Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reintroducing myself...

It's been a while - remember me??  It's been a busy year and a bit since my last post.

I'd like to thank Sheila and Faye for checking in on me! All is well.  I've been busy renovating a house, building another and working.  On top of that I managed three overseas trips and am leaving on another this coming week.

I have been sewing, not much, but some.  I haven't blogged any of it, but there are a few things I will show off in time.

For now I would like to introduce a travel wardrobe I am working on for a month long trip to Shetland this Christmas.  So far I have only been there in summer and as I live in the subtropics my wardrobe isn't that well equipped.

The wardrobe was inspired by this cardigan, a gift sent to me from Nepal.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  It is the softest, lightest cashmere I have ever felt.

So I collected some paint charts and pulled a page from a magazine.

Then I pulled some fabric from my stash

And the Shetland Collection was born.
I have a fair idea of what I want to make, mainly skirts, tops and leggings.  I have jeans already, including a purple pair from a SWAP a few years ago.  There are other fabrics in my stash that co-ordinate and will take this in a different direction, but for the purposes of a travel wardrobe I will stick to the palette of dusty pink, dusty lavender, grey, black and cream.  Not included in this fabrics above is a charcoal wool that will become a new overcoat.
So in an attempt to kick start my collection, I made this. 

This is BWOF 03-10-126 that I last made in in 2010 here . It looks way better on a person than on Vera.  This is a slightly fuzzy knit somewhere between a jersey and a ponte weight with a soft underside.  I still wear the original red and white stripe, in fact it's been worn on about 10 international flights since I made it.  Perfect weight, looks good over leggings and holds up on even the longest of long haul flights.
More soon...



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Emergency sewing ...

Despite eating constantly, consuming large quantities of wine and not going to the gym for six weeks, I am still too skinny for the few clothes I have with me. With the weather cooling and no immediate arrival of my belongings from Hobart, I needed some clothes.

I started with this one which is an amalgam of BWOF 02-13-127 top and BWOF 02-13-128 dress without the ruffle down the front. I made the 36.  The fabric is a cheap poly knit I bought the other day for $6 a metre at Spotlight.  Now, I know I've not had many good things to say about Spotlight in Hobart, but let me tell you that Spotlight Lismore is a whole nother story! This is more purple than it appears in this shot and there is a single row of brown that I've placed at empire line for effect.

Also made from another $6 a metre poly knit is this version of V8825.  I chopped about 8 inches off so it's only a little longer than the tunic version.  When I read the reviews on Pattern Review, someone (sorry don't recall who) mentioned they thought this dress had a 70's vibe and I agree.  I thought this fabric had a 70's vibe, too, so I combined them.  I thought a 70's dress needed to be suitably short as well.  I can't tell you how much I love this dress! I can't wait to wear it.

Now that I seem to be getting  back to the real world, I may just have to tell the tale of my return home, complete with sewing pictures!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm still alive ...

Just when you thought I'd disappeared off the face of the earth ...

I'm back with an emergency version of Vogue 1020 which is probably long OOP.  I've come home with very little clothing, most of which doesn't fit. The rest is still in Hobart.  I needed a dress to wear and I thought making this in a cotton lycra would fit, but it was still baggy.  I need to put some weight on!

I hope to be back to regular sewing soon.  It's been a hectic three months!

More later ...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Potential SWAP addition

I've been a bit stuck with what to sew next as I can't find the fabric I want.  I saw it when I didn't want it and now I can't find it but then with only ONE fabric store in Tasmania, what else can I expect.  If anyone sees matte gold or champagne sequin fabric please let me know.  Even a bronze would work.

These shorts are a real TNT. It's the Burda Ruby shorts that I downloaded free many years ago, pre blog days, in fact.  The fabric is the same.  It's a lovely soft stretch sateen that is leftover from a dress I made to wear to a wedding many years ago.  As I've been slowly packing I keep coming across things that might work for my SWAP, so this keeps with my stashbusting challenge.  The buttons and thread were from stash, too, so these are free.

The mirror shots are a little dark but they do fit me, despite the odd wrinkles.  It's hard to photograph yourself in a mirror.

Here they are on the floor and below you can see the cute little bound pocket on the front.  This pocket is the perfect size for an ipod or mobile phone, so these make great walking shorts for me.

 Whenever I make these shorts for some reason I always make the button facings and pocket bags a contrast colour.
I don't love the buttons, but I have lots of them in stash and I know I'll stop noticing them soon.

I managed to find a lovely piece of chocolate silk chiffon at a very reasonable price.  Some moron working in Spotlight had clearly mislabelled it but I wasn't going to point it out to them.  I want to make a top to go with these shorts as well as the snake print pants from last time.

If these shorts make it into my SWAP that means I'm five garments down and six to go.  With my move date uncertain, I may find it hard to finish this year but I'm going to persist until the day I drive away from here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Escape is at hand for the travelling man ...

I've been listening to a lot of the Tragically Hip this week and it's flavoured my mood tonight.

Two weeks ago when I started these jeans I had a plan, not just for my pants, but for my life.  My world has been altered in the past 14 days for reasons that I may share in the coming weeks.  I've had to delay my return home by a few weeks and that comes with mixed feelings.  But back to the jeans ...

