Current Situation

It seems someone else does look at this blog, so… hi, whoever you are. I feel less like I am speaking into the silent void.  Although it is equally likely you are a bot that wants me to look at the website… 

I know this was originally a way to keep track of my sewing, I’m going to ramble more about real life as well.

Anyway, our isolation is not terribly isolationist. Before dear single reader, you jump at me – my daughter works in a supermarket and so is exposed. So we have taken on the shopping for eight households. Yesterday was delivery day, and since most people don’t know what we are doing, god knows that they think of us running around the place with a car full of food!

I’m doing my work online and missing the people I spend time with at work. Last night we had a digital cocktail which was nice. Work is hard, with all of the fears that come with the profession, and with the anxieties from the people.

I’m trying to do my coursework right now, which is why I am typing this instead of course. It is hard to focus.

I do have mental illness, as do two of the three other people in the house so we are balancing Doing Things with Resting and Relaxing.

So far, we have baked (I made a sourdough starter!), done our nails, cleaned, studied, and walked the dog (yes, that is local to me!).  We’re also lucky in that we still have incomes, that our country has the NHS and so on.  

I’m mindful of the chronically sick people who always have to live in isolation – one person I respect who I no longer speak with (I do wish we did) lived like that and I know what a struggle it can be.  To find the world suddenly finding it is able to do the things you asked of it, that were too hard when you needed it, that must be maddening. 

I don’t have spare brain for roleplay – I wish I did, I need the escapism but I just can’t find my character or energy. I’m going to bed exhausted every night. I’m perpetually learning new things since the technology we’re using at work is new to us all.

I better get back to this essay, it isn’t going to write itself…


Next project! I plan to make a waistcoat for the husband. Now, he is a robust lad from Northern Ireland, so I had to seek some adjust on adjusting. I’d got the hang of the full bust adjustment so now it is time for the full belly adjustment. Although I have plenty of fabric options in the stash for this (“Jin, why are you making me five waistcoats…?”), we’re going with his favourite ones.

But I think I’ll exercise an unusual level of caution, and just make it from rough calico first to adust to his fit since I don’t want to waste that fabric. I also need to order a few bits and pieces, like buttons, and so on. I found that, on the pattern, they call those notions which I love.

Pattern Adjustments

In my frustration this morning, I tweeted a plea to #SewingTwitter for help – if there was a service that could adjust the patterns for me, so they are right.

Very kindly, RoseAnnieFlo tweeted back to me!

So, a new adventure awaits as well as the Anna Dress – I’m going to do all of the measurements for myself and my daughter. Then I’m going to adjust a simple garment in there for both of us and make it. I’ve gone for the Sewist page as a starting point.

Anna Dress – By Hand London

So, a new challenge! The Anna Dress, By Hand London – This is a dress that looks simple and elegant and gets rave reviews for the simplicity of making it. Probably those raving at the ones who can just cut from the pattern and aren’t new to sewing BUT, that said, I’m going to give it a try.

The sizing stops at UK 20, which means I have four sizes to go up, according to the finished measurements (amazing how different this is per pattern!). So here we go.

This is the first pattern where I have bought it as a PDF, downloaded and printed at home. This added a new dimension to the whole thing. The instructions are relatively clear, and I spent a considerable amount of time with sticky tape, to put it together, and then cut it out. All good so far.

Next, adjustments for being bigger (I am mentally calling this the Boob Time Tax now). I traced out the patterns onto my pattern paper and copied all of the markings across. I started doing this around 4 hours ago, and now I have finished it!

Day Two!

So, I’ve pinned and cut out. I’ve managed to do pleats (first time!), and it looks alright! I’ll tweak the shoulders a little and I suspect I do need a zip in the back which means I can’t avoid the challenge of an invisible zipper having never sewn a normal one!

I carried on and managed it. I don’t think that is the type of zip they intended but it works. It needs a good iron and some hand sewing to finish it off but… I’m happy.

Discworld MUSH

So since last August, I’d worked on a mush. A friend came on later on and gave me enough encouragement to get it open, which was amazing and I will always be grateful for that, and their enthusiasm that got us the few players we did. For about three weeks now it has been dead in the water and I just gave up.

There are better ways I could have handled the process of closing it, I admit. I handled that badly and hurt the friend in the process, which I regret.

But I sent in the pack-flat game to Ares for archive and got the news today that it can’t stay up, for various reasons. I really want the work to be available to people, so here is a link to the zip file of all the game.

After some of the delightful messages from the wanker we decided to ban for pretending to be six different people and introducing some really repulsive stuff to his app, to the point where he freaked out the players he was talking to, I decided to take down the link. Message me if you want it!

Dress for the Daughter…

So, I think it might be easier to fit someone else rather than on me! So, this is a nice dress for my daughter, and in a pattern suitable for someone who teaches primary school children.

Obviously, because it is a pattern, it isn’t in her size (because that would be too easy). So resizing it using a different style to see if that works better for me.

