August 29, 2011

Baby boom!

My youngest brother and his wife are having their first precious child, so having waited patiently for 14 weeks, I now have permission to start making stuff!

Thought I'd launch into some generic baby embroidery to start off... Thanks Jenny Hart!

Actually, the 40s weren't so bad...

I've long been a fan of fifties fashions, mainly because I love the shapes and design features, but I have to say, I'm becoming much fonder of some forties patterns lately...

This last weekend I spent a day redrafting this Advance pattern (the top version) for a blouse from some ridiculously tiny size to something that would fit me... I actually loved the pattern illustration more than the blouse itself, but the finished product was okay.

I used some fine old synthetic fabric from an op shop, thinking it would just be to make a toile, but having something wearable as a result was even better. I shortened the sleeves by about 5cm, and used bias binding around the neck, sleeves and hem.

However - after playing around with the finished product, I decided I loved the sleeves and neckline, but that it would look much nicer on me as a dress..... It has an elastic waist and belt loops, and an a-line skirt (keeping with the forties sensibilities of not wasting fabric). Pictures to follow when I can get a reasonable photo! Maybe the next version, I'll try the peter pan collar...

August 20, 2011

Something to wear stateside...

Anyone else have those weekend mornings where your sewing mojo kicks in while you're still in your jamas? I love them!!

Last night I had a flash of inspiration to use the fabric I had planned to make a skirt from into a dress instead. Last year I made up a pattern based on Simplicity 5497 (from 1964, and once belonging to Olive Egan!) - I gave it an empire seam and an asymmetrical false front placketty thing. I love the extended shoulders and neckline of the pattern, so didn't touch them. On the pattern I created, I made the whole dress a bit more fitted and the skirt more a-line, however for this version, I have narrowed it again.

Last year, I made the dress from a single fabric, so I was interested to see how the print and solid colour would work together. I couldn't wait to start sewing this morning! I knew this dress would go together really quickly...

I had a few qualms about having the natural-coloured linen/cotton near my face - I never wear that colour. I managed to overcome this by sewing a band of red around the neckline instead of using a facing. The self-covered buttons liven things up, too!

A shot of it in action will come another time - just getting over conjunctivitis, so I'm not feeling so much like having a photo taken! From starting to sew to a finished dress took around 3 hours. Not bad at all!!

The kid and I were looking at some hilarious footage of runner ducks recently... this stuck in my mind!

Are you my mother?

August 17, 2011

Finally... some inspiration!

For the last two weeks at school we have been involved with the Artists in Schools program through Carclew... A very little group of our lucky students have been working three days a week with artist Sam Evans on a whole array of different projects - charcoal and ink drawing, life drawing, wire sculpture and soon aerosol art.

I have been taking part in each of the activities while I supervise my class, and boy, has it got the creative juices flowing again.... I have realised how much I miss making, and talking about, art with other people around. Ideas come flooding into my brain!!!

I have thoroughly enjoyed making the wire sculptures with the class... it is very much like drawing, but using pipe cleaners also brings back memories of childhood - I think in a waythis helps you be more creative and somehow less inhibited...

Anyway, some of what I have made so far... the house is still a work in progress.

Winged Victory

Alice Flew the Coup (this is an autobiographical piece!!)

Facade No. 1

August 8, 2011

So, I was thinking a new skirt for our trip to the US... Not that we are actually going to New York, but I figured the sentiment is appropriate! I haven't nutted out how it will look yet, but I'm thinking a red yoke, print skirt with two narrow red bands around the bottom. Any other ideas??

This weekend, we went birthday shopping for a 14 year old with extremely quirky taste... We went to bric-a-brac heaven (Strathalbyn) and came home with these (excuse the nasty photo!):

Yep - that's right... HORNS!

The funniest part of the shopping trip was sending the fellas back to the shop to negotiate a fair price for the horns... The young bloke was terrified, but triumphant when he got them under budget!!
Apparently the birthday boy was thrilled!