…on my bow blouse
addiction love. And as an added extra, you get a hint about what pattern I’m using for my next Minerva network make …
Sigh. I’ve been out of touch the last week due to numerous reasons, but although I have lots to blog about, I haven’t quite got enough time for a true reveal today. There, that’s it, I won’t offer excuses, but the fact that I’ve had a good week without writing shows there’s been lots getting in the way! But it does mean that I’ve a veritable spaghetti junction of new makes to share with you, and a castaway also!! Watch this space.
Instead, some glimpses and tastes of just some of what I’ve been working at.
Yes, that is liberty, yes that is rick rack….ooh! Not quite finished yet. To Buttons, buttonholes and beyond!!
Now don’t look too closely …at the badly matching waistband and also at the hideous pocket shape: I so rushed this and my coverstitch wasn’t having any of it. Talk about BIG FALLING OUT. We are speaking again now, but we were in quite a huff with each other. That there though is one half of my fancy lace edge zips . And I can’t decide whether the project I’ve got cut out for using the rest of it is glam, or just plain risky!
And finally, check out this baby. Half done but seriously the best I’ve ever got to ( it actually looks neat and even)
I referred to the brilliant e-book published by Karen at Didyoumakethat. All you ever need to master bound buttonholes. It’s one of those eureka ! Moments!!
Hello folks. Today I am revealing not one but two recent makes. Wowzer. Hold onto your seats!
As suggested by the title, one of them is a brand new pattern from Named, the Blair batwing top. I have to say that since I first saw the first collection by Named I have been itching to try & buy. But making the choice as to what I would prioritise was the hardest. I mean as well as the Blair top, there’s the Tyler raglan sleeved shirt, and I am smitten with the Jamie jeans (not that I have made jeans ….yet). I could also easily be persuaded to buy the Dakota shawl collar dress, the Fran tie shirt and the Laurie striped tee. And if I were to tot that lot up, well, I’d be on gruel for a month. But the Blair top it was to be as I’d already bought this lush striped jersey for the purposes of a sweatshirt type thing to cosy up in during the winter evenings.
What I have ended up with is a cosy sweathshirt weight top that is not confined to the house as “lounge wear”, but could stand its ground in public as rather a stylish casual top. Now that is Blair for you. It’s the batwings that are not so 1980s that I feel a curly perm coming on. Its the drape caused by some clever oversizing at shoulders that isn’t too boxy & narrows down over the hips.
Hey, I guess I’m describing a “designer sweatshirt” here? Despite all that it is quite the opposite of figure hugging- quite a departure from my usual style, but that’s OK, I was after this loose & comfy look.
So now that I’ve waxed lyrical about the Blair styling, let’s get onto the fabric. We are venturing into navy territory, namely some navy needlecord (for the skirt – more of that later) and some wonderful jersey doubleknit (?) bought from my local fabric shop (doesn’t sell fabric online but thought I’d give Mark a shout out as it’s where I get my sewing machines & they’re so helpful and friendly there ). This fabric is gorgeous – quality quality quality, and it was pretty reasonably priced.
So onto the sewing. Folks, did you expect the Blair to be a complicated make? You’re not idiots, so of course you didn’t & it isn’t. But before we get onto the construction, be aware that these are downloadable patterns. I reckon the folks behind Named have thought long & hard about the relative merits/ downsides for downloadable patterns & unlike any other that I have downloaded, the Blair (& the couple of others – ahem – I downloaded) follow the same principle to reduce printing and I think in total extend over 12 printed pages. But what this means is that the preparation of the pattern before using has the added step of tracing since the different pieces overlay each other. It’s all very nice & clear, but not being a natural tracer, I’m not looking forward to the other patterns I’ve bought that have more pieces that will need tracing. The Blair top thankfully only has three pattern pieces. What this will mean for the other patterns is far less taping all of the sheets together, which can be soooo tedious when you get longer larger patterns. You can tell I just can’t be bothered with preparation & I like to dive in & get sewing!!! I think the fabric cutting stage is my least favorite regardless of how it’s delivered. Necessary of course, but not usually enjoyable. Call me a weirdo.
So now we can get onto the sewing. With three pattern pieces the sewing is a cinch. Even stripe matching. Zoom zoom. The instructions are all very clear, but there was a term I hadn’t come across . Named have this on their glossary to explain:
Framilon band - A thin and translucent rubber band that is used the same way as a regular elastic band but is slightly stiffer and slimmer.
