Saturday, 29 May 2010

Weigel's 2481: Tick!

Yippee! Some successful sewing adventures! Finally!

Yay, here's a completed dress as part of my Amanda's Vintage Pattern Challenge, and it's pretty cute (don't mind the inside shots, it's raining 24/7 round here):

That's the front, and here's the back:

 And a close up on the bow:

Cute! And the messy sewing bench, with the ye olde instructions:

I'm pretty happy to finall show you something! I've been plodding away at this one when I had a spare 20 minutes here and there this past week. I can't believe how freaking quickly the year is going, and I have so much to do! I'll have big news on WHAT we're up to soon enough, but firstly here's my notes on this one:

Fabric: Some georgette stuff, thrifted by my Mother in Law.
Pattern: Weigel's 2481 (from Amanda's Collection)
Notions: Vintage zip, black 12 inch, thrifted from somewhere
Time to complete: 4 hours
Year: maybe 1960s, not sure of exact date
First worn: Too big for me, and too tailored to change.
Wear again? Hopefully one of my friends will like it!
Total Cost:  Free for me, maybe 10c for the zipper.

Yay! Talk to you soon! Gotta get back in to the sewing room for more destashing and creating!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Oooh pretty scoopy back dress!

I am really over the moon about scoopy or v-neck BACKS on dresses!

Sozza for the huge photo, but had to show you the details! This is what I'm currently making for the next installment of Amanda's Vintage Pattern Challenge, where my new pen pal Amanda has shared her pattern collection with me to sew up while the darling lass prepares for her wedding! June right Amanda? It's coming around soon!

For the material, I've chosen some 90s (in feel and looks I think) black and white floral gorgette stuff. My Mother in Law is a mad op shopper too, and I think she found this for me. Of course it was sitting in a little 'I've been washed' pile of fabrics on the floor (no room on the shelves my friends, bad bad bad times at Veronica Darling's Sewing Studio I can tell YOU) so perfect for my DESTASH craze as well. I've also selected some lining, that I can't really remember what it is now... Oh some weird flashy and cheap feeling fabric (also thrifted) and there's a kinda short thrifted zipper to go with too. It's a back zipper, so hence the shortness. So far I've had to resize the amount of material in the skirt, as always these dresses are very full, and because I'm using an op shopped piece of fabric, I have to cut and adapt to what I have.

I don't know about you but I was reminded of what I love about sewing and creating WITHIN restrictions... there was a group of lovely new faces I caught up with on Saturday (Hello, darling Dangerous Kettle) and we talked about loads of things, but I gushed about some of my challenges. For me, setting challenges and goals means I'm creating within limits and it's always a mad moment when something really amazing comes out of these restrictions. It's the same with using these op shopped pieces, there's only enough fabric for a certain style sometimes, or these pieces of fabric (sometimes only 1 metre and a half for a dress!) set the rules, but really push me as a seamstress to adapt a pattern around the fabric amount. I REALLY love this.

When I was younger (and I forgot to say this DK, on Saturday) I studied loads of these kinds of artists/writers/creators and Georges Perec was one of my faves because he wrote a book - a novel - without using the letter 'e' called 'A Void' ... he had other vowels but no 'e'... I was always amazed at this, and how setting up guidelines and rules for yourself is actually liberating in that you're creating something very unique. GUSH!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Sewing Room Destash: Another Green Floral Skirt

Yep, it's the last of that green floral sheet. The bulk of it started out as a darling 40s dress and it was such a large sheet, in great condition that I soon made my own designed skirt and this week I finished another skirt:

I followed my 'Sew U: Built by Wendy' book for the pattern, and also Wendy showed me how lining works.  I just did the zipper myself, by sewing it sandwiched between both fabrics, and am a little proud of how neat it looks without the zipper showing anywhere. ZIP FTW. I'm gradually appreciating  lining, especially as light fabrics (which I have a lot of in my stash, and haven't been using because they're see through) need that kinda blocking out. It's actually less fiddlier than I though, since you're just doing a copy of the skirt in the lining fabric (op shopped as well) and it makes the waistband really neat and finished. I suppose if you fuck up the darts (like make them different in the lining piece than the skirt piece) it won't be as neat, but that didn't seem to happen here. 

