Tuesday, 28 April 2015

because there are not enough butterflies in the world

I have nothing much to say. Maybe I have a "writer's" block. Maybe there is not much happening in my life. Maybe I don't reflect enough on life and stuff. Who knows. Anyway, life is not always exiting, nor does it need to be. It is a bit like a river, sometimes you hit the rapids and then, just a few miles further down the stream the river is flat and tranquil.

I wanted to say thank you to all of you who commented on my Five on Friday post, there were so many encouraging messages, I am still on a high from all the positivity. Thank you!

In between the normalcy of life, I am still enjoying sewing. Last weekend I was sewing my annual allocation of ballet skirts for Annie's show. There are now only nine girls in the ballet class. Easy I thought, nine skirts. Not so. They are wearing a double skirt this year! It is the most boring of all sewing, two times nine identical skirts. One set drapey, the other set stiff as anything. Elasticated waist, rolled hem. Plus nine scarves of sorts. I am nearly done. I am looking forward to some more fun sewing next weekend. 

For now, let me show you my latest piece of clothing. I made it a couple of weekends ago. If you are a regular visitor you'll maybe remember that I lamented the fact that my favourite ever fabric, a light blue delight with butterflies printed on was no longer available. I used some of the small piece I had to make a zippered pouch lining. It turns out that I was wrong, the fabric is still available. Sometimes. In small pieces. I managed to get hold of two more pieces, enough to make a top. I don't know if there are 'dye lots' with fabric, as there is with yarn but I thought I was lucky to get two  pieces of fabric from different vendors that were absolutely identical. I used the same pattern as for my retro fabric top, Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts. What do you think? There can never be enough butterflies I think. I am hoping to find some more of the fabric for a skirt next year. It comes in pink and cream as well.



I also took some pictures of my new favourite neat finishing method for facings or linings. I mentioned understitching before I think. It keeps the lining/facing in place so it doesn't show on the outside. This is what it looks like when you understitch.

Trim your seam allowance (use pinking shears if you have them). Press the seam towards the facing/lining and stitch inside the seam allowance as closely to the seam stitch line as possible

This is what it looks like from the other side.
Fold the facing down and press. This is what it looks on the outside. Neat!
And this is what it looks like on the inside.
Really, I just needed an excuse for taking more pictures of my butterfly fabric. There are much more comprehensive tutorials online than the above!

I have decided to make all my nice tops this year. I am not going to start making plain t-shirts, only 'special' tops. I have splashed out on three more fabrics and two more patterns. I know, I know, this is quite extravagant but I am worth it :) I have washed and pressed the fabric, printed and sellotaped the first pattern and I am now waiting for the weekend, which seems so far away still. More on that another day.



Just in case you get bored with all the sewing, I do things intensely and in phases. No doubt the sewing phase will be superseded by something else in the near future. I did try to get my act together for the April photo scavenger hunt but didn't manage to get even half of the prompts.

Just a quick rant before I go: I can't wait for the UK election to be over. The campaigns cramp my style and I am sick of it. Untenable promises all around. Numbers picked at random from random sources and reported to support one's own pledge. Easily picked apart by those savvy enough to work the official statistics but not by most. Education is high on my agenda and most parties make it a priority, too... On paper only, that's for sure. Funding for education has been cut dramatically where I live. Only yesterday at the Secondary School Parent Council meeting we learned about the latest money saving feature (sold to us as progress, by the council, not the schools): a dedicated centralized phone line for calling-in absences. The reasoning behind this is to avoid wasting clerical staff time, or (just imagine, how outrageous this would be), pastoral care teacher time to have a chat if the absence is due to more than a cold, or if there are other concerns. The staff on the phone is clerical staff pulled from the schools.Those who have used the new phone line didn't manage to get through and ended up calling the school office anyway. Also, experienced teachers replaced with supply teachers and probationary teachers. Cheaper that way. It doesn't seem fair on either type of teacher. Transport to school has been cut for children coming from far away associated primary schools. As a result, placement requests are made and granted for schools with public transport connections. Some of these now are over capacity. Good for learning. One member of staff has left the school to work at a private school because working conditions in publicly funded schools are not conducive to teaching and learning. It makes my blood boil. It really does. Worst of all? I can't even vote! Rant over.

