Preparing for Race Day – Triathlon

 

My race is this Saturday. I cant believe the time is upon me now. I have done all I can and I thought I’d share my thoughts on training and preparation.

I now have everything I need for the race.

The wetsuit.

Its rented for 2 weeks through the British Triathlon Association approved dealers. It costs 49£ but ordering was easy – all you have to do is enter your height and weight and gender. And voila it arrives in the post. I will have to return it within the 2 week period. On Tuesday I got to try it out in the swimming pool. I felt more buoyant than I normally feel in the water which can only be a good thing.

The Trisuit.

I bought an Aldi trisuit on Ebay for £12 which isn’t bad considering how expensive these things can get. It has an integrated bra that is is supportive. The padding on the crotch area is a godsend. It was strange wearing this at first because you don’t wear underwear. Its commando and in fact, I ignored this advice and had major chaffing as a result. It is much more comfortable to go commando in these this things. Everything feels so tight and snug.

Post 12k bike ride. Only 6 more days till my first triathlon 💪🏾. #triathlon #goals

A post shared by Hila (@saturdaynightstitch) on

The googles

I bought these google about 5 months ago when I was learning. I picked them up from the reception of the leisure center I swim at for £9.99 They will do the job.

The trainers.

At the start of my running journey, I was using trainers bought from Costco 4 years ago for £16. I went to a shop called Up and Running here in Leeds which does gait analysis to help you choose the right sort of shoes. They shortlisted several pairs which I got to try and take for a spin around the block. Of the 3 that I tried these Mizuno Wave riders were outstanding. I felt bouncy like a gazelle and I gotta say I get the thing for trainers now. I have found that I wear them a lot and look for any excuse to go on extended walks. It makes me think that sometimes it is getting adequate kit that makes you want to exercise more. They cost me £125 but its a worthwhile life investment for me.

The Race belt.

This nifty little piece of kit is for attaching your race number. I doubt I will need any gels for the race so its only role will be the race number. I have read that its best to wear the belt under the wetsuit for the swim section so when I go to transition I dont have to think about it. I bought it on Ebay for £2.75 incl. P&P. I have practiced running and cycling with it on and its felt ok. Though what it will feel like with an actual race number is another thing.

The Bike.

I have been training on my son’s mountain bike which weighs a tonne! Great for building those cycling muscles and power. My husband has a road bike which is far lighter and faster. I found that when I cycled on his road it was very minimal effort to achieve the same distance in a shorter time. So I took the decision to continue training on the harder bike as that should make it far easier to use the road bike on race day. I have practised enough on the road bike already.

My son’s mountain bike that I have been training with. Its very heavy!
My husband’s road bike that I will be whizzing around on for the race 🙂

I did have to buy a female saddle though. The first 3 training rides I did left me very very sore because I didn’t even realise you needed cycling shorts. After a bit of research, I bought some cycling shorts with a chamois (crotch padding that takes getting used to as it feels like a big sanitary towel). They made it a bit more comfortable. Then I bought the female saddle and that was the ticket to pain free biking.  It cost £30 – money well spent to save my lady bits :-).

Gel cushion female saddle has wider sit bone space and hollow so everything isn’t overly squished IYSWIM.

On a tangent, I really enjoy the cycling and would love to get into it however it seems like a really expensive hobby. I went looking at bikes and the ones I liked cost more than my first car. So yeah, I am pinning that one.

The Helmet

During the race you are automatically disqualified if you handle your bike without a helmet. I have been practising good form by following the same principle in my training. This is my son’s helmet.

 

The Medical Stuff

Once I started training, I made sure to get a physical check up from my GP. I told her what I was embarking on and sought advice regarding my asthma. On top of my Terbutaline, she advised me to add a steroid inhaler for daily use. She also advised me to use my terbutaline before I start an activity and this has made a huge difference. It is a simple thing to do which gave me greater gains in all the disciplines.

The Race Number

1401.

I have decided this is an auspicious number.

For my transition area, I will need a towel to dry my feet between swimming and cycling. And that’s about it. I paid £35 to enter the triathlon. Money well spent as far as I’m concerned.

There have been some unexpected side effects though……

Unexpected side effects of my impulsive action.

