Wednesday, 30 November 2011

New shoes

I have new shoes

New shoes I have

Shoes new have I

Have you ever tried to photograph your own feet while standing and wearing 5 inch heels? It's very difficult!

Shoes are from ModCloth, bought after about a month of staring and debating. (Tights are from Topshop. The real one! In London!) They are the highest pair of shoes I own. I'm usually drawn to flats or little heels but these were call the Dietrich Heel, so I kind of had to buy them.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Cherry dress - the finished product

I finally finished this dress today. I don't know if I want to wear it now because after days of working on it I'm kind of over cherries. The best way to describe my mental state is if you picture me being dragged backwards down a hospital hallway, wrapped in a straight jacket and screaming "Cherries! Cherries! LOTSA cherries!!" followed by appropriately maniacal laughter.

I might be exaggerating slightly. Here is the dress.

As you can see, it fits well. The length is great. It sits just below my knees and looks a bit 1940's (in my opinion). I'm usually not very interested in 40's styles but I like this one. I've previously made this dress in a mustardy yellow fabric which is above knee length and looks quite cute.

And it shows off all my tattoos pretty well too!

Is it just me or does it look kind of Christmas-y?

They grow up so fast...

Remember these little babies?

Well look at them now!

They look like they're about to burst out of the pots any day now. My front garden will be so pretty soon.

The little forests on the right hand side are the chilli and long pepper plants. They'll stay out the back.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A work in progress

I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to put something up here this week, so for now here is my current project.

The bodice is sewn together but the skirt is just pinned straight onto Doris, and I've only used the front half so it's probably sitting completely wrong. It's difficult to see in the photos but there is gathering under the bust. The sleeves are not attached yet. Pattern is Vogue 8470

The only thing I'm changing with this one (you know I just have to alter something!) is the sleeves. The pattern has quite full sleeves and they just won't sit well with this fabric. They'll make me look like I've got little misplaced wings. So I'm just going to add little cap sleeves instead.


Yawn. Goodnight.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Hats & shoes

My old sun hat has had it's day. It has been reduced to a gardening hat. It is made of felt and has a permanent dent in the front, and part of the brim flops over one eye. You can imagine how upset I was at the prospect of having to buy something I actually required.

This is the hat I bought to replace my old sun hat...

...and this is the hat I bought because I just needed it. I've wanted a cloche hat for some time now and the paper flowers and beading on this one are just gorgeous.

But why stop there when there were shoes on sale as well?? Why?!

Red & black florals

This is a dress I made a while ago, to wear to a friend's wedding in the south of France, dontcherknow *waves pinky fingers in the air*

The dress is a mish-mash. The skirt is a circle skirt from Vogue 8470; the bust and bodice sections are from New Look 6557.

I love the bodice variations of the New Look pattern but the skirts are plain A-line and not very fabulous. Luckily, the bodice fits with the Vogue circle skirt with very little alteration required. But of course, I altered it anyway. The bodice is designed to sit on the natural waistline. I have a high short waist. A skirt that sits on my actual waist makes me look pregnant. Guaranteed. I get around this attractive issue by extending the bodice in the front so that the skirt will sit about 1-2 inches below my natural waistline. It still sits right on the waist at the sides and back though, so my little high waist is still plain for all to see.

This dress is featured today on my friend Lou's blog, Miss Tallulah Porkchop! I think I look like a bird in the third picture.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The pencil skirt project continues

Now this is a pencil skirt.

The blue skirt, from the previous post, was a first trial which definitely allowed me to see some alterations were required before I could go on a pencil-skirt-making spree. I needed to add about 4cm to the length, and the seams needed to be let out about half a centimeter each. The blue skirt was very tight! and not at all stair-friendly. I had to take the lift everywhere at work and I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to get up into a tram to go home. I've never been so glad to see a handrail in my life.

So the pink skirt was cut out longer and a teensy bit wider. It fits like a dream. The hem falls just below my knees. I made the back splits about 2 inches longer than the blue skirt, and tapered the waist band slightly. The waist of the blue skirt gaped just enough to be annoying.

The waist band (which the pattern calls a yoke -why? I think of a yoke as something for tops and dresses. This is just a wide waist band as far as I'm concerned) is faced with satin which kind of "goes" with the fabric (or not). I made the waist of the blue skirt the same way. I don't like facing a waist with the same material as the actual garment, particularly when it's a rather thick fabric. Don't you love the hot pink zip?

The fabric is an Italian wool I picked up at a market aaaages ago and have been saving for "something special." It stretches a tiny bit which is why the skirt is just so comfortable to wear.

