Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A condensed personal history of shirts

Liberty on Sabrina

The sewing stars aligned, and I was able to work on my shirt for two consecutive days in a row. I'm really enjoying the mechanics of shirt-making: the pressing, the exact measuring of facings, the meticulous edge stitching. It's not a job to be rushed, but a job to enjoy and I'm pleased to say that so far the results are looking good!

As I sewed, I was trying to remember the last time I had made a shirt. I'd done a boy's shirt at uni - in calico, ugh! - but the last shirt with collars and facings that I'd made were the pj's I'd sewn to take into hospital with me to have Grumbles. I thought myself pretty darn clever, making button up jimjams for breastfeeding ease, but with everything that happened I didn't even end up wearing them! The room we stayed in (for the hospital was kind enough to let Galumph sleep in a fold up bed in the room with us to help with Grumbles, as I was in no state to get up, let alone tend to a newborn in the middle of the night) was so, so hot. The heating came through the walls, and couldn't be turned down or even off, so I ended up begging my sister-in-law to buy me some singlet tops from Sportsgirl to wear. Those, teamed with some loose cotton pants became my outfit of choice, all the better for everybody - for it did seem like every medical person in the hospital came to have a look - to check out my hysterectomy staples and accompanying fluid bag. Quite the fashion statement!

The pj's? Well, since Galumph had nothing to wear to bed each night, he ended up wearing them, and mighty fine did he look, too, in his yellow, pink and red striped jarmies, alternated with the navy blue with light blue stars pair. Apparently when the night nurses had their changeover meeting with the day nurses in the mornings, the first item to be discussed was which pair Galumph had been seen padding around the ward in. Poor Galumph - they weren't items he would have asked to wear, but I think he did them (and myself and Grumbles) proud.

When we moved into our house last year, we found the pyjamas. They were musty smelling, and worn out, so we turfed them, and I was not sad to see them go. But thinking about them today made me realise how different my life is now. Grumbles is a little lady now, and I've made peace with what happened in many ways. We have our (very) little home, and our health, and my days are filled with smiles and laughter. I'll be wearing this new shirt, fingers crossed and wood knocked on, as I watch Grumbles grow up, and myself grow older. I hope to walk into the future in this shirt, holding both Grumbles and Galumphs hands, as we strive to make our own lives happy, and to make differences to others that need us.


Speaking of making a difference, if you've got a minute then please check out Kiva. It's a fabulous way to change a life! Last week we helped a collective in Mexico with a loan to buy embroidery materials, so the women could earn an income. It felt pretty darn good.


  1. The image of Galumph wearing your lovingly made pjs makes me smile. I think your new shirt (which is looking amazing) is a lovely way to mark the future. Bet Grumbles will want it when she gets a little older. I can't wait to see you modelling it.

  2. Anonymous5:46 pm

    That is one of the most beautiful blog posts I have read for a long, long time. Blogs these days are so commercial, it's nice to hear a personal story.
    P.S I use to work at Tessutti in Surry Hills and I really miss my perfect little job.(moved interstate, now my perfect little job is hand making chocolates)

  3. Beautiful words to accompany your beautiful shirt. x

  4. absolutely beautiful story. what a pleasure to read this in the morning and remember the important things. as always i'm happy when you pop to the top of my links, and for good reason :)

  5. Daw! Galumph in your pj's. hehe

    I for one am very glad that i'll get to see you in the second shirt you've made.xx

  6. Inspiring words. :-)

  7. What a sweet post! And positive outlook on something not so positive. I can't wait to see the finished shirt. Now and years from now.


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