While I was on holiday, I made another Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt. It’s
fair to say that this pattern is becoming what sewists refer to as a ‘TNT
(tried ‘n’ true) pattern’. This shirt is now the fourth Kalle I have made.
However, the various pattern variations (length, button placket or tunic, collar
or collarless, and so on), combined with the way that garments made from the
same pattern can look completely different in different fabric means that my
obsession with this pattern is not immediately obvious to the casual observer.
When there’s a problem to be solved, I often try to improvise a solution.
Generally, I think that’s a good thing: better to try to make something yourself
with resources you already have than to go out and buy something new. However,
sometimes it leads to wasting time setting something up and then living with a
solution that comes with too many compromises. I’ve been trying to sort out a
compact, ergonomic desk arrangement for my home office for quite some time. I
started with an Ergotron WorkFit arm (5 years ago), which worked well for me for
some time. It allowed me to sit or stand to work, changing quickly between them.
It bounced a bit, as I mentioned in my article, but I more or less got used to
that. However, over time, things changed. My ‘home office’ is a small room which
has to serve many purposes. As my sewing hobby has grown, my desk has to share
the space with sewing machines and a fold-up cutting table, and the Ergotron
WorkFit jutted out enough to cause an awkward obstruction. More
importantly, the arrangement meant that I couldn’t write (with a notebook and
pen) comfortably at the desk, as the arm covered most of the desk surface, and
using the metal base meant leaning uncomfortably over the keyboard support.
Finally, a variety of other changes to my working evironment meant that I
started to think about whether I could improvise something else myself.
Mr. Bsag and I have just got back from our holiday in Pembrokeshire. We’ve had a
blissful time disconnecting from online stuff, walking (a lot), and feeling our
shoulders drop and relax as we looked at the sea and watched the wildlife. Our
idea of a perfect holiday is to be somewhere very quiet with easy access to the
coast, with bonus marks for a wood burning stove for cosy evenings. The place we
stay in western Pembrokeshire ticks all those boxes and — unusually for Wales
— we even had great weather while we were away. I have had an incredibly busy
year so far, so I felt ready for a break. I’m happy to be home (and very glad to
be reunited with the cats) but I’m already missing the wildness. I’m trying to
remember some of the beautiful things we saw in as much detail as I can. I want
to be able to take those memories off my mental shelves to look at and console
myself with when I inevitably start feeling hemmed in by all the concrete
I hope that I might have fixed the RSS feed here so that it once again shows full posts rather than just a summary. I did this using a combination of Jack Baty’s tips and Hugo’s own updated RSS template, with the .Summary entry changed to .Content. I found that I could stick with rssLimit: 15 in my config file, but I guess that might also change in upcoming versions of Hugo.
I’ve been back a week from a work trip, and — as I often do after a busy
period — I’ve been taking stock of what I need to do next and refining my
systems a bit. Cynics might argue that this is either procrastination or yak
shaving (and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong), but when I have been at full
stretch at work I do find it helpful to have a period of sorting out the mess
that I had to let accumulate, to tie up loose ends and to plan the next bit of
I am spending more and more of my time in Emacs for all things, so I wanted to
refine both my agenda and journalling setup.
If you follow me over on Micro.blog you may have seen this post a couple of
weekends ago. I had decided to try to make a dress using instructions from one
of the Pattern Magic books by Tomoko Nakamichi. As if that wasn’t daunting
enough, I decided to make it out of a sentimentally special fabric, and for a
special event happening the next weekend. Sewing isn’t (usually) an adrenaline
sport, but it was quite a nerve-wracking experience, but one which happily
worked out well in the end.
This week, I have found myself fixing things, completing jobs that have been
languishing for too long in my ‘todo’ pile. In the process, I have been thinking
about the importance of choosing the right tool for the job.
I have been looking for a treadle cabinet for my Singer 201K for a while. The
electric motor is perfectly fine, but I was curious to see what it would be like
to power it entirely with my feet. A cabinet or table would also mean that I
could store the machine in the table, and when using it, the bed of the machine
would be flush with the table surface, which is ergonomically much better, and
means you have more control over the fabric as it goes under the presser foot. I
have a dual-purpose machine/cutting table for my modern Janome machine, which
fits in a cutout in the table with a perspex insert. I have found that
flush-mounting the machine in this way has made my sewing more accurate. Anyway,
to cut a long story short, I found a beauty of a cabinet and a lovely vintage
machine into the bargain. Read on for all the details!
I’ve become obsessed with a wonderful series on BBC Two called The Repair Shop.
The rationale behind the series is simple: members of the public
bring their worn or broken treasured items to the team of restoration experts
based at the Weald and Downland Museum in Sussex, and the team repairs and
returns the item. They accept a huge variety of different items, from clocks and
furniture to teddy bears, barber poles, typewriters and even antique pinball
machines. There’s a core of experts, but they also bring in specialists to deal
with particular items. The items tend not to have much monetary value (this is
not The Antiques Roadshow), but they have immense personal or emotional value to
the people who bring them in. The programme airs early on weekday afternoons, so we
have to record it, but I can’t tell you what a wholesome, life-affirming tonic I
find it. The more episodes you watch, the more fascinating it becomes.