Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Productivity Outcomes - Variable

Hi y'all.  I have been silent for a few days because I have been at home tending to my sick Daughter and as you may know, the broadband at my place is pretty sad, so updating takes time, and photos are a no no.

It was a very pleasant surprise to see that I now have 8 followers - Thanks Jess for following my blog :-)

There are a few little news items I want to mention:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Countdown to sewing time

I have noticed over the last few weeks that I am increasingly thinking about the weekend: thinking of sewing and crafting time.  Usually this happens on a late Thursday or Friday.  Recently it seems to be Tuesday or Wednesday.  I enjoy my job - I am an administrative assistant in an academic office at a University - I work with lovely people, I have a warm modern private office. But the desire to be sewing, cutting, creating, modifying, moulding and sculpting, threading, hooking, unpicking, sewing, unpicking (you get the picture) is very strong, in fact so strong that rather than blog about what I want to do in the weekend, I have just been mentally planning, and that is why there are not many posts from me.

My lunch hours are fairly routine - each week usually begins with a tour of the St Vincent de Paul which is one block away from my work.  Then later in the week a trip to the Butterflies shop which is about the same distance but to the west.  I often incorporate a trip to Recycle Boutique with this trip and a longing look in the window of Belle Bird where my favourite shoes (Melissa) are sold.  Later in the week I go to the Yellow Shop and the Red Cross which are two block to the south of my building.  If I have time at the end of the week - or rather, a lunch hour with nothing planned -  I sometimes go back and re-visit any of the above to see if there are any new items.  Last week I purchased the interesting border print fabric from the Hospice Shop which is now made into a very modest A line skirt.  I did not want to disrupt the pattern of the fabric by adding darts at the back, which is what I would do normally.  It is now waiting to be ironed. 

The point is that most weeks I am able to purchase something for a very low price and then either wear it immediately as I did yesterday with a orangey red coloured Atmosphere cardigan found at Recycle Boutique for $4.50 or take it home and refashion it and wear it the following week as I did with the large unflattering denim skirt purchased from Yellow Shop for $1. Quite often my sewing tasks are directly related to the purchases that week.  Except when I purchase fabric.  I tend to mull things over with fabric.  Take for example the brown/orange vintage peony fabric - I see this a a maxi skirt with minimal seams to make the most of the amazing large print.  Or the meters of grey wool blend suiting for which I considered a jumper (too much like a school uniform??) and wide leg 1970s trousers.  The left over pieces from the paisley border print skirt are just the right size for the two front panels of a simple waistcoat.  But the fabric is thin - I wonder if it was originally a scarf??) and I had the light bulb moment of using the grey wool suiting to make a reversible waist coat with the paisley!! 

So my "To Do" list this weekend, in order to fill the gaps in  my wardrobe is as follows:
1. cut out waistcoat from grey wool blend and make waistcoat
2. mend vintage print collared short sleeve shirt
3. assuming weather is good and lighting is good arrange clothes in colours and look for contrasts and patterns
4. finish sewing in ends of grey-green v necked sleeveless sweater. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vintage Fabric Addict: COMPETITION WIN Free Goodies!

Vintage Fabric Addict: COMPETITION WIN Free Goodies!

lovin' this fabric blog such gorgeous photos!

Refashion Co-op: Skirt to Dress

Refashion Co-op: Skirt to Dress

Love this fabric and clever reconstruction to a beautiful dress. The white band at the bottom reminds me of the summer dress I made also using a white band at hem. The tropical looking fabric is much better for a dress than a skirt - I can see myself wearing this and drinking a cocktail under a sun umbrella!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Friday - my favourite day of the week

Thank goodness it is Friday!!!!

My Sister has been visiting this week and we met for lunch on Wednesday and Thursday.  Being a visitor to the fair Edinburgh of the South she had been given the state tour of landmarks museums art galleries and shopping malls by my parents so I made sure that I showed her some different places.

We went on a very quick trip to the St Vincent de Paul and a lengthier and more productive trip to the Butterflies Shop.  As one of my blog readers - who has not yet worked out how to be a follower, bless her! - she was more than familiar with the names of these places and to my delight recognised items of clothing I was wearing and in my wardrobe from my blog posts.  She "gets" my desire to buy 2nd hand and has been with me on a highly successful trip to the SaveMart near DressMart in Christchurch, so she was not squeamish about being in an op shop.

