The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Ah, plans.  Lovely lovely plans.  I do enjoy them.  They are so comforting, so reassuring.  They tell you what you’re doing, where you’re going and what you’re going to do when you get there.  A large part of me finds that deeply wonderful.

But then, life.

Life happens, often messily and when you’re not looking.  As Robbie Burns said, ‘The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley,’ (of course, I best remember this quote from a slightly different source)

Indeed, as Eddie says, plans ganging agley all over the place.

My plan last week was to make some cushions covers for a pair of gorgeous Ercol 364 Easy chairs

ercol easy chair
Mustard and grey velvet…(trust me)

– deep grey and mustard yellow, I thought, would look beautiful, as one frame was to be restored to blond wood and the other painted grey.  I could do them as an opposite pair, I thought.  I could do contrasting piping, I thought.  I could do them in velvet – that would be luuuuuuverly.



I didn’t know that velvet is actually really hard to work with, if you don’t have the right tools.  Like a walking foot on your sewing machine.  No, I did not know that it would be pretty much impossible to do what I planned to do with the tools I had available at the time.  I just went right on ahead and cut that velvet out, got stitching on my little old sewing machine – and spent the rest of the day swearing.  And unpicking.  And swearing some more.

After doing the research that I should have done before I started, I realised what was going wrong (velvet, for those of you that didn’t know already, ‘walks’ when it’s put right sides together…wriggling around all over the place, and not at all where you pinned it.) and I was able to sort it out.  My new walking foot will be arriving any day now.  And in the meantime, I stitched my cushions by hand, and while only one set is done so far, they look…great!  They even look just like the plan I had in mind.

Of course, I had planned to have at least 2, possibly 3, finished chairs by now, but hey – plans change.  They gang agley.  And that’s ok.  Like the mouse in the poem, (and the video) there may be no cheese for you today, but there’s always tomorrow.




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