Signing up for the triathlon was an impulse act. I had never seen, viewed or watched a triathlon race before but I saw an email late on a Tuesday night when I was just feeling so high about the fact that I had learnt how to swim. That hubris led me along this thought process

Hey what this? A triathlon – Swim…. I can do that now so there is no reason why I cant consider this. I can ride a bike -well it has been decades but they say you never forget how to ride a bike and we have bikes. Running is just like walking and I can put one foot in front of the other. Why not? Do it? Yes lets do this. It will be fun!

And boom I signed up before I could overanalyse and defer for another year. Its so easy to do that you know, wait until everything is just right and I have prepped myself with the swimming and cycling and running. But the truth is, there is never a right time.

I have got so much more from this process, the journey itself rather than the actual event itself. Let me try to elaborate:

  1. Running group friends. I love these ladies so much we have become a mutual support network. We meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays come rain and sunshine we love our little group.
  2. I love running and when I have to have recovery days I miss it.
  3. Mental strength – just the time away from it all focusing on the breath while swimming, or focusing on cadence while cycling. It allows me to destress.
  4. Seeing the beauty of early morning wildlife along the canal.
  5. Increased libido – need I say more.
  6. More toned body.
  7. More energy than I had before – turns out the more you work your body the more energy it gives you – a virtuous cycle.
  8. A better sense of self and what I want to be.
  9. My husband has been losing weight.
  10. He joins me on my Sunday early morning rides and our partnership is all the better for this time alone.
  11. Learning about nutrition by doing Coursera courses in order to understand how to better fuel my body.
  12. Learning the physiology and biochemistry of muscle and exercise through Coursera. Amazing what knowledge can do.
  13. Adopt lifelong habits that will help me age healthily.
  14. Our family is eating healthier than before.
  15. I have discovered wholemeal pizzas, wholemeal buns and found that its easier to avoid foods that dont give me sustained energy.
  16. I have lost dimensions on my body and this is a particularly annoying one as my clothes were sewn to fit me perfectly. (I suppose I’ll have to sew new ones:-).

I could go on but I think you get the picture. I am so grateful that I allowed myself to do this and honoured my commitment to it. I am so grateful that I didn’t wait a year to experience these things out of a desire for everything to be just right. I have developed a firm knowledge that runs deep within me that I can do anything I want to. I have learnt that I can honour my body and mind by what I feed them. Seriously, when I am doubting myself while running or swimming my body responds accordingly. When I tell myself that I CAN do this, I WILL do this, my body responds accordingly. I have had to train myself to not be self-deprecating and fall back on putting myself down. Developing a positive inner dialogue with myself has been an amazing gift of this whole process. I cant tell you how nice it is to stop being my own worst critic. To stop holding myself back.

If you have read this far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate the time you took to click on this post and read it. I hope you somewhat enjoyed it too. And I’d like to leave you with this…If you’ve ever thought of signing up for any endevour do it! The journey is worth so much more than the destination. I’d love to know if you have dreams/ambitions of doing something that you have put off. What was it? Share down below.

Thanks for stopping by.

Namaste,

Hila

 

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Triathlon practice

Today I went to a Go Tri Novice Training day wherein the newbies are shown the run and cycle route. But more importantly, for me, a chance to become familiar with open water swimming.

Putting on a wetsuit is possibly the weirdest thing I have ever done! *rented wetsuit

 

The prospect of open water swimming when I only started learning to swim in October last year was daunting. I cannot count the number of times I have asked myself why the f*** I am doing this and wanted to quit. I still am yet to figure out what keeps me going but when I zipped up into the wetsuit I felt for sure in over my head. Then when I eased into the murky lake water from the pontoon I knew I was in over my head.

A tangent – the water was FILTHY dirty. I mean as in cant see the bottom even though its only waist deep dirty. And it smelled. Not a good smell. While listening to the coach talk us through acclimatizing to cold water I saw a mallard gracefully alight from the water onto the raised edge and deposit a lovely poo into the lake. Turning my head in panic, I realised there were tonnes of swans, ducks and gulls just hanging about, doing their thing, POOPING in the lake where I was being instructed to put my head, mouth and nose under while blowing big bubbles. Then I KNEW that not only was I in over my head – I was also in deep poop!

