Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mermaid Costume for Book Week

Yes I know, Book Week was a while ago.  I am not really keeping up with things so much at the moment, but then I did move state, house and job in July...I think I get to be a bit slack!

Someone at my old work in Tassie gave me this amazing dress.  It was a strapless (with boning), shiny turquoise number, with a ruffly frill thing down the side of the skirt.  Apparently, she used to wear it back in the day :)

I have had it in the dress up box for ages (that's why she gave it to me...!) but it falls off Issy still, so we decided to make it into a book week costume instead.

Another crappy phone picture is below:



I loved making this.  As I unpicked the dress I realised it was handmade (because why wouldn't you pour your hard earned time into such a shiny, itchy and ravelly fabric?).  It was really interesting seeing the boning and how it was constructed.

I hacked it in half, left the skirt fairly unchanged (except to make it fit) and then made the top a lot smaller and put shirring on the back to ensure it would stay up via the magic of negative ease...All that was left was to franken-graft the tail from another dress up thing onto it and we had a mermaid!

Fun times :)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Y Do I Do It quilt (or my favourite quilt EVER!)

This one was actually finished quite a while ago, but then we moved and I forgot to blog for about 6 weeks or more, and I forgot I never shared this.

This is my new most favouritest quilt EVER:




Excuse the terrible phone photos, I was feeling very very lazy...

It's called Y Do I Do It (because it is sewn with Y seams) and it was a class at Patchworks in Hobart.  The quilt is the brainchild of my sewing "mom", Jill Griffin who runs Patchworks and it's super awesome.  The blocks are actually sewn as the Y shape, which was at first fiddly but super super satisfying once you got the hang of it!

The pattern for the class was on a slightly smaller scale than mine is, and was designed to be made out of print fabric, but grouped into three sets (light, medium and dark) to achieve the 3-D effect.  Some class participants used different colours, some used prints which were the same colour but split into the three shades, and I used only three, solid fabrics (mostly Kona and in greyish mushroomy shades)  What was amazing was how different they all turned out!  Sadly I only have pictures of mine...but that's OK because I LOOOOOVE it.

Despite starting to make quilts in 2003, this is only the second quilt for our bed.  I guess between making them for other people, the kids, sewing clothes, knitting and crochet, there just hasn't been time!  Having moved somewhere warmer I think we really need them - so we can have a flat sheet and just a quilt to pull up if it's a bit chilly, rather than the full on duvet and so forth.  Maybe I will make us another before 10 more years passes :)

The only other quilt I made for us is shown below.  I still love that also :)


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rockstar Bag Pattern Test! (and I'm BACK!)

It's been a while!  In between this post and the last I have moved house to another state, enrolled the kids in school and childcare, found and started a new job and (mostly) sorted out the new house!

I have also been sneakily sewing...


This is the Rockstar Bag - the new pattern from the lovely Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness.  I was super lucky to get picked as a pattern tester for this one, and it's frankly my most favouritest bag ever!

I used fabrics from my stash - mostly this super funky Echino large scale polka dot.  The colour looks pretty true here, perhaps a little bit more mustardy in real life?

This bag pattern is (as ever...) awesome!  There are tons of details and the result is super professional.  As ever, I totally cocked one bit of it up (the sizing of the main panels) but not so significantly that the end result isn't great.  I think if you make this according to instructions at appropriate scale, it would be about 1 inch wider.  C'est la vie...


Another thing I stupidly did was picked up the incorrect set of D-Rings for the third strap attachments on the side.  As you can see, the front has nicely sized D-rings attaching the straps, but here I used a rivet instead of the ridiculously large set I managed to buy in place of the smaller ones when I was vagueing out in Spotlight.  I think it looks pretty cool anyway, and if I had done the rivets on the slanted flap on the front of the bag it would have tied in nicely.



I used this bag today at work and it was a great size.  I found the shoulder strap good, the other handles a good length and I just love how it looks.

Happy days :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Moving house...

And job and state and kids schools and childcare and LIFE!

We are packing up and heading to Sydney - which is, if nothing else, a whole lot warmer than Tassie!


While this looks very organised, the disturbing back story is how many other tubs there are...

I would like to say this is a surprise, but to be very honest the first thing I thought of when we realised we would be moving house, likely to somewhere rather smaller, was what on earth I might do with The Stash of Doom!  Time to be a bit more disciplined about sewing up my stash only (mostly) I think!!!

Anyway - this blog might be quiet for a good few weeks while I move everything and everyone, get settled and get some internet action cranking in the new digs.  Happily for me, yarn club will still be sending me projects of awesomeness (poas, as they will now be known...), so hopefully I can at least keep up with some rather more portable knitting.

See you on the sunny side!


Week 7 of the Wardrobe Architect series focused on prints / patterns and solids.

I laughed when I read the title, as I knew my answers were going to be all along the same vein.  I just don't do prints/patterns very well at all.  The exercise which asked us to pick the 10-20 most worn items out of the wardrobe and see what percentage of them were printed?  HAHAHAHA.  If you don't count stripes, none of mine were patterned at all.

In a nutshell here is what I knew already:

  • I massively prefer solids
  • I do like textural variation (so slubby dye variations for example)
  • I love stripes
  • I don't mind an indistinct dot or something like a chevron (which is clearly just messed up stripes...)
  • All other patterns need to be small-scale and non-novelty and not in-your-face-patterny
  • I hate florals.  Even small ones.

