Thursday, 29 October 2009

Crush Post: My crush has a giveaway!

I've often crushed on you darling bloggers, but one of my totes faves is Meg, and she's got a giveaway at the moment, closes November 8th!

You know in the blogworld, how you read about someone and then you decided you're BFFs and you feel like you've known them for like ages!? When I visit Meg's blog I'm all like "Oh, she's looking well, oh there's a photo of gorgeous Bunny, wonder what her Husbie's up to" blah blah blah all as if we're like total friends from kindergarten or whatever.

So, I was feeling very gushy when I noticed that it's her birthday coming up, and she's going to be doing a few giveaways (a la It's My Birthday But You Get All the Presents style) so you better hop over there and put your name down for this one:

How FREAKING gorgeous is this dress, I'm going to link to it now, in the hope I'll win and then I'll give it to my friend Zoe, for she would look amazing in this colour.

BUT! If I don't win, I hope that you do! Go on and clicky dink there right now, as you have to go see what a darling she is!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

OMG OMG OMG New Computer!


My whole life has been interrupted! I bought a new computer and I THINK I'M IN LOVE WITH IT!

Or my husbie, cause he was the one who suggested I dropped by the apple store on my way home today, and as I was in the city already, it was just perfect to walk by the biggest apple store ever (and maybe the funnest place to work? If you like technology I guess. And boy do I like technology!) and buy a computer. Casually. Without really thinking it through at all.

My darling Doggie could not contain her excitement:

And as it's a re-released old skool MacBook she's already shed 1000 tiny black hairs all over the darling white keyboard. I know all about the MacBook cause I had a really really really really old handmedown (as seen in my darling Sewing Room Post) from my Husbie and as it was so slow mo, we often shared his good one. So now we're both connected with speed, and with shiny computies.


Thanks for all your darling comments on my baby garments! How cute! As always, I've got plenty of garments up my sleeve, just gotta get round to finishing them and then blogging them on my DARLING new computer!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Dress Twenty One: Toddler Tunic

The sunshine made me so motivated on Saturday, and after we'd walked the dog and had a great time on Sunday morning, it all turned dark and now I feel like hanging in hoodies and watching tv as if I've got the flu. So I didn't sew at all yesterday. We watched Heroes Series 3 and I started knitting some more street pole covers.

Nevertheless, I finished this darling little bubby tunic today for my Frocktober challenge (and I've only just noticed it's the last week of October this week! Eep!) and will try and get some exciting frocks going for the few days!

I tried out a little vintage toddler pattern for this one, but omitting the side ties as I thought it had enough frou frou going on with the pattern of the leftover bedsheet material, and check out how lovely these vintage buttons are:

And my Doggie Darling has to see what's going on too (I just stopped her trying to chew on the dress, gosh she's naughty!

You have to watch her 24/7 at the moment. She chomped down on my blackberry, which still works fine but the screen has cracked. And this morning Husbie couldn't save Madame Bovary, my friend lent me the book, and it was totally demolished by Doggie Darling after he left her alone for 2 minutes. She loves the classics, she's already eaten George Orwell and some of our Oscar Wilde oldies.

Hopefully she'll be grown out of the puppy stage soon. But, gosh she's so cute!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Dress Twenty: Refash to the Florida MAX

I'm powering through my darling Frocktober challenge today (well totally catching up as well as today's the 24th and I've now made 20 frocks. Close enough!)

Here's a refash! A moo moo, this one was $3 from an actual vintage store I think:

It had some bits that were ratty and torn:

Now, as I did this pink one earlier, I kept all my threads the same on my machines and cut this one up at the same time and I reckon this one is more closer to my darling 12 year old Lush dress:

I'll be wearing this a LOT at Christmas time in Brisbane. Doesn't it scream FLORIDA DARLING? Thank you to my darling Husbie for the glam shot. I love his photos the best! Curses we're so busy as otherwise I'll have more glam model shots all through my darling blog.

I'm pretty pleased with today's efforts, thanks for all your gush and lovely comments on my challenge! I'll be making some more dresses tomorrow, but for now it's leftover tom kha (turned into a curry thanks to this recipe, you can google anything these days. Love it, it's a 'what to do with leftovers' blog) and Heroes Vol 3. We can't decide if it's turning too convulted or not, so we have to keep watching to find out if it all goes to the dogs (narrative style, or if it's the new LOST).

Bye darlings!