It is a good opportunity to see if the body form we made for her is a good match too – according to that, I have these measurements pretty right, and the adjustments for the shape of her body too – in fact, on measuring, these seem to match nicely which I am pleased about.

One thing I hadn’t considered until it came to putting pattern to fabric is the fact this fabric has little pandas all over it. So I need to think about how to match the shoulders and the sleeves…Quick, to the internet where there are useful tips for that. But I had an idea while in town and I have bought this fabric, which matches the little pandas colour nicely. So that will be the panel across the abdomen, and also two stripes down the sides (because the fabric is not wide enough to lengthen this enough).

I did discover that the panels down the sides look lovely but because they aren’t balanced there was one problem…

So we fixed that by making a small patch of wrinkled material to match.

Time to start putting it together… I thought the shoulders would be tricky but they were actually really easy!

One thing she (and I) specifically want in our clothes is pockets! So I’m going to add some pockets in here using techniques from this site.

Adding the interfacing made the inside too scratchy for her to wear, and so this whole thing got more complex than my skill level! But I found a nice lining for it, which matches part of the triangle.

After some rather tricky sewing, I think I’ve not done badly when you consider I altered the dress to have a lining and pockets, and fitted it to a person.

First solo project continued.

So, this was shelved for Christmas because I had a houseful of people and rather lost any spare energy. Kindly though, my daughter bought me some actual pattern paper which is SO much easier than thick craft paper. I had played with the pattern using calico, but got in a bit of a muddle. So! Starting all over, and being brave (or foolish) and going straight to the real fabric.

So I’ve resized the pattern using this method, and cut out the main parts (but have weirdly lost page 3 of the pattern, which I hadn’t previously cut out so that is odd – not sure what to do about that).

What I hadn’t twigged until I went to follow the instructions is that this uses interfacing. A new thing so alright! I’ve gone down that rabbit hole and so… following some instructions I’m could try using the same fabric to do it, instead of interfacing. What is the worst that can happen, right? Or I can pop to the shop tomorrow… Either way, that isn’t the next step so that is good.

Except here is where I made a massive realisation. Having cut and got to the part where I sewed back to front I noticed this:

I bought two different fabrics.

So either I go on a hunt for the “right” fabric or we adapt and overcome. I feel like I am making this much harder on myself in every way!

Ok! A quick cup of tea and a think later, I have a plan. I’ll make the one top (the one with the solid stars) since I’ve made the front already with the darts in from that.

That doesn’t work too badly. The neckline seems to assume I have no head to speak of. The arms assume I need to be able to fit my head in there, although I think that is an adjustment of the pattern size, rather than the pattern makers. So I’m looking through websites on how to make bust darts, and I did find this phrase that I found funny (“Press your dart with the point on a curved part of a ham that is similar to the shape of the breast.”) That might just be me though.

I have, at this point, abandoned the pattern almost entirely. Armholes are now smaller, and I’ve sliced in at the sides to give more shape, made a slice in the neck …so instead of following their pattern I’m simply finishing the neckline and shoulders with bias binding from the darker blue fabric.

Overall, quite happy with it. I’m still tempted to put a bit at the back to pull the waist slightly smaller… Nice to know that I can do this a bit more on the fly. Martha wouldn’t be impressed, I think, because it isn’t finished as nicely as the one I did with her but it the first one alone, and mostly without a pattern!

Load Balancing

Image result for bipolar

So I have bipolar II which is the lower mood one of the bipolar disorder family. Overextending myself over Christmas really meant a crash recently. Rebalancing the load means, now I have some energy back, I must not rush to do all of the things… however tempting. So today, I will be pottering around on my game and doing a few sewing things.

This is all about the spoon theory – I bet you know of it and if not, do google it. Or mana, if you are a geek. I have so much I can spend. I can spend it all at once or spread it out. Overdraft means I stall entirely (see days after in-laws left). That can be physical or emotional, or intellectual energy since they come from different pools.

So today, I can be found on our game or the discord there… while I unpick a seam and resew it.

Out of Duct Tape!

So having used all of the duct tape, and wanting to get actually sewing on my stuff, I’ve kinda improvised. One bra and some padding later I have a very soft approximate of my size and vaguely my shape. Very vaguely, and very soft 😀

Very glam, I am sure you (my sole reader) will agree!


So the gorgeous Mr Jin-Shei bought me a lovely sewing dummy for Christmas. These are fabulous and makes life a lot easier except (you might see this coming) they don’t actually make them in my size.

So, having expanded it as far as it goes, we have resorted to duct tape bodyforms using a youtube video. Much easier to do one for someone else first so… meet Jin-Shei Jr.

She has kindly allowed some pictures of this rather undignified process…

I have some padding to add, to make sure it holds its shape. She is more apple than I am (pear / hourglassish) and so the top half works just fine. Which is really the trickier bits for me! So now all we need is a bit of a bra cup to support the boob lumps, and then we can roll with that.