Temporarily unemployed


Like so many people, I am experiencing what it’s like to be temporarily at leisure due to the measures being taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The fabric store I work at reduced its operating hours a week or so ago, then it reduced them again, and a day later I was told they would be closing altogether at the end of today.

Who could have predicted how 2020 was going to go and how fast things would change?

Of course, we crafty types with yarn and fabric and sewing machines and hooks and needles are happy as clams, mostly, with all the extra time to make stuff. Where I live, we can still go out, the supermarkets are open and well-stocked with produce, though not toilet paper of course, or pasta, beans, flour, rice or sugar. We can walk around the neighbourhood and enjoy the spring sunshine, we can exercise or do yoga at home, and I can cook and bake. My only peeve is that I didn’t make it to the flour mill for my usual 20kg bag of organic wholewheat flour before they closed, because I would really like to be baking tonnes of bread right now, rather than dreading having to go to Costco for our usual brand. (I will be avoiding Costco for a while – they are limiting the amount of people who can enter the store at one time, so there have been long lineups outside.)

I am thankful that we are all safe and well, and grateful that as we are all under the one roof I don’t have to worry about any of my sons becoming homeless as  result of losing their job. The youngest works with me, so he’s also temporarily laid off, and the oldest works at the same company as his dad, and their jobs are continuing, at least for now.

Mr Fixit can work from home if need be, but of course if the installers stop working there won’t be much for him to manage. Two sales people and two admin staff in his office have been working from home all this week already. We just have to take this thing one day at a time.

I did a bit of “panic-buying” of fabric yesterday when I realised the store was going to be closed. I bought some interfacing and some sew-in Pellon fleece for bags, and 11 fat quarters in solid colours, and 12 half-metres of clearance quilting fabric.


The colours are very bright and spring-like. I have already used some of the pink butterfly fabric and the yellow solid.

This was made from a video tutorial. Photos were taken in the evening in artificial light, the most accurate one being the close up of the ‘handmade’ label.

I also made this one from a different YouTube channel:

It has three sections which create five pockets when assembled. There were some awkward bits in the construction of this, and at one point I was replaying the same bit of the video over and over to work out what to do. I won’t be making another! And my topstitching is definitely not good enough for this bag to be a gift, so I will keep it for my own use.


This is the sports bra that I made from the pattern I showed you last time. I had about a metre of swimsuit-type fabric in the stash. I had also found a remnant of stretchy cotton fabric at work that worked perfectly for the lining. The only part of this that actually gave me any satisfaction was the straps. The rest was a bit of a battle with the slippery stretchy fabric, and the design rather disappointingly has you leave seam allowances exposed on the inside of the band under the bust, as well as the raw ends of the straps, so it’s messy.

I could have forgiven that IF the bra had actually turned out wearable, but it’s uncomfortable. So yes, I learned a lot in making this, and I’m glad I wasn’t using $40/metre fabric expecting something fabulous. Because I didn’t get it!

I hope that everyone who’s reading this is staying well and finding fun and creative things to do to reduce stress. Everywhere you look at the moment, it’s COVID this and coronavirus that, and it’s hard not to worry. Wash your hands, stay home if you can, maybe organise group video chats through Google Hangouts or Zoom if you’re missing your friends. As with everything, this too shall pass.

2 responses »

  1. So much of what you write here resonates with me. Luckily, although I’m currently working from home, I’m still employed. We have food (and toilet paper), our grown-up children are home, are parents nearby, we can check on neighbours and, natch – I have a stash to knit most everyone a whole body suit and a pile of ‘personal hygiene squares’. I love three pocket bag you’ve featured here. You take care, Gianna

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