Dress Nineteen: Baby Darling

Using up fabric scraps is very good in my books. Recently I've seen a lot of scraps being made into great things over at the Wardrobe Refashion blog, but I'm in mixed minds about keeping scraps and what to make from them... I have some tiny scraps, big scraps and then scraps that you *could* make something from... LIKE A BABY DRESS:

After making the shift frock the other day, I found that I had enough material for this little dress and a little pinafore. This style reminds me of our old art smocks and you could probably make them just the same with more protective fabric! I'll have to keep that in mind when my darling baby friends get a bit older.

It's very easy to make, raglan-esque sleeves and bias tape casings on the inside for the elastic on the neck and on the sleeve ends. Tres cute.

Now I'll have to wait for my darling baby girlfriends to grow up and be born and then grow up so I can give them presents! Husbie thinks I should do baby clothes all the time, and sell them, under the name 'Baby Darling' instead of Veronica Darling... I think he's planning another set of labels for me!

It's a stunning day outside, not to hot, but dazzling sun. We're going to head to a waterside place for lunch and dog fun soon. Yay!

Dress Eighteen: Accidently Pink

You know when you think you're a very careful fabric washer, and when you think you're becoming the WORLD's best seamstress/fashion designer, and then it all goes horribly wrong? Here's a happy feel good story that was once disaster. Oh the Horror!

So firstly I got this really weird, stretchy material from the op shop one day. It was kinda granny but kinda retro, so could be kinda good somehow. It was WHITE with pink and blue random 'bits' on it.

I also got some burgandy tights from another op shop on another day, and was very pleased with myself because they were brand new in the packet straight from 1981 (or thereabouts, the packet was OLD, but the stockings were new).

And then I assisted my Husbie one day in doing the washing, and lo and behold we'd put both these said op shop finds in together ACCIDENTLY...

And thus the white material with bits of weird colour had miraculously turned a total GRANNY SHADE of PINK. Disaster. Or was it?

See the results of this frock in tres Granny Chic:

So it didn't turn out too bad! There's surely more terrible disasters in the wash to be had, but let me tell you how GRUMPY I was yesterday after a sewing catastrophe!

So whilst I'm actually really proud now of my fashion designing/mad skillz at sewing etc, yesterday it had all gone to the dogs. I have a gorgeous dress from Lush (on Brunswick Street in Melbs) that I've had for 12 years. THAT'S 12 YEARS. I actually had another one in black, but it started to come apart a while back, so I've just got this sweetie little blue-ish floral dress that has a lovely tie at the front etc but it's prolly going to get a bit threadbare eventually, so I really wanted to make up some dresses in that style. I followed a few patterns from the pattern stash to get the right shape, and then started on the edging (the ties and the neckline bits) and it just started going YUK!

So cause it's stretchy I overlocked the hell outta all the edges. Then I was going to turn it under and top stitch, but I tried normal top stitch and it went all bubbly and wonky and then I tried ol' zig zag (I'd read that it was ol' reliable on stretch materials) and that looked SHITHOUSE and my machine just couldn't cope. . . . MAYBE I had the wrong sized needle in (thinking about it now) or maybe I was going to fast on the machine. But after it looking so bad, I gave up and became a Masterchef at tea time (see below) instead... but today I was in a much better mood and....


It's come together really lovely thanks to the ever so thin cowl neckline or OLD FASHION BIAS BINDING. SAVED THE DAY. So instead of looking like Holly Hobbie in a terribly bad mood, this dress is almost tres chic, even if the pink still looks a bit granny! (Can you tell I don't wear pink that much?)

And here's how I became Masterchef for dinner last night, by following this recipe and making the BEST Tom Kha I've ever tried:

I've been obsessed with Tom Kha (vegetarian not the chickie version) for a while now, it's the coconut, galagal, lime flavoured soup that's perhaps found in Thai places and it a taste sensation. It has sweet, creamy, sour and salty all together and I can't believe I can make it myself JUST AS GOOD AS THE SHOPS!

What a rollercoaster of emotions, disasters, fails and wins in the past 24 hours. Phew Phew Phew, glad it's over and glad I'm back to being fantastic again!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Dress Seventeen: Just a quickie!

Hey ho! Off to "work" I go... I've just gotta post this one (I hemmed it just now) so I can get back into the darling cool sewing room and start another frock!

