Tag Archives: Osborne & Little

Sewing Just For Me

A Boxful Of Bling, Rocking Dog

A Boxful Of Bling

Yesterday I did some sewing just for me, and no darling Sorrel I haven’t forgotten your bay window curtains! I was sewingly unsociable shut away in my workroom. The heat outside was uncomfortably unbearable and the news on the radio too depressing for words. I decided to simply shut the door and sew something creative for the kennel.

A cushion-less chair provided fodder for a Rocking Dog sewing pimp.The chair which dates from the 1930’s has been with us for the last 25 years or so. I can’t remember where it came from or how much (or little) we paid for it. For the majority of that time it has been cushionless and therefore a fairly large and useless piece of furniture. It’s funny how you live with some things without question, and the way that they harmoniously blend into the background despite their lack of function.

The day had finally come to make cushions for the long forgotten chair. I started with an old grain sack which my lovely friend Steph had bought me back from India. It had seemingly witnessed overfilled hard times, it required a little patching to make a serviceable cushion. I used some ancient Osborne & Little fabric salvaged from the bottom of my workroom curtains. The oval panels contain exotically dressed little figures and I thought these would make ideal sack patches. I used metallic thread to sew the patches and became evermore crotchety when the thread repeatedly snapped! I then added some Indian bling with sequinned paisley pieces, and glittery braids. I added detail to both sides of the sack, so that I could use the cushion with either the pink script or the red peacock. With all the patching and blinging completed I could then sew the sack into a cushion.

Whilst creating, I loved listening to Woman’s Hour, it was an edition dedicated to young women and social media. Oh dear, I did feel more than a little despondent listening to women with millions of followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc… My blog is a bit like my gym membership that I had for years, I was ever hopeful that one day I would jump out of bed and realise that I wanted to exercise for the rest of my life! Alas, the day never came and reluctantly I gave up my membership… but it took several procrastinatingly expensive years! As for my blogging… I sometimes wonder whether I should put my energies elsewhere, however there is always the hope that it will get spotted somewhere along the line…… Check out rubyetc …love that girls work and she deserves all those followers… She describes in line drawings my own struggles with bra shopping and the like SO blooming perfectly!

Back to Planet Cushion! Stuffing was a messy affair. I made a cotton liner commensurate in size to the sack. I then filled it with feathers and down from an old sofa cushion. The liner was given a few lines of stitching to prevent any feathers escaping, and then it was time to introduce the cover to the cushion pad. As I wanted the cushion still to be identifiable as a sack I top stitched the opening rather than doing a more conventional concealed seam.

For the seat cushion I used a remnant of brightly coloured Sanderson crewelwork (from the very lovely boys at Whittaker Wells) and completed it with ribbon ties. Thankfully I didn’t have to deal with more loose feather and down as I found a large cushion pad, phew! Voila! my sewing project was complete.

Yesterday evening I did a lovely Mall catch up with my friend Di (lots of talk and not a lot of shopping generally) and we spotted some great cushions in M&S, very Anthropologie. As ever the Dog loves to over-gild everything so I couldn’t resist a bobbled embroidered number to utterly frou the new chair.

Now for those bay window curtains……I’m done with being selfish!

Cushionless Chair, Rocking Dog

Cushionless Chair

Indian Grain Sack, Rocking Dog

Indian Grain Sack

TLC Needed!, Rocking Dog

TLC Needed!

Splendid Patch, Rocking Dog

Splendid Patch

Sequinned Bling, Rocking Dog

Sequinned Bling

Sew The Sack, Rocking Dog

Sew The Sack

Add Crewelwork Cushion, Rocking Dog

Add Crewelwork Cushion

Comfy Seat, Rocking Dog

Comfy Seat

Final Flourish, Rocking Dog

Final Flourish

Rocking Dog Let Loose In London!

Veritable Vegetables By Rachel Nettles, Rocking Dog

Veritable Vegetables By Rachel Nettles

Rocking Dog took a trip to The Big Smoke for Country Living’s Build-A-Business Day. The trip also provided the opportunity to catch up with my girls, and to revel in the joys of Liberty. A stroll down the entire length of the Kings Road followed. My intention was to eventually get to the V&A to see the Undressed-A brief history of underwear exhibition. However, my love of rediscovering all the wonderful items on sale at Liberty rendered time too short to do culture. What a Philistine I am! Filming was going on in the store, with the TV crew shooting “The Apprentice”. That duly explained the sinister convoy of black people carriers outside. I received some of the best customer service ever from Clare in the china department. Thank you Clare you were so helpful.

Along the Kings Road I was stopped in my tracks by a window display under construction. I needed to find out more about the truly beautiful vegetables and flowers that littered a little section of Anthropologie. They were the amazing free motion embroidery work of Rachel Nettles who is the temporary artist in residence. Her work perfectly complements the advent of the up and coming Chelsea Flower Show. Absolutely delicious and covetable items and an amazingly personable woman.

Back on the street other shops are also beginning to show signs of Flower Show fever and there are frenzied bits of frou’ing going on.

Wednesday dawned with a walk to Hackney station, a misty stroll took me on pathways bordered with swathes of cow parsley and neatly stacked gravestones. The commute into the heart of the Metropolis was a baptism of fire. I find it difficult to contemplate how Londoners cope day in, day out with the misery of overpacked tubes and trains. I salute you!

The Build-A-Business Day was held at the Good Housekeeping Cookery School in Soho, and it proved to be a really interesting day. Apart from some inspirational speakers including Emma Bridgewater and Sophie Conran, it was lovely to meet other creative bod’s who were already running businesses or looking to set up businesses. There was good information provided on business planning, submitting press releases and the importance of social media. An opportunity was given for those who wished to pitch their products, so out came my stockings and advent calendars! A delicious lunch together with goody bag completed a very enjoyable and thought provoking day. The CL team were great, very approachable and friendly. Once this wedding is over I am going to have a serious talk with myself, and try to decide how to go about putting Rocking Dog firmly on the map!

On the way to Paddington I couldn’t help myself from making a beeline to a stall in Soho selling material and trims. I bought some gorgeous vintage braids, a plan for them I have not, but a gorgeous addition to Material Mountain.

It was so lovely to be indulgent with time for myself, and I even had the courage to ask for an eyeliner masterclass in MAC. Adele eat your heart out!

Planet wedding really starts gathering pace, and today i’ll perhaps finish THE coat! Other tasks await me on copious lists.

PS Many thanks to Liberty, Designer’s Guild and Osborne and Little for being so receptive in my request for fabric swatches for a special project.

Liberty Flowers, Rocking Dog

Liberty Flowers

The Apprentice Cars, Rocking Dog

The Apprentice Cars

Anthropologie Window, Rocking Dog

Anthropologie Window

More Rachel Nettles, Rocking Dog

More Rachel Nettles

Ready For Chelsea, Rocking Dog

Ready For Chelsea

Iconic Landmark, Rocking Dog

Iconic Landmark

Hackney Walk, Rocking Dog

Hackney Walk

Feeling Inspired, Rocking Dog

Feeling Inspired

Vintage Braid Buys, Rocking Dog

Vintage Braid Buys