Friday, 2 January 2015

Learning to Let it Go...

Firstly, apologies for the pun in the title, I just couldn't resist it... Even if you haven't spent any time recently  in the company of a girl under the age of eight, the Disney film Frozen has probably entered your conciousness on some level. But more of that later.

I hope you had a peaceful Christmas. Ours was very enjoyable, and although I hadn't made a Pinterest board of all the things I was going to make for Perfect Christmas, a fair amount of handmade festive things happened anyway, now I come to look back on it. I also completely relaxed about the children eating rubbish and watching telly, which has made the holiday particularly peaceful. I've warned them that it's back to gruel and strictly educational programmes for just 15 minutes a day come Monday.

Home-made stuff that I did this year included: Damson Gin (dead easy, just put damsons, gin and sugar into a big jar and leave in a cupboard for months), Christmas cake (easy to make in advance), and Gingerbread Houses (this was a bit faffy, but the children really enjoyed it). I also had a couple of lovely table decorations that were made by a very talented fellow WI member for our Christmas night out in mid-December. As the foliage was fresh it was looking a bit sad by Christmas so I headed out into the garden with a pair of scissors for new supplies. So I kind of made it myself, and will definitely be stealing this idea (and saving the pot & ribbon) for next year.

But of course I'm also desperate to be the kind of mother who just whips up a fancy dress costume with her sewing machine, so I did add a little stress to myself by promising youngest child a Frozen dress for Christmas. I used McCalls Costume pattern M7000, ended up going for the smallest size (3-4 years) as any bigger and it would have swamped my daughter, who has just turned six. Fabric came from trusty Fabricland, a slippery blue/silver slightly stretch jersey type stuff for the main dress and the net curtainy gauzy stuff (shown at the top of the page) with printed snowflakes and glitter for the top layer. There is a bit of lining on the bodice, I just used some grey cotton fabric I had in my stash. I muttered a bit about whether I really needed to do the lining at first, but it really does pull the costume together and make it more comfortable to wear.

Although I started at the beginning of December I was *of course* still sewing on Christmas Eve. All was going well until I buggered up putting in one of the sleeves and had to unpick it and re-do. But instead of stressing like I normally do (well, ok, there was a teeny bit of tension) I made a list of jobs that needed to be done and handed them over to husband. So he made mince pies while I sat and sewed, then the children decorated the cake (with Nana's help) while I sat and sewed. But by about 8pm the dress was done and I could knock back the mulled cider with abandon.

So was it worth it?

Absolutely YES! Smallest child is delighted with her dress and has been wearing it and twirling round the house in it pretty much constantly since. And I learnt a lot whilst making it (not least putting in a zip properly). Settling down on the sofa to finally watch the film on Christmas Day with her is a memory I will definitely treasure.