Monday, 13 May 2013

Stitchin's the Thing

At the moment I'm in love with my sewing machine and all the things that can quickly whizz out of it. I do love to knit and crochet but they have completely different speeds. Straightforward knitting I can do snuggling up in the evenings watching TV. I'm a slow knitter. I can also knit without looking which is handy when I want to look around. More complicated knitting and crochet, the stuff which means lots of counting is involved, is something I have to do when I'm fully awake and there are no distractions. As much as I love knitting and crochet sometimes I fancy a change of direction.

Lately I'm on a roll with the dressmaking. That to be sure is testing my patience to the limits, but I'm learning so much as I go along. Right now I'm learning not to scream and attack the eggy dress I've made with a pair of scissors.

Dress all present and correct, but with a too big top half. I've hung it up to contemplate and ponder what to do next. I'm determined I'll win this battle.

On Saturday, as the rain poured down, I got more and more fixed on the need to make a squodgy floor cushion. For many a year I've meant to make one or two, I just never got round to it and then in a flash the need arose on Saturday. Now having two girls means that whenever I make one thing that they like I must make another. That means one floor cushion made and another is being planned for the next rainy day.

Alfie also has his eye fixed on it. It's just the right height to get on when you've short legs and it's very very comfy if you're small and chubby.

Today's sewing involved something it's only taken me six years or so to get around to doing. In our sitting room is a wee side window. In complete laziness I folded up some fabric and banged in a couple of nails not long after we moved in. Now lazy things can quickly become things you just get used to after a while. Last night I decided I was going to tidy up the window first thing. I had exactly the right fabric. A super soft barkcloth curtain given to me by a friend a while back.

There was just enough muslin left over from the squoshy floor cushion lining to back the curtain panel so that made the job even easier to fix. All I needed was some string and a couple of cup hooks and it was job done. A very very easy curtain panel indeed.

Midday and with the panel up I rushed through some other stuff I needed to do and then settled down with my bowl of hexies and a few books to browse through. I'm between books and trying to find one that feels right for my mood. Books and crafty projects are always dictated by how I'm feeling. Sometimes I need a quick fix distraction and other times it's something that I can get my teeth into.

Tommorow is May 14th. On May 14th 1969 I was coming up to five months old. On that day my mum and dad officially became my parents. It was all touch and go on the day as my dad was an older parent at 43. Despite having had me since I was ten days old the judges thought he might be too old to be there for me for as long as I needed him. On my wedding day he said he was glad I didn't want him to give me away as I was given to him once and he couldn't give me back now.

May 14th is my adopted birthday, the day my parents celebrate as the day I was born to them. On May 14th last year I saw my dad for the last time. In the nature of things we don't always know it will be the last time. On May the 18th dad died. I no longer feel an overwhelming sadness when he enters my thoughts. There are still lots of things I can't get my head around though. I doubt I ever will.

I simply wrote this as I needed to record the significance of the date. Please don't think I'm sitting here feeling melancholic or sad at all. Sadness and melancholy rise up when we least expect them, not at a planned time. I feel quite content to be honest, but I would love it if dad could be joining us tommorow too.


  1. Hey Lisa

    Loved reading this , love your dresses , your floor cudhion and the piece about when your mum and dad adopted you . Happy birthday for today !
    I have a sewing machine now - eek!
    Oh and I have another boy ...:) well 2 actually !

  2. Happy official birthday to you. Love the floor cushion, did you make the filling aswell? Looks like yours is a nice comfy home with all your treasures around you, Lucey x

  3. Not sadness but a sense of loss. It must be nice to know you were so special as a child and how your parents fought so hard to keep you.
    The floor cushion and curtain add to your little nest and it probably is no coincidence that around this time you feel a need to do homely things and make your family secure and loved as you were. A homage to your parents.
    Well done, and the dress will sort itself out ...or become floor cushion number two...:-)

  4. a sweet post for your Dad. Love all your sewing, I must do some! Heather x

  5. A lovely post as always, Lisa, your sewing talents are amazing! I love the floor cushions and the barkcloth window dressing.

    I got a lump in my throat when I read about your Mum and Dad, and what a lovely thing for your Dad to say on your wedding day ... hope you're celebrating in style today, like the Queen, with 2 birthdays!

    I understand what you mean about sadness rising up when you least expect it ... sometimes a day or date can be dreaded for weeks, but turns out to be quite ok when it gets here, whereas an everyday item or event can unleash the most powerful of emotions.