She spotted some awesome paisley border print fabric which curiously had cotton pockets sewn into it, so we assumed it used to be a skirt before someone took most of it apart.  In the haberdashery box I found some black metal and clear plastic press studs, some Vylene hemming tape and a buckle make from coconut shell.

Alter ego dress idea

Rosy has written a great post and put up some awesome photos about Salon del Manga. In my comment I ask Rosy who she would be if she could make a costume for herself. Since I do not watch Manga movies (although I watched a few about 20 years ago!!) I fleetingly thought about a Star Wars character (but I never really identified with any of them strongly enough) before I started to think about movies which had really influenced me.

The first is Blade Runner and the character Rachael. To me her costumes are a mix of 1940s film noir, but using modern textiles and effects to create a look which is both retro and futuristic. By comparison, Daryl Hannah's character Pris is pierrot doll crossed with punk - her leopard skin top in this picture reminds me of the 1980s bar maid images, but her hair is ultra startling, almost wig like and her doll like expression

then I got thinking about Metropolis and found some great pictures

And there is a little bit more about the actress who played the role at Curious Knopf. Now, this look / style is not CP30 it far more powerful, and I don't just mean the clearly defined cleavage. "The Maschinenmensch (German for "machine-human") from Metropolis, is a gynoid played by German actress Brigitte Helm in both her robotic and human incarnations. The haunting blank face and pronounced female curves have been the subject of disgust and fascination alike." www.wikipedia.com

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Sunny Saturday, 14th May

Hi Everyone,
Lots to report so forgive me for a list rather than my usual textual ramblings!

1. happy to report that the vandal who broke the window of the Butterflies shop has been caught.
2. my trip to Wellington to attend a Women's Network Meeting was very successful, interesting and tiring.
3. I discovered 3 fabulous op-shops in Kilbirnie -

  • the Red Cross Shop - beautifully laid out by colour and very clean. Prices a little high compared to Dunedin but all products in excellent condition, and really impressed with designer label items!
  • the Salvation Army Store - a true rummage and random store with a wide selection of all kinds of items. Nothing caught my eye to buy, but I was very impressed with the carefully plastic wrapped bed linen which was also neatly folded and displayed.
  • a Hospice shop tucked in a small shopping arcade - sorry can't remember the name! This was an absolute treasure trove - the $1 table was awesome and the only reason I did not buy the Anne Mardel trouser suit in purple shot satin, the cotton tops and pink skirt, was that I would have needed another bag to take on the plane.....

4. I also discovered a totally awesome shop - again tucked away of the main street. I saw a sign saying "recycled" but could not read the rest so wandered down an alleyway/drive way for a look and WOW it was a RECYCLED KIMONO SHOP! I was in such a state of excitement I was trembling! Because I had to return to the conference I knew I had a time limit, so chose one Kimono from the $5 pile and as I looked upwards and round towards the counter to pay I saw a PURPLE KIMONO WITH PEONIES on it. My heart bounced right out up through my throat and onto the floor! It was $25. The smells of sandalwood and camphor was so amazing too. Anyway, after the end of the first day session my companion and I went back to the shop for a better look around and admired the laquerwork boxes, the porcelain bowls, the statues and the obi, kimono and other silk items. I bought two hairslides and a vintage sandalwood or cedar fan for My dear Daughter. Just washed the first kimono and it is drying in the autumn sun in my back yard. I will take a photo soon. My plan is to make it into a skirt and jacket!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wanton Vandalism

To the individual or individuals who kicked in the window of the Butterflies Hospice Op Shop in St Andrew Street, Dunedin last night (5th May) - a plague upon your Houses.

The cost of repairing the window for this wonderful charitable organisation is proportionally very high compared to value of goods in window (which were showered in broken glass but apparently not stolen).

I hope you are found and have to pay costs to fix the window!

Vivienne Westwood Teams Up With Marie Claire, People Tree on Dress That... - StumbleUpon

Vivienne Westwood Teams Up With Marie Claire, People Tree on Dress That... - StumbleUpon

Oh if only I could afford the twenty pounds postage to New Zealand........

