A Morning Journey to a Place of Vision

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Picture credit: DIDA Clothiers on Facebook
To see more of their beautiful creations follow them on Facebook and
visit their website at  http://www.didaclothiers.co.za/

 

It is a Tuesday morning and the appointment is for 10h00. At 9h20 I send Doris Ikeri an apologetic text.   ‘Might not make it! GPS says I’m 9km away, but something is badly wrong on the N14.’

I get a reply half an hour and 500m later. ‘No worries, I’ll wait for you’.  At 10h15 I finally pass the scene where all 3 lanes had been closed.  Something resembling a ball of crushed tinfoil is being hoisted onto a truck.  If you look closely, you realize it had once been a small white car.

The Pretoria CBD is not somewhere I go if I can help it.  To middle class white housewives like me it is the epitome of Paradise Lost.  Although I find the address easily enough, finding parking anywhere close by proves as impossible as I had feared!  This time I call Doris instead of texting. It is 9h30. I hate being late and my insides feel like that unforgettable ball of metal I saw next to the N14.

She hands the phone to her social media manager.

At that moment I am too busy negotiating one-way streets, minibus taxis and aggressive parking attendants to reflect on the fact that the person assumed to be a relatively small clothes designer for my modest research project about people who sew, has a social media manager.

“I will stand in the street and show you into the warehouse parking. What car are you driving? I will wave!”  A bright yellow Mazda you can’t miss…but it feels like every second person in the chaotic streets is waving to direct me into an alley!

By the time I switch off the car, breathe a sigh of relief and take a good look at the young man who had jumped into the passenger seat beside me at the corner, the morning has taken on a surreal quality.

Phillip has a warm, confident smile and a spunky hairstyle. He introduces himself properly:  he is a social media/marketing consultant and Dida Clothiers is one of his clients.

Doris is in a meeting and we wait on a sofa in front of the rolled-up warehouse door, looking out on to a  peaceful landscape painted on the wall of the opposite building.  He chats to me about his work for Dida and his quest to add value to different customers’ social media platforms by encouraging collaboration.  I learn that Dida Clothiers is just one part of what Doris is all about.  The main focus of her business is hair care products, distributed through a large dealer network.

He came on board to be involved in social media marketing of the clothing line as well as the development of her Afrocentric lifestyle magazine.  But the more he talks, the more I realize that I have just met one of those enviable people who recognize potential and possibilities everywhere he looks.  Before long I am getting a free but valuable consulting session regarding my sewing-journal project!  It feels as if the very air around Phillip is charged with ideas: his brain is constantly processing everything he sees and hears and working out ways it can be celebrated and shared.

Coming out of the meeting, Doris greets me with an embrace as if we are old acquaintances.  We retreat to her office for the interview.  Spending time with this remarkable woman is like sitting sit down on a rock next to a river in Africa, with someone full of wisdom and patience and all the time in the world.  Doris has a calm, poetic way of speaking.  It is easy to forget this is a businesswoman with a full schedule, and that the tumult of the Pretoria CBD is crunching the streets and pavements outside!

She came to South Africa from Nigeria 12 years ago.  She lives with the conviction of God’s calling on her life, so she moved with the vision of what she could offer in this country.  Never wavering from her calling she steadily developed her business into what it is today.  Her core inspiration is African Identity: across the borders of different ethnicities, tribes, languages and countries, there is a wealth of culture to be rejoiced in.

The clothing range is unashamedly Afrocentric, but because the designs are custom made she finds joy in identifying different African elements which reflect the wearer of each garment’s background – precious to him or her.  It transcends stereotypes.  For Doris, fashion is an authentic part of celebrating identity.

I had sent her a naive list of potential sewing-related questions – I now blush when I realize how off-the-mark my assumptions had been.  She is not a needlewoman herself as I had assumed when I asked to meet her:  I realize she is the creative force that inspires those around her to take pride in their talents and identities, and flourish!