Thanks to my darling friend Amy (who has a darling etsy store - did you know?), I own this pattern and when I was trawling through my 'quickie frock' patterns this week rediscovered it and was surprised that I haven't made it before*. AND even better, no zips and no buttons. How can it be possible? It's not even cut on the freaking bias?**

Well, here it is:

The only tricky thing is that cause I made it from a bedsheet (or as how you darling experienced blogger/seamstresses say 'muslin'???) the worn bit of the bed sheet couldn't be avoided (not that I tried hard to avoid it whilst cutting):

See you later!

* WHAT? A pattern that I, Veronica Darling owns, and has NOT used yet... WHAT HOW: please don't tell Husbie I have loads and loads and loads of patterns that I haven't used yet. PLEASE!

** I have NO idea how I even know this is a good thing for dresses to be cut on the bias

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Dress Sixteen: Denim Va Va Voom

Hi Frocktober Friends... as you know I'm making a dress for every day in October, and because a month just doens't mean a normal month anymore, I'm calling it Frocktober and instead of *wearing* a dress every day, I'm sewing the hell outta my stash fabric.

Also, the REAL Frocktober is for Ovarian Cancer Research, so if you're doing the real Frocktober and you follow my blog, I'll sponsor you. AND if I sell a dress I'll donate some dosh from that sale to the OCR Foundation too. I was doing a tally somewhere, but might wait until the end of October to add it all up and then donate all at once. Cause I'm too busy sewing darlings!

So dress sixteen is made from a denim fabric, thrifted (care of my Mother in Law) and has some groovy patterns going on:

(Sorry, just realised I took the only front on shot in the shade)

The back has a simple (thrifted) zip and once again, it's made from thrifted threads AND handmade bias binding. It seemed to work better on the thicker material, so perhaps that's a tip for us all?!

I do think the bias instead of facing is a better and quicker option.... BUT look another Lesson Learnt:

Don't let your stash material get near the sun! There's a faint faded line in the above photo, and it's from the freaking fold when it was on my shelf. I've heard of this happening before, and folding and refolding your stash fabric helps, but I guess thicker curtains and no direct sunlight is also best.

Anyways, I made this one as a prototype for my zexxy friend as I was going to make a black one for her if it fits... Discount for you if you like it, the faded fabric will probably all match up eventually.


Yay! So I AM a bit behind on the old Frocktober, but I've just started another one now. Thanks for all your kind messages as well, you guys are darlings and I love your thoughts on the dresses so far! The most common comment is 'I don't know how you find the time' when I talk about it with friends, and I have no idea either. You just can't mess around on the internet or go out much. I'm saving my pennies and not drinking at the moment either, so that helps.

See ya!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Dress Fifteen: Aloha Frocktober!

Yay, how summer is this darling frock?

It's totally vintage material (ie could be 2 years old, could be 30 years old - but feels a bit modern with a stretch) from an op shop somewhere. The zipper and threads (to match) are all freaking vintage or second hand or hand me downs...

And, deep breath, the bias binding (instead of facing) is freaking HANDMADE (a la J at One for you, One for Me...) and sits perfectly (on the outside, rather shithouse on the inside) here:

So it's rather va va voom, and ladies, it's a size 12, medium size bust. I'm going to shop it round my friends, but speak up if you want it listed, cause it's a little bit wiggle and would be perfect for a summer BBQ!


Now, to moan a little, whilst the bias binding was FREAKING EASY to make, the sewing in wasn't as shithot! I read through J's instructions, and then googled a bit myself (how to make it and then how to sew it in) and felt ahead of myself.

But then I did the sewing it in part, and it looked puckered, puffy and rather raised... as in it makes the sleeve bits look flared slightly. (I have told you before that describing sewing has never been my strong point, I can't get a hold of the terms and lingo for things)... but it didn't sit flat once I followed all the instructions. I did iron it, but either my tension was shit or my sewing was too quick... NOT SURE. But I have ironed it like crazy once it's all completed and it doesn't look bad or anything, but now I prefer the facing/lining of this va va voom dress as it sits flatter and profesh looking. Do you know what's going on here (and can perhaps explain it a bit better than I?)???

I'm going to trivia night now. I know a lot of random stuff, but often it's not the right kinda random stuff.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Dress Fourteen: Candy Stripes

Another springtime knit stretch dress, and the last of my series for Frocktober:

See how the colours are kinda pre-faded on some of the stripes too:

It's a recent op shop purchase, this fabric, and I've only got a smidge of it left, so I'm planning a few baby tshirts for friends.

It came up well (if a little creased - I'm scared to iron it in case the colours run) and now there's time to start another dress!