    Take care,

    Love Claire xx

  6. I'm sure you'll sort that dress so it's just right, after all you can't not wear such a beautiful sunny fabric like that this summer!
    Happy adoption birthday to you.
    We celebrate the day each of our children travelled home with us from their foster parents and our family became 3 and then 4, special days.
    Lisa x

  7. Happy Birthday ,what a lovely blog ,now I want to make a floor cushion ,what did you stuff it with ,? love Jan xx

  8. It's with such a feeling of relief, Lisa, that you reach this point in the 'grief journey'. I still think of my dad who left us 12 years ago, but no longer with that awful pang of pain and sadness. He is part of my regular thought processes, always there when I'm listening to classical music, or when I've done something I'm particularly proud of - wishing he could see what I'd achieved, or how he would have loved the younger great-grandchildren that he never knew. Your feelings are naturally even more poignant at this time as the anniversaries coincide. But happy memories abound, and it is these which move us on and sustain us.

    I wish I was a 'proper' sewer! My sister had all the dressmaking genes - I just do the decorative stuff, unfortunately. I've been admiring for ages your skill with a frock pattern! I'm sure you will figure the solution to the busty problem!

  9. Hi Lisa, Happy Birthday. You can always rest assured that you were a very loved and what's more wanted baby!. Your post is lovely and I am glad that you will still be able to celebrate. Love the look of the yellow dress. Can I ask what pattern you used. It looks just the style I am looking for. Jenny

  10. Happy birthday! Lovely dresses, you're quite the seamstress! :) xo

  11. Have a lovely day, your Dad will be with your heart, thoughts and the conversations with your family, the overwhelming sadness does ease and is replaced by all those childhood memories :) x

  12. this brought a little tear to my eye, the sense of loss I don't think ever goes, it just pops up less often. I still cry about my Nan who died nearly two years ago, she was our father figure and on my birthday last week I shed a little tear too. But we have some cracking one liners that she left us with and we repeat those with a sense of glee as much as we can!

    On a brighter note, I love you sewing projects, that cushion look mighty comfy!

  13. What a lovely post and how wonderful to celebrate your adopted Birthday even if it is sadly without your Dad today. I love the yellow dress it is gorgeous, such a nice style. Sarah x

  14. Those dresses are fab!

    ....I am especially admiring the squashy cushion as i have been wanting to do a similar chair seat for sometime

    ....Happy May the 14th....lucky you ...lucky them, all those years ago.

    I sometimes wonder how we would all live and be happy if we knew when our 'last times' were...?

    super duper post....Daisy xx

  15. Happy Birthday ... I love your gorgeous sewing ... the floor cushion is great ... and I love the blue dress ... lovely memories of your dad ... Bee xx

  16. Lovely post.I was only talking about my lovely Dad today and he died in 1981.You never forget.Love your sewing.

  17. Your sewing is looking fab - I don't think you need to do anything to that dress - just hang it up and admire it! Hope you have had a special day x Jane

  18. I always remember the date my Dad died and he's been gone 30 years but now it is with affection rather than sadness.

  19. As long as they are in our hearts and our minds they never really leave us.
    Hope you manage to sort your dress because it looks lovely, be a real shame if you couldn't enjoy wearing it. After watching the Great British Sewing Bee I've decided I really need to start sewing again, there was a time (back in my 20's) when I made most of my own clothes. I've only made the odd dress and skirt since then.
    Great squishy cushion and new curtain.
    Carol xx

  20. You probably won't believe me when i say i have just written a whole long comment to this post and next thing our new bunny jumped on my lap and onto my laptop and somehow made it all disappear! Oh joy of joys with this sweet little thing!
    I was saying how similar we are regarding our crochet, knitting, sewing, everything you have said resonates with me and I am currenlki y67.88;....ok that was the bunny again I should have learnt my lesson the first time :o) what i was saying is that I am currently doing some hand stitching, I just had an overwhelming desire for that this week...who knows what next week will bring!
    I'm loving your cushion and bark cloth curtain too, beautiful floral fabric.

    Happy day for today Lisa, what a special tribute to your Mum and Dad. So precious x BIG hugs xox Penny

  21. Happy Birthday for yesterday Lisa.

    How wonderful that those judges saw sense all those years ago!

    Can't wait to read the conclusion of 'Bobobun and the problem of the eggy dress' ;)

  22. I literally stumbled on your blog and just had to say I loved the post!
    Thank you for sharing this very special moment and all the best,


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