She invites me into the boardroom where her team had been continuing the meeting while she spent time with me.  A room full of faces turn towards me at her introduction and I witter out an inelegant explanation for my visit:  I had noticed the clothes on a mutual friend’s Facebook page because my friend’s blonde daughter was one of the models in a Dida photo shoot.

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Picture credit:   http://www.didaclothiers.co.za/

Including a Caucasian model to showcase an Afrocentric clothing line made me sit up and think differently about clothes I might otherwise have considered to be “not for me”.  A small inclusive gesture made me wish to know more.

Phillip shows me the workshop where under the hands of three men and one woman the Dida artworks take shape. I had not come prepared for this either, and the moment passes awkwardly while I search in vain for the right words to express my admiration to these enormously talented people at the sewing tables.

Fabric of all colours and textures seems to explode from shelves on one side of the room.

“I am designing another display system for their materials,” Phillip tells me. He describes a tree-like wooden structure from which the fabric stash spills as it is draped over branches to be easily accessible for cutting, while at the same time adding joy to the workshop.

I can see it, and it makes perfect sense.

***

The Dida Clothiers showroom is at another address.  With a streetwise young man in the car I find a parking space quickly this time.  Even so we still have to walk a short distance through the ever-flowing river of people on the sidewalk, but it is reassuring to walk next to someone who has the confidence of belonging.

The showroom is a carnival of design, print and embellishments.  No two garments are the same.

“We want to branch out into mass production now,” Phillip tells me. I ask him to define ‘mass production’.  “Well, it means that we will make one of each size of some designs. We also think of things like T-shirts with just a little bit of African detail, which everybody is comfortable to wear as a subtle and affordable way of expressing identity. ”

Now that is an idea of ‘mass production’ which I – with my home-seamstress-dislike of fast fashion – can thoroughly respect!

As we say goodbye after he had walked me to my car, I realize that some of the energy of the Pretoria CBD had seeped into my skin this morning.  I will never again be able to view this place as something “which once was”.  It is not a lost paradise.

Instead, when I look around me I suddenly see life.  The city centre might look messy and apparently chaotic in my eyes, because I carry around memories of the slower-moving, dignified Pretoria where I had lived and worked in long-gone days before 1994. In truth it is still a place full of potential, growth and celebration; embodied in people like Doris and Phillip.  The Africa of today and tomorrow.

I tip the sidewalk car guard who had shunted me into the precious parking spot earlier.  “You must close your window, mama” he cautions: “you must be safe.”

But his morning, this suburban mama is so glad that I opened my window wider than usual!

***

Stitching together Words instead of Seams

I am currently committing quite a bit of time and enthusiasm to a non-sewing project.

Or wait, that is not quite true:  It is actually ALL ABOUT sewing, but does not involve any sewing on MY part.

It is a creative writing project about which I am very excited, but of course I do not want to give away too much too early.

In the course of the project I  will invite some of the people I meet to visit this blog, just so they can get a idea of who I am as a home seamstress, and what my “tone of voice” is when I write.  It is especially to those visitors that I want to say: “Thank you for your time, and for coming over here to read!”  (And if anyone that I invited over wants to get an idea of how I sound in Afrikaans, please click on the Weghol-Windgebede tab at the top of this blog.)

Let me tell you, I am meeting the most humbling creative people lately… I constantly have to stop myself from over-using adjectives like “irrepressible”, “unconquerable”, “formidable”, “brilliant”, “resourceful”, “inspired”, “ingenious”…. I could go on and on…

I hope to be able to tell more about this project in the near future!

Un(?)(der)wearables…the last frontier

I considered doing a burlesq-ish post here, taking selfies in my underwear and manipulating them into artful pictures to make my BEIGE underwear look as sexy as possible.

I understand it is not PC to say flesh-coloured or nude, and I respect why, but oh! to say I made a “beige bra” sounds SO VERY very middle-aged…

Anyway…to show of my UNDIES. Of which I am proud.  I want to say this is once where the end results really look better on my imperfect body than on the dressform, even though I gave her some extra padding! Good feeling!

