Running Out (of time, space, energy)

So I leave on my trip around Europe on Friday. That’s really close. Super close. Scary close, even. It’s been so far away for so long it still hasn’t sunk in.

I’ve been in the UK now for about three and a half weeks, staying in a tiny apartment with my Dad and brother between visits to family and friends. It’s been a busy month (hence the lack of posts).

I’m now a legal adult, for one thing. That’s not quite sunk in either. I had a lunch with more people than I thought possible, cut my hair even shorter and restyled my graduation dress so it fit more comfortably. Here’s the before/after:

Before

After

What do you think? It’s got a full circle skirt, which isn’t obvious in either photo. The problem with the original design was that the seams repeatedly came undone around the arms, and thus was difficult to wear.

I got to experience the horror of using a different sewing machine this afternoon when I took in the legs of a pair of baggy jeans (they were meant to be straight legged, however I am the unfortunate owner of thunder thighs and muscular calves. Short legs combined with this led to jeans comfy around the hips but altogether unflattering otherwise). My Yiayia’s (grandmother) sewing machine has seen better days, and there’s something wrong with the bobbin, which led to lots of spinning the wheel on the side by hand (sore wrist–owwie), snapped threads aplenty and one broken needle. It also took me about half an hour to figure out how to get a simple straight stitch–disastrous.

The week before last I had a bit of a practise run in terms of packing for my trip, when I got a train up north to spend some time with a couple of girls I went to nursery school with, which was not altogether as awkward as I had expected. What was awkward was that the hiking pack I brought with me was not as big as Dad or I had believed. About 20L smaller, actually. Cue frantic purchase of space reducing bags (like vacuum bags without the vacuum).

The trip in itself was great. I got to reconnect with two girls I’ve known my whole life, but in the same breath it was a huge relief to return to Cambridge.

Sunset at Blackpool Beach before the Illuminations

The above photo was taken after fish and chips (proper ones, my Dad says) and before driving along the prom through the Illuminations in Blackpool my last night up north.

I’m getting tired-er and more frantic as the grand backpack tour draws nearer. I spent more money than I had intended today, all on necessities, and that has made me anxious, I must admit. That said I’ve got more of my spending money left than I had expected. Probably due to birthday money that I hadn’t expected to get 🙂

I’m leaving you with the overwhelming feeling that I’m going to forget something important, but in order to end this on a happy note, have a close up of my birthday cake, which I made myself. This was one of my first forays into cake decoration, so I’m pretty pleased with it. It was a chocolate mud cake with chocolate ganache and marshmallow fondant.

Until next time (from Greece, unless I have time sooner :D)

Perfectionism

I am a perfectionist. I am also, as my mother has told me, a total slob. These are generally not two attributes that generally go together. I’ll explain. It’s not so much that I’m a slob, as I’m too lazy or too impatient to achieve the amount of perfection I require of myself when it comes to, say, keeping my room tidy, making my bed or ironing. Each of these tasks will simply take too long and so I just leave it. All or nothing.

Procrastination and perfectionism are directly linked in my mind. I feel I’m saving myself frustration when I put something off that would require more detail than I’m prepared for at that time. Once it’s left, it becomes difficult to pick it back up again and I’m left with a massive pile of stuff to do all at once. It’s not a good habit, but a difficult one to break. In this case, it would apply to dressmaking.

It would appear I may have set my sights too high… I am working on my first pattern drafting, attempting to recreate the above dress, which I found on modcloth, but in a darker blue linen instead of the sky blue seersucker of the original. I’ve pretty much gotten the bodice (pictures and details to come when I finish the dress), but I’m stuck when it comes to boning and lining, having never successfully done either before (most materials I use don’t require lining). I will be sitting down tomorrow to attempt to finish the calico mock-up that I’m making up as I go. Wish me luck.

Until next time,