I have no idea what to make now, as I do have a couple of extra orders in for Frocktober too, maybe a colour floral pink dress for Kat? I do have my lighter tones in the overlocker dearhearts, so shall have to stick to it! I don't really wear bright colours, and totally not white (I'm too grubby) so I'll have to update the shop with these last few dresses.

See ya!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Dress Thirteen: Akwa!

And I was right, it turned into a busy weekend!

We LOL-ed at the World's Funniest Island (a completely WEIRD festival with loads of stand up comedy and fun chit chat on Cockatoo Island) yesterday. Most of the LOLZ and fun chit chat was provided by my friends and I.

But the island is just great, it's totally worthwhile going if you've never been to it! It's in the middle of Sydney Harbour, and the visiting public have only just been allowed to stay and camp there (or visit weird festivals) so GO!

Loads of other things happened too, but the best things were visits from Melbs friends, hanging with my LOL friends and buying a new pair of sunnies (yet to be photographed, stay tuned!).


So here's my finished floral aqua number for Frocktober, as I've now changed all my overlockers threads to whites and light aqua colours:

No more blacks for me, I'm trying to get into springtime! This material is totally from the stash, and a vintage op shop find from ages ago!

Yep, I'm still behind on the dress a day for Frocktober, so I'll be a mad seamstress tomorrow. I'm sorry my dresses have all been the same old pattern, but it's seriously the best and quickest knit style I know!

I've got one more of this style (pastel candy stripes) to post, and then I'll try some new styles. Perhaps even make up some dresses... freestyle as it were... shopping in the city today has inspired me, as baggy knits are totally in, and in the stores they are so expensive! My friend told me she saw a Sass & Bide tshirt for over 300 bucks! I KNOW it's designer, but that's just crazy!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Dress Twelve: Charcoal original

Here's my template finally sewn up:

Yep, I've been making a load of these dresses, but this was the last darker colour to sew up, and I'd used it for a template for every other dress. I like to keep my overlocker threads on as long as I possibly can, so that the black threads are always on black or grey material, etc... matching up! Now I'm onto lighter blues and whites... so I'll change my threads over. Professional as possible!

It's a busy weekend already, as predicted, so might post my next few dresses on Sunday.

Have a nice one, whatever you're doing!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Dress Eleven: Stripes!

More stripes!

This is another dress in black and white striped knit material (from The Fabric Store again) but shorter and with cap sleeves instead of full ones like dress Number Five.

It's for my darling friend at work, who's been my best custie at the moment, as we're the same size and it's easy to sew for someone who wears the same sized dress as you!

We've been very busy, Husbie, Doggie Darling & I , this week, so I'm really looking forward to the weekend. We're having a date night tonight with Indian takeaway, and Madman and perhaps John Safran (his tv show, not the man!) and tomorrow I'll post a few more dresses.


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

What not to wear on a windy day (and knitting my streets cont.)

Yep, it's windy in Sydney at the moment!

And maybe it's best NOT to wear a full skirted dress (that's cropped a little and made of taffetta) with little itty bitty undies in the wind:

Luckily no gust at this moment:

(My knitted pole to the left and Doggie Darling to the right)

But I strongly suggest wearing BOY shorts underneath said dress.

And here's my latest street pole!

And there's a gorgeous purple and black street pole in the distance there (from right to left it goes stripey sticker pole of someone's, then my new red stripey pole, then a purple and black pole of someones... then my first colourful stripey pole) yay for urban artscapes.

We got a letter from the council last week explaining how we can get rid of graffitti effectively and should stand up for our streetscapes and rid graff from our council. I was like AS IF, and I'm actually thinking of writing back and to say the graff/stencilling etc is one of the bonuses of living inner city. YAYZ.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Dress Ten: Va Va Voom

Here's my Va Va Voom Dress for Number Ten (A Dress for Each Day of October: Frocktober) and I'm now decidely THE hottest girl in the street because of this LBD.

But! Diana is the model today, as Husbie's working late! And as I've said before, Diana is a pretty hot kinda gal, but unfortunately she doesn't make this one scream Va Va Voom. So here are my seductive photos of her in Number Ten:

Off the shoulder (to show you the red lining) HAWT:

OOOH! Such a cute back Diana, stop! (to show you the big motherfreaking zip I used - SECONDHAND peeps! It must have been from a school bag, it's that massive!)

I really need to get out op shopping to find some more black zips of the petite variety... or stop making black clothes. BUT I CAN'T HELP IT!

