Friday, March 18, 2011

Changing lives

Ok, so maybe the drought wasn't quite broken.

I gave up on the jacket. It never even got completely pinned on to the fabric. The dress has stalled half-way round the neck line. Those who know me well know that I can produce multiple excuses out of thin air... but this is not about excuses.

I have discovered that I am making something much bigger than any jacket or dress, and it has been exhausting!
We have also moved house to accommodate our new life, and it is much bigger, airier and has air-conditioning. I have even created a dedicated sewing space...

I have missed sewing. It is good for me - doing something constructive with my time. I am not sure what I will start sewing, as my body is changing daily at the moment. I may even start sewing mini clothes.

For now, I will enroll myself back into classes. It will give me some dedicated time each week to get me back into creating. I will let you know what I decide to make.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

break of the sewing drought

Life has been so crazy hectic the last few months, that I lost my sewing mojo for a while. But, life is sorting itself out, and I'm back! I have put the jacket aside for a while - the heat here makes it impossible for me to even think about sewing that jacket; though I should take a leaf from Steph's book (or blog should I say) and make a breezy summer weight jacket for protecting my English skin... one day.

It took a trip to a friends air-conditioned house for me to even attempt to trace off a burda pattern! It was 30C by 9am. unbearable. May or may not help to explain my lumberjack outfit. You choose.
Attempting to pry the pattern out from its staples
mmmm.... sweet sweet breezy 24C air-conditioned paradise. We are moving soon, so hopefully I will no longer need to swelter in the unit with no breeze. fingers crossed! Hopefully I will also have a better sewing space than this:
It consists of my machine perched on my ironing board lowered to the height of whichever chair/couch I wish to sit on. Here I have taken over the WHOLE living room. What you can't see is the iron on the other end of the board, and the random sewing equipment strewn all over the couch and floor :) lucky my husband loves me, huh?!?!

I am making a fairly simple fake wrap dress, with some $2/m poly knit I got in a sale. All up it will only cost $3 in materials to make, and I love the pattern, but I am not totally happy about the poly-ness of it. It is only knee-length, so surely some air will get up for circulation?? I have a floor length dress in similar fabric that feels like wearing a plastic bag, so I am not 100% about it.

It's good to be back.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bookshop finds

My purchasing seems to happen in waves, and this last month has been a bit of a book frenzy! I just cant seem to help myself! One of my latest gems is "A Handbook for Needlework" by Olive Storer.  Published in 1927 in Melbourne, it is a textbook for elder girls in High Schools etc. (guessing final year of School??).
 It is a fascinating read, and has some great illustrations - I will share some soon. By far my favourite thing in this book is the 'Hints to follow'. As you read them, can't you just imagine a stern mistress saying them out and making the class repeat them as she hits her yard-stick against her hand...?
How many of these 'hints' do you follow today?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wahoo! It's new project time

Nothing gets me excited like the start of a new project... the joy of a garment and I building our relationship as I sculpt life and form into its fibres... the anticipation of what it will end up like after I decide on my finishing touches...

Many of my friends get shopping highs, but I honestly enjoy this much more! And I can rest assured knowing that no-one (other than me!) was under-paid in the manufacture process. (though I am starting to get the guilts about where my fabric comes from, and the chemicals that are used in the process)

I have finally braved up to tackling a Burda Style magazine pattern... for those of you unfamiliar with Burda, this is what the patterns com like:
Not for the feint hearted! Always up for a challenge, I have decided to dive straight in, and tackle this jacket:

I am going to leave it unlined, as there really is no need for extra layers here in Queensland. In fact, it is pretty silly of me to make a jacket coming into summer, but I never promised to be sensible!

I will be learning some new techniques with this project, including: standing collar, welt pocket, flap pocket and bicep alteration. Fabric choices to come soon...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My-oh-my! What a busy week!

Summer is finally here! and what a happy dress she is :)

We spent the evening chilling out at the Mt Coot-tha lookout, taking photos and eating pizza. yum!

Saturday was spent getting loads of yummy vegetables at ridiculously cheap prices at the markets. I now have enough soup to last me for weeks! Check this out... it's a new type of fruit!

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's a dress-aster!!

I was so close to finishing 'summer', just a zip and a hem away from perfection. Of course I could not simply use an invisible zip and be done with it, no I had to 'edge' it up and attempt an exposed zip similar to this:
Exposed Zip
This dress has been measured, fitted and checked every step of the way, and yet after perfectly positioning and sewing in my fabulous zip, it looks like a shapeless bulging bag. Arrrrgggghhhhh!!!!! I am so frustrated that she has been thrown into the corner of the room - I just can't bear to fix her yet!!

The other consequense of this is that I had no new dress for our photo shoot on Sunday :(. We went for our drive anyway, and took photos of the countryside instead - oh well, the weekend was not totally lost! I found some gems in a second hand book store.
got lost in a bookstore

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I have been reflecting on my wardrobe choices of late. While the garments that i make are bright, light and breezy, everything I have purchased lately seems to be in shades of grey.

I think that this is a sub-conscious reaction to my discovery of fit and fabric, and my disappointment with the clothing industry and it's laziness and lack of care.

We all need clothes. Just as we all need medications (at some point). My time working in pharmacy has taught me the value of 'duty of care'. The medical industry has a duty of care to make sure that what you buy 'fits' you.

Once upon a time the clothing industry also carried this duty of care. Every garment was made for the individual, taking into account their wants and needs, and ensuring that it was size perfect.
Definately NOT size perfect
I can't help but be disappointed with the industry now. So I have a duty of care to myself (and my fellow creators) (I can't bring myself to write sewers... I am not a sewage pipe!!!). I will keep going until my wardrobe is filled with bright, light, breezy pieces that are size perfect for me and my lifestyle, and can up-cycle all those drab, grey disappointing things that are currently swamping it. 

From now on, for every piece I create, I will put an existing piece in the up-cycle pile! Keep tuned to see the swaps...