Thank goodness for the madness of crowds because I just followed what others were doing, trying very hard to dissociate my brain from the reality of being in the dirty water. My front crawl held up ok though I wasn’t happy when they told me I could not do the backstroke in open water. I complained a bit but the coaches were really good and pushed me to keep going. By the end of it, I was feeling like perhaps I could do this. And though it shames me to admit this – it was a solace that I wasn’t the slowest swimmer in the group – I was second last consistently. At least I was consistent.

The run section went very well – I was able to do the lap comfortably. All the running I have been doing with my running group is clearly improving my stamina. Unfortunately, I missed the cycle section due to the front brake on my bike (actually my son’s mountain bike) not working. It must have broke when crashed and fell on Thursday night as I cycled along the canal. I  thought the bike was okay because I got back on and finished the journey home (albeit gingerly). I was gutted but I made up for that by cycling around my local park when I got back home. And here I am now. Legs tired. Fresh and clean after a thorough scrubbing in the shower. Feeling mildly satisfied with having completed the training day to the best of my ability.

Now I muster up the sewjo. I will the sewing goddesses to imbue me with energy to let my creative juices run wild.

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Early 2017 Springwatch

Hello,

This past weekend presented itself with some lovely weather so I was out on Sunday in the garden – cleaning the greenhouse, sowing seeds, etc. The etc includes taking in the beautiful spring sights.

I don’t know about you but I love the morning after a light shower. The flowers have the droplets clinging on to their delicate petals and its a lovely thing to see. I took these pictures using OH’s phone and I was rather impressed. Continue reading

Getting to know my sewing machine better

Hello chums,

I confess this post is shameful on my part. I am ashamed that I did not really bother to know my machine. Recently as I was looking for info on a flat felled foot…..

Let me tell you it all started. So I was doing this pattern drafting class at a local college which also gave me access to an amazing library full of pattern cutting and sewing texts. One Saturday I borrowed the much praised David Page Coffin book on shirtmaking (I was considering it for my personal sewing library). Continue reading

KnitWeek2016 Pt7: Reflections and plans…

Hello again,

Here is my final KNITWEEK2016 post. I wanted to wrap up by reflecting a little and sharing my thoughts. Its incredible to think that I finished all 5 projects in October this year. The question that keeps floating in my head is why did I not manage to finish a single project until I set myself an action plan?

The answer of course was a simple lack of conditioning on my part. What does that mean exactly – let me try to explain using sewing as an example. With sewing I used to be quite bad at finishing projects because I would get excited about a new project. But I had to change my way of thinking about what constitutes a completed project. I used to think it was okay to move on to the next project when all that was left were the buttonholes and buttons for example. But it isn’t actually done is it? I set out a new criteria for finished which at first was as follows: a project is finished when it has been photographed for the blog. What this did for me was to simply remove any shades of grey – I couldn’t photograph a garment without a zip or without the hem done. So in time it became an easy metric in my head to use before starting a new project. After a while the conditioning set in and now I am very good at finishing before starting another project (I can’t imagine doing it any other way now).

Now for some reason I had not applied this to knitting. Perhaps its because I don’t take knitting as seriously as sewing. In any case something has shifted in the last few months and I am keen to do more knitting. So from hence forth this shall be my metric applied to knitting as well (from 2017 onwards of course ).

 Lessons learnt:

In the meantime I have learnt a lot in completing and writing up these posts:

  1. Swatch the cable pattern.That way I can see if the yarn works well with cables.
  2. Read other people’s reviews before embarking on a project to get an idea of any issues (common sense really but I wasnt doing this).

There are aspects of knitting I need to gain a better understanding of:

  1. Fit and how to adjust for a great fit
  2. The different cast on and bind off methods available.

Current plans

For now I am doing a little bit of stash busting by knitting some accessories. I finished the Craftsy Knitalong cowl and have started on the hat.

I bought the Andrea Wong Craftsy Class on Portuguese knitting about 3 weeks ago. I started Portuguese knitting 2 days ago and already I can see that it’s how I will be knitting – it’s so much faster and the purl stitch is so easy. I am still learning how to control the tension but I will do a separate post on this.

