So when our duvet cover split across the top seam - a casualty of being tugged and pulled up around our shoulders - forking out £30 for a new one wasn't the obvious option. Especially when I still had some silk left over from our bedroom blind.
With its bird-cage design, it was bought to remind us of our honeymoon in Paris where every single market trader seemed to have a job lot of ornamental bird cages to shift.
There wasn't enough width to just sew a strip straight across the duvet cover top, so I cut my fabric into panels, matching the pattern, with a wider piece in the centre and two smaller ones at the side (see! I have done a Diagram!). I could have just sewn two long panels together, but it seemed wise to at least attempt a bit of symmetry.
I fixed the split seam of the duvet together with a wide zigzag stitch.
The next job was to pin the replacement panel over the edge of the duvet. This was not done particularly precisely. A duvet is meant to look crumpled, I reasoned - if the end result wasn't iron-flat it wouldn't be the end of the world. After stitching the panel around the top of the duvet, I unpicked the stitching at the top edges in order to tuck in the edges of the panel and then resewed them in place.
So here is our duvet, in its refashioned cover, doing a rather sterling job of matching the blind and saving us £30. Would my grandmother have been impressed?
Probably not. One of her favourite stories was one involving Phylis, a young newlywed, and the daughter of my grandmother's friend. Phylis was showing her mother her new house, all excited with her decorating plans and schemes. She would have a sofa and curtains all 'to tone'. She would have the walls painted to tone and add some toning cushions.
Eventually her mother cracked. "Oh, bugger tone, Phylis," she said. "Let's have a cup of tea."