I looked up the meaning of ‘bee’ in ‘sewing bee’ and it means a group of people working together for the same end.  Sadly, there’s only been me here sewing but I’ve been enjoying it all the same!

So, as much of the DIY in the kitchen is done, other than a few jobs for Edward to finish when he can get back to them, my attention has shifted to the soft furnishings, or lack of them…


It’s so nice to have the walls painted but sitting at the table with the dark outside isn’t so inviting!

It’s Curtains!!

So, on one of our days off recently, we went over to Fontaine Danielle, a beautiful village that has a lake, a mill and a shop, ‘Toile de Mayenne‘, which is a great source of inspiration for anything to do with soft furnishings.  Oh, and there are tonnes of opportunities to buy things too!

While browsing through the curtains in the sale, we came across some lovely fabric, which we thought would be ideal for the kitchen – there was just 2.5 m left on the roll, which we bought for 20 Euros 🙂


Back at the ranch, I set about working out how I was going to use it.  We already had a fully interlined door curtain, which we wanted to use in the kitchen but which was too short for the doorway.  I also found I had some remnants of this fabric, which I thought I could make into curtains for the windows, along with the material from the mill shop….

It was going to go perfectly with the door curtain fabric!


So, next step was to make all the necessary calculations and set about cutting the door curtain – took me a while to pluck up the courage!!


By cutting a section at the bottom of the curtain, the plan was to add a panel of the new fabric, add some more interlining and backing, add some trim and hey presto, we have an elegant new curtain, in the style of those we’d seen at the ‘Toile de Mayenne‘.




Window dressing

A couple of weeks ago, we bought some ‘dormer window’ curtain poles at the Bricomarché that was closing down in Villaines…. Insead of drawing the curtains across on a pole or rail, these poles swing across from the corner of the recess and when open, sit back against the wall of the window reveal – we thought they would make a nice alternative.

I made the window curtains in the same style to match the door curtain and had just enough fabric to complete the task…

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It already feels warmer in the kitchen and is much more inviting!


There was even a little fabric left over to make some ‘instant’ pictures!


New life for old furniture

Just before we moved into La Biochère, we bought a three piece suite from a couple via AngloInfo.  Ruth and Kevin have become our friends and we’re looking forward to showing them what we’ve done to the settee and one of the armchairs when they next come to visit!



We always knew we would re-cover them, but finding the time was the biggest problem!  I’ve been looking forward to it and found a large bolt of fabric I’ve kept for a long time, which was just perfect for the job…


My grandmother was an upholsterer by trade and I think I must have inherited some of her genes!  She used to make soft furnishings for many of the manor houses and stately homes around Kent…. Incidentally, I’m still using the little ‘wrist pincushion’ she made for me when I was about 12 years old!!


So, back to the settee and armchair – I made patterns for the side pieces, measured the seat and back cushions, cut the fabric to size and fitted each one to the respective cushion before sewing up the covers….


Colin helped to keep me entertained – finding a nice little cosy nest in one of the old covers for the day, after a night out….


Eight cushions were recovered in all…


Two days later, it was done!




I still have the chairs around the kitchen table to recover, but that doesn’t involve sewing, so will wait for now. ♥