"I am worn to a ravelling"


My favourite of Beatrix Potter's tales has always been The Tailor of Gloucester. As a small child I imagine the appeal was the cavorting, singing animals and the sumptuous snowy Christmas setting. Now that I'm grown, I am enthralled by the needlework and the tailoring itself, and the industrious little tailor mouse and his helpers above all.

Whilst I was in Scotland my best friend popped a little card with the tailor mouse printed on the front through the letterbox.


The mice must complete the coat and waistcoat for the Lord Mayor's wedding, for the tailor has no more twist; no more cherry coloured embroidery thread!


Last Christmas time I spent an entire day watching the BBC's Beatrix Potter adaptations and embroidering (what else), only leaving the house to fetch some red ribbon. It was bitterly cold and snowing outside, and I felt exactly like the Tailor of Gloucester!

I knew that I had to use the tailor's deliciously sewing-specific phrase, "I am worn to a ravelling" in an embroidery somewhere down the line, and with the Big Teeth project the chance has finally come.

As you may remember from my earlier post, the heroine of Big Teeth, conversely to many fairy tale protagonists, is afraid of being tied down by love. Therefore I wanted to express her frustration at being finally "caught" with the tailor's phrase (particularly since all the contents of the pockets relate, in some way or another, to textiles).

For that embroidery's "sister", I used an equally delicious terrible pun, "Girl Afrayed" (I just couldn't help myself; it marries two of my favourite things, needlework and a Smiths song!)

These two little doilies will fill the penultimate and final pockets of Big Teeth.