Plotting and Planning But Not a Lot of Sewing… Yet…

I’m not even keeping up with my ‘one post a month’ target at the moment am I?!  But hey, tell you something you don’t know – right?  I promise I’ve had my reasons though, the main one being this:


Meet Fidget, mostly known as ‘our baby’ if you ask Boy.  It’s earned the moniker as during the dating scan earlier this week they did not want to stay still and have their measurements taken, or give the sonographer an easy first appointment of the day!  Hence the face down, slightly blurry image!  Everything looked good though and the blood tests have come back as all being well.  We’ve also made it out of the first Trimester so are starting to feel a little less worried and able to share the news.  We’re hoping to meet Fidget in mid to late February.

I’ve been too tired to sew and the be quite honest, not even sure WHAT to sew!  Bed time has been 9pm for weeks, which basically means no sewing.  Sleep was the priority!  Instead I’ve been hoping, dreaming and making some vague plans – what to wear being one element.

I’ve had fun sketching in my Fashionary and come up with a few ideas that I hope will work in the coming 6 months or so as well as afterwards, and some may even have a longer ‘shelf life’.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Butterick 5860, which is a wrap dress.  I’ve got some fabric earmarked to make at least two of these as I suspect they’ll become my uniform at work.  I have a colleague who had the most chic and pulled together maternity wardrobe during her recent second pregnancy and is the inspiration for a couple of pieces in my planned wardrobe…

Staple Dress by April Rhodes but with the shirring falling just under the bust and with a bump accommodating adjustment.  This is currently in progress.  I’ve just got to get brave to make the bias binding from a very silky rayon.  I’m gonna have to face that soon as I need it for a wedding in just under two weeks!

Papercut Patterns Circle Top as this will work now and well into the future!  So far I’ve got a navy and a purple version planned.  These will be in solids to give maximum wearing potential and are in two of my basic colours.

Maria Denmark Day to Night tops (why do I always want to type Knight when writing about this top?!).  I’m going to use Zo’s maternity alteration on these as I need some tops to go with the maternity jeans I had when pregnant with Boy.

I’ve also found a gorgeous French company called Deuxieme Arrondissement which make some gorgeous maternity patterns.  I’ve bought two:  The Duo 13H and Robe Minuit.  I think the Duo 13H will be perfect for a wedding we’re going to in December.  They’re completely different to any other maternity patterns out there, and whilst they’re entirely in French, I have faith in my language skills…  They’re printed on lovely thick paper and I’m looking forward to using them!

I’ve also hacked Jamie Christina’s Mission Maxi and am wearing a maxi skirt from a slightly failed experiment as I type.  I basically used a double knit and whilst I compensated for the lack of stretch everywhere else, with my changing chest size, it was a tad snug up top!  So I lopped the top portion off to turn it into a skirt.  I will probably revisit though, armed with a more suitable knit and again use Zo’s tutorial.

Finally, I’ve bought Burda 7239 with the express intention of recreating a top I wore when pregnant with Boy.  It was basically a cropped wrap cardigan with a false top underneath it made of a very light weight cotton.  It was fabulous to wear and my only splurge on maternity clothing with Boy.  It came from Mamas and Papas and cost me close to £40.  I wore it to death.

What I also need to do (and this is going to have to be interspersed by other projects) is crack on with my Papercut Patterns Milano Cape.  This was also inspired by my colleague, but it seemed wrong and tempting fate to do too much work on it whilst trying and then in the early stages of pregnancy.  Call me superstitious or plain daft, but after previous experiences I didn’t want to be presumptuous.

As for Fidget – well not a lot planned there at the moment as we’re not going to find out whether they’re a he or a she until they make an entrance into the world.  We’ve also got the vast majority of what we need for the early months from when we had Boy.  He was also an unknown so all our early baby stuff is neutral!  I think I may have a go at adapting Dog Under My Desk’s Day Tripper bag to be a more fun changing bag as the one from the days of Boy is a very man friendly grey!  Oh, and I’d love to make Boy and Fidget matching quilts…

So, some ‘quick’ projects (I hope) and some more involved…  Time will tell if I manage to get even half of them done!

