Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is 94 and half years old, his birthday is 18 July 1918. My father saw him, and heard him, before he was imprisoned and said he was compelling, charismatic, unforgettable. My mother died in May last year and spoke of him. And now he is ‘going home’. The news says he is ‘responding positively’ to treatment, but he is dying, or in the words of Jacob Zuma, he is ‘going home’. I remember the last week with my mother – it was a ‘going home’, back to her parents, her childhood, and my father.  But not ‘going back’, rather ‘going on’, going home’. How can we feel sad? But we do.

Burda 11/2012 – Fitted Jacket

Burda 11/2012~127b
Burda 11/2012~127b

Well, Plan A didn’t succeed on to Plan B!

I have gone down a size and recut as 40, grading to 42 over hips. I also took in the princess seam at the front bust, and let out the back seams around the waist – can you see the ‘pulling’ around the waist in the photograph? That means the pattern is tight. There was also no need to lengthen the jacket and I have gone back to the original length.

So, with the pattern now fitting and much learned two things follow:

  1. I move on to the assembly of a jacket. I have ironed in fusible interfacing to the front pieces and half of the sides and back, collar, pocket flaps, and back facing and wait to find out what the next lesson brings
  2. I am absolutely determined to draft my own jackets in the future!

Isn’t this jacket beautiful? The dress is lovely too – it must be possible to draft these pieces and I am going to work at it using Eilleen Lewis’ Pattern Ruler. It is marvellous! I have made some simple pieces with it, but I want to try something more ambitious which I can then learn to tailor in my evening class.

Nina Ricci Dress & Jacket
Nina Ricci Dress & Jacket

I also have this coat in my sights! Yes, it is hugely ambitious as I have never made a tailored jacket before, but hey, let’s aim high. The Pattern Ruler is easy to use and material in Lewisham market is cheap.

Sybil Connolley Coat
Sybil Connolley Coat

Britten Cello Suite no.3

Yesterday I heard Britten’s Cello Suite no.3 in the freezing cold of St Edmunds Church in Southwold. The single cello notes sang out, above a low, plucked string, and outside the wind suddenly moved through the trees – a  duet against a beat of time passing.

Ah, the soughing of the wind – I had forgotten the word. The music and the wind find one’s heart, I think, and touch the loneliness. But it is temptation from a ghost, you ache, but you can’t reach out and touch.

Thank you Sasho, it was unforgettable.

Black and White Jacket

Burda 11/2012~127b
Burda 11/2012~127b
Technical drawing
Technical drawing

Finally a pattern has been chosen! I traced the size 42 at the bust and graded to 44 over the hips for a looser fit, or at any rate that was the plan! I also lengthened the pattern by 3 cms

Black & White polyester material for jacket
Black & White polyester material for jacket

I am making a muslin from a similar fabric to the black and white. It is a neutral colour, more or less non-crease, which I bought in Lewisham market for £2/metre – good?! It is a colour which I could wear in the warmer months, and so I have decided to finish it properly – sew each step first before going ‘live’ with the ‘real’ jacket.

I have marked and thread-traced the seams and all the matching points and will bast the pieces together to check the fit. I plan to take the carefully tacked item to my tailoring class on Wednesday evening.


Spelt and Rye Breads

The project to make bread which looks good – and tastes very moreish – continues. I am playing with a basic recipe which is the following:

750g bread flour
17g dried active yeast
15-16 fl ozs liquid
1 tbsp sweetening
2 tsps salt
1 tbsp fat

Spelt Bread in front; Rye Bread behind
Spelt Bread behind; Rye Bread in front

Spelt Bread

500g spelt four; 150g strong white flour; 100g strong brown flour
17g active dry yeast
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp oil
15-16 fl ozs of a mixture of yoghurt, sour cream, and water (I had some leftovers in the fridge!)

I baked at 190c for 10 minutes, and then reduced to 170C for another 35 minutes

Rye Bread

450g rye flour; 200g strong white flour; 100g strong brown flour

A handful of raisins soaked in some of the hot liquid, and a few walnuts

Liquid, yeast and fat as above, and same baking temperatures and times.

And as soon as it cools…..!

New black and white coat

New black and white coat

Pocket shirt

Boat neck top
$225 –

Kate spade coat

Gucci colorful pants

Stella mccartney

Paul Smith white wingtip shoes
$415 –

Bamboo shoes

Dorothy perkin