much to my great sadness, it’s not 100% cotton (although it’s just too cool to lose much sleep over) but it needed a bit of something to make it a bit more substantial for a jacket. I decided to pad it a bit with some very thin polyester wadding and a contrasting blue-poly cotton backing fabric. (Note to self – stay away from naked flames.) I don’t know how quilters do it; after what felt like two hours of sewing up and down and back up again, I finally had my fabric quilted and ready to cut out.
I made this little cropped jacket but before I got as far as adding the trimmings I showed to my husband, who is actually a very good and much relied upon fashion critic, although only by me. He looked at me in my half made piece of tailoring and tilted his head to one side – a sure sign he was coming up with something witty and amusing (in his own opinion). Eventually his thoughts were complete; ” you look like an African woman’s oven mitt” What?! All this effort with the flammable fabric,the wadding and the sewing up and down. I was spitting polyester feathers. However, I shall rise above it – my jacket is finished, a fetching orange trim has been added, the whole thing has been bias bound and I am ready for action.
The urge to wear them both together is enormous but l am resisting – unless I get invited to a fancy dress party, in which case I will be there as a Northern Irish Winnie Mandela.