Sunday, 3 March 2013

Welcome, March!

I love March - February has it's snowdrops but it also has icy weather. March has daffodils and crocuses and amongst blustery chilly days can surprise you with sudden warmth and spring breezes. It sometimes has Easter in it, always has my birthday in it, and generally it is a month that makes me full of hope and green shoots of promise.

It also starts with St David's Day. I love marking Saints Days, and as I have Welsh heritage, St David's Day is a favourite. I bought a beautiful big bunch of daffodils for our windowsill, and sat them in a large cream jug to open. One of the things I love about daffodils is how they are always a surprise when they open. While they are tightly furled in their buds, you never know what colour you are going to get. I was hoping a little bit for the traditional bright gold for St David's Day, but was very pleased with the pale creamy outer petals and the pale lemony trumpets. I cooked Welsh lamb for our dinner, and had been planning to buy some Welsh Cakes for dessert, but alas the shop was sold out, and I was too tired to make any.

I spent yesterday morning with the lovely Apryl, who I used to work with at the library. We had both signed up to a free morning at our Adult Community Learning Centre to learn to repair and renovate clothes. There were ten of us altogether, and we started with the super basics - running stitch and backstitch - but then moved quickly on to some more interesting things. We learnt to sew a hem so that the stitches do not show, and a clever way of joining two pieces of fabric together, again hiding the stitches. We made buttonholes by hand, and then tried making them on the machine as well. We tried a few other things on the machine as well, and I came away feeling confident enough to try out my own sewing machine at last.

We walked back through the park, and I saw to my pleasure that the golden crocuses were starting to come out, on the bank the other side of the river. Around the war memorial, the grass was pricked with tiny patches of purple as the crocuses there started to flower.

We had our lunch at a new teashop, that used to be The Bookleaf Cafe. I do love a good teashop, and it had some pretty touches, but there was definitely something missing, slightly. The service was rather chaotic but the food was good, but it wasn't quite a proper tea shop, for all that it had flowery bunting and vintage china. I don't quite know how to put my finger on it.

That afternoon, I cut out the fabric for a red and white polka dotted dress. I chose the pattern because it was marked 'very easy' and had no elastic or zips to worry about, but laying out the pattern pieces and trying to remember which ones to lay out the right way up and which ones the wrong way up was more difficult than I hoped! I think it is one of those things that will get easier with practice, but I found myself checking and double checking everything several times. Then at last, time to wind up a bobbin with thread and get stitching. That proved a little easier said than done, but I now have most of it stitched - and found I really enjoyed making darts - hopefully I can finish it this week. I have enough fabric left that I am going to make a matching headband!

I hope by the time summer is here I am good enough at using the machine to be able to make lots of simple dresses in different patterned fabrics!

Wherever you are, I hope you are having a lovely Sunday evening
Love Mimi xxx

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