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Monday, 3 June 2013

Great Expectations

I've been reading far too many sewing blogs. They have turned my head. They have made me believe that, despite having roughly 40 minutes between the time that the children finally stop complaining and the time that I want to be in bed myself, I can transform ALL OF THIS FABRIC into a stylish and bloggable working wardrobe:


Oh yes. Because I have tonnes of time. I mean, it's not like I have a new, five-days-a-week job (I haven't worked five days a week for thirteen years. Good grief. I keep waking up every morning and thinking "What? AGAIN?")

Still. Working one seam at a time, one sleeve per night, I have managed to assemble a single blouse, which immediately fell into the category of Things Which Do Not Quite Suit Me. 



It's a Simplicity pattern. Maybe a New Look. I can't remember. It's in the other room, and I can't be bothered getting up to look.

It wouldn't be finished at all if my mother hadn't taken the children away for half term. It was an odd half term. Lovely indeed to be able to just pop out for an delicious Thai dinner with Mr Coffee; strange to think that my usual routine, of working extra term-time hours in order to be at home for most of the school holidays was over. It's true - the holidays have sometimes almost ended me, but nostalgia is a cruel thing, selecting memories not of tantrums, fights and desperation but of pancake breakfasts, craft activities and days out in the sunshine.

It goes without saying that in reality, the balance was usually tipped in favour of the former. Memory, eh? It's like looking at the picture on a sewing pattern packet. Unreliable; misleading; but still, incredibly pretty.  So I'll go on; amassing as many hours as I can to snatch over summer in order that my children can shout at me; cutting out fabric and running the risk of making more shirts which, if I had tried them on in a shop, I might well have put quietly back on the rack.

For where would we be, without hope?



20 comments:

  1. I can't really see the shirt properly so I can't comment on the fit... but it looks well made! (and that is more than you can say about my things. My grandmother was a seamstress but unfortunately she died before I wanted her to teach me anything... what a wasted opportunity.

    At least hope it's better than the regret of looking back and not having done anything, right?

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  2. Ack - that's the downside of garment sewing. I have never made anything to wear that I would have purchased in a shop. Oh no, wait - I do like my a-line skirts.But all my tops have been wanting, to date.

    And when I found myself looking forward to the Summer hols, I knew my memory was playing tricks on me!

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  3. The shirt looks lovely. And yes, reading sewing blogs is dangerous, I have bought a couple of garment patterns over the years knowing full well that I can barely read the instructions. Congrats on the full-time job!

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  4. Oh my God, what a show-off. Working 5 days a week, running a household AND sewing?! Are you trying to make the rest of us look bad? The blouse looks lovely from what I can see of it. And I'm impressed with your little bit at a time approach to sewing. I'm an all or nothing, probably because I'd waste the first 30 minutes of each evening trying to remember where I was up to. I think this is why most of my sewing happens when I go away to Craft Camp.

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  5. You have hit the nail right on the head. I have wild ideas of what I can accomplish, and then I have huge anxiety about lack of time. And the job, well, I am looking for a job too, (although it seems that after ten years no-one really wants me...) and I am so stressed about being away from the children. It helps to know that other people can do it! I am hoping that the reality will be better than the anticipation. Your reaction to your top reminds me - I have knitted lots of things in the past, and NEVER worn a single one of them. I could just have gone to the shop and bought something that actually fits/suits me. But really, where's the fun in that? A great post, thank you for sharing it.

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  6. The last garment I made myself would have suited me if I had been able to get it over my head.

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  7. I too am searching for that elusive sewing pattern. I'm sure it must be out there somewhere.

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  8. I'm just about to embark on my annual foray into garment making. This year's effort will be a Washi tunic. I need to make a muslin ... I may be some time.

    Your top looks marvellous in the detail, are you sure you're not keen?!

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  9. Love this post - you have captured exactly what many of us experience. Apart from making and teaching Wacky Waistcoats (years ago) I would not wear ANYTHING I had been rash enough to make. No Siree Bob, strictly decorative sewing, me, unless you count quilts, as they are quite practical. I'm alright at embellishing stuff, but construction? Nah, forget it!

    And yes, I can look back to earlier years when the boys were small, picnic suppers in front of the telly on rainy Saturdays, holidays at a Norfolk caravan park, fishing with their dad, tents in the garden, summery bliss - ARRRRGHHHH! What am I saying! I used to write Oh God, the Holidays have Begun! on my calendar each mid-July and HURRAH!! IT'S OVER in September when they went back. I love my boys. I do. Honestly, it's just that I'm now remembering the squabbles instead of the fun times, and I know what there were more of!!

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  10. Where indeed? And I tell you, it's perfectly rubbish when the children leave for good. Especially when they marry jobless actors...

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  11. my comment disappeared. it was quite a good one....

    love the fabric. x

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  12. The blouse looks good to me but I sympathise. Years and years ago I made nearly all my clothes and was quite good! However I made a startlingly awful blouse once - even though the pattern and fabric seemed to be made for each other and the whole thing came together very easily...it looked horrible and didn't actually go with anything else in my wardrobe. I wore it once I think and was convinced everyone was looking at me in horror. To this day it still annoys me a little bit especially as it was easy to sew and I had absolutely NO hiccups with it - ie zip went perfectly, sleeves set in beautifully, cuffs aligned nicely etc etc. I still made all my own clothes though - it didn't put me off.

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  13. in next, buying something you actually like ?
    i gave up making stuff to wear myself when i realised that they only make patterns to fit very oddly shaped people...
    susan.

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  14. When i I buy clothes I expect to much but when I come I feel so frustrated because I don't like it anymore. Sometime to much expectation make me feel frustrated.

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  15. I don't want to think about somebody who works full time AND has a young family AND sews clothes so I might apply to have your blog taken off the internet due to frightening content.

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  16. I read so many crafty/sewing blogs it's made me feel very inadequate! Blouse looks good to me though....

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  17. You've done really well, *patterns lie* and I think it looks good AND you get to select your own fabrics - always worth persevering for

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  18. A really funny post! Where would we be without hope indeed?! Lucy x

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  19. How did I miss this? I for one have burning, rather shameful envy of your handmade shirts. So there.

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  20. Really informative and useful information.
    Michelle

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