Working for Flora

So, I’m sure you are more than aware that By Hand London launched their latest pattern last week, the Flora dress.  Oh, my.  Isn’t she an absolute show stopper?!  I’ve loved seeing all the tester versions across some of my favourite blogs.  And seriously is there anyone on this planet who, if asked, would turn the BHL girls down?!  And having seen some of the care packages they sent out to their testers, wow!  The BHL girls know how to look after their pattern testers!

She has a fitted bodice and full skirt that I love, but with a twist.  I love the faux wrap top and whilst I have always, always been wary of a mullet hem, this dress has converted me and I want one NOW!  But, I’ve made myself a promise to get fit and as an incentive for each fortnight I complete my 30 minute bike workout, I can buy myself a present.  Flora is going to be my first present.  I’ll tell you this, it makes me want to get on that bike and work!

In in the interim (when I’m not telling myself, xx minutes until it goes to an easier resistance, or xx minutes to go) I’ve been dreaming about which fabric I’m going to make her in.  And then Amy, who blogs at Almond Rock,posted an Instagram picture of a fabric at Textile Express and I was sold. I’d never come across this retailer before but I know Amy has used them on a number of occasions so I jumped in and bought the fabric (and some floral jersey too – well if you’re paying £6 P&P you might as well get your money’s worth!).


It’s just perfect, Navy, floral and a lawn.  It’s going to drape beautifully and I may be a little bit in love!

If you want any inspiration though, just look at Lizzy’s TWO versions (AM and Nightshade which is a knockout), Sonja’s vibrant beauty, Dixie’s classic interpretation, Roisin’s use of a fabulous print, Marie’s classic beauty, Fiona’s Pretty in Pink version, Lauren’s vibrant summer dress, Zoe’s chic monochrome number, Nette’s vibrant red dress and Emily who selflessly made the dress for her sister!  If these incredible pattern test versions don’t get you wanting to get behind your machine and make your own version in very short order, I don’t know what will!

Gather Kits: Mortmain

Hi y’all.  Sorry for the absence on Monday it has been a crazy couple of weeks and this weekend there was just no let up.  As a result I have been floored by a cold (yep, a simple cold) and sore throat.  My body is telling me I need to give myself a bit of time for some R&R!  Long story short, work is busy, my Husband’s self employed status is turning back to employee and director as of the 1 April as we’ve taken the decision to change his business into a Limited company.  His business is stupid busy, which means behind the scenes I’m busy!  We’ve recently put in for a number of jobs and been awarded the majority of them which makes me incredibly proud of him but also brings with it a fair degree of stress as these are all on a commercial level.  Pretty damn impressive for a one man band!  At the moment I’m working a minimum of 32hrs a week in my place of employment, working 10-20 hours on Husband’s business and being a Mum as well as trying to maintain a clean(ish) house with food in the cupboards!  How I’m not crazier than I am I have no idea…

Anyway, please forgive my less than glowing face and somewhat grumpy expression, I wasn’t feeling exactly glamorous when taking these, but you’re more interested in the dress than me, so what the heck!


Back in 2013 Gather Kits were looking for pattern testers for their first pattern ‘Mortmain’.  I stuck my hand in the air and was lucky enough to be picked!  This is actually my second version of the dress as the first one is now too big (wahoo!).  I made it using a teal plaid wool (I think, it was from the charity shop and presses like a wool!).  I did my usual FBA (please forgive the bust darts that look like they’re heinously placed – I’m wearing a different bra to the one I fitted this in) and sway back adjustment.  I also chose to fully line this rather than just use the facings and also swapped out the exposed zip for an invisible one (but I forgot to take back view photos – sorry!).