And thanks Diana, you look cute enough here:

But darling readers, not as Va Va Voom as your dear author here. But perhaps it's better not to post sexy photos of oneself on one's blog.

I'm a bit behind schedule for the old dresses for Frocktober, but I've got a plenty cut out but just not made. I had to stop off for a facial today (as a yay for not drinking for 2 weeks) and hi to you darling SVBG, I hope you're enjoying your stripey frock!

Also, I knitted up another pole (am I making excuses here?) along my laneway, so I'll post those pics tonight too. xoxo

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Dress Nine: Oranges & Apples Prototype

I like blogging because you get to hang out with people you'd never really bump into down the street or through a friend. And I'm not sure how you view the whole "writing a blog about your day, then reading some other people's blogs who you admire, and then reading some comments nice people have left on your blog, and then leaving some comments on other nice people's blogs" thing, but I'm starting to feel kinda gushy toward a lot of you.

Gushy in a nice, 'oh my friend who writes/reads blogs' kinda way. And perhaps an example of this is how I've gushed this weekend a little over Franca, who writes on Oranges and Apples and is simply too cute to boot! This weekend I wanted to try a few dresses in her size and style (as it is Frocktober, and I was thinking I'd donate some dosh to the real Frocktober appeal here in Australia if peeps buy any of the frocks I make during October*) and ANYWAYS...! When I sew I find it so reflective and overall a wonderfully relaxing experience and my mind has totally wandered thinking about you Franca, and about your day to day life in Scotland etc, so much so that I think we've become TOTAL besties in my mind now. GUSH!

And so, Dress Nine for Frocktober is a prototype of this dress (one of the ideas that Franca mailed me):

Now I know you didn't say Charcoal as a colour you'd like Franca, but I had a lot of this leftover from another dress (that I made ages ago) and thought I'd test it out:

I love the sleeves, and how similar they are to the first photo! Would you believe it's actually the same type of pattern as this floral dress (I've dubbed it the milkmaid dress) but with bell sleeves instead and a longer frock bit, oh, and no tie bit at the back.

I'm not sure if I'll copy the dress in the first photo though, but adding the strip of lighter grey, NOT SURE!

Anyways! So this is your size Franca, if you like it, I'll list it. If you like it but in a diff colour I'll find something else.

Sorry about the crush post darlings, but I do have a vivid imagination and my mind goes WAY too fast usually, so when I sew I feel like I'm putting all my thoughts in order and slowing down a bit. It's been a great weekend with my thoughts and my creations! More to post later so better hop to it!


* so far I'm sponsoring $10 to and donating at least $10 (could be more after I take a stash of dresses to work this week) because I've sold one dress to a gorgeous-head reader.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Dress Eight: Yay for Floral


Internet Win!

So, it was the airport of my Husbie's computer that let us all down! This old hunk o junk that I use in the sewing room works fine (albeit v. slow) so at least I can still post wirelessly today!

Here's dress 8 for Frocktober:

Another cutie floral dress for my friend!

It's the same but different as my frock, same vintage 80s material, pre-faded cause it's old and from the op shop and now 2 gorgeous lovely frocks. I now have a 'line' of clothing. Two things of different sizes mean a line right? Hee Hee!

I'm on a catch up sew/blog roll today, so I'll see you later! You can totes see it's an 'inside' day for me, weird hair, no makeup and weirder hot/cold weather... great for sewing!


Friday, 9 October 2009

Internerdz Fail

Well, I can't blog my Frocktober efforts when the internet fails right?

I love iinet, and the speedy connection but for some reason yesterday it decided not to work. I'm heading home now to fix it up, so I hope I can post again soon.

See ya!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Dress Seven: Small Stripes!

So, I actually didn't have any time to try anything new after all. We had a meeting at work that I stayed around for, and then when I got home I just had to sleep for a bit with my teddy bear ... oh, I mean puppy dog... and then my Husbie got home and we watched an episode of Mad Men... and then it was almost 7 o'clock.


So luckily I had this cut out already, and this time it took perhaps only 30 minutes. THIRTY MINUTES!

It's uber lightweight knit cotton, from The Fabric Store (again on sale) and this is the only one! I only have a bit leftover for a tshirt for my fairy godson! (Speaking of, does anyone know any good sized 1 or 2 baby patterns? I'm going to google tomorrow)

The colour looks burgandy from afar, but it's actually thin brown and red stripes. NICE!

Talk soon!

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...