Well, it is over 3 weeks since my last blog post so you are probably thinking that my excuse will be that I have been busy.
While I did not trumpet any New Year’s resolutions for 2019, I made a decision that I would not tell myself or anyone else about how busy I was. I have recently become aware of some of the negative connotations of the word ‘busy’, and therefore, I have made a conscious decision to remove it from my vocabulary and thoughts as much as possible.
So, what of the past 3 weeks? I have simply been otherwise occupied and not writing.
Cooking, sewing and generally keeping home and hearth together.
Full-time paid work.
Involvement in community activities.
Socialising, welcoming visitors and travelling to visit friends.
As I said, not busy, simply living and loving life.
I am looking forward to sharing some more happenings soon.
At the beginning of January I turned all of the coathangers in my wardrobe around. The idea behind this is that once an item has been worn you replace the hanger in the correct manner. This provides an easy way to identify those items which have not been worn.
Since the past month has been recorded as the hottest ever start to the year in Australia, it is no surprise to find that jackets, cardigans, jeans and trousers were not worn in January. Of the seasonally appropriate items, there are a couple of tops and 3 skirts which have not yet been worn. I am sure their time will come.
The other thing I decided to do was not to buy any new clothes in January. This was not entirely successful depending on your definition of ‘new’. I bought 3 items that are new to me during the month. We have a local recycle boutique which I check out from time to time. I am fairly selective and only choose pieces that are absolutely perfect for me and I could not go past these.
Patterned cropped jeans
Sleeveless cowl neck top
Long sleeve white linen shirt
Although none of them had tags attached, I am pretty sure that they are all unworn.
Finally, I moved three items out of my wardrobe. The first was a pair of jeans I bought in 2012. They have had a lot of wear and are getting pretty thin as well as somewhat faded and stained. They are are now in the pile of clothes to be worn around the house and when gardening. Similarly a sleeveless tshirt top has seen better days so met the same fate. A pair of white shorts went in the bin as the elastane had all given way and they were not in a fit state to be used or donated.
All of this wardrobe activity takes place on a background of the knowledge that my clothes needs will evolve with my upcoming retirement in a few months along with plenty of travelling planned.
As always, I will only be making carefully considered purchases.
I will continue to monitor and report on my progress during the year.
Sometimes we make things to satisfy a creative urge, save money or simply because we cannot buy the desired item. My most recent sewing definitely falls into the latter category.
Today I made a table runner for the top of the chest of drawers which which GMan uses. I wrote this post a couple of years ago when we had it restored. The top of it had been bare and I had not really thought about adding any linen to it. Lacy doilies would definitely not have been welcome.
I recently found a piece of blue fabric when I was digging around at the op shop for fabric suitable for the Boomerang bags that I make. I realised that it would be perfect to make a table runner.
Some test stitching to find something suitable to embellish the edges.
The finished article.
Pressed and in place.
The new runner provides a finished look to the chest of drawers, blends nicely with the colour in the bedroom and is not in any way frilly or lacy. I think it works perfectly.
I think I would have gone crazy if I had set out to find this ready-made. It needed to be a specific length and colour which I think would have made that quest close to impossible. However, with a relatively basic sewing machine I was able to create exactly what I needed.
Yesterday was a momentous and somewhat emotional day as GMan left the office for the last time. After almost 47 years of full-time work he has now joined the ranks of those who have retired.
You may remember this post from a few months ago in which I mentioned that we were both planning on retiring in the middle of the year. Well, as we all know, needs and circumstances can change and while plans are great, we also need to flexible enough to alter our plans and adapt.
At the end of my last blog post I said I would show you more of what I had been sewing the next day.
Well, that did not happen. Not only did I not write the post, I did
not do the intended sewing. There were other things that rated as more
important and demanded my attention. In fact, if I am honest, that is
why there are often significant gaps between blog posts. The blog has a
relatively low priority in my life as the full-time job and running a
household definitely come first.
Anyway, in the absence of any sewing, I want to share some of the recent additions to my wardrobe.
I am not keen on buying clothes online but towards the end of last
year I bought 3 tops from Covered Perfectly. This was on the
recommendation of Susan from Susan After 60
blog. The tops are made in the USA and with a buy 2, get the 3rd one
free deal they were very reasonably priced, even with the overseas
Here are the three that I bought.
Since it is the middle of summer here, these will not be worn in the
near future. I am looking forward to wearing them in the cooler weather
and also including them in the packing for our Europe trip later in the
Yesterday, I had some free time between appointments in Maleny so I
took the opportunity to check out the recycle boutique. I do have a
browse there from time to time and have bought a few things previously.
I was definitely in luck as I found this cute pair of cropped
Sportscraft jeans which appeared to have never been worn. They were my
size and fitted like a glove.
I also found a pretty sleeveless top with a cowl neckline.
Here are a few styling possibilities that I have identified for my new pieces.
Cropped jeans with teal 3/4 sleeve top.
Cropped jeans with navy tshirt.
Cropped jeans with white collared shirt.
The sleeveless top will be paired with white cropped pants, black trousers or even these green jeans.
A few years ago my wardrobe consisted mostly of black, white and red items.
More recently I have included a bit more navy in lieu of some black
pieces and the addition of some more blue and green is great, too. I am
still sticking to my theory that every piece in my wardrobe must be
able to be worn in at least 3 different ways or combinations.
The year may be new but many things stay the same. I went back to work on 2nd January so time is tight but I am determined to make time for regular blog posts. Unfortunately, I have been a bit preoccupied these past few days. This has been due to the financial collapse of Bestjet and its impact. You can read about it all here.
Anyway, we have dealt with that to the best of our ability at the moment and life goes on. I am doing all of the things that I did in 2018 and continue to do in 2019. Washing and ironing as well as preparing meals and trying to spend more time on sewing and gardening.
The garden is quite remarkable as we continue to harvest food with very little care or effort on our part.
Here is my haul from this afternoon.
The lettuce, beans and tomatoes are all from self-sown plants. We had lettuce and tomatoes in the salad with bean tacos for dinner tonight. Since I found the beans, I think I will have beef and bean stir-fry tomorrow.
One of my goals for this year is to eat or drink some home-grown produce every day, preferably at every meal. I am doing pretty well so far.
The topic of tonight’s post is relatively minor and almost insignificant. On many occasions I would not have even considered it as a potential blog post.
However, it has recently occurred to me that a lot of what I do and take entirely for granted are activities or skills that would be completely unknown to many people. Therefore, this year I am going to make a concerted effort to post about some of the little things that fall under the broad category of life skills.
I made a sampler of different sewing stitches when I was 8 years old. It was a laborious task undertaken in school sewing lessons in Year 3. The sampler is framed and hangs in my sewing room these days. There are 6 different stitches, one of which is blanket stitch.
I don’t think I have ever used blanket stitch in over 50 years since that sampler was completed.
Nevertheless, when I noticed the stitching at the end of a blanket coming unravelled today, I immediately knew that I would mend it using blanket stitch. It was a bit like riding a bike – you never forget.
The blanket is one of a pair that we have owned for 40 years so I guess it is not too bad that it needed some running repairs. I simply threaded a large needle with the unravelled thread and restitched the edge with blanket stitch exactly as I had done on the sampler.
The left hand side of the photo is the existing machined ‘blanket stitch’ and the right hand end is my repairs.