Because I chose to line the bodice with white cotton, I didn’t want to run the risk of this peeking out around the neck or armholes.  So I carefully pressed the edge of the facing under and edge stitched it to the lining.  I’m really pleased with how close I got the edge of the facing and how close to invisible it is!  To get a really good finish on the lining I followed this tutorial.  I then catch stitched the lining to the waist band of the skirt.  This enclosed where the skirt meets the waist band too.  I lined the skirt by duplicating the skirt pattern piece and creating the box pleats with both the outer and lining fabric.  I think I got the plaid lined up pretty well!  The lining was finished with my overlocker and I overlocked and pressed up the skirt hem before catch stitching it by hand.

Mortmain 2

I love working with plaid – it’s a challenge but when you get it right it’s really satisfying too.  You can also have fun with the direction so I cut the waist band on the bias and used some lightweight fusible interfacing to stop it stretching out.  It gives this work appropriate dress a little bit of a twist and some added interest.

This pattern is a great basic and the box pleated skirt manages to have a full hem that I love with out being too bulky around the waist.  The separate waist band nips you in and gives a lovely shape.  I used the instructions to insert the exposed zip on my first version and they work really really well giving a fabulous finish.  All in all I’d recommend this pattern and not just because I was lucky enough to test it!  It’s a great building block and with the sleeve options with their cute cuff detail it has so many possibilities!



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

Secret Santa Anna Tron

Well, Hi there.  What do you mean it’s nearly the end of January!  Your lying.  Oh…  It really is.  Where has this month gone?!  Suffice to say it’s been a bit busy round these parts, but I’ve finally managed a little sewing and have one of my favourite dresses to date to show you!

Anna Tron

This is the By Hand London Anna dress and is the second version I’ve made (I just haven’t photographed the first one yet, OK?!).  The fabric was a gift from my Secret Santa as I took part again last year with the swap organised by the lovely Kat who blogs at Krafty Kat.

The fabric is a stretch cotton twill with this fabulous black and purple geometric print.  I went with the bateau neckline for this make as I didn’t want to break up the print.  The dress came together beautifully and I swapped out the facings to use the hot pink bias that accompanied the fabric.  My only irritation with the dress is my fault!  I’m shrinking (which is a good thing) and despite taking the side seams in on this over and over it’s still to big through the torso.  I’m going to follow Roisin at Dolly Clackett and hope that a turn through the washing machine will shrink it’s proportions suitably.  Or take even more out of the side seams!

Anna Tron Fit

I hope the photos above illustrate what I mean.  I’ve got a lot of fabric pulled behind my back or at my waist.  I’m not sure now the washing machine will fix this – I may need to be more daring in my side seam reductions!

So, along with the fabric, came the rather gorgeous pink bias binding which I used to finish the neckline, arms and hem.  I think it’s this inclusion of a really bright colour along with the geometric pattern of the fabric that made me name this dress ‘Tron’ as I’m not usually one for naming my makes!

Details Anna Tron

See, I love that insane pop of colour!  It matches my hangers too and I’m pretty happy with that pattern matching up the back where the invisible zip is.  So, not only did I get enough fabric to make a dress and finish it with a pop of colour, I also received a number of lovely sew in labels and a little handmade felt fox!  I love foxes so Secret Santa was spot on the money there, too.

Secret Santa

Just wonderful!  One of those labels will be going in Tron Anna.

And for those of you who haven’t come across Tron or Tron Legacy (I’m sorry, I like them both!) here’s a poster for the original film showing the illuminated patterns on the costumes that this dress makes me think of:

Link to Source
Link to Source

2013 Top 5: Goals for 2014

2014 1Happy New Year and Hi, 2014!  You’re going to be a good year!

Whatever you got up to, I hope you enjoyed welcoming in the new year.  We’re so rock’n’roll that we watched Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides (err, not a great film IMO) and then went to bed.  I did wake up and watch the London fireworks on the TV at midnight though.

