17 April 2013

Time to get back to work?

You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet around here lately. I hinted in my last post that I was about to go on holidays, somewhere a little cold. Well, I've actually been back for more than 2 weeks now, and am still trying to get back in the swing of things.

I had a month away from home with my family, mostly in Europe, spending some time there with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law (also holidaying), and most of it with my parents-in-law, who since buying a house in Switzerland a few years ago have been progressively spending more time there than here.

Once I got away, it didn't take me long to lose the urge to be sewing something, or thinking about sewing something, or planning on sewing something. After arriving home it took me 3 days to put fabric to a machine, and I only did that because I'd had an order while away that I had promised to deliver directly after Easter. That didn't stop me from taking happy snaps of every fabric shop and sewing machine shop that I saw while I was away. I didn't actually venture into many of them. Fabrics in Switzerland tend to be quite expensive, and the one time that I thought I'd try and have a conversation with a shop owner, she didn't speak any English, so that didn't work. Paris however, had a multitude of shops, all in the same area, with very reasonably priced fabrics. It would have helped if I was actually looking for something specific, because as I didn't have anything in mind that I needed, I found it hard to find anything I wanted to buy.

I did add to my fabric stash while I was away. Firstly my mother-in-law gave me the pick of some fabric that she had acquired when she bought her house in Switzerland. She apparently disposed of 5 large bags of fabric that she deemed not worth keeping, and had one more bag left for me to look through. Here are the ones that I kept.

Fabric on the bottom of the pile is my new curtain fabric purchased in Montmartre

There are quite a few short lengths of calico, with some notations stuck to a few. Not quite sure what they mean. Prices maybe? I've given them a wash and they look like new again. One of these lengths is a heavier fabric, and there is quite a lot of it.
I have had an idea in the back of my mind to use a piece of fabric from my stash to make myself a tailored coat for winter, but needed something to give it a bit more body. This last piece of fabric jumped out at me as soon as I saw it. It will go great as interlining for my coat. I'm sure you'll hear more about that later, when I get around to doing it.

The other addition to my stash was a length of upholstery fabric that my husband spotted in Montmartre in Paris. We're going to use it for curtains in our library. Although calling it a library is a bit of a stretch at the moment. I think "room where all the junk gets dumped" might be more accurate at the moment. What do you think of the books? Pretty perfect for a library if you ask me!

There is one other reason that I haven't been able to get back into the swing of some regular sewing yet. While we were away we thought it was a good opportunity to have some essential repairs done around our house (and a new kitchen!) and, well, needless to say, it didn't all get finished before we got back. (This is the other reason that we have a "room where all the junk gets dumped"). I have only just gotten a kitchen that works, having had my appliances installed on Monday, so I can now cook without having to find a spare piece of bench to use the crock pot or electric frypan. I'm looking forward to trying a batch of macarons in the new oven, but am a little scared of getting the temperature right, as my experiments thus far would suggest that the temperature control is a little off, and the oven heats too high.

I'm sure in time I will get around to sharing more of my adventures in Switzerland and Paris, and my new oven of course, so stay tuned...

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