4

A practical project

In the last few months Sue’s Trifles has been in danger of becoming entirely a book blog. To restore a bit of variety and for the benefit of those of you, who have followed this blog for the craft posts, here is something a little different.

Just before I began blogging six years ago, I had made myself a dress to wear at a family wedding. Apart from a child’s dress, I have not done any dressmaking since then.

I decided it was about time I made myself a new dress. Starting my project was delayed. I looked for dress fabric in a shop and an indoor market, but nothing appealed to me. Then I went away for a week on the spur of the moment and had no opportunity to do anything about my project. After that I was catching up at home. Finally I looked on line and ordered two dress lengths from a company I had been satisfied with previously.

Usually when I am making a dress, I am rather obsessive about it and perhaps manage to complete it in a week. This time I took longer, perhaps slowed down by my online activities and trips out among other things. Anyhow the first dress is now finished. Its first outing was to a wedding blessing, where I was singing in the choir. Our choir robes do not fully hide our clothes and by a happy coincidence one of the colours in my dress material is a good match for the cherry red robes.

Dress in cotton lawn

Dress in cotton lawn

Both fabrics I chose were reduced, but one was more expensive than the other. I have made up the cheaper fabric first as a practice run. It is a printed cotton lawn. The second fabric is a Liberty print.

I have been told more than once that hindsight is a wonderful thing. If I buy fabric online again, I intend to enquire about the best colour match for thread and zips. It is difficult to distinguish white from cream on a computer screen. Also shopping online only allows a whole number of metres of fabric to be ordered. Sometimes fractions are useful.

I adapted a pattern I have used previously to allow for a few extra inches round my middle – time to lose weight?

As this post is published I have cut out the second dress and am well on the way to finishing it.

Liberty print dress in progress

Liberty print dress in progress

The photo shows the dress without the neck facing, which is  now attached, but not finished. After that there are the sleeves to make, a few seams to neaten and the hem to sort out. It could be finished by the weekend, but I am not forgoing any of my usual activities. It is not a race!

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6

What I read in June 2018 (Part4) The Lost Words

Well, here is the promised post all about a single book!

When an article appeared about a new edition of a children’s dictionary having lost some words about nature to make room for new words about technology, most people were disappointed. One person, who acted on his disappointment, was Robert Macfarlane (mentioned on my blog here).

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris has been more successful than anyone could have imagined. What has happened around it is now described as a movement. There have been crowd-funded appeals to place the book in every school in various counties around Britain. It has been used in homes for older people. Twitter is full of it. Jackie Morris has developed a new alphabet using otters in various positions to represent the letters. Her artwork has been auctioned to raise money for charities. The price of the book itself includes a donation to Action for Conservation. Another charity it is involved with is the John Muir Trust.

I received a copy of the book as a present, having seen it first at a writers’ conference.

It is a large format book. Each word has its own acrostic. The artwork is wonderful. There are hidden words and absent shapes.

It is a book, which works at many levels. It has inspired more pictures and writing, through its use in schools. There have been exhibitions in London and Edinburgh. It has also inspired a musical spin-off.

I learned that there are alternative spellings for a word, which I’d have spelled with four letters. With three it is a homonym of an animal. I began to write my own verse. Towards the end of June it had four lines. Four days later I added two more.

Lost Animal

In The Lost Words
I found a yak.
It made a racket
Looking for other herds.

Did you ever spy a yak
With a magpie on its back?

If you have read this far, I have an acrostic especially for you.

You
Are
Kind!

2

What I read in June 2018 (Part 3)


I bought the next two books in this series at the writers’ conference I wrote about earlier. I had met both the authors previously. Joyce Worsfold kept making remarks about her book, including a story about the reaction of a lady, who had read it. I was intrigued and bought the last remaining copy from the sales table.

I really enjoyed A Fistful of Marigolds by Joyce Worsfold. It was not a typical book by a member of the Association of Christian Writers. The opening reminded me of books by Tom Sharpe, although I suspect the author would prefer it to be compared with a fictional version of Gervase Phinn’s books. There were many issues among the schoolchildren in the story, which had many twists and turns and a satisfactory conclusion. (Joyce commented that she wasn’t sure whether the flowers on the cover were marigolds. I wonder whether they are chrysanthemums, similar to the ones I had as my wedding flowers. They could be pot marigolds.)

Clearing the Loft

Clearing the Loft

Clearing the Loft by John Wakeman is a booklet of poems and prose. I really enjoyed it. The author had added notes about each of the poems he included. Reading other people’s collections of poems, however interesting, does not bring my own poetry project much nearer to publication!