Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sonny Knitwear

Just back from St V de P with a cute white raglan short sleeve cardigan to wear over the green dress tomorrow.
Found some very interesting information on Sonny Knitwear here:

While I was exploring I came across this:
more info here

This will certainly be on my Christmas gift list!

Nothing is as simple as it first appears...

Why oh why reader, do I continually discover that actually creating my artistic masterpieces is significantly more difficult/more time consuming/more frustrating than coming up with the idea in the first place, and not learn from the experience?

For example when I proclaimed that Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden would be my inspiration for this year's BRAVO and that Adam and Eve would be perched fetchingly on my bosoms, I did not realise (1) I would not be able to make them do this easily, (2) I would not be able to model my own creation (3) I would be required to stay up until all hours for days prior to the show completing my creation.

When I claimed I would be the Bride of Frankenstein for my daughter's 9th Birthday party, I did not realise that the 1935 Bride was so gosh darn ugly. Hence my desire to channel Jennifer Beals.
However, it is now approximately 24hours until the party and I have nothing to wear ARGHHHHH!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My next costume a Halloween outfit

My darling D is having her 9th Birthday party this weekend and it is a Halloween Horror themed party. We have already been to Spotlight twice and taken advantage of the 50% off Halloween items, and to TWL twice, once to do a recon before going to Spotlight and again, at 6pm on Tuesday in a mercy mission to get a horror mask. The horror mask is truly horrific. Combined with the grotesque horror hand glove, the skeleton glove, the skull satin cape and disgusting scythe with bird like horror head and gore, my dear darling D looks quite horrible.

Her father, darling H is going to be attired in suitable vampire clothing a la vintage Dracula (no Edward-ian Twilightian clothing for him) and has a cape, teeth etc. I was going to be Morticia Adams but am not feeling at all like Anjelica Huston so I am chanelling the Bride of Frankenstein a la Jennifer Beals.

I will be wearing my green vintage dress....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Reviews times two

I really enjoyed reading this book - it has a short sharp sweet flavour which is reflected in the fun cover and graphics. Although I am perhaps a little older and more expereinced than the intended audience I did enjoy reading about the recycling of curtains and other fabric and the hilarious "making a sausage dog" story at the end. In some ways it does over simplify sewing. For those who are die hard, die in the grave or dye cast about sewing it will be an object of horror that Eithne describes making a rectangle into a skirt, drawing around one's body to make a pattern and other "idiot proof" ideas. For those who are sick of the mass produced MIC products in black this book is a blast of colour and ideas.

My love affair with the forties was born out of my interest in the Fifties and although I love the fun of the fifties, it is the austerity of the forties which really captures my imagination. Beautifully photographed and laid out, this book is a clothing history and the effects of war on all kinds of clothes - ball gowns, couture clothes, mass produced items, uniforms, jewellry, hats. The photos really showed the fabrics at their best too, with close ups showing extra detail. The book covers Europe, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan too which was very interesting and I learnt about the fabrics for Hawaiian Shirts, and the changes to Japanese kimono. Again, items made from Black Out Fabric or refashioned from other items, such as the women's suit made from a man's suit really appealed to me.

There is a great scene in Gone With The Wind where Scarlett decides to go and see Rhett and she claims that she has nothing to wear and then she looks up at the curtains and decides to turn the curtains into an outfit (above). If I had to make a dress from curtains I would be horrified as most of mine came from the Warehouse and have thermal backing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Found New Blog - Also an antipodean

Just been commenting on Petal's Stash

I wonder when I will be ready to share out the patterns? I was looking on TradeMe yesterday and a few that I have were there for sale - but the prices were pretty high, and I think it would be much nicer to just use Karma and let the patterns go around for free or for the price of postage.

I am hoping to go the Swap at Pioneer Hall, Port Chalmers in the weekend with some patterns, knitting bits and bobs and some clothing. I like the idea of re-circulating things. Barter, trade, call it what you will. Just been thinking too, that its nice to make something for someone, like 'Ema's Top, and just do it for someone, for no reason other than you like them and you would like to make them something. It is possible that 'Ema thinks I have forgotten about her, and the top, but I have not. In the weekend, I retrieved the top and had a good look at it - it needs washing and ironing, and a button and then I can send it to her. Familiar readers, you know I was looking at it because I cut out my own version of it.

Petal sounds like she has the same space issues we all have when we love sewing. Where do we put all that fabric!!! Well, I use those plastic sets of drawers from the Warehouse. I can get quite a lot of fabric in there - cottons and cotton mixes in one shelf and synthetics and chiffons in the other, leaving the top for braid, ribbon, lace etc. The braid is carefully put in Glad bags and labelled - if needed. I also keep my knitting needles (well some of them) in there, also interfacing and bias binding, and all the haby things. For larger amounts of fabric or bulkier amounts of fabric I have an old wicker laundry basket which is full to over flowing. Then there are a selection of supermarket bags with Trademe purchases and a brown paper bag from St Clair design stuffed with off cuts. Lastly, there is a tote bag made of bamboo or something which is full of belts - skinny, leather, plastic, fabric etc - like a pile of seething snakes. Buttons are in honey pots sorted by colour on a shelf. Patterns are in a big plastic storage container in a cupboard, protected from sunlight (sewing room = computer room = reading room = sun room = 1960's addition to house facing harbour = inspirational.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Summery Wednesday Musings

Totally impressed with Verity today - her post on Sew Retro just leapt out at me and I had to pop over to her blog to have a look:

Love the transformation of the coat into a dress.

