The latest accessory in white (and clothes in black)

Sunday, 27 April 2014
We've had a whirlwind two weeks around here, hence the blog silence. All the usual things - busyness at work in a new job, school holidays, Easter and then Anna does this to herself:

She slipped from the monkey bars whilst at vacation care and landed awkwardly, completely snapping the humerus bone above her elbow. You know things are going to be bad when you get a phone call at work that begins with "don't panic, Anna's fine but she's gone to hospital in an ambulance...."! She ended up needing surgery to insert wires into her arm to align the bones so that they regrow together correctly.

But kids are pretty resilient, and she's managed it pretty well so far. At the moment it's only a half cast with a bandage around it to allow for swelling to subside and the wound to heal, so it's pretty bulky and difficult to get clothes on with it. Luckily it's her left arm so she can still write and draw with her other hand, but she's quickly finding out how difficult it is to do things one handed!

And sadly a few days before this occurred, my father in law passed away after his condition rapidly deteriorated. It wasn't totally unexpected given how frail and ill he has been these last few months, but when we visited him just a few weeks ago he was doing remarkably well and preparations were being made for him to go home so it still came as a surprise. We've spent the last week with my mother in law doing funeral preparations and going through the Chinese cultural customs associated with death. I'm not particularly religious but I found the Buddhist customs quite comforting - there were monks chanting and praying at the funeral service, and before hand we burned incense money and clothes for his spirit to take with him to his next life.

I also had to quickly make some funeral appropriate clothes for Anna and Toby since their wardrobes are pretty much all brightly coloured and casual. For Anna I refashioned a dress that a friend had given to me that was made from some quality stretch textured fabric but in a horrible design - a wide, mid calf length skirt with an asymmetrical hem, ruched bodice and a bandeau style top. So all I did was shorten the skirt keeping the asymmetrical hemline, made a tube for the bodice and sewed on some gathered straps. I also added a ruffled band to the front neckline, and a gathered elastic belt. Mostly all sewn on the overlocker meant it took less than two hours to finish, and Anna loves it although worryingly she refers to it as her funeral dress.

For Toby I quickly made a pair of pull on pants in black cotton drill from McCalls 6061. There's nothing special to say about these, but a note for my future self (and anyone else thinking about making these) is that this pattern is really wide but really short! It's sized for up to 18 month olds, but the pants are really baggy so they still fit Toby even though he's now two and not a small child either. They are also really high waisted, so I lowered the rise by 4cm, and lengthen the leg by 5cm although looking at these photos I could have made them longer. I added the band around the knees for decoration, copying a pair of RTW pants that are too small for him now. The pockets are just patch pockets and there is a faux fly although you can't really see it in black.

Nearly all of Toby's pants are now too short - he's somehow shot up in the last few months without me noticing at all! Now that the weather is finally starting to get cooler in Sydney  I'll have to pause in all my selfish sewing to make him some more clothes - hopefully the dramas are over around here for now and we can get back to our usual busy but ordinary lives.

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