By looking how it is used, I took it to mean a form of stay tape or clear elastic (for sewing in the shoulder seams to prevent saggage). I used clear elastic.
The neckline on tops is always a question. How will it be finished? Well, in the Blair Top the neckline is just a narrow double turned hem. I used my coverstitch machine, but you can see that the size of the head hole is quite large & probably won’t be under any stretching pressure to get it on / off (even with a curly perm).
I’ve found wearing it that in order for it to be snuggly I need to wear something with longer sleeves underneath, as the sleeve length ends just about bracelet length on me. But I’m sold. I love it. Wait till I show you my latest “lounge pants” that it gets worn with in the evenings after work!
So the skirt. This is Vogue 1247. My second incarnation, the first also being in a type of needlecord here. The first skirt I made I lined. I even cut out lining for this version, but to my shame “couldn’t be bothered”.
Remember this skirt has awesome pouch pockets?
And has a large amount of bias binding used. Spot another area with lack of bother? I had to use two different types of bias binding – the patterned is home-made, but that ran out.
What does this say to you? Speed sewing, no time to waste on buying a whole batch of matching bias or making a lining. Yes, it was one of those spontaneous makes with a wearing deadline! And it has been worn quite a bit. It’s a versatile casual skirt.
I love it with striped leggings & chunky boots. And now with my Blair top. Winter seems to be going navy!
Well hello there ! I’m starting a curiosity post here. Where are you on wearing patterned fabrics together? Do you like mixing things up or doesn’t it do anything for you? I like the idea as it is a form of self expression and creativity. Of course others might just see it as chaotic, a car crash, a terrible mess. But when you sew your own clothes and are always drawn to the brightly coloured beautiful patterned fabrics and overlook the rolls of good solid quality fabric, does that have to limit your wardrobe and outfit options?
What are the secrets to success? I think we can we get away with wearing a stripe and a polkadot together? A quick internet search found this post by the Chic Fashionista about mixing patterns and texture in outfits.
It’s all about scale, colour families, breaking it up and not over contriving. So maybe then quite a lot of my polkadots for example are small and can be (arguably) mixed with another pattern. Equally, I love pinstripes, but they are generally not too thick and dominant and can therefore be a base for a polka dot or a floral. I’m going to test this out looking back on some of my past outfits. I can see that mixing patterns up, makes me think a bit more carefully about accessories: scarves, belts etc and this will be how I have looked at something & thought “yikes! let’s break it up a bit”.
A stripe and a floral?
Elephants and a floral?
[Gosh those broad beans were good that summer .....!]
Floral cardigan and polka dot scarf plus skirt?
A pinstripe and polka dot?
Another floral and pinstripe:
Yet another take on a floral and a larger stripe:
But getting a bit more rad, what about a floral and another floral?
- Pin stripe meringue
- Pin stripe Chardon skirt
- Chiffon top Butterick 3082 (The “Anti Climax Blouse”)
- Hot Patterns bow neck blouse
- Floral linen Pavlova
- Floral McCalls 6708 cardigan
- Striped BBW breton top
- Polka dot Chardon skirt
- Anna Marie Horner skirt
- Elephant Violet blouse
- Pinstriped sari pencil skirt
- Ultra violet blouse
- Simplicity 2154 polka dot blouse
Some outfits feel braver than others. I’d be interested to know what formulas you have found for making it work, especially since I seem to have so many patterns in my wardrobe!! So what do you say…fancy sending me a photo (or a link to a picture ) showing how pattern matching can look awesome? It’ll be a new journey of exploration and inspiration. Fancy feeding my curiosity & maybe even my bravery (in wearing more mixes)?
You can email me at scruffybadgertime(at)gmail(dot)com if you’ve got anything you’d like to share & every now & then I’ll pull a post together. It doesn’t have to be me made, but if it is that’s even better!
Looking forward to hearing from you, crazy pattern mixers!!
By now you now that I absolutely adore the Chardon skirt pattern by Deer and Doe. I’ve made a denim one in red that I wear lots, and my cotton polka dot skirt was a weekly wear during the summer. So my next evolution of this awesome high waisted skirt with box pleats had been in my imagination for a while: a version using wool blend suiting. A version using pinstripe. And what’s more a version that makes use of the pattern option with a contrast band at the hem.
