How shaving my head saved my life

Grace Jones. Sinéad O’Connor. Sigourney Weaver. Miley Cyrus. Lupita Nyong’o. Demi Moore. What do these names bring to mind? Power. Strength. Beauty. And of course, they are all women who have shaved their heads.

Grace Jones at Studio 54.

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New piece published on The Mighty

Just a heads up that The Mighty have published another of my pieces, “Why I Think ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ Needs a Name Change”. It is a summarised form of a section from my Dummies’ Guide to ME/CFS. Of course, the first comment on The Mighty’s post on their Facebook page was a derogatory insult regarding my authorship which delegitimised my experience with this illness. We still have a long ways to go, folks.


My tacky-tastic Simplicity 2246

A woman poses in an arch, wearing a shirtdress with pineapples on it.

This post was brought to you by my friendly local Vinnie’s. You’ll know by now my love for op shopping, and a few weeks ago I stumbled across some fabric about which I was totally undecided. I love me some crazy prints, but felt this particular fabric might stray from the “so ugly I love it” category to “so ugly I actually hate it”. As it was a mere $2 for 4m, I bought it anyway, and decided it would make economic muslins if anything. I’m glad I did, as this is possibly my most hilarious dress yet.

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A day in the life

Warning: contains GIFs

A lovely reader (Hi, Naomi!) suggested I conclude my Dummie’s Guide to ME/CFS with a “day in the life”, to illustrate what it is like to live with this illness. I won’t lie to you: this piece is long, mundane and tedious, but so is living with chronic illness. It is boring. There are no breaks. And the little things that you wouldn’t even think about, like showering, watching TV and leaving the house, form the greatest challenges of my day.

Unfortunately, my health has deteriorated significantly since writing this piece, so it isn’t an accurate reflection of how I live now. Rather, it stands as a record of what was probably one of the most “well” and functional periods I have had in the last 6 years, and serves as a goal for me to aspire to. I’ll update with more on my relapse when my health has stabilised some. (EDIT: you can read more on my relapse in my post, Relapses: Fear and Loathing in Chronic Illness.)

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Vintage Vogue 8789, or, I love op shops

G’day! Today I’ve got a particularly frothy creation to share with you. The pattern is Vogue 8789, a vintage reprint. Vogues are expensive in Australia, but V8789 is one of those patterns where both variations are so lovely and unique, that it seems better value for money than shelling out the same amount for one basic design. I sewed variation A, which has a bias-cut bodice and v-neckline.

A woman poses in a garden, wearing a 50s style frock in a floral print
Tights are Sophie by Transparenze with the waistband cut off because holy shit they are constrictive. Mel shoes, $3 from Salvos. “FUCK” ring, Ruby Pilven Ceramics.

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Mean Girlzzz: How dissenting women are silenced in the online sewing community

Mean Girls

From a young age, women are taught to suppress their voices. Women who offer opinions in the public sphere or voice dissent risk being labelled “shrill”, “nagging”, or “bitchy”. It is disappointing, but not surprising, when men try to silence women with dated stereotypes. What is truly upsetting is when women join in, and become complicit in their own oppression. Yet I believe this is what is happening in some pockets of the online sewing community.

We have internalised misogynist stereotypes about women, to our downfall. Some women in the online sewing community feel unable to criticise or be honest about their experiences with patterns, lest they be perceived as damaging friendships or being “mean girls”. These stereotypes are perpetuated with faux feminist campaigns that are so anti-women they would make 70s Germaine Greer weep.* Continue reading “Mean Girlzzz: How dissenting women are silenced in the online sewing community”

A Dummies’ Guide to ME/CFS: Part V, Research & Conclusion

Warning: contains GIFs

Each week, I am publishing a part in a series about ME/CFS. This is Part V, in which I discuss current research into ME/CFS, and conclude the series. You can find links to the other posts in the series at the bottom of this post. Thanks for reading!

Last week, I discussed the negative attitudes held towards ME/CFS by many healthcare professionals, and the implications of the name “chronic fatigue syndrome.” This week, I’m wrapping it up with research and suggestions for the newly diagnosed. Thanks for sticking with me, folks!

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