There are literally so many things that I have reason to be grateful for.  Without getting too gushy, I am grateful for my....

  • Friends - when I was back in NZ over Christmas I caught up with friends I haven't seen for years (some close to 10!!) and it was just the same as always (in a good way!).  I flew back to Scotland on a Saturday, and went out that evening and it made my eyes get misty when I caught up with my Edinburgh posse - I had missed them that much.  They are a hoot, are all clever and therefore provoke me to always question things (in a good way!) and are all such beautiful people.  I am truly blessed in the friends department.
  • Family - these guys love me despite all my foibles (notably living on the other side of the world).  Although I know that they hate this at times, they have never once pressured me into moving back.  If you love something set it free....well, they truly have, and I have no doubt that I will return to the coop at some stage. 
  • Job - sure I work to live and not live to work; but ultimately I have an interesting job, with some workmates that fit into the friend category and for which I am remunerated* sufficiently to keep me warm, clean, watered, fed and supplied with supplies for my hobby.
  • Sense of Adventure - whether it be travelling, reading a new author/genre or meeting up with like minded individuals on the Crafter's Ceilidh; I am lucky to have a sense of adventure realised.  Meeting all you ladies on that single day has prompted me to sew and update this blog regularly - I think of you all as a little legion of people egging me on to craft regularly.  Thank you!
  • Happiness - my inner barometer seems to run closer to happy than any other emotion.  I know people who can not say the same, and I am truly grateful that I have a happy disposition.  I try to 'share the love' with this one too - it would be my life's greatest achievement if I could improve even just one person's day each day.
  • Husband - well, he is just the best.  He is my best friend, my confidante, my coach, my closest ally, staunch protector and advocate, favourite person to spend time with, comedian and generally the other pea in my pod.  I smile whenever I think of him....and often I chuckle.  He believes in us whole-heartedly, which is just fantastic and so supportive.  I look forward to growing old (but not growing up) with him.
In the spirit of showing something made from a gift, I share my most recent offering to St. Claire (the patron saint of needleworkers did you know).

The front - on Maisy
The back - on Maisy
This blouse was made from the pattern I obtained in the Pattern Swap on the Crafter's Ceilidh, with material purchased from Mandor's that same day.  The pattern is from 1969, and I had to chuckle as I made this because the material is probably exactly the kind of thing some people would have thought we'd be wearing by now back then.  I mean, it's a silk/cotton/silver blend.  Yes, that's right, it has METAL in it.  Tee hee.  

Oh, actually, that's not so futuristic is it?...ever heard of a little thing called a chainmail shirt Rachel?.... whatever, it made me think of this lovelable lot at the time!

So, here are the details:
The pattern (from Scruffy Badger Time)
The material

I made a few changes to the pattern:

  • Cut the front on the fold (~1cm along the fold line - I needed a bit more room!)
  • Cut the back in two parts (adding 1.5cm for seam allowances)
  • Included a facing along the neck and back edges 
  • Sewed a metal separating zip on the back (superimposed so that I can easily remove it in the future (oooo see what I did there) if I come to hate the zip).
  • Put the sleeves in the wrong way around...

The front - on Me
The back - on Me

yes, that's right - my sleeves are in the wrong arms, so the plackets are on the top of the sleeves rather the undersides...I mean, come on Rachel!  I sewed my first shirt when I was 12 - you'd think I would have established the art of working out what way a sleeve goes in wouldn't you....appears not.  I'm debating whether to cut the cuffs of and turn it into a short sleeved blouse...I think that would look pretty cool.  The zip is heaps heavier than the fabric, so it makes the top hang funny, but whatever.  I still like it.  Peace out.
A propos gratitude, today is my 2nd wedding anniversary.  How fun!  In July we'll have been together 10 years.  I still can't believe this.  I was always the girl that never got asked out, and here I am married to my best friend.  Sew grateful indeed.

* I always think of remunerated as renumerated in my head.  My logic is that it's about money, i.e. numbers...anyone else get confused by this?


  1. Crikey - that's shiny! What amazing fabric! I actually thought you were going to put the zip in the front, so perhaps the sleeves are the right way round after all - how does it look worn the other way round?

  2. Hi Roobeedoo! It's not actually that shiny all the time, the silver threads just seem to attract the flash and hog the limelight! Good idea wearing it backwards (would make it easier to put it on too!). I don't know how that would work with the bust darts though? I'll give it a whirl during the daytime and get a photo up...thanks for your ideas :-)

  3. Happy (belated) anniversary! Oy, I'm having fitting problems, too. It's all driving me batty!

    Your blouse is looking great. Hopefully the sleeves will be an easy fix.

  4. Thanks Melizza! What's your fitting problem? Maybe I can help?

  5. We just had an anniversary too! 6 yrs married, about 10 together. Congratulations!!!! I think you ROCK that silvery blouse, is there actual metal in the fibre or just the look of it? Between the fabric and the lovely metal zip, just don't wear it to the airport, you'll find yourself topless at security!

  6. Love the shiny blouse! And I did that recently with a blouse too (put the sleeves on the wrong arms...) but you know what? I still haven't changed it! Happy Anniversary!!!

  7. Yay!!!! Rachel its great to find you blogging and I love this post. I saw that pattern envelope and perked up- you made that up quickly! And what a class piece! I am so impressed and really enjoyed the " story" of its making. Im going to add you to my reader now. (If I can work out how to do it from my phone) !

  8. Kristen, I was thinking *exactly* the same embarrassing would that be. It would really knock showing stupid socks worn under boots right out of the park huh!
    Debi, I'm glad I'm not alone! My dear husband said it looked like a 'design feature'...I fear I may have indoctrinated him beyond the point of being objectively useful when it comes to my sewing creations!
    Scruffy Badger, I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Knowing you guys were out there really spurred me on to get it made, rather than let the idea languish in my head. So thank you for being part of my virtual pep squad!

  9. Hi Rachel, I'm so glad I can follow you I loved meeting you . Great blouse .

  10. Thanks Rachel. I enjoyed meeting you two :-) I haven't made any of your Valentine's treats, but they are very cute!

  11. Yeah I get confused with renum-remun-whatever-it-is too. Gorgeous top.

  12. Thanks Sewingelle - I just *knew* I couldn't be alone on that one!


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