I love how reading blogs can take you down a path of discovery that you might never have found any other way. If you remember – and I kinda hoped you might have forgotten because that’s another project on the dressmaking pile that got ditched due to the fact that I still haven’t lost the kilos – I was going to join in the Minoru jacket sew-along over at Sewaholic. I still have been following the blog posts, even though I never ended up even starting the jacket, and this last post has a list of people’s finished jackets in the comments section. I thought I’d have a look at them, just to see what people had done, and I found a couple that are really fantastic. You know, my cuppa tea. One of them was beautifully made by Jo who’s gorgeous blog is called bubala. I really like her Minoru; it’s one of my favourites in fact, and so, after reading a few more of her posts to be sure I really did want to follow her blog, I was satisfied that oh yes, I did, and clicked the “subscribe to Google Reader” button on my toolbar.
Anyway, last night, we had people for dinner, and after they left, and the dishes had been piled up on the sink, and the food put away, it was midnight already. Late, yes. But not too late for an episode or three of The West Wing. We’re up to S04Ep10 as of this morning (watched another couple over lunch). By the time I got into bed, it was after 2am. I couldn’t sleep, so I did what I usually do in that situation, I opened Google Reader on my iPhone and began to… well, read.
Currently, I am following 192 blogs, and they’re grouped under headings such as Typography, Jewellery, Dressmaking, Food, Sustainablilty, QSK (quilting sewing knitting), Fashion, etc. I always begin with the unread posts in the Dressmaking category, and then move to Fabric Designers, and then onto QSK before going elsewhere, and last night was no exception. At around 2:45am, I landed on bubala’s blog, and there I found happiness.
Jo’s last post said that she was so delighted that she could finally get herself a copy of the Tova pattern, without paying a fortune for it, and without paying a fortune for the shipping to Australia. Wiksten had made a downloadable version! YAY! And US$10 to download is soso so much better than US$30 for the pattern plus another US$17 for the postage! Moshe said to me that it was time to sleep and not time to buy patterns. But… “yeah, it is!” I muttered it to myself. I love how easy mobile phones and PayPal make it to buy things in only a few short minutes, whilst lying in bed with the lights off. My Buba Guta (that’s my grandmother on whose treadle machine I’d taught myself to sew at the age of 15, and who passed away in 1979 at the age of 76) wouldn’t have believed it, much less understood how that was even possible.
So, happy happy joy joy that I live in thesefabulous times of mobile phone international purchasing in the middle of sleepless nights from my lights-off bedroom bed.
And fessing up, this afternoon, and in broad daylight, I also bought Wiksten’s pattern for a tank top.
At a mere US$8.50, it’s a steal! Now I have not one, but two more patterns for the pile
Thank you Sewaholic. Thank you Jo @bubala. Thank you Wiksten.
No, it’s not a typo. It’s what my dressmaking life is about. I just keep collecting fabric, and finding patterns for them, or vice versa, but how many actual garments have I made in the last year? That would be a resounding… two. You thought I was going to say “none” didn’t you! But remember my little Liberty blouse? And then I made a pair of pants? I even made a basic block back in November last year. And since then??? Nothing. Nada. Rien. Gornisht. Nothing!
Wondered why at all? Well, possibly not. I’m sure you have other things going on in your life than thinking about why I’m not making clothes for myself. So that was a silly question of course.
However… Let me show you what my sewing table looks like today:
a bit ridiculous, right?
Hmmm. Can you see how many of the piles having clothing patterns on top of them? That would be… seven. And if you count the piles that have more than one garment planned for that pattern, there are in total ten projects piled up there. I’ll go through them for you…
First up, there are the two dresses I’m going to make for my upcoming trip to Israel. I figure they’ll be cool, and light, and will provide coverage when I’ll need it.
the Navy and Pink Dress and the Rakuen Dress
Next, there are the two tunics I want to make.
the Loulouthi Tunic and the Plumbego (picked up this fabric for free) Tunic
Now, there’s the Tamotsu Mitsi Blouse I’m going to make in this divine Liberty print:
spectacular colour, isn't it?
