Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Month of Weddings

One of the reasons I've been a little absent here on the blog lately, is because March has been wedding month. The first was one of my oldest school friends, and as you can see they didn't scrimp on the desserts! Choc dipped strawberries and wedding cake (white chocolate!) for afters!

Husbie took a few photos here and there for them, and we'll get them together in an album for them as a present!

Last week and today however, are friends of friends' (kinda) weddings that we are the working photographers! I'm the assistant photographer of course, not the real one, but everyone loves the look of my photos with my Lumix (I should honestly get sponsorship with them, this camera is adorable). Today's wedding is near Geelong, so it's a little drive down the coast for us and a day meeting you new people and taking their photos!

What are you up to today?!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Big Girls Undies

Once there was a pair of big cotton tail undies... they were purchased from a very cheap (and closing down) department store in Footscray. Being so cheap, they did start to fall apart, but they were so big and comfy... giving you a lot of warmth. The kidneys! Cotton Tail Undies warm the kidneys.

So they eventually did fall apart, but became a little sewing science experiment for one shy Veronica Darling, of West Footscray. Cutting them up and examining how they were built created a wonderful high waisted, warming of the kidneys new pair of undies... made from.....


Step by Step:

1. Turn Husbie's tshirt inside out. Lay down old undies (now cut up) on both thickness of tshirt (matching up front piece with Dalek pictures)... cut around but leave about an inch on all sizes.
2. Get to the gusset (is that the underneath bit? Not sure?) and just cut out 2 more pieces with extra thickness.
3. Pin front and back pieces to gusset (both thicknesses of gusset) and sew
4. Cut existing hem of tshirt for leg hole binding
5. Sew (I overlocked the whole thing mind you, apart from the last waist band fold) binding to leg holes.
6. Sew up sides
7. Turn right side out. Marvel at dalek placement
8. Overlock elastic to waistband on inside
9. Turn in and then topstitch with a straight stitch.
10. Undies to wear the next day.

Huge apologies, but you can understand why I'm not modelling these. Especially since they're horrendously highwaisted (which is very comfy for me as it gets cooler), it'd just be a blob of tummy!

I *will* be making more from old tshirts though, they're amazing!

UPDATE: And, I guess this is part of my 100 Things, undies are things! 2/100

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Comedy Time Again!

As March draws to a close, Melbourne begins to get just that little more shinier, a little more busier and a little more... funnier. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is a long running institution for me, I love this time of year and have fond memories as a 14 year old following around Julian Clary & Sean Hughes trying to understand their jokes... when they visited the festival in the 1990s. I still adore comics, love seeing new and innovative routines and I'm super lucky, for part of my job is to be across them and what they're on about.

This year, I'm involved in the festival again, for work and pleasure. I'm midway through organising our own big radio event, and will head off tonight to see Celia Pacquola and Paul Foot to being my mad dash around the city. If you haven't been through the city during comedy festival time, it's hard to explain... but a few blocks around the Town Hall and Trades Hall are splashed with waves of comedy fans... everyone has big smiles awaiting their laughter... but mostly everyone you meet will attempt to be funny. "Everyone's a comedian" is my catch phrase during the festival, as normal punters (who are all so friendly, mind you! I often just meet random people through the city during the festival) try their jokes, or retell the jokes they've heard... everyone's a little more funnier.

Personally, I forget a lot of jokes, and whilst I love comedy and seeing comedians, I don't get the retelling of jokes... Last year one of my faves comics Tig Notaro had a few catch phrase type lines, which were delivered in her droll American tones, so that was easier for me to remember... but my retelling of her jokes just would never work.

Anyways, because it's *that* time of year, I'll be a little occupied with the LOLZ but hope to check in with you here and there... if you're looking forward to any comics - let me know who they are! I'd love to check them out! AND, I'll give you my faves as well... I'll mostly be tweeting from here if you'd like a step by step narrative (not during the shows mind you!) but I'll check in with you here too. I have to show you my handmade Grandma Underpants, don't I!???


Monday, 26 March 2012

Our house becoming our home

We've now been in the new house since November, so almost 5 months... so many things have happened here already, and there will probably be stacks more stuff this year too. We're loving Doris Day's company, and trying to stop her being naughty and behave like a domestic animal (any one else has found their dog standing up on the kitchen table?)... we'll see how she goes with training.

