Saturday, June 20, 2015

I'm On Vacation and I'm Seriously Happy About It

So much to say... I've been getting myself organized for the holiday extravaganza that has (mercifully) just begun. Today's Scott's birthday. Soon we're off to Mtl (no surprise this year). What is a surprise is that my mother is taking my sister and me to Dublin and the Ring of Kerry!! So, like some crazy world traveler, I'll be leaving from Montreal, second year running, to go to Europe. I sense I should make this a habit. :-)

The net result is that I'm going to be away from work for 3 full weeks (and weekends, natch). Other than when I was half-dead from pertussis, I've not taken this much time, all at once, away from work. I'm vaguely giddy. Honestly, I'm burned out and I need a chance to work on my own schedule, to eat and drink on patios, to pursue creative things, to do some yoga, unfettered by other responsibilities.

So question 1 is for the peeps with knowledge of Ireland. I've had some awesome feedback about restaurants not to be missed (a coworker is married to a guy from Dublin and his brother is a chef there. They spend about a month a year in Ireland. Not a bad advisor, huh??). But I'm looking for lunch suggestions and bra boutique suggestions and other cool store suggestions and great things to see suggestions (we're happy to go to castles, churches and creepy places). Are there any foods not to be missed?

I'm sad to say that I am not a beer drinker. At all. Like, of all the booze it's the only kind I can't get with. It's like bread soda. But natch, I'm going to drink a Guinness. Perhaps in its homeland, it will appeal to me. To clarify, our trio of gluten-sensitivity (I'm a newbie in this camp, but the other two are hardcore) will share one, I suspect.

I do intend to post while traveling, as long as the mood strikes. It usually does though, so I expect you'll hear as much from me as always - only in better locales!

The first few days of this hol will be spent here. I've decided to do some sewing, not that I need anything in particular. I just feel like updating some pieces (and revising fit, in a couple of instances, to suit those small, but notable changes in shape). Not to dwell, cuz it gets boring, but I'm struggling with body image right now, not something I tolerate well in others. So I'm smacking myself up the side of the head and reminding myself that a) I am able b) stylish c) a competent sewist and, more to the point, fitter d) able to discern the changes for what they are and to manage them e) more than simply a body and f) unremittingly hot as far as my husband is concerned. I'm also a hormonal mess who continues to function, pretty fucking well, with a number of mid-life health concerns. So I'm going to take this moment in time for what it is and make pretty things that fit me beautifully and bamboozle everyone into thinking I've still got that figure - or maybe even determine that the figure I have right now is just as attractive, albeit different.

Brief side note: I have no idea of how celebrity women actors deal with this shit. Sure, many of them are well-off, but to lose one's livelihood when one's body changes (and for 80 per cent of us, it's going to change, at least somewhat), when one's hormones are at their most intense. It's so unfair. Not to mention that we gain confidence and perspective in age - two things that are likely to improve an actor's ability exponentially. Um, I have no idea how I got off on this tangent but I also feel outrageously bad for the animals in the zoo and the unloved gardens. I'm having a sensitive moment.

OK, back to sewing plans. My goal is to:
  • Make things I've made before. Why? Cuz I know how to fit them with minimal insanity and I also know they'll be worn.
  • Use stash fabrics. I'm not buying more stuff. I have enough. It's just a matter of aligning what I want to make with the fabrics I have available. Gotta say, I'm glad I've started buying 2 yard minimums. Broadens my options, even as it may leave me with unusable scraps.
  • Get a little bit fun (but not insanely). I'm going to use some new-to-me fabric combos. It's a risk, and I may end up with wadders. Or it could be genius success!!
  • Hilariously, I'm likely to make pretty well the same shit I make every time I do a spring-summer capsule collection: denim skirt, a couple of dresses, a top and a destructured jersey jacket (I am going to Ireland after all). Here's a link to my prep document, in case you're interested in seeing what I've considered. It also shows how insanely process-oriented I am. I spent all night researching the stash and aligning it with patterns in the inventory and rereading my posts on the items and looking at other fitting reviews. In some ways, I find this as enjoyable as sewing.
  • Every fabric I will use has some stretch. Even the denims. Even the Japanese dot. I've come to realize that I don't like the restriction of woven fabrics with no give, even when they fit. And if you're not seriously toned in all the places, a bit of stretch (even 10 per cent) can make a huge difference in drape and fall. You can still make very structured garments with fabric that stretches. And it will go a long way to skim over the areas that you'd prefer to play down. I'd argue that the best structured garments have 10% stretch. That allows for some containment without being restrictive.
Questions 2 and on: What do you think of my fabric and pattern choices (if you've checked out the prep doc)? What's your take on stretch fabric for structured garments? As a sewist of a certain age, have you found that sewing helps you to keep a level head about changes to your body at a transitional stage? Regardless of life stage, can you relate to this issue of everything morphing, in terms of fit - even as the numbers may not have changed that much? Let's talk!

