City Libraries.

Some of the best things about living in Christchurch are the City Libraries. Last year,when our local libraries were closed, we relied on the Mobile Library bus to bring us our weekly dose of the printed page. The staff became friends and we looked forward to our visits. They shared recommendations and even saved crafty and action adventure books they thought we might like.

Much as I love whiling away an afternoon at a bricks-and-mortar library, I’ve finally managed to drag myself into the 21st century library world with the realisation that I can download books right to my iPhone. And the best thing- when the lending period is up, the book zips itself back to the library. No more overdue fines! My latest crush is Reinvention by Maya Donenfeld and I was thrilled last week to find it availbale for immediate download. I suggested a while back that the library might like to purchase this book but to be able to tote it round on my laptop is magic.

Over the weekend, I had a go at the first project in the book, Maya’s Story Scarves. I like what she says about the scarf not being able to be planned ahead of time, that it evolves as it is pieced together. I’m a big fan of this kind of stitching and often spend days contemplating the bits I’m going to sew together for some patchy project. They get pinned up and arranged and re-arranged on the inspiration wall at school. The kids have their 2 cents worth and eventually something gets decided.

So, the bits for this. An old linen shirt and scraps of a printed linen skirt. A Japanese floral and some pieces of embroidery. Actually I’ve just realised that all these bits are leftovers from the pink wraparound dress. I also added the last few strips of one of my favourite thrifted fabrics – a soft cotton printed with scenes of New York. And then I pin tucked, pleated and stitched.

Extra lace was added with a doily and some crocheted cuffs found in last week’s treasure trove. It came together easily and all the while I was thinking of other versions. How about a completely linen one with with texture from pleats and tucks and gathers? Or a warm wintery flannel one from old work shirts? Or a woolly one with bits leftover from the quilts?

It was simple and fun, I love how it turned out. And a good project is always the one that you can’t wait to make the next version of. I can see that there’ll be plenty of versions of this.

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