(For the record: I LIKE beige.  We could choose anything from purple to silver and black to carnival pink for our kit for a 2-day Basic Underwear Techniques class at the end of last year.  I choose beige.  Because I am adventurous like that, haha.)

It was with a local teacher who designs her own patterns and also sews  custom underwear for clients.  She has been in business since the 80’s! Her website can be viewed here.

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In a thoroughly enjoyable two days  she demystified scary underwear-sewing with lycra and lace.  I finished one bra and one panty during the course (I am afraid I lagged behind because I am a very slow seamstress!) and cut out two more bras from the kit supplied.  But I am afraid those two were in danger of becoming unfinished projects.

A while ago the teacher contacted us to invite us to a morning tea, and come show and tell and ask questions if we had any.  In order to have something to show, I dug out the scraps of lycra and the instruction sheets.  Wow, amazing how quickly one can forget stuff you learned!

I am very thankful that she provided the incentive to get down and dirty again!  I now have three bras from the kit, and could “test drive” the different styles.

The first one – “Charné” –  is an un-wired style ( comfortable, very supportive but not very sexy on me at all).  I don’t think I will use this pattern again. One does want to feel sexy.  Even if one is truly beige and middle-aged…

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The second was an underwired lacy bra –  “Bernadette”.  A little more feminine, but the upper edge of the stretch lace is reinforced with narrow elastic, and that gives me a bit of a “boob-muffin”.  Not nice.  But I will play with this pattern – it has potential.

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The third – “Dolene” is also an underwired style.  I made mine just in lycra, but the upper cups can be done in lace.  This is my favourite.  It fits like a dream and gives a lovely shape.bra3

All the patterns can be padded if you choose – we were taught how to in the class.

I bought a black kit from her as well.  We have now shown we are not afraid of beige, right? Time to release my inner Dita Von Teese…

************

EDIT after the weekend:  “KLARISABET’s SECRET”
(Move over, Victoria!)

I could not resist doing the Burlesque thing.  I, a respectable aunty of almost fifty, took cellphone selfies of my underwear.  And now I update this post with it because I think most of the clicks on it has already come and gone, but still I want to show off to SOMEBODY {-;  

EDIT AGAIN AFTER A FEW DAYS…  Ja-well. I learned my lesson.  No sooner had I modeled my underwear on my little blog which is read by on average 10 respectable-looking fellow seamstresses, than some dude decides to copy my post to his blog (which is quite possibly one of those spammy computer blog things that randomly posts by copying other people’s blogs. ) Anyway, this person never had the courtesy to introduce himself or ask permission to copy anything, so I do not consider him worth my time, but I realised that when you open the WordPress Reader and see “search billions of WordPress blogs” at the top op the page, still do not automatically assume that you get lost in the sea of anonimity and model pictures of your homemade bra on your own little blog.  Lesson learned.

To the bad-mannered bloke I just want to say, on the one-in-a-billion chance that he comes back and reads here:  “Not cool, Mamparra”!

Anyway:

I unpicked a favourite old bra of mine (note the tattered lace and the stretched out lycra!) and made a pattern out of it.

 

 

I lined black lace with a layer of quite heavy beige lycra for the bottom cup.   I love the result, it is even more comfy than the original.

I am thoroughly addicted to lingerie making now!

Of Corseted Maidens and Checkered Bards

My two big kids had their yearly cosplay highlight – Geekfest 2017 – today.

I know that my daughter did not choose to go dressed up in a scary siren (complete with a mutant sword comprised of muscle tissue and bone) because she is bloodthirsty at heart, but because she browsed characters and costumes to choose something that would be (a) doable without physically altering her own appearance too much (b) technically executable (c) a creative challenge (d) economic (e) authentic…meaning that at least she did play the game a bit herself at one stage.

Enter “Trish” from “Devil May Cry”  (Mommy winces and stops just short of crossing herself)

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The pattern she used is Simplicity 2067.

And that is as much as I can really say about the construction!

