Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A nautical Sunday

On Sunday I made a little cushion cover for my son.

I hear you saying, enough already with the cushion covers. The truth is I can't control it.  I haven't actually bought a cushion for about 10 years because (a) I rarely like the ones I see in shops and (b) the ones I did like were $150 plus. 

But now, I control the fabric, the cost, the timing and the cushion cover itself.  And so all that pent up cushion buying is exploding out of me in no uncertain terms.

Zips now hold no fear for me.  The zipper footer has been conquered. I can do zips on the edge and zips under a flap. I can do long zips and short zips. Ugly zips and pretty zips.  

I can do plain cushions and flowery cushions. 

And home made cushions are such great value.  Although it has been pointed out to me that if I costed my cushion making activities by reference to my hourly charge out rate as a lawyer, then my cushions would be far from good value.   They might in fact actually cost upwards of $600 per cushion including materials and labour.   Like me, you should choose to ignore that uncomfortable fact as it takes a little bit of the fun out of the exercise. 

On Sunday I thought - what about a collage cushion?  This would enable me to use up all those old jeans and overalls and tops which little P keeps growing out of rather than giving them all to the Salvos. 

So here is a boat cushion.

The base cover is navy cotton, the boat hull is from a pair of Gant jeans, the left side sail is from a pair of Boden overalls, the mast is some brown linen I found, the flag is a Gap T Shirt and the right hand side (or should that be aft?) is from a linen bag I had lying around.

I cut out a paper template first, and then used that as a base for the pieces.  I found it helped immeasurably to iron the pieces with the hem folded in first  so that the edges would not play up during sewing.  

And then, feeling a metaphorical salty breeze in my hair, I had a lovely lunch for a friend's birthday here:

This is the kiosk at the end of St Kilda Pier, which was originally built between 1900 and 1914 and then completely destroyed by an arsonist in 2004.  It was then rebuilt to the original 1904 plans.    I don't usually like new things built to look old but this resurrection is respectful and appropriate and I can't think of anything better to go here. 

The kiosk was run by a series of long term tenants, including a Mr Francis Parer, who lived in the kiosk for 30 years until 1930 and served 'fish and fruit luncheons without any intoxicating liquors of any sort'  and the Kerbys (Colin Kerby retired in 1987 having worked in the kiosk since 1934 from a young age). 

It was one of those perfect, windless 25 degree days in Melbourne.  Little cotton clouds appeared then moved on south.   The beach was crowded but not overly so.  Rollerbladers, grungy locals, plump tourists and fishermen mingled on the pier.    Little children splashed in the shallows and sunbakers (yes they still exist) slathered on sunscreen and settled down for an afternoon's tanning.   

This is the view facing south-east from the pier on Sunday.   

(Image of Kiosk and history from skhs.org.au)


karen said...

That pillow is amazing! So so cute!

brismod said...

How do you do that? Combining a sewing cushion post with historical architecture post so seamlessly (no pun intended). Can't believe why any one would want to burn down a historical building...

Unknown said...

I love that pillow! It looks fantastic, you're a talented pillow seamstress!!! Janette x

Mise said...

I love the jaunty freshness of that cushion - very nicely done! And it's tempting to cost all the time as money, but really it wouldn't be possible to work effectively without variety and headspace, so the sewing is valuable relaxation and will add to your reputation as a brilliant all-rounder!

Monika said...

Dear Jane, this cushion cover is fantastic! Well done! And I am totally envious of the beautiful Australian weather!!! I wish I were there!

Laura said...

But would you otherwise be spending your cushion making time lawyering? Hopefully not, we all need a break now and again! I think your cushions are incredibly good value (in addition to being absolutely charming of course).

nevin said...

So special little cushion cover for a little lucky boy ..

Katrina said...

The pillow looks great! I have 3 boys and would love one of those!!

Ange said...

Right so at your hourly rate I will not ask you to sew my cushions although I am very dearly tempted to do so!!! I'm in for you being my lawyer though - could you throw a cushion in on the side? ;-)

Jane said...

Ange - great idea - I could provide a cushion as part of my advisory services and for you to sit on during long conferences. xoxo

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Brilliant cushion, Jane. ...... and a lovely history lesson about the pier. How often do we hear of a pier buring down ? I think that some of the piers here in the U.K. have been burnt by the owners as obviously the insurance money is needed for upkeep and repairs !!!! XXXX

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Jane oh Jane - this cushion addiction is a good addiction. You are incredibly creative & oh so "green" re-purposing little one's old duds. You could quit your day job..lol

When I got down to the photo of the beach, I nearly had to put on sunshades. The colors are gorgeous & bright. Were those plump tourists by any chance Americans!?

Wanted you to know I so appreciated your fabulous advice & the terrific quote. All very taken to heart. Your the best ♥

Lovely weekend to you Jane x

Amanda (Small Acorns) said...

Well at first I thought I could definitely emply your skills as a cushion maker. Good ones are surprisingly hard to find. But I'm afraid your hourly rate is just a tad steep. Great cushion!
And thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. I so appreciated everyone's comments and advice. xx

jane said...

i love it. you can go on as much as you like;) p.s. it´s been snowing here all day. thanks for these!

Millie said...

Hi my name is Millie & I can't sew a thing, so I'm in awe of your talents Jane! Delightful tale of the St. Kilda Pier Kiosk, & yes, the replacement is very schmick. Sunday's weather was quite something, we enjoyed dinner with friends at Beaumaris & the sea breeze down there was a joy.
Millie ^_^

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