What did I learn?  Perhaps that I should be more targeted in making sure I incorporate patterns into my wardrobe and that I buy fabric with pattern!  I also reminded myself that there are a few things I will really never wear as they are super patterny (I must have been feeling like I *should* wear more patterns when I bought them) and I should just get rid of those in the Great Moving Cleanout.

Some patterns I do like!

Week 8 of the series is on hair and makeup and beauty.  Not exactly my comfort zone!  Here are my answers to some of the questions from week 8:

  1. Which hairstyle was most flattering and comfortable.  Hmm.  I think long probably works best as it's versatile and "easy", though people often comment shorter suits me too.  Long it is!
  2. I don't like too much makeup - but always mascara and usually concealer or tinted moisturiser.  Everything else is mostly special occasion wear.
  3. No idea how they reflect my personal style, except they aren't super flashy I don't think.  I do need to probably wear more eye makeup when I go out as I wear glasses and it often gets lost.
  4. I want to own as few products as possible (I have too many now).  Just a core set which work for me would be good.
  5. I like products to be as natural as possible with as few ingredients and avoiding things like parabens where I can.
  6. Not sure which colours feel best near my face (not sure if she meant clothes here or makeup?).  Softer tones tend to work better for me - I will never be a red lipstick person.
  7. See 6 - bright yellow tends to make me look like crap, but not sure if we are talking makeup still...
  8. I currently spend about 10 minutes getting ready if I haven't showered (drying long hair takes time sadly) and am happy with that.  
  9. I wear perfume - currently Obsession by Calvin Klein for night and Miracle by Lancome for day.  I mostly wear those as they are just about the only two which people ever seem to be able to smell on me...

So that was weeks 7 and 8.  Probably areas which I already had a reasonable handle on and feel like I don't want to change awfully much, but still worth going through the exercises...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wardrobe Architect: Weeks 5 and 6

So I have let this series slide a bit with all the whirlwind changes going on in real life (moving state...!).  However, I was finding it useful and once we have moved, I want to try and apply the analysis to the things I sew in my new life :)

So here is more...

Week five and six of the Wardrobe Architect Series were all about colour.  The first exercise required us to go and play with colours we liked and come up with a palette we are drawn to.

My first effort at doing this is below:


Apparently, I like blue :)

Actually, I don't think this palette is truly representative. The tool I was using made it hard for me to get to the colours I really wanted (as they aren't very colourful) and I am not sure the colours are really representative/true.  The grey-ness of palette 3 looks on the edge of lilac (definitely NOT a preferred colour!) and the mustardy colour I chose in P4 looks too yellow.

What I can say for sure is that I like these colours:
  • Black
  • Grey - pretty much all shades.  If I had to chose only one colour, it would be grey (hence I don't feel my palettes quite capture my preferences!)
  • Blue (clearly) - especially electric blue like in P2.  Nothing really bordering on the purple end, but I LOVE the teal / greeny blue shades.
  • Green, but only certain shades.  The ones above plus some kind of strong emeraldy colour seem to suit me (think electric blue, but green).
  • Cream and neutrals (you know, like grey...hahahaha).
  • Certain specific other colours like mustard - but they are more statement or fashion driven and much less about core preferences.
I don't seem to like warmer colours much at all.  If I had a red in there it would be a dark, burgundy-ish red.  I wondered if this is the hangover from being told redheads can't wear red or pink (which is total bollocks by the way).  I quite like some shades of pink too, though not as much as grey :)

Week six focusses on organising these colours into sets as follows:  neutrals, nearly neutrals, statement colours and metallics.  The theory is you can wear less and less (as a porportion of your outfit) of each category in descending order.  So you can wear just about all neutrals, but very little metallics or statement colours.  Week six didn't really add much to my skill set - I feel like I have the balance of colours and weights pretty much spot on (or for what I like anyway).  I also feel like there is some more subtlety to the balancing act - so you can't wear different saturations of colours together easily - like a light smokey grey just doesn't jive with an electric blue for example.

In my wardrobe and palette most of the colours go together well already.  The exception are things like the electric blue and stronger greens - I tend to wear those with black or possibly cream, which have enough intensity of colour to support the strong pop they give.

So that's enough on colour.  I am obviously quite boring but having recently trawled through and thinned my fabric stash, I can at least say that I have lots of the colours I like (am looking at you grey....)!!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Jellywares Yarn Club - Gaptastic Cowl

I have wanted to make this cowl for so very very long (why have I not?), so I was super excited when the latest yarn club instalment had this as one of the recommended patterns.

Here is it as a wip:



I love it.  So much so that my terrible phone picture put this in soft focus.  OR, the camera is dirty :)



The Gaptastic cowl is a free pattern from Jen Geigley on Ravelry.  It's pretty much an awesome seed stitch big loop and the colour of the wool that Jodie from Jellywares sent in the latest yarn club instalment was the perfect colour for this pattern

The cowl itself is so spongy and soft and can be kind of adjusted to sit however you want.  Here I a looking like I just found a very difficult maths problem in the bathroom mirror:



And again, wearing it with my super power suit (in my work bathroom) as a non-wrapped cowl.  Again a truly fabulously bad photo, but despite that you probably get the gist of how awesome this cowl is (it truly transcends my crappy photo skills!)