I love taking pinstripes & bringing them to life for work. I love making them into something slightly unconventional for office wear (remember my pinstripe meringue?)
Want to see more?
As it is my third skirt, I won’t recount details about construction. I’ll just show you the pics. You can always look at what I’ve written about my earlier versions if you want to know more.
I love the box pleats of this style. I love its flirty flippiness.
One of the inside for a change. I guess that means that I’m happy with its neat finish!
Hey it’s a Friday Girls & boys! I’ve managed to shimmy up the tallest palm tree on my island to see who I could see, & in the distance, up her very own palm tree was none other than Kathryn from Yes I Like That. Now whilst I haven’t (yet) met Kathryn in real life, I love the voice she has through her blog- she brings a certain understated humour, & I imagine she’s the kind of comedian who remains deadpan whilst delivering side splitting funnies (I hope I haven’t done you a disservice Kathryn – it’s meant as a compliment & provoked by your photo at the end here!). But her sewing skills are certainly not understated – this lady is the skinny jeans guru. She seems to have made pair upon pair, each perfecting the previous. And anyone who makes their own jeans is up there on my sewing podium in flashing lights. So what would someone like Kathryn add to her limited portfolio of sewing patterns on her desert island?
You are stranded on a desert island, surrounded by beautiful crystal blue water populated by turtles & tropical fish (no sharks!). OR you can choose a deserted island in different climes if you so wish! You have a comfy cosy shelter, an abundance of food & drinking water & a solar generator. Upon exploring the island you find a container that has fallen off a cargo ship & guess what? It is filled with what seems to be a never ending supply of fabrics of all descriptions, threads & notions!! What chance!
You are allowed to take your sewing machine & sewing box but which would be your 8 desert island patterns? (Note you need to imagine for a second that your desert island’s climate & your adventures did not only require bikinis & sarongs but maybe more of a variety of clothing- but up to you! The patterns might be your choices based on a practical reasons, or maybe they have more of a sentimental meaning to you, or you have the opportunity to create your dream wardrobe – what will it be?)”
I have lizard blood and am always cold, so my island would be lovely and warm all year round, with the occasional refreshing rainshower so things don’t get too dusty.
I’ve chosen some versatile patterns so I could have an infinite wardrobe and keep myself occupied inventing variations on a theme. I don’t tend to repeat patterns very often, so this was a tough one for me!
1. Firstly, I’d have to take McCalls 6355, a basic shift pattern with bust darts and optional back darts that can become a dress or a top. My favourite version of it so far was this Whistles knock-off top I made from scraps.
3. I’d need a skirt pattern, and I think I’d take Simplicity 2258, which was my first pick for the Minerva blogging network. It comes with trousers and shorts options too, which would work for my island pyjamas, and it’s super-quick to make. It would showcase all those nice cotton prints I hope to find at the bottom of the shipping container…
4. For tops, this Burda Magazine kimono sleeve top from the Sept 2011 issue is so easy to sew, and the perfect base for jersey dresses and t-shirts. I find kimono sleeves very comfortable in jersey (bonus – no sleeves to set in!).
5. Dresses are a tough one, as I don’t tend to repeat patterns. I think I’d take the Anna dress by By Hand London, I’ve only made one version myself, but from the evidence of other sewing bloggers it’s a very addictive pattern, and versatile too. I can see myself sashaying over the sand in a maxi length crepe version with a thigh-high split.
6. I’d also take along New Look Workroom 6070. I’ve just made my first version of this, and it’s a wonderful pattern. I think the pleats look very RTW – I’m planning another version in a solid. I won’t have anywhere to wear it on my desert island but at least I can languish amongst the palm trees in style.
7. Let’s talk essentials. I have to be honest here. If I’m all alone on a desert island I’m not going to bother with fancy underwear or swimming costumes. So I’d take So Zo’s basic pants pattern just to cover the necessities. I’ve yet to make a pair of these but I am saving up my jersey scraps to have a go.
8. Finally, I’ll have a lot of time on my hands. I’ve always wanted to sew a complicated tailored jacket, and I am in love with this one from the October 2013 Burdastyle magazine (photo borrowed from Paunnet’s blog review). I am far too lazy to trace off and sew any pattern with more than about 4 pieces, and this one is marked ‘advanced’ which I also normally avoid like the plague, so it would be a good challenge to pass away the weary hours.
