Why can’t woodland creatures sew for me?

The stack of unworn dresses in my wardrobe fell over tonight.
This is hardly surprising. There is a two-foot high stack of slippery synthetic fabric nestled precariously next to my iron and, on the rare occasion I have cause to open that cupboard, it makes a bid for freedom.
I never intended to be a dress hoarder. Like most habits formed in my teenage years, I blame this collection of couture-to-be on Dolly magazine. Specifically, on a spread they did in about 2002 featuring a now forgotten Home and Away star modelling a series of creations crafted by Australian fashion’s finest from things they found at the op shop.
It seemed so simple, and I was a pretty good seamstress – I mean, I got three A’s in textiles. So I started to collect weird pieces of clothing that I could ‘remake’. Read: purchase, occasionally hack into and forget about until I moved to university.
Most of these purchases got re-gifted back to the Salvos after two years spent festering next to the jodhpurs. And I moved on from my dreams of fashion design with the realisation that dress making contains a lot fewer Italian men and a lot more measurements, failure and frustration than Jenny Humphrey would have you believe.
I started opp shopping again with zeal about two years ago now, and for a moment there I was very sensible – only buying things that fit well enough to be worn now. But then I started picking up pieces that only wanted a shorter hem, or a capped sleave, or maybe a nipped-in waist, to be perfect.
The dress stack grew.
In truth, most of these dresses are a quick fix – one hours work would see each one ready to wear.
But my zeal for sewing remains stored up for sporadic six-hour bursts, so the steady trickle of new dresses becomes a series of flash -floods, months apart.
A while ago I mused upon a more ambitious project. Forgetting my rule to only buy what I can wear or fix, I bought a large sack because I liked the fabric. I thought it could be remade to a nice 50s-style tea dress, which it in no way resembled. Clearly beyond my sartorial capabilities. Nevertheless, tonight The Dress has begun.
In short I want to turn this:

The "this old thing? I just whipped it up" dress, pre-whipped.

Into this:

The aim is for something like the frock being sported by Mrs Draper (stage left).

So far I have unpicked the sleeves. It took two hours.
Please don’t judge me.

The cat from Norway’s got nothin’ on mine

My cat is fat.
I can’t say I didn’t have any warning. It has been creeping up for a few months now.

After a few weeks of violently disagreeing with her food, we settled on a special “scientific” (read:expensive) diet and that seemed to be that. But then I noticed she was a little heftier than usual. Still, no worries, it was winter and cats are infamous for putting on a little cold weather lovin’.

It’s not winter anymore.

My other cat, who resides with my parents in Victoria because he’s too testy too be moved, routinely inflates to six kilograms over winter and slims down to a skeletor over summer. His Amy Winehouse waifiness is disturbingly effective this year.

Laurie hasn’t slimmed down. Several weeks ago, and with much inner turmoil about fostering negative feline body image, I switched her to light catfood and cut her intake to one tiny meal a day. It seemed to be working, until I put her in a kennel for the holidays and she put on the Christmas kilo.

I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do now. I can’t possibly feed her less, unless I start administering biscuits in single digits.

A friend suggested I encourage her to exercise more. In a two bedroom flat. Two phone charges, a couch, my favourite chair, the TV cable and a rather conspicuous patch of carpet all lie testament to Laurie’s boundless energy. I’m not sure if it should be encouraged.

Over in the U.S of A, some pet owners have tried a more modern fitness technique. Observe:

But I fear Laurie would be more like this guy:

Maybe I can find a feline Yogalaties class…