I’ve recently started making things again after a good few years of being quite creatively dormant (apart from that novel I’ve been writing. But that’s a different kind of creativity isn’t it? I mean, you can’t wear a book). It arose out of necessity: we’d just moved into a new flat with ceiling-mounted curtain rails and I couldn’t buy curtains long enough. Reluctantly I fished the sewing machine out from a dusty corner.

I’d learned the basics of dressmaking as a kid, but had never become proficient, mainly due to my inborn lack of patience and attention to detail. In the past, even curtains had been a bit of a trauma to make – I sewed panels upside down, measured lengths wrong and generally ended up with a dog’s breakfast.

However, this time I vowed to be more accurate. After traipsing up to this amazing fabric shop in North Finchley* I was determined to make curtains worthy of this seriously banging fabric. And guess what! They didn’t turn out too bad (although I wish I’d remembered in time about pattern matching 😕).

In situ
And with a Betsey

Not long after that, I decided to use some of my ageing stash of vintage curtains to make myself some lovely new lampshades. I’d never made lampshades before and fully expected to be bamboozled, but these kits are absolutely foolproof, even for me. And the results are super-professional – in fact I felt quite the fraud when friends complimented me. Here are some of my efforts:

Pretty nice huh?!

*If you’re into furnishing fabrics, I definitely recommend a visit here. They have two shops plus a warehouse within a couple of streets of each other (although they seemed to be in flux when I visited, so I recommend you check before you go), and all the staff were truly helpful and interested in what they were selling. One of the warehouse chaps had been in the trade all his life, and mentioned how a combination of business rates and Amazon was putting shops like theirs out of business, and it’s such a shame to lose proper family businesses where the staff know and care about their products. So use em or lose em!

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