Mending the Lady in the Garden

The Lady Pyjama Case
The Lady Pyjama Case

Grandmama worked this pyjama case for my mother when she was a little girl. It’s beautifully worked, but slightly faded now, and the decorative stitching over the edges has all but disintegrated. Mam has asked me to reinstate that stitching.

It’s a good thing that my collection of stranded cotton includes some of Grandmama’s threads and that of various great aunts. That gives me a chance of finding something not a million miles removed!

Damage To Repair
Damage To Repair

There’s some damage to repair as well. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do so – there’s nowhere with spare threads to repair to attempt an invisible darn. So for now, I have outlined the area in split stitch, and I am going to concentrate – or try to concentrate – on putting in place a suitable border. The original was purple blanket stitch overlaid with pink herringbone, but we’ve decided that purple overlaid with green will work better in the room it will live in.

Multithread Edging
Multithread Edging

But we’ve already made a discovery. This slightly Art Deco looking border is the internal edging. It’s still undamaged, and I’m leaving well alone, but my Mam says she never remembers registering the detail here when she was a little girl!

We are pretty sure that the legendary Miss Hunter was involved in the stitching of this, so I’ve got a lot to live up to!

Meanwhile, in other news, Episode Fifteen of SlowTVStitchery is available, and concerns ideas for managing details, and the management of Very Long Projects.


  1. Sue Jones says:

    The outer edging should be fairly repairable as you can simply replace the lot.
    As for the stain and hole, can you do a thread count of the fabric – it looks to be evenweave? Is it linen? It’s probably not impossible to find a second hand tray cloth or something which can provide enough well-washed linen for a patch.

  2. Jen Mullen says:

    Memories and dreams wrapped up in the piece! Homage to your grandmother and the legendary Miss Hunter. 🙂

  3. Lady Fi says:

    It is lovely!

  4. Lin Tarrant says:

    Lovely project to work on. xx

  5. Oh what a delightful crinoline lady, very much of her time, and beautifully stitched. I remember an embroidered cushion cover that sat in my grandmother’s chair, which she had worked herself. It too was just lovely, with a mouse, and waving corn and flowers. I wish I still had it, but I guess it was lost many years ago. I hope you enjoy the repairs and rejuvenations.
    Am saving episode 15 until I have time to watch 🙂

  6. Carolyn Foley says:

    This will be as much a challenge as your other projects.

  7. Pence says:

    Perhaps put a patch over the hole with the original maker and date if you have it and your name and date for the restoration.

  8. And now episode 16!! I’m glad you’ve taken out the outline on the little girl, it was bothering me (not that this matters!!) The border is looking grand and I’ve just realised that you are now approaching the the most complex area of stitching aren’t you? All those arms and legs and little bodies to get right. Your idea of layering gauze on the back before you pick out the details later on is nothing short of inspired.
    Looking forward to episode 17 now 🙂

  9. karen says:

    how lovely that you have this to restore, to add something of yourself too. I am certain it’s in very good hands with you!