Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Sew Weekly: Red, White and Blue

This week for the Sew Weekly challenge, my post went up nice and early! Sometimes I wait around til posting here after it goes up on Mena's blog. I finished it on Sunday night, and it was a UFO challenge (Unfinished Object in the seamstress world) but I the only UFO I had was a skirt from the same material from the last UFO challenge. More details on Mena's blog about the UFO background!

This whole outfit started with my new hand me down blue vintage jacket. It's wool, warm and kind of is a perfect fit for a petite lass, which is why my friend gave it to me last week. I have a lot of black based outfits, and usually prefer tee-ing up my colour coordination around black. Lately, I'm getting a bit more experimental though, as I've been loving purple and red together (instead of red and black) and even WHITE shirts to get a sharp look like this outfit!

I wore this to work yesterday, and it was really cute and comfy. I did feel a little formal, because I don't really wear suits or office attire, but I love the whole look. The white blouse I made for the black and white cup day outfit, and is so cute too!

My awesome exposed zipper! It was the first time I've sewn one on, and read through the Burda tutorial (it's one of the first tutorials that comes up if you search for exposed zipper tutorials!) but then adapted it for my fabric. It's IKEA fabric, and it's really thick upholstery stuff. I originally got it sometime in 2009, and made this awesome Dog Bed for my babe of a dog, but of course she chewed it all up and it was a bit sad. But at least I have this skirt now! Here's the pattern I used:

It's totally the easiest skirt and such a lovely shape! I made the waistband a little wider to fit more of the hearts in. Yippee! I've just gotten back from Go Go Dancing (I'm starting to get back into it again!) so I'm super dooper tired. I'll check in with you soon, if you have a blog, and if you don't, HI TO YOU! Hope you're well xoxo

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Scrappy Snakes

Last week, Husbie noticed that we have large gaps under two of the doors in our house. We are currently in a weatherboard place, that shifts around depending on the seasons. In summertime, I would often come downstairs to see the front door wide open, and I couldn't understand why it wouldn't latch like it did before. Our lovely landlord lives next door, and he fixed the lock to its summertime position, and sure enough, when it didn't close a few months ago, he shifted it to its wintertime one.

And so, in deeper wintertime, we've got gaps under the doors.

I made these two door snakes (do you call them something else?) from metre long scraps, and stuffed them FULL of all the offcuts that turned into a carpet in my sewing room. I stuffed overlocker scraps, threads, pattern tissue offcuts... just about anything that was on the floor that wasn't perishable or plastic! What a way to tidy up and recycle!

You might remember the fabric from this door snake! It was the base for my awesome first try at piping, for the Embellish This Sew Weekly theme!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Sew Weekly: Trackies to Totally Unreal

I know in blogland, the 'best' photo you've got should start the post. It's like a newspaper or a magazine front cover, and it's got to be captivating and exciting and beautiful and shizz like that. As we all know, I'm way not that kinda person, nor blogger. Hence this extremely daggy photo of me trying to fit into ONE leg of a pair of trackie dacks. Why?

FOR REFASHION! First I found my McCalls 4260 had long vertical pattern pieces, which I could use to refashion these 'far too large' tracksuit pants for this week's Sew Weekly theme. And I did a little sketch how to alter the pattern pieces to fit the trackie dack fabric. You may have seen my results on Mena's Sew Weekly blog. BUT for those who can't wait for the jump:

Those trackie dacks turned into THIS:


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Breaking Bad Blankie

I can't remember when I started this crochet project!? Was it Christmas time? I remember the wool was on sale, so maybe it was post Christmas/January sales? I could look back in my archives, but I wanted to quickly show my progress, because it's starting to look cute to boot!

We've been watching the VERY intense Breaking Bad while I distract myself and multitask with crocheting these squares. I finished the colour squares a little while ago, and have done the black edging all in the past 2 weeks. As it's super cold at night time, I'm DYING to have this finished, and am investigating online all the ways to join the squares up. I know there's heaps of different ways, and I've tried a couple, but am can't make up my mind what style I'd like for this one.

To give you some perspective on the size, here's Doggie Darling, who honestly cannot resist being in my photos at the moment. Anytime I bring the camera out now, she's turning on the charm!

My week has been quite busy, but I'm feeling quite organised. It's SO weird, as I'm working early hours again in my day job, so whilst it's awesome and I'm working with such delightful people each day, I've forgotten how weird and tired you can feel from using so much energy at the start of the day. You can kinda feel like an alien!

Hope you're enjoying your week so far! xoxo

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Husbie Sunday: Antique Ascot

This was that time that I went to the Ascot Races, but back in the previous century. Husbie can certainly transport me back in time!

I hope you're having a lovely weekend! I'm overjoyed with the feedback you've given me this week, you are the best best best! It's totally inspiring to have you there smiling and LOL-ing with me! I've got a lot of awesome posts planned for this week, so am full of optimism AND craftiness around the home! I'm turning my hand at being a real proper House Lover!


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Sew Weekly: Photo Finish

Hello! In what could quite possibly be my highest sewing peak of the year, I'd like to introduce you to my 3 piece suit, made by yours truly for this week's Sew Weekly Theme: At the Races!

