Back Into Boxes and Another New Girl

It must be that time of year

Hexagon Sewing Box - French Mercerie

I love making these but there are lots of bits and pieces and it really is a labour of love.  It’s just from time to time I am inexplicably drawn to making another one

Hexagon Sewing Box Paris Interior

– or in this case, two.


The last big vide grenier of the year took place recently and this was on the first stand I came to so I wrestled Mr. T to the ground   persuaded Mr. T we needed yet another antique mannequin in the house and a deal was done.

Antique French Manneguin Size52 (1)The covering is more like silk than linen and surely shaped for a corset so probably late 19th century.

Antique French Mannequin 52 (2)She is what I call ‘headmistress shaped’ because my fearsome headmistress at school was engineered by vicious undergarments  to look rather like this – she used to remind me of a figurehead at the prow of an old ship.  So ‘Miss Viner’ has joined my other girls but I will never refer to her as ‘cheap and nasty’ as she used to do to us if we committed any misdemeanour, even one as small as talking in class (as I did – often)

I am doing quite well with my dog bandanas in aid of the local rescue.  There will be a stand at a big Christmas Fair this weekend and I am going to send some along for sale there.  Somebody told me about soaking them in an essential oil mixture which makes the dog smell nice and also repels fleas and other nasties so I am waiting for the recipe and might give it a try.  In the meantime, the patient Stan has posed for more photos.  Just wait until he sees what Mlle. Tialys the elder forced  persuaded me to buy for him when I was over in the U.K.  Even he might draw the line at it – watch this space!

dogbandanagreentartan (2)

Speaking of my U.K. visit, as well as the obligatory fish and chips, Indian meal and high street shopping, I also indulged in a bit of culture.  I  bribed Mlle. T. the elder to accompany me to see ‘Mr. Turner’, the film about the genius painter which was very good and set me up for my visit to Tate Britain to see the Late Turner Exhibition the next day.

Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth exhibited 1842 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851Joseph Mallord William Turner

Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth

This is one of my favourite paintings which was on display at the exhibition.

I have to say Mr Turner  is not really her sort of film and I did have to keep glancing sideways at her to make sure she was still awake but, afterward, she pronounced it ‘interesting’ which is all a mother can hope for.  By way of compensation I took out a second mortgage and we went to see the West End show ‘Sunny Afternoon’ which is a sort of biopic about The Kinks  and it was excellent and here is a reminder of the songwriting skills of Ray Davies and the band’s very distinctive sound.

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  1. #1 by Frivolous Monsters on December 3, 2014 - 13:44

    I would like a mannequin like that, but just to hang my coat on, although I imagine they’re expensive and doubt it would protect me from cat hairs from which I suffer. Plus, if it had a head, it would freak the neighbours out across the back garden as they’d think there was someone watching them.

    And I hear that Mr Turner has just been hacked by the North Koreans and is probably showing on the internet right about now.

  2. #2 by tialys on December 3, 2014 - 19:41

    Those cat hairs get everywhere don’t they?

    I have a very freakish baby mannequin which, not only has a head, but has drawn on features too. It comes to something when one is afraid to walk around one’s own house after dark.

    Timothy Spall is excellent in the film although he does go to town with the weird noises he makes and there are a couple of scenes where he indulges in sexual activity which resulted in my daughter hiding behind her hands because, of course, when you’re 21 it is a given that only young, slim, beautiful people have sex although, if I’m honest, I hid too.

  3. #3 by Jan Marriott on December 3, 2014 - 21:12

    How many Mannequins do you have?
    Want to see Mr Turner, it has not opened here yet. Is some of it filmed in Margate, where I grew up?

    Stan is looking very handsome!!

    • #4 by tialys on December 5, 2014 - 09:58

      I have 5 now, well 6 if you count one that is packaged up ready to go when somebody buys it! Oh, and I do have 3 infant ones but they aren’t very old.

      Some of Mr. Turner is set in Margate but, apparently, the town has been so modernised that they used Kingsand in Cornwall as a ‘double’.

  4. #5 by katechiconi on December 3, 2014 - 22:30

    Lovely box! Which reminds me, I still need to make a couple as gifts… Sounds like a great deal of fun was had on your expedition back to Perfide Albion…. That Stan crack me up, perfect posing with the throwing stick just out of shot!

