Saturday, 31 January 2009

Awww a few new listings

Here's the proof!

A new shirt and a new dress. I think the photos turned out ok, I took them inside around 10am - 11am when the sun was coming into the loungeroom, but we have light white blinds. My Husbie (the former cinematographer) says its the best 'true' light. PROFESSIONAL! I did notice that it did get a little darker toward 12noon, when I packed things up. But I like to have true images, without any photoshopping (only cropping) the colour etc.


Well, I've got to take a shower and straighten my hair (it's totally frizzy from the heat) and go out to the pub. Husbie's been working (on a Saturday :( !!) so we're all going on a family outing with a friend from Melbs and other 'young couples'.

I kinda wish I could stay at home and finish off Outfit Number 49, but I bet I can do that tomorrow!

I'm actually updating my Etsy Store. OMG

It's been a while, I've been making stuff, but not having a morning free to take photos!


That's the back detail of a pretty denim-like dress, I'll stick up later. And I'm just uploading some other things now.

I feel sad for you peeps in Melbourne and Victoria. My folks are in Gippsland and poor mum's garden isn't too good appazza... Fried vegies, fried flowers. Hopefully today is a bit better and cooler for you!

Anyways, just a quick one! Back to the uploading!

Friday, 30 January 2009

White wine spritzers help you sew FACT

... well they certainly make you happy while sewing!

It's Friday arvo, and I'm just taking a little break from sewing one of my 100 Outfits (sitting on halfway) and thought I'd check the internerd etc etc etc (and waste some time).

Here's my current dress, without sleeves:

But with a valentine-esque bodice. Or maybe it's a sweetheart bustline... I don't know whatever it is, it looks HOT and the material looks pretty good so far too. It's another op shop find, as is the pattern. Should I stop telling you that almost everything I make is 100 per cent recycled? I seem to be getting a few newbies stopping by the blog, so I feel the need to explain!

For some reason recycled isn't as gorgeous a word as refashioned or vintage. No I know that vintage can mean a lot these days, and etsy defines vintage goods as:

* The Vintage category is for things that are at least 20 years old.
* These listings must be placed in the Vintage category.

But I make most of my clothes from vintage or semi-vintage fabrics. 80s fabrics are now at least 20 years old. But at the same time I can't really confirm the age of some of my fabrics.

Anyways, 'found fabrics', 'recycled', 'refashioned' and 'vintage' are all great ways to describe some of my clothes. And what about my zippers, gosh I almost forgot about how my zippers are mostly from the 60s and 70s! I've got the packets to prove it!

Nevertheless, I hope your Friday arvo is fun like mine! I'm going to sit down and watch some West Wing and knit up for the Global Guerilla Knit Up! Some of my friends are going to make bows and other delightful things for traffic lights! So stay tuned for piccies!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Woo Guerilla Knitting for Realsa

Hey there!

My arty friend Michelle showed me some great sites last year, mainly the Urban Knitting site, and we got a bit excited, but busy with other projects, as you do!

My fave is this one:

And thanks to Chrisy's comment on yesterday's post (Thank you!), I found she'd linked up with Denise Lichfield aka grrl+dog's blog who's set a cool deadline! I like it!

Guerilla Knit Up! - More details!

I'll start tonight while watching Madmen! Yay!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I'm crying that this dress doesn't fit!

What a catastrophe!

I have made this vintage pattern up before, but it was a while ago, back when I used 60s bedsheets for all my clothes (I had a huge fear I'd wreck beautiful vintage materials - plus I was just starting out!). And it's one of those ace dress patterns that have 3 sizes in them. They're perfect for when your friend wants the same dress, but is a little skinnier or differently sized to you!

So I thought for this one I was the littlest size... 32 or something as it's vintage. BUT perhaps I was the middle size (or have put on weight since 3 years ago) as it fits up top, but not around the HIPS!

How devastating:

The material was a short curtain from Adelaide, I got it last year when we worked over there. And it was 5 bucks. Yep. I paid a lot for just one curtain... She wanted to charge me more too, but changed her mind as I didn't buy the lot (and she probably wouldn't have sold the lot as curtains, as there were tatty bits on it).

