What: Gemma Sweater by Named
Size made: 36
Pattern adjustments: none
Materials used: ponte knit in three colours; eyelets and cord; 2cm wide elastic for sleeve openings.

Hello there, the angel from my nightmare

October 10th is World Mental Health Day

Attention: if someone else's personal stuff aint your cup of tea, close the window. 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert, I am speaking from personal experience. 

I remember exactly when my first panic attack happened. It was Easter 2008, ferry just docked in Stockholm, Sweden. I was out on the deck having a smoke to pass time until we could go on land. And then it just happened. Shortness of breath, racing heart, dizziness, feeling like I am about to lose any connection to reality.
At that time, I did not know I was having a panic attack, not really. I thought I got seasick or something. 
These episodes kept occurring over the following year. And I simply suffered through them until one day I typed into google search bar “panic attack symptoms”. 
I hauled my ass to the general doctors office following week, cried my eyes out, and mumbled the words - “I think I might have panic attacks or severe anxiety”. I was poked and probed and blood was drawn to make sure nothing was wrong with my physically. 

Three weeks later I had my first therapy session. 

You see, back then, I felt like having something wrong with you in the “mental health department” was a shameful thing, something one should hide from the public. It is not. IT IS NOT.


What is it like to make something when you have panic attacks.

Panic and anxiety occur more often when one is under extra stress or is depressed. 
At the beginning I had no idea nor the “tools” how to evaluate the state of my mental health. Panic attacks and anxiety just happen, they don’t give you a three week notice.

So imagine this - you are making a custom order for someone else, and suddenly, there is Ygritte in the back of your head saying “You know nothing.” 
At first you are shaking it off. But that little redheaded wildling returns and says it again, and again. And again. 
And then, you start to rethink your steps, and suddenly you feel like you have managed sew pockets so that they are at a different height on opposite fronts. You measure and remeasure everything, and yes, they are indeed not matching up. Few seconds later you are in tears, catching your breath and hoping the earth will open and swallow you up so you don’t have to deal with the aftermath of mismatched pocket heights because the coat is basically ruined.

Or is it?

You can’t really ask yourself that question, because you are quite out of touch with reality by this point. So you bag the half made coat and hide it under other projects so you won't have to deal with it. Ever.

You also “forget” to call the person who commissioned the coat from you...for a year.

It’s a true story. It has happened with me more than once, actually. 

I’ve spent many nights balled up on floor, crying over my incompetence, making myself feel worse and worse.

Now, I know when to avoid taking on big projects like that. When there is extra stress in my life, like at the moment. I try to stay away from big demanding projects, and focus on “quickies” . These would be projects like making a Tshirt for myself, or sewing a new shopper bag.

I’ve accepted the fact that being the way I am, is the new normal. I accept, that sometimes I can’t go to a store to buy food because there are so many people there. Or I can’t take the city bus because I might pee myself on it. Or I can’t start sewing the coat this month because I am not feeling that well.
The second I fully accepted that I am this way for good, that it can't be cured like a cold, I started having "episodes" of anxiety or panic less frequently.
Anxiety and panic pass. And once they do, I can and will see clearly again. 

If you feel that something isn’t okay with you, please get help.

PS I finished the coat I mentioned, one year later. The pockets were fine. 

PSS I am what is defined as “high functioning”. About 98% of the time I can manage with life okay. I go to work, get my shit done, keep it together. But deep inside… it’s another story. This is I think also part of the reason why it's so hard for me to get help, because doctors and therapists keep saying "You look fine".

Pattern Review - Merckwaerdigh Balcony Bra

Size: 75B
Materials used: White stretch gallon lace, white mesh for lining, stabilized nylon for the bridge, white lycra for wings, white straight edge underwear elastic, white foe for upper cups edge, white hooks and eye closure, white bra straps elastic. All materials sourced locally (YAAAS). Underwires from

Pattern Review:
(For the printed pattern itself)

This pattern is drafted for B cup, and uses sister sizing for other cup sizes. 
Included UK sizes are:

34A - 48A (= US 34AA - 48AA or EU 75A - 110A) 
32B - 46B (= US 32A - 46A or EU 70B - 105B) 
30C - 44C (= US 30B - 44B or EU 65C - 100C)
28D - 42D (= US 28C - 42C or EU 60D - 95D)