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I’m Helene.

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Oh, Liberty!

Picture this… it’s day three of a 5-day getaway in beautiful Hepburn Springs. We’re staying in a gorgeous bed-and-breakfast retreat, relaxing in front of a nice fire that warmed up the whole place – it’s working up to a top of 13°C outside – I’m nursing a really nice Trappist beer, and browsing the internet on my iPad. Moshe is happily catching up on his social media, and I somehow find my way to one of my favourite “window-shopping” fabric haunts, Shaukat & Company.

All of a sudden, I start jumping up and down. I’d found it! There it was – the fabric I’d seen ages ago made up into a gorgeous wrap dress by a very clever seamstress at Patchwork On Central Park! I’d been looking for it for a year, well more than that I think. And here it was! I couldn’t believe it. All there was to think about was how much I needed to get!


Mirako in Orange

Actually, I saw the fabric in Bright Pink first. I didn’t know it came in that colourway, and, still convinced I’d never find it in orange, and quite beside myself with joy that I’d found it at all, I squealed, and added 3.5 yards to my shopping cart, before continuing on my way through Shaukat’s virtual isles.

Mirako in Bright Pink

Mirako in Bright Pink

I really love it in pink actually, quite different, but it really rather grabbed me. I think it’ll look quite gorgeous sewn up.

So now I have both fabrics in the cart, the pink and the orange. I can’t say exactly what it is, but I just love this fabric. It just does something for me that I can’t put into words. I’m just so, so excited. Anyway, I decide to keep browsing just a wee bit longer. I mean, I am on holidays, after all. No need to rush. So I’m sauntering down the page, and I find myself staring at one of my latest new Liberty favourites – Matches.


Matches in Black

Oops! All by itself, it fell into my shopping cart! Seriously, I do not lie!

What a great holiday this is.

Waiting, waiting, weighting…

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.

navy dress and rakuen dress

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 tunic

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…


Ginkgo Skirt


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!!


New books! Love!

In today’s mail…


meringue skirt and liberty gorgeousness

Have you discovered The Book Depository yet? Amazing service, fast and free international shipping, cheap prices, gotta love ‘em! Here’s my latest indulgence. They’re on my bedside table, can’t wait to hop into bed and read them! Oh, and Moshe and I caught and episode of Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain show on telly over the holidays, and of course I had to get the book! Love him!


just wish his show came with the book. it's so much better watching him than reading him

Brilliant reading time ahead! Can’t wait. Might have to hop into bed earlier than usual tonight.

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