And so, the fate of having only one piece of curtain, enough for one little dress that I overlocked all the hems before trying it on. NAUGHTY. I glared at myself when Husbie said 'Can't you make another one?'... NO! Not exactly the same EVER!

But putting all this flying emotion aside, how beautiful is the print, and how clever that the branch makes it's way up the middle of the front. I didn't get a piccie of the back, but the zipper stitching is one of the BEST I've ever done, so am super proud of that! And once again, the entire garment (bar the thread) is recycled or second hand.

So I'm back into the sewing room again now, and starting Outfit Number 49... so that makes this dress Outfit Number 48... which will more than likely be a shop number, or given to a skinny friend (who likes short skirts!).


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Outfit 47 - A very simple dress

On the weekend, I tried out a 1970s dress pattern from the stash, it was one I hadn't used before, and once I opened it, found that there were a few pieces missing. I always love opening an old pattern! Sometimes the former owner wrote her last name on it, sometimes there's a phone number as well! Sometimes I find extra pattern pieces, but for this one, there was just the dress pieces, without any lining pieces.

It's Outfit Number 47, almost halfway through my challenge (self imposed challenge to get sewing as much as possible!) and pretty good!

I modified it a bit of course, but my pattern making skills are a little off at times... If you can see in the close up piccie, the neckline and armholes are a little gathered (or insert the right sewing term here) as I cut the bias binding the wrong shape. RETARDO! I think I'll list it on the shop as a sample, as it was a bit of a muck around compared to my other pieces, which are more polished.

I'm absolutely deadtired after the weekend, I was pretty much on call all weekend and then worked all day y/day - PUBLIC HOLIDAY PAY* - but I'm in quite a dreamy mood as I've finished work and it's my wedding anniversary. Two Years! Husbie finished work early too and has planned some dins at our fave modern Japanese restaurant** on Crown Street. In the meantime I'm blog reading and perhaps finishing of Outfit 48, and there will be a bit of drama about that one... I perhaps am a little fatty boombah at the moment ... so trying to save it!

* ever the optimist

** small anecdote on the word 'restaurant' - after I learnt what the word was in Japanese - re-su-to-ron-to - in year 9 at school, I've never been able to spell it. And when I write Japanese Restaurant it always makes me laugh! WEIRD!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

I wanna WRAP you up in my love... by Madonna

My friend is the new 'Green Officer'* at work... and she's madly finding different ways to use up things (materials and technologies) that have become obsolete. Take for instance the CASSETTE TAPE of yesteryear:

We have a lot of these at our work. So, my Green Officer Friend then googled like crazy and found My Recycled Bags and her groovy Cassette Tape Clutch, and asked me to make one up for her as a test! She would like a few clutches herself, and perhaps have some to give to friend's etc.

The tape was kinda hard to knit with, and as the instructions called for crocheting (I find it tricky to concentrate on crochet), that may be why. I used a thick red wool (from the stash and recycled from the op shop) and did purl stitch with 1 bit of tape. I think I used 15 minutes of cassette tape!!! Next time I might use 2 bits of tape, and thinner needles. For the zip and the pouch inside, I used scrap material and a recycled zipper! WOOOOO HOOO!!!

I also knitted a snakey scarf, for someone, not sure! As it's still summer here, I've got a few months to work out who to give it to!

* Title is not correct, it's something a little more official sounding than Green Officer

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Thank goodness the cool change came!

It's been hot ALL week here in Sydders! It started with All Tomorrow's Parties last Saturday:

That's me watching a wonderful group called Psarandonis, on Cockatoo Island in Sydders.

And by gosh, it's been hot ever since, but I sit here now in the kitchy... writing with a White Wine Spritzer by my keyboard and THE COOL CHANGE HAS COME! Have you ever noticed that when the heat breaks, and what it's called is different as to where you grew up. I grew up in Victoria where we all love 'The Cool Change'... but here in Syds people just say 'a cool change will come soon' ... they don't call it 'THE Cool Change' at all... like it's the one and only cool change and it knows when to drop by... Syds peeps just have a cool change every now and again, and it's really not that important...

So I thought I'd share with you some of my other ideas for my revamp, as they're pretty funny, especially my racy red one!

