Pinch me, please

I’ve lived in Australia for 8 1/2 years. I swear sometimes it’s passed in the blink of an eye and others, usually in Winter, it slows to a normal pace. Today isn’t Winter. In fact, today was a 39 degree Summer day that pushed my reasoning of “I moved here for the weather,” to the limit. As I sit here at 9pm, boiling in my own skin as it is still 27 degrees, I’m still surprised that I actually live in Sydney.

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I left the UK for a fresh start, coming out to Australia on what was meant to be an extended holiday! Turns out I fell in love with Sydney and the rest is history. Sydney became that elusive, Nicholas Sparks-type turning point for me – a fresh start. After more than a couple of hellish years living in Edinburgh, culminating in redundancy and losing someone close to me. I struggled with depression and migraines that debilitated me at least once a week. I wasn’t living, I was just getting from one day to the next.

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Sydney for me has been a balm that started to heal me – it didn’t fix me, but living here has certainly taught me how to breathe again, how to start to find self-worth and all the things I had lost along the way. I have to pinch myself sometimes, usually when I catch a glimpse of the Harbour Bridge or one of the many beaches in the city. I did it – I moved 11,000 miles away from what I knew and started again. I live in an amazing country and live a life nine years ago I didn’t think I would ever live. Though my opinion on this might completely change tomorrow after a night’s sleep in 27C and another day at 38C – Hell might be cooler!

All trousers were created equal

As any woman – and probably a fair few men too – will tell you, not all trousers were created equal. I have no problem in admitting I am a curvy lady! I have that classic hourglass figure that people admire…until they try to dress it. My small waist, child-bearing hips and tree-trunk thighs that even a lumberjack would have problems with were not designed to take any trousers off the rack. For most of my adult life, I searched for the ‘perfect pant’. The one that fits at the waist but doesn’t stretch across my thighs so they look like sausages in skin. The ones that fit in the thigh but don’t gape at the waist when I sit down (a.k.a. an open invitation for frat boys to stick pencils down the gap in class)!

Levi comes with pretty close with its CurveID range – I’m a demi curve for anyone interested – but I can’t wear jeans to work. So when I learned to sew over 5 years ago, it was always with the intention of learning to sew a tailored, form-fitting, non-muffin-topping pair of Made FOR Zoe trousers. And now I’ve done it.

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Presenting my own custom-fit trousers! I used a pattern as my base for developing a mock-up in calico – it was enough just to make trousers never mind draft a new pattern. I chose the Thurlow Trouser by Sewaholics – Australian sewers can purchase it from SewSquirrel without incurring the nightmare exchange and postage rates. Sewaholic patterns are specifically made for the more pear-shaped figure so their trousers are perfect for my shape. I picked my size and only had to make very minor adjustments to the thighs and straighten the flare leg. The instructions are a breeze, especially with the elements such as a zipper fly and welt back pockets, which i had never done before.

I picked up a nice cotton sateen from Spotlight as my main fabric and a cotton/silk mix for the pocket linings as I wasn’t splashing out on my first try. Cotton sateen is really easy to sew and it also has a bit of stretch to it which was perfect. As you can see from the photo, I picked a more dressy looking fabric than I would normally wear to work so me and the girls are hitting a Spanish restaurant on Friday night to officially launch my trousers – hopefully I get a “Hola Bella dama”!

The nerve-wracking first post

Welcome! It’s been a long time coming but at last I have struck this off my bucket list – Write a Blog! One post counts, right?

People have asked what my blog would be about – and then promptly rolled their eyes when I say “Life!”. Apparently, that’s been done. So how about I just say – my blog is about me! There’s so much going on in my life and it never seems to slow down or stop. It’s about my loves, my laughs and the random thoughts that keep me awake at 2am. It’s about my struggles, my sewing and my travels that take me further and further afield in this ever shrinking world. Read all about my vain attempts to put pen to paper again and write the next great Australian novel (or some chick-lit at the very least). Laugh at the inappropriate Minions GIFs and lament at my tales of the working week.

These are the snapshots of my thoughts. You’ve been given fair warning – enter at your own risk.