To the untrained eye I might not look much like a Domestic Goddess. I suppose it’s my well documented collection of neglected dust bunnies that might lead you to think I’m totally lacking in housekeeping skills.
Not so – I’m proud to report that I am a whiz with the sewing machine. I can also throw together a gourmet (vegan) feast quicker than any Jamie Oliver 30-minute meal. My home-made ginger cake is to die for, and I can knit striped socks and crochet a mean granny square if I’ve a mind to. And I’m given to exaggeration on occasion, but I digress.
I was looking for a particular coloured thread to make some alterations to a summer dress I haven’t worn for ages (I’m taking it IN – whoop, whoop!). Of course, no such hue was lurking in my (not inconsiderable) collection of needlework materials.
So I finally ventured into the dusty sewing box left to me by a dear family friend a long time ago. It was his late wife’s, and although I never met her, it has never before felt right to delve into her sewing stuff. It seemed intrusive at first, even after all this time.
Spoiler alert – I didn’t find the colour I was looking for.
Instead, I took a wonderful trip down memory lane as I rooted through items familiar in my childhood: old darning yarn, Redditch needles, silver thimbles and tailor’s chalk – and every shade of grey thread imaginable (probably not fifty shades though). I feel there’s a poem in there somewhere. Or a novel, perhaps?
Anyway, the best bit was reading the names on the labels. Back in the day, sewing threads were made of cotton and came on wooden spools. They cost 6½p from Woolworths and had names like: ‘Peach Rose’, ‘Old Gold’, ‘Kingfisher Blue’ and ‘Gay Green’.
I kid you not: Gay Green!
It’s a lovely colour of course, just not the right one for me to fix my frock.
But I definitely feel a poem coming on.