These started life as BWOF 05-11-116 skinny jeans, which I made recently in red.  As I mentioned last time, I frankenpatterned the pockets of Burda Anita jeans onto this pattern and this time I also frankenpatterned the crotch curve from my best fitting RTW jeans (Levis Bold Curve).  I took the back seam in by about an inch, but that could be because this sateen is a little stretchier than the one I used last time.

I am quite happy with the fit, although these pictures make me look FAT. These pants are a nice addition to my SWAP.  The pictures aren't great but at least they are on a body.  I'll make sure I get someone to take better shots when SWAP is done.

I don't know what I'm making next, I have a few bits of fabric hanging around as possible SWAP additions that will also contribute to my stashbusting.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sewing and packing ...

Now that I my tenure in Tasmania can be counted in weeks, this long weekend (Hobart gets two more public holidays to NSW) is divided between sewing and packing.  I took a couple of hours out this morning to take Molly down to the waterfront and have a look at the Wooden Boat Festival, but the rest of the weekend has been spent in the house.  Between the horrendous smoke from the fires and the unbelievable wind, it's way more comfortable inside, anyway.  I struggle with static electricity in Hobart at the best of times, but today every bit of thread, dog hair and other assorted flotsam and jetsam are all stuck to me and my sewing.

First of all I finished up this pair of high-waisted skinny, slouchy pants.   Sorry about the crappy mirror shots but I am too lazy and too busy to waste time messing with a tripod.  You'll have to wait for the SWAP shots now! These are BWOF 03-11-119 and are made from the same fabric as the skirt from last week.  The line drawing makes them look more slim than they are but the pictures from the magazine and this one from the website shows that they really are a little more slouchy.  I hated them at first, but I actually quite like them now.

Next up I made this top, which is BWOF 05-10-129.  I love, love, love this top way more than I had expected.  I first made this here and I loved the first version but I felt it could use a few alterations.  I lengthened the bodice by 2.5cm and I lengthened the peplum by a further 2.5cm.  I left the patch pockets off because I hate them and I think the top still works without them.

This is a close up of the fabric that may not show in the other photo.  It's a slightly textured linen with a gold sheen on some of the threads.  This is a record for me; I bought a piece of fabric and sewed it almost immediately!  It was from Spotlight, ironically.  Have I mentioned that the only fabric shop in the WHOLE OF TASMANIA is Spotlight??
I am rather fond of this fabric, even though I usually dislike wearing linen.  Of course, this top also has one of my mistake design feature mirror image labels.

I even managed a passable mirror shot of the top with the skirt from last week.

Back to packing while I decide what to sew next.  I have some animal print ...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

SWAP is finally started ...

It seems that no post of mine is complete without a rant about Spotlight.  When I first started planning my SWAP I wanted to use chocolate brown sateen as my base.  I visited Spotlight in Hobart and they had tons of black and every colour known to man - except brown, in fact they told me it didn't come in brown!  I decided to wait until I got home at christmas time and visit one of the stores up there.  Although I couldn't find brown sateen, I did manage to find a really lovely cotton suiting with a little stretch.  I don't know what it is, but it really is lovely with a great hand, great weight and just the right amount of stretch.

While I was contemplating my SWAP, I changed my mind and decided I would like to use black.  Safe in the knowledge that I had seen plenty of black, I went to Spotlight and guess what I found?  No black.  But they suddenly have a lot of chocolate brown.

As I am going home at the end of this month, I hope I will never have to set foot in Spotlight Hobart again.  Here endeth the rant.

And here starts my SWAP.

This is BWOF 02-11-103, which I made for last years SWAP.  It really is my favourite pencil skirt ever and I've made four versions of it and there will be more.

The picture of the front is overexposed and the spot on the hip is water.  I just happened to leave my failed birthday dress on Vera and this skirt looks good with it.  Maybe I'll shorten it to a top.

The back shot is clearer but the skirt still looks worse than it is in real life.  The reason for this is because I broke my much loved Sunbeam iron.  My friends at home have bought me a gravity feed iron for my milestone birthday, but I told them to hang on to it until I get home.  In the interim I have purchased a cheap iron that is total crap and irons very poorly.

This skirt is lined with a weird shaped bit of stretch charmeuse I got at the op shop for 50c.

The other thing that I've managed to cock up is printing my labels.  Some time ago now Kristy came up with a great idea for using t shirt printing sheets to make labels you can iron onto ribbon.  I've been doing this successfully ever since. That is, until this weekend.  When I printed out the iron on sheet, I forgot to reverse the print so when I ironed it onto the ribbon it was in reverse.  I now have 30 reversed labels.  I'm going to use them all because it makes me laugh.

I've almost finished a pair of pants from the same fabric, which I hope to photograph better than the skirt!
I've also made a hat from a corduroy remnant.  It's V8440 and I've also made this many times.  I've lined it with the last of the stretch charmeuse I used in the skirt.  This is for the Stashbusting Challenge and fits with the February challenge, which is to make something for someone you love.  This is for my best friend, Jo, who travelled down here for my birthday and flew home the very next day, which was her birthday.