The last couple of posts, on Hits and Misses and Reflections and Inspiration, has really helped me come up with a plan for this shiny New Year.  I’ve got 364.5 and a bit of blank pages to fill and I really really want this to be a good year.  So, I have plans, but like all things they’re subject to change – you never know what life might bring.  The last two years have taught me that in spades!

There’s two sets of plans; one sewing and one life in general.  Both come down to this though:

Improved Health and More Happiness

Sewing is a big part of my happiness and this year I want to tackle my stash management.  Actually, I want to have some form of stash management as acquisition has outpaced use some what!  So the intention is a 2:1 ratio – 2 stash fabrics used for each new piece acquired.  This gives me some flexibility as I’ll inevitably get a fixed idea about a pattern and the fabric it should be made with.  This ratio idea stops that ‘forced project’ feeling and keeps my sewing fun.  I’ve also started to begin to feel overwhelmed when looking through my fabric which is insane as each piece was bought with a plan in mind or because I loved it.  This year is the year it gets a chance to shine!

I’m also going to perform a pattern cull.  I have way more than I can sew and some just aren’t ‘me’.  They need to be used and that isn’t going to happen sitting in a box on the shelf!  I’ll also feel happier as I won’t have this enormous stack of envelopes staring at me.  I’m a realist though, I know I’m going to see a new pattern release (probably by By Hand London) and get the want it now syndrome, but if I’ve got space then that’s OK.  And I’m more likely to use their pattern than some Big 4 one that came with a magazine (not that I’m knocking free patterns or the Big 4, my beloved S2588 was a freebie with a mag!).  I’d like to find a few more patterns I use more than once (currently Elisalex and Cami are my go-to bodice patterns), S2444 has been on the list to make for ages so that’s a plan for 2014!

I’d love to go to another meet-up this year too.  I loved meeting so many people in Goldhawk Road in the Summer of 2013 and would love to meet people in real life again.  Maybe on a less grand scale though so that I can actually talk to people properly.  It would be something fun to look forward to as well!

My ‘life in general’ goals are mainly health related.  I want to clean up what I eat and today is day 1 of a Whole 30 reset.  It’s going to be tough but I hope it’s the jump-start I need into a year of better eating and better health.  I dabbled with altering my diet in the latter part of 2013 and it did make a difference to how I felt, so I’m going to pursue that path more thoroughly this year.  I’m also going to make sure I move more as I sit on my bum at a desk all day when at work which isn’t great; cycling and yoga is the plan!

On reflection, I eat the worst things at work so I’m going to take a packed lunch with me each day and I spent some Amazon vouchers I was given over Christmas on a new insulated lunch bag and box.

My final ‘thing’ for this year is to take a little more pride in myself and value myself more.  I’m going to make more of an effort with my appearance and will do something with my hair and face each day; even if it’s only a bun and a bit of mascara!  I think the Yoga will help me be a little calmer too.

None of these are lofty or far reaching goals, I just want to improve the way I sew, spend a little less and live more healthily and happily.  Here’s to 2014…

2014 2

2013 Top 5: Hits & Misses

Ah, the top 5 series.   Man, I love love love reading other bloggers posts and am so glad that I’m able to join in properly this year!  Thank you Gillian for being the impetuous behind this series of review posts.  It’s amazing what I would have missed if I hadn’t sat down and reviewed my year.


So, Successes.  There are some garments that are out and out superheroes that I’ve made this year.  The ones that get worn weekly, that get skipped to the front of the washing que and don’t actually make it back into the wardrobe before I’m wearing them again!

2013 Hits

5: The work version of Simplicity 2588

4: Sewaholic Tofinos

3: Grainline Archer (erm, still to be blogged!)

2: Vogue 1247 (Two tops and a Skirt – never blogged?!)

