When things don't go quite right.

5:26 pm

I sew a lot, a heck of a lot and for lots of reasons;
  • I love clothes, I don't often like clothes available on the high street and if I do I can't afford them or they don't fit. 
  • I have a compulsion to create and make, sewing is my preferred method.
  • Sewing eases my heart and my soul. I can't explain it, but something about the process brings peace.
  • It's my job! I love designing patterns, and I love teaching at Ministry of Craft or one to one classes in my home.
Although I sew lots, not everything works out. I rarely am 100% satisfied with anything I make, I am always striving for a better finish, but sometimes things just really don't work, like this skirt.
The beautiful fabric was picked for me by my fabric dealer  friend, Mary. She knows my taste so well and often picks things she knows I'll love.

This fabric was calling out to be made into a full gathered dirndl skirt, and I love it so much, but sadly it doesn't love me! I wore it to work the other day feeling fabulous with my swishy skirt taking up two seats on the train, but then I saw photos of me teaching and the vision in my mind was shattered into a million pieces. I looked fat and frumpy...I may have cried!(And vowed to diet...though that was quickly forgotten! )
I tried to convince myself that it looked horrible because it was actually a little too loose around the waist, so I altered it and wore it again for these photos, but it doesn't look much better. I think this skirt might be destined to hang in the wardrobe looking pretty, and I hate when that happens.

Sometimes I sew when I'm sad. Summer is not easy here, too many ghosts and memories, so that's when I sew to distract myself. Yesterday I calmed my sad heart by hiding in my shed studio and stitching up a quick cotton dress.
I used my favourite vintage Maudella Pattern, but not having enough fabric for sleeves decided to omit them.
The resulting dress is far from my best work, I could list everything that is wrong with it, but it's too depressing. Suffice to say it's not great in lots of ways.
Despite that I wore it today.

I had to re draw the armscye, but looking at these photos I might have been better to re draw the neckline too.

Not being brave enough to bare my middle aged arms in public I wore a cropped cardigan over the dress to go out today, and if I wear this dress again in cooler weather I will probably put a long sleeved t shirt underneath.

Not the most inspiring post on the blog eh? Apologies, it's just that sometimes that is how it goes, and you know what? It is ok.

Don't be shy, say hello!


  1. I think you're being a tad harsh with both of these garments. And a little hard on yourself. I think you look fab in both. I particularly love the skirt, which is neither frumpy nor fattening.
    A heavy heart is a hard thing. Wishing you gentler days ahead.

    1. Anonymous8:35 pm

      Sending you hugs. I know this is a difficult time. I like what you made :)

  2. I honestly think you look great in both the dress and skirt - no frumpiness in sight! I hope that in the coming weeks you start to feel a little better about things.

  3. I love both the dress and the skirt, and I think you look fabulous xx

  4. I think sewing is connected to his we feel and although it definitely helps when we are sad I think we see the finished products differently. You don't look fat or frumpy in either, I particularly like the dress. Sending you love and hugs. X x

  5. I know how you are feeling really has nothing to do with the clothes you have made because you look really great in both ! The skirt is beautiful and I it looks beautiful on you. You have your own style and a wonderful talent for sewing. The heavy heart is something a couple of my friends suffer from and I know that there is nothing I can say to really help but at least you know that there are a lot of people out here that really enjoy seeing your creations and reading your blog xxx take care

  6. By the way you are soooo not frumpy !!!!!!

  7. The skirt is very flattering and looks amazing with that top and shoes no way frumpy! You look a million dollars xx

  8. I think you look really cool in both outfits! We are all too critical of ourselves... Where did you buy your shoes? They are fab.

  9. Here's hoping you have some peace for the rest of the summer. It's good that you can see the blues away. The skirt looks excellent, not at all fat or frumpy.

  10. Truly, truly, you are neither fat nor frumpy. Because you are feeling down you are being too hard on yourself and your achievements. Both the skirt and the dress are gorgeous and look fabulous on you, honestly. To put the skirt away would be such a shame. I love your 'new' hair and your shoes, too! (I MUST get a haircut...) You're very talented and I always love your style. Hope you feel better very soon, Jen

  11. Both garments are quite lovely! I particularly like the skirt, I think they are both very flattering on you. Please reconsider.
    Feel better!

  12. Sending big love. Blown away by your sewing skills, as always, and I think you look fab. Last photo especially - big smile and the orange really makes the dress pop!

  13. the skirt:- it's not your waistline or even the wonderful skirt in my opinion it's just the ways you have styled it which should be a little bolder with a wider elastic belt and a pair of heels even if they are kitten heels, maybe even a petty coat to add just a little fullness.

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  15. I think you look beautiful in the skirt!!! (I realise I'm back reading your blog so the feeling might be irrelevant now)
    You've birthed 6 beautiful children and have curves to show it! I think you look lovely!

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