She did not ask me for any help.  The pattern hack was entirely figured out by herself, and she knew she had only one chance to sew on the faux leather, so she did some sort of muslin beforehand.  There was some nursing of sore fingers from lots of  top-stitching faux leather by hand. There was a re-make of the striped cotton insert because the first attempt did not work out. But next thing I knew, she presented the corset.  Pretty good fit!

She hand-painted the detail on the side- panels:

A lot of effort went into the sword construction.  She cut it out of cardboard and covered the shape with expandable foam which she then carved into shape and textured and painted to get the desired effect.  When I first saw it I went: “Uhm…it looks rather like..well…meat…”

“Well yes, Mom, it is supposed to look like meat.  It is a mutant sword that takes on the flesh and bone of victims…”  (Or something like that.  I kind of went into denial at some point.)

But is it art?

Well yes.  Expandable foam, modelling clay, a toilet roll holder somewhere, duct tape, found objects…. Yes. I would say It Is Art.

These two pics I stole off her Facebook page, taken at the venue:

At least her brother – a.k.a. Cacafonix The Bard – lightened the mood:

(Self-sewn, self drafted costume as well… with less than minimum help from me because he does not listen to advice much anyway.)

At the end of the day they both came home with starry eyes after all the good feedback and comments they got at the event.

I may not always understand what they are about, but I am boundlessly proud of their creativity!

***

* I am a Christian and I brought up my kids to be Christians. Their interest in some computer games and subcultures make me uncomfortable.  But I am also a very realistic person, so I know my kids ARE NOT ME and neither are they the sum total of just one of their interests. They are well rounded individuals…(well most of the time)…

Sewing Space and Sudoku Progress

(*Procrastination alert*)

Just look how the Daughter’s winter casual wardrobe is coming along!  I only have 5 items left to sew.  I have grown tired of the black and grey palette. Although I have all the fabric I originally planned for the remaining items, I decided it is time to rather go shopping again.  We need to bring some red in, goodness: woman shall not live by black and grey alone!

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I took some time today to tidy my sewing space, and then I took a few pictures.  High time I also document a blog post about the little corner of the house where I spend most of my spare time!

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The space is really very small.  It used to be a laundry room, and the floor space is only 2.5m x 2.4m!

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I moved my washing machine and dryer to a little corner in a passage linking the laundry to the kitchen.  (There is just enough space in the walk-through to erect the ironing board in front of the washing machines, but when I work I  mostly put the ironing board in front of the built in closets and push the dress form into a corner.  It is then quite a mission to get anything out of the closets – where the household linen as well as my modest fabric stash is kept.)

The wardrobe has been mine since I was a toddler.  It is now the “Unfinished Projects Closet”.  As well as the “This Was A Mistake” Closet.  The mirror comes in handy for quick fittings.

On top of my childhood wardrobe are two vintage suitcases that also used to belong to my aunt.  They are full of my kids’ childhood toys now.

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The filing cabinet and chest of drawers are full of craft supplies and stationery.  I painted everything in the room  – the free standing furniture and shelves – the same cream colour as the built in closets.  It immediately made the little space seem larger.

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My sewing table used to be a neighbor’s woodwork table in his garage.  The table top was very damaged, but after covering it with a layer of the cream paint, I sanded it down again to show the grain of the wood as well as the distressed surface.  I love the result.

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I keep all my sewing stuff in tins.  Each tin has a story or was given to me by a special friend.  The biscuit tin with the Audrey-Hepburn type picture on it, was my aunt’s tin full of sewing things like bias binding and zippers. She passed away two years ago.  When I open it, I still get “her smell” and I miss her terribly.

The red tea tin with the Japanese girl was among my mother’s needlework supplies, filled with curtain rings.

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The wooden fold-open sewing box belonged to my late grandmother. The thread in it comes from her stash.

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The champagne box contained a bottle we emptied on my 40th birthday (-;  It now houses a selection of ribbon and lace.  Every container on those shelves is not just sentimental, but serves a specific storage purpose as well.

