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...