After And, Er… Before?

I have learned my lesson: before and after makeovers are much more impressive if you have a picture of Before.

I took the sleeves off my favourite dress last summer – despite the seams being both sewn and overlocked they were still coming adrift in places – and happily drafted a post about it. Only to find that I had no pictures of the dress from the four plus years I wore it avec sleeves. Despite wearing it probably twice a week, year round, all through that time.

Unclothed woman behind question mark sign
What DID that dress look like?
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Real-Life Masquerade

As many of you know, I live in New Zealand, which is one of the countries doing pretty well pandemic-wise. But we are nonetheless encouraged to have masks on hand (actually, on face) when at close quarters with strangers at Level 2 or above, just as we are encouraged to have emergency supplies stashed about the place in case a big earthquake takes out all our infrastructure.

Now, there are, it turns out, some people who get huffy when asked to wear a mask. I am not one of them. I am always happy to don a mask and slip anonymously through the streets of the city. (Or at least, what would be anonymously if there was anyone else round here who dressed like me.) I mean, come on! This is your chance to let your inner superhero out for an airing at last, without people casting doubt on your adulthood. Masks are awesome.

Moslema in style (8093611310)
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The Pleasure of Good Tools

As those of you who have been reading this blog for more than a passing moment may recall, a few months ago I shared with you the new-found joy of tatting. The shuttle I had been using was a simple red plastic one, aided and abetted by a sewing machine bobbin where two shuttles were called for.

But if there’s one thing I really enjoy, it’s a well-made tool, and preferably not made of plastic. I have gone to great lengths in the past to avoid lumps of plastic in everyday use, and (with an occasional exception for fountain pens), I see no reason to change that position.


Surprisingly for such a seemingly obscure niche craft, there are plenty of options available to the shuttle tatter. Etsy hosts many makers of tatting shuttles, for a start. But after considering all the options, I decided to get a couple of shuttles from David Reed Smith. One in walnut, one in padouk, with pewter ends to allow adjustments for a) different thicknesses of thread, and b) silent tatting.

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