I don’t really use sewing books very often so this is a hard one. I am much more of a googler when it comes to sewing problems. I think I would take David Coffin’s book on shirtmaking as I’ve owned it for about 4 years and never read it properly. I find all that talk about flat-felling feet and drafting your own plackets very intimidating.
Secondly, which non-sewing related book would you take & why?
I would take Villette by Charlotte Bronte. I have to say that living all alone on a desert island is my idea of hell. I’d last about a week before attempting to fashion an escape raft from coconut shells in order to find some human company.
Villette is one of the best books ever written about loneliness and isolation, and I think it would console me in my plight.
Next your one luxury. What would you choose (doesn’t have to be sewing related this time!)
I guess that taking my husband as a luxury wouldn’t be allowed, although he would be very helpful in constructing the aforementioned coconut raft. So instead I’d take a radio. I love sewing while listening to the radio or podcasts. I wouldn’t feel quite so homesick if I could catch up with Paul O’Grady on a Sunday evening.
And finally if you could only take one disc of music what album would you choose & why?
I’d take The Velvet Underground, the eponymous third album from, well, The Velvet Underground. I listened to this on a daily basis from the ages of 16-21 so I know I could never get sick of it. The melancholic/drug-addled tones of Lou Reed would be a fitting soundtrack to my lonesome desert island adventures.
Well what a fine collection of patterns! I am inspired, having not quite recovered from Kathryn’s first top (how could something so beautiful come from such an ordinary pattern? That is dressmaking vision for you!) Thank you Kathryn for taking time away to imagine your sewing life in the sun. I have truly been inspired and as always, it’s the music & reading material that are also great recommendations!
I’ve a thing for tie neck tops & dresses but for me the epitome of style & easy living had to be taking the beautiful tie neck style & making it in an easy to care for and very easy to wear knit fabric.
So the pattern I chose was a Hot Patterns number, HP 1002, Metropolitan Tie me down tops. It’s a pattern designed for using with knits but it’s got some cute detailing in addition to the tie neck which led me to try a new technique: shirring.
The design calls for a line of shirring at the back waist to cinch in & provide some shaping. It also has a few lines of shirring at the shoulders that give the charming impression of smocking, as well as around the cuffs for the longer sleeved version.
Everyone had said shirring’s a piece of cake, give it a go, but I’d been a little dubious & avoided it. The tips will all tell you to hand-wind the shirring elastic onto the bobbin, making sure you don’t stretch it. This seemed to work fine for me.
And let me tell you that it’s actually fun & what’s more pretty adjustable after the sewing to get the amount of gathering you want.
I opted to make the short sleeved version as I could imagine big expanse of yellow covering my arms as well would have been too OTT. I’m glad I did, as I really like the shape of the short sleeves too. I will choose to make the long sleeved version in a darker colour, maybe even in a solid as I think that would showcase the longer sleeves better.
What can I say about this pattern? This is my first experience of using Hot Patterns and the construction went to plan, I followed the instructions to a tee. I think I managed to sew everything (not shirring) using my overlocker with the exception of the very centre of the neck/ tie/ facing seam – needing to use my regular machine to get a nice finish at the “v”. I did use my coverstitcher for the hems, but you could easily use a regular straight stitch I reckon.
Shirring, as said above, was new but fun. I was intrigued to see what was going to happen & really like the effect.
Sizing- this is perhaps a little larger than I expected & looks better tucked in. The back-waist shirring could possibly be a little too high for me as well, but I’m not that fussed by it.
You see, this top lives up to my dreams- it is exactly what I was after: chic & casual at the same time. And it goes through the wash without needing an iron afterwards. And you might not know, but that is important to me!!
So in the kit, you’ll get cute yellow floral jersey fabric, matching thread and some bubblegum pink shirring elastic, should you wish to give it a go, or try something similar!
Pictures were all taken on location in Bournemouth (thanks Ellen!). Want to know the embarrassing parts (yes, there are two!!). First of all, that picture with me looking through the telescope? The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed I was looking through the wrong end…..I didn’t realise until an older guy came along & got it operating!!! Did I feel dumb! And then the Snoopy picture? What’s embarrassing about that? I LOVE Snoopy, he is so cool. So when I saw him outside an amusement arcade I asked for my photographer for the day to do me the honour of snapping a pose. Well, hardly had I plonked the tiniest part of one of my bony bum cheeks down, when the attendant came out & told me off since I was clearly over 8 years old! Kids get alllll the fun!