    • #6 by tialys on December 5, 2014 - 09:51

      Thanks Kate. Yes, get on with it! You haven’t got nearly enough to do already 😉

  5. #7 by sew2pro on December 3, 2014 - 23:07

    Wow, the boxes look perfect!
    Good luck with the bandana sales. I think Stan is getting used to this modelling lark. Let’s hope he stays grounded.

    I haven’t see the Turner film and probably won’t get round to it now but was impressed by my friend’s high praise: she said it’s the only film in years she didn’t catnap through. It’s our age I guess.

    • #8 by tialys on December 5, 2014 - 09:50

      Stan is quite level headed. He has refused to start a Facebook page and has cancelled his Twitter account since being hounded by female admirers who want to have his puppies.

      I stayed awake through the Turner film too – unlike the first Lord of the Rings film when I woke up intermittently incredulous that it was still going on. I didn’t go to see the sequels!

  6. #9 by sew2pro on December 4, 2014 - 00:06

    Oh, and relieved (disappointed) your new girl is a mannequin and not, as I assumed title, another animal!

    • #10 by tialys on December 5, 2014 - 09:43

      Nooooo! I’m finding three rather a handful actually so there will be no holiday season visits to the rescue kennels this year unless it is to pass on money gleaned from the bandana sales of course.

  7. #11 by Lynn on December 4, 2014 - 03:39

    Thanks for the Kinks clip. I then linked to all the others I found on YouTube and had a great time bopping to them.

    • #12 by tialys on December 5, 2014 - 09:41

      I don’t know what happened to my link, it should have come up with a visual but I only got the text. Never mind – you clicked on it and had fun.

  8. #13 by vivienne blake on December 8, 2014 - 09:00

    I think there’s one more vide grenier here before Christmas: I’ll have to look out for a mannequin. I was never that shape even when young!
    The Cinema de la Plage has promised us Mister Turner in VO very soon. They give us tea and biscuits after the showing – it’s all very cosy. What willh my embarrassed husband do while the sex scenes are on?
    I love your boxes. Do you make them from scratch? what do you use for the basis?

    • #14 by tialys on December 19, 2014 - 08:52

      Luckily, they are not explicit scenes but embarrassing more because of the ‘fumbling’ nature and the fact it’s Timothy Spall. Have you seen it yet or was it an empty promise?

      The boxes are made from scratch. I have two kinds of cardstock – one quite thick for the exterior and the other a little thinner for the interior – so the box consists of a double layer of card. I pad the inner base, inner sides and the lid with wadding for a more luxurious feel then cover them with fabric. Then, with a mixture of gluing and tiny stitches (or as tiny as I can manage) the box is assembled in stages. At various times, there are pieces covered in clothes pegs which hold them together until dry and ready for sewing. The last, and most difficult, bit is the band that goes around the sides of the lid as this needs to be stitched on round the top and bottom and it is quite difficult to get the needle into the fabric and to try to make the stitches as inconspicuous as possible. They do take a while but I love choosing the fabrics and seeing the finished box so I will carry on making them from time to time. I did do a post showing the number of components needed but maybe I’ll do another one showing the steps of construction – well, maybe I’ll get round to it one of these days.

  9. #15 by Zoe on December 12, 2014 - 13:29

    My goodness those boxes are AMAZING! They must have taken you forever. xx

    • #16 by tialys on December 12, 2014 - 14:14

      Thanks Zoe. I have taken to doing them in stages now so that, each time I go into my workroom, I do another little bit and, that way, it doesn’t seem to take so long. Of course, that wouldn’t be possible if I were making them to order which is why I just make them when I’m in the mood 🙂

  10. #17 by Wendy on March 3, 2015 - 15:30

    Where can I buy the pattern for the hexagon sewing box please?

    • #18 by tialys on March 3, 2015 - 18:02

      Hi there and thank you for dropping by. I bought this pattern about 10 years ago when I still lived in the U.K. It came as a kit with the cardboard pieces and instructions. It was by an English company called ‘Dilys Designs’ I have googled it for you but can’t find much apart from this site which has lots of different shapes and sizes – although it is in the U.K. and I’m not sure whereabouts you are.

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