Tuesday, 31 March 2009

2 commisions in 1 day

Thanks to all my lovely friends (face to face and online), I've starting feeling like I'm actually a creator SLASH sewer SLASH professional SLASH artist SLASH awesome person!

On Friday last week THREE people made a passing comment about how great I'd be to SHOP with... and ONE guy actually said, please come shopping with me at lunch, need your help! It was funny shopping, because I actually haven't shopped for AGES because of my life long Wardrobe Refashion pledge! Apparently I have STYLE and now I want to become a stylist to the stars (how fickle and easily swayed I am!).

Anyways, then yesterday a pal (who's often on paytv) asked me about some simple vintage dresses, and perhaps I can make some for the telly show for her to wear! ARGH

THENNNN today two seperate peeps (guy and girl) asked about a vest and some more vintage dresses... I think I am TAKING COMMISSIONS!

Monday, 30 March 2009

Taking a break from these shirts

I started these yesterday afternoon:

Two shirts for my pal, who loves wearing boy shirts. My Husbie was showing off his leafy brown shirt the other day, and my friend begged him to try it on, and it fitted! This pattern is truly the best boys shirt, I've got about 3 or 4 vintage ones, but this one is great.

The material in both shirts are bedsheets and a doona cover (I think the brown leaves was the doona cover) but the pinky bird one is SO soft it's unbelievable! I actually had to use the sides rather than the middle (it's a massive double bed one) because I'm worried the middle of the sheet is so soft it'll get threadbare once I've finished the shirt, or it could rip. Oh, the ups and downs of using recycled materials!

Ok, enough time off, I'll head back into the sewing room now!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Outfit # 56 - vintage style dress

Once a bedsheet, now a pretty vintage style dress! You may recall my messy sewing room post, where I posted the Butterick 1950s (no date listed at all, it was designed in New York but manufactured in Australia) pattern and overall it was quite easy to make, and those old instructions are just so much better and really straightforward to follow. So the wrap over bit is actually fine, but the shoulders may need shoulderpads or something, and perhaps heaps more boobs that I've got!

Inspired by my new sewing crush, here's my photo collection!

So it looks great, but I'm a little bit little for the larger top, so let me know if you're interested and I'll list it on etsy for you with the measurements! I'm pulling it in at the back so it looks good on me! Because of the wrap pieces on the front I'm reluctant to take it in further, because they sit really nicely at the moment!

I'm making some shirts now for a lady friend of mine, from so excellent bedsheets, so it's a big refashion week for me! I might quickly go and post this on Wardrobe Refashion too!

Sunday Stash #1

I just realised that I've been reading 'Sunday Stash' bloggers, and all the while not actually posting (and I'd signed up last year!) DUR! 1/4 of an inch's Tamara is the Sunday Stash Queen if you're keen to show off your stash!

My stash piece therefore is a bright flowery retro thing, I know I got it from an opshop, I just can't remember where... there's quite a bit of it too... I reckon enough for a blouse, or a dress, but I just can't settle on what to make out of it!

I love it's retro-ness and is marked 'Mardi Gras' and that's it on the edge... just cute to boot light cotton so it'll be lovely to wear. STUCK in the stash for now though!

Friday, 27 March 2009

A little gushy over you - #1

I'm going start getting gushy with sewing love, and my first 'A little gushy over you' crush post is:

Meg, as the Closet Seamstress, has totally won me with this dress:

She's made it from a vintage pillowcase and she drafted the pattern herself! CRUSH! Go over there NOW and see the other photos and lovely tutorials and instructions! Meg has tips for beginners, and bias tape instructions and LOADS of great outfits!

(I'm at work - don't tell anyone! With a little bit of love brewing, and sewing crushes ahead!)

Thursday, 26 March 2009

A good veggie kebab recipe!

We had these the other night, and just LOVED them to bits! Have you used allrecipes.com.au yet? I tried these Tofu Satay kebab thingies and they were GREAT! So delish and really easy to make. Also as we're kinda Hunter Gatherers in my house, Husbie found a BBQ on the side of the road that works! It's very cute and little and he fixed it all up (Man Project) and we cooked these on the BBQ! Yum!

My doggie friend and I have been sewing all afternoon, but it's a little trickier than I first thought, but not too bad. I made an unreal concealed zipper, I'll show you tomorrow!

Gotta go, am heaps busy with a friend coming over now!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Don't you know it's rude to point!?!?

It was a very busy day today, walking the dog, going to work, and only a little sewing time. So I helped my friend out:

She bought a beautiful dress, designer (I think - I'm hopeless - but the material was lovely) gown, and it was discounted because of the broken zipper... it's a side zip, and they sometimes can be a bit tricky for me... but gosh I'm a proper tailor now. All fixed. Can you see our beautiful big banana tree in the back ground too? The leaves are massive.

