I remembered the sashiko

It’s made all the difference to the skirt. Just enough contrast and detail for my liking. Leeetle bit close to that hemline but I’m not picking it out now.

Various dramas continue to unfold. I joked to the Bloke the other night that most mums scrapbook different sorts of firsts and memories for their kids. I’m starting up a folder with My First Mental Health Plan, My First Mood Chart and My First Anxiety Workbook. I’ve got to say, there’s not nearly the same number of photos with this kind of folder.

There are appointments scrawled all over the calendar for the next two months and I swear I am this close to giving everyone their own ink colour. The Bloke thought that then you could go with varying shades, according to ailment: GP, BP, hamburgers, optometry, occ therapy…but we don’t have that many pens to choose from.

We’ve not yet revealed to the lad the full extent of what’s happening; more precisely we’ve stuck with dyslexia and anxiety because we’re quite sure of those and the treatment strategies and teaching remediation start immediately. The dyslexia label at the moment is covering all of the processing disorders that are commonly associated with Asperger’s – difficulty writing (apraxia), dyscalculia (to maths what dyslexia is to spelling/reading), working memory problems, and difficulties prioritising and organising work. The anxiety workbook will help deal with some of the consequences of mood instability and we’re really working on giving him a stable routine at home and school. Once the diagnostic process is completed with the child psychiatrist, then we can handle full disclosure and any further treatment like therapy or medication.

And with all of that, we’re trying to be as open and gentle about it as we can be with the kids. The lad declared quite matter of factly last night that he didn’t want to have dyslexia. Fair enough, we reckon. So we had a bit of a chat about it, which appointments are happening in the next week or so and why, and assuring the lass that it wasn’t contagious. That concept was a little tricky to get across. We said that you’re born with it but from a seven year old’s point of view that doesn’t automatically make it not contagious. In what I thought was a bit of a brilliant, on the spot analogy, I said it was like being born a boy or a girl: you can’t change from a girl to a boy just because your older brother touches you.

Yes, a vigorous game of tag over the dinner table ensued just to see if it might work.


Rice stitches

I rarely find retail clothing that I like. OK, I rarely find retail clothing that I like AND I can afford. So, as happens in life, compromises often need to be made. A ‘latte’ coloured soft linen skirt from Eco Wear doesn’t involve much compromise as far as ethical trading and low environmental impact goes. The design is okay, with false wrap layers at front and back. But even I had to admit that latte is very easily boring.

So I picked up a book on sashiko and started off on this:

I’ll warn you now and say that tear away fabric stabiliser is the worst thing you can use for this. Tearing it away took three times longer than the embroidery did. But I got impatient, my op shop carbon paper didn’t work, and I just started stitching. With sashiko, the idea is that you’re quilting at least two pieces of fabric together in a form of decorative mending. That explains why the stitches are fairly close together – a 3:1 ratio of top stitch length to under stitch length.

Sashiko thread is very soft and pliable with the same thickness as mercerised crochet cotton. Kimono House (in the Nicholson Building, cnr Swanston & Little Collins) has a good supply in quite a few colours, even tweed. I guess you could substitute embroidery floss but I think the finished textural effect would be less smooth and polished.

I finished it and I’ve forgotten to take a photo (but I promise I will). It’s quite cool, adding a decorative touch in a minimalist style. I’m very happy with it.

But I’m never using the tear-away fabric stabiliser again.

The bird thing

I mentioned before there was a bird thing happening. Having had the first bird thing rejected as insufficiently pink, I had another go.


After close consultation with the client, I was allowed to use pale blue on the birds and shades of pink for the flowers. My suggestion of different shades of green for the leaves was accepted without demur (which surprised me).



The cloth doesn’t quite fit the hoop because I don’t use one when I’m sewing. I just find it fiddly what with all that turning around of the design and what not. Now that it’s hemmed it’s not quite wide enough but the client doesn’t seem to mind.

You can find the pattern at Badbird’s blog, here. Also check out loobylu, where some Starry Serenade pieces are on show. Yes, that is an entirely self-centred plug!