Ahaha! I have also thought of a third embarrassment. You will see I’m wearing my culottes. I’d only got a way in public before discovering the back zip had broken too. Hmmm. Pants on view whilst looking down the wrong end of a telescope & then getting told off for being too immature….
So has anyone else made this pattern? I’d be interested to know what your experiences have been ….
Well, you’ll be glad to know that I’m back on planet earth now after the emotions that sent me sky high after the last post. Thank you to each & everyone of you who wrote such kind, wise and supportive words. If I could hug each & everyone of you, your shoulders would get soggy !!
But sewing it is now. [Sound klaxon: warning!!! Maria Denmark superfan alert!!]
A dress I made in the summer, just as summer arrived. I got the timing all wrong and have only started wearing it in September, but folks, it’s a winner. (Of course it is as you know I l.o.v.e every Maria Denmark pattern I’ve made)
This is the Audrey dress by Maria Denmark. (available through Craftsy) It’s a basic knit dress, with some back darts for a bit of shaping, the side seams also shaped. But this dress skims styishly: it’s not a figure hugger. Maria has made patterns for a B cup pattern & a C cup – I went B. I used some polka dot jersey I had in my stash (which had been earmarked for a Day to Night Drape Top originally). Let me tell you this is so easy to wear as well – I’ve worn it with leggings & boots (see pics) for a weekend dress, & last night wore it with red tights, ballet flats, cute cardi & a warm red scarf for a meal out. It is also the perfect travel dress – it packs into a small roll in your bag, & is so comfy for travelling around in. And I wouldn’t advise you something I had not tried for myself – it was in my bag for my trip to Newcastle & was worn on the journey home.
Making it up is a cinch- being a knit & using my overlocker on nearly all of it (not neckline). In fact it classes as one of my “quick satisfying makes” done in a few hours and eeekd out of not much fabric as well (this one could possibly have been made up from a metre of 150 cm wide jersey)- score! It has cuffs & neck in contrast – you could really get creative with colour matching, but I went for plain navy on top of my mass polka dots.
Let’s talk about the neck though. This is not a t-shirt bound neck. This has another treatment. It’s not an exposed facing, but a shaped neck piece that is interfaced. Maria calls them neckline edges. It was easy enough to sew & I must say I like the shape of the neckline too. Next time I might make it a bit shorter, but it feels absolutely fine like it is for this one.
Oh my word. I just want more! You know this is so easy to wash & wear. Yesterday I was that desperate to wear it, I took it straight off the dryer & hoped my body heat would get rid of the slight dampness remaining from its latest wash!!
I think a lot of people use running as their thinking time, the space, the head time, their opportunity to force themselves to process. That’s not my purpose for running, but when I run long distances, even with others, after a while, my chat stops and I draw my thoughts inward. Not that I could tell you what I’m thinking mind you.
So it’s not surprising that when I write about running on this blog I reveal a bit more about me and what’s ticking at that particular moment.
My marathon gave me a lot of thinking time (again, of what I can barely remember). But I have also had lots of thinking & processing to do after it. You see, not all races go to plan, & in a marathon, such a long race, there is far more scope for things to go awry.
I’ll start my review of my Bournemouth marathon by extolling the divine beauty of the route. It was on the whole flat, many miles of it along the beach front, decked with colourful beach huts – and sand dusting the walkway. We ran around two piers! Even the parts of the route that were away from the coast were through desirable suburbs and the most wonderful shady trees. There were quite a few switchbacks which at the beginning were fun, catching sight of faster friends who were in a different start group, but as the race went on, it became ever harder to know you had to go somewhere else before you came back!
And the weather was stunning: blue skies and so hot women were in bikinis. In Ocotber. The golden sand glowed, the sea twinkled. Sights in Poole harbour of groups windsurfing and sailing caused total envy. It was a wonderful sight and running route. The best it could probably have been in my book, you know I loves me a seaside run. ( except rather long!) And was it the weather, or the novelty (this being the first marathon in Bournemouth), or the local interest in running that brought the crowds out to support? The whole route just about had people cheering us on, thank you local residents and visitors alike. You were ace.
