Saturday, April 24, 2010

Simplicity 2815- in action

He is over this weekend, and here they are on him.

NOONE has EVER made him anything before, EVER. Not even his own mother. He thanked me without prompting, and seems pretty happy with them. I am pleased...:-)

I feel like a winner!

They are a bit big, but he can grow into them. Better too big than too small!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Simplicity 2815

It has been hard to find the thirty minutes daily of late, for many reasons:
1. a nine month old who MUST be teething, because he keeps me up many many evenings and nights, and has done now for the better part of 2 months on and off. Not a tooth in sight however.
2. I have just finished managing the Mini Wardrobe Contest on It was purely voluntary, and hard work. It was my second contest, but far more intense than the first one I managed (One Fabric: Wool in late 2009). I enjoyed it for the most part, even though I am glad it is over and I have my days somewhat back to myself.
3. I don't know where my time and my life goes, between 3 children full time (none in daycare/ with extended family), 1 part-time, a husband who is studying and working, and me, also working and being a full time mum. We are among the busiest people I know. Sigh.

Anyway, yesterday, with the contest drawing to a close, was the first day I found the time and energy to 
 trace, cut out and begin to sew Simplicity 2815, which is an OOP pattern for kids' PJs.

I made a size S, intended for a 7 year old boy, my husband's son. I used material entirely from stash (new determination to use up stash before I buy ANY MORE fabric), so ended up running out of the 2m of fabric that I had, given to me by a friend, and making up the balance in a navy flannelette.

All up, it took me 5 hours to make these, from tracing through to sewing. A bit slow perhaps, but welcome stress relief! I hope he likes them.

This is the top, long sleeved, in Size S, with colour blocking. I used material entirely out of stash, and ran out of the animal print flannel, and used flannel in navy to make up the rest.

This was my first top using a yoke, and making a V nect, and I am pretty pleased with the result. I had tried to use this pattern to make my eldest daughter (4 years old) summer PJs in january, but it was left to the side because the smallest size, XS, was too large on her, and the instructions threw me, so that the bias binding on the back neck was a mess. This time around, I disregarded Simplicity's instructions and bound the neck edge BEFORE the shoulder seams, which worked much better, as you can see above.

Sleeve set in in the flat, another first for me. Rather nice, if you disregard the annoying overlocking showing to the side.

Back view of top.

I did not have thread in a matching colour, so I used contrasting thread in cream to do all my construction. Elastic pants, another first for me, and neat, even hems, ditto.

So, what I learnt from making these:
1. Sewing V necks and yokes
2. Inserting bias binding to neck backs neatly, by disregarding Simplicity's instructions!
3. setting in sleeve in the flat.
4. Elastic waist.
5. Even hems.

All up, I am pretty pleased, and I hope he likes them. My husband thinks he will.

I am on a bit of a sewing roll at the moment, having already commenced on this after tracing, cutting out a beginning on this:

Kwik Sew 3126- Toddler's PJs, T1-T4. I am making the T4 for my eldest. Struggling so far, with the collar and the instructions.

This is what I have so far, with material again from stash, and more colour blocking:

It is a good fit on her, and she really likes the unusual colour blocking. I'm not happy about the collar at all, and other bits, but more on that when it is all done.
I am working all day tomorrow, 12 hour shift, and so will be gone some 14 hours, so no sewing till monday, insha'Allah.

It feels so good to be sewing again, and even better to have learnt some new techniques.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Non sewing stuff...

I had a meeting with my boss today.

I have 2010 off for the most part, for many reasons; my third child, feeling burnt out working 60-70 hours with young children, and not spending enough time at home with my family. Wanting to just throw it all in, and needing to re-evaluate.

9 months into this leave, I find myself enjoying the one (12 hour shift) I do each fortnight, and wondering if there is a way to finish the remaining 2 years of my OBGYN (O&G) training, so I can qualify as a fellow, a consultant.

The price, working fulltime, was too high to pay, yet each time I am at work, I find myself feeling the pressure, from myself, to just get back into it, to go full time again, "because it is just 2 years", to "get it over and done with".

I met my boss today, to discuss options.

It was not terribly productive. The gist of it being, staying on at my current workplace, would probably be a waste of my time; I am better to go elsewhere for a year, part time if I can find it, and to use the time to complete my membership examinations, and then aim to commence subspeciality training for the remaining 2 years. Working 40 hours a week is not a favoured option; 60-70/week is normal.

As I drove home, in peak hour traffic, with my 3 children, aged 4, almost 3 and 9 months in the back, I found myself thinking, "Is this what I really want?"

I feel torn. Unsure.

On the one hand, to just "get it over and done with". And that feeling of panic, of being left behind. Of being proven to be "not good enough". Not to mention, letting down all those women, especially Muslim women, who have been waiting for me to qualify, who have been seeking out my services since I commenced this training 5 years is a communal obligation, true. But, looking after my children, is my first obligation, my fard 'ayn.

If I work 60-70 hours a week, when will I see my kids? 2 years of their lives, is a big chunk of their lives. When will I see my husband, who will probably put his own ambitions for a PhD aside, to again allow me this, but at what cost?

I have been praying on this for over a year now, and it is still murky.

I just don't know. I keep waiting for some sign. What to do?

And I feel the panic to ditch the sewing, and start planning to study for the examinations, maybe before I return to work next year. It is all a bit ...silly really. Maktub, as the arabs say. It has all been written. And if I am praying on it daily, and making efforts to work out options, whatever happens, there is khayr, good in it.

No point stressing about it.

Khayr insha'Allah. A friend of mine, also a doctor, has lent me Dale Carnegie's "How to stop worrying and start living". It seems like it might be helpful. We'll see...