Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thursday before Easter - thinking about sewing over holiday

Hi Readers, just a quick post today to wish you all a very Happy Easter. I am taking a break from work as well so might not be posting much over the next few days. I wore my emerald dress (above ~ $20 from Monkey Beach, Port Chalmers) yesterday with a scarlet belt and felt very elegant. Today I am wearing a cute 1970s waistcoat ($4 from St v d P) made from a brown check but cut on bias with waist drawstring fabric loops and brown buttons that look like chocolate. Its over a rather faded Portmans fitted short sleeve shirt and worn with a simple black skirt. As accessories I am wearing my new (felt a bit extravagent) flower earrings and a resin ring of chocolate and turquoise.

Here is my Easter To Do list:
  • updating my new database of sewing patterns which I started a few weeks ago. Its in an xl spreadsheet at present but eventually I envisage having pictures of actual patterns and finished projects. My plan is that it will eventually be incorporated into my blog and I will be making a new page;
  • dressing my Chil-Daw Mannequin with my outfits and taking lots of pictures
  • washing and drying delicate clothing, (the weather forecast is fair) including a marvelous silk scarf with London Buildings on it, which I found scrunched up at the bottom of a bin at the Salvation Army in Princes St ($1).
  • Ironing - I have worn three dresses recently, all of which are in the wash and need pressing, and last but no means least, my only purchase last week a white shirt with a brown ish large floral paisley pattern ($2) from Butterflies. The shirt appealed to me because it was longer than usual and had slits up the side, which hints at informality, yet still had collar and cuffs.

Aside from the domestic reality I have a few dream projects which I hope to have time for over the break - I have just read a great post on how to convert (with minimal sewing) a lovely scarf to a lovely top

Bye Bye!

Monday, April 18, 2011

When I am composed, cool calm and collected I look like this:

Hello Readers, I have wanted to post this picture of me for quite a while, but during Me Made March I forgot, and then it did not fit any of the themes I had in mind. So I decided that I would post it today - some of you have requested photos of me, and I admit there are not many. Why? because I often get changed into jeans and a tee shirt when I get home and then I forget I was wearing some awesome item which I wanted to blog about. Another reason is that I work full time and am not paid to blog (although I confess I do upload the odd photo and post the odd message during work hours) so I have tried to blog from home. As you may recall I do not have very good internet broadband at home and uploading photos often fails. So its a multi-factorial situation: sometimes I just simply forget to take a photo, sometimes I take a photo and forget to post it, sometimes I take a photo and I hate it. The photo above was taken by Dear Daughter, and I am leaning against the new stone wall in my garden with the free dahlia plants behind me. This photo was taken late in the day last month now the sun is almost set by the time I get home so the light is not suitable for taking pictures.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hmmm, its Monday......

Well Dear Reader, I have been invited to attend the PSA Women's Forum in May. I am really looking forward at networking with other like-minded trade unionists, administrators, mothers, wives, and idealists.

While I am in Wellington, I am hoping to see two exhibitions which will be on show at the wonderful Te Papa museum. The first is Enriching Fashion An Eye for detail:

" intricately beaded fabrics and painstakingly embroidered outfits", "precious metals and extravagant displays of feathers and furs", – from hats and bags, to shoes and suits.

The second is Yield: Making Fashion Without Making Waste: and features works by Zandra Rhodes and Yeohlee Teng.

Although I won't be in Wellington for
it certainly is something I would want to take a look at.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things to think about on a Fabulous Friday afternoon.

1. Cute scottie dogs - I purchased a whole pile of these of paper pictures of kittens, cute scotties and scottish slogans from the Japan Christchurch fundraising Fair. I think there are 10 and I paid 50 cents. They are not cards or letters more like labels or something. I do not know how old they are but the painting style is definitely retro! Some of the kittens and puppies have extra big eyes which seems to have been a style feature of art from 1970s. Yes reader, that is my trusty Compaq laptop at the bottom - I rested the pictures against the screen so I could take a decent photo.

I was thinking I might turn them into a cute bag or box! How will you do that I hear you ask. Well, with the help of a hole punch and laminator I am going to make panels and then I am going to crochet them together with some really awesome string, or thread or cotton. My mother in law had a gorgouse hexagonal box we used for the Scrabble Tiles made from old birthday cards in this manner.

2. I love peonies. I think they are the most over-the-top fabulous flowers, and if I were to get married again (to Mr H ofcourse!) I would choose the wedding date based purely on the availability of peonies. This fabric was found carefully folded at the bottom of the box in the Butterflies Shop ($5) There is about 2 or 3 meters of this lovely cotton which had the original receipt tucked inside it and has clearly never been opened out and even looked at. I think the receipt said $25 which in those days was a LOT of $. I estimate it as being from the very late 1960s or early 1970s. I am thinking about making a 1970s maxi skirt. NZ changed to decimal currency in 1967 (July).

3. I follow Male Pattern Boldness but I have not partaken in the jeans or shirt sew along. I have however been inspired to make something for my husband in the near future and when I saw this fabulous pattern at the Japan CHCH fair for $1, I knew it was perfect for Mr H. As an added bonus it includes the transfer to do the stitching across the shoulders and pocket - a large shining sun!!!

4. If I made trousers / pants for myself - or should I type when I make pants for myself (possibley from the grey wool purchased from the St V de P recently ($5)) I particularly like this pattern because it has a range of leg lengths and BOTH a waistband option and without.

5. The piece de resistance dear Readers, is this vision of loveliness from the 1970s for the man in your life. Or perhaps the man who was in your life but when presented with this stretch singlet ran a mile in the other direction. Or perhaps a man in your life who has a great sense of humour. Not for the man with a beer gut. Dear Reader please tell me, honestly, would you really use this pattern? It is without a doubt, one of the worst I have ever seen.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Clothing refashion - success!

