Thursday, July 4, 2013

When The Busy Work Gets To Me

I sneak into the sewing room and make a small fabric person.

I am soooooooooo tired, friends. It's my own fault for staging a garage sale (translation = involuntary spring cleaning) in the middle of summer. There's sooooooooooooo much to do in order to get a sale going, and then sooooooooooooo much to do after, what with tying up loose ends and dealing with the unsold stuff. And then sooooooooooooooo much to catch up on that I'd put aside while garage saleing, like attention-needing small children and general family nutrition and swimming and sitting and tea-drinking and laundry and the filthy carpets and the tubs of 18month-24month baby clothes that have spilled their innards all over the basement (unfondly termed The Garage Sale Prep Room). But now that it's all over, of course I'm glad I did it. And of course I like how much junk isn't in the house anymore. And while it was happening, of course I swore I'd never again have another garage sale. Which of course I told myself the last time I had a garage sale. 

And then there's Independence Day (I am refusing to call it the 4th of July - surely it means more to the people of this country than that? I mean - in Singapore, we NEVER call our National Day "The 9th of August") - we're heading out of town to be with family at the lake. This means more packing but also lying in a blissful coma on a hammock with music in my ears. Now that I am looking forward to.

Two things before I sign out:

1 Thank you all for browsing and buying my stuff in the shop last weekend. They flew off the shelves faster than the stuff at our garage sale! They have all been mailed out so you should be getting your buckets in a couple more days (barring the holiday delays, I mean). I am so grateful for the support you guys give me whenever I stock the shop. And also for your ongoing support with my pdf pattern sales. It makes the work worth it!

2 ikatbag turned 5 years old sometime last week. Imagine that - I've been here talking to you from my drafting-and-cardboard soapbox for 5 years. When I wrote my first post, Kate was 2 months old. Just born. When I really had no business to be starting a new blog or sewing, really. Shoulda just sat and nuzzled her fuzzy head 24/7 because - guess what - those 5 years went by in a flash and she's big now and writing stories and learning to read and doing hip-hop moves on the deck that sap our energy just to watch. You guys have watched my children grow up and followed along as I stumbled through motherhood, nutella addictions and growing roots in this new culture that's now a second home to me. Has it been a fun journey? Have we left you breathless with exhaustion at our mania? I hope you've loved our company as much as I've loved yours.

So what's up with the small fabric person?

I just made her because I wanted to do something completely different from the busy work of the last couple of months. You know, something that wasn't cleaning, organizing or shopping for/sewing clothes for a wedding. Or drafting slopers. Or altering shirts. Or planning a party. Something without a deadline, in other words. Something that didn't tempt me to procrastinate.

Ironically, once I didn't have a deadline, I didn't procrastinate. This dolly was done in under 3 hours - from the moment my pencil touched the paper to sketch her 

to the moment I replaced the needle back in its pincushion after the last stitch. 

And are you wondering about her lips? It's called lipstick. The girls all draw their princess-figures with lipstick these days. Here's an example: Kate's "Cinderella".

Anyway, then the kids saw her and started interrogating me. 
"Did you make that new dolly?"
"What's it for?"
"Why did you make her?"
"Can I have her?"
"She has no clothes! When are you gonna make her clothes?"
"Is she for the shop?"

So I dollnapped her briefly to the sewing room and made a wearable muslin for a dress. Took only about an hour but, boy, it's awkward drafting a sloper for a dolly with indistinct shoulders! 

Obviously there are quite a few things I'd change if I made this doll again - her mouth clearly needs to be more delicate, her arms might do better curved upwards, her thighs a little skinnier to accentuate her cute shoes. And the dress! It's muslin-standard at best. That said, I thought it was, overall, not bad for a no-deadline project. It made me think of how incredibly efficient I'd be if I removed all deadlines from my life. Hmm. 

I'm off to crash now. 

Hope you had a happy Independence Day, friends-in-this-country!  


  1. That same thing happens to me, if there's a major work project looming that seems to be the time I cast on a new knitting project, or organize the garage (though that last one doesn't happen all that often).
    Sweet dolly!

  2. I do indeed love reading your blog...found it a few months ago. You remind me of when my girls were small, I took a lot on but I needed to and it was stimulating. I think you need that with small children, somehow, much as we adore them. If anything I've eased up as they've got older. All good fun : ) Best wishes for the day, from the UK! Jen

  3. Dear LiEr. Thank you so much for sharing. Not only the "technical" stuff like your Tutos (which, by the way I enjoy greatly, and help me a vast deal), but also (or even more) your stumbling as a mom: Sometimes when I read your posts I think you're so 'perfect' and you do cool stuff for your kids. But especially this post and the one on mother's day showed me that you are also just a normal mom and housewife with kiddies who need a lot of attention, with just as little time (at least in big chunks) to do crafty stuff (which is all in one's head and waits to be done as soooooon as possible). It's such a comfort to me that even my super-hero-mom (which is you) is just as normal as myself. May God bless you and your beautiful family!

    Regula (mom of four girls)

  4. The doll is very cute - and I love that you have designed a new doll! I only work WITH deadlines, and I need to set one for Anna's Owie doll so the other kids quit plaguing me about it.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the nearly-five years I have been reading your blog. Your posts always make me smile, and I am inspired by your creativity. I LOVE the two bags of yours that I own, and my kids' Owie dolls are the toys they take everywhere.

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us!

  5. Also, Kate's Cinderella is fabulous!

  6. Cute doll! And I'm right there with you about calling the 4th "Independence Day." I agree. Happy 5th blog Anniversary! :)

  7. flea market fancy!!! I love that pattern line.

    The doll is so pretty :)
    deadlines are a terrible thing. I too feel much more efficient when I have a plan but no deadline. Some how putting a time limit on a project makes me no longer interested in it!

    enjoy your holiday!

  8. What a cute doll! It reminds me of the hospital dolls the staff gives to the children before a procedure so they can understand better what is going to happen to them. The shoes are adorable! And the Cinderella picture is amazing!


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