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fantastic Score at the Yellow Shop 4th May 2011

Dark blue denim skirt - looks hardly worn at all $1
Bright blue designer trousers
with unusual seam down front leg and splits at front ankle.
$1. I did not try them on in the shop (the change room is not the best) but tonight in the privacy of my room, I did try them on and although they are too small at the waist which is very very high, they are almost perfect across the posterior and thigh. A re-fashion is in order and I am quietly confident it will be successful.
The colour is MUCH MUCH brighter in real life by the way!

Raffia handbag $3

When I walked in the door of the Yellow Op Shop I immediately saw a raffia handbag with brass handles which made my heart go boopity boop. Or something like that.

First I have to recap on my obsession with raffia and tell you about my first bag restoration. I bought a brown raffia hand bag with cane bead from Trademe just prior to Easter. The previous owner had re-fashioned the handles with thin wire which meant that the handles bent easily even with the cane beads on it. It was unusable. So I took it apart and re-threaded the beads on two thicknesses of galvanised wire and pushed the beads really close together to stop the handle flexing. I also removed the ripped raffia holding the handles to the bag, and the black wool (who on this planet would mend a brown bag with black wool????). I decided to use cream wool to reattach the handles to the main body of the bag. This weekend I am planning on making three cream crocheted flowers to stick on bag to link to the cream wool. A photo will follow in due course.

Additional purchases at the Yellow Op Shop included a pair of knee length denim Sussan jeans $1 (need a bit of wash and may be useful for my trip to Melbourne in August [or am I being over hopeful about the Melbourne weather??]), an unusual blue knit tie front top which did not photograph well in my bedroom so will have to wait for sunny day, and a CD The Bee Gees Love Songs for the princely sum of $3.

Very happy with today's purchases and already thinking about the weekend!

Floral Skirt converted to Floral Top

Here is the end result of re-fashioning a floral skirt into a top. Fortunately I had enough fabric left over from making the skirt that I was able to make sleeves and add a small amount of fabric to the shoulders. If I had not added the fabric to the shoulders the top would have been shorter. I decided to risk having unmatched fabric (some had been washed and some not) and make the top the normal length I wear it - which is to just above hip, with a wide belt. This photo is NOT one of my most flattering - and it does not do the top justice. I wore this to work with the brown stretchy skirt and a very wide obi style red belt. Alas I did not take any pictures, so I hope my descriptions are good enough.

Working in the kitchen over Easter

Here I am working at the kitchen table during the Easter Holidays. I must say I was quite pleased with my achievements! I did ignore my To Do List for a little while as I purchased an unusual batik sarong $4 from Savemart which I wanted to convert into an A line shaped skirt without making any vertical cuts in the fabric. I managed to do this by using a pattern which never fails for me but by making pleats at the hip area on both sides and small pleats at the back where I would normally put darts. The result is a boxy kind of shaped skirt which maximises the fabric.

After making this skirt, I then readjusted the waist on the brown stretch skirt I made after Christmas which was slightly big. I also adjusted the 3/4 length pants made at the same time. For the skirt I just made the darts at the bag slightly bigger - unpicking the binding around the waist first, and then re-attaching. With the trousers I took in 1/4 inch through the front seam through the crotch and back seam. It did not "seem" very much but when I tried them on the fit was as good as perfect! Again, I unpicked the binding at the waist (there is no waistband) and re-attached for the neatest possible finish.

In the photo is some floral material - yes dear reader a project not on my To do List! This floral material started out as a 1970s skirt - which in hindsight was my first ever attempt at a Retro pattern. It did not work because the size of the pattern is nothing like my size. So I had to convert it to a skirt that is my size. Due to problems loading photos tonight, my next post will tell more of the floral pattern skirt conversion project.

Treasure found at St V de P

I paid $6.80 for all this treasure -

originally I was only going to purchase the buttons but when told it would be 80 cents,

I realised I had no cash so I glanced around (to look for something to make it up to $1

and saw the brooch for $6. Perfect!

Pink Dress with hat

Here is the only photo of me wearing the pink dress and my hat - sitting beside my adorable niece Lydia. Because it was raining so hard I decided not to wear my hat as it would be ruined. We arrived 5 minutes late for the wedding having raced from the motel to the church, and then during the time between the service and the reception we were able to go back to the motel and get dressed properly and I did my hair and put on makeup and asked my Dear D to take this picture. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't wear the hat, but if I had it would certainly would have been ruined.