The Slow Dog of Sewing

10 Nov

When my children were much smaller, some of our favourite books to share were the Fast Fox, Slow Dog series by Allan Ahlberg and Andre Amstutz. They are lovely stories to read with great amusement value for parents too: Fast Fox desperately trying to capture the chicks from Mother Hen, while constantly being foiled by his unwitting adversary, Slow Dog. Slow Dog is as he sounds: slow and ponderous in movement and thought. He always wins through in the end, but always by happy accident. Slow Dog became a gentle, tongue-in-cheek rebuke between us grown-ups; to be a ‘slow dog’ meant c’mon, wake-up, make it happen, you dozy doughnut! Thus, for the time being, I must label myself the Slow Dog of sewing and blogging…

A spot of measuring by the Prince of Siberia

A spot of measuring by the Prince of Siberia

Started well, fell away at the second. Hmm, well can’t exactly shoulder all the blame. In the world of charidee copywriting, this be the busiest time of the year and we are a teeny tiny set-up (just the three of us, unless someone small’s hiding behind the photocopier). Anyway, the stuff that pays the bills has had to take priority over the stuff I’d rather be doing, particularly of late. After the successful completion of a Mathilde blouse, I’d moved on to the Miette skirt, another of Tilly‘s creations. I’d purchased some lovely dark grey/black organic medium weight cotton from Ray Stitch and was keen to get started. This should be easy peasey I thought, seeing as I’ve completed the Mathilde without a hitch and that’s the more complex pattern. Complacency and haste are the enemy of the Panda sewing. Chuck in my worst client in living memory, and it became a somewhat fraught affair.

Still, I’m pretty pleased with the end result, as I managed to regain my sewing mojo, slow down and proceed at a steady canter towards the finishing line. This was beautiful material to sew with even for my inexperienced hands. I was too lazy to change the thread on the overlocker and couldn’t afford the time to trug to my nearest haberdashery, a twenty minute drive away. Actually I really like the end result: the white serged edges on her dark materials. It’s always pleasing to see the inside looking as average as the outside. I like a good – or even mediocre – finish. The hem may have a discrepancy of about 1/2 inch in some places that seems to match the 1/2 stone I’ve managed to gain for the first time in eight years, but hopefully the advent of time and a reduction in my biscuit and cheese consumption may mean that the skirt hangs a little better. The pattern is quite forgiving and I’d certainly like to make another come the Spring.

Serger mess...

Serger mess…

Once again, another master stroke from Tilly in the instruction department: there’s the simple pointers that come with the download but there are also more detailed step-by-step cues on the website, together with photos. If you’re a visual learner, and I believe I am, these are a god-send.


My big lesson learned this time through was never sew when raging about the day job. It puckers your stitching and mismatches your seams. Hey ho. Anyway, next up is the Anna dress from By Hand of London. I’m going to make a toile, and I’m going to line it. Whoaa there! Easy girl! I may be some time…

‘He’s going the distance
He’s going for speed
She’s all alone
In her time of need.’


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