sunday sevens #17 & week 3, memademay


Here are my 7 photos for the week, in slide show format. Click to go to the show, which includes captions of explanation.


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Natalie, Threads and Bobbins, came up with the idea of Sunday Sevens. Anyone can join in, and you don’t have to do a post every Sunday or have 7 photos. Perfect for weeks when there’s not much to write about, but life happens.

  • For more about Gütermann thread’s secret hidey spool construction, read Yorkshire Karen’s post.
  • Some interesting thoughts about Clothes on BBC Radio 4’s Late Night Women’s Hour podcasts. Do be aware that as it’s late at night, some of the language is a bit different from what’s used at 10 in the morning. 😉
  • Eye-opening example of what happened with fabric construction when they cut their newest pattern cross grain instead of with grainline, from pattern company Decades of Style.

Added to my discoveries during MeMadeMay are cutoffs/culottes with pockets in black & maybe denim because I’m wearing the upcycled ones from friend Karen every week.


discovering shweshwe cotton


jill scott as precious ramotswe (wearing shweshwe by designer jo katsaras) on & courtesy of hbo (click to go to text & video clips)

Some months ago Anne (Compulsive Seamstress) and I were back-&-forthing about fabrics, and she suggested we do a swap. What a grand idea, I thought, and we’d been sending suggestions and photos back and forth since.

We had finalised things before Anne went off on her vacation several weeks ago. Just before she left she wrote, ‘maybe I’ll have something for you from my vacation.’

I had fun visualising her typing this out just before flinging herself onto a plane and zipping off to somewhere sunnier & warmer than Blighty. I had no idea she would be gone to South Africa for almost a month. Whee!

As you can read in her first returning post, and I do hope you’ll read it, she brought back a suitcase full of fabric for family & friends, including one for me. WOW!

The pattern she chose is a lovely piece of traditional Shweshwe cotton in a favourite colour: orange. Starting with the photos and references in her post (hope you’ve read it!) I began to find out more about Shweshwe and the pattern.

I love orange, and have made pumpkin pie from scratch rather than canned, so I’m especially pleased with the colour Anne chose, and I located the name: Cee Dee Pumpkin.*


Ended my research by finding this clip which shows & tells more about this fabric than I could ~ hope you enjoy it & the companion clip at the end of this post ~

Shweshwe starts at 36” wide before washing (and shrinking),which is very different from what I’m used to working with. That would definitely influence my decisions. But first, I wanted to understand what it is; i.e., the history behind the fabric, and how it’s used both now & in the past.

I want to respect the history and integrity of the cloth as I decide what to do with it, and Anne made sure to point out where I can get more if I need to ~ huge THANK YOU!

After all, we fabric lovers wanna know these things, right?

Here’s a repeat of Anne’s references with one or two more I found along the way, and a lovely wrap-up from South African morning telly to close. Hope everyone will enjoy learning more about this wonderful fabric.

researches . . .

Da Gama Textiles ~ Their site notes they do not sell directly to the public, but they have a good About Us page.

The Africa Fabric Shop (UK):

Then I wanted to see who the designer was (Jo Katsaras) & what they’d done with Shweshwe:

If you want to watch The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency on HBO

Also available on YouTube (and in original book forms by author Alexander McCall Smith in libraries & online sources).

The first lady detective in Botswana is Mma Precious Ramotswe, and her experiences form the core of this series, one of several series of adult and children’s books created by Mr. Smith. Jill Scott is pictured at the top of this post in her role as Mma Ramotswe.

* About the orange colour: I know from reading one of Smith’s books that Mma Ramotswe loves pumpkin, and it’s a widely grown & eaten vegetable in Botswana. Americans think of it as a special dessert for Thanksgiving and maybe Christmas; however, in Botswana it’s a vegetable.

Finish up by watching this delightful video clip of more fashion from the same designer, Palesa Mokubung of Mantsho, and a different presenter. Warning ~ they are talking very fast in multiple languages, so don’t worry if you aren’t understanding everything they’re saying.

sunday sevens #16


click to go to Zo’s page

Well, I wore my Morris jacket a few more times last week . . . .

I’m delighted we’re having slightly cooler weather for a couple of days, so I can.

You know I do wash it. 😉

Here are some Me Made May entries for last week ~ have forgotten a few & you need to mentally add that denim Morris. Captions are when your cursor hovers over a photo or you click one.

Keep counting, cause I’ve actually got 7 photos this week, so Natalie’s (Threads and Bobbins)   Sunday Sevens actually fits… except I missed Sunday. Anyone can join in, and details are quite flexible as we all know Life sometimes comes before sewing. (Horrors!)

And here’s a few more, for further glimpses of the rest of the week. Hard to believe the month’s half gone!


sunday sevens 15


click to go to Zo’s page

Natalie, over at Threads and Bobbins, came up with the idea of Sunday Sevens. Anyone can join in, and you don’t have to do a post every Sunday.

It’s also time for MeMadeMay16. Below are items I’ve worn last week. . . and add that Morris jacket about 3 different times.

I think that’s going to be a staple, and needs cloning. So does the Renfrew.

Now if I can just find the time . . .

Hope all U.S. mums have had a fabulous Mother’s Day, and

we all have a wonderful week ahead!

sunday sevens #14?


It’s been a while, but finally pulled few piccies together. It’s been work-work-work over here for da-a-ays, so no sewing.


Natalie, over at Threads and Bobbins, came up with the idea of Sunday Sevens. Anyone can join in, and you don’t have to do a post every Sunday.

took this last week, but have no idea what the bush is called.

took this last week, but have no idea what the bush is called.

The above prezzie from me to me arrived last week from a dear & very talented sewer in Canada, Josée Landry. I am seriously thrilled with it. Mmm-wah  & mille mercí, Josée!

it's been so hot & humid here these last few days have to keep me chocolate bickies in the frig, but still have 'em with hot cocoa... or tea!

it’s been very humid here so put chocolate bickies in the frig.  still have ’em with hot cocoa… or tea!