I'm glad I put a textured background in now, at Husbie's suggestion, it harps back to the reasoning behind the blog & perhaps my love of sewing too... my love of materials... Yay for The Cool Change tonight in Syds, now we'll all get some proper sleep!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Testing my new look

As I've been running around ragged with my day job at the moment, I've only had a bit of time here and there. So NO sewing, but a few five minutes here and there tweaking the blog.

I'd wanted a Three-Column Blog, and found a good tutorial online - thanks so much to you Blogger Guide! It was extremely straight forward, and works alrighty! And I've been messing around with different colours etc, for my banner etc etc etc... I kinda like the above but think a better width and shorter height would suit this kinda 3-column layout... whaddya think?

Anyways, better run and get a bite! I've got a stacks busy rest of the day and a stacks busy rest of the week! This week doesn't really stop... until Monday night. PHEW!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Our first cherry tomato!

There's been an explosion in my sewing room slash guest room. I fixed up a friend's trouser, but haven't been game to touch the piles of fabric that seem to be falling over everything. I'll have to sort things out this weekend, cause even though I ordered my vintage patterns (numerically for some reason! It does however make eras hard to spot... an 80s mini dress is next to a 50s evening gown) the place is a mess!

Anyone got any storage ideas for vintage patterns? I've stuffed mine into a suitcase, they look pretty, but kinda hard to get at. Should I treat them like books and get a bookshelf? Or put them in loose folders and file them away... but there's too many!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Boy oh Boy, this guy's hot!

I've made a few 'man shirts' for my husbie over my time sewing. The funniest one was when I first started sewing and I'd especially bought some really cheap grey cotton (very rare for me to buy fabric new) and cut out the whole shirt from a vintage pattern etc etc ... but the collar was absolutely ridiculous! I'd used too stiff interfacing I think (another thing I'd never used before, let alone realised you could buy STICK ON interfacing, as all my old patterns talked about the 'sew on' kind.) so the whole thing was hilarious! Of course Husbie never wore it.

And then I made a GREAT shirt, from a light cotton op shopped sheet - brilliant soft light green abstract lines on white. And guess what... HE LOST IT!

So after that I put a hold on boy clothes. They are pretty tricky, but in the last year or so, now that I've settled in to Sydney (and really come into my own, with sewing) I've made a few more shirts... but today I reveal the BEST MAN SHIRT EVER:

How hot is he?

The shirt is the best manshirt pattern I've found, it's cowboy in style, check the yoke and the pocket 'covers' with the buttons. And the quickest shirt to make, cause there's so 'double yoke'... um, this is hard for me to explain... but the front and back pieces go right up (to the collar) and you sew the yoke onto the front and back... INSTEAD of cutting the yoke (front and back) and facing of the yoke ... as it's kinda doubling up... MAN, it's HARD to write up sewing stuff. I just don't know enough terminology!!! I've always believed that EVERYthing has it's own lingo... and once you get the lingo then you totally can communicate effectively.

A Yoke! My Husbie was amazed that a shirt could even HAVE a section on it called a yoke. (especially since there's so yellow bits to be seen).

To recap: Heaps happy with my manshirt.

Oh.. that's right! The extra reason why this shirt was so easy... 1 step buttonholes! I love my new machine!

Hope you're keeping cool if you're Australian and if you're a Northern American I hope you're fighting off hypothermia ok. The extreme weather around the world made for amazing headlines today! I think it's another hot one for us here in Sydney, so I might trek to the beach tomozza!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Starting early mornings again...

For some of you regular readers, I usually work EARLY mornings. It means I get home earlier in the day which is a total *bonus* cause I've got a theory that I have THREE days in ONE.

For example, today - Monday:
Day 1: Work! (Arrived at 5am - Left at 12noon)
Day 2: Play (went to lunch with my work colleagues - lovely Japanese thanks, with heaps of veggie options!) and rest (read the last of 'Yes Man'* by Danny Wallace)
Day 3: Homestuff (computerlove, gardenlove, and cookinglove - all the things I'm doing right now - see the garden love below)

So, perhaps even though I have to go to bed *pretty* early, and perhaps have no social life cause no friends are free for a sneaky arvo vino at 2pm, and perhaps I need to have a nanna nap on the weekends to stay out to 10pm... well ... perhaps it's all OK. I'm a positive thinker nevertheless... hence "Three Days in One"!

