Posts tagged Sewing World

My “cwtch”

Cwtch [pronounced cootch].   (adj) (v) Welsh.

I like the word cwtch.  It’s a nice word.  A warm and fuzzy word.  It’s also a word with more than one meaning.

Now my favourite definition of the word is the verb (to cwtch).  It means to hug; to cuddle; to comfort.  If one of my children fell over when they were little they would want a cwtch from Mammy to make them better.  If I’m feeling chilly in the evening, there’s no better way to get warm than a cwtch from my hubby.  See?  Nice word.  Use it lots.

The other definition of cwtch is the one I want to tell you about today.  It’s also a nice word.  It describes a small, cosy space.  Most Welsh houses have a “cwtch dan stâr” (the little space under the staircase); or if your puppy has been naughty you may tell him to “cer cwtch!” (go to your basket!). 

I have my own cwtch where I sew.  My cwtch is at the top of the stairs outside my bedroom door.  It’s where the landing turns to make a [very little] “L” shape.  My sewing table just about squeezes into my cwtch. 

On top of my table I have my sewing machine; my overlocker; my lamp; my ham & sleeve roll; my magazine holders full of “Sewing World”, “Sew Hip” & “Sew” magazines; my quilting extension table and the thing that catches all the bits from my overlocker.

Underneath the table I have a little chest of drawers full of all my bits & bobs and sewing paraphenalia; my plastic boxes and bags of fabric; my bin and my chair.

RIMG0239

RIMG0241

(note: the bannister is quite useful to hold “work in progress”)

Ok, not a very organised or practical cwtch (to sew, everything has to be moved and dumped on my bed) but it’s mine.  It’s warm and cosy and quiet and I rarely get disturbed.  It’s where all my creations are – well – created!  It’s where all my disasters happen.  It would be nice to have a bigger cwtch – perhaps enough space so I don’t need to hire a removal van every time I want to stich a hem – but then it wouldn’t be a cwtch……… would it?

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I think I must be mad …

Honestly, why do I put myself up for these things??

For those of you who don’t live in Wales, we have just celebrated St David’s Day.  If, like me you work in a primary school, that means Welsh Dragon pictures everywhere, leeks, cawl (lamb & vegetable soup) for dinner, Eisteddfods (song, poetry & dance competitions) and, most importantly, little girls dressed in Welsh costumes.

Chloe in Welsh Costume around 2002

Chloe in Welsh Costume around 2002

A few of the teachers mentioned that they’d like to dress up on the day too but adult costumes can’t be bought “off the peg” and cost upwards of £150 to have made specially.  So of course I said “I’ll make some ready for next year for you”.  Nice idea but where on earth am I going to get a pattern???
After a lot of fruitless searching of pattern catalogues I decided to get some proper advice.  I emailed St Fagins, National Museum of Welsh Life who suggested I contact The National Wool Museum in Drefach-Felindre.  Apparently they make the traditional fabric there and also “made to order” costumes so they may be able to help with a pattern. 
I also emailed “Sewing World” magazine.  Julie Bonnar, the Assistant Editor, got straight back to me with suggestions of patterns I could adapt.  Many thanks Julie!  And of course Babs, my lovely tutor, had lots of good ideas too – she suggested using a simple kimono pattern and adapting that to suit. 
I’ve now got about 11 months to work on this project ~ I’ll keep you posted.

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