Saturday, July 5, 2014

Holiday reading, drinking, and sewing

This week we had a work-free break, thanks to Canada Day on July 1 -- it's always a bit strange to have a day off mid-week, I'm never sure what day it is for the rest of the week! But I'll take a holiday anytime :)

It also coincided with the celebration of Pattern Review's new web redesign, in which we were encouraged to lift a glass in their honour. Fortunately, the PR Cocktail was also bright red (a vodka & cranberry, also coincidentally my favourite) so I could celebrate Canada Day and PR all together.

I was also reading a Canadian novel (of course) while relaxing, called After Alice, and funnily enough, though the book's theme is not really related to this excerpt, I came across this description:
Through the tissue, the plastic, she sees swatches of fabric, and with almost no hesitation, her memory fills in the rest. Blue broadcloth, mint-green poplin, white pique. Candy-pink madras plaid, blue gingham, blue seersucker. 
Dresses that Alice had made herself; the last years she was at home, the dining room table was perpetually covered with pattern tissue and fabric yardage, as if it were the back room of a dressmaker's shop. And the dresses were lovely, were confections. All with fitted bodices, full skirts; that was the style. Only the necklines and sleeves and collars changed, and Alice drew and adapted these constantly. It was a serious business. Women's magazines elaborated at length on the correct choice of neckline for face shape. The collars and necklines all had names: Peter Pan, portrait, sweetheart. A whole culture of neck openings.
And Alice's clothes were so much a product of her imagination and labour that they might justly be seen as an extension of her. Though they were also the taste of that particular era. Art and packaging at once. Well, that might say something about a woman's lot. 

During much of the last week, my dining room table has also been awash in pattern tissue and fabric! On my day off I was starting my run at Pattern Review's Pattern Stash contest. The goal is to use some of those patterns you've had sitting in the stash since before the beginning of this year, at least. I have so many 'must have' patterns that I bought and then never made up; while I highly doubt that I will win this contest (I am a relatively slow sewist) I thought this would be a great push to get to some of those neglected patterns! I'm also trying to use up lots of my fabric stash in this project as it is starting to get a little out of hand (although that didn't stop me from buying the last 3 metres of a fabulous navy/orange denim at my local fabric shop today...)

So for the last couple of of nights, I've been choosing and cutting out patterns -- my plan for the weekend is to start sewing them up -- here's the prepared stack waiting for the morning. I'm hoping to get all of these made up this month but we will see.

Hope you are all having some relaxing sewing adventures during this holiday week, whether you're a fellow Canadian or are celebrating south of the border.


  1. A very productive Canada Day! You celebrated well!!! Look forward to seeing just what you cut out :)

    1. A few tops and a few skirts -- if I do get them all sewn up I'm planning on adding a cardie to the mix at the end, too. Big ideas, probably bigger than available time but it is such fun to plan...

  2. I love that Newlook- it is so comfy and repeatable!

    1. I had enough of the purple linen left to cut out the plain version of this NL. I bought it for the contrast view so I'll see how I like this solid one and think about new versions :)

  3. I love the title of this post - and a cranberry and vodka is a great way to celebrate Canada Day.


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