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(The frog sitting on the Moët box was a toy I bought myself at a Church Bazaar when I was 8 years old…)

Though the space is small, it opens directly into a corner of the garden so I never need to feel claustrophobic.  Sometimes I just sit at “my desk” to have my coffee and browse the net in a quiet moment.

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It really is my “safe” and creative space. Though I still take over the rest of the house when cutting on the dining room table or living room floor, it is nice to have a little nook where I don’t have to put projects away in order for some other family activity to happen.

Finally, just for fun:  The left-over color pencils from my eldest two kids’ school years.  For the last two years I stopped buying any colour pencils for number 3.  He can just grab whatever color he needs from “the stash” {-;

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Art Nouveau Ladies and Vintage Sugar and Lace

 

Sewing is progressing slowly in this house: occasionally stuff happens, it just does not get photographed.  Some fabric for The Daughter’s Sudoko Grid for her winter school wardrobe got “re-deployed” elsewhere.  In the process I started ANOTHER Sudoku grid for a “Performance Wardrobe” for her Jazz gigs.  More about that later.

This jacket/coat is hanging a bit before I hem it:

I want to tell about the little shop where I bought the 1990’s pattern.  We discovered this gem of a vintage shop in December 2015 when we were on holiday the Drakensberg, and visited there again this January.  The proprietress of the shop – Sandra Lemmer – relocated the authentic stock from a pre-1970’s general dealer in another part of the country, to a museum store on a farm near Winterton.  Sandra’s story can be read here.

The first time we visited I did not take many pictures, except for this one where Sandra was filling an old-fashioned paper-bag full of sweets for my little son.

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On display she had sweets from the original store – many, many years old and mostly not sweets you find today any more!  (Sugar really has a long shelf-life…but rest assured, those are not what she sells to the customers, they were for display purposes only. )

When we visited again in January this year, I took a few more pictures:

So now I finally got around to sewing the pattern which I rummaged out of a box full of old patterns the first time we were there. Sandra said if I ever sew it, I must please share a picture to the Shop’s Facebook page… I will do that once I added the dress as well  {-;

Something hugely amusing I almost bought last time we visited.  But my husband assured me I do not need it. (Not yet.)  Do yourself a favour and read the detail:

How about that….

In other news:  because everything I am sewing for The Daughter is black or grey at the moment (aaaaargh….) I just had to take a break from her stuff to avoid getting colour-withdrawal syndrome.  So I sewed a Tessuti Favourite Top (free downloadable pattern here, it is a gem…) in the most gorgeous printed scuba knit.  I wanted to keep it for myself, to be honest, but I actually realised while I was cutting that the fabric design matched a friend of mine’s personality to a T.  I forgot to take a proper picture before I delivered it, but these were the teasers I sent her from my phone:

And finally:  What my son has been sewing.  He is making a “Cacafonix the Bard” costume (the bloke who always gets trussed and gagged on the last page of every Asterix comic:)

I am chuffed with The Son: he cut that shirt free-hand, but he cut it on the bias because the curtaining fabric he bought for it is actually a diamond pattern and he wanted a check.  The shirt ended up being wonderfully comfortable and he now wears it to class at university.  (In case anyone wondered, he is a Financial Accounting student, not an arts or theater or literature student in spite of the hippy image!)

Talking about sewing for men:  The Payer of Fabric Store Invoices wants a pair of tracksuit pants.  Do you think I can find a useable pattern from any of the Big 4?  Vogue has nice formal/office/outerwear patterns.  As for the others, it is just ridiculous.  These are ALL the patterns for men on Butterick’s page:

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So, the Father of Cacafonix can choose if he wants to look like Nelson Mandela, Inspector Clousseau, a priest or an extra in Grey’s Anatomy.  He can go academic or go to sleep.  But even B5153 looks more like pajamas than tracksuit pants.

If anyone out there knows about a sensible pattern for men’s tracksuit pants, PLEASE let me know!

Sudoku Busted!

The contest gallery for the Pattern Review Sudoku Contest is filling up.  The wardrobes the ladies are creating are wonderful.  This is one of the highest-standard challenges I have seen taking shape yet, and still: it does not feel like a competition at all…on the discussion board everyone is helping each other out with advice, suggestions and motivation.  I am so glad I did this one!