Above is the beautiful dress discovered at the "smelly" garage sale. I took it in down the back darts through to about 3 inches below the waist as I have a very narrow which sways.

I also took it in through the front by making new darts - I put the dress on inside out and did this all using a mirror and a few pins. I noted by my bust line and then made the new darts follow this line down to about 2 inches below the waist. Now the dress fits almost perfectly!

This is a $2 blouse made in India from a rayon type fabric which I re-fashioned. As per the dress above I made darts from my shoulder blades down through my back to about the dimple in my hip which is approximately between the waist and hip measurement and by chance the bottom hem of the shirt in this case. I also made darts in the front. The only problem with this blouse is that it moves so much when I am wearing it, which is why I think it is ideal under the teal jumper dress (I can tuck it into my petticoat).

Completed Sewing Projects - from Woe to Go!

Completed "jumper" made from teal drill cotton with a bit of stretch. Above shown hanging on back of door with white blouse underneath. Below you can see the lovely bright pink quilt cotton I used to line the bodice. It does irk me a bit that the top of the neckline does not quite match on both sides - it is a very minor thing - and also I used 3 groups of three buttons on the back rather than a zip and I had to decide to match either the top neckline, or the seam centre back with the bodice seam. Very very happy with the colour and this jumper is very comfortable.
Below is the easy to sew top which I made out of some nice draping polyester which cost less than $15 total to make. I love the colours in this top and it goes with several of my skirts and trousers which makes it very easy to wear.

Below is the summer dress which is same pattern as teal jumper with a couple of slight modifications. Alas the weather is not right to wear this now, and it is too revealing to wear to work. Never mind. I will definitely be wearing it next year.

Kimono Dresses at the Japan Christchurch Fair Fundraiser

Gorgeous heron birds and fans.

So many shades of purple and blue.

A mannequin wearing a kimono and obi on display.

A member of the public who very kindly let me take a photo of her being "dressed".

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pink Dress - Finished. Matching One-off custom-made headpiece - Finished

I started this post on Monday night. But due to my slow broadband and my dated Compaq laptop the picture upload was unsuccessful. Before I launch into my projects here is a photo of some delicious ANZAC biscuits which I made last week. YUM :-)1. Dress is finished. Dress has braid on both sleeve edges and around neck. Hem is done in invisible thread with stitches so small I cannot see them to take a photo. Hook and eye have been attached to the upper centre back closure in lieu of a 22inch zip. 22 inches - what on earth were the pattern makers thinking?? The pattern is not a wiggle dress, it is not meant to be skin tight. It is a fitted dress which skims the body. Total cost approx $35 pattern was free. 2. Hat/headpiece has been imagined, created and completed. Total cost $20 from Spotlight.

Okay, this is what I used: straw/paper fan from spotlight, big bag of pink feathers, small bag of turquise "boutique" feathers, a light mauve "szjuzzy" [how on earth do you spell the darned word???] braid, jewellry wire, pliers, scissors and PVA glue.

Firstly, I glued several layers of pink feathers onto the fan, and made sure that they covered most of the fan. I did not worry too much about little gaps as I knew I would be filling them in later with the turquoise feathers. I covered the handle with some of the braid which is on the dress. I did the top side of the fan first and let it dry and then the bottom (which will be only partially visible as it will be almost flat to my head. Then I carefully arranged some turquoise feathers within the gaps - it looked like this:
This had to be done over a couple of days to ensure that the PVA glue dried properly. I can assure you that pink feathers and PVA glue can make a big mess and my fingers were covered in fine pink fluff.I then experimented with the new "szjuzzy" (below) and one I was given last year (above) which is dark teal.

In the midst of this happening my parents came over to visit. My mother who had previous said she did not like the braid because it made the dress too little girly commented that there were too many colours with the hat. Immediately I knew what to do. I put BOTH "szjuzzies" on the fan and VOILA:
Thanks heaps to Rosy for inspiring me! All I need to do now is to get a couple of those hair combs and fasten the fan - I am taking wire, pliers etc with me to wedding so I can make hat at last minute depending on weather. What do you think???

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Hat Thoughts - What to wear with Simplicity 5792?

Dear readers, you might recall that I have working on Simplicity 5792 in shocking pink (see my previous post here). Well I am pleased to announce that I have to hem the dress and finish sewing braid on the left sleeve and it is finished. I am hoping that the weather in Blenheim on 16th April is gorgeous so I do not need to wear anything with it. I would however, LOVE to wear a hat. Here are some hat styles which appeal to me:
I notice that Rosy has been making her own hat - something which I might try this weekend. I really like the idea of using an existing head band and part of a straw hat. Here in New Zealand we have a wonderful store called Spotlight where you can buy all kinds of sewing, knitting and craft supplies. I am going there in the weekend to look at hat "things".
Because my dress is shaped, not fitted I was thinking that it would suit a pillbox type hat rather than an enormous floppy straw hat in the style of someone like Sophia Loren. I did try a few floppy hats on at Glassons which is a womens clothing retail store, because summer hats were all marked down in price now it is Autumn.
I have a hat pattern that I inherited from my dear work colleague so I could adapt one of those to one of the designs here. I have to say though, I really really do not like the pyramid hat at all.
My Dear Husband says that he has many fond memories of his mother, grandmother and aunties wearing hats and gloves to go to church and even to go shopping, and this was in Ashburton (small farming town) in 1970s New Zealand. I have no memory of my mother wearing hat and gloves other than in winter! She did have an amazing fur hat that I used to play with as a child. Also my mother has worn summer hats / chabby chic / floral when attending weddings - my own and my sisters spring to mind.