As you can see, I'm very happy with my sewing this week! Bursting at the seams with pride, but luckily thanks to my mad tailoring skillz, not bursting at the seams literally.

I adore the jacket, it's perfectly cropped for a petite lass, and I cut back the sleeves/cuffs so that they didn't dangle around my fingers like normal store bought jackets do. Honestly, the best thing about sewing for yourself is making the perfect fit. Off the rack will never, ever, be the same again, and actually thinking about buying store bought clothes makes me itch in anticipation of the bad fit. But, what I did discover buy making this skirt, was that pleats and tapering skirts don't fit well for my rounded hips and mini waist and I might have to rewatch episodes of Mad Men just to see Joan's waistline's darts.

Many of you, over on my Sew Weekly post, have said the skirt looks great, so it must be really a comfort thing and a self concious worry - because the skirt (with its high waistband) has too much 'frump' and bulk around the middle in my opinion. Oh well!

Whilst the photos are absolutely beautiful (Thanks Husbie! You're a star! When are you going to start your own blog, hey?!) it was totally freezing... as it was first thing in the morning, you can see my breath it's that cold!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Against All Odds

This is the post I'd planned on writing last night, or this morning, before my Sew Weekly post went up. Life, eh?

I was going to say 'Where Am I?' with this photo of Makybe Diva, and then you who lives in Melbourne, will be like: 'Flemington' and then I'd be like, imagine how this pattern turns out:

Tune in to my blog here and I'll reveal all etc etc etc (it's such a cute pattern though, hey?!)

But, life got in the way of my wonderful 'set up' post and now my beautiful blog post is up on Mena's site (It's my fave everything by far!) and instead of blurring over the details, here's a little insight into my chaos and what's on the top of my brain this week:

- Working & planning 6 radio shows, with different needs and expectations
- In the middle of applying for my job which became a 'real' position; job interview next week
- Got a 'crick' in my neck from picking up my dog and moving a bit
- 99 per cent confirmed that we've sold our house, which means we could buy another one
- Budgeting for an overseas holiday we've been planning for 500 years
- Retraining our dog who's slipped into the terrible twos era
- Interest rates, cost of living, blah blah blah
- Watching Breaking Bad Season 3 and realising it's MORE stressful than real life!

And so much more, but you'll be bored of it. I hate lumping my worries into a list on my blog, but maybe it's just venting and getting it off my shoulders and throwing it into the world so I can take a deep breathe and type this now and then... maybe it's not a worry.

Tomorrow? You'll see some of the LOL photos from that wonderful outfit post, and we'll all get ready for the weekend and it will be lovely.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Shoesday: Wintertime

 a) I dared to wear open toe heels and opaque tights
b) rainy outside and slippery on the tram
c) cowboy boots 
d) and cowboy boots again.

It finally turned freezing in my town, so I haven't been too adventurous with my footwear. It's never snowing freezing, just crispy freezing and sometimes rainy. When it's NOT rainy I can wear my trusty cowboy boots. They've given up the ghost and have cracks in the soles. And I have cracks in my soul because of them. I love them so much. I wish they could last longer.

This Shoesday, I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel workwise, so I'm pretty happy. I'm making dahl for my darling, and getting my Sew Weekly notes and photos together so I'll have some sewing adventures to show you soon. And we went on *quite* the adventure to get the photos this time. Hilarity WILL ensue!

Hope you're well xoxo

Monday, 13 June 2011

Husbie Monday: A freezing cold photo shoot


My Husbie gets up to tricks on photoshop, and this time instead of mad colour grading (he's a film colourist in real life) he's been at the old lasso cut n paste. (I'm guessing, as I don't really use potatoshop that much!) But I thought, today, I'd show you a little behind the scenes of a classic Husbie Photoshoot.

We had 10 minutes on the way to work last week to take the Pillowslip Dress photos, and I know the photos came up wonderfully, but it was FREEZING cold. So for the 'test' photos, I had to be rugged up and obviously really grumpy looking!

As I've been away a lot of the last month, I'm really making the Sew Weekly garment at the last possible minute (sorry Mena!), taking photos and then writing my post, and usually I am a few weeks ahead of myself. So it's a little rushed for me at the moment! But as you can see, like magic, once Husbie has the light meter right (or whatever he does while I'm grumpy), off with my jacket and a wonderfully big "I'm freaking cold" smile, and there's gorgeous photos for Mena's blog, and my blog.

But, we're friends here right? So the trick, I think, to having 5 or 6 gorgeous photos to make 'public', is to take at least double that (plus the 'test the light grumpy' photo above) so you have maybe 20 or so photos of you in different poses. There will be the LOL photos that you can delete and the cute photos that you can publish and you're comfortable with. Of course, at the moment, I have no qualms about being a dickhead, so this post is FULL of photos I'd probably have never published online... lucky you! I'm in a funny mood!

Funny arms with a 'I'm freaking still cold' face!