I can't wait to make this in tartan!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The pencil skirt project

I am so brain dead after making this skirt, I can't even think what to write. Pencil skirts, yay.

The idea of wearing a pencil skirt didn't even vaguely occur to me until I picked up a book called The Body Shape Bible, written by those two wonderful women Trinny & Susannah. Despite knowing that pencil skirts suit me, I have a tendency to go for full skirted dresses or circle skirts, because they're just so much fun to twirl around in. But when I put one on the other day and made the mistake of viewing myself from behind, I decided to give the pencil skirt a go.

I don't have an actual pattern for a pencil skirt but I was pretty sure I could improvise one. Vogue has a lovely high-waist pencil skirt pattern which I will buy one day, but for now, here is my own version. It's a work in progress and I was planning on making another one in pink, but my eyes will fall out of my head if I do any more sewing today, so it can wait.

The pattern I used was Simplicity 4273. It's a great pattern because it has one of everything and they're all fairly easy to adjust. As you can see, the skirt is made up of panels and sits mid-waist, fitted through the hip and kicks out at the bottom with a flare. I decided the panels could easily be converted into a pencil skirt. I made an experimental version first which is far too ugly to show anyone. First I added a seam allowance because I had cut the skirt out a while ago and I thought it would be too small. I was wrong. So I took the seam allowances back in.

Then I simply sewed all the seams straight down from the hip. Strangely, it still flared out. So I tapered them right in, taking about 10 inches or more off the original hem. This looked much better, but walking around in the damn thing had now become a problem.

Usually, a pencil skirt has a back vent or split up the back seam. I got around this by adding 2 splits in the two back seams. It works! (And I can walk around in it!)

There are still a few adjustments to make before it's perfect, such as adding an inch to the length for total knee coverage. My aim is to perfect the pattern before making it in tartan. A tartan pencil skirt is my dream. This one, despite being imperfect, is perfectly wearable and suits my hourglass shape perfectly.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Holy ceiling collapse, Batman!

For those of you not aware, Melbourne has been a bit wet in the past 24 hours. As in, mad hail and winds and rain wet. Last night, some of that wet found its way into our ceiling. Cue flooded front hall.

Several water-logged shoes later, a brick joined in the fun and fell though the hole (nearly landing on my Other Half's head), making the hole larger. I have no idea why a loose brick would just be sitting up in the ceiling but it certainly made itself known.

So that was all rather exciting in a less-than-awesome way. Of course, it's warm and sunny today.

P.S The lack of sewing posts lately will be made up for shortly!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

And now...

...time for my afternoon.

Happy weekend everyone!


The results of a morning's work:

(Ok, so I didn't actually grow all these flowers in one morning from magic beans. I just re-potted them.)

The broccoli and pea plants have been turfed, after slowly dying a while ago. They have been replaced with much prettier, er, things! Namely geraniums, petunias and something I've never heard of called vincas. They kind of look like petunias as far as I can tell from the little tab stuck in their pot. Once they all fatten up a bit they're being relocated to the front garden.

The chili plants and green pepper plants were my Other Half's choice. So far we haven't had much luck with vegetables (peas, wow) so hopefully they'll all take off like rockets!

Thursday, 3 November 2011


It's too bad these trousers look so GOOD, because very shortly they will be going to Tartan Trouser Heaven.

I used the same pattern as I used for the green/blue tartan earlier, with a small seam allowance all around. Unfortunately, the seam allowance wasn't quiiiite enough. I had to open up all the seams again, trying not to fray the fabric as much as possible. This was a futile exercise because it's TARTAN.

Why, why, why does tartan fray so much?? I managed to sew the seams up again and get the damn things to fit but the material is SO frayed, the seams are already beginning to show signs of pulling apart. I've reinforced them as much as I can but it won't last. They cannot be saved.

And speaking of fraying, it is precisely because tartan frays that I refuse to spend money on the
good stuff because it's just as annoying as the cheap stuff (prove me wrong!). At least I only lost $14.00 making these. And on the plus side, I do get to make another pair!

The pink puff

It was decided that Molly should get into the Halloween spirit by having her tail dyed. Unfortunately (for us) her tail feathers did not prove very absorbent... or maybe it just wasn't left to soak for long enough. I was hoping for a rather fluro-pink puff, but I've decided the pale pink suits her colouring. It almost matches her nose!

She was rather put out by the whole thing and refused to talk to me afterward.

Let's see how long it lasts..