I felt the luckiest runner in the race to have supporters travel to Bournemouth to cheer me on. It makes me emotional just thinking about it & I tell you they were a godsend. My sons & the eldest son’s girlfriend travelled from Manchester & we had a fun time in the town the day before. We had the most amazing Italian meal the night before in La Strada. What an atmosphere – as soon as we entered the door we knew we were in for a real treat with Italian tunes (a bit of Dino too), restaurant heaving, waiting staff non stop but providing just the right amount of attention. And fab food.
My running friends travelled across from their weekend in Weymouth to cheer me on with the biggest surprise – a banner made especially for me!!! These are the memories that I will hold onto.
But as I said there’s been lots of thinking after the race itself. Yes I finished & got my medal & tee-shirt, but how hard it is coping with disappointment for not running the race you trained for? (And you know you’re slow when you get to the end and all of the small tee-shirts have gone ). This is the first time it’s happened to me, on such a scale and it’s given me a new level of understanding to everyone who goes through this.
So I have tried to rationalise, understand and find something to be proud of. Having a few “counselling” sessions with a friend has really helped me put it in a different perspective. A few sleeps later & truly the memories that are strongest are those I’ve just described- the visuals & the support. But I share what’s next because 1. I try to present a true picture of being a late-starting runner that tries to improve (but was never a natural runner!) and 2. because anyone reading this who has a similar experience will feel less alone!
So first of all, remember that completing the training is an achievement in itself. Extending your ability to to run from the 13.1 miles up to 22 in my case as my longest run, is mega. It’s grueling. You have to dig deep to find inner strength to keep going, you have to find coping mechanisms just to maintain forward momentum. Breaking your run into manageable chunks as your next “milestone” worked well for me in training. I had also been watching “Dexter” during the summer & I was in awe of Dexter’s sister, Debs & her ability to swear with such fluency & alacrity. I think there was quite a lot of that going on in my head during the trickiest bits. And I’d laugh about it afterwards. Then counting up to 100. Then again, up to 100. and again, and again and again. Anything to keep going, whatever works for you. So I got up to 22 miles with no walking & was averaging just over 10 minute miles. I was running over 40 miles a week towards the end & whilst I know there could have been better quality training (eg adding intervals) I could have done, I was confident that I could add on another 4 on the day. That’s all that mattered.
I rested up the week before with early nights, plenty of hydration & higher carbs than usual. So I got to the weekend before the race ready. But there are always going to be things that are completely out of your control. Even if you do everything else right.
Call it bad luck. But remember you can’t allow for everything. Random stuff happens. For me it came thus:
- My hotel room on Friday and Saturday was potentially the worst in the hotel for noise, not only from the non-stop busy main road it overlooked but on the other side it was located next to the confluence of internal staircases used frequently and all night by hotel guests. That was Friday and 3 hours sleep. The hotel was full though. No chance for a swap. On Saturday the earplugs I had bought could not cope with the the banging party with disco in the function room in the mezzanine next door. (I could not believe it!) The manager himself told me he was there till 2:45. I was awake for all of it. I was hanging before I even started. My resolve before I even got to the start was as fragile as my physical being. (Next time I shall be very choosy about accommodation. Learn from my experience)
- Injury: my knee went at mile 6. Intermittently, a mile here, two miles there. Up slopes, down slopes it would switch on & off make me wince & run funny. Eventually I got it strapped at mile 18 and that helped a lot. But by then I had already spent too much time run-walking. (This is my first running injury, I could not have predicted or planned for this).
- The weather was super for October. There were women in bikinis along the route. Our race started at 10 am, even the best runners would be running across the midday heat. Those of us who took longer were in it for longer. I’m not good in the heat, as I have mentioned before, but in comparison with the above two factors, this was just something to cope with. I did get a tan though (!!!! it was that hot!!) & was glad that I carried my own hydration & an extra energy gel. (That’s all you can do to prepare)
So how do you cope with the disappointment in yourself? After the event you feel that your marathon effort wasn’t worthy of being described as ‘ running’ a marathon ? That’s what I really wanted to be able to say, but I have to be content that despite all my bad luck I can say I’ve ‘finished ‘ a marathon. I could have pulled out, but I didn’t. And I am so proud of the other things that surround my experience:
- What was important about the marathon to me wasn’t the race, I didn’t run it because I’ve always wanted to. The five months training gave me focus and a powerful medicine to heal myself through a period of personal difficulty. I knew that training for a marathon would be a process, a journey & that the long runs would bring more than just physical benefits – it’s the endorphins, innit?! And I knew that after the marathon I would be in a different place as it was a way to mark time.
