Pause for Thought…


One of the best insights I gleaned from participating in MeMadeMay earlier this year was that I can (without too many problems) wear Memades every day if I force myself to. So why don’t I? Good question…

I probably actually wear MeMades two or three times a week in reality. Clearly sometimes this is about context: I haven’t ventured into making sportswear, I’m not quite skilled enough to contemplate underwear (although I’m sorely tempted) or outerwear such as waterproofs… It’s also about choice. I actually like buying RTW still and I have no plans to stop entirely. Until my skills catch up, I still plan on buying the things I can’t make (or source suitable fabric for).

But while I was away on holiday and forced into contemplating an enforced capsule wardrobe every morning, it struck me that I was never going to wear more MeMades unless my choices were reduced further. And I actually enjoyed having (a little) less choice. Sometimes that very choice is overwhelming. Simpler is sometimes a relief!

So I’m placing myself on a self-imposed RTW diet for the next three months. Yikes! And I’m adding a clause that if I do succumb I have to post about my shameful fall from grace here. I need some sort of public penance to curb my weaknesses! I rarely spend a lot at a time, but I do love a bargain, so sales are my real downfall. I’m going to allow myself footwear (because a girl’s got to have some fun), although even there I need to consider any purchases carefully and right now I don’t actually need any kind of footwear…

And as a reward? I get to treat myself to a fabric shopping spree (within reason, enough for a couple of projects at a time maybe?) at the end of each month. Surely I can manage this? What do you think? My habit is a pretty bad one, but my wallet (still suffering from the fallout from our Florida trip) will thank me πŸ™‚ Wish me luck!



Summer Holiday #sundaysevens, Week 7

The last week of the Summer holidays, sigh! It was about time I got some prep work done for school, so I forced myself to do a couple of hours reading/research/planning each morning after breakfast, getting up a bit earlier to prepare for the imminent return of normality… However this did still leave the afternoons free and I tried to make the most of the last, chilled week of the Summer with the monkeys Β πŸ™‚


On Monday we took a stroll around our local neighbourhood on the way to a nearby park. We had fun noticing the first signs of Autumn fast approaching. No beautiful, autumnal, leaf displays yet Del, but they’re a-coming…


We had a lovely, surprise text from our neighbour while we were out and about on Tuesday, saying that she’d forgotten to cancel her ‘Hello Fresh order having gone away for a few days (organic ingredients and recipes delivered to your doorstep for a number of pre-selected meals). It was on her doorstep if we wanted to claim it? Yes please! My husband was delighted to find me preparing beef and chorizo hamburgers when he arrived home (I’ve been cooking mostly vegan stuff the entire Summer), especially as it was his birthday. We hid the packaging for a while, but he found it eventually and the real reason for the treat became apparant… Still, got some brownie points: bottle of wine at the ready for my neighbour’s return πŸ˜‰

On Wednesday we met up with some friends at Lyme Park, the NT property where Pride and Prejudice was filmed. No handsome men emerging from lakes unfortunately, but the monkeys had a great runaround and built a very impressive den.


On Thursday I forced myself to shorten not one, not two, but three pairs of trousers. One of which had patiently been waiting for well over a year… Better late than never I guess! Anyone else put boring sewing tasks like this off forever?

On Friday we met my parents at Chester Zoo. It’s really near my parents’ house so they buy the monkeys annual passes every Christmas. The photo is the original, founder’s house, as featured in the recent television series ‘Our Zoo‘ if you live in the UK.


Whilst shopping with my daughter on Saturday I happily discovered that not only had I completed my Waterstones stamp card, earning myself a free Β£10 off, my loyalty card also had Β£8 clocked up on it. It would have rude not to have stocked up on a few paperbacks. I can always justify spending on new books by virtue of being an English teacher… It’s vital I keep up-to-date! πŸ˜‰

On Sunday I finally got round to planting up these pansies my Mum had given me to spruce up some pots. They’d been reduced to next to nothing as they were past their best, but Mum advised plenty of water and they’ll be as right as rain again. I’m not totally convinced, but they still look a lot better than the weeds that were previously occupying said pots…

We have a bank holiday here in the UK tomorrow, so the holidays not quite over yet πŸ™‚ Hope everyone else has been making the most of the last few weeks of Summer,



#sundaysevens is a weekly round up of the smaller events of each week that wouldn’t otherwise merit a post of their own. Hop over to Nat’s site, here, for more details and how to join in yourself. I will one day get round to uploading the button…

With a Little Help from my Friends…

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We did it! I’m counting this very much as a team effort: team blogland! Well done everyone! πŸ™‚ Not for the first time I was amazed by the support and advice from all of you out there in helping me to adjust this RTW jacket (see this post if you’re struggling to make sense of any of this) that was languishing in my wardrobe unloved because it was far too ‘boxy’ for my shape.


Above left is the before photo and above right is the after photo. As you can see a few adjustments made all the difference. After rereading all your suggestions kind readers, I researched fish-eye darts, unpicked the lining by quite a bit (probably more than I actually needed to) so that I could clearly see what I was doing and unpicked the side seams from under the arms downwards. I then trialled several placements of said darts on both front pieces on Betty. I was unsure why I needed to do the back as well, but the necessity of this soon became clear as I ended up with totally misaligned lengths for matching front and back back together.

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I’m pleased with the darts that blended in, due to the busy print. The darts exposed on the plainer, light blue background are a little more distracting, but they work. And I’m presuming no one will notice them in the slightest in the ‘real’ world once I’m wearing it. After sewing the darts in, I took in each side seam by a half inch or so (lots of trying on in between all of these stages btw) and pressed carefully. This was the first time I’d had chance to use my new sewing ham, which made pressing the darts far easier to navigate. I then turned the whole jacket inside out to resew the lining side seams back together, which was a little fiddly but looked fine once I’d turned the whole thing back the right way round, phew! Lastly, I hand stitched the lining back to the bottom of the ‘waist’. My relationship with handsewing is much improved thanks to the joy that is sewing wax! If you don’t have any yet, it makes the world of difference and the air a lot less blue! I’m not sure you could even tell I’d been there rummaging around in the innards so I must be getting better!


I’ll leave you with another before and after couple of photos. Dear Lord that selfie-stick one really is bad! πŸ˜‰ I’m so pleased with this thank you everyone πŸ™‚ I’m planning on wearing it for the first, teaching day back at school. Any other teachers find it more pleasant heading back to school with a new jacket or a nice bit of pristine stationery or two? And as a reward for persevering with this and finishing off my daughter’s dress, I’m all set to start a shiny, new sewing project from scratch, by far my favourite Β projects of all…

Again many thanks to everyone who added suggestions, or just wished me luck and encouragement. All very much appreciated πŸ™‚

Teresa x