How to ruin your wedding anniversary

Really mess with it, and not just for one year? Have a beautiful baby girl the day after it. Due to my medical history, we were obliged to choose a date for younger daughter’s birth, and I had no idea about how the birthday would overshadow our anniversary every year.

It would help if I was the kind of the person who didn’t leave present making, shopping and wrapping until the last minute, but I do.  In addition, the girls’ school has a “birthday walk” which requires me to print photos of every year of her life.  To celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary, my husband and I met at a major mall to pick up the photos, find the last pink iPod shuffle in Hong Kong, and find a birthday book.  I was insanely flustered, having finally finished the birthday dress. Apparently sewing can make me a little agitated. We then went home to wrap the birthday loot.  Not the most romantic of evenings…. We are off to dinner tonight to compensate.

So the birthday dress was finished in time, and apparently it is very good for twirling.

Twirly Dress

The birthday girl likes it, which is the most important thing. The zipper insertion was very hairy, given that I hadn’t done one in over 10 years.  There was a stage in my life where all sewing fashion choices were made based on whether zipper insertion was required.  In the past I have inserted zippers upside down, and back to front; sometimes in succession.  There has been swearing, grinding of teeth, and binning of projects. This time, I got the zipper in on the first go, but it is the bodgiest job I’ve ever seen (and would not survive my mother’s inspection). I wish that I had watched this video prior to the attempt.

Still shotProject specifications

Pattern: McCalls M4817 size 2-5

Fabric: Mystery cotton lawn bought in Singapore – possible from Spotlight

Alterations: The fabric was only 109 cm wide after washing and drying, so the bottom tier of the dress is a little (maybe 10 cm) narrower than specified in the pattern.  It doesn’t seem to suffer much for it. If I was making the size 5 again, I would make it about 5 cm longer to allow more growing room.  There is plenty of room around the chest.

The increased sewing that I have been doing of late has started me thinking about upgrading my machine.  My first machine was a second hand Bernina that my parents bought for me, in a sale of redundant machines  at the college where my mother worked.  I loved it, and it had excellent even stitches.  It died in a puff of smelly electrical smoke when I was frantically making a pair of maternity pants when pregnant with younger daughter.  We were visting New York in the middle of winter, and there were no winter maternity clothes available in Singapore for someone of my size.  The repair man laughed when he looked at the machine, and said that he could not get parts for a machine that was over 20 years old.

Panic shopping, I bought a Brother PX-200 on the first visit to a shop that sold sewing machines. For the price, it is an okay machine, but the stitches are only so-so, and the reverse is problematic, and the pedal seems to only understand two speeds: groaning, and superfast. Thoughts of new Bernina have been entering my mind, but man, they are expensive. I have not found a second hand sewing machine dealer in Hong Kong, but would be very happy to buy one if anyone has one? I’m also interested in recommendations of Bernina models for someone who is unlikely to quilt or do machine embroidery.  My interests are pretty much confined to garment sewing, so I am looking for a good even sewing stitch, reliable fabric feed, good easy buttonhole, excellent lighting, and a hard carry case that fits the manual and accessories in it.

Sewing is occupying more of my thoughts recently, I blame Project Runway and the recent release of some really cool patterns. Have you seen the Cynthia Rowley collection for Simplicity – I would wear everything in it, and am waiting for Simplicity to have a sale to go shopping. Don’t worry, I am still knitting, and am making steady progress on my small sized Icarus Shawl out of Roma.  I had not realised how much I would enjoy knitting with Baruffa Cashwool.

Icarus in Progress


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4 thoughts on “How to ruin your wedding anniversary”

  1. Happy Anniversary regardless of when you get to celebrate it. Congrats on the dress (and the zip). Sorry I can’t make any recommendation on Bernina’s- I’m a Husquvarna girl, since that’s what I grew up using!

  2. You have to remember when you were your daughters age it was all about the twirl for you too I’ll bet. LOL My haughter used to whirl like a Dervish … she loved the twirly dresses.

  3. The dress looks very twirlable and i’m guessing your daughter loves it 🙂
    the cashwool is looking lovely too .. very tempting .. well except for the backlog of requested items here.

  4. I love your daughter’s hair cut! Wish my daughter would go back to short hair. Also the dress is gorgeous. Good on you!
    Are those Cynthia Rowley patterns hard. I feel tempted to buy them online and get out mum’s sewing machine when I unpack…

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