This episode is subtitled: ‘Just act normal…’
We have a few widows and widowers who come into the shop. Sometimes they want to buy flowers or a birthday card but other times they just want a bit of company. I always think it’s best not to go overboard with sympathy and not avoid mentioning the loved one they’ve lost. But who knows whether this is the right thing to do? Oh dear, I hope I’m not adding to their suffering!
A little while ago we prepared the funeral flowers for Mrs Lucas’ husband, Arthur. It was a beautiful tribute of roses in bright yellows, oranges and reds, which reminded everyone (apparently) of the roses in his garden – his pride and joy. She was so grateful that we were able to help her give him this final gift. She pops into Tulips quite often now and I know she has her good days and bad days.
‘I can hardly hear you!’ I shouted and the booming sound of my voice reverberated around the van making Blue wince. We were out on deliveries when I got that quiet call from Gillian who was on her own in the shop and nervous that Mrs Lucas had been mooching round for quite a long time, possibly needing a shoulder to cry on.
‘I don’t know what to say to her,’ she whispered, slightly panicky.
‘Ask her how Arthur’s roses are,’ I suggested.
‘That sounds a bit blunt. Could I offer her a cup of tea instead?’
‘I don’t think we should be too quick to give out free tea when I have part ownership in a tea room next door! Don’t worry, I’ll be back in a few minutes so I’ll have a chat with her if she’s still there.’
Five minutes later Blue and I strolled in and as I caught sight of Mrs Lucas looking at our new range of vases I asked breezily, ‘How are Arthur’s roses?’
‘That’s funny,’ she said, ‘your friend, here, asked me the same thing a couple of minutes ago.’ Gillian looked sheepish and disappeared into the back.
‘They look every bit as magnificent as they did last year,’ she continued, ‘so I’d like to know why he felt the need to spend so much time on them when they look splendid without him!’ Her face was sunny at the thought of Arthur and the roses, but then turned a little more serious.
‘Actually, Jenny, I was hoping to catch you. You may think I’m being too cheeky but my neighbour was going to get rid of these lovely jeans because they are too short for her little girl. I saw what you’d done with some a few weeks ago and thought you might do the same for my neighbour. Would you mind?’
(No sign of any distress today, then. Good.)
Torn between wanting to help someone out and being very busy at the moment, I hit on a solution that I hoped would suit everyone. I turned the task into this week’s salvage project.
These jeans had sequins on the back pockets so it would be a shame for me to shorten them and add the interchangeable patches like I did in episode 31 so I suggested I turned them into a skirt insead.
First of all I cut the legs off.
Then unpicked the stitches from the inside of both legs. On the back I took the white top-stitching out up to the point that the two rows were heading in a straight line towards the waistband. I didn’t want to take it out all the way to the waistband because that would have been tricky to stitch back up.
I used a piece of paper to determine the size of the triangle I needed to cut from the spare leg fabric to fill the gaps – one at the back and one at the front – making sure I’d added enough seam allowance.
I zigzagged round the raw edges of each triangle before pinning them into place.
I top-stitched them, following the original rows of stitches. Here’s what it looked like on the inside, back and front.
And right way out, the back looked like this.
And the front….. whoops, I’d chopped a bit too much off one of the legs.
Ah well, that was easily sorted with the hem.
- When you insert the pieces of paper and draw the triangles on to determine the size and shape of the gaps, don’t forget to add a seam allowance before you cut them.
- You could use the interchangeable motif idea when you turn a pair of jeans into a skirt, unless the back pocket is as sparkly as this one.
- Pair of jeans
There might just be enough of the warm weather left to enjoy this fun skirt, but I think it would also look great with thick tights in the winter. In fact, have I got any old jeans I’ve could turn into a skirt…?
See you all next week.