FYI, I would have tried it on to show you, but GOSH it's tight. I either have to lose some blubb or give it away to a mini petite woman instead of just a petite woman. Why do I make such small things!? I think in this case, it's all the fabric allowed for, as it was a true remnant. THRIFTY!

AND, I'm so freaking happy because soon I'll show you some news (more destashing of my fabric!) on Amanda's Vintage Pattern Challenge! If you're a regular reader, you'll know I love a challenge. This year has SO many real life challenges for me, that my sewing room challenges are a little slower (but not forgotten!) so I'll be posting soon with news on a darling Weigel pattern!

Talk soon, Veronica

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Sewing Room Destash: Another Elastic Skirt

Here's a really very simple skirt, that I was terrified of doing initially:

It's almost flannel feeling, this material with a very slight stretch. It's an op shopped piece again, that I was never really sure about what to use it for. As winter is coming up for us, I've cut a smidge off to make this mini skirt... but what terrified me was I actually, for the first time, attached wide elastic to the waistband... WITH THE OVERLOCKER!

The golden threads there are the overlocker underside, and then I turned it under and straight stitched it/topstitched and it looks great. It was scary because I thought the overlocker wouldn't feed the elastic evenly, or I would stretch it out wrong, but the elastic seems even, and not wonky. It's a really simple skirt, and it may not work on every material. Have you done this before? Any tips?

I feel like I should be more adventurous with elastic because it's so versatile to a garment, and could expand the stuff I make (like elastic around the middly of dresses etc). I just get a bit nervous that it'll fuck up somehow and I've wasted my time. Oh well, this is nice nonetheless. I used my friend's skirt as a model (when I hemmed it for her) and probably will make similar things again.

Anyways, I am going OK with my sewing room destash, it's *kinda* getting cleaner and I've pulled out a few patterns now to cover the bigger pieces of material that are lying around. Making things up from the messy room is certainly fun, but slower than folding up fabric and having a neat shelf!

Happy Midweek to you, Veronica

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Sewing Room Destash: Instant Scarf

Hey again! Another trusty tip for destashing your sewing room/cupboard/drawer WITHOUT selling your stuff on ebay/etsy or chucking things in the bin (HORROR!) and here's an easy (almost no sew) type thing!

My friends often cut off the hems to their dresses and share the excess material with me! So if they were once into flowing maxi dresses or moo moo's one summer, they cut them off and have a shorter dress or top for another season. So I have a few bags full of really lovely material 'hoops', as my friends just cut off the dress, I'm assuming, as it lays flat on the ground. So what I get is a lovely wide circle of material!

I pulled out this great fabric this week, and overlocked the raw edge, and hung it around my head, voila, instant scarf!

Sorry I didn't have time to grab a long shot, as my Husbie's camera just had the short stubby lens, at least it's a beautiful blur of colour! If I didn't explain it properly, here's a heap of linky dinks for you, so I've saved you the googling!

A Circle Scarf with Great Pictures by My Waking Memories

DIY Circle Scarf by Maria

Absolutely no sew tshirt scarf by Missy on Cut Out and Keep

Some online peeps talking about the Circle Scarf with some piccies on other ways to wear it!

A video to show you how to do it, by It's Blitzzz!

Yay! Heaps of linky dinks for you, and I'll see you soon with more Destashing Moments, I've got skirts on the go, and some more Vintage Pattern Challenges in the works! All made from things that are making my sewing room messy and I'm too lazy to fold the materials all away, so instead I'm making stuff. HARDCORE.

Love to you, Veronica Darling

Monday, 17 May 2010

New Knitting Cafe!