1: By Hand London Elisa-ish

I’ve also gone back over the year and reviewed what I’ve made; 26 garments!  26!  That’s one every two weeks on average!  I really didn’t think I’d been that productive (and I sure as heck haven’t recorded them all here)!  There has also been 3 pyjama eaters (although Heather’s are much more badly behaved than mine) and a wedding veil!

There’s also been some other successes; I went to my first ever blogger meet up in London and had a brilliant day; got to get to another one in 2014!  I took the plunge and dipped my toe in the By Hand London pattern pool and it’s safe to say that I’m gleefully swimming up and down that pool now.  I was also lucky enough to be approached by Simplicity to try out a couple of their patterns (here and here) and even given some extra copies to give to you lovely lot.  Finally I am now drawing like a fiend in my Fashionary; I find actually getting the outfit onto paper rather than drifting around in my head has been really good for my sew-jo.

So, some really great additions to the wardrobe and I’m already learning about what I want to focus on in 2014…  Which neatly leads me into my misses of the year!

2013 Fails

In all honesty, there hasn’t been that many sewing hiccups; there was the fit error on my Ava which I still adore and will wear one day and I finally killed a couple of dresses that had been hanging around since 2012 to be finished as I realised that they were either beyond help or I just didn’t love them enough to save.

I have to admit that my main misses of 2013 have been this here blog.  I haven’t photographed the things I’ve made, I haven’t blogged them and then I’ve felt stressed out and bad because I haven’t blogged!  Which is all kinda crazy as I love blogging and I love sewing!  This blog has brought so many amazing people into my life, some I’ve yet to meet and some I have.  I’ve been able to trust them with all kinds of crazy, draining, emotional things and they’ve propped me up and helped me on my way.  Seriously, who’d have thought that something as simple as writing about sewing and putting it out into cyber space would have brought so much into my life.  I worry that I’m taking more than I’m giving.

But back to this here blog!  What I seriously suck at is time management and setting myself up to fail by expecting too much of myself (there are only 24 hours in the day and I need to sleep for some of them!!).  So, I’m going to try and be a little less harsh on myself but I’m also going to try and plan a bit better too.  I’m also going to make taking photos easier.  So that the stuff I make actually gets shared – particularly as 99.9% of it is inspired by you lot and your amazing blogs and the inspiring things you do.

So, only three fails, which considering that this year has been just as turbulent as last year is actually pretty darn good!  I have plans for 2014 and we’re nearly there.  Can’t wait to share them with you!

To my Secret Santa
You are the amazing bestest gift giver in the whole world ever.  I love the fabric and the bias binding and they will become an Anna.  I adore the little fox you so kindly made me; you picked up on my fox obsession some how.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart xxx

Christmas Felt

In between making Bombshell swimsuits, going away for a weekend break, making Happy Happy Joy Joy swishy circle skirts and the usual mayhem that accompanies the run up to Christmas around here, I’ve been playing with some felt to make some holiday decorations!  Just as well it’s felt too as Boy learnt yesterday when we were decorating the tree that glass doesn’t bounce very well, so some additional decorations were definitely needed and these ones are pretty indestructible.


Simplicity kindly offered to send me a festive pattern to play with and blog about; I chose 2545.  I adored the gingerbread houses and the little felt ornaments, particularly the gingerbread men and women.  The pattern also includes the blueprints to make a tree topper gingerbread angel, star and heart decorations, stockings and a tree skirt.  There’s a lot of value in this pattern and I can see myself returning to it each year and increasing the decoration quota!

I’ve made some gingerbread people and some Christmas trees to decorate our tree.  Some are ‘heirloom’ and some are ‘quick and dirty’!  With the ones I took more time over, the embellishments are hand stitched on and use vintage buttons and lace from my stash.  The quick and dirty options use Gutermann HT2 glue to stick the felt together and the embellishments to the felt – much easier when a small person wants to help you!


