the ugliest white skirt imaginable, which isn’t even in my size, ruffles in all the wrong places, an asymmetric hem, down at the back and up at the front.
Another trip to my local charity shop, I’m light very little cash but I have 2 weenie little plaid shirts (age3) 50p each, and a ladies plaid shirt in a pretty lavender and cool green which will pretty up my planned plaid quilt with some more feminine colours.
A beautiful Monsoon Blouse for £2, and the ugliest white skirt imaginable, which isn’t even in my size, ruffles in all the wrong places, all so badly gathered and stitched in place, and an asymmetric hem, which hung down at the back and rose up at the front, a real horror. £1.50
Why? You may well ask, although the skirt looked rather sad it was made of fine cotton lawn, and was lined in the same fabric, and edged in the some nice quality Guipure lace.
The skirt was a supermarket brand, the materials were good but it was badly made, and badly designed. Who on earth wants a ruffle around the hips adding inches at the very place you want it to skim? And why stitch on and edge the ruffle in polyester thread which either was cream or has yellowed so making the whole skirt look grubby. The one thing you want from white clothing is the fresh look of pure white, grubby white will never be a good look.
So I bought it to cut up, and for £1.50 and a little work I got more than a yard of fine white cotton lawn, not suitable for patchwork, but perfect for foundation piecing, and linings where you don’t want what is underneath to show through; a white zip, a spare button, and 3 and a half yards of good white lace, which I’m sure I’ll find a use for. All I threw out was the ruffle.
Lastly a completed embroidery, of an Amish scene with quilts! All I need now is to find a suitable frame for it, and it can hang in my workroom, 50p and there was another canvas in the bag with crewel wool, I might give that to a friend who does embroideries, as I doubt whether I will ever find time to stitch it myself.
So, having cut up all my charity shop shirts I have a satisfactory pile of checked fabrics which make the beginnings of a potential new plaid quilt. I think I need some more greens and also some more deep saturated colours. I’m going to keep collecting till I have a mix I like, and then start cutting.
One secondary benefit of all those shirts is a healthy supply of shirt buttons to add to my button jar. Pictured are my shirt buttons and a selection of buttons which were orphaned and hanging about the house in drawers and on surfaces waiting to be re-homed.
Being a practical person, when I come home from a shopping trip with a new garment I always cut off the little plastic bag with the spare buttons in and put them carefully aside in case I ever lose a button… but I’m also a great believer of that old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” or in this case “a stitch in time saves having to replace a button” so if I see a loose button I re-stitch it, consequently I rarely lose my buttons. Those many little plastic bags containing buttons remain long after the garment they came with has long since departed my wardrobe.
These buttons in bags have mostly gravitated to my button jar, but they do not have much to recommend aesthetically, in fact as a button jar mine was hardly a thing of beauty. Plastic has its place and I would not be without it, but it is not pleasing to the eye.
Taking as my guide William Morris, who said “Have nothing in your house which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” I want my button jar to be both useful and beautiful. I have ejected all the plastic and added the shirt buttons. It is only a small jar, and not very full but time will take care of that, grandma’s always have the most well stocked button collections and I have a few years to go yet before I will qualify, age wise. I wonder how many plaid shirt quilts I would have to make to fill the jar? But then if I use the buttons to tie the quilt I might end up buying buttons.