I am lucky to live in a part of the world where I wake up to news of war, instead of waking up to war itself. It’s a privilege. And in my privileged world, it is, relatively easy, to block out those horrors occasionally. I listened to a psychology podcast, about how it is human nature to want to “do something”, whether it be hoarding toilet paper or, as in this case, feel the urge to help by donating your discarded clothes and toys. But humanitarian organisations say themselves that money is a better option, in order to provide refugees with what they need, not to disrupt local economies and not to block roads for incoming traffic with more urgent supplies.
It feels like the easy way out to throw money at the problem, and then go about my day, but if that’s what is requested I will do so. The guilty conscience I feel about my privilege should not be handled by those in need or those providing help. We did a collection at work, in the name of our Ukrainian group member, I donated some more money on my own. Then I decluttered some patterns I had meant to sell, which I did, but instead of taking the money for myself, I said that the price was a donation to UNICEF or UNHCR, the buyers did donate more than my asking price. A Swedish foundation has also promised to double all donations made in Sweden to those two organisations, so it’s a double win.
Working with my hands has always been a good stress and anxiety relief for me, through covid, through a parent’s illness and death, and yes, it is a privileged statement, even now.
I have made the Bruyère shirt twice before. Once in a stretch cotton (which looked OK mainly due to the stretch in the fabric. And again, I think the proportions are off for me) and once in flannel (cosy, but I used snaps which couldn’t handle the thickness of the fabric and fell off, leaving holes). While I did like the look, I felt overwhelmed in those shirts. As I learnt after several years of sewing, I have a long torso. For Deer and Doe patterns I always add 4-5 cm (that 2”) above the bust dart in order to get the waist right. This make for A very long bodice. My long torso is then combined with, for my height, short legs and the shirt, as designed, ended up very long.
As I have zero creative instinct, the pattern was left untouched for a while. Then I stumbled across Sally’s aka. The Quirk Peach, blog. Due to fabric constraints she had made the Bruyère with a straight hem and I really liked the proportions of the shirt, plus it does seem a bit easier to style in more outfits. So I blatantly copied her. And I like this shirt much better, based on the time I wore it for the photos. But hey, I’m allowed back in the office 3 days a week now, so it’ll be fun to wear something a bit more office appropriate again.
The fabric is a “blouse fabric” (that is how it is labelled. I played with the stripes on the waistband and yoke; the piece I had also required its fair share of pattern tetris, but it worked out in the end. Sally mentioned that her reasoning for the straight hem Bruyère was a lack of fabric, truth be told it was the same. But when I saw Sally’s picture, it all fell into place.