Being Frank…

Accepting my failings

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Body shape…and how you can’t believe everything you read in a style guide

About 3 years ago I had a stolen morning in Stratford upon Avon away from the housework, Husband and Spider. I  treated myself to having my colours done. One day when I actually start using this information I may post about it here, but by and large the colour wallet has been carried around and not much used.

However some of the things the lovely  Cat said during the session have stuck in my head one of which was that we tend to gravitate naturally to the colours that suit us (she was explaining that having your colours done was away of extending your colour range into things you might not have thought about and thus extending your wardrobe…and I think she may be right as I have never met a red I didn’t like (and that didn’t like me in return), my wardrobe has a lot of red in it and so does the colour wallet I carry around. My wallet also has several greens which I have always avoided and several blues…

I think the same can be said of clothing styles and maybe we should trust ourselves more than advice from fashion gurus…for example  I have a long body and very short legs.  The advice out there says I should end my skirts just above my knee because this will make my legs look longer, whereas skirts that finish on the knee or just below the knee will make me look shorter.

What the magazines don’t usually say is that you also have to take width into account. My widest point is my hip and thigh area and as  I have recently discovered, if I stop my skirts above my knee it actually emphasises how wide I am AND oddly how short my legs are. Looking in my wardrobe I see that pretty much all my skirts are long and I mean long long. We are not talking stopping just below the knee here but mid calf to just above the ankle sort of long.

The strange thing is I can’t remember how this happened. I just know that since age 17 or 18 I have by and large gravitated towards long skirts. I remember a couple of shorter ones but they tended to be very tailored and usually accompanied by a suit jacket.

“Ahhh” says the Fashion Guru “so you are a girl with wide hips. You need an A line skirt to emphasise your waist and skim lightly over your hips”

Ha, remember this from about 3 years ago

september 2009 047Well that’s me in a self drafted loosely fitting A line which stops pretty much on my knees. I’d assumed the issue here was the elasticated waist. Well I guess partly it is but partly I think it may be the length. If I shorten it I think I’m still going to look wide…so maybe I should go long ?

Yesterday I made a muslin for the Colette Ginger. It is a classic A line skirt. I had to grade between sizes as I am considerably less wide at the waist than I am at the hips. It fits at the hips and then flares slowly down stopping I think at the knee…and…well…lets just say I was in too much shock to take photos. You must remember that I have been dreaming about this skirt for over a year now. I have made so many fabulous versions in my head. I just wasn’t ready for real life ! Husband, who has been an admirer of the female form for many years and can be counted on for an honest assessment said “It makes you look wide all the way down, the “A” shape keeps on widening you !”

I may take photos later after I’ve basted the zipper back in but I think I need to take it over to my Mum for a consult, because whereas Husband is an honest opinion, Mum  is a sewist and can help with alteration options such as:

a)  Make it not so fitted at the hip so that it drapes a bit more

b) Make it out of a material with more drape, the muslin is a thick old curtain

c) Make it longer

d) Make it shorter (doubt it)

e) Take out some of the flare so it’s not so wide at the hem

f) choose another pattern !

I think the problem I have here is that I gravitated early to a shape that I looked passable in and clung to it the way a survivor does to the shipwreck. I don’t know what other shapes suit me because I’ve never experimented… whereas other teenage girls I grew up with loved shopping I always found it a trial…remember the communal changing rooms of the 80’s ???

I know I can’t rely on fashion style advice because it’s all too general, talking about “Apples”, “Pears” and “Triangles” whereas really we tend to be a bit of one shape and a bit of the other.  Me I’m an hourglass fading into pear…I’m a standard size on the top but a petite below the waist…

I think possibly I need to go and see Cat again and make use of her wardrobe consultation service…at least that is specific…



The lost…the found…and maybe later in march a giveaway

The small thing  I  lost is my Cria cardigan…I put it to one side on Saturday to photograph so that I could post about it on Monday but the safe place  turned out to be far too safe and I now can’t find it…hoping it hasn’t accidentally gone through the washing machine…if it has then the big thing I’ve lost means that it will not be quickly replaced…

The big lost thing is my knitting mojo. I’ve not knitted a thing since the 28th January, actually that’s not true I did frog and reknit some cuffs but that’s it. There’s hardly anything that needs finishing and I just can’t find the enthusiasm to start anything…

…hoping that these losses are temporary…

The found are not really found, but they make me happy.  I came back from work yesterday to find 3 patterns from Sewaholic – I went on a small shopping spree the other week to cheer myself up after such a horrible February – spurred on by Tasia’s birthday discount. Today, waiting for me was Cake pattern’s Pavlova…oh and the sun was found by last !

The sudden influx of patterns to this house has started to get me a bit jittery as last year I purchased 4 patterns from Colette and as yet haven’t  made a start on any of them, and that’s on top of the Colette sewing handbook and Gerties book…I don’t know if it is a streak of puritanism or a streak of miserliness but I feel guilty about spending money on things if they don’t then get used…or possibly it’s just I fear clutter which is why I don’t really want to build up too big a stash of yarn, fabric or patterns.

ve never bothered doing giveaways on here as there isn’t much blog traffic but I am vaguely thinking of possibly the occasional giveaway of things surplus to requirement, that someone else can find a better home for…

Possibly first to go will be  kids casual pattern  Style 2845 which is for tracksuit tops and bottoms for boys age 2-7. I think it is all there and all the sizes still intact, I’ve not investigated in full, possibly inherited it from Husband’s ex-wife…It’s surplus to requirement as I have a Burda pattern in slightly larger sizes for the same sort of thing…



The Leftover Roast Potato in the Fridge Syndrome

(Admittedly in this house a cold roast potato would not be the best example  of this syndrome as cold roast potatoes are rarely left in the fridge for long…)

You know what it’s like you have left over food, you put it in the fridge to be used later, you have good intentions but you don’t use it up at the start of the week and by the end of the week you are reluctant to open the fridge as you know the leftovers are still there staring out at you accusingly…

My WIPs have been like that of late. The guilt of not finishing things has been crippling me…I don’t want to work on the WIPs as they have been there so long that all love for them has gone, but because I know I should be finishing them I don’t start anything new…instead I do nothing…

This week I have been feeling rather low and blue. November and February are the worst for this as the colours are drained out of the world and the sky is just grey…so there I was feeling sorry for myself then the postman came to my rescue.

I ordered the Colette Sewing Handbook back in August and for some reason, at the same moment it was announced as being out in America, Amazon emailed to say they could no longer get hold of it and cancelled my order ! So in a fit of pique I ordered from who although couldn’t get it to me until the end of November  could still get it to me before UK Amazon who emailed me 2 days after my US order to say they could now get it again…but not until December…

I felt low…I needed cheering up, a month is a longtime to wait , so I ordered Sewing for Boys. On Thursday it arrived (hurrah !) and I curled up on the sofa on Saturday morning to plan…but what was this ? A knock on the door from the postman with another parcel…and this one from America (double hurrah !)

BUT of course I’ve been unable to settle down and enjoy them because of all those unwelcome ghosts of  projects past (and not complete)… so I’ve been having a weekend of tidying up, finishing things and parceling things up… a bit of clearing the decks.

Hopefully it will boost my mood and a bit of forced finishing might make me feel “unbocked” and a bit more “creative”…also since some of these unfinished things are 40th birthday presents it might also put smiles on other faces before their next birthdays come round !

(Some of the unfinished objects involve Vintage Style for Kids projects…which I’m begining to think I need to intersperse with other things as making the paper patterns up is challenging in itself…)