So, today I returned to the regular earlybird timetable! Hopefully it means LOTS more sewing on the new machine!

Here's what I made on Saturday for Outfit Number 45:

It was a very easy pattern (no zips or buttons) that I adapted to a top, cause I didn't have enough material in my stash. The material is some 80s light cotton, with a very bright awesome pattern. It's kinda floppy and ties with a lovely bow at the back. But check out those sleeves! I love them! I think I'll try them again, cause they are so fun and summery! The pattern *was* a maternity dress, but I kept it open to just a floppy top, or for someone wanting to cover their pregs or not so pregs tummy. It'll also be on etsy soon.

And here's a section of our lovely little garden, the tomato planter!

Turning RED! They are just little cherry tomatoes, but are quite big for cherries I think! Today I planted several little basil plants underneath. I have no idea if it's the right time of year for them, but Mum suggested that they grow together well. I've never tried it before, but I adore basil, and have had a good go at it in my old house.

*reminds me to update my BOOK LIST - The 50 Book Challenge!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Outfit 44, not bad for a year on!

I'm pleased to show you Outfit #44, it's a heavy cotton, almost a denim-like, material. I got quite a large lot of it, so there's enough for a skirt, or bag, leftover. It's just lovely red little flower clusters, and so I used a red zipper, that zips the back pieces together. The material was a little harder to sew with but the new sewing machine handled it fine! I did also use the overlocker, and now all the insides look gorgeous and neat. I'll list it on etsy once I get a few more things together!

So (just went back through my archives) and November 2008 was when I first started the 100 Outfits Goal... I've made dresses mostly and a few skirts ... but considering 2008 was the busiest year (and most important) of my entire career... I'm pretty happy that I've managed to make 44 Outfits. 44/100 doesn't seem like much, and I think there's only been one dress I haven't included (too busy to photograph), but still... now that I've got a faster sewing machine and an entire room to make stuff in (instead of little wall space in the 1 bedroom apartment we used to have!)... ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! I'd very much like to finish off the 100 Outfits by mid year... but would that be an un-realistic goal?

Here's a SIX petal-ed fragipani from the garden, it was an overcast day then, but the sun is back today:

So, work-wise, I'm back to early mornings as of Monday, so I'll have my afternoons back again to hang out in the sewing room and we've changed around our stereo system, so the cd player is there now too. Oh, and I still haven't updated the design of the blog at all... I did download a 3 column template... but that's it! After making the green cushions, I'm thinking of a green retro look... what do you think?

p.s. And Congratulations to Kristy who's over at Lower Your Pressure Foot, who's just had a baby girl. Yay!

Monday, 5 January 2009

A Woman's Touch

It's hot again! We've been incredibly slow at doing stuff, My Husbie and I, on our holidays, but we're having a great time! Most people went back to work today (or the traffic noise told me so at 8am this morning) but we're still hanging! I haven't mentioned, but we've been watching the ANGEL (the poor man's Buffy) series, and one of the holiday perks is watching a few episodes over lunchtime together. Mind you we've just finished series 4, so thank goodness we've only got one more season to go. It's hard work believing it, and whilst I adore the eps written and directed by Joss Whedon (Buffy creator FYI) I'm not head over heels with the overall taste of the show.


Anyways, I finished these lounge cushions on Saturday:

So that's increased the lovable nature of our couch ten-fold, plus Husbie LOVES them! They used to be old pillowcases and remind me of a 1970s caravan. But now they're our refashioned cuties. NOTE: Calamity Jane record also in shot above, and as Calamity (aka Doris Day really) says:

A woman's touch can quickly fill
The empty flower boxes on a winder sill
One smile from her and zoom
Little buds begin to bloom

A touch of paint, a magic nail
Can turn a kitchen chair into a Chippendale
Even make a lamp appear
Like a crystal chandelier

And whilst I still chuck up a little with the domesticity of poor old Calamity Jane, I'm a little more Thrifty Jane, and would vomit more at buying new shop-bought pillows. It still doesn't stop me loving the film, it's Doris' best ever! xoxo

Also, a darling friend's birthday prompted another gorgeous skirt:

I love the thick band, and I LOVE my button holes! Once again, the buttons, the zipper and the material all STASH and second hand.