I've kept the garden my way, dying off lots of weird water hungry plants BY ACCIDENT, but hey I don't want to be watering my garden all the time... this is Australia and it's hot and cold all the time... so I'm picking out all the non natives, and changing the garden to suit us.

Inside the house, we've realised that the kitchen needs a better sink area, so we're investigating some quotes via our friend... and hopefully getting a dishwasher in soon. I'm the hopeless one when it comes to dishwashing in our family... Husbie is too darling. I'm trying to teach Doris Day but she's worse than me!

But overall... our new house is becoming a home! We're doing things a lot more naturally here now! You know, not running into the office thinking it's the bathroom, or feeling around in the dark for the lightswitches... it's becoming second nature, being here.

In sewing news, I just made a pair of UNDERPANTS. Let's see if I can photo them in a svelte and swanky way?!

We'll see!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Sew Weekly: Mad Men

Happy Friday! This week, myself and the Sew Weekly gals from 2011 had a 'series' return of our own in ode to the Mad Men Season 5 starting in the States this weekend! It's hard not to be around the sewing online community without knowing about Mad Men, and it's (I believe) one of the reasons vintage fashion is so dominant in many contemporary designs from the past 2-3 years... you see catwalk (not that I look at catwalks that often) designs have a real 50s / 60s flavour... and I wish I knew which designers I was talking about here... but! That's why I just make my own clothes, I guess... I haven't got the knowledge skills to be a fashion commentator!

My knitty gritty in making this dress I wrote up in my facts section on Mena's blog, but the fabric is another bedsheet from my stash (stash busting is going well!) and a pattern I bought in Bendigo at one of the op shops there... it's a 1955 which is a little early for some of the mad men fashions, but it still has a late 50s vibe with the shape overall.

For the photos we visited the council building in Footscray, and the afternoon sun made for perfect back light! You know if you're a regular of my blog, that Husbie stands facing the sun, and with me in between, so you get the sunlight on your hair, and around your frame (see my arm in the shot below 'highlighted' with the back lit sun?):

It really makes your shape stand out from the background, and that's using any camera. If your camera shows your face a little dark, you can put the flash on (seems weird to use the flash during the day) but that will bring a little light to your face while keeping the lovely light around you.

The peek a boo detail was a little tricky, especially since I didn't cut the additional neckline pieces as I thought they were facings, and I'd lined the bodice (just using spare white cotton, and the normal pattern pieces) instead... but the neckline was sooooooo wide, and sooo off the shoulder I was like this can't be a 1955 pattern! THEN, I was like 'OHHHHHH', (and read the instructions properly) and spent a little bit of hand stitching to get the collar/neckline piece attached cleanly and retrospectively. (That was a funny sentence!)

It's a really love result and make the dress just a little unusual:

The ribbons on the skirts, are just that... however they do make it look like little pockets... which in a 6 gored skirt, would actually be cute to add another time... I love all this little detail in what could be just a simple 50s frock. I never find 'interesting' patterns at the op shop, so I'm happy this one came to me... I do have one more from my trip to Bendigo, so I might save that for another Sew Weekly adventure.

It was so fun sewing again with the 2011 Sew Weekly gals, as I write this Debi's post hasn't gone up yet, but I'm sure it'll be AMAZING! I loved seeing Sarah's & Adey's creations! 

And, just quickly, here's the first of my 100 THINGS! Yippee! My challenge has begun!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A new bestie for Doris Day

Husbie and I are shooting a friend's wedding this weekend, and taking our new dog Doris Day to the country to hang with her best little buddy Dougal ... my parents' dog!

We're so pleased they get along... after spending the recent long weekend together, they only started to get a bit grumpy to each other towards the end. They're both very sweet dogs, and Dougal has been teaching Doris Day some good manners, which we liked!

Doris Day is really becoming the sweetest little friend, she's got her naughty moments, but overall, she's doing really well in our household!

Thanks for all your Sew Weekly love, I'll post some new photos of my Mad Men Betty dress tomorrow!


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A Mad (Men) return to Sew Weekly

Hey there! Are you falling over from my sudden outburst of blog posts! It's the only way I can keep myself back here, posting every day... so it's a little visit today, to show you my Sew Weekly post this week!

