Tag Archives: Remembrance Day

Lest We Forget

It’s Remembrance Day. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we’ll remember the end of the First World War, mourn for all the horrors and tragedies and useless pain of war and renew our commitment to avoiding future ones. And I gotta tell you, after the US election results on Tuesday, that seems like a very important thing to think about. I’m trying really hard to believe that the Americans who elected Donald Trump were just looking for a change, not trying to tell the world that racism, hatred, and nationalism are the wave of the future. But that certainly sounds like what they were trying to tell us (and I am emphatically NOT speaking about the many online American friends of mine who’ve been shocked, grief-stricken, and terrified this past week). 

Anyway, this is a day to remember the past, and also to learn from it. About tyrants and how they can rise up, even in democracies, riding on the worst of our impulses. About how othering and fear and protectionism can turn ordinary people into supporters of evil regimes, at least for a time. After Brexit and now the American election, it does kind of feel like this tide is rising in the west, and that saddens me deeply. I know those sentiments exist here in Canada as well, even if they’re not politically prominent right now. (They certainly have been in the past.) I hope I’m wrong—and if I’m right, I hope remembering the past will help us rescue the future. 

Be well. Be safe. Be strong. Be brave. Be loving. 

And now, because life doesn’t stop for history, it’s my Stylish sister-in-law’s birthday, we have not one but two sets of friends visiting from Cowtown, and it’s supposed to be a tropical 13C this afternoon, which in November means “Barbecue!!!” And if I don’t get to spend ALL DAY tomorrow sewing my new winter coat, I’m going to pitch a fit. But mostly, I’m going to spend this weekend living, and loving, and hoping we can all find the way to a better world. 

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The Body

My mother has struck again. It’s that murky stretch between my birthday and Christmas, so a present can be justified, right? Actually, it’s Stylish’s birthday today. She can’t have this one, although I might share…

The Body

The Body. With mop.

Anyway. My mom found it at a flea market. My mom informs me that it should be called “Judy,” but they have been calling it “The body.” I kinda like that.

It has the usual adjustments—bust, waist, hip, waist length. With a fair bit of twiddling, I was able to get them all where they should, perhaps, be. Note how the gap between the pieces goes from narrow at the top to wide at the waist to narrow again at the bottom. I still don’t think the details of the shape are terribly close.

The bust.

The bust.

Especially the bust. That odd, pointy bust is, well, not anything like mine. Adding a bra helps.

With bra.

With bra. No way on earth my hips do that flare.

The biggest thing that will bother me, I think, is that it doesn’t have a swayback.  So my swayback adjustments will always look a bit odd.

Clothed

Clothed

On the other hand, my clothes mostly (aside from the swayback) seem to fit her. I tried on the Star Wars dress, arguably the most precisely-fitted thing I own, and it worked quite well, although the photo turned out a bit blurry as the light in the multi-purpose room isn’t great.

It fits!

It fits!

In other news, it’s Remembrance Day. Between this present and Stylish’s birthday, I don’t really feel like I’ve been properly observant; I didn’t even manage to get a poppy this year, which kills me. Anyway, in lieu of actually doing anything substantial, I’ll point you back to this post (scroll down to get to the Remembrance Day part), and just say: Lest We Forget.

And, thank you, Mom.

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Poppies

Red and black, two of my favourite colours. Speaking of which, the buttonholes have been bound.

Buttonholes on the coat. Poking the "organza" squares through.

Then, I tack them down (after judicious ironing) in the back.

Buttonhole frames tacked open

Gertie suggests using silk organza that matches your fashion fabric. I have no organza (as far as I know), and I’ve never sewed with silk in my life. I also didn’t have anything light and crisp in red. So I used this off-white (chiffon? I really suck at the names for these floaty fabrics, as I tend to avoid them like the plague. But I salvaged a crapload of this stuff after a wedding last summer. It’s gone to make the sheer JJ, and the rest will someday become a tiered petticoat.) I suspect silk organza would be a lot stronger, and maybe a more firm weave?

Don't they look nice from the front?

You can see a tiny bit of the chiffon from the front. I made extra sure when sewing on the strips that none of this showed through.

The basted strips in position

As you can see, my strips are kinda massive. (They’re also interfaced, and I added an extra layer of white interfacing to the inside of the front mostly so I could see my markings better.) I am debating whether to trim them down or leave them that way—if anyone has strong opinions I’d love to hear them.

And stitched in place by hand.

Don’t they look lovely? I will leave them basted for now (at least until we go buy buttons). Now all I have to do is get the facings to line up. Oh, and did you notice my lovely iron-mark on the front of the fabric? *headdesk* Mostly I remember not to do this. Mostly.

Anyway, back to the poppies. Are we all marking Remembrance Day today? I am lucky enough not to have any family members involved with wars of any kinds (even my grandfathers sat out WWII). I’m also not organized enough to get to any of the various ceremonies they have around. So consider this my little moment of silence.

 

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918), Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lest we forget.

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