But as I'm hitting the hay in a ticky, I've titled this post with something a guy said to us as we walked passed him on the street before.

The four of us (our neighbours, Husbie and I) were walking home from tea, and I saw the two dogs I see ALL the time (two Staffies, like the one I'm looking after now) and so we all said Oh Look at the Cute Dogs! and all looked and were saying how darling they are walking towards us. And as we passed the guy and the two dogs, I smiled at him (cause I smile at him and the dogs every time I see them) and he said "Don't you know it's rude to point?" to us...

And he had his earplugs in (so obvs. didn't hear us saying how cute the dogs are and how I love seeing them) and then trod on by. I'm totally dumbfounded by this dickhead, and feel so silly that I was encouraging everyone to look at his dogs. But WHY should I feel bad and silly when HE'S so rude to say that and not even hear what we were saying?

Anyways, as I started to write my grump story, Husbie just came and told me a really NICE story from our community (I'll be quick)... Husbie just got a new scooter, we went away for a weekend, and came back to find it a little grazed and the front totally dinted... BUT someone had written a little note:

"I didn't see your scooter, and accidentally bumped it with my car, please call me asap"

And the story goes on that Husbie and this person chatted and arranged quotes and insurance and stuff... and he just came and told me then (after saying how lovely they've been, and how nice it was to leave a note, considering Husbie's scooter is only new, he would have been devo-ed to seen it dinted) that the person was like "Of course I left a note, it's not your fault, and it's how we raise our children to be honest etc"

So they're totally the BEST people in the world and in our neighbourhood... so one unhappy camper (with dogs) in canceled out with a lovely family (and totally lovely kids) in one foul swoop*.

Night night!

(*My metaphors are TERRIBLE - fowl swoop? WTF?)

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Starting some new (but old) dresses

I've been mucking a bit lately (see the vests and the bowtie!) so today I started a normal nice frock! (Although I did cut one more bowtie, for a birthday present for the boy who's vest got turned into a ladies vest by mistake, and today I gave to my lady friend! She's going to look like Annie Hall)

So I found a yellow bed sheet in my stash, it's really thick and soft and doesn't crease too much!

I made a little mess, that's my little scrap box on the floor there... I like to have it by my feet as when the bobbin needs rethreading or you wanna test the tension it's good to have the scraps close by... plus you can use them later for other stuff too... I think the material hasn't been in the stash too long actually, as it may have come from a recent Tempe Tip (Salvos in Tempe) Trip.

My new scissors... They're KIA brand I think and how lovely is the focus on the camera... I'm testing out the M function on the Canon... I usually use automatic or P (for Practicing I call it!)... but the focus is amazing using M!

And the actual frock! I've cut it shorter (this version pictured would be at my ankles. I'm such a shortie!) to my knee, but will adjust later. And I'm also making the shorter sleeve (pink) version. I love how the bodice wraps and is tailored into the waist... I'll see how it goes and post tomorrow! I was about to use some gorgeous material my Mum brought me from Vietnam, but thought since I've not used the pattern before I should test it out on some second hand cheaper material first!

Monday, 23 March 2009

It's almost like I'm building a cabaret empire...

After another vest attempt (this time it turned into a Man's sized one, but it's not really to my Husbie's tastes), I've started thinking I'm creating a cabaret empire, or a circus...

See the gaudi waistcoat here:

The material is total stash, and now there's only pocket sized pieces left, it's kind of upholstery type material and a small skirt exists in my etsy store as well.

I'm EXTREMELY proud of the little pockets this time round! But check out the little bowtie I made our lovely friend:

We're babysitting again, and have been wanting to try out the bowtie pattern I found! How gorgeous!

The vest is Outfit Number 55 and bowtie a lovely accessory to any cabaret waistcoat!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Booky News on a beautiful day!

Today we cleaned *almost* the whole house, and sadly it's still a bit yuck, and it was really hard work! So, the active modern couple we are ... we called and got cleaning quotes ... and now have a cleaner. It's so bad that we can't do it ourselves, but I've thought about it for ages and our household runs pretty smoothly apart from the regular cleaning.

I cook, Husbie cleans up... I'm the boss of the money, Husbie's the boss of the clothes cleaning & hanging out... but the overall cleaning hasn't been very balanced. I get frustrated that I can't clean very well (perhaps I never bothered to learn) and then Husbie ends up doing more cleaning and plus gets allergies from the DUST! CRISIS!

