Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A coat for Caitlin: Part 1

Word is getting around in my family that I am doing some unselfish sewing and on a (very drunken) night out to celebrate my Dad's 60th birthday, my step sister commissioned me to make a coat for her gorgeous daughter Caitlin.  Me being my idiotic (and tipsy) self said I would do it as her Christmas present - it was only a couple of days later that I realised Christmas is ONLY 4 WEEKS AWAY. Doh!

So now I' working to a pretty tight deadline with heaps of pressure to make it good - I feel a big responsibility to make it just right as Caitlin gets cold very easily so I want to make sure its warm enough but not too hot.

M6637 Toddlers'/Children's Lined Jackets, Pants and Mittens McCall's Pattern
McCalls M6637

I've ordered some purple ripstop and some waterproof fleece from eBay and the pattern and zip from Jaycotts so I'm just waiting for it all to arrive then I will be sewing like a maniac to try and get it done.  I'm hoping it will be alright without having to do a muslin and fittings - I don't want to hassle her too much.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Negroni for Helen: Part 1

After the coat muslin fiasco I'm going all out with my muslins now.   I've just finished the Negroni muslin for my sister and have done a fitting.  I've never sewn a Collette pattern before and I got myself a bit confused with the instructions in places but I got through it and I like the stlye and construcion of it - it was pretty simple once I got my head round the instructions. 

I was expecting to have to do a lot of adjustments to get the fit right for Helen (it is a mens pattern afterall) but she doesn't like things too fitted anyway so all I need to do is add a bit of length and add some extra buttons as well as epaulettes.

Won't be able to actually make it until we get a chance o go fabric shopping though which isn't easy as she works full-time and weekends are difficult for me.  We'll get there though.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Exciting happenings

Well, there are lots of things occurring chez Smith at the moment.

Stuart is letting me turn a corner of the living room into my very own slice of heaven - I'm getting a sewing corner!  I can't tell you how excited I am about this - I've started a little Pinterest board dedicated to my plans and I have never been on the Ikea website so much in my life.  He got a gift voucher from work for 7 years service which he is using to buy me a desk (I had already decided on a small £10 desk that would do for keeping my machine on but he decided it wasn't big enough so is spending the whole voucher on one) and has said that he will redecorate the living room and that I can have whatever I want for my little corner.

Also, aside fro the occassional dress for Faith and one top for Mum, the only things I sew are for myself because I don't think I'm good enough to sew for other people.  Well, that is all changing too: my Dad and step-Mum were amazed when they realised I had made my coat myself (I've only been wearing it about 6 months!) and my sister told Dad that I was making her a shirt - he now wants me to make some shirts for him too!

Unfortunately that means I'm going to have to start getting really disciplined with my sewing - no more getting fed up of something half way through sewing.  It also means I am now getting a rather long to do list, so I figured I would alternate making things for me and others:
  1. Helen's Negroni shirt
  2. Finish my Thurlow trousers
  3. Stuart's Negroni
  4. Make myself a waterproof Minoru ready for summer gigs
  5. Dad's shirts
  6. My Crepe dress
  7. Stuart's Minoru
That should mean that I will have plenty to blog about over the coming months

Monday, 5 November 2012

Ramblings about body image

I've been thinking a lot today about body image - both my own and my daughters.

I think that since having her 3 years ago I have tried to appear happy and confident about my body for her sake, both consciously and unconsciously   I am not afraid to be naked in front of her, I am not embarrassed when she stares at my nakedness or asks questions about it.  I tell her she is beautiful and perfect because that is exactly what she is.  When I look at her I see no faults at all - I just see the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen.  Okay, part of that will just be because she is my daughter, but I am sure it is so much more than that:  she still has that pure innocence about looks and behaviours.  I don't think she has ever told me she doesn't like anyone unless she is being stubborn and doesn't want to see Nana!

She is completely unashamed to be running around the house naked, rolling around on the floor flashing her bum, she frequently sits on the sofa and touches herself without wondering if its an acceptable thing to do in public.

I am actually in awe of her freeness and acceptance of everything and everyone.  Even when shopping today and pointing out that a lady had a big bum, it was not done with any negativity, she was merely pointing out something she had noticed.  

I'm not saying that this is in any way down to my openness with her having a some sort of positive effect, maybe its too early to be having any effect at all.  

But what if my relatively unconscious openness will help her to keep hold of her body confidence for  little bit longer.  What if by making a conscious effort to be more comfortable in my own skin, she will be comfortable in hers even once her childhood innocence has been erased by the world around her.

I am by no means happy with my body but I have learnt to accept the body I have: the lumps, dimply bits, wobbly bits, saggy bits, the big bits, the just plain weird bits, more than ever since having Faith.  Pregnancy and childbirth was very kind to me - I didn't pile on the weight or get stretchmarks or stubborn loose skin - but it left its mark nonetheless and rather than being something I wish I didn't have, most of the time I am proud of the way it left me - my boobs may be saggier than I would want, but they are like that because I gave my daughter the best start in life I could give her - how could I be ashamed of that?

Like most people, I have struggled a lot with my perception of myself and it has led me at times down a very dark path of self loathing, something I will do whatever is in my power to stop happening to my daughter.

But it is nothing new is it?  My Mum is terrible for it - she is always putting herself down because she doesn't think she is beautiful - truth is that I look at my Mum the same way I look at my daughter - to me she has always been beautiful because of who she is, what she has done, and how she looks.

So, why do we all feel as though we have to be beautiful to other people in order to have confidence in ourselves?  Why do we allow the world around us to dictate how we should perceive beauty?  And why do we allow it to destroy the self-worth of our children?

Faithisms #5

"That lady's bum is really big"

"You are very good at weeing Mummy"

We went shopping this morning, Faith's first shopping trip in pants (no accidents by the way) and I was proud not only of Faith but me as well.  I've come a long way since having her - before she was born I used to get so embarrassed when any attention was drawn to me (usually by Stuart acting like a fool!) but now I can apparently go into a supermarket and not be the slightest bit embarrassed by my child very loudly pointing out the the lady in the cubicle next to us in the toilets was having a big we just like her, nor was I embarrassed while pushing the trolley when she decided to point out that the lady we were walking past had a really big bum, or even when she told me I was very good at weeing!