Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sew-a-saurus maximus

Finished this project - Simplicity 1882

 Simplicity 1882

I started this 2012 but struck a number of issues - inflicted by myself!

 Firstly, I was impatient and got the pattern a size smaller than I should have, planning to grade it up.

Then, while I was cutting it out I had someone chatting to me which distracted me and I ended up cutting too small. Fortunately I had enough fabric to re-do the back bodice and add some to the back skirt. It's not perfect even now but it is what it is. I ended up binding some of the seams that were fraying because I didn't overlock them ... you know when you haven't got the right colour on the overlocker and can't be bothered re-threading? Yeah that.

 bias edge finished

I also finished my coffee sack ottoman - yay!

Coffee  sack Ottoman

It's stuffed with 5kgs of fibre fill and a plastic cube made from two plastic crate things that DH dissected and fused together.

Coffee sack Ottoman

I have heaps of projects planned and am trialling as a means to keep track of the patterns I want to use with which fabric from my stash. I have heaps of stash. It really needs to be rationalised... *hangs head in shame*

However! One thing I can't decide is which blouse to make from some navy polka dot cotton I have. So dear readers, what do you think?

This one? View E (the green gingham)

or Butterick 3524 view E?

Or this one? A retro bow blouse.

 Gertie's bow blouse?

So many patterns and fabric.. so little time.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We've ended up in Holland

You may have read this little story before.  Now I find it even more poignant because this is now our journey.  It looks as though Mr9 has dyspraxia.

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this…

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Written by Emily Perl Kingsley
While this story was written with more severe disabilities in mind, it does reflect the feelings that have been running through my heart.

Don't know what dyspraxia is?  No, we didn't either.  It's not something that is discussed as much as dyslexia, autism, or ADHD.  The incidence of dyspraxia in New Zealand hasn't been determined but could be between 6 -10%

This is the explanation for children on the Dyspraxia Support Group of New Zealand's website.
The human brain is made up of lots of connections that are like power lines. These also connect with your body.

When you have dyspraxia some of these connections are not working properly.

This means your body can find it difficult to do what your brain tells it to.

In order to make your body do what your brain is telling it to, you may have to practice doing things a lot.

This is why you may find it difficult to:
  • learn new things
  • concentrate
  • handwrite
  • speak clearly
  • speak your ideas
  • get dressed
  • think fast
  • play sports
  • organise ideas
Having dyspraxia does not mean that you are not intelligent.  A lot of people who have dyspraxia are very intelligent.

It just means it may take you longer to learn how to do things and to remember how to do things you have already learned.
How does it happen? This is unclear.  The books and websites I've been reading don't have a definitive answer. 
"According to the Dyspraxia Foundation, dyspraxia is said to be the result of an immaturity in the development of the neurons or nerve cells in the brain, rather than brain damage.
For most people with the condition, there is no obvious cause. There are many suggestions as to why this might have occurred – perhaps lack of oxygen at a crucial period in pregnancy, or even a viral infection at the time, around the fifth week, when the baby’s nervous system is beginning to form. A genetic element may be involved. There could be an inherited tendency in the family towards similar neurological disorders."
Eckersley, J., (2011). Coping with Dyspraxia. London: SPCK, p.2 

How did we find out?  Mr9 met all his developmental milestones in terms of crawling, walking, talking etc so it wasn't until school that we came across some indications of something awry because his learning is affected.  His Kip McGrath teacher was the person who picked it up.  Looking back I can see now there were indications prior to school, but we didn't recognise them for what they were.

Photo Credit: Plamen Stoev via Compfight cc 

At this point in time we are gathering information together to get some assessments happening.

I am still learning about what this will mean for us.  I am very grateful that this is not a life threatening disease.  I am grateful that in most areas Mr9 is a normal healthy, happy boy.  He just faces some challenges that other children don't.  Because it doesn't show on the outside, it is difficult for others to realise there is something different.

I don't want to over dramatise the situation or begin to define him by his dyspraxia.

I don't want other people to do this either. 

My research so far has indicated that on the spectrum of dyspraxia, Mr9 is probably not too badly affected, but until the assessments are completed there are a whole lot of things I don't know.  Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) keep coming round to bother me.  I'm not sure how this is going to work at his school, with his teachers.  It would seem there have been instances of other children at school picking on him because of his clumsy ways and his differences. What about higher education? What about...

I'd appreciate your understanding while we learn about Holland. It's not where we expected to be.  It's not where we chose to be. But it is where the lines of our lot have fallen.

Photo Credit: Vainsang via Compfight cc

Saturday, April 13, 2013


One of the difficult things when sewing for myself is getting the fit right. A sewing mannequin assists with the process but they are very expensive and not something I can consider at the present time. So I decided to make this.

DH was enlisted to help me. Much joking about kinkiness ensued.  Wearing a garbage bag isn't the nicest thing to do.  It gets very hot!  Just after this photo I ran out of duct tape, so DH had to go on a mercy dash to get some more.  

He did offer to drive me in my semi-naked-duct-tape-suit but I could barely walk. Actually, I couldn't even bend to sit.  Just as well no call of nature was required while he was out. I lay on the bed like some zombie with rigor mortis to await his return.


Once the duct tape supply was replenished, I somehow got myself upright again and the wrapping continued.  Until finally, the Robo-me version emerged. DH decided to use a colour over his flash to make me glow.  I think I look like something from a 60s sci-fi movie!

Here she is, stuffed as hard as I could get it with plastic bags. There are heaps inside there. I don't want to think about how many!  But better inside Robo-me than released into the environment.

What to call her? Any suggestions?!