Reflecting….

…. on the past year – as so many of us are. I realise I have blogged very little this year. And probably sewn even less despite all intentions to the contrary. In retrospect this shouldn’t be too big a surprise. I had a pretty tumultuous year in so many respects – some good , some not so great, some just plain confusing and tiring.

I started the year nursing a grumpy gall bladder. I’ll confess that this screwed up just about everything – including my ability to enjoy much that I usually do. This isn’t news to a great many people. Anyone out there suffering and wondering if it is worthwhile having the op to remove it – get on the phone and get the bu**er out! Life started to improve greatly after that was removed in April.

Then I fell over and sprained and broke my ankle in June. Poo. It’s still not absolutely right (physio appointments made so hopefully improved soon). That shouldn’t have made too much of an impact but I confess that I have sulked big time, and the lack of ability to run has made me unbelievably grumpy. The Management is looking forward to me being able to get out and run again  😉

We did have that wonderful month out to Australia in November where I met Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, and Lesley of Sew,Nip Tuck which was wonderful. It seemed to have been in the planning for ever and it’s a bit of a shock now it’s actually done. We enjoyed it enormously but got home exhausted, just in time to have to buy Christmas gifts for our family in Northumberland. No pressure!

Beautiful – and empty!

We had a mere two week before we went to Northumberland – a bit of a climate change there! We spent a couple of days with friends enjoying beach walks at Bambrough with their dog, and a fabulous trip to Barter Books – possibly my favourite bookshop in the world. My sister loves a visit to Barter as much as me but we couldn’t combine our visit this time sadly. It was lovely to see both mothers and sisters again as we see so little of them. Regular phone calls just aren’t the same.

Christmas was wonderful with a visit from The Daughter. Again, we don’t see as much as we would like but she is having a very different life from us living and working in London. Great to see her though. She was exceedingly taken with the parcels I received from my Stitching Santa partners. These were wonderful and deserve a full post (again, after the new year) but I will say to both Nana Cathy and Deborah of Sweet Fallen Angels that their parcels were fabulous! I’m really looking forward to playing with using the contents 🙂

What next? Ah yes, The Management. Now retired. Why didn’t anyone tell me it could be so much fun? But also really puts a crimp in your sewing time ….. and many other interests time. I love him dearly (most days) but I confess that this has taken far more adapting to than I expected. I am enjoying the slower pace of life but really think I need to jack it up a bit again if I expect to get things I want done. Memo to myself sent for 2018. Still some settling in and adapting to be done I fear. If anyone out there has a handle on how to cope well in retirement I would love to hear your solutions.

 

 

Ok that’s the ‘Life’ bit of my blog title over – what about the rest? Fabric? Yes, been buying plenty of that so I have a mammoth backlog of intended projects . Do these count as UFO’s – because if they do I’m in real trouble. I have done some sewing – recently and for our Australia trip (a bit of a Style Arc fest if I’m honest). I really need to concentrate a post to those in the new year (I promise!!!). There are intentions to make more this year (aren’t there always?) and whilst I’m not officially signing up for Goodnight Valentinos RTW fast this year (I did it a few years ago and enjoyed it) I do intend to sew anything I can rather than buying.

About a hundred years ago I did lots of pattern cutting in order to get my City and Guilds qualification and I have very sadly let that ability slide. I was looking at the amount of patterns I had bought in recent years and was slightly horrified. Yes I could have drafted them myself – I was probably lookinng for a quick fix in most cases. No more. The pattern drafting tools are to be dusted off and I will start again. I have rediscovered my blocks (last drawn out too many years ago to admit) and the calico trials – wonders will never cease that they were together! I will be trying theese on to have a good laugh establish what changes need to be made. Once that has been done I will start looking through my wardrobe – that shouldn’t take long 😦 – and identify what I need to fill gaps. And what needs to be passed on. Even when things still fit and are in good condition they sometimes just ‘need to go’.

Well congratulations if you have made it through all that waffle. I’m finished for now – apart from wishing all of you amazing readers a very happy and prosperous 2018. May none of your projects be wadders!

Kim x

 

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Patrones 362

Patrones 362

 

Lucky me! My dear friends G and H came back from Spain with another issue of Patrones – and there is so much in this one I want to make that I will need to retire early!

Garment mash

Garment mash

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Lauren from Hola! Magazine

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Lauren in Patrones

 

I really liked this skirt (attributed to Ralph Lauren) and knew that I had seen it before. The picture on the left was from a Hola! magazine I bought on my holiday in Madeira a while back. The Patrones version has curved sections on the front splits but the original is squared off. This isn’t clear from the picture which is why I always check the tech drawings in the ‘making up’ section. I have noticed on a few prior occasions that the pictures don’t always quite match the garment as shown. The jury is out on which version I prefer, but with the wide overlap this should be decent even in windy weather.

 

 

 

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Could I wear these pants?

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Burda pants

I adore the yellow top in these photos. I know I wouldn’t wear it exactly as it is shown – I couldn’t show my tum without scaring the horses. I think as an extra layer over a dress, or t-shirt and trousers, it would look good. I would probably want to make it shorter too. But hey! It’s in one of  my favourite colours! The trousers are also very interesting. I’m very tempted by them but I know The Management would be horrified. Maybe that is reason enough to give them a go 🙂 . I saw a very similar patter which is available here from Burda.

 

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Thai fishermans pants

 

The other pattern I liked was for Thai fishermans pants. I have seen lots of references to this style but haven’t ever worn them myself. They look as though they would be very comfortable, particularly in warm weather (I have a good imagination – there would be no need here in the UK in our ‘summer’ at present). Can anyone tell me if they are as comfortable as they look?

 

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I loved this jacket. The front view is in the ‘mash’ of all the designs (above), and is attractive enough, but I thought the pleat in the back gives this an extra ‘easy to wear’ feel. I have a number of fabrics that could probably work for this but if I go ahead I would like to be able to make it part of a wardrobe sewing ‘plan’. Elizabeth at The Fabulous Dr. E’s blog is a master (mistress?) at this and I have threatened to follow her lead on many occasions and failed. Maybe it’s time to do something about it. My wardrobe would certainly be grateful.

 

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Should I jump?

Now then, I imagine I am like many people who love the idea of a jumpsuit but remember them from the first time around. They certainly look neat – this one is lovely on its own, but it would be offended if you wanted to put a t-shirt under there for decency or warmth. However. How many of us remember (and hated) having to get almost naked whenever there was a need to go to the loo. I love this, but I’m not sure I want to go down the almost naked in loos route again.

Useful shorts

Useful shorts

 

Being an extreme optimist I thought these shorts might be good for when it does get warm. I am getting used to wearing my running shorts now (and no-one has run away screaming yet) so I might be willing to try them in general wear. I know I wont look anything like this lithe young thing, but I’m ready to give it a try.

 

I have had a few editions of Patrones over the years but I think this one is one of the most useful in a while, and since I am currently planning things to make for myself you might even see some of these made up. No sniggering at the back!