The theme this week is the tv show Mad Men, which will return the US tellies this weekend (I believe) and it was a theme we'd always wanted to do last year, but the show had a year off! I was totally inspired and got into my pattern a little more... it took 6 hours of sewing all up, which is eons for me, as I like to cut corners!

Here's my post, and you'll see more photos here in my blog later in the week!

Mena also did a delightful plaid dedication to Peggy, so you must have a look at her enviable plaid matching!

See you soon!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Sew Weekly Surprise

OMG, over the weekend, I pulled out a pattern and cut up some fabric that isn't stretch knit... can you believe it?

This week I'm planning something for Sew Weekly, so I had a deadline, WHICH does make you sew and complete things BTW.

I'm hoping the post will be up there sometime this week, so I'll let you know! (or you could just keep refreshing Mena's site, awestruck that I actually made something in 6 hours, AND photographed it)

Now, how do I get Husbie to take more photos of me and my daggy stretch knit dresses (that are SO comfy just super casual)??? ... (still haven't mastered the tripod and autotimer here in the new house... but I did *find* the tripod within some unpacked boxes).

Hope you're having a lovely week so far! xoxo

Monday, 19 March 2012

100 Things

It's simple, it works, it's motivating... but setting your own goals and ticking them off is not only a great way to get better at crafty things like sewing, it's really fun to see your projects get finished!

So, I've been thinking about it a LOT and it's time for me to get motivated on myself and I'm introducing my very very very simple challenge:

Yep, lots & lots of thought and design (via the Picnik site) went into this challenge (LOL) and as it's my challenge, I've decided that I'm not going to have a deadline, and I'm not going to set any particular parameters about what I make... so then, I can include whatever I like! Like Sew Weekly, like That's Sew Cinematic and my crocheting or knitting or accessory making.

"WTF, you don't do any of these things Veronica Darling", I hear you saying. I KNOW! Well, not really in 2012, so why not have 100 THINGS as a challenge to get my act into gear!

So, as of today, I'll my 100 Things and show you everything as they come about! And my list keeps getting bigger, I'm going to be producing a LOT and hopefully over this year, I'll make 100 Things.

My last 100 was my 100 Outfits project, which made me a better seamstress, and helped me graduate to my overlocker and actually make and sell specialist things for my friends (and a few of you online)... so I'm hoping to get this 100 Things happening to inspire a lot more! YAY!


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Did you plant for St Pats?

My Mum got some Sweet Peas for our garden, especially to plant on St Patrick's Day. This, I didn't know, is a gardening tradition for these plants... and she texted me even to remind me!

Of course I planted them yesterday, but look what ELSE has been growing!!!

I've never grown mushrooms before, so just followed the box (from the hardware store) and its instructions! AMAZING!

Doris Day is a little stunned they can grow in her yard, and hasn't yet got used to us taking a zillion photos of her. She'll learn to smile soon enough!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Sew Along: The Sew Cinematic

I've been soooooooooooooooo slow to get back to blogging... loads has happened and I'll fill you in with everything as soon as I can! It's actually taken me almost 2 weeks to write up this post, and I feel like I've bottled up my excitement about the Sew Along!

Sarah at Rhinestones & Telephones inspired us all to join up and sew along a special handcrafted wardrobe based on wonderful garments on the silver screen! It's called 'That's Sew Cinematic' and you can read all about it via Sarah's gorgeous post (with a button for you!) and get involved as well!

So I wanted to show you what I *have* been doing with my very very very little spare time! PINTERESTING THINGS!

My inspiration, as you may have noticed, is Grace Kelly and her simple yet fetching attire!

My 'The Sew Cinematic' inspiration pinboard via Pinterest! I'm collecting up all my favourite images of Grace Kelly and finding some great themes!

- Simple
- Block Colours
- Very small details
- Edith Head creations (thanks the Rear Window research I did last year!)

Quite interesting themes, and as I'm big on patterns and florals, this could be a bit subdued for my style, bit I REALLY wanna sew a LBD like that V-Neck one in Rear Window, and would love to get a few dog walking outfits like Grace as well!

Over the next week I'll plan out what patterns I have, what fabric I have, and what garments I'll sew up for the Sew Along! If you're joining in, what are you going to do!?

Sorry again that it's been too long, miss you and I'll be back 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...