2017 Knitting plans

I have a tentative queue of knits I definitely want to make :

The Portland Pullover

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I love that yoke

Coda by Olga Buraya-Kefelian

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I am taken by those raglan sleeves

Stonecutter by Michele Wang

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This is a power up project if I get round to it

These new projects require yarn – so once I get through a bit more of my yarn stash I will treat myself to some yarn , one project at a time.

What are your knitting goals for the coming year? Have you knit any of these 3 patterns before?

Thank you for stopping by and until next time – Happy Knittng 🙂

Find here links to my knit week 2016 posts

KNITWEEK2016 POSTS

Part 1: Organising my knitting stash

Part 2: Chuck Sweater

Part 3 : Antler Cardigan

Part 4 : Miette Cardigan

Part 5 : Marion Crdigan

Part 6 : OWLS 

Peace and love,

Hila

KnitWeek2016 Pt 1 : Organising the Yarns, Supplies & Patterns

Hi guys,

The first of my posts in KnitWeek2016 begins with organising the knitting stash. I began in earnest in early October. I think that most of us in the sewing and knitting community are more of producers than consumers (only in the sense that we consume tools and raw materials to make an item rather than just purchasing an item ready made).  As a consequence we collect tools and materials for production. With that comes the challenge of keeping organised. Luckily my knitting stash is much (much) less than the sewing stash so the task of organising it didnt seem too daunting.

Cataloging the yarn

First I emptied out all the yarns I had and proceeded to catalog them all on Ravelry. I have been in awe and super impressed with how incredibly useful the Ravelry stash feature is. If you enter all your details correctly it will show you which patterns can be made up with the amount of yarn you have for a particular yarn. Also seeing what other projects have been made using that yarn in your stash is so useful for giving you ideas when you are in a rut, or if like me you cant remember what you bought the yarn for :-). So now all my yarn is cataloged and my gosh it feels good. If you would like to have snoop around my stash you can find it here <link>.

Yarn storage

I like to have my stash visible so I dont forget what I have, seeing as I am more of a more of an out-of-sight out-of-mind kind of person. The 80L plastic tub I use is great at keeping out yarn eating bugs, as well as keeping the stash visible.

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All my yarn stash in this 80l capacity plastic tub

So then while I was at it I thought that much as I like digging out all the 29 stash items I have, I wanted to easily browse what I had without having to unearth them all. So a simple idea formed to have strands on a page with name and details. I used a laminated card with a hole punch to make holes for stringing yarn samples through and voila – my yarn directory! Its kept in the same binder as my knitting patterns.

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Yarn sample catalog page in my knitting pattern binder

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Knitting patterns

Next up I sorted out the patterns I have – printed and bought (Eeeeck I actually bought a couple of patterns from an actual bricks and mortar shop when I started knitting before discovering Ravelry). Anyhow those were neatified and filed in the binder.

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Knitting patterns stored in plastic sleeves

Knitting tools and sundries

Next up my knitting tools – I have loads of circular needles, crochet hooks and DPNs. These were more challenging to organise. On the one hand I needed to have them all together but at the same time I need to look through by type quickly….for now my solution was to have them all in one old shoebox. I will be thing about how to improve on this.

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Knitting and crochet tools in separate freezer bags within one shoebox…

I now enjoy the yarn in my collection rather than feeling overwhelmed by it. Having said this though I do realise I need to do some serious yarn stashbusting over the next year.

What are your favourite yarn stash organising tips? I will be back tomorrow with another knitting post sharing a finished knitting project. I actually finished some knitting projects guys 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace and love,

Hila

Sewing Plans…..sort of…ish….

Hello again,

So I have been mulling a bit on my sewing plans. This last week with the sewing goddeses smiling upon me has meant I have been doing what I like to call intuitive sewing – which roughly translates to sewing without a specific plan. It rather entails stumbling across a fabric and thinking this could go with that other thing I am making and then I immediately cut it and sew it up and I look for some more fabric that could make something to go with the thing I just made previously…and so on….

More importantly – one of my new habits (that I am trying to form) is making sure that no remnants are left – if the left over bit is large enough for a top its gets cut immediately or if it is leggings for my twinks it gets cut and anything left over insufficient for a garment gets chucked. A very good thing for how it is depleting my stash slowly.

Anyhow I digress – the purpose of this post was to pull together my thoughts on what I want to proactively achieve over the next few months.

  1. Pattern Review are doing a One Pattern Many Looks contest which I have decided to enter. In the past I have excelled at such a challenge based on how I did at IPM 2015 and 2016 One pattern 2 ways contest. See here the Giselle Maxis I made in 2015 and the Carme blouses I made in 2016. I haven’t yet picked a pattern but my cogs are turning. You can check out the PR details here.
  2. I found out about the Little Red Dress Project over on Youtube – its not limited to vloggers – its just how I first came across it. Its a challenge to make a red dress in time for the Christmas holidays. I am realising that red looks good on me and I want to add more reds in my wardrobe so this is great for me.
  3. Separately I want to make another pair of jeans. I have bought the Mimi G pattern during the Simplicity sale. I have the fabric and I just need to trace the pattern.
  4. I signed up for Stitching Santa run by SewChet which I am quite excited about. To shake things up for myself I decided to go with knitting instead of sewing. This is my first time signing up.
  5. I need to catch up on my Burda Challenge 2016 – I have done 8 garments to date but I really need to have a total of 12 (one pattern/month) to justify the subscription. I didn’t renew my subscription when it ended in August but I actually really like Burda  patterns. Their fitting is pretty much perfect on me and they have some fun designs, so I would like to have a 12 month subscription for next year. My Burda makes so far here..
  6. I have enrolled on the free class Fall 2016 Knitalong on Craftsy. Its focusing on knitting 3 accessories over the fall months : a cowl, a hat  and fingerless mitts. The idea is one item for each month of fall. The class is free and it includes the 3 patterns. I am liking it so far since starting my cowl.

So those are some of my loose goals for the coming season’s sewing and knitting. In the meantime – I have been going through my fabric and pattern stash selecting ones that I will never use and taking them along to the Sew Up North meet up on Saturday 4th November. I cant tell you how excited I am to be going even though I know I am not going to be buying fabric (actually I have a teeny tiny £20 budget) but still I cant wait to meet everyone who is going to be coming and help out in any way I can. Plus just to soak up the feeling of being in the company of  like minded individuals. More details over here at RedWSews.wordpress.com.

Is there anything else going on in the sewing community that I have missed?

Until next time – Happy Sewing! I will be back soon.

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

Autumnwatch

Hello chums!

I interrupt your regular broadcasting to take a walk through the last vestiges of colour in my autumn garden. I started off just puttering around the garden then ended up spending all of Saturday working in the garden. Totally unplanned but there was something very satisfying about digging and pulling out weeds, getting sweaty and smelly finishing it off with a nice hot bath at the end of the day. The time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life rejuvenates me.  It is so rewarding to spend time in nature.  There’s nothing quite like getting so close to the earth that I can smell the fresh soil, notice the small insects and textures of the organic particles that provide plants with nutrients to grow. Its mind blowing when you actually consider how a seed turns into a plant, that in turn provides us with beautiful flowers and delicious nourishment.

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A squirrel with some of our sweetcorn

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I love these fushias

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Another fuschia bush
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I think these are wild geranium

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I dont know the name of this bush but its colours are so vibrant
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There were tons of ladybugs around.
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Some Japanese Anemones
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The last onions pulled from allotment that were curing
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My blueberry bushes turning colour
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Leaf fall from our conker tree
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The Japanese Acer tree
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The pond
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Some last petunia blooms – I grew these from seed.

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I have been working on a herb garden and this is what I have grown so far from seed – 2 Parsley varieties and some thyme. Chives didnt take and basil died off.
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Digging out a bush. We decided to grass over this area so had to move the rose bushes and gladioli. I hadnt planned on garden work and just worked all day in my normal clothes :-). 
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The eating apples
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Autumn fruiting raspberries

While gardening also produces beautiful flowers, I get a such great sense of satisfaction when I grow my own vegetables. Though this year has not been good harvest wise (apart from onions and garlic) I do not measure our success by the bounty it provides but by the peace of mind and connection to earth that  can be achieved by spending just a few hours gardening.

Do you like gardening too?

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Ramblings etc..

Remember in my last Ramblings post I  mentioned our first camping trip?  Well …it rained and rained, and then some more rain even when we were packing up the tent. Everything got wet. Basically the entire 3 days we were there, it RAINED!  Not giving up though – I cant imagine it could possibly get any worse than that. The only way must be up surely.

I bought 2 sewing books while in the tent at night struggling to sleep in cramped quarters. Boundless Style and Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. Looking through the books was fun the first time but I quickly realised it was unlikely I will be making anything from these books. I think buying them was a reaction to my dropping sugar on top of being stuck in a tent with 5 excitable kids.

Speaking of sugar -its been well over a month of being sugar free now and I can honestly say that I am past the cravings. I do not crave it anymore. I can walk past the candy aisle in the supermarket and not be tempted. I am now moving to the  next stage which is swapping over my simple carbs for complex ones. Apparently our bodies treat refined flour like sugar so that means I am swapping to whole grain pasta and whole grain rice for now. I bought some quinoa and hated it. Brown rice was not too bad but too chewy – unsurprisingly the kids dont like either of those so I have to cook a separate portion for myself.

Knitting – why am I so bad at finishing knitting projects. I have 5 in the process. A Marion cardigan (needs blocking) , a Miette that was finished well over a year ago but is yet to be blocked. A green Antler cardigan for my third child. An Owls sweater for me. A purple chuck sweater…………..I wallowed. I threw myself a pity party – but I didn’t let the self pity settle for long (thankfully) and got tough with myself!  So I set myself an ACTION challenge in which I just have to take any action with the knitting. The deadline being a blog post in first week of November. Don’t judge me – sometimes I need hard deadlines to push me :-). Knitting means a lot of TV shows in the background.

I have been watching an Amazon Prime original series called The Collection which is set in Paris fashion house just after the end of WW2. I was quite looking forward to it but have found it to be quite slow and indulgent. Perhaps I was expecting too much actual atelier insight – a true glimpse into the workings of a haute couture house. Alas it has disappointed me so far. I am still watching it in the background as I knit at the end of the day in bed just to see exactly what all this meandering has been about. Have you seen this too? Another show I have been watching and loving is Parks and Recreation. Been doing a lot of knitting to this and even got hubs hooked on it too.

The Knitting and Stitching show is upon us Northerners in Harrogate. I had promised myself last year that I would go but unfortunately due to my excess fabric and yarn stash – I have wisely deferred to next year. I now have a hard target to reduce my respective stashes so I can go next year.

I will be joining in on Sew Up North – a sojourn arranged by Redsews on 5th November. For more information click here – it is going to be an awesome day out. I will not be buying fabric though. If you are in the area why  not drop by?

The Great British Bake Off – I had a funny conversation with my twins in the sewing cave. I snuck off to the cave while the whole family was catching up with GBBO. Less than 10 mins of blessed solitude later my twinks made their way up the attic stairs. They proceeded to upend my threads, pins and pattern weights to play with…..

Mom: GBBO is on downstairs…..

Twins:…..<silence>…….

Mom: Why dont you go watch it downstairs?

Twins: No. We are girls.

I dont quite know what to make of that statement but the tone and finality of the stated fact immediately reduced me to acceptance of their presence in the cave. An hour later, satisfied with making 2 more Renfrew tops – my twins satisfied with building ‘Pin and Thread Town’, we left the cave. And that was that.

Oh and I usually like GBBO but I have been a tad annoyed with some of their challenges this year – they lost me at lace pancakes!!!! Imean WTF!! Who would seriously want to make lace pancakes? I love baking but that episode just felt silly to me. <maybe in time I will get over it and watch it before the season finishes>…..only time will tell.

I also caught Episode 2 of ‘The Apprentice’ on Iplayer last night and am glad that they finally stopped the pretense of being a show about real business. The contestants, as far I can tell (from the one episode), are crackers and will provide Big Brother style reality TV material. Nothing like how real businesses operate at all!

The sewjo goddesses are smiling upon me – I have never felt so motivated to sew and am whipping up so many items. I cant wait to do a photo shoot for the the autumn stuff I have made so far and share :-). How is your autumn sewing coming along?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope wherever you are in the world you are having/had a lovely day.

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

200th Blog Post Giveaway Winners…/

Hello everyone!

Thank you so much for all your lovely encouraging words about my 200th post blogversary. And now, without more ado, here are the winners of the giveaways selected by randon.org.

Lekala gift certificates for 3 readers

Comment No 8 – Sewing for Cat People

Comment No 52 –  Hoopes Parks Studios

Comment No. 28 –  Sew RED-y

A copy of Pattern Cutting Made Easy by Gillian Holman

Comment no. 21 – QPLourde

9781849940733

Congratulations to the winners. Please get in touch with me within the week so I can arrange for your gift certificates and for posting the book. Use this contact me form < Click Here >

Peace and love,

Hila

*All  giveaways were bought by me.

 

200th Blog Post! A celebration

This is my 200th blog post. I wanted to celebrate and thank all my readers. I also wanted to share some of my thoughts…..and a giveaway.

Reflections On Blogging:

When I started my blog, I was really worried about a lot of things. But mostly it made me feel incredibly vulnerable. I was putting myself out there – it scared the poop out me but it was worth it. I have made a connection with a community – a place that I feel I belong. I have mentioned this before but I finally feel like I found my tribe.

One of the things that I have learned about blogging, is that I probably get more out of this process than you guys, the readers.

Blogging is a terrific stress reliever for me. When I am feeling anxious or low I go to start writing something – anything. I blog at other times too, but I find writing really helpful. It calms me down and returns me to  some semblance of calm. Blogging is certainly cheaper than a therapist!

Blogging has caused me to expand my horizons. When I am considering a new sewing or knitting project I am really influenced by the great posts many of you write. They help me think about style and things differently, even shifting my positions on a number of issues.

Blogging has enabled me to “meet” so many interesting people. I have met people I might never have met in the past. It has helped to open a whole new world of relationships. Relationships in which they also get it when I talk about ease :-).

Blogging has become part of my life now. Here are few facts about me when I started blogging…

    • I was scared to show my face on the internet
    • I hated having my photo taken.
    • I never expected to love blogging – I thought of it as just a catalog of my makes. I wanted to log things I made  as a way to deal with the depression I was suffering from – to remind myself that there are things I am good at.

Now I’m totally in love with blogging. I hope to keep blogging indefinitely. I still do worry at times whether I can write anything — at least on a regular basis — that people would find interesting. But then I remind myself why I started this blog and that deals with any jitters. I still am amazed when I get great comments from people who have read a post and are motivated to comment. It is both flattering and ego building. It really helps me to hear from you guys, so let me know if there’s anything you want to see on the blog!

I’m working towards making my blog the best it can be 
I plan to keep going, growing and pushing myself to make this the best it can be. I’m excited to have finally started my YouTube channel as another way of talking about what I love. It was another scary huge leap for me but its fun and my kids really love that mum is a ‘Youtuber’. Here is my latest video in which I answer 12 sewing related questions. Enjoy!

So, for my 200th Blog Post Celebration, I tip my glass to all of you that have been reading, commenting and being by my side for so long.

I have 4 giveaways:

3 x  Lekala gift certificates for 3 readers selected randomly,gift1big

A pattern drafting book which is really good if you are a newbie and are curious about what this pattern drafting malarky.

9781849940733

All you to do is leave a comment. I will post worldwide. Entries into the giveaway close one week from today on the 12 Oct 2016 and winners will be announced 13 Oct.

Thank s so much for stopping my little corner of the interwebs and for your continuing support.

200 posts down, many more to go!

Peace and love,

Hila

*All  giveaways were bought by me.

 

A Quick Tour of my sewing Cave…

Hello everyone,

I thought I’d give you a quick tour of my sewing cave – where all my sartorial adventures happen. Until last year I did not have a sewing space, rather my stuff was in a corner of our dining area. The machine had to be stored in its box when not in use on our dining table. I remember what that was like so I am eternally grateful that I now have a sewing cave – even though I quickly filled it up with fabric……I am only human m’kay 🙂

