The Leinster Award and some good feels!

NB: This is a text heavy post, and not even a finished garment yet for goodness sake Sophie (my excuses are: I was staying at my brothers house for a week, and now it’s too bloody hot to sew!!), so I’m interspersing some gifs to entertain. I love me some gifs.


I hate Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubemen though

Thank you all for commenting on my last post. That, plus a good talk to my mum, made me come to the conclusion that the last few weeks/months of sewing have been a bit of a transition point. I guess my real goals are:

  • Don’t get caught up in pattern-hysteria. Not every cute indie pattern will look good on me, so I should just admire them on other people instead (I had been wanting to make the Colette Ceylon for yonks, but when I finally made a full muslin a month or so ago, it looked TERRIBLE, and I had to make the decision to scrap it altogether. Dropped waists are not my friend)
  • Stick to designers that I love and know fit me well – this includes Sewaholic and Gertie’s book (I need minimal changes to the patterns). My mum does this, sticking to a few clothes designers that she knows suits her body, and ignored the others that look fabulous (but not on her). This will save me some degree of disappointment. It also (hopefully) means that I can take a leap of faith with certain patterns (like the new Gabriola skirt by Sewaholic* – as she mentions this would also be awesome shortened to knee length) that I wouldn’t usually gravitate to.
  • Take inspiration from Megan, Roisin/Dolly Clackett, and Rochelle – find the patterns that suit me, and stick to them for a while (like my excessive use of the Gertie high waisted skirt), so I really get the techniques and fitting down pat, before moving onto some other challenge. This also allows once to let the fabric shine, and I figure it means you can get away with buying more expensive fabric. There’s actually a Dolly Clakett sewalong starting now!!*
  • Another great idea from my mum is to have two projects going at a time – one slow project that I’ll work on over a few weeks doing little bits here and there (like another coat), and quicker instant-gratification clothes (like mentioned above).

*Pretty crazy that I was talking to my mum this morning about both Sewaholic patterns, and Dolly Clackett – and then both of these things popped up.


In some more exciting news – Kirsty from Tea and Rainbows nominated me for a Leinster Award!

This is an award with somewhat murky beginnings, but is a kind of cool chain-letter type thing, in order to help people discover new blogs with small-ish followers (apparently only for those blogs with <200 followers, but it started off being for <3000 followers?).

The rules, as set out by Kirsty, are to answer the questions asked by the nominating blogger; state 11 random facts about oneself; nominate 11 blogs (I’m going to stick with 5, which it used to be); then pose my own questions to them.

1. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Ach, can’t even think of anything. Mr. Guy suggested that it was singing along to “Magic” by B.O.B. but… I don’t feel guilty about that, I love that song. Most of my “guilty pleasures” are actually pleasures I will tell everyone about if they asked.
2. What’s your favourite kind of fabric to work with?
Cotton sateen – the stuff I learned to sew on, which had a reasonable amount of give (for ease of fitting.. get it?) but is also stable to work with. I haven’t sewn with any for ages, which is stupid. I shall right that wrong, I promise.
3. Favourite animal?
Probably cats. Cats are pretty darned cool. Have you ever just… looked at a cat for a while? Amazing.
4. What’s your all-time-favourite sewing pattern to make?
Does anyone need more than one guess? Of course it would be Gertie’s high-waisted skirt – I’ve made it so many times (see versions one, two, three, four, and five, plus another version which is beautiful but I made the waistband too small – let me know if you have a 31″ waist and 44-47″ hips!) and I know it sews up quickly and fine-looking (thanks, Microsoft thesaurus).
5. What one sewing tool can’t you live without?
I’m guessing this doesn’t mean the basics of sewing machine, pins/thread – so I’m going to say it’s my quick unpick. Most used tool ever! I used to feel bad about how much I had to use it, but no longer. I’ve read some good quotes about quick-unpicks (along the lines of: even great seamstresses need them), but unfortunately I can’t remember them.
6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A vet, because I love animals. But then I realised that I loved animals so much that I couldn’t hurt them (like surgery). So instead, I became…. a doctor.
7. What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
Today today (okay yesterday because I wrote most of this post yesterday) – we went to a powhiri in my honour! It was pretty scary because the only powhiri’s I’ve been to in the past, I’ve been in the second or third row, not the guest of honour. I did have a mihimihi prepared though (thanks to my brother), which was well received:
Ko Porangahau te maunga, ko Maitai te awa, ko Sophie-Lee ahau.
On the day that Kirsty commented about the award though – that was the best thing of that day. Because that day was awful otherwise – I am so sick of 15 hour days where you get pages every 10-20 minutes
8. What’s your favourite seam finish?
I must admit, it would be overlocked seams. So quick, easy and professional. I do like the look of bound seams, but in things like skirts and jackets I actually just prefer lined garments where everything is tucked away.
9. How long ago did you start sewing?
First ever – in year 10 (aged 14) , at intermediate school. I made a hideous skirt, a less-hideous skirt, and a windsock that I cut a hole in with the overlocker blade (oh, the tears)
Then later – on my mum’s machine in year 12 (age 16), I made a dress in bright pink cotton with white polka dots – it never got hemmed, and the neckline was just turned and sewed. I LOVED that dress! My mum gave me my sewing machine for my 18th birthday. I didn’t use an iron in my sewing until the end of year 13, and didn’t use one regularly until 4th year of university. I only got a steam-iron for my wedding last year (age 24).
10. If I gave you a cat, what would you name it?
“Roast Beef”, no hesitation. Hopefully some of you recognise the reference 🙂
11. Where do you get your sewing inspiration from?
Other bloggers, for the patterns I sew with; and the fabric, for the clothes I actually sew.
11 random facts about me:
1. Like 70% of the world’s population, I’m a lactard
2. I’ve had a nose job*
3. I’ve never been in a spelling bee, but I got into the Nationals of the NZ Literacy Quiz
4. I spent two months in Cuba in my last year of university. I could speak fluent Spanish at the time (and cubanos speak FAST Spanish) but now can only remember the odd phrase
5. I’m really bad at drawing. One time I tried to draw a cube and… it didn’t work.
6. I hate false modesty, which probably makes me seem cocky sometimes
7. I took my first steps because my parents were bribing me with a bag of marshmellows
8. I am incredibly messy. Like, really messy.
9. I’m really bad with deadlines, even if it’s something I want to do – it’s like my brain goes “STUFF YOU, I’m not sticking to your timetable”. For example, I was meaning to do the Archer Appreciation Month in December and already own the pattern, and I only just now realised that I missed it completely.
10. I quite often sing normal sentences. Like “it’s time to do the dishes”, “let’s go for a walk”. All different styles, too – sometimes opera-like, pop, etc. But never rap.
11. I love puns, and am now quite good at having pun conversations with my husband (and I even win, sometimes!)
*not really. I had a septoplasty when I was younger because my left nostril was obstructed, and it changed the shape of my nose slightly – hence the big ski-jump.
I’m only nominating a few blogs, because I don’t want to be too chain-letter-y (“if you don’t carry it on, your cat will turn into a bat and your favourite author won’t finish the last book of that series you love).
Questions for you ladies, if you choose to answer them, are:
1. What’s your favourite pattern company and why?
2. Pet hate?
3. Sweetest party trick?
4. Your signature dish (cooking or baking)
5. Do you love or hate rom-coms? If love – what’s your favourite?
6. Can you roll your tongue? People always laugh at me doing this because I taught myself how to roll my tongue (take that, biology teachers), but as a consequence it’s more a bowl than a roll.
7. What’s some sewing tips or tricks you can share?
8. Why did you start blogging?
9. What’s next on your sewing to-buy list
10. How many languages can you swear in?
11. Favourite thing you’ve ever made?
Entonces – hopefully I can get my motivation up to start sewing again. I’ve unpacked the stuff I brought up (only two banana boxes worth!!) and, well.. I made some poor choices. Like bringing 4 woollen fabrics, when it’s 25-30 degrees up here. But I have something that’s almost-finished and another garment already cut out, so I should have some stuff up soon!

8 thoughts on “The Leinster Award and some good feels!

  1. High five for hating false modesty! Sam regularly jokes that the quickest way to make me rant is to mention the word “modesty” in any of its definitions. Women, specifically, are taught not to take credit for our badassery, even when we know we’ve done something impressive. Ridiculous! Let’s all recognize how great we are, then continue doing great things.


    In other news, you teaching yourself how to roll your tongue just brought up the most hilarious visuals ever. That’s amazing. I can actually flip my tongue over, from top to bottom, which is super rare, but not a thing I realized was rare until college. All those years of kids swapping secret talents and I never thought I had one!

    • I probably looked really weird, learning how to roll it – I would just force my tongue into the shape then hold it there with my tongue, over and over again. Goodness knows why, and I hope I didn’t do it in front of people (but I’m sure I did).

      I’m still not the greatest at receiving compliments on things except for saying “thanks!” but if someone says “you’re awesome, Sophie”, I’ll probably say “thanks, I know!”. And I’ll say if I’m good at something. I also don’t like over-courtesy, like when someone offers to pay for something then everyone fawns over each other “oh no, you can’t pay – I’ll pay!” etc. I figure, if I offer to pay for something I actually mean it (and am not posturing), so you should just thank me and let me do it, and vice versa.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Love that you don’t truck with modesty!

    I wholeheartedly second your mums advice to have done easier project on the go. I like to jump around in my sewing because otherwise I’d be overwhelmed by my inability to X well, rather than my rad skills at Y.

    And I’m crap at not getting sucked into latest indie pattern craze, even when I totally know the style does not suit me or my lifestyle. I’m working on this…

  3. Pingback: Liebster Award! | Dressing the Role

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