I machine stitched all three layers of felt together on my machine before trimming down the gingerbread layers and pinking the icing layer of felt as per Simplicty’s instructions.  My favourite is Miss Gingerbread with her vintage sparkling buttons, lace and ric-rac skirt and hand sewn face.  Mr Gingerbread with the green buttons was sewn and stuck (his eyes are tiny tiny buttons which Boy glued on), whilst Mr Gingerbread with pearl buttons was all hand sewn.  His and Miss G’s eyes are french knots and their smile a split stitch.

Christmas Trees

I loved making the trees!  Mine is the one on the right with a blanket stitched edge, ric-rac tinsel and vintage button baubles!  It was a lovely way to use those odd singular buttons that are lurking in my button tin.  They finally get to shine!  Boy’s glued version is on the right.  No sewing at all, just glue, tiny buttons and more ric-rac.

These were a perfect little hand sewing project to take away with me last weekend.  Small enough that they took up no space at all and also I could make a lot of progress very fast with them.  As you may have guessed, Boy loved helping make them and is very proud of them being on the tree (along with all the other bits and bobs he’s made over the last few years!).  If you’re looking for some stress free Christmas crafting, this is a great pattern to start with – so many options!

Supernova Tofino’s

I love wearing dresses and cute tops and skirts that I’ve made. I also love coming home at the end of the day and putting on something that I can lounge around in comfortably. Enter the Tofino pattern by Sewaholic!


I’d intended to make these at the time Karen ran her Tofino PJ party but didn’t have time to make PJs in the run up to my sister’s wedding. So these were made a while ago but definitely after the pyjama party. I absolutely adore the fabric and have to say a massive thank you to Kate at M is for Make in helping me select the right coloured solid turquoise blue to go with the Supernova fabric. I made the piping in navy and I don’t find it uncomfortable to sleep on.

In fact these have been keeping me company in Preston whilst I’m on a course for work. It’s nice to end the day lounging on the bed wearing these and a vest top whilst catching up with what you’re all up to and watching a bit of telly.

I did alter the pattern a little in that I took some of the width off the leg pattern and added it to the side panel to get a better balance between the two. I also lopped an insane amount off the leg length (a not uncommon adjustment with these!) and they still drag on the floor a little when I walk, but I like to be able to tuck my feet into them when on the sofa. Helps to keep my toes warm as I’m not a great fan of slippers; I’d much rather be in bare feet. Other than that they’re made as per the instructions and were a very fast and satisfying make. Not a lot more to say really other than these are incredibly comfy and just a little bit more glam than the rest of my PJ collection! I’m looking forward to making some more in a soft flannel for the cooler weather.

Simplicity Giveaway

PS If you fancy winning either of these two Simplicity patterns, please let me know which one you’d like on this post! You have until midnight BST / GMT+1 on Sunday (just before Monday begins!)


This is going to be a bit off the beaten track around here; no sewing, baking crafting to speak of.  It’s likely going to end up being a stream of consciousness because sometimes you have to get things out of your system.  In this particular case not only do I need to write I also need to know its going to be read; so I’m afraid you guys are my audience.  Feel free to skip if you want as I’m probably going to follow some paths that aren’t too shiny or pretty.

September is a weird month.  It’s back to school time (even though I am a decade or more past that stage in my life) and kinda has that new page feeling about it.  In a lot of ways its like new year without the resolutions.  It represents to me a time to start over, try again.  In other ways it absolutely sucks.  With absolutely no grace summer just ups and walks out, the weather turns and its suddenly dark.  And quite often that’s the route my thoughts take too, although September and early October now also completely suck as they remind me of what could have been and haul the loss of my tiny tiny baby up to the surface again.

What makes it harder is that September and October are full of family wedding anniversaries and birthdays.  So whilst I’d quite like to crawl under a rock and hide the mask goes on and I pretend everything is ‘fine’.  Whilst the remake of the Italian Job was not overly my cup of tea, the definition of ‘fine’ has stuck with me: Fucked Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.  Yup, that’s me.  I’m fine.