I started another project myself last night - cut out the Ema top in fabric purchased from Spotlights pre-GST30% sale. A vintage inspired cotton with orange and turquoise small flower print. Photo to follow.

Also, yesterday, while on a quest to find tuning pegs and strings for the Lark Ukulele I ended up at the Butterflies hospice shop. I know, its kinda weird how I ended up there if you don't know me, but if you live in Dunedin then you might know of the Music Workshop which used to be on George Street upstairs from Things. Well its not there anymore and this was highly annoying as I used to go there quite a lot for ukulele related things. So, annoyed I decided to go somewhere the Hospice shop .... and look for both a John Denver record for dear D who is singing Country Road West Virgninia in the school production and a bra to decorate for BRA-VO. I did get a couple of bras and I have arranged with a dear colleague that she will model the creation, and I will make and design in collaboration with her.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Free Shop at Port Chalmers Pioneer Hall

Free Shop at Port Chalmers this weekend, @ Pioneer Hall!/event.php?eid=153597141343371

Treasure at Salvation Army, Princes Street

On Saturday I wanted to go to the Salvation Army to look for hand bags. Specifically the sort that are made from fabric or home made and have handles made of wood or cane or plastic.

I may have had that in my mind when I got there, but something happened because I left with about half a dozen Goosebumps books (Dear D), a few books on statistical modelling (Dear H), an embroidered picture in black on calico of Knox Church, George Street Dunedin, a blue and white floral table cloth which looks like cross stitch but its not, its just a printed pattern, and a cute Lark Ukulele which dates from the 1970s.

The discerning reader will have noticed that there are no handbags included in this list. There were no handbags of any interest at the Sally Army and when I enquired, none of the assistants knew where they were, so I had to assume that they had all been sold.

The reason I was looking for the handbags described in my opening statement is that I have been successful in bidding on a vintage pattern for crochet with Swiss Straw.Swiss Straw is a posh name for Raffia. I already own a beautiful blue Swiss Straw handbag from the 1960s which I originally noticed in the Blenheim Save Mart. I did not buy it. But my dear sister in law K went back and bought it for me!!! I was really touched by this act of kindness and the bag is very precious to me.
It looks a bit like this (above) only with a chain handle and a clam shell clasp. Very cute and very roomy.

Moving away from wearing 100% MIC

Over the last few days I have been consciously choosing my clothes to ensure that I wear at least one item I have made myself and / or from an op shop:

Tuesday 12th October: Opshopped red blue check polyester dress and blue Hush Puppies (both from Butterflies Mosgiel)

Monday 11th October: Opshopped Cue Skirt (Blenheim) with Stax Petrol coloured stretch wrap top (bought new)

Saturday 9th October - special dinner at Pier 24 with my Dear H: Deco looking vintage dress purchased for the princely sum of $1 at a St Leonards School Fair, with new Melissa shoes and hosiery.

Friday 8th October: Preloved red black and white spotty polyester shirt dress (trademe) and grey Glengyle cardigan (St V de P)

Thursday 7th October: Preloved blue white polished cotton shirt dress (trademe) and black silk and cotton cardigan (gift from Mother previously from Classic Clothing).

PS Dinner on Saturday was fabulous!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Am I a magpie or a cuckoo?

Dottie Angel really hits the nail on the head about the magpie gene. In my family I think it skipped a generation though, I got it from my paternal grandmother. Both my parents are minimalists. Dear D is starting out as a collector/magpie. She is particularly fascinated with rocks of all kinds and has a great mineral collection. My parents have a lovely selection of scandinavian 1970's furniture - settee, cabinet divider etc and some nicely grouped items eg painting, sculpture, fossils, driftwood but, they are not collectors. They do not see something and covet it.

A list of my collections:
  • frosted English glass eg Bagley Powell Davidsons (approx 50 items)
  • ceramic bambis and deer (approx 20 items)
  • Tennyson editions pre 1920 (approx 20 books)
  • kitch kitchenware
  • vintage buttons and buckles
  • glass dressing table sets and pin dishes
  • vintage sewing books
  • vintage knitting patterns (approx 100)
  • vintage sewing patterns (approx 20)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I am nearly over my style quandry

I have just read pattern ~ scissors ~ cloth and her dilemma with style. Read more here

Dear H and D gave me the Isaac Mizrahi book a couple of Christmas's ago, and I found it really useful. In fact it helped me define my style.

Today am wearing the completed Vintage Look Easy 3 Hour Shirt with vintage glass buttons and a made-up-off-the-cuff long belt.

I am nearly over my style quandry - as much as I love the various styles (a la "who do I want to be today") indie country (summer dress boots and denim jacket), or slightly punkish (leggings biker jacket and long white shirt with skull jewellry), or whatever, in my heart of hearts I like to look like I am from another era and I want to wear something different to all the black sheep. I want to wear colour and texture, and get away from deconstructed merino knit graphic printed blah blah blah.