Monday, 26 November 2012

Works in progress

 Despite not posting much recently,  I have been busy with sewing in little bits of snatched time. Did you read Tilly's  recent post about sewing in fifteen minute segments.  I feverishly commented that this was my sewing existence with Rocket Girl on the scene.  Here's what those fifteen minutes have been adding up to.    I am making some bibs for RG and some for my friend's son's Christmas present. 
I have almost finished my winter skirt. Just the lining left to hem now.   My proposed autumn sewing plans were cast aside when I bought a length of floral cordory in the charity shop.  At £2.50 I had to buy it.  After much consideration of skirt patterns, looking at some Ottobre ones, I went back to the tried and trusted Sew U skirt from the first Built by Wendy book and used her slant patch pockets to make two front pockets.  The Built by Wendy knits book has come in for a lot of new attention recently in the sewing blogosphere but I am going to put in some love for the first Sew U book which has trouser, shirt/blouse and skirt blocks and such very, very useful pocket pattern pieces.  Those pocket pieces enable me to create my own skirts with details I like.  Plus sewing in short bursts means I cannot really try out new patterns - that just seems too scary.  
Polka dot lined pocket
I had enough cordory to make Little I a skirt.  It is a bit more exciting than mine, featuring ruching, lace trim, ric rac, oversized shiny buttons and a polka dot underskirt.  Can you bear the dotty, shiny, ruch-y (is that a word?) excitement? Oh, to be five years old.   It is nearly finished and deserves a post of its own. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Crochet rediscovered

 The elderly lady who used to babysit me and my siblings taught me to crochet.  She also always had a ready supply of chocolate.  Then I learnt more crochet in girl guides.  It was the only useful thing I learnt in guides.
After the teddies reignited my knitting I was sorting through my bag of odd balls of yarn and found my old crochet hook.  A quick Ravelry search later and I was off!  Happily my brain hadn't forgotten how to crochet. 

I love making these little circles, they are so quick and easy to pick up in odd moments. I don't have enough yarn for a blanket( I was so inspired by Snippa's blanket, check it out)  but do have enough for a Christmas'll have to wait and see what it is. 

I think crochet is easier than knitting and more portable.  If the hook slides away you only have one stitch to find, rather than a dropped row.  I am curious though - which one do other people find easier? 

Thursday, 8 November 2012


It is hard to photo your own eye in close up. 

Recently, I have been experiencing a disturbing phenomenom.  Here's an example.  Our local library is accessed by a lift or stairs.  In the lift is a large mirror.  I get in the lift and see a harried, middle aged woman staring at me, huge under eye bags, birds nest hair in a straggly ponytail, wearing some rag bag collection of clothes topped off by a sensible waterproof jacket and a harassed expression.   "Oh crap"  I think with a sinking sense of dread, "Is that really me?"  It seems that only five minutes ago I was twenty, an art student, skinny and young.  Do I want to go back in time?  Well, not really.  Some things have improved with age....I like myself more, I think I have gained some acceptance of who I am.  I hope I am better dressed, certainly I am less paint spattered.  I am definitely a better listener and more considerate of others. I can speak up for myself.   I think I am less self-centred. (Don't laugh, I realise the irony of that sentence in a post with many "I"s in it)   I definitely have better boots and scarves.  I can manage my time and energy better. 

Last week I went out to eat in an Italian cafe with my family.  There were lots of mirrors.  I had thought I looked okay...a bit of concealer, mascara and lippy, I even remembered to use a hairbrush.  Then I glimpsed her again in one of the many mirrors...that crazy-haired washed out complexion woman.  I also realised my default expression is "worried".  Even if I am not worried, I look as if I am!  Maybe I need to try grinning like a maniac to counter the worried expression.  I have always been irritated by people saying  "Don't look so worried"  "I am not worried" I want to shout - "that's just my face!" 
Does anyone else avoid mirrors in cafes?
What am I going to do? Should I stop caring?
Still hard to photograph my own eye

 I have always been plagued by having dark pigment round my eyes, at school I would get told off for wearing eye make up when none was there.  Now I have dark lids and big big under eye shadows.  I hate them.  They are naturally part of me though.  They are exacerbated by the relentless early morning schedule of Little I and Rocket Girl.  I don't know if there is any wonder cream out there.  

Even before children a saleswoman told me that my eye circles were too dark for YSL's touche eclat.  So what do I do?  How do I convince myself to love my dark eyes? Any recommendations?

I have managed one step - I went and my hair cut and my fringe put back in so I can banish the straggly ponytail look.  I think the fringe is a thinking woman's alternative to botox. Seriously.  It hides those frown lines so well. 

Just to round up this vanity-related post, a work in progress glimpse to prove not all is doom and peering in mirrors here.  I have veered right off course from my planned Autumn sewing.   Blame it on finding this needlecord in the charity shop, only £2.50 and enough for a skirt for me and a skirt for Little I.  Yes people, it's mix n' match mother daughter dressing - the sort of thing my twenty year old self would have scoffed at!