Have a lovely midweek my friends! Lets hope the weather fairy remembers it was spring just a few days ago. It was snowing today. Then it hailed. Later still it rained. Just now it is howling a gale. 

Turns out I had plenty to write after all..... Cxx

30 comments:

  1. I love the top! I also feel your pain with the election and education... I quit teaching before I even got started as I was sick of working 18 hours a day and not having time to eat. My hair started falling out due to the stress and 18 months on it still hasn't recovered properly! I left a job I like in a school I loved to become a teacher and am now working in a school I hate in a job I don't enjoy (as a Teaching Assistant again), no better off than I was before but a lot less happy. So many teachers are quitting at the moment.

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  2. What lovely fabric! and the tops look so pretty, when I have more time I really want to learn dressmaking, you have inspired me. x

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  3. I will be glad when the elections are over, I can't tolerate the muck raking and the false promises. Just give me an outline of the manifesto so that I can make an informed decision, rant over. Love the fabric of your stunning top it screams of luxury.

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  4. Don't get me started on education. Three years ago we got a new headteacher who is only concerned with figures and OFSTED reports and making everything look good. Education has fallen by the wayside completely. There are seven classes at the school, and he has lost four exceptionally good and experienced teachers and replaced them with complete novices and masses of students. Different faces every week. My eldest's previous teacher completely inspired him, he was flying, loving school, being challenged, learning, learning, learning. Within three days of his new teacher starting he didn't want to go any more. She had taught him nothing new, he got to read his book when he'd finished his work, and most days he spent more time reading than doing the work itself, it was so easy. He is now just completely bored. But the headmaster is happy because his figures look good and the actual education of children is no longer a priority, it's more of a warehousing facility with the cheapest staff he can find. Love the butterflies. CJ xx

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  5. Your blouse is very pretty. I love that fabric. I used to be a teacher and boy, could I get on a soapbox. I have no desire to ever return to the field and sometimes can't believe I ever did it in the first place. I must have been a lot braver then. :)

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  6. Fabulous top!!! I really like the fabric, it is so pretty, as are your other new fabrics! I see lots of lovely new clothes in your future!!! Enjoy your sewing! xx

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  7. loving those butterflies. oh the election promises. they are all so false. also we are overrun with leaflets. I'm sure my whole recycling bin is nothing but campaign leaflets. the waste. it is driving me mad.

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  8. Love the butterflies and the pattern, and I think you've chosen some lovely fabrics for summery tops. I am enjoying the election coverage on the whole, but the statistics worries me. Any party can make any kind of claim about something, and find a statistic somewhere to corroborate their claim. And the next party can find a survey or think tank to say exactly the opposite. How are we supposed to make a real informed choice? x

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  9. Pretty fabric and I'm so impressed by the neatness of your sewing. I'd never take a close up of mine for fear of revealing the mess. One of my daughters has just been accepted to train as a teacher, but I'm not sure whether to encourage or discourage her.

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  10. The butterfly blouse is perfect! I am so envious of your sewing skills. I have signed up for a Craftsy class on making a t-shirt but haven't had the courage to start it yet. As far as the river goes, enjoy every minute of that flat and tranquil stretch. :-)

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  11. Really lovely top and brilliant neat stitching, its nice to see some-one take care over there seams :-)

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  12. Beautiful butterflies and I agree - make specially nice tops only, not worth the bother to make ordinary t shirts. Our MP is in a marginal seat so the pressure is on locally. Myself, I feel disillusioned with all politicians, local and national, but not to use my right to vote would be wrong xx

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  13. Love the texture of your butterfly material and you sew really well. As a former teacher I hear everything you're saying about cuts in education. Decisions are always made by those who know the least about the needs of students.