I'm working on a lovely dress (for the shop) today, and off to meet a friend for a drink tonight! Gotta love hols! Tomorrow I wanna work on redesigning the blog, it's looking a little messy (for me), so wanna tighten it up a bit!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Summer Lovin' (yes I love my new machine)

Summer Lovin' is fine in 2009 (I *still* can't think of another catchy saying for this year), and I'm loving the cooler overcast days of late to get the new machine all ready for the year ahead.

I tried another vintage pattern, a 1970s dress that cries back to the 1930s (am I right, I get 20s/30s/40s mixed together) with the scalloped (is it?) type front bodice things:

The material is relatively a new pick up, I think from my recent trip back to the country (there were GREAT fabrics at the St. Vinnies in Sale!) and I reckon I'll get it onto the etsy store next week. SO this is outfit Number.... 41*? I'm really happy that it's entirely vintage, the zipper AND the overlocker thread came from second hand stores! I bought the aqua overlocker threads for 20c each in Traralgon, not knowing if I'd ever use it, but even though I wouldn't wear aqua, I bet one of you lovely ladies out there would suit it!

So I finished the hemline this morning and after my Lovely Husbie (Mr Veronica Darling of course) washed up a few of our recent op shop purchases, he wanted to update our lounge cushions!

I made the orange giant sized cushions when I first moved into my 'bachelor' pad almost 4 years ago, to match the couch. Actually I was pretty proud of myself at the time, as I got the material from the opshop (raw silk-like curtains I think they were) and sewed the cushions up no worries.

BUT, I didn't put zippers in, so I think the pillows only ever got washed ONCE (how bad is that!) and now are a bit grubby and old. But Husbie really wants these vintage 1970s green pillowcases as new lounge CUSHIONS - YAY! I'm heading to do them now.

AND, this time:

I'm going to chuck these zippers in, so they'll last longer!

*It's Outfit Number 42! Wow!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy 2009!

Bring on 2009! Hope the year ahead is fantastic for you! I'm always positive about the future, and it's weird but the change of the year isn't a big one for me, and I think I've said before I don't do resolutions and the like. I like to be active all year round with positive things for me and my friends/family etc. Nevertheless, I do like how we've changed a few things in our house (it's still so NEW to us, it's been 6 months of nonstop busy work, and finally a break to be *in* the house to check it out properly) so here's an update!

So! We were a bit hungover yesterday and went to Dulwich Hill for shopping! I'd been there before by myself, but I wanted to show Husbie the second-hand furniture store and the opshops. You may know the big store on the bend along New Canterbury Road, if you're a Sydneysider!

Anyways, we had so much fun! We shopped, got bargains, ate a salad at one of the Turkish places and got some furniture for the house! A coffee table and a desk! Husbie wanted to set up his computer and camera equipment (and finally unpack the printer) and he's set up a really neat little 'office' in the kitchen/lounge room! And it's been so much easier to get the photos onto the computer and actually blog! I hope I keep this up! 3 blog entries in 3 days. YIKES! I don't know about you, but even though digital is really great etc etc, I find the whole editing of photos etc really boring, and just wished I could press ONE button to get the photos onto the computer, cropped, resized and uploaded to the internerd. Nevertheless, this desk in the kitchen is GREAT, as I hung out my new fabrics (from the Dulwich Hill Op Shops, where the fabric I liked the most was the cheapest!) and took some courtyard piccies and am here blogging in no time.

Can't wait to make some stuff with these fabrics on the new machine! Cause the weather's so good the washing dried in no time!

New Year's Day for us has been very dreamy as it's very hot outside! We went to Clovelly for a swim earlier today (Husbie has fair skin, so we can't get burnt) and made a big salad for lunch. But I wanted to show you a bit of our backyard:

The flowers of Chateau Veronica Darling... grass things (that are ok, but a nice burgandy flower/seed thing) and the frangipani from next door. I call it OUR frangipani though, because we're the ones sweeping the flowers up every day! I love it though.

Dongmen Lu Fabric Market

Happy Wednesday! Time to get some fabric inspiration from the Dongmen Lu Fabric Market here in Shanghai! Can't believe how quickly 201...