Nineteen days to go and it'll soon be time to start packing. But not until I've finished making my holiday wardrobe. More often than not, I tend to wear whatever travelled with me last time around, but as this will be a special trip (and, ahem, I seem to have put on weight) some new attire is in order. Having invested in a simple new pattern, I'm churning out light cotton tops like they're going out of fashion (hopefully they're not, though). I think I'm up to six so far, with another on the work table three-quarters complete and a final one awaiting the scissors if I have time.
After a manically busy work week in which I've found myself starting a new role although I haven't given up the old one yet, when I basically haven't known where I was, it's been great to let my hands work harder than my brain and immerse myself in the creativity of sewing. I've always loved it, although school needlework classes did their best to put me off. I remember living in fear of stabbing Mrs Kilshaw as I passed her the pins while she demonstrated the finer points of joining a seam on such ambitious projects as a pinny or pump bag. The real lessons came from my Mum, watching her at first but soon having a go myself and discovering the satisfaction of producing unique, wearable pieces.
I bought my own first sewing machine with money from my 21st birthday, and I think it was £50. I had it mended once or twice, but it kept going through many seasons' clothes and even a couple of houses' worth of curtains. The new model about 15 years ago was a bit pricier and a bit fancier, but is also paying its way, especially in my current bid to stay cool and elegant on the Beautiful Blue Danube.