Saturday, 26 October 2013

Mending And Making Do

Recent high winds did a fair bit of damage to our Cornerstones garden fence [thank you Alwyn, our neighbour, who phoned us at the time, and brother Adrian who did a temporary repair] Good weather on Thursday meant Bob was able to fix some new panels [when time, and budget permits, we hope to replace them all]

IMG_0957 IMG_0955 IMG_0956 Meanwhile Jon and Liz had arrived with some mending for me. Jon’s “Shutt Velo Rapide” cycling top had developed holes in the pocket. When he contacted them, they sent a strip of fabric for him to patch it with!




The strip was only 1” wide – so I ended up cutting it in half, and sewing the two bits together which I then fixed right across the base of the three pockets to give them all extra strength.

Meanwhile Liz had a jumper which arrived with the collar band unstitched. She contacted the company and they sent her a refund. And I mended the jumper [one of the threads sorted out earlier was a perfect match] It is almost invisible!


IMG_0952-001I was feeling very pleased with our mending skills till Friday, when Bob and I visited the Bridewell Museum in Norwich. It was excellent- great displays and very informative. I was particularly taken with “Spitfire Cottage” – a doll’s house built during WW2 by two teachers in Norwich.

IMG_0980IMG_0985   Look at the amazing detail – all made from scraps. The WC is a broken clay pipe, other tiny fittings made from cut up ping pong balls and plastic thimbles – slivers of wood, matchsticks and scraps of metal, fabric and paper have produced a wonderfully detailed piece. Even the books have tiny words on the covers, and are coloured in authentic ‘Penguin’ style!


The loo flushes! My parents had a bath rack like that IMG_0978

Notice the hand embroidered antimacassar on the back of the sofa and the woven rush footstool


See the tiny wooden rolling pin, and the roller towel on the wall  IMG_0982

The amazing electric fire with reflecting concave back – and the neatest doyley under the fruit bowl IMG_0981

That doll- barely ½” tall has a crocheted dress to wear.   IMG_0983

Such amazing detail. Hand woven, carved, knitted, sewn and crafted…

I am in awe of such meticulous workmanship! [should that be work-woman-ship?] The broom is less than 3” high. It is all a truly brilliant piece of work.

I do hope their exhibition raised lots of money – these two women had worked so hard to recreate a 1940’s home in meticulous detail. Many people are complaining about living in “21st Century Austerity Britain” – but it is a shame that the make-do-and-mend attitude of the War Years was forgotten so quickly by so many people, who opted to live in a throwaway society.  I love recycling, refurbishing, repurposing and redeeming those things which others are discarding.


  1. What an amazing miniature house (I hesitate to call it a dolls' house!) - I remember how much I loved my dolls' house, but I had nothing as intricate as this!

  2. Spitfire cottage..what a work of art. They must have been such patient ladies to do such tiny work.
    (I think it should be 'work-person- ship!!)

  3. Beautiful craftsmanship in there - I am in awe of the tiny pictures of animals on the nursery wall! Next time we are in Norwich, we ought to go and see for ourselves - it looks inspirational - thank you for sharing that xx

  4. My dream is to make a miniature house with all its miniature fixings one day! This one is amazing. But then so is your sweater mending. Very nice job, my dear!


  5. The house is amazing...such detail.
    Jane x

  6. Wow so much patience and hard work that has gone into this house is amazing. Those two ladies have great talent and a wonderful imagination.


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