Dressing Cécile

Cécile's Saddlecloth
Cécile’s Saddlecloth

Once she was fully reassembled, with a neat patch across her tummy to hide the joins of the sides and ends, I was very keen to put back Cécile’s glorious turquoise velvet saddlecloth. I started sewing it on in the centre of each long edge – roughly where her spine would be – and worked outwards, to make sure that the saddlecloth didn’t end up squiffy. I’ve also not stitched too closely, because I want the fabrics to be able to move a little when I put my feet on the finished footstool and the padding “gives” a little.

Céciles Browband
Cécile’s Browband

I should note in passing that while Cécile is unquestionably a darling, she’s been the most preposterously obstreperous pachyderm I’ve ever encountered. Getting her legs re-covered was hair-raising, getting the body attached suitably was a challenge and tidying up the undercarriage so that Cécile stayed in one piece involved the sort of contortions that make me wish I’d been doing yoga all my life!

Grandmama gave Cécile a browband of upholstery fringe – probably left over from one of the many lampshades she made – and that was the only real casualty of her years in the loft. Even a run through the washing machine didn’t revive it, so it was abandoned and replaced with a similar piece left over from a lampshade recovered by either my mother or myself. The tradition of keeping and reusing scraps is very strong in our family!

Cécile Finished!
Cécile Finished!

So here she is, refurbished and back to her former glory. I was very fond of Cécile when I was a child, and I’ve enjoyed bringing her back to life.

Even it she was occasionally obstreperous!

15 thoughts on “Dressing Cécile

  1. She doesn’t look obstreperous. She looks as if butter would not melt in her mouth! That turquoise velvet is indeed glorious.

    Great job!

  2. She’s wonderful (just ask her, she’ll tell you so herself *smile*)! I would almost hate to put my feet upon her.

  3. Truly an elegant elephant. Obstreperous? Surely not, you just haven’t done yoga all your life. (haha) I have no doubt she will be sweet to feet, yours for her “facelift” and an elephant never forgets, and everyone elses feet because that is the reason for her existence, and she will doubtless not be a shirker.

  4. I’m giggling over the expression on Cecile’s face: “Obst . . . who, ME?”

  5. She’s lovely! May she give you (and your feet) many more years of pleasure. Thanks for sharing her rehabilitation with us.

  6. Gentle and gorgeous Cecile ! Truely brings the great memory with it’s facelift I’m sure.
    Agree it looks like Royalty – Thailand like.

  7. Bravo!!!! You did a marvelous job. And well worth your time and effort. After all, she’s a member of your family.

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