I've been really pondering where all this sewing thing is going.
I have a fabric stash that has grown and grown (thanks in part to Paris Sew Social) but also because of my insatiable ideas. I look at piles of folded fabric and think - that's supposed to be my swishy summer maxi skirt, and there's would-be beach dress, and that's a pair of shorts for Missy, and there's a little skirt... and ... and...
And of course I have just a few spare hours a week and so the fabric remains folded on the shelf, and I have an awful sense of time running through my fingers.
It will be autumn soon - and then my little girl will be growing up, and next summer I imagine she won't want to wear a vintage-ish summer dress. I start to have slight sewing panic.
And then it all starts to seem ridiculous. She doesn't NEED that new dress. She has a rail full of dresses that still fit her that she barely wears. And I don't really need another dress either. So what is all this sewing, and blogging, and stressing really for?!?
And then I look back at the things I've made over the last two years. There are 99 blog posts here, and I guess 75 feature garments for Missy.
75! That is crazy! She wears school uniform five days a week. It's no wonder that some of the things I've made seem to have been outgrown before they've ever been fully worn.
Like this blouse...
This blouse was my first ever blog post, titled; 'It started with a 'Fat Quarter'
Yes in one idle moment I bought a fat quarter of fabric on eBay, before I even knew what a 'fat quarter' was. The original post is here. And here is little Missy, two years ago aged three, when I was still trying to take indoor photos. Missy's cheeky dimpled smile is unchanged though. The sleeves were way too long then, with the cuffs turned back, and I improvised with bias trim round the cuff seam.
Back then it was 'dress length', now it's definitely a blouse.
When I look at it closely, I can see how much my sewing has improved. I made my own piping for this, but didn't know I should use a zipper foot to make it. And the pattern is an improvised hack, based on Straight Grain's bubble dress, with added button placket and box pleats.
I took these photos a few weeks ago, um months, when the buttercups were still out, and I hadn't yet cut Missy's hair.
Since then I've been hit by blogging blues. For one reason and another, we've had a really rather difficult summer, and haven't managed to get away for a proper holiday. I'm finding it hard to manage all the tasks of family life, and work. And increasingly I find the face we present online hard to sustain. I look at other bloggers pix on their instagram feeds and facebook and their blogs, and see lovely holidays and children and it makes me feel a little overwhelmed. And I know that other people might look at my photos and feel the same. So I feel I need to add some words of honesty to balance out the 'online facade'.
I live in a small house, and sew on the kitchen table. I don't have lots of spare cash for beautiful fabric, it's a little treat to myself. My children are gorgeous beyond compare, but they also stretch me to my limits, and I get tired and grumpy.
But I am also learning to count my blessings, to see these magical dark eyes of my Missy, to perceive the reality around me, rather than the unreality of social media and perhaps to slow down a little and pick the buttercups....
Oh, and also to start to think about my 100th blogpost...