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  14. What a beautiful top and the fabric is lovely. I really need to get my sewing machine out again!
    I so have election fatigue now!
    Sx

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  15. Your sewing is beautiful, I love that you finish the insides so neatly! I hate the electioneering too, party politics bore me to tears, and I am not inspired by the options available for power within the country with the likely outcome being a coalition govt. I didn't know about the centralised phone line for school absences, what a horrible idea; the ladies at the school office where the boys go to school are always so lovely on the phone, and indeed in person. Such an impersonal world we live in now. X

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  16. Plenty to write about and always fun to read. I love your pretty butterfly top. I can vote and I will vote, but not at all happy with any of the choices. But as someone else pointed out this morning, with all the terrible things happening in other parts of the world it puts our own problems into perspective.

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  17. Loving the rant - I've steered away from commenting on the election. As a Labour voter in the midst of Tory/UKIP homeland I'm feeling like my votes going to be a bit wasted.

    Love the butterfly fabric - your sewing skills are fantastic. I still haven't got my machine out this year. Judy X

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  18. It is a beautiful pattern, wish I had your sewing skills, my seams are terrible. As for the political malarkey well I will vote because I can but I will be blinking glad when it is all over x

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  19. I used to be a teacher. I'd never go back. Teaching was great; the endless paperwork and admin and hoop-jumping, not so much.
    We're being bombarded with leaflets at the moment. They go straight into the recycling bin.
    Your sewing looks beautiful, so neat and professional! I wish I was better at it. One day...
    S x

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  20. I wish I have your sewing skills Christina! I'd love to make one of your tops-- they're lovely and just my style. I can't vote either. And if I can I'm not sure who to elect. We all know most of these promises will never be fulfilled.
    Hope you're having a good week. Looking forward to more sewing news soon! X

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  21. Hey Christina,
    Yes the election is getting on my chimes. I don't believe any of them to be honest. I am still an undecided voter. I love the style of your top, and quite frankly you can never spoil yourself too much.
    Leanne xx

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  22. Your stitching is so neat! Love the butterflies and why shouldn't you treat yourself to nice fabric? Only another week or so of the electioneering, although it's really going to ramp up this next week, isn't it? Deep joy :-) xx

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  23. Lovely butterflies! Don't be surprised if various winged critters land on you in that top! I'm the same - I do things intensely and in phases too, then totally abandon it for a long time! Mr B gets irritated with this part of me! X

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  24. I love the butterflies, gorgeous. I have stopped listening to the radio for now......I had election fatigue weeks ago will be glad of a week or so's time. Education? I have been so lucky to be able to opt out.

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  25. Oh! This top is as cute as button. I wish I could sew more for myself. I use to do it, but have such a rough time at it that I've given up! No matter how much I measure and remeasure, stitch and unstitch, my garments never really fit! I easily fall in love with patterns and pretty fabric, but it is always a waste of $$ because I can never wear what I've sewn! I DO have a skirt pattern that I have perfected and can make it to fit exactly, but tops have eluded me. Ugh. Maybe I should try again. Yes..... maybe on the weekend....

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  26. I love your new top and the fabrics for your next few. I look forward to seeing them all sewn up, and you are right you deserve them. Our education system is screwed up too. Our Governor in Florida is also doing much to ruin our environment, it is so sad that people are so ignorant and elect people like him
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  27. Your sewing is immaculate! And what beautiful fabric. You're so right, we need all the butterflies we can get. I will be happy when the election is behind us.

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  28. I love your new top and the sewing is so neat. The fabric for your other tops is gorgeous. Can't wait to see what they're like when you have them made.

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  29. Not long to go now! I can't believe that some people seem to be enjoying the election. I will vote, but it's with a heavy heart as I don't believe in any of them.
    Gorgeous butterflies. As a lifelong sewing-phobic I admire your skill!
    My daughter is determined to be a teacher. However it may not be in this country - I wouldn't blame her.

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  30. Cute top! I love the neckline, and your stitching is very neat! Lovely fabric.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx