The Just In Times…Shirt, Skirt, Shawl and Shield
OK, so this one is my last Christmas making post, the final wrap-up, the things just finished, just in time.
I finished sewing the buttons on this linen shirt for My Man two days before Christmas. The linen comes from Lithuania via The Drapery in Adelaide and was a glorious 160cm wide. It was my first experience of ordering fabric online and The Drapery was wonderful. The package arrived very quickly with a wee Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez soap, one I hadn’t tried before!
The pattern was an old Simplicity pattern 7330. It is misleadingly called the Three Hour Shirt. It does not take three hours to make. Maybe if you don’t grade or finish any seams, clip any curves or iron anything, it might take three hours. Anyway, it took the time it took and I took the time it took, to make it the best it could be but still managed to put the buttonholes on the wrong side. I really don’t understand how this happened. Luckily My Man has a masculinity unfazed by what side the shirt buttons or perhaps he loves me so cos he is wearing it lots already! The buttons came from the ones I saved from his old work shirts.
I try not to buy new cotton fabric, but I couldn’t resist 30 cm of this Star Wars comic fabric for a skirt for Our Dear Girl. Our Dear Boy was getting Darth Vader Tshirt and the skirt seemed like a perfect companion. Our kids are both very excited about Star Wars, the old movies, the new ones and the animated series. They KNOW stuff, I will never know.
Princess Leia was a princess we introduced early to Our Dear Girl when we realised we were going to have to engage with the Princess phenomena in some way. Leia was our way. She is grumpy and decisive, politically powerful and handy with a laser blaster. I knew I had made the right thing when Our Dear Girl did that special intake of breath kids do when they open a present they really like.
A while ago, in the winter I think, Our Dear Boy had asked me to knit him a shawl to wrap himself up in while he read. I thought for a long time about an appropriate shawl, one that would not be embarrassing after a while and one that he could perhaps take into adulthood with him, maybe not as a shawl but perhaps a throw or a blanket. I settled on Hansel, Gudrun Johnson’s version of a traditional Shetland hap shawl.
This used up most of my stash of Shilasdair which I had bought in England as part of my Great British Yarn Quest. This yarn is dyed on the Island of Skye from natural dyes. I used yarns dyed with Meadowsweet and Tansy overdyed with indigo. I added some Jamieson and Smith 2ply jumper weight from Shetland left over from Half Happy, cos that seemed so appropriate and looked brilliant against the greens. I had originally intended this yarn for a Whippoorwill but I am so very, very happy it became a Hansel for my Hansel.
It was blocked on a makeshift shawl stretcher of back veranda, bamboo garden stakes hastily pulled out of the earth and okkie straps from the car boot. This process could definitely have been done more thoroughly and precisely but hey, I was making Christmas cakes and chutney and gingerbread and well, I feel grateful to have got it done at all! Our Dear Boy knew exactly what it was as soon as he opened it and happily posed for its posterity pic.
When we were in the UK, a couple of years ago. Our Dear Boy had a got a sword from Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland. Our Dear Girl got a small sword that now really only looks like a dagger, as she has grown so much. This necessarily puts her at a disadvantage in sword fighting with her brother, so she got a proper sized wooden sword this Christmas. Then I got all excited about squire tunics and shields as we have been reading Sword Girl for bed time reading. A week before Christmas, I realised I was going to have to let go of the tunics but I stuck with the shields.
I purchased the plain plywood shield shapes earlier and painted them up with the kids’ acrylic paints, picking out the edges and features in gold paint. Our Dear Boy got the design he painted on his cardboard shield some time ago and Our Dear Girl got the Tudor Rose. Those marvelous interwebs showed me not only twenty different versions of the rose sigil but how to construct a pentagon with just a circle and ruler.
And that brings me to a cup of tea and lie down really. I hope you are happy with all that you did and found peace with all that was not done.