Sydney's Inner West crafty queens have an official new hangout! I walked past last week coming back from the hairdressers and almost tripped over myself! Newtown just keeps getting better and better at the moment.

First up, our first official 'bar' opened up (Corridor - Newtown) and got us all excited, then another bar got an excellent write up in the paper (Bloodwood - I keep calling it Bloodbank after the Bon Iver song though) and is hideously full each Friday/Saturday so you'll never get a table (Husbie and I had a drink there the other day!) and then my favourite Thai place (I would travel across town for, it's that good) opened up on King Street too!

So, things are looking up, especially when King Street goes crafty! The cafe is called 'A Coffee and A Yarn' and after googling I see that Amy over at Badskirt has also given the place a thorough review! Here are a few pictures I managed to sneak when I visited today for GREAT chats with my darling friend Emma!

We just chatted a LOT, so no knitting, but heaps of people were knitting! Emma was going to take her mum there, and I've got to spend a bit more time browsing 'good wool' instead of my second hand stash!

Yay for the Inner West!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Sewing Room Destash: Woolie Blankie

Aw the babies are being born left right and centre (actually not centre, that *could* mean me - so let's just say AROUND me) and last week on my holiday I found my stash of wool and just dove right into a baby blanket pattern.

It's really simple, a gigantic granny square, but it looks so good! It's for a little girl called Elke, who we'll hopefully meet this weekend! Yay! It took a whole ball of red, and two balls of yellow that my Doggie Darling had pulled a part and left messy in my sewing room, so hence the destash grab. There's still a lot of mess in the sewing room mind you! Here's how Doggie Darling is most of the time:

She's usually so quiet and cute, but has terror tantrums in the sewing room sometimes. Perhaps a bit like her mummy!

I'm using Lightroom all the time now, it's so easy to export the photos out smaller, and I wanna google up those settings that you suggested lovely ParakeetPie (who makes very lovely profesh looking things!) because I wanna get the 60s rounded edges that picnik uses!

My sewing room destash continues today and onto the weekend, I'm just doing some house errands now (on the computer! No need to 'run' errands these days in my life) and will head back in.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Finding the best coat in town

I'd really love to make a winter coat this year, and probably should start thinking about it now, in my Sewing Room Destash Mode. I bet there's a few heavier fabrics I have stored away for a shorter cropped coat, or perhaps something vintage looking that I can adapt for less material. Thrifty thrifty!

Here are some of the coats listed on Vintage Sewing Patterns Wiki (an excellent browsing place darlings, but also one for cataloguing your patterns to make others love them too! I haven't gotten around to updating any of mine, but I will when I get all that time off... in like... never!) that I would LOVE to make:

Kwik Sew 419 View A is great, I love that big collar! Photo from the Wiki!

Or what about this style up top (check those darts or something above the arms), but perhaps cropped:

That's Butterick 8046 and what a GREAT frock there too! I love the shorter arms of the jacket!

This perhaps won't be too good for my body shape:

But I could give it a go!? I love the lime stripes and that room at the back. It's McCall 7664 and if it's lined, could be kinda warm. So the artist-look!

But check out this sideway angular design!

That looks SO 80s hey? It's Vogue 1107, it's not dated, only that the next pattern up in the wiki is 1113 (and also very nice!) and that's dated early 1960s. If you click through to the see the bigger photo, I like that black overcoat... it's kinda an upside down V at the front and scoops down at the back (according to the wiki page) and almost a perfect dreamboat of a coat for me! Cute neckline and buttons!

Anyways, hope you're enjoying your week! It's flat chat for us, and starting to get colder at night (and those early mornings - eep!) so I'm on the hunt now for all those darling winter recipes for tea time. Last night was a lemograss mushroom noodle soup, and tonight may be this lemongrassy stir fry. Lemongrass and garlic (and ginger too) are my fave winter things to prevent colds, I'm not a big sickie so these things ward off germs in my house! My husbie just get the flu shot each year now, and I eat up these zingy lovely things.


Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Sewing Room Destash: Elastic Skirt

Hi again!

So, my next destash project involved some thin pieces of elastic and a scrap of random floral material! I'm slowly going through my Sewing Room and picking up my mess and instead of putting it all away ('cause I bet I'll go crazy again and pull things out and throw material around the room like I usually do), I'm being incredibly practical and kinda creating a challenge for myself. I'm picking up random things and MAKING stuff out of it!

This floral piece of fabric is cotton, with a very nice wool heaviness to it, and I think it was a recent op shop purchase that I'd washed and it was getting ready to be folded by lying around on the floor. Then I was flicking through modcloth over the weekend to see what style skirts are in fash (I'm so bad and really unfashionable - don't tell anyone! I just make whatever usually without checking the fash) and settled on a gathered waistband WITH AN ELASTIC WAIST at the back and a nice flat front waistband:

I had some scraps of elastic, kinda thin stuff, so cut three pieces to fit my back area. And here's the elastic around the back:

I built a casing on the waist band instead of 'shirring' as I have never done it before and will start soon, but not midweek with a Sewing Room to DEstash not to create more stash (I think that shirring elastic is very petite and not 0.5 cm thick like this stuff I had).

BUT, I had a slight miscalculation (which I then drew a miniature pattern to follow for next time) and sewed the waistband first WITH the elastic in, BEFORE I connected the skirt to the waistband. So technically you add the elastic last (seems like a good idea now as an afterthought) because the whole waistband went all bunchy and tight (like it is sitting on my waist above) and it was extremely hard to attach the skirt on the overlocker, cause I had to stretch out the waistband and generally feel like a goosey goose the whole time.

La La La, learning on the job!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Sewing Room Destash: Refashion for Dogs

Ok, just a little note this evening (my time of course) as I have a bundle of funny Destash Posts for you! Tips on how to rapidly decrease your stash and refashion pile WITHOUT selling your stuff on ebay (even if certain people in your household would love to see you do that)... sounds good to you? Read ON!

First up! TIGHTS! I buy all secondhand - or make it myself of course - and when I saw this pair of NEW blue ribbed school like tights in the op shop I bought them STRAIGHT away. I thought hey! I'm little and I usually fit ANY size of tights! I wore them last winter, and they were so bright blue and lovely and warm. BUT they sagged around the crutch! They fitted on the hips, but were the longest annoying-est crutch ever... all day long I'd be 'hiking' them up so that my crutch didn't show under my mini skirts.

So! This winter, I was determined to wear them properly! I cut them off at the crutch (and now have darling long socks) and refashioned the crutch piece into (please don't laugh at her) a darling 'off the shoulder' sailor top for my Darling Doggie:

I cut one hole for her head, but used the existing leg holes in the crutch for her own little doggie arms. It was kinda loopy and stretchy around the 'neckline' so I found some other stash off cuts and fashioned a 'binding neckline' and tied the excess into a bow. Tres sailor girl.

So bit by bit, I'm going through my sewing room and tidying up all my loose ends. YAY!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Vintage Videos - Va Va Voom

Good morning (for me right now!) and hope you're up and at 'em like me whatever you're doing today. I've already warned off a cold to my throat via a thai massage this week and really started getting my sewing room destashed (at this stage, just by making things, so more news on that later) so I am feeling pretty good. I just hope that I don't get more sick later! Isn't that the way though, you get on holidays and then get sick?

Not me though, no way, I'm thinking WAY too positively for that and getting some mean vintage-esque love via Beyonce!

"Why Don't You Love Me" - Beyoncé from Beyoncé on Vimeo.

My friend posted this to me, who is not a big vintage lover, but screamed Let's Go Vintage Shopping! I'd be interested in what you think though, because I feel that while a lot of Beyonce's style above is vintage, there are a lot of modern twists as well. She looks SO fabulous in the pin up style though, and shouldn't curvy be back by now with Beyonce leading the way?

Talk soon!


Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Sewing Room Destash: Green Floral Skirt

After making this dress a few weeks back:

I had some leftover floral and stripes to make a skirt, so of course instead of fold it up nicely and put it on my fabric shelves I threw it on the sewing room floor til I was ready to make this:

It's one of my own creations (seen here and a few other times in the skirt archives), but pretty simply designed using the skirt part from the most material you have left (and all gathered in to fit the waistband) and the waist band that measures a bit more than your waist.

You save a bit over to do the button holes:

That doesn't really make sense! Oh well! If I had time I would post tutorials!

I'm going through my sewing room this week and picking up all the bits that have been thrown around and finishing them off. For some reason, I haven't been able to get into a sewing swing this year. My creations have been rushed, or sporadically made so for the first time ever I have UNFINISHED OUTFITS! I believe these are called UFO's? With my week off, I really need to get everything done because I'm going through a destash. I haven't *really* worked out what the destash will be, like how extreme (because I've honestly wanted to get rid of heaps of fabric that I've never sewn with before), so perhaps this week I'll get that sorted and then set up some Destash Tips for us to look at... Some of us are totally fine to keep materials and sewing things forever and ever (I love this idea) but short on space and time to sew, do we have to make sacrifices? Do we say goodbye to lacey old things because one doesn't sew using these notions? Do I cull a bunch of patterns because they're a little 80s or the wrong size?

What restrictions (if any) do you put on your sewing room/drawer/cupboard things?

Monday, 3 May 2010

Becoming a Square

Oh yippee, holidays are great! And guess how late I slept in today? 7am... yes 7AM! Hee hee, totally beats 4am! (Although my regular Taxi Driver called at 4.45am as I'd forgotten to remind him I was off work for a week. Oops!)

Today I played a few computer games, read the paper, did a bit of shopping at Office Works and had lunch with friends. Doggie Darling is overjoyed at the amount of time we've spent together (I've walked for almost an hour each day with her, listening to podcasts, and starting to feel trim!) and is totally pooped out, which is good for her!

But here's my latest project, a total crafty attempt at crocheting, and rather succeeding at it! Yay! They're only small Granny Squares, and I now have almost 30 of them! Yay! I think once I reach over 40 it'll be time to sew them up, for my new baby friend in the UK. He/She's not born yet, and is a massive bump now!

I've been googling up how to sew them together, and of course there's plenty of different ways. I only want the 3 colours (Red, Purple, Black) though so it might be a bit hard to crochet them together nicely and neatly, so I'll probably just sew them all up. I've left all the tails on the squares so they'll come in handy.

Now, reds are usually always bad on my camera, as I don't know how to set up the camera properly, and then I just used 'Lightroom' for the first time in setting this 'look'... I changed the white balance and then put a vignette on ... so sorry it looks kinda dorky, but it was really easy to use and import. I could even import it as a lo fi jpeg to upload to blogger quicker. If you have used Lightroom before, do you have any tips for complete novices? My Husbie got it for us, as he's entering the magic world of photography with leaps and bounds, he even shot his first proper paid wedding the other day and the phots look smashing!

Now that I'm on hols, you'll probably see me around here a bit more!


Sunday, 2 May 2010

In a Food Coma to start Holidays


I'm on holidays for a week, and luckily it's started with lots of food, drink and now rolling around on the couch because we spent the day at Tetsuya's yesterday! Yippee! I've never been to this fancy place before, but have heard about it a LOT about it over the years. When I was in my early 20s, and living in Melbs, I remember my friend told me her whole family flew up to Sydney just to dine there. They were a big 'foodie' family, but I remember thinking 'Why would you fly to another city just to go to a restaurant?'... and now I know why:

It was a 5 hour epic food festival! That's me with my darling macaroons (the purple ones were lilac and my favourite!) but you can't really see in the photo but I'm ZONKED full of food. It was over 12 courses and with matching wines throughout, I probably needed another body to help me through it.

Yay! What a great way to start my hols!

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...