So we met our CLEANERS this afternoon! How quick and organised! Yay! I'm also imagining all these economy things as well... we're giving dosh to people and stimulating the economy right Kevin? Creating jobs for others. You can justify everything, right?!

ANYWAYS, the rest of my day was about reading the papers, taking the dog for a walk a few times (we're minding her again! And I made this really fun toy for her!) and going to the Remnants Warehouse for new scissors (I got the second best pair, only $50 and my first 'real' pair). I also made a nice 'zesty' couscous and tofu salad last night, and am picking at the leftovers now, listening to Dean Martin on the record player!

My booky news is that I've finished ANOTHER Richard Yates book, a collection of short stories... Called 'Eleven Kinds of Loneliness' and once again it's amazing. I posted about 'Revolutionary Road' the other day, and luckily my friend has heaps of Richard Yates books so is going to find me 'Easter Parade' next. It's totally amazing and he's just so vivid with his descriptions and delightfully sad with his narrative. I love his stories and can't get enough! FYI, I'm reading 50 Books for My Library Thing's yearly challenge, and luckily there's a few more Richard Yates stories around!

*** This post wouldn't publish y/day for some reason... here it is now... ***

Friday, 20 March 2009

See my Vest, See my VEST!.

This vest *was* going to be a birthday present for a lovely friend of mine, but although the pattern was a man's one... it's rather small and boyish... so perhaps is a GIRLS one instead!

Outfit Number 54, it can count right? It's certainly part of an outfit, and took as long as a skirt or a dress!

Because what actually took the longest was this funny little pocket on either side:

I have made one of these before (but ages and ages ago...) so I kinda forget what the hell to do, and stuffed it a little. I had to mock sew it up to look neat, and as I've already started another vest, I just did it perfect second time. I honestly can't explain it, cause remember sewing terminology just makes me go crazy... it's hard enough following patters!

Here's my interpretation of making the pocket:

You lay a bit of material down on top of the vest front, then you lay the pocket down, stitch two parallel lines, cut in between with these triangle bits on the side (told you it was crazy talk) and then you turn it... flatten it and HOPE you've got enough material to sew the second pocket to the first pocket... therefore creating LINING and a cute little pocket for a waistcoat watch or something TINY!

P.S. I've signed up for the Sew Retro blog too, cause I'm making so many vintage garments, thought it would be another cool place to show them off! Everyone seems nice over there! Can't wait to post some more!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Full on Fettuccine!

Just got back from eating out at our fave Italian place up the road, and gosh I'm full on fettuccine... it was so creamy and gigantic and I ate probably a THIRD of the plate... Luckily they do Doggy Bags!

We also stopped off at Mop Project Gallery, where my friend had an art exhibition opening! He's just excellent and was last year included in the Archibald Portrait Prize (big painting comp here in Australia for all you lovely overseas types) and this is his first large solo exhibition.

His name is Leslie Rice, and my fave pictures of his is the acrylic on velvet ones, but mostly the cut up bodies ones...

(don't get too scared, think of Caravaggio!)

It must be so hard to photograph his work, because the velvet is so dark black and the paint is so sparse you can hardly see the objects. But it's kind of still life, but with a deathly unsettling (yet strangely comforting) twist.

Love it!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

WWW - Watcha Wearing Wednesday #3

Phew! Finally getting into blogging and sewing again... It's been a tough recovery from the Wedding of the Century. But here I am... although a little tired:

It's a dress I made last year (couldn't find it in the archives... it was the one that shoulda had white cuffs and collars, but I fucked them up in the wash, so had to be black all over.) and still looks kinda nice, but a bit faded.

I'm hella tired but slightly less grumpy than yesterday, and discovered my Husbie's iphoto has updated itself, so hence my old fashioned photo look. GEEKY! Today I went to work, early of course (do I tell you enough that I work EARLY?!), and organised the hell out of my workmates, plus planned a bit more for next week. Phew! And since I got home I organised some more (work just never ends!) but got a little gutsy and will more than likely finish a little waistcoat vest for a friend for his birthday!

Might finish it off now, I've turned it and just need to sew the buttons on... and find a funny little buckle for the back bit!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

My shop's items and my faves!

I had a sale (yippee!) the other week, so made me think how little I do to advertise or promo my clothes on etsy!

But don't forget the recent faves from etsy!

I'm making a green tofu curry at the moment, and recovering from a big party weekend, very very slowly. I've got my sights this weekend on a very comfy session in my sewing room... of shirts for lovely ladies, trousers for lovely Husbie and perhaps a few more wiggle dresses for my new fans!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

WWW - Watcha Wearing Wednesday #2

For WWW Watcha Wearing Wednesday:


These are Outfit 53, cause I made them in October last year but forgot to post them. So luckily I wore them today, so as to document them.

Cowboy Boots (over 5 years old), my short shorts (from a 60s pattern - they are extremely high waisted) and an 'office' shirt (cause it has buttons and a collar) and my retarded sunnies. And meet my nice tree. It's kinda a yukka but not!

Today I went to work, trotted around to meetings, went to visit the pet barn and chatted about pets with the staff and cooked tea. Pretty boring! But I looked pretty cute!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Would this dress suit 'Garden Party'?

You know when you get a party invitation, and the dress says... 'Garden Party'... would this one be perfect for a Wedding Invitation that reads just so?

You know I'm totally thinking YES, It's absolutely PERFECT for a garden party wedding! So this is my first 'wiggle dress' that actually fits me. But I did have to change it around a bit from the original pattern and my first attempt at the style.

I have small shoulder bits. Yep, I got measured once by a proper seamstress and she said all my measurements are fine... apart from the line (vertical) from my shoulder to my boob. Ok, 'bust' we call it now that we are sewers and tailors. Not BOOBS! So that vertical line 'tween shoulder height and bust is very little indeed, so for this garment I took off just under an inch across the whole thing... and shortened the sleeves by 2 inches. They're still pretty wide overall, but look quite flattering.

As the material has a slight stretch in it (My mother in law sent it to me, so whilst it looks quite vintage, it may only be from the 1990s) I put it all together and looked completely fat around the skirt. Perhaps you can tell in this photo from the other dress, that there's quite a few gathers? (Just checked that photo and realised I was pulling it in so you wouldn't see how big the dress was on me)... hmpf!

Anyways, I cut heaps off the seam and put DARTS (see above) in the back sections. I am officially a tailor. It fits me heaps better now, but Husbie isn't getting home 'til late today, so you'll have to wait for my fashion shots. The wedding is this weekend!

and... I didn't forget... here's the vintage zipper. 100% recycled!

Oh, and one last thing, it's Outfit Number 52.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

OMG stop the press, Husbie just got home!

I know I posted earlier today, but Husbie just got home from the Optometrist (eyes are fine) appointment and HOW GREAT DO THEY LOOK??????????

Yep, the hardest thing was the flyzipper, so I can kinda tell what I need to do next time to get it right (like a proper tailored pair). But I also tried a blind hem (a great option on my new machine - it's got a special foot for it!) and it was AWESOME! I'm going to so use that from now on, it just suits wooly, heavier material I reckon and totally beats doing it by hand! WOO!

A gorgeous morning at my house!

I feel just lovely after a dreamy morning in my house!

After reading a little bit of my latest Richard Yates book (short stories this one, and will post once I've finished), I had a cuppa tea and some toast with avocado and tomato. And finished my lovely trousers for Mr Veronica Darling to wear tonight! They're officially Outfit Number 51, cause Outfit 50 was the refashioned stripey dress I sent off for the refashion parade!

Nice hey? Husbie has totally cleaned the house, been to the gym and now is off at the optometrist so he's had a very busy morning too. It's just gorgeous outside. Now that it's noon, I might plan some lunch and go for a walk and enjoy the day.

We're gearing towards getting a pet, a dog! So we talk a LOT about the walks we'll be on with our pup!

Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, 6 March 2009

My week of non-blogging and little projects

There's been a lot of little things on the go this week, plus a lot of night time activity and events, so I haven't done much blogging.

But here's a little bit of what I have been doing:

Starting another knitted artwork piece, for my friend's street, I think I'll do slabs of colour instead of little stripes for the next one. I started this during season two of West Wing. When I look at my old pole (when I drive past of a morning) I always think of West Wing. It's surviving the weather ok too, still looks bright!

I started on a pair of trousers for my Husbie, Mr Veronica Darling, and am quietly pleased with my FLY, as it's the trickiest part! We went to the Remnants Warehouse for the fabric last week (the guy there is so nice, gave us minties, and gave me extra material without charging) and it's a woolie but light type trouser material. Husbie will look ace. I've made shorts before (did I forget to post them?) but never trousers. I myself do not wear trousers or jeans, so don't have much FLY experience. At least men's trousers are little bigger and I can dig around and get them nice and flat.

I got 2 dresses in a major sale on the weekend (vintage, so ok for Wardrobe Refashion Pledge) and here's the cut off from an $8 Moo Moo Florida Swishy Dress. I wore it to a short film festival on Wednesday and it looked ace with tights and tall black boots. Of course, forgot to take a photo for WWW (Watcha Wearing Wednesday!).

And lastly, I made this easy peasy Curry Noodles dish last night, and it was totally delish!

Happy Friday!

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...