Sewing and the kindness of strangers

My daughter and son-in-law have moved to the South-East of England and last weekend I went down by train to visit. I had made a promise to make a new slip-cover for their wing chair while I was there.

My daughter had gone to some trouble to find suitable furnishing fabric, and in end had picked a beautiful teal-blue heavy cotton/jute mix. The fabric was sold as ‘pre-washed’, so it could be used straight away. So, on the Friday night, I did the last bit of unpicking of the old cover, then spread out all the old pieces onto the four metres of new fabric. Once I was confident that everything fitted, I wielded my cutting-out scissors until there was a neat pile of new pieces, all labelled and ready to sew the next day.

On Saturday after breakfast, we got out the sewing machine, only to discover that although the machine had arrived safely in the removal van, its foot pedal had not!

We rang shops and suppliers in the area, trying to rent a machine but without success One or two of my daughter’s contacts were tried for the loan of a machine, but no one was at home (it was a UK Bank Holiday). Things weren’t looking good for the chair cover. Finally, she tried a local community group on Facebook to see if anyone could lend us a sewing machine for the weekend and amazingly we got a quick response from someone I will call ‘B’ . We made a short trip to pick it up and found a Toyota machine in the case which looked rather like this one.

It worked beautifully, and I made such good progress on the cover, that I was also able to make a couple of cushion lovers in the lush velvet my daughter had also chosen for the project. I could even take some time out on the Sunday afternoon to enjoy the local area!

So here’s the chair stripped down to its original upholstery, with the old cover removed.

Here is the chair with the new cover partly done and further below you can see the finished chair, with a newly re-stuffed seat cushion and one of the velvet cushions in place.

All this was only possible due to the kindness of a stranger who trusted me with a precious sewing machine.

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This is my ‘Mama Camel and Baby’ fabric design. You can find it here.

Mama camel and baby

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