20 comments:

  1. You'll love the Ring of Kerry, it's beautiful! I was lucky to go on a day when there was literally no one else there! Be aware, the 'ring' road literally a massive circle and a national park, so bring food and water supplies. It takes hours, like nearly 7 if I remember correctly, it's been a while! If you have time, the dingle peninsula is right nearby and is also an amazing drive. I love home.

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    1. Thanks Emmie! That's very good info. I'm not the hiker in the crowd (I'm a city walker) so I'm going to make sure that my mother and sister (both of whom have walked the Camino) know about the time frames and the need for food and water.

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    2. Oh, I was talking about driving it! I think it takes the whole day because you will keep wanting to stop :) although it's still over 200km

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    3. I also lived in Dublin for 4 years so can help with question there too if needed!

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  2. My mom is inching closer to 50, and while she's still gorgeous (especially for a woman who birthed 3 kids and raised a 4th), she is struggling to see it. No one else can see the pudge around her middle that she complains about, so you might be the same way. And that is something that you will have to discover for yourself, because no amount of reassurance from anyone else is going to convince you--or at least that's what I seem to be gathering from mom. We love her and so our opinion doesn't count? ???

    Anyway, I'm dying to see what your peeps say about the trip to Ireland--I've always wanted to go, and it sounds like I might actually make it there someday soon. ;-)

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    1. Lord - I'm practically old enough to be your mother???? :-) Thank you for this comment. You're absolutely right about this being a road I'm going to have to navigate alone. Doesn't matter what others say, it's how I feel. I will definitely keep you posted on Ireland. I hope you can make use of my feedback soon!

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  3. You KNOW how I feel about stretch - basically, it exists, s why the hell wouldn't I want my clothes to bend and flex with me? Hells yes.
    Here are my thoughts on the patterns you've mentioned that i've sewn: (great document!!!)
    - For fitting tiramisu, I think size down from the recommended size, but add vertical length in the bodice for your bust. I usually just freehand curve from the original side seam to the original centre, but adding an inch in the centre. The side seams are easy to adjust once it's sewn, so that's the only adjustment you have to make ahead of time! :)
    -Lola: You can definitely make it with 2m! I mean, I can, so you definitely can.

    My vote is to start with your sloper and a Lady Skater - totally fast and failproof, and will leave you excited for more sewing! And that Jalie top too - I bet it looks so good on you!

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    1. It's like we're sisters in stretch :-) And thanks for appreciating my doc. You may be the only person who reads it (other than me)! I agree about the Tiramisu info. Thing is, I wrote myself a post of notes last time I made this (suggesting that I just ditch all of my efforts and cut the 30D - I think that's the size the post says, but of course, I'll check). And the one I've got now, which has been made in a fabric the likes of which I've never found before or since (Marcy Tilton cotton ponte) is its own little fitting mystery. Doesn't help when you write yourself tons of notes (or blog about them) and then change size and need diff fabric. You know what I mean!

      I've started with the skirt in floral denim - a pattern I've made many times. Then onto Lady Skater. You're so right about the quick wins.

