Sing the greys

When I bought my overlocker machine a few years ago (from the loveliest people that run the ‘Espace machines à coudre’ sewing machine shop at 154 Chausée d’Ixelles, Brussels) the lady there gave me one of my favourite tips ever: use grey thread! As advice goes it might not sound that life-changing, but it was a great (small) revelation for me. I wasn’t sure how much thread I’d get through on my overlocker (given the spools are bigger than on a sewing machine) so I didn’t want to buy a huge selection of colours – also, no one wants to change the thread on their overlocker machine all the time. So she recommended I go for grey thread as it goes with everything. And, wow, was she right. I pretty much stick to this ‘rule’ now and mostly use grey thread for all sewing – both on the sewing machine and overlocker. I love the way it looks against all colours of fabric, dark and light. And it seems better to have a smaller selection of colours and work with them, rather than having a huge collection of colours to perfectly match all fabric colours. Obviously there will be some instances and on some more transparent fabrics where you really need and want matching thread, but I’m talking about for general stitching when you can’t see your stitches.

And recently the grey thread advice has seeped into my fabric choices too. I’ve made two grey jumpers this year (as yet unblogged) and I made this dress at the beginning of 2019, so thought it was time to post about it. It’s the Martha dress from Tilly and the Buttons. You can’t see them so well in these pictures but the bell sleeves are a really nice shape.

If I make this pattern again I would work a bit on the fit at the back neckline but all in all I’m happy with it. I actually have no recollection of where the fabric comes from (eeek, not good – trying to be way more mindful about buying fabric these days) but it’s been in my stash for a while and is a lovely soft and drapey cotton with a bit of stretch in it. These pictures were taken by my lovely friend Grace last February (!) when we had a worrying heatwave on a lovely Saturday afternoon down by the canal when we went to the Mima museum.

The title of this post is the name of a 2006 song from Scottish band Frightened Rabbit. It’s been over a year since lead singer Scott Hutchison very sadly took his own life, on 10 May 2018.  His family have set up ‘Make Tiny Changes‘ a Scottish mental health charity set up in Scott’s memory with a focus on young people and children. And if you don’t know the music of Frightened Rabbit yet, go and listen, you are in for a treat. So whether it is in grey or in another hue, we can all make the world a more colourful place – and “make tiny changes” as Scott sung.




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