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My Corner of Shame – the brown box has UFOs. All the other boxes are full of fabric.
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How I store my Burda magazines
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My view when sitting at the machine – I pin the instructions on to the wall for easy reference if needed. The magnetic knife rack was a cheap buy from Ebay (£4) great value.
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Mmmmm thats not…I mean….that is to say……I dont really have a problem. I assure you I have it all under control. It may look like fabric stash but it really isnt…its actually a closet-in-becoming.
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Hubs kindly put up that shelf for me. Its an Ikea shelf that I repurposed for storing my patterns. The box caddies are also from IKEA. Milk and nappy boxes work well too. The red bag has all my muslins, the brown wicker basket and the blue laundry basket both have remnants (the nicer ones go in the brown – the less nicer ones in the blue).
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Another view of my main sewing area. I have a vintage Jones machine which was my first machine bought on Ebay for £30 – I dont use it but I keep it around as a back up just in case. The overlocker lives between the 2 machines. I love my colour wheel and charts – they are very useful for coming up with different combos.
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View from the door. The Cave is in the attic with a skylight. It gets really hot in summer but for the rest of the year I have good natural light during the day.
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I got the rail and cups thingie from Ikea as well. My pens, pencils, seam gauges, rulers, small scissors, loop turners live in here where I can easily reach them while sewing or ironing. I made a silk organza press cloth and a cotton press cloth that also hang on there on a hook. The iron is an old one that has been replaced since these pictures (the steam function stopped working 😦
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The mini white board handles all my WIPs and short term sewing projects. Above it a monthly view planner tracks my projects.

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The door. That red bag contains all my muslins – I cant seem to throw them out —which is annoying as they are accumulating…

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These little cups cheer me up no end 🙂
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The pattern stash – I counted the patterns I had – aprox 285 not including the Burda Magazines off course :-). Honestly I was very chuffed with that number because I thought it was way more than that. Whats your number?
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The top shelf has my PDFS which are folded into large envelopes then stored in the old nappy boxes which are perfect size. All my vintage patterns are in the plastic box. 
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Middle shelf has my sewing books, Burda and Ottbre Design magazines. My self drafted patterns are folded into freezer bags and stored in a magazine holder. The milk box at the end contains my large size Vogue patterns.
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Bottom shelf: more Burdas and caddies. I decided to sort them but pattern company. Initially I tried to go with type of pattern but the problem was patterns that have skirt and tops etc.  In each caddy I have grouped like patterns together with card separators e.g. Vogue dresses then Vogue Skirts then Vogue Tops the Vogue Trousers Then Vogue separates.
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My yarn stash………I need a separate post to talk through my issues here.
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I keep my pattern drafting tool in a shoebox.
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I am evangelistic in my belief of the Pomodorro technique. I have timers all over the house so there is no excuse – even my kids Pomodorro it :-).
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This old piano stool came with house when we bought it but it was in disrepair and very dirty. Cleaned it up and fixed it – e voila! A stool with storage for my clapper, sleeve roll and tailors ham.
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I made this double sided pin dish by gluing an old magnet to the base of  one of these cute little catering tubs from an airplane. I then glued the 2 bases together, tried being arty with my Sharpie and volia a very useful magnetic pin dish.
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The previous house owner wanted to throw out the partners desk but I asked her to leave it – again it was in quite a state but I cleaned and fixed it. On one side of the drawers from the bottom – all my threads (incl overlocker cones). The next one up has all my trims, twill tapes, ribbons, petershams, grossgrains. The next one up has my large roll bias binding and all my elastics. The top one is miscellanious.
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The left side of the partners desk. Bottom drawer: Zips. Next up has printed PDFs awaiting taping and my pattern drafting tools. Next up contains all my buttons, snaps and hooks&eyes. Top drawer contains the most immediate tools used during sewing ; bobbin case, point turner, bees wax, needles, wonderclips, seam ripper etc.

 

Ok Phew. Thats it folks. My humble sewing cave. I took these pictures just after hoovering the carpet otherwise there tends to be threads and fabric bits on there. I have gotten better at looking after my cave.

There was a time when I was happy to sew until I couldnt see the floor but I have come to appreciate the joy of walking into a well ordered space. And since I designated a place for everything to live its a lot easier for me to put things away immediately. I no longer have things sitting around waiting to be allocated a space. I hoover about every 2 weeks now – that seems to work well for me.

I hope you enjoyed the tour and until next time – Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

http-signatures-mylivesignature-com-54494-285-f1f8459e72780eb6de2c72aa0e78a712

PS Dont forget to tell me what your number is for sewing patterns. 🙂 I’d love to share and have a giggle.

PPS OMG See how much my sewing stuff has expanded – check out this post <link here>I<link here>I had forgotten about until now! EEk!