It was super gratifying to see my grid come to life over the last 2 months: from a sticky-tape storyboard with fabric scraps and line drawings, to a cupboard full of winter clothes.   Quite a few plan-changes happened along the way:

This morning I bit the bullet and played (a) stylist (b) model and (c) photographer…and this evening I played (d) graphic designer, creating the composite pictures on Microsoft Excel instead of some smart photocollage program.

This is what a DIY Onewoman fashion shoot looks like:

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Spot the camera set on auto-shoot, the computer on which I ticked off Sudoku combinations as I photographed them and the Moroccan rug which I specifically included on the “staging” to have a “X Marks The Spot” position to which I could quickly rush after pressing the 10-second self-timer.

Great fun was had by all.  The fashion shoot team I only photographed the 10 main Sudoku combinations – across, down and diagonal – but in reality I can get a lot more if I play “Advanced” Sudoku.

*insert nerdy, clever-looking emoticon here*

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I just did NOT have the energy to photograph ALL the combinations!  These are the shots I used in my composite picture  for the PR Competition entry… plus 2 random ones where I got messed up  (-;

To conclude:  I am indecently proud of this collection, but the item I probably enjoyed most to sew was this reversible bag out of remnants from the other garments:

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I think I now have the reversible bug out of my system!

Fail February: Reversible Recall

Red of Sew Red-y is helping a lot of us to ‘get closure’ on our less successful projects this month, with her Fail February initiative.

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I got stuck on the third item for my Sudoku grid, and with stuck I mean properly stranded, taking three weeks to produce an unlined unfitted cape-like jacket with unfinished seams.

Thing is: I made it infinitely more difficult than necessary. I had a charcoal knit in my stash, and decided to make Vogue 9140 from it, but line it to make it reversible.

My previous reversible effort was this:

Two years ago, for my first PR Wardrobe challenge, I made the above uncomfortable   U.U.U.G.G.L.Y!  thing.  Apart from obvious fitting issues, the warped check design created the optical illusion that I was pregnant.

It did not look too bad when I styled it for the composite picture below, but in reality I never wore it even once before giving it away to someone who I don’t think ever wore it either…

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But while I looked up the horrible reversible jacket, I realized that most of that wardrobe was actually a  FAIL.  Oh my.  I cringe when I look at some of it.

The brown cowl top, the 90’s  floral dress and drawstring-sleeved tunic were the only things that I liked wearing.  But the wide-legged pants?  Yuk!  The denim flared skirt? Made it too tight so its been worn only twice.  The long red tunic? That style is sooooo dated now! And after this post we shall never mention the 2-in-none jacket again.

So I should have known better than to even TRY making V9140 reversible.  But just to make it worse, I decided the beige check I was planning to use for lining was TOO contrasting, and I went shopping for a lightweight charcoal knit.  I came home with a tracksuit knit even  heavier than my jersey knit. Marked down because of a flaw. Sucker, I am.

Eventually I had to admit (after I had laboriously completed both layers): my over-engineered reversible jacket would too heavy.  Thus the reversible plan went out the window and my daughter scored the jersey  incarnation while I kept the tracksuit-knit one.

When I sew with fabric I do not really like, I tend to procrastinate a lot.  Working in this DEAD grey just did not make me excited about getting back to the sewing machine after any distraction (of which there are many, lately.)   To be honest, if I did not feel compelled to do a Fail February blogpost about it before the month was over, it would STILL not be finished.  Yeah for blog challenges!

When the Daughter first tried on her version, she pulled the hood over her head and went: “I am a Dementor! I am going to suck all the joy and hope out of you!”  Yep. That.

 

This is not ENTIRELY a “fail”.  It will wearable, like a bathrobe I can wrap around me to lounge around the house listlessly.  Any Dementor spotting me in it, will lose interest and decide his work here has already been done. So. It is actually some kind of secret weapon.

