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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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Friday, October 5, 2012

I completely have no shame

You will see what I mean.

Everyone knows the purpose of a blog is to show other folks how skilled you are, all you make, and how well.

That's not going to be happening here tonight.

I finished my darling Heidi baby's hoodie and it really is full of mistakes.

This pattern, knit in one piece with all sorts of fancy (to me) increases and decreases, was way beyond my skill level.

Sort of like a sewer who had done a very nice apron and Christmas tree skirt doing the Channel jacket.

Listen I learned a lot. 

Learned things even other than the fact that I have a very long way to go before my knitting is ever to me what my sewing is. 

My problem with this project was the pattern which was one you couldn't see from the wrong side, not like patterns where you can see what is happening in the row below and anticipate what you are supposed to do from that. With this pattern you had to turn it around before you could see it was messed up and this often not until you had done a bit of knitting and increasing decreasing a few inches later.

I ripped out about as much as I knitted. Over and over again. And the TV debate was not much help.

But I finished it, and being an unreasonably optimistic, I like to think of this as sort of evidence of the triumph of the human spirit rather than a small sweater totally full of embarrassing mistakes. 

Also it is amazing to me how much the camera in fact does not lie. I don't need to point out my tortured errors because they are pretty obvious but you know it does fit her perfectly.

The other grandmother, who was also at the party and is a truly competent craftsperson, commented that it will be covered with drool soon and no one will ever know I purled when I was supposed to knit, which I thought was pretty nice of her.

I want you to know this was not all I gave the baby for her first birthday.

Moving forward, after I got this all wrapped up this afternoon I decided it would be good for my self-esteem if I sewed something.

So I whipped up this Adele top from StyleArc. I have made this top before and it used up some knit I was going to make a summer dress from, but after this hot summer I decided that rayon knit dresses are not completely cool. In fact after a sweaty summer I ended up wearing my rayon challis dresses most and have since decided that really is the best cool summer fabric. 

Unless you count seersucker or a nice cotton lawn, and other things I want to add to my stash as soon as I get myself within a thousand miles of a decent fabric store.

Oh yes the picture:

I told my photographer to be more artistic so he shot this from up higher.
I also got my hair cut by a new hairdresser I really like today. A complete Nova Scotia character. She told me while she was cutting this afternoon that she realized early in her career she had a true calling.

Years ago we had a mine disaster in the province (Springhill if you are from here you know it) and her sister, also a hairdresser, heard that the women were all holed up in a hall waiting for news, you know those awful waits that go on for days. So my hairdresser and her sister packed up their gear and went to the hall to help out.

"We did hair straight for three days. Best we could do and at least they looked good."

I think she and I are going to get along.

Now I am going to leave you with a question.

I have some wonderful sort of beige gabardine type heavy water resistant fabric that is the tail end of my last NYC trip haul from last year.

I am considering two patterns. 

Looking at the person who is a terrible knitter shot from above in the last picture which one do you think would work best? I need to do some decent sewing to get my creative legs back:

And finally finally, now the sweater is done I am catching up on my very neglected blog reading and want to congratulate the talented sewers and US bloggers who are part of the new Mood network.

I am thrilled to see so many familiar faces and really will enjoy seeing their creations. Just like you learn so much from a pattern when you see it made up, it will be very useful to see some Mood fabric turned into garments - so much more instructive than a small square on the computer screen.

I am putting together my shopping list for November and geared up to be inspired.


marysews said...

I wouldn't know what pattern to pick, but I really like your hair!

Sewfast said...

Love your new hairdo! I think either pattern would be fine, but I really like the tailoring of the second one!

Far said...

Hmmmm i think u will.totally rock the first pattern when unbuttoned, and second pattern when it's tied... Hmmmmm... Not much help eh? But that's what came to me when i look at u in new.hairdo and the patterns!!! Hehe...

Anonymous said...

Love your hairdresser's true calling! And she cuts well!

Either pattern. Not much use here in the decision department. I'm lusting after the new one myself.

Your granddaughter has ANOTHER kind grandmother! She's well-resourced to embark on a good life! And she has a great sweater to wear while she does that!


BeccaA said...

Very cute sweater! Great haircut. I think the first pattern is calling to be sewn up first.

Kay said...

1. I love the new haircut. It was the first thing I thought when I looked at the picture (the top is cute and flattering too).

2. Both coats would look fantastic on you, but #1 is more simpatico with your look in the top picture... er, the picture of the top. Your look has a snappy sauciness in that picture that I think really fits your personality. And you have a lovely long neck that can carry the high funnel collar (is it a funnel, or do I just think all high collars are funnel?)

But really, you'll look stylish and casually elegant in either.

Karin said...

Your knitting effort looks passable in the picture! I like the print on your new shirt. You hair looks cute. For me, a good haircut is one that doesn't need a lot of fussing when I come out of the shower!

Anonymous said...

Love both the new haircut and top!

Anonymous said...

I must confess a strong preference for the shorter jacket. I look at the second coat and picture myself running for my morning train on a blustery day, lap top in my hand and lunch in the other, and the tie coming undone and everything turning into a big flapping mess. But that's just me. Would the shorter jacket be more in keeping with the more casually elegant wardrobe you're trying to go for?

Anonymous said...

Love your blog and new haircut as well as the cute top. I like both coat patterns but think the first one might be might flatter more garments worn underneath.
Living in hot, humid Houston, TX I agree that rayon challis is the coolest and most all my nightgowns, dresses and tops are made using it for the long summer months.


Rachel said...

Great haircut!
I think the top pattern would suit you very well. The second pattern is really just a sort of trench coat. Don't give up on the knitting. The baby jacket is fine, it wasn't meant to be entered in a contest anyway.

Martha said...

I vote for jacket 1, though they both have great style. What patterns are they?

Anonymous said...

I too love jacket 1 (guess it is more what I like to wear myself) I enjoy your posts and look forward to what is coming up.

Scenic Route said...

The sweater has loads of Charm--not mistakes; Charm :) LOVE your hair

velosewer said...

I would make both coats:) Love your new hair and I have only just started knitting so there's no way I could pick any faults in your work! I would just admire the cardy made with love.

LinB said...

I vote for coat one, for the high collar and secure fastenings, but make it longer, to cover your legs better when rushing about in winter wet weather. I love the second coat, too, but it looks more like something I would wear on a chilly (40 degrees Fahrenheit) day in February, in North Carolina.
Love the bright red sweater for a baby -- don't you feel that most babies look better in bright colors? My own looked fantastic in charcoal grey and burgundy, while pale pinks and blues made her look deathly ill.

Erika said...

I think #1 looks more like you - like the things you've made that you've liked - but that #2 would also be flattering and is more fashionable. But, it is also more fabric to manage and adjust under the belt.

So - do you want something that is more hip but that you might wear less often?

good luck!