red with a zip

The red skirt, all completed. It started with a gathered wait but I strode out of my comfort zone and fitted the waist and added a zip. Now I am no longer scared of zips. Big progress, and a vastly expanded range of patterns I can consider making. I put bias binding around the top (the changes were a bit ad hoc to make facings) and around the hem.

The red skirt does not represent revolutionary anything, unfortunately. Today was entirely domestic and a powerful reminder of how much waste we make in our cheap as chips consumer society. Five years ago we bought a good quality washing machine and today we found that not only was the part and labour for the latest repair going to cost over $400 but that the part was not available until (they expected, could not be confirmed) mid March. I went down to the shops and did some research. 'Shame we can't get a Miele' I said to FH. 'They are the best and most worth while but just too expensive right now'.

FH challenged me to tot up the cost of not just the first washing machine but all the subsequent repairs and suddenly the Miele looked a much more cost effective option. So we spent the winter wood and the new insulation money on a Miele.

and it goes. I was nervous that after $1600 worth of electrical repairs before Christmas and a $1900 new washing machine now, what if there were still problems? But it does go. The installers took away our broken machine, only five years old and still looking rather new to me. All that metal and componentry into landfill after just five years! I am glad we have bought something which history and research suggests will be with us for the next 20-25 years.
Cactus in flower at the end of the red fence garden.

I am nearly finished the second sleeve of the never ending cardigan. Next sewing project is either making a tutu apron for Brighid for her upcoming birthday or beginning the wrap dress project. I have cut out the pattern pieces for the dress. I was going to sew down a size and add a full bust adjustment as per the advice from clever sewists at Pattern Review but then I chickened out. Now I've read the posts again and I shall have to have yet another close look at how the pattern pieces work together and where I should adjust, assuming I still can. Putting a zip in is baby stuff compared to this pattern adjustment lark.

Once upon a time I had thoughts and arguments about issues of greater significance than fitting a dress. I think I even had some this morning. But I can only plead holiday mode. The current fashion for demonising domestic purposes beneficiaries is both disturbing and has historical parallels which challenge the idea that bad women deliberately have babies only because the DPB exists. I no longer have a copy of Margaret Tennant's work on charitable providers and receivers in 19th century New Zealand, but I do recall it's influence on my thinking from over a decade ago. Aid for mothers living without the support of a husband was very scarce then, and involved jumping through a number of hoops of proving ones respectability in order to qualify. Some right wing commentators would have us return to this situation. I think that in times of economic hardship, mothers without financially-providing partners are often the scape goat for a pressured society.

So much to unpick, so many sleepy, holiday-influenced brain cells. I desist from promising anything, as my brain cells will likely still be sleepy for days yet.


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