I have now ruined my own well-planned sewing aspirations and left myself with only one month to sew all the remaining nine items I need to populate the grid.

But the disturbing thing is that I still have this nagging compulsion to make a reversible jacket…

Sew Sever-ely Uninspired

After starting the year in a wave of enthusiasm with two kids off to ‘varsity’ and the school run suddenly almost insignificant.  Instead  I unexpectedly find myself a home-school-mom.

The first week-and-a-half has been the stuff nervous breakdowns are made of.  I NEVER considered home-schooling.  I honestly admire women who do it successfully…but I also shudder at some of the results I have seen after disastrous home-school decisions.  And my kids always (correction…MOSTLY, life isn’t perfect after all…) loved school.  Especially Little Son.  An extrovert, he flourishes in the public school situation.

He has however developed Sever’s Disease.  We have been in and out of doctors’ and physiotherapists’ and podiatrist’s rooms since August.  According to all internet sources, the condition is supposed to go away in “two to six weeks”…well, my little man has been on crutches for five months.  We hoped that after the December holiday the rest would have resulted in recovery, but two weeks into the school term, the symptoms were back worse than before.  So, with the consent of his school, I keep him at home so he can rest and recover, and the teachers send us all the work so we can keep up until he has seen a specialist, which will thankfully be on Monday. Hopefully, then we will know how to proceed.

All I can say is: “Home School Moms of the World, I Salute You!

So.

Very little sewing being done.  Not nothing at all, mind you.  I completed two unfinished projects – the Pussy-bow dress and a gorgeous LBD that was a by-product of last year’s epic formalwear dress journey.

The Daughter is head-over-heels swept up in college life, and there has truly been just no time to pose in Mummy’s finally finished projects! I wanted to brag with them in either the PR UFO contest, or ElizabethMadeThis’s Day/Night Dress Challenge  but due to lack of photos I missed the deadline.  As they say in Afrikaans:  “Mostert na die maal!” (Mustard after the meal) but I finally got her to stand still for two pics.  And then realised I will have to shorten the hem of the lining on that LBD.  Pfffffffff…..

But I do dream.  I want to do the PR Sudoku Wardrobe Challenge, so badly!  Maybe on Monday we will get good news, and then I can get back into my sewing room…

Not quite Talitha Getty

Or: “What To Wear When Going To Morocco In Winter.”

I am going to visit Morocco! Casablanca, accompanying my husband on a business trip. Well, I must still get the visa and organize someone to take care of Little Son for a week, but that has not stopped me from launching into immediate wardrobe planning!

Edit 1/23: Not happening this time around.  Little Son has health issues which means I am going to have to home-school him for a while and  I will not be able to take trips without him. But still.  Wardrobe planning is always good for the morale, so I am sewing on!

moroccan-style-3

Research on the internet on sites such as Trip Advisor yielded some guidelines:

  1.  Modesty. It is a Muslim country.  Show some respect and cover your shoulders and legs, and if wearing jeans, wear long tops.
  2. Layers.  The weather is unpredictable.
  3. Do not go over-exotic.  The locals are going to laugh at you.

After browsing the “sensible” sites, I indulged in Pinterest searches like “Moroccan Style”…with mostly not-helpful results:

I mean.  Really. REALLY!

This is EXACTLY what you do NOT want to wear when visiting Morocco, according to people with brains. You are just going to get the sort of attention you do NOT want.

This picture really made me shake my head:

morocco-talitha-getty

It was only after reading about the chick in the picture that I appreciated the context of it, but before that the sinister-looking figure in the background just creeped me out. (This is apparently an iconic picture by Lord Lichfield, of tragic 60’s style icon Talitha Getty and her billionaire husband Paul Getty II. Now I know.)

Anyway.

I have sewing to do.  These are the inpiration pics for my travel wardrobe:

And these are the fabrics I have so far:

moroccan-style-fabrics

Since I won’t go to Morocco, I will aim this whole exercise at (a) having stuff to wear in winter and (b)  The Pattern Review Sudoku wardrobe challenge!