Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Of late, sewing has been a difficult thing around here. I can tell you, without any compromises to any individual's privacy, that I am exhausted at the end of each day. Many people find the pre-school years challenging, but the level of challenge I have faced would be the stuff of most people's nightmares.

I think the kind of journey I have been through having a child with the kind of disability mine has, has left me with the mentality that life is what it is. My thinking has been hugely shaped by 2 books, "Man's search for meaning" by Viktor Frankl, and it was this book about managing suffering that helped me when things were very low. Also I have been hugely influenced by the writings of Zen Buddhist teacher Charlotte Joko Beck - the philosophies are very powerful: life is what it is, and in full experiencing whatever that is, is the joy of life.

And if nothing else, you should see our diet! It is so healthy. We have cashew nut kefir smoothies with vegetable juice for breakfast,and that's only the beginning. I sometimes think I should show you all the cooking I've been doing because that is where all my creativity is going.

I made a pair of corduroy pants for winter. They are nothing special. I used Burda 7192 - it has some interesting design features. They have this interesting fly facing, and the front topstitching is angled to match:
And this strange pocket flap which I immediately sewed down:

The back view is why cord gets a bad rap. It never does anyone's backside any favours - could be a granny style cardy opportunity, that's what I am thinking:

The front. I like the flare of these cords. And they are, after all, super comfortable which is why we do such unkind things to our flabby tummies and saggy botties.

I love how they feel on, but think that this is not the right pattern for corduroy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Still alive, still kicking

I got quite the surprise yesterday to receive not one but two queries about my blog absence. Fancy that! People read my blog!

A whole kaleidoscope of events have got between me and my sewing machine and me and the computer. It's pretty simple, actually, time and energy - never enough of either. Oh and a difficult project that I am a little lost in.

I am working on the Ottobre sheath dress from the 05/2012 - appropriately named "old school teacher" dress. You have got to hand it to Ottobre, they know their market well.

It relies on perfect fit to achieve any kind of class. The plan was to make a quick test garment and adjust only I got stymied by my fabric which turned out not to be a "Nick dog" (that's what Nick calls the worst of the detritus in his shop) but a Nick pure breed. Pure wool gabardine. Suddenly it had to be unpicked and resewn with respect. Gabardine is not the easiest fabric either - it's easy to under or over press. The dress oscillates between darts that hardy hold their crispness to steam puckers around the zip. Hardly any of the seams are 'just so.'

Still I persist and I hope my diligence shall be rewarded with a beautifully fitted sheath dress that looks more 'school mam chic' than 'old teacher.'

In the meantime, I have some more unpicking on it to do, so it won't be until well after Easter.

I did make a pair of corduroy trousers (Burda 7738). They are a little pajama like in their appearance and in their comfort level, so I feel very on trend. (am I the only person out there to mock the current fashion for night wear as day wear?)

I do also want to share with you some fabric purchases, which I hope you will enjoy. I went to Dunedin last week for a family celebration and popped into the Caroll St branch of the Presbyterian Support Services charity shop. They collect all fabric donated to them over the year and have a big sale one Saturday in June. They kindly let me browse out the back of the shop in storage those fabrics yet to be sent to the warehouse. I found these 4 lovely fabrics.

1 piece of NZ milled wool, complete with label for you to sew into your garment (how thoughtful), in Granny lavender
2 dress length pieces of wool crepe
1 piece of Irish tweed.

Aren't they lovely? The great thing about Dunedin is that vintage wool is perfectly preserved, not even a hint of moth damage. I never once growing up had to worry about weevils in my rice, moths in my cupboards or ants in my sugar. The cold climate sure has its advantages, even bugs like to eat their meals in comfort.