Next, there’s the beautiful things I want to make with the Parson Gray Curious Nature fabrics I bought from Hawthorne Threads:
the Darkwater Skirt
a pretty Ocean Scarf, and a tunic from the Starcomb fabric, but not the one in this picture
Then, there are the gorgeous Ink & Spindle fabrics for these garments…
and the Sencha Wrens Blouse
Quite a few things. So what’s holding me up? What am I waiting, waiting, waiting for??? I’m waiting for my weight to drop before I even think of cutting into any of these magnificent fabrics!
O. M. G.
Am I crazy? I don’t know. Maybe. I just think about all the work that goes into making something, and I think about the fabrics that have won my heart, and when I consider thinking about how it all will look on me, I just can’t confront it, and I decide to wait so more, and I go hard at my diet that day, and possibly into the next day as well. And then, by the third day, it’s all over, and I’m back in the doldrums.
so, so, SO frustrating! And I know, it’s completely self-inflicted. It’s not that I’m uninformed, not knowledgeable, ignorant. I know what to do. I just don’t do it. And I blame things like being too tired, or too hot, or the 2-3 glasses of wine I had with dinner that made me throw all caution to the wind and order that dessert, or I blame my peri-menopausal hormones. I’m doing a fine job of maintaining my weight, so that’s good to know for later on. But I’m determined to get on top of this ridiculous, unhealthy, and frankly, embarrassing problem. Thought if I went public, it might help. So I’m cutting out the sugar, cutting out the wheat, keeping to the smaller meals. You know, a palm-sized helping of protein, 2 of salads and/or veggies, only 1/2 palm of rice or muesli, etc etc etc. And I’ll stick to the 1200 calories that My Fitness Pal (iPhone app) tells me I can eat. I’ll do the things I know to do, in order to get the results I want to get. I really do want to wear those lovelies!
Think I’ll go cut the fabric for the quilt I’m making for Moshe. The fabric arrived last week, and it’s absolutely delightful. It has such a soft hand, and it’s masculine without being boring. I think it’ll be a really beautiful quilt. Hope he’ll like it.
divine, aren't they? well done, David Butler!!
Do you remember the saga with the little chevron baby blanket I started knitting for Austin? If yes, you’ll recall that the first skein of wool ran out well before it should have, leaving me with only 18 of the 20 rows I needed. After emailing The Purl Bee and doing a swatch gauge as was suggested, which came up exactly right, and then, after I emailed them the pictures I took of the swatch with my ruler showing the correct number of stitches per inch, and then not hearing a peep back from them, I decided it was time to come up with an alternate strategy. As you might remember, I ordered another skein of the cotton, but when more than a week had gone by and it still hadn’t arrived in the post, I picked up my circular needles and forged ahead with Plan B. Here’s the result.
Austin's Chevron Baby Blanket
How gorgeous is it! I’m so happy with it, I just can’t wait to wrap him up in it.
it drapes so beautifully, and feels wonderful in hand
The Blue Sky Cotton is a lovely yarn to knit with, although the blue has already shown minute signs of pilling, even though it hasn’t been used yet. I’m hoping that doesn’t get any worse, or it’ll be really disappointing. I’ll let you know down the track how it wears.
the underside looks great too!
See the blue (Mediterranean) stripe across the top? That’s the second skein that finally arrived. Thank god, because all of the skeins knitted up short by 2 rows. Overall, I had to make up 14 rows! That’s fairly significant. I can’t work out how the original blanket was made using the pattern they provided. It’s a mystery to me. I had the right size needles, the perfect gauge… Anyway, I think it turned out just fine in the end. Don’t you? Austin thinks so…
Now, what’s my next project???
If you’ve read my “About Me” page, you’ll know that the trench coat I made many, many years ago was my most treasured, favourite thing I ever made. Well, I was browsing through some old photos belonging to my parents-in-law, when I came across this one.
It was taken in the early winter months of 1982. I was pregnant with Gita, my second child, who was born in August that year. We’re standing in the driveway of Moshe’s parents’ house in Hilda Street, Balwyn, and I’m leaning against our old mustard-coloured Toyota Corona. I remember I’d hated that haircut. It was too short and pixie-looking.
Devorah was 1½ years old. She’s wearing a little jacket made by Moshe’s Auntie Sala in her factory in Carlton. It was her birthday a couple of days ago.
I’d forgotten that I had photos of myself wearing this coat. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found one. The funny thing is, it’s a photo that we took and gave a copy of to my in-laws, so I must have it somewhere too!