Depression sucks.  I could use a hundred and one different expletives but it wouldn’t come close.  Before I suffered from it I thought I could imagine what it was like; you know feeling sad and flat.  I was wrong.  So, so wrong.  It’s more than feeling sad and a bit flat.  The sadness is there all the time, it becomes (I’m not sure how to describe this) a sort of filtered window.  It distorts and colours what you see and you feel separated.  That separation makes me feel flat, two-dimensional.  But all the time my head is buzzing and it’s never in a straight line.  I constantly feel like I’m on the outside looking in and the longer it goes on the stronger that feeling gets.  I make the problem worse by putting on the mask and pretending everything is OK.  I don’t know what else to do though.

I can’t let the mask slip as I have a gorgeous Boy who needs me.  So I go through each day working on presenting myself the way I think I’m supposed to.  I know that sometimes my temper is too short and that I lose it at situations that really don’t warrant that response.  I try to explain to him that sometimes I get really really sad and it makes me grumpy and short-tempered.  I know I don’t hide it all the time as there are times when I’m lost in my thoughts and he’ll climb up into my lap to give me a cuddle because he says I look sad again.  It’s the use of the word ‘again’ that breaks my heart.  He deserves better.

Over the last year I’ve had different coping mechanisms.  Some work better than others and some are actually pretty destructive.  Suffice to say I’m on meds and they seem to have lessened the peaks and troughs.  What does help is being fully absorbed in a task as when I’m concentrating completely on a task the negative committee in my head sit down and shut the f**** up.  There is no floor space for them when I’m working out how to construct a collar or making sure some topstitching is even or a sleeve goes in smoothly.  I think it’s also the positive action of taking something and turning it into something else using my hands.  The restlessness of my mind also affects my sleep.  I’m tired, I want to sleep but my head will not shut up.  I’m very familiar with my bedroom ceiling and the way the bedside lamp creates shadows on the ceiling.  So I read (often what other bloggers have written), or I get up and sew, or in this instance, I write.

I also know that I’m an emotional eater and my comfort food of choice is something sweet.   That’s the start of a big nasty circle for me; feel rubbish, eat, look in the mirror, not like the reflection, feel like a failure, eat something to make it better…  It’s text-book and self-perpetuating.  I know that and in fact knowing it makes it worse.  There’s a lot going on over which I have absolutely zero control.  There are some things I can control though and what goes in my mouth and what I ask my body to do each day are things I can act on.  I can change what I eat and I can get off my backside and move more.  So I’m going to.  I’m not as brave as Evie and heading for a crossfit gym (although I’m intrigued, inspired and slightly terrified of the idea of it… One day…  Especially as I’ve found a box near me…) So I’m going to become a Nerd.  Not just a sewing nerd but (and here’s the plan) a fitness one too.

In the early part of the summer I started to eat a more natural diet with less processed anything in it.  I felt and looked a lot better.  And then something happened and I went back to comfort eating and that familiar circle.  Somewhere along the line I found Nerd Fitness and I’ve been reading the blog and it’s archives for a while now.  I’ve even got one of the ebooks in my reader and tentatively started doing the body weight workout.  On the 23rd September Steve Kamb and Staci opening an online fitness academy just for women.  I’m going to sign up.  I’m going to give myself six weeks to see what I can do in that time frame.  See if taking a bit of control and doing something positive for myself helps with the rest of it.

I’ve got a 3/4 of the year resolution I guess; do something for me that helps make me feel better.  You never know, if I can make the fitness gains I want then a better looking bod may come with it and a whole reason to sew some more!  But I’m going to keep sewing in the mean time, it’s my meditation and brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction so there’ll still be sewing going on around here too.  You never know, I may get in front of that bl***y camera and photograph the 6 (or is it 7?!) items that have yet to be blogged!

And apologies if there are any adverts spamming up this (or any other) post.  They’re not there through my choice but are a way for WordPress to keep this a free blogging platform which you can read about more here if you want.