Monday, 2 September 2013

A catch up

Hi! How are you all? Gosh, it's been over 2 weeks since I last posted, which is most unusual for me. I haven't been on holiday or anything exciting like that, life has kind of just taken over for a bit. Here's what I've been up to since I completed, and wore, my Peony.

1. Work
Work has been, to put it bluntly, horrific recently. It's been unbelievably stressful. We've now lost over a quarter of the team, but up until last week were still doing the same amount of work (which, quite frankly, was already stretching us with a full team), were having to deal with several ongoing projects that are going horrifically, horrifically wrong, were having to field requests for new stuff (Finance: "we need you to change the files to support us better". Us: "with what spare 5 mins? Bugger off"), and were trying to transition our roles to a team who were willing, but had absolutely zero system access. It culminated with me in tears and as a result, a divide and conquer strategy. You'll be unsurprised to learn that this left me worn out, exhausted every evening and actually I just needed to take some time to do nothing for a change. "Nothing" included no blogging.

On a more positive note, I have been recognised with a company award for the work I have completed on the transition, and so am £250 richer as a result! And the new team finally received system access on Friday, so it feels like we are starting to move forward again.

2. New job
Nothing to report on this front, but I am still looking! D day is mid October, so I still have time.

3. Silk
The one at the top
Gah! Silk. So beautiful, so drapey, so irresistible, so... silky, so difficult to sew. So, "nothing" doesn't actually mean absolutely nothing - you didn't think I hadn't even picked up a needle in the past fortnight, did you? I haven't done a lot, but I have been attending my sewing class every week. It's a good stress reducer, it's fun and it forces encourages me to sew for at least 2 hours every week. I have been working on a Grainline Scout in a green/turquoise ditsy floral silk. The fabric is stunning, but sooo slippery. I had hoped to have a finished garment to show you last week. In fact I did finish it on Thursday night ( I squeezed a couple of more hours in last week), tried it on and thought "oh, the hemline looks a bit wonky. But it's probably not that noticeable to non-sewers". However, when I did my "tah-dah" twirl for P he said "the bottom looks a bit weird". "Yes", I said, "it's a high low hem. See?" (Standing sideways and pointing.) "Long at the back, short at the front". "No", he said "the front bit is a bit... squint?" If a non-fashion-interested, non-sewist man can spot it straight away, it needs to be re-done. I have unpicked it. It seems when I cut it, I haven't cut it one layer straight, so it will need some neatening up, before I re-hem it.

4. Small boy
We have been toilet training since July with mixed results. This is not helping the stress levels. He absolutely has the ability to do it, but he can be wilful and has quickly established that if he's not receiving the attention he seeks, weeing himself will go some way to improving that situation. I won't bore you (or put you off your tea) with the details, but it is ongoing. In addition, he has really been working on his tantrum skills, which are coming on a treat! This is just a phase, right?

We have also been sorting out his bedroom, getting rid of some of his outgrown toys and successfully selling his changing table on Gumtree. Yay to some positive stuff!

5. Jam

Last week we went fruit picking. It wasn't the sun filled, beautifully photographed trip featured recently on Coletterie, rather a mud-filled, cloudy but humid day spent in poly tunnels. But we had fun anyway! We picked raspberries, blackcurrants and some weird purple and green runner bean type beans, which disappointingly turned back to green when cooked. We had a few days of raspberries and ice cream for pudding, and then I made jam with the rest.

6 Making sewing plans

I don't really need a sewalong in my life at the moment, as you can tell already, there is quite a lot going on, but I have been lurking the Fall for Cotton Flickr group and despite my best intensions, I have chosen a pattern and bought some fabric. I can't really ignore a sewalong that is tagged as "a vintage sewalong for cotton lovers". It's perfect for me. And after the silk, I need a nice well-behaved cotton to work with. However, I am being realistic. I have another sewing deadline this month which takes precedence (details below). I am not going to allow myself to become stressed by the sewalong. If the blouse becomes too difficult or challenging, or it's not working in anyway, I will leave it. Similarly, I'm not going to be bothered if I don't finish for the end of Sept. I will eventually have a blouse, and I will eventually have sewn a vintage pattern and they are challenges enough for me.

I bought the pattern from Miss Betty's Attic on Etsy a while ago. I won't be making the two piece, just the blouse, due to lack of time and lack of fabric - there simply wasn't enough remaining on the bolt, which was just as well because I couldn't really afford it if there had been: I am making it in Liberty Tana Lawn.

This one to be precise. Isn't it amazing? Having Googled it tonight, I have discovered this is from Liberty's A/W11 collection inspired by musicians and artists and called Liberty Rocks:

"A Boy Dreams Liberty Print was created from original drawings by Blur guitarist and solo musician Graham Coxon. The final design is reminiscent of rock poster artwork of the 1960s, with wood cut line work and the vibe of Esher and Mucha. Coxon is a multi instrumentalist credited with being one of the most gifted guitarists of his generation. He has also created artwork for Blur’s album covers as well as his own."
I love the 60's vibe which will work well with the pattern, which itself is from 1965. I will make view 2, the short sleeve and I think I'll use self covered buttons for the back.

And so to the other sewing deadline of September. I am making a dress for my niece's 2nd birthday at the end of this month. I have chosen a pattern but have yet to find fabric. I won't share this project on the blog until after her birthday as I want it to be a surprise for my sister. I don't think she really reads my blog, but just in case! The birthday dress is clearly higher priority than the Fall for Cotton sewalong but I am hoping I can manage both. I do hope this is not a recipe for disaster.

What about you? What are you sewing and are you joining in with Fall for Cotton? Or even the By Hand London Anna Sewalong?


  1. I'm sorry to hear about how stressful work has been, but congrats on the award. At least they recognize your efforts. Ahh, potty training. My daughter was a bit over three years and I'm embarrassed to say that it was my mom and not me that finally got her totally potty trained. I know everyone says the terrible twos, but I found three to be worse for temper tantrums. Age four is much better (or at least it was for my daughter). The Liberty Lawn is really cool! I can't wait to see it. I'm currently working on the Strathcona pattern from Thread Theory for my husband and I'm planning on joining the Anna sewalong if I can get everything together by then.

    1. Thank you! Just need to work out what I'm going to spend it on! I think the general consensus among my antenatal group of friends is just what you say - that the terrible threes are worse. And my sister assures me 4 is better too - just got 9 months of tantrums to go, then!

      Can't wait to see your Anna!

  2. Your work sounds awful, great that they recognised your hard work though!

    I am lucky in that both of mine potty trained easily although school is proving a bit traumatic for my daughter at the moment, I am sure this parenting adventure doesn't get easier, the difficulties just change!!


    1. That seems to be the consensus - parenting doesn't get easier, each stage is just different! I hope Little E gets on Ok at school!


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