26 December, 2013

2013, begone!

It's come to my attention that a whole year has passed since my last post. And what a year it's been! So, to welcome the new year that's fast approaching, and bid the outgoing one a none-too-fond adieu, here's my wrap-up for the year that's been:

First and foremost:  deployment to Afghanistan, again!!!! Yessssss!!!!

Barrack boxes, check!   big floppy sun protector, check!  I'm on my way!!!
I didn't post anything due to a drastic shortage of time, but I sewed like a woman possessed early in the year, all in order to have a duly climate-friendly and deployment-correct wardrobe.  Deployment-correct means long trousers and long sleeved tops in all situations except the gym, where shorts and short-sleeved workout tops were permitted.  Sleeveless anything was absolutely forbidden:  it's a Muslim country after all, and us foreign women have to submit to much stricter rules of modesty over there.  I cheerfully bent that rule and no one complained.

Anyway, in preparation for the above I made:
- a couple of jackets
- several very lightweight cotton lawn shirts
- several sleeveless tops, to be worn under jackets - that's how I bent the "no sleeveless tops" rule
- a couple pairs of  lightweight jeans-type trousers to match above.

Here's one of the shirts with a couple of the slacks I wore it with, blue linen and beige crinkle cotton.
Shirt:  McCall's 6035 view C; slacks:  self-drafted, wide leg, elasticised waist.
I found this cotton lawn at my local Fabricland - and just couldn't resist the floral theme. Well, hey, Afghanistan, the world's premier purveyor of the floral product, illegal heroin!  The usual (red) colourway was also available but I fell in love with the lime and purple poppies, that version being not quite so in your face, I thought.

I combined the new stuff with wardrobe pieces I'd made for my previous deployment two years ago.  And? Well, there's only so much eye candy one can create with a shirt+pants or jacket+top+pants combo.  Despite that, my made-by-me wardrobe got a lot of attention over there:  several times I was asked if I was a model.  Me?!  short little, way, way, waaaay past twenty-something, nothing to look at me?!!! Hahahahahah!!!!

Unrelated to the above, I also completed a couple of other new projects, still unblogged and unreviewed, and began one or two that are yet to be completed. The takeaway from all of that is that I'm a far better sewer than blogger.

Along with all of the above sewing, my time was sorely constrained by multiple trips out of town for Canadian mid-winter pre-dep training.  Imagine looking for a mock IED (improvised explosive device) in a snowdrift, in the middle of a blizzard at -25C:  that was an experience in itself.

Anyhoo, this time I got sent to Kabul.  Oh the stories I could, can, and will, tell about my months there!  I loved Kabul.  In a word: fascinating!!!!  Here's the above outfit, with light grey stretch cotton (Jalie) jeans, in action at the American University of Afghanistan:

All the Afghan men I met readily shook  my hand.

And here's the view of the campus from its one and only multi-story building.  The mountains in the background were gloriously covered with snow when I arrived there in February.

American University of Afghanistan, Kabul campus.
Eventually of course I made it back home....only to get another medal!
I had this suit made for me by a Kabul tailor. The fabric is a lightweight silk-wool blend.  The jacket plus slacks plus a pencil skirt cost $110!!! 
You're most welcome, Canada!  It's been a pleasure! I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I love you, my country: mwah!

Have I been sewing since my return?  Yes, a little.  Mostly for others - not so much for me. But as a matter of fact, I'm sewing something nice for me right now.  It'll be finished in a very few days.

Happy New Year, sewing blogosphere!
Happy 2014 to everyone!
Yes I'm as bald as the proverbial cue ball.   Chemo does that, as we all know - but we never expect it to impact our own hairline.  It's the big C.... and so that's how the second half of my year wound down. Lucky 13???? My ass!!!

Next year will be better. I truly believe that.