Saturday, 27 September 2014

Reminiscing but not much sewing

 Warning - not a lot of sewing here! I hope I can be excused. For some reason, I felt I wanted to write this post.

I've been doing a lot of reminiscing recently. It seemed quite appropriate that we've just had the autumn solstice where day and night are equal lengths, a time when one day seems like summer and the next most definitely autumn.

One of the reasons for reminiscing was the Scottish referendum - residents of Scotland voted last week as to whether they wanted to be an independent country, separate from the rest of the United Kingdom.
This question has been hanging over businesses and residents for two and a half years and caused some big companies (including the Royal Bank of Scotland) to announce that they would leave Scotland given a yes vote. 16 and 17 year olds were given a vote for this referendum - it was felt that younger people were more in favour of independence. Older people were on the whole not - worries about pensions, health care etc. My elderly - well old really - mother has been extremely anxious over recent weeks in particular. Although I am Scottish in that I was born in Scotland of Scottish patents and lived and worked in Scotland until my 30s, I have lived and worked in England for 27 years now, so wasn't eligible to vote. My oldest daughter was born in Scotland but the next two daughters were born in in England - in the home of the Geordies. Fabulous people. My DH and I had always considered moving back to Scotland in retirement but the uncertainties around the referendum put us off. So the decision is still there to make; our current house is much too large for us so we need to consider downsizing at some point. Where to go though?

Just a point, we live much closer to Edinburgh (capital of Scotland and site of Scottish Parliament) than London (capital of England and governmental centre for us). By the way, the democratic vote on the Scottish Referendum was against independence 55% to 45% with a turnout of 86%; however, it seems that the issue hasn't been put to bed.

My oldest daughter, born in Scotland, living in the south of England, has been doing a course in diversity and discrimination and considered lots of issues of identity in her answers. She showed me her written feedback where there is an assumption that she is a Geordie. I asked her and she told me she doesn't feel like one, though she and her DH (from the North East of England) would love to move back to the area, in the same way that we have considered Scotland (we've lived in a few cities, moving for jobs). This daughter is hoping to take up machine sewing with a view to making cushions, curtains etc for her home so I gave her my previous class machine  - the Viking HQ100. When I originally demonstrated it to her, it wasn't working well and the tensions were all over the place. I got it serviced and was told the needle had been loose and advised to ensure I always used the correct bobbins (which I had). I gave her a couple of books, too.

My middle daughter, born just after we moved to England, has been doing a Masters in psychology in Scotland. Her original degree was in a big city in England - and that's where she wants to be, as she considers that 'home', even though she has split up with the boyfriend she was going to spend the rest of her life with in that city and even though she has been away for 3 years now. Oh and she doesn't have a job. She has already had challenges and faces more but wants to be there. DH is moving her this weekend by van from our house, where she's been for a few weeks now, to a flat share with 3 young professionals.

My youngest daughter has had to make quite a few short term sacrifices in the hope of long term gain. She's had problems with her last flat share and this resulted in her and her boyfriend moving to a flat they're renting on their own - an inferior flat to their previous one (shared with two others) and more expensive but without the hassle of other flatmates. They've just moved and are effectively starting to set up home together in a way they didn't do before. It reminds me of how we started out. When they were up here last weekend, my daughter brought a few garments she'd like repaired or altered. I hate alterations. I'm also not sure that some of these garments can be altered. One of them has a torn bodice and I'm sure can't be repaired but I hope I can salvage the beautiful decorative panels at front. She also wants me to shorten the straps of the Cynthia Rowley dress I made her as they slip down - and the poppets at the back pop open, even though I used 4, so I'll have to consider using heavy duty ones.


I've been very busy with family matters, golf business and play, bridge class and play and sewing classes, which started last week.

I've now done two nights of my pattern cutting class. Very interesting. The tutor decided to use draping rather than mathematical methods, as that takes longer. I'll be interested to see how the result compares to the result from the class I took in August.

One of the things I hadn't appreciated is that I'm very tired after the classes - the journey to the class is very lengthy because of traffic congestion; I thought I'd put rush hour traffic behind me when I retired! So twice a week is more than I'd bargained for.

I've done one night of my beginners' dressmaking class. I'm a bit advanced for it as some have never threaded a machine etc. However, I'm missing a lot of the basics to be suitable for the intermediate class. I have been given a jetted (or double welt) pocket to try - but I've nver done anything close to this so think maybe the beginners' class is the place to be. I missed the second class, where those absolute beginners were going to be shown how to thread a machine and begin to use it, as I travelled up to Scotland, to Gleneagles, to watch the Ryder Cup (Europe v USA golf team competition which happens every second year), or at least the last practice day before the actual competition starts tomorrow (I'm writing this in my mother's home on Thursday night). Gleneagles is beautiful - I just love visiting Scotland, but do I want to live there?

As it's Thursday today, I've also missed the second class of my regular sewing class. At the first one, I showed my tutor my white dress - and didn't need to explain anything as she'd read my blog post! We agreed the dress wasn't satisfactory and on discussing options agreed it may as well get regularly washed when I'm washing whites to see if that improves matters. We felt that the idea of embroidering of top stitching princess seams wasn't going to work.

So I've been revisiting some previous makes. I've already jettisoned a skirt I made early on. I saved the lining I made for it and hope that I might be able to use it in the skirt I started a while back - it's cotton and I feel it would benefit from a lining as it's a bit clingy. So more reminiscing - I can see that my sewing skills have improved since those earlier makes.

Now it's Saturday and I'm busy prepping fabric and piecing together a PDF pattern, while watching the Ryder Cup on TV. I think the result is going to be very close. It's true that to some extent I'm putting off sewing by blogging and watching golf and making a rice pudding!

I ordered a recommended draping book and it arrived so I'll have a look at that too.

Over the next few weeks, I'll again be very busy as my mother is going to have operative treatment to her eyes, with the hope of regaining about 40% vision, which would be terrific. She will have the treatment in London, so a few trips there for both of us over the next few weeks.


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