Checking In

Hi! Hello! I’m still here! So tell me…how did I manage to skip the whole month of November? Sigh. Somehow, between the Thom’s damaged knee, dreary weather (not inspiring for photos), the Making Space Project and sewing with my granddaughter I just haven’t felt like there was anything concrete to post about. We haven’t been able to walk very far, though the knee is finally improving so we can go on some of our usual grocery trips. But not much more than 4 kilometres every few days which is a lot less than our usual 30-40 km per week. And yes, I’m noticing the difference in the old body! Hopefully we can up the distance over the next few weeks if the weather doesn’t foil our plans.

It’s not as if I’m not getting some exercise though, if you count deep house cleaning as exercise. I certainly feel it, especially in my hands. I’ve had to rest my poor sewing and knitting fingers as a result so not much progress in that area. I have so many UFOs! They are starting to weigh on my mind since I usually prefer to keep the numbers down by actually finishing things. So not happening right now. Oh well. I can pretty much guarantee that most of them will get done eventually.

Making Space has been going quite well anyway. We are very satisfied with the cleaning, decluttering and small changes we’ve made so far. We finished the bedroom, hall linen closet, bathroom and are mostly done in the kitchen, which has been the most time and energy consuming room. Every single cupboard and drawer has been gone through and sorted. It took days and days! The counters, windows and walls have been washed down. The microwave, stove and fridge have been thoroughly cleaned. We’ll be getting a new replacement window installed on Friday. Now all that’s left is the floor to clean and the kitchen chairs reupholstered. Unfortunately the chairs are going to be a big deal! There are 4 chairs, not all the same but all antique oak. The last upholstery job was mine and included replacement padding and my own handwoven fabric. It actually lasted quite well, apart from damage caused by our late lamented cats. But it’s way past it’s best before date now! And I don’t think I can talk myself into weaving the fabric this time unless I can’t find something suitable to purchase. The foam padding will need replacing as well. I need to see if I can hunt down the original paper patterns that I’m sure I kept from last time. Once I have the materials, the actual upholstering job isn’t difficult.

As for the granny/granddaughter sewing project, it’s done! Yay! The Beast, as we began to refer to the duster coat, took since July to finish but it turned out so well.

Wearing her grampa’s Barmah hat.
Showing off the back.
Testing the twirl factor.
I think she’s pretty darn pleased!
I made her a tag to celebrate her accomplishment.

The pattern we used is McCalls 7644, a cosplay pattern by Yaya Han. The envelope only shows the shorter length coat but you can see the details better on the line art.

We made the longer View B version.

This is a very nicely drafted pattern and includes A/B, C and D cup sizes. There is some tailoring, with shoulder pads, sleeve heads and lots of topstitching. The instructions are quite detailed and it all went together pretty easily (apart from one mistake that was my fault but luckily fixable). The main fabric is a lovely warm dark brown wool/cashmere but I really think we could have done better on the lining fabric instead of settling for rayon but didn’t see anything else that appealed. Oh well. I was rather glad I had made the peacoat for Thom last winter/spring so that some of the tailoring I learned was fresh in my head. This one isn’t quite as well-armoured but there’s still plenty of interfacing so it should hold its shape. If I was to do this all again (noooo….) I might add a back neck facing and a centre back pleat in the lining which this coat does not have.

This was definitely a joint project! By the end it took both of us with me supporting the weight and granddaughter feeding The Beast through the sewing machine. Apart from the weight issue though, her little mechanical Brother machine held up really well to this coat. There was quite a lot of hand-sewing as well which she actually quite enjoyed. I think she learned a lot but was happy to have me step her through and show her what needed to be done or leap in myself when things got difficult. We’re both glad it’s finished but a little sad about not having our weekly sessions! I think she’s planning to ask her grampa for a woodturning project next. But not until after the Holidays. It takes her an hour and a half each way on public transit to get here and I’m not surprised she wants a break.

It’s already getting dark at 4:30pm. The weather was sunny and fairly cold for a good portion of November. We spent a lot of that time raking lots and lots of leaves and it was nice to have them dry instead of soggy. Now it has warmed up somewhat and gotten rainy which is more like our usual end of autumn/early winter weather. We shall see where it goes from here.

6 thoughts on “Checking In”

  1. I’m sorry to hear that Thom has knee troubles. I missed reading about this previously. I got a baker’s cyst in June and am still working on rehab. It’s frustrating not to be able to walk ‘the distance’ right now!

    I swooned over granddaughter’s coat on IG. I’m swooning here too! It really is FABULOUS!

    Thanks for the catch up. I hope my sewjo returns and with it my desire to blog.

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    1. I’ll let Thom know you empathise with his {blankety-blank} knee! His is a torn meniscus but yours sounds equally uncomfortable. I think I’ll just stick with my arthritic hip, thanks! Glad you enjoyed seeing how well The Beast turned out. Plus it was really fun to get some precious granddaughter time!

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  2. Wow – you HAVE been busy!! This is the sort of project she will remember all her life. Looks great. What a project! Sorry to hear about Thom & your walks or the lack of them. Never mind, this is the worst of the year weather wise & you probably wouldn’t be out much anyway. Don’t know about you but I’m living in the swamp over here in Surrey . . . .

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  3. Hi….I read your blog but don’t often comment . But today…..is that amazing granddaughter the one I recall as “Princess Pink?” Amazing!

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