miscellaneous · musings · planned projects · sewing · teen


So, here in Melbourne we’re planning for Clare to return to school on Tuesday (she’s in year 12), and then for Stella (year 7) to return two weeks later.  It’s great to have some dates – I feel as though it gives a little bit of certainty (although in reality, anything could change and nothing is set in stone) and helps us to stumble toward a new normal.  I’m still working from home until the end of the school term, which means I will be able to drive the kids to and from school and they won’t need to take public transport.  And term three?  For me it will probably be a mix of working on site, working from home, and travelling interstate.  That is really difficult for me to comprehend at the moment.  Who knows.  We’ll see.  The girls will hopefully be continuing on with school at school, but we still don’t know when their extracurricular activities will start back on site instead of on Zoom.

It a whole other time of big change.  There has been so much change, so quickly, and in some ways we’ve just settled in to our at-home routines.  Now it all changes again, with an added dose of heightened anxiety while we wait to see what cautious re-emergence and return to more ‘usual’ activities has on the number of covid-19 infections and how the health system is able to manage them.  Clare has caught up with her group of ten friends a couple of times now in a local park, we’ve had drinks at a friend’s house, had a couple of friends pop over, and I met up in a group of ten school mums at the park yesterday morning for our regular coffee/chai.  We’ve all been keeping in touch and meeting up online since stay-at-home started back in March, but it’s just SO nice to see people in three dimensions!  It takes a lot to resist that impulse to give someone a hug, epecially after that time away from from them.  We’re especially looking forward to seeing my parents in a few weeks time (they live a couple of hours away and are in the high-risk category) so let’s hope that things continue to go well.

I’m sure that many of you have read or seen a meme that has been going around since the pandemic began pointing out that while we are all in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat; some are on super-yachts, and some have just the one oar (author Damien Barr, on Twitter).

I heard that we are all in the same boat.
But it’s not that.
We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat.
Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine might not be.
Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is optimal: a moment of reflection, or reconnection.
Easy in flip flops, with whisky or tea.
For others, this is a desperate crisis.
For others, it is facing loneliness.
For some, peace, rest time, vacation.
Yet for others, torture: How am I going to pay my bills?
Some were concerned about a brand of chocolate for Easter.
Others were concerned about the bread for the weekend, or if the noodles would last for a few more days.
Some were in their “home office”.
Others are looking through trash to survive.
Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it, some are not sure their loved ones are going to make it, and some don’t even believe this is a big deal.
Some of us who are well now may end up experiencing it, and some believe they are infallible and will be blown away if or when this hits someone they know.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat.
We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. And each one will emerge, in his own way, from that storm.
It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance.
Not just looking, more than looking, seeing.
See beyond the political party, beyond biases, beyond the nose on your face. Do not judge the good life of the other, do not condemn the bad life of the other.
Don’t be a judge.
Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds.
We are on different ships looking to survive.
Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility.

Clare and I have begun planning a graduation/valedictory dinner dress.  Who knows if there will be a graduation/valedictory dinner, but she’ll have a dress for whatever way we choose to celebrate!  She gave me these pictures as inspiration.

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Essentially, a fitted underslip, preferably in a contrasting colour, with a sheer embroidered dress over the top. I went busily googling, and found this beautiful embroidered tulle from Silk World. And it was on sale!

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We ordered a few metres and it arrived a couple of days later, much to our shock and amazement! Parcels have been taking weeks longer than usual to arrive, with so many people doing their shopping online instead of in person, so it was a big surprise for this one to arrive so quickly. And it looks fabulous in reality.

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Clare is thinking of a pale green slip to go underneath. I have a few patterns in stash that I am considering, both for the slip and for the overdress. This one should work fine for a stretch slip – I’ll just need to lengthen it a bit. And will need to find the right fabric for it. 2020-05-12 07.18.56-1

These are current contenders for the overdress, although they are designed for knit fabrics. I would probably do a bit of pattern mashing or variation.

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McCalls have just released this pattern too, which is another contender. 20200520_182104

We have plenty of time to let the ideas marinate or percolate. I am also still considering a completely different option for her, because I adore the fabric. Clare’s 18th birthday is in January, so I can make an excuse for another ‘dressy’ dress! I bought this fabric from The Cloth Shop early in the year. It was the last of the roll and is an amazing border print.

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One of my talented Melbourne sewing friends used this fabric to sew herself a stunning dress from a vintage Advance pattern for Frocktails a couple of years ago. So spectacular!

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We have a few patterns under consideration, wanting to make the most of the border print, and of Clare’s preference for a fitted bodice and fuller skirt.  Although we don’t have masses of fabric to work with, Clare is pretty small so hopefully we can tetris bodice pieces out without much hassle.

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New Look 6526

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By the time either of those dresses gets made you will have completely forgotten about ths blog post, but it will help me to keep track of our thought processes. I quite enjoy having a ‘slow burn’ project in the background, especially after the positive experience of sewing last year’s formal dress without any time pressures.

5 thoughts on “Planning

  1. Wow! All are wonderful. The fabric is just beautiful…both are! I like the Pattern Emporium wrap dress and the Spellbound Dress. Can’t wait to walk this journey of decision making with you.

  2. Dear Lara Thank you for posting the Damian Barr piece. Much to ponder there. And thank you for the opportunity for a different sort of pondering – what lovely fabrics and pattern options for one of your gorgeous daughters. I look forward to seeing what you chose, and to seeing the final dresses.

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