BUT, have a look at the outline around me (you can especially see it on my ponytail and the left edge of my furry coat in the photo above), it's the sunlight coming through the hedge, and this creates a 'backlighting' effect. (Please forgive me if you are a real photographer and have been educated! I'm always terrible with explaining things with their correct terminology!) BUT, when you're taking photos outside look to where the sun is coming from and usually if you stand between it and the camera, you'll be backlit and therefore you'll stand out more from the background!

ANOTHER TRICK? Your camera won't want to use the flash, as it's really bright with the sun coming through, but if you 'force the flash' you'll make sure you're well lit AND the backlighting remains. Sometimes if your backlighting is really strong (ie a super hugely sunny day) you'll be in the dark, so forcing the flash creates a 'flash fill' at the front. The photos above were taken at 8am here in Melbourne, so the sun was up but not super strong, and also at a great angle for these photos because it was lower to the ground (as it's wintertime sun).

Lighting is really cool, and I bet if you play around a bit, you'll get some really cool results!

We're having a LONG weekend here, because of the Queen's Birthday! YAY QUEENIE! Means more sewing for me!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Sew Weekly: Pinky Pillowslips

If I were 7 years old right now, I would have DIED seeing these colours and print! For the Sew Weekly theme this week, we made things from pillowcases, and everyone really pulled together some different stuff! Amazing that the original fabric for all of us was less than a metre long and a head space wide!

My fabric were two handmade pillows, like I showed you earlier in the week, and totally my dream colours for a while in the 80s. Remember that pastels 'went' with black and grey really well? Remember the black and pink pastel ornaments (like swans and faux deco vases)? YES. I bet that's where this fabric hails from.

I love refashioning, but this dress was a little annoying because it just wasn't that remarkable. I wrote a little more about my ups and downs on Mena's blog if you want all the details, but unfortunately it's not my fave dress I've ever made. The pattern is Amanda of Adelaide's (who has kindly loaned me a bunch of her patterns) and needed some resizing, which was good because then I had just enough fabric, but either the fabric didn't sit well with the style, or the pattern didn't work with my resizing... because the fit isn't as lovely as I'd hoped.

Fabric: two thrifted pillowcases  ($2)
Pattern: Simplicity 5016
Year: early to mid 1960s
Notions: bias binding, stash
Time to complete: 2
First worn: June 2011
Wear again? Maybe, if I cut the neckline lower.
Total Cost: $2

BUT! How funny are these photos of my arms!


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Slipping in a refashion

This week for the Sew Weekly theme, we've all been making something out of a pillowcase, or a pair of pillowcases.

Mena has prepared some good advice in looking for these items at the thrift store or op shop, and I'd agree! I'm certainly no stranger to using bedlinen in my creations before, and I'd strongly recommend using doona covers and bedsheets if you are a beginner seamstress! You can cut up as much as you like to try out skirts and dresses, and no harm or great amount of dosh lost if you stuff it up. Believe me, I've stuffed up a LOT in my sewing! AND, I may or may not be starting to reveal a stuff up right now... hmmm?

I went to Savers a few weeks back and found some pillowslips!

Really basic but large printed 80s ones, and the only ones that were a proper twinset that I liked. They are also handmade! CUTE! But, I then went to Sydney for work and finished my dress yesterday, and it's not really up my alley. I wished I'd bought the pillowslips and made the dress straight after, because with a bit of time away from the sewing room... I totally couldn't remember why I'd chosen such a large print and really couldn't remember what pattern I'd had in mind for it... I wish I could plan better with my sewing, but I'm just so impulsive!

Such a show pony is old Doggie Darling! Anyways, my Sew Weekly post goes up later this week and you'll see what's what!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Shoesday: Two of Us

Often on Shoesdays I show you my shoes when I'm waiting for the train. Sometimes I don't wait alone, and isn't it cute when we're all in black?

Shock Horror: I've been sewing and it's pretty funny! Will have some news soon!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Sew Weekly: Pretending it's summer!

Hello, and thank you so much for all your darling happy comments on my post last week! I just read them all now, and it makes me so happy! Yippee! Here are my final photos from Magnetic Island in Queensland (Husbie and I went for rock walk!) which we took after my brother's wedding. Thank you all for the well wishes, and it was a very nice affair indeed.

This week I've been in Sydney for work, so hence my lack of posting! It was really fun as I got to work with a bunch of my darling Sydney based colleagues and see some great bands and eat some awesome food and smash some yummy champagne. I had a panic on Monday that I'd left my crochet at home, and I'd get a crafty craving (honestly, I sometimes do get a niggle when I'm away from the sewing room, CRAFTY NERD ALERT) but it was just far too busy all week to even sit still.

This dress is for Sew Weekly's Summer Dress theme, as it's now Summer in the Northern Hemisphere and all you loves who live there must be happy for some warmer days! It's officially winter here in Australia of course, but I thought since we were in Queensland I could make a versatile dress summer AND winter. I've worn it a few times with tights and a cardigan but I'll be able to wait til our summertime for it to become a comfy beach dress.

At the moment, I'm writing this at the Sydney Airport, and I'm planning on some more posts and different ideas for my blog! All great things (I hope), but more on that soon! Of course, I have some funny photos for you as well (in case you missed my post on Sew Weekly, the little creature is a rock wallaby!):

Chat 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...