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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sewing like a survivor

The last two weeks have been strictly W.T.B. (way too busy) with frequent moments of S.O.C. (spinning out of control).

Well Christmas is coming up. See midnight knitting post.

I also have a full-time day job. End of Term means lots of marking, explaining to students that the last week of classes is getting kind of late to figure out how to make up marks, and of course getting all that stuff organized for next term.

I have also been cooking for Mr. Rascal. 

He is now on a diet the vet gave me which involves making casseroles of low-fat chicken rice and vegetables and trying to freeze some so I am not cooking for a dog for two hours every other night - except for those nights when I have realized I should have left more head room in the mason jars which all exploded inside the freezer.

When I caught myself driving through my own dinner at MacDonalds last week, because I had spent so much time cooking for the dog I didn't have time to shop or cook for myself, I thought to myself well this is just so S.O.C.

Thing is Mr. Rascal is doing so amazingly well on this new diet and so is my son's dog Birdie. In fact they have been springing out of bed extra early to stare in anticipation at their bowls.

All I can say at this point is that when the time comes to sit judgement on my life well I sure hope there are some dogs on that committee.

Which brings me to sewing.

In the background of all of this I have been attempting version 2.3 of our baby's winter jacket. 

First version had a pin head sized hood and that got ditched.

Not wanting to make that mistake again I cut a larger size for version 2.0 but that turned out to be something she could wear in junior high.

I much reduced that by huge amounts at all seams and made it shorter too.

Version 2.2 was small enough in the body but big enough in the hood, which was good, but a couple of inches too short. I over did it, surprisingly.

No point in a polar fleece lined, insulation interlined bomber jacket for a 15 month old.

At this point I have to admit that I was in a seriously pride-involved state. I mean I am proud of my sewing. This is my first grandchild. I have made a whole series of great winter coats for kids over the years without any problems. Why was this one taking a bad turn at every turn? Why was I being tested? Why was this happening to me when I was both W.T.B. and S.O.C.?

It then occurred to me that because this was a project with high emotional/vanity stakes for me it had become one of those projects that just sets out to break you.

Well forget that.

I am a survivor of more sewing rescued disasters than anyone I know. In fact you could almost say I am in training for this - and if fixing up mistakes were an Olympic event, well let's just say Canada would be looking at a gold. I have had so much practice.

So I sewed on an insulted extension at the bottom to make it long enough (when I was supposed to be finishing my marking today) and then stitched a line below the join seam so it looked like a casing and put in some elastic cord and added some cord locks (it's great to have a sewing room that is a repository of 20 years of random purchases) and I think it looks just fine. Almost like it was intended.

Take that you jacket.


Karin said...

It looks great, not botched in any way at all.

Mr Rascal is one lucky dog!

KayY said...

You win!! The jacket looks superb - not only does that addition not look like a mistake, it looks like a seriously wonderful design element.

KC said...

Forgive me for laughing out loud at your misfortune but you tell it so well! I read your post to my DH and we both enjoyed it. I sure hope you survive the WTBs and SOCs, that Mr Rascal gets well soon, and that there is, indeed, a dog on your committee!

Irene said...

The jacket looks wonderful. I say - nothing is a mistake, it's a "design alternative". Isn't it amazing how those 4-footed creatures manage to overtake our lives? There are so many times that I say "enough" - this is a dog, not a child. Then I get "the look" that makes my heart melt, and I go on treating same said monster as if he were a person.

Anonymous said...

The jacket looks fantastic! No-one would ever know it wasn't actually meant to have the extra bit on the bottom. Love the fur around the hood and the colour. Gorgeous!

LisaB said...

That jacket is just marvelous. Congrats on a fantastic save!

a little sewing on the side said...

The coat for your granddaughter is just gorgeous and you have made my day with your tales of Mr. Rascal and his remarkable recovery. I am so glad to hear he is doing well. And I am sure you will get all kinds of bonus points on judgement day for your sense of humor! Way to go on saving the darling little coat!!

Linda T said...

Definitely looks like a design element to me (not a mistake). So happy to hear Mr. R is doing well! Way to go on both situations!

Jane M said...

OMG, I almost spit out my tea reading this. Please tell Mr. Rascal that we're so glad he's better...and how many smiles he brings to your readers. That adorable coat looks like a designer sample, just perfect for your little cutie. Grandmother's love and that new jacket will keep her plenty warm this winter.

RuthieK said...

The little coat is adorable! Impressed you have persevered.

BetsyV said...

Very cute jacket and great save!

And is there something unusual in the dogs' chicken/veg/rice diet that you can't eat? It sounded good to me ...

Lori said...

Your dgd jacket looks amazing, great job.

Sew Great To Be Me said...

Hello, this is my first visit to your site and I must say you are hilarious. I laughed so hard. I really needed that post. Things are pretty depressing around here right now. The coat is beautiful BTW.

The Simple Romantic said...

In case you didn't know.... your dogs don't call you 'Mom'. They actually refer to you as 'Our Lady of the Chicken'

As I'm working in very small doses on finishing a fleece'y vest before getting on with my GREAT WHITE, I really appreciate the challenges of that jacket. So many fuzzy little hassles with this vest, and the sewing spread over two cold seasons. I am determined it be cute when done. Seeing your success helps me believe.

Digs said...

What a cute jacket! Mistake, what mistake?! It looks perfect.