It’s ‘Sew Grateful‘ week again. A now annual event organised by Debbie over at My Happy Sewing Place. You’ve probably seen posts popping up in your reader all week with giveaways, tutorials and people using patterns they were gifted.

I’m not going to offer you a giveaway (having just held one) and I don’t have a tutorial to offer (I don’t feel qualified!). I haven’t got a pattern that someone gifted me sewn up and ready to share. What I do have is gratitude.

You know me, I’m honest to the point of TMI on this blog sometimes. You all know about the things that have gone right and wrong and some that have floored me and taken a while to pick myself up and dust myself down from. I’ve suffered from depression and the destruction, saddness, alienation and everything that goes with it. To quote the Blogess: “Depression Lies”. Remembering that is hard.

Thankfully I have things mostly on an even keel and have done for a little while now, but every so often I wobble. I’m human. To help combat the wobbles I’ve been keeping a record of things that I’m grateful for.
Now before you get completely weirded out by me (and I accept and love the fact that I’m a little bit weird!) can I ask that you keep reading for a little bit?

This week has been insane and intense for a number of reasons. Work, home, Husband’s business, slamming my hand in the door of the truck (who knew I could swear in multiple languages?!), thinking I was going to have to have my wedding ring cut off as a result of the swelling caused by that damn door… You get the picture. The thing that stopped me starting on a very slippery spiral was just reading back through those gratitudes I’d made a note of.

There were common themes to them which I hadn’t really picked up until I read them back. Family, Boy, Husband were all in there. The fact that I have a nice home and a reasonable income. The one that made me sit and think though was the kindness of people I have never met in real life.

Take Lizzy. I was in a funk on Monday morning but we had a chat on Twitter and she reassured me and virtually held my hand.

Then there’s Maddie. I got completely stuck with a pattern alteration regarding collar roll and reached out to her. In a short amount of time she gave me some starting points on Twitter and is going to provide me with further guidance and advice over the weekend.

Emmie came to my rescue when I was trying to source tailoring supplies and sent some of her own horse hair canvas for me to use. She wanted nothing in return.

Sonja made me laugh about slamming my hand in the truck door.

Some of these people are less than a hundred miles away, others are across the Atlantic or in the other hemisphere. I’ve only met one of them for a brief time in reality. But I’m proud to ‘know’ each and every one of them. I’m proud to ‘know’ each and every person I interact with through Twitter, Instagram and this blog (my social media outlets of choice).

Through sewing, a wonderful range of people and perspectives have entered my life and informed, educated, supported and shared with me not just sewing but their day to day lives. Sweary, I know you’re not into blogs, but you have opened my eyes to so many different things through Twitter.

I can’t think of any other more graphically diverse community that would hold a sewing competition in honour of the marriage of a member of that community. Sew Dolly Clackett is going to be immense? Unreal? I can’t find the right word. And the motivation is not blog views, sponsorship or any form of self gain or promotion. It’s purely because Sarah is across the Atlantic and wanted to do something for Roisin and Nic. Pure and simple.

The blogging, tweeting and instagraming that goes on in our community is so much more than ‘look what I made’. It’s a welcoming group of people with whom you can share life, love, laughter and tears with. That’s pretty damn special.

My gratitude to you guys is immense. I love helping you out when I can, lending an ear, pattern, opinion, support. Just being part of this community has enriched my life immeasurably. Thank you x

Down then Up!

As there was a pause in the Lonsdale Minoru (whoops, don’t know what I was thinking when I typed that!) sew along yesterday, I decided to continue with my cornflower blue Jasmine instead. I made the sleeves yesterday evening, including attaching the cuffs and hand stitching them down on the inside which really gives a beautiful finish. I then set my first ever sleeve. It went in beautifully, if slowly, as I was being really careful.

I then flipped everything out to the right side to check I hadn’t put any inadvertent pleats in. Hurrah no pleats. Then I checked the underarm seam lined up with the side seam – beautiful. But. There were the seam allowances on the outside. Oh for goodness sake! (That’s the edited version, I didn’t throw a hissy fit of swear, or vocalise any of it, but internally I gave my self a fairly stern telling off!)

So at 10:30 last night I unpicked the basting and final stitching on that sleeve and carefully pinned it the right way round into the other arm hole. By that time it was 11:00 so I decided not to do anymore on it and went to bed. But oh dear, was I hacked off about it. I’d wanted to finish the sleeves last night, and maybe even hem it. (Don’t worry, it’s been hanging all weekend sans sleeves so the hem would be ready to do as I know you need to hang a bias garment before hemming)

So that was the down.

This morning is the up! Our lovely post lady came as usual at about 8:30 this morning. Today is one of my days at home with Boy so I was here when she popped two envelopes through the door. And they were both for me and both international! One expected and one not. Both brought big big smiles to my face though!

So, first up the expected one:

Expected, but not Quite so Quickly!

Yup, that’s my Renfrew top pattern! I swear I only got the dispatch email just before the weekend. Heck, I only ordered it on 23 Jan and on the 31st it’s in my hands! I’m so glad a I pre washed that jersey I bought at Oxfam as I can’t wait to make a start on it (once I’ve researched a FBA for a top like this…)

This was the unexpected one:

Surprise Packages are the Best!

An envelope from Annabelle of Annabelle Bumps. Inside was some very pale grey silk organza and this lovely little notecard. Isn’t the dress form die cut gorgeous? She’s been having a nightmare trying to source some 2″ elastic for her Renfrew jacket so whilst trying to find that, she came across some silk organza and thought of me! I’ve been rattling on about making another Jasmine using some star printed cotton shirting and using organza as the interfacing, rather than fusible, so she sent this to me to use!

The generosity and thoughtfulness of other bloggers in this sewing community of ours just blows me away. Whilst trying to source something for her own make Annabelle thought of me and took the time and effort to send this. I love this community of ours and the support we give each other. I know for a fact I would not have improved as much as I have without the support you’ve all given me and the knowledge that is so freely shared. Thank you xxx