March 30, 2012

I never thought I'd say this, but

gingham, love of my life - you suck!

You give me headaches matching your checks. You pull threads unbearably when I sew anywhere off the straight grain, even with a ball-point needle.
You pucker around my lovely red snaps. And worst of all, you are not particularly flattering on a grown-up lady. Unless she was going for the picnic table-cloth look. Which she wasn't.

Excuse nasty images to follow...

Years ago, I made this McCalls pattern in some lovely Japanese cotton, and for some reason along the way, decided to part company with it. Sorting out my patterns this week, I found it and remember how much I had liked it. I also found the envelope containing the carefully redrafted pattern into a size that would actually fit me! Hallelujah!! 

My favourite thing about this pattern is the sweet collar in View D, so that was what I made to begin with. Spotlight were in the throes of new shelving etc, so I bought what was left of the green apply cotton for $2 a metre - only 1.3m as it turned out, but just enough!
Apples considerably less fuzzy in real life...

For once in my life, I did the right thing and measured everything to check it would still fit me. As it looked like a squeeze, I decided to add a little to the lower centre back fold. It became enormous! I seem to have nothing but trouble working out the sizing of older patterns...

So to prove a point, I also made it in gingham (View A) according to the (apparently too small) pattern. Fits like a dream! Well, horizontally, anyway! The only changes I made were to cut across the upper bust and back and drop everything about an inch to lower the bust dart. I also bound the armholes and neck, and removed an inch from the back neck as it was crazy high without a collar!

Picnic, anyone?

I plan to rework the green top to fit better - I might put darts in the back for a more streamlined fit as it is a fairly shapeless design. I am very happy with the collar and the array of pink, mismatched buttons, though... and I do have two more tops to wear!

March 28, 2012

Bakin' and makin'

Unfortunately for the waist-line, my favourite way to unwind is to bake. When I was a kid, mum used to bake heaps, but most of it went to street stalls for the tennis club or church. I sometimes wish I could bake with a purpose, or for a cause, like she did, so we are not left with a house full of deliciousness!

I'll leave you with yesterday's tasty treats!

Peanut butter and Jelly Slice,with hand-shelled peanuts and apple and rhubarb jam

Baby red velvet cakes for the upcoming 15th birthday

Today, I'll try sewing instead...

March 15, 2012

Heart on my sleeve...

So this year I turn 4o... It's taken this long for me to come to terms with the fact that it's ok to make my own decisions WITHOUT analysing the heck out of them. Some things really don't have the impact on others that I think they will...

This week I got a new tattoo. I thought about it for months, considering all possible locations and designs and eventually decided on a crocheted heart on my arm.

I really wanted something of a textile nature. The design I came up with has three elements in the centre, representing the three crafty ladies who have had a big influence on my life - mum, Granny and Ma. (Not that mum will like it any more because of this!) A big bit of me is the way it is because of these women... Each has contributed significantly to my interest and ability where creativity is concerned, so I wanted a permanent tribute to that.

It was such a big deal for me to actually decide to have the tattoo in such an exposed location... My arm was the first place I wanted it, but then I began the over-analysing process - what would the husband think (not a big tattoo fan, anyway), what would mum think, what about the people at school..... and on and on and on... Turns out I made the right decision in the end! As soon as it was finished, I loved it!!

And you know what? I don't really care what anyone else thinks...

October 18, 2011

So I went to Vegas and got married....

We had lots of trouble uploading photos while we were away, so here are a few to make up for a lack of sharing!!

October 2, 2011

Today we leave...

...on what is to be our weddingmoon!!!

After weeks of mystery and hints (including one in the recycling bin - yes, I admit I caved in and went through the bin like a desperate woman!), it has finally been revealed that there is a high likelihood of a Vegas wedding!

The catch is - that is ALL I know! All plans are being made by Peter... he says he feels a bit like Shaun Micallef on 'Talking 'Bout Your Generation' , as part of the surprise is going to involve envelopes which I must choose from... Scary!!

He's all about surprise and spontaneity, but I don't deal all that well with either!

HOWEVER.... I've made the very gracious decision to sit back and let it all happen around me! I will buy a dress on the day if necessary....I've made it clear, however, that I won't jump out of a plane or off a tower, or ride a rollercoaster with a celebrant at 60 miles an hour!!

If I have any say, I'd love a vintage-inspired dress, but besides that, I have very few wants... I'll just be thrilled to marry my gorgeous partner of 12 years!

Stay tuned for more details!

September 24, 2011

And another dress!

 Okay - the second pattern I've been using (Simplicity 2373) is much more of a hit! I've made the pants, adapted to be 3/4 and a closer fit in the legs, a strapless top from some satin jacquard that was kicking about, and this halter neck dress! The jacket has also been cut out and is waiting for a turn...

I really love this candy-striped binding... Spotlight had a small range of it - baby blue, red and black. I might be heading back for some more, I think - I can imagine all sorts of creations using it!! However, sewing it at night was a headache.... a bit like watching repetitive white lines on the road roll by constantly!!

Eight sleeps left now till we take off! And many, many hints of a surprise in Vegas...

September 18, 2011

The count down begins...

Only 13 sleeps til we take off for the US!
We have finished booking transfers and pre-purchased tickets to stuff (Alcatraz, Universal Studios, Disneyland, etc) on the interwebs, and collected our tickets, so it finally feels real!! Ok - I admit it - I'm starting to get excited at last!

I'm less excited, however, about the clothing I've been making to take...

The Lisette dress, which I had high hopes for, is a terrible shapeless sack, as you can see above. I put it down to my usual problem of thinking I'd somehow end up looking like the leggy model on the envelope, but my tall thin friend Mel had a go and she wasn't happy either. It will be okay for wearing on a hot day at home, but no way am I wearing it in public!!

On the up side, though - two vintage patterns I melded together and graded up, (Simplicity 3153 and McCall's 7573) came together well in the long run. I WILL wear this in public!! Like my glowing shoes?!

I planned to have short sleeves on this, but quite like it sleeveless - I've bound both the neck and sleeves with red binding.

I will say, this dress was something of a drama to fit - the men at home here are pretty much USELESS at pinning stuff, particularly in any helpful kind of way! I ended up removing almost as much of this dress as I added in the grading process... why, oh why, does this always happen!? I was so careful to measure the pattern and myself and it clearly wasn't going to fit, but then I end up taking heaps of fabric out anyway. Does this happen to you, too? Ah, the joy of sewing vintage patterns!

Next on the drawing board is the black sun dress, which I plan to add interest too using some candy striped bias binding I found this week... should be fun anyway!