- I’ve made a fabulous new friend as a result of training – someone I’ll continue running with (sadly we ran in different marathons). He did really well so that’s something else I am proud of!
- The wealth of love and support shown by so many wonderful people in my life – I get wobbly and have been known to well up when I see how far friends and family are backing me in this endurance challenge.
And this is symbolic for me. When I think about it, this marathon had to be really hard, really horrible because it marks the end of a really tough time in my life. I will make it so. It is time to get on with life after the marathon.
Will I enter another? Well, I feel strangely resigned to the fact that there is unfinished business: I trained to run a marathon. I haven’t achieved that yet. I know I can. So it’s not ruled out. Just not yet though!
So if you have got to the end of reading this, coping with over exclamation marks included, thank you! And thank you to everyone who has also supported me through this blog, & even emailed me directly. I do feel so incredibly lucky to have so many kind supportive caring people in my world. Here’s to you!
It’s true that I’ve been a bit below the radar recently. This post has been in my head for weeks. So I’m combining some loveliness: some gorgeous things I’ve been lucky enough to have won in giveaways ( yes, me! I seem to have had a lucky streak), and finally an attempt to de-clog my imagination with all the lovely things I’d love to sew this season.
So first on to what I’m considering gifts:
Check out this brooch from Ladybird Likes. I was amazed to win this courtesy of Amy at Almond Rock. A big thank you Amy and to Ladybird likes as I chose the beautiful lady but she popped in the flutterby brooch too.
Then Evie at Pendlestitches was in cahoots with Simplicity and I got to choose a pattern as my prize. Now I’d been ogling this Cynthia Rowley set of separates (1783) for a while and therefore my choice was easy. I am bursting to make these up, there’s something about the trousers and the blouse I’m entranced by. The blouse, by the way is woven & deserves to be made in silk I think …
And while I’m at it I have to give a shout of thanks to the guys at Coats crafts for sending me this vintage pincushion and thread set.
Want to know something bizarre? I didn’t have a pincushion! It’s true.
And these awesome lace edged zips which I am aiming to embellish something unexpected with….
It’s a big ‘un folks!! Party on down! (after the marathon….;-) )
Now I’m not trying to gloat. I am just counting my blessings as I’ve had rather a tough year so far, and this is a stackful of bounty when you look at it altogether.
So, onto plans.
My head has been and continues to be all awhirl with trying to get some sense and order to what to sew next. Ive been a bit of a pinball sewster, knocking from one quick project to the other without any real strategy. It’s been great, rather decadent sewing!! But. There are things I need for the winter. I’m talking jackets and outerwear. Those makes that require time, patience and a number of sittings ! Not to be made in one afternoon. The opposite of hedonistic sewing.
Remember my plans to sew a coat? From starting contemplation in August 2013, where did they end up last year? No where. I didn’t even cut the pattern out. So in no order of priority here are some of the coats and jackets I would like to sew this season:
Simplicity 2508 in this awesome wool
And lets not forget the beautiful vintage vogue jacket, (3007) pattern lent to me by Jane
Teal wool with floral lining. The teal doesn’t show up very well in this picture sadly.
And finally on the jacket front, I’ve found the perfect pattern, from this month’s Burda mag ( 10/2013) andfirst time I’ve bought one, to finally use some Chinese brocade , a gift from my Mum a couple of years ago now
It’s got a mandarin collar, princess seams and fitted waist. CUTE as a button.
And whilst I’ve got other things tinkling away, and jackets and outerwear will keep me very busy ( and scared!) here’s something else I want to scare myself with: making this wonderful Super130 wool into a nice pair of trousers, maybe these Winnie (has to be dont you think?!) wide-legged trousers by Maria Denmark
- A wool Chardon skirt
- A wool Miette skirt
- A needlecord shirt dress
- Some more Renfrews
- A pair of flannel PJs
- A merino cardigan
- A Darling Ranges dress in burgundy linen
- Polka dot leggings
And that’s not including the gifts I’m sewing for family and friends ( not for Christmas presents either). Hmmm. Good job I’ll get some of my pre- marathon life back!!
And I’m off work next week too! Woo hoo!!
I think I’ll have one bigger thing on the go for me as I sew something for someone else. What do you think I should start with?