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!


  1. coral-seas says:

    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. Lady Fi says:

    Obstreperous – surely not! She looks adorable!

  3. Jules says:

    A true Queen of the Jungle!

  4. Penny says:

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

  5. RMW says:

    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.

  6. deanna7trees says:

    oh she is delightful. you did a grand job.

  7. Alex says:

    She’s a darling! Just a little…stubborn?!

  8. Carolyn says:

    She is just wonderful.

  9. She is gorgeous – so much more stylish than my very ordinary footstool …… I always sit with my feet up at home.

  10. Sandy says:

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

  11. elisabeth in CT says:

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

  12. karen says:

    she looks like Royalty with that beautiful blue cloth on her back. Well done, it’s great.

  13. Terrie says:

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

  14. MeganH says:


  15. Susan says:

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