      Thanks for your comment G. xo

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  4. I'm so excited for you and this vacation. I think it's just what you need at the moment and that you'll have a blast. I've never been to Ireland but it's high on my "must visit" list. As for the body issues..when you've cracked how to look in the mirror every day without flinching...do let me know. I think if you could bottle it you'd make your fortune! I just keep thinking that at least I'm alive, with marvellous friends and family and a billion things to be thankful for.

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    1. I'll try and have so much fun - and to be vocal - that you'll be booking a flight for September :-) If I could figure out how to eradicate body issues I'd be a billionaire. Hmmm... I'm getting on that.

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  5. bit of a novel coming up... :)
    Dublin! I haven't been in several years, so things may have changed some, but:
    1) take a Hop-On/Hop-Off tour :) You get a useful map, and it takes you past many, many interesting things and gives you a good sense of the city
    2) Trinity College Library - the Book of Kells and the Long Room (I firmly believe that my heaven looks like the Long Room). Trinity College in general :)
    3) it seemed hard to throw a stone without hitting a gallery or museum, on either side of the Liffey. The tour map had a pretty good listing of them and the visitdublin site looks like it's a great resource. There's also a lovely church that's been converted to the Visit Dublin tourist centre - they had the best prices on souvenirs and very good maps.
    I particularly liked the Decorative Arts and Archaeology Museums, and the Dublin Writer's Museum. The Natural History Museum is something between fascinating and horrifying (do not go if taxidermy squicks you).
    Dublin Castle has the wonderful Chester Beatty Library and the location of the pool Dublin was named for.
    Cross Ha'penny Bridge (for free!) :)
    Dublinia was for kids, but kind of fun anyway :) In that same area they have marked out on the ground the houses similar to those found when digging to build...the bank(?)
    Phoenix Park is gorgeous and huge. There's a lovely park at the end of Grafton St too (but much smaller)
    There's always the Jameson Distillery tour and the Guinness Storehouse tour...
    4) It's a very walkable city, which is very nice, and people walk very fast, which is also nice. There were many days when I set out with just a vague plan and ended up somewhere great :)

    ...and now I want to go again!

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    1. Wow - this is amazing info! Thank you so much. Going to process and will ask questions, I'm sure...

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    2. And those are the best hols -the ones where you think about how you wandered and found the coolest things. I feel that way about my trip to Barcelona last summer. I often remember it.

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    3. welcome! glad I could help! Let me know if there's anything I can maybe answer!

      Oh they are - a light plan of definite things to see and time to just enjoy the place and see where you go and what you do :)

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  6. I forgot to mention there seemed to be a pretty good selection of gluten-free foods in the shops. I don't know what Tesco's brand is, but M&S had 'free-from'.
    (I can't remember the brand, and I'm kicking myself for it, but I found gluten-free Jaffa cakes!)

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    1. Oh, excellent intel. I am totally going to the food section of M&S.

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  7. So much cool stuff here -- first of all, so glad you're getting a break from work. Amused that you're not going to waste it on resting . . . .Thrilled for you that you've got an Ireland trip coming up and I'll be watching to see what kind of recommendations come up. My daughter's got a conference there next year and is going to take her husband and Nola along. . .
    btw, got back from Vanc'r today and found your goodies waiting for me. OMG, the Rosemary-Neroli Body Oil smells absolutely amazing. Just waiting for husband to get home so I can order up a massage with it! TY for the freebie eye cream -- delighted to check this out as well. Should any new Etsy orders wait until after your trip?

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    1. I'm so thrilled you like the body oil. I have to say, that one's getting very popular, especially with the people I sell to "in town". I really like it, natch, or I wouldn't have come up with it. But it's not the one I use for myself. I'm all ylang ylang and grapefruit - all the time. Of course, wouldn't it be a good time to just wear everything, now that I have all of the tools to make whatever I want? It's ridiculous what a creature of habit I can be...

      My Etsy shop is actually on holiday, which means you can't order till I return (July 10) cuz it won't let you. But I'll turn it back on as soon as I get back and hopefully you'll have a little list of things to order then :-)

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  8. Good to know. I'm definitely compiling a list. . .

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