Sunday, September 18, 2016

What to do with those tiny ribbons.

I finished a little cardi... just in time for the warmer weather to start. I feel better that it's raining and a bit cooler today. I have yet to photograph it but thought you might like to see a little thing I tried. I don't actually know what this little slot in the overlocker foot is for but I figure elastic maybe? I have never tried this before but I thought I would put this tiny ribbon (the ones you get on clothing for hanging - I hate wasting them) on the shoulders of my new cardi. It is nearly impossible to hold that tiny sucker on to sew it so thought I'd slip it in here.  It worked! It was so easy once you got the ribbon in and my tip would be to have a length threaded through further past the fabric start. I found it made it easy. 

I actually ran out of that pink that was a perfect match but had a skinny gold one and finished off with that. Notice my nice fabric (of course that's the wrong side) but it's very pretty - a remnant from Darn Cheap Fabrics from our recent Melbourne trip. It was only a few dollars and has made a lovely cardi.

I haven't really had time to sew, but yesterday finished this little cardi and a top (that was a trial and doesn't fit unfortunately) and went to Spotlight and bought 9 Kwik Sew patterns that were on sale - 3 for $12. I got some great ones and one cut out already. The reviews of a couple of them are really good so I have high hopes. In those are some active wear and swimming togs - just for "stock" - you know stuff that's good to have on hand - staples if you will.


Anyone do this and please pass on any tips... does this work for elastic for swimwear for example? I have some swimwear on the list so I'll have a go in any case. Look out for finished items soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Busy busy.

Victoria Bridge with the Wheel at Southbank at left and the city on the right.

Story Bridge from the "City Cat" ferry with the city in the background.

Pink in September is Brisbane Festival time. The bridges are lit up hot pink and there are so many great things on. I have had 4 nights out in a row.... The new Nick Cave movie "One more time with feeling." Devastating to watch... after his recent family tragedy. Friday night was spent at the Spiegleltent watching Mick Harvey, an ex member of Nick Cave's bands since The Boys Next Door in the late '70's. It was fabulous. Sitting in front of us was Robert Forster from The Go-Betweens my all time favourite band... wonderfully from Brisbane.  The next night I was at the Spiegletent again watching Custard, a band very popular in Brisbane in the '80's (they played really a lot but curiously considering the amount of live music I would see then I never saw them live... They were great and Robert Forster was there again. I had a little chat to him when we were walking out. Alex and I are going to his show on Sunday night... start of school holidays. I saw his show last year when his album was released and it was terrific and he said it is even better than then... he's just come back from touring around the world. The beauty with the Spiegletent is that the noise levels are not too loud so it will be perfect for young ears.


Then Sunday night my niece, who works for Brisbane Festival, offered some free tickets to Shakespeare Mid Summer Night's Dream... a bit of a modern comedy take, at the Playhouse. The whole purpose of this post really is to show my skirt (and last year's cape) in action, rather than showing off how busy I was/am. Its a little short really, but I love it with my boots and red cape. I felt swish but also a bit 'out there'. Perfect weather for the cape. It's not too cold and it just keeps you warm enough for a ride home outside on the City Cat ferry. I love my city!
(apologies for the terrible phone photos)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

This and that, zig and zag.

It's been so long since I have sewn. I did get to make a few things for work but not as many as I made in my head. Sewing takes so much longer than you think, as do most things. I often say, if I thought doing this or that took so long I wouldn't have started, but once you start you kind of commit (stop looking at me UFO's).

So, I did make a little red peasant style blouse out of a lovely cotton remnant I bought  years ago. It's much more red like in the skirt. It's a pattern I've used before for years, I forgot to take a photo of some open ended pleats (like a box pleat)I put in the back to make it a bit more fitted at my sway back. I had such little fabric I had to piece one of the sleeves with scraps but with the gathering no one notices. The skirt is my graduation dress with the bodice cut off. It never fit very well but I did like the skirt, so I cut it off about 6cm above the waist, opened up the side seam and put in a lapped zip, and turned over the top part and made a waistband out of it. I enclosed some elastic in the waistband and it's a useful piece of clothing now. I wear these together.


I also wear the top with a zig zag skirt I made. This was a scrap from the fabric sale I go to and it was $1. I have another scrap bit left too. It is a tube with a centre back seam, I hemmed it with the appliqué stitch which I really like. For the waist treatment, I put a tube of elastic at 4 points and then attached it with the overlocker and then just zig zagged down. Pretty basic but it makes a bit of a statement with the zig zag. The fabric is a knit and only three way stetch, it's a spongy knit and I really like it.


I wasn't sure about the zig and zag going up and down but then I saw this skirt in a magazine and thought ok, if they can do it for ***$620*** (WHAT????) then I can... saving $619! ok lets say $618 'cause the elastic and thread costs something. Really! Even if I didn't sew, I would never think "oh I need a skirt, I'll budget about $600!" I mean in some things I can see that it has some great fabric, great and time consuming techniques but have a look at that skirt, I can't see that it would be such a complex make that it would justify $100 let alone $600.


The next thing I finally finished was the Burda dress. It's a raglan sleeve with some open pleats at the front coming from the princess seams. It's a lovely and very easy dress (sorry just looked but can't find it just now). I thought first it may be a bit nothing and a bit out of date but I saw someone (a trendy young thing) in town wearing exactly the same style a few days before I finished so I ploughed on. I cut the smallest size in the shoulders and took it in about 4cm but it's still too big - needs about 4 cm out of the mid back. I keep underestimating how tiny my back is.. it's hard to fit yourself too. When I think it's taken in enough, when I finish sewing up it's not. So, see the pins along one side... it's getting refitted for my niece who loves it it fits her beautifully in the shoulders but it needs some slimming on the sides (which it did for me too but I probably wouldn't have bothered for myself). I will make this again as I really like it and it's very quick and easy.


I put in an exposed red metal (thrifted) zip which brightens up and adds interest to a pretty boring back. The fabric was from the (now no more I think) $2 table from East Coast fabrics last year. It's not a very stretch knit but it's very nice and I wish I had bought more. It's a dark navy with a light blue dot woven through it. They had it in a red too but that wasn't $2.  Don't be fooled.. the zip is in straight.. I just had it hanging on a hanger for the photo and it's heavy so it twists a bit. The zip is a big reason why I didn't keep this dress for myself... it's heavy and as the dress is too big in the mid back there, the weight of the zip makes the dress really pull away from the back. I'm happy for my niece to have it though and she loves it.


So a couple of things half done. I have been so busy with friends from overseas they left last week  and in 10 days I have other friends coming too. Not much time for indulgences (is it an indulgence?) I'm enjoying reading all the blogs around though and catching up on the Sewing Bee for Pattern Review. Thanks also for the comments on the Miss Fisher's costume exhibition. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Miss Fisher's costumes

Well it has been busy. Working full time doesn't allow for much else especially when there is a child and ageing parents. I haven't made as much as I'd hoped (ha ha do I ever) and the three things I have made I haven't photographed yet. Actually the Burda dress I just finished yesterday. I'm touching a lot of fabric and patterns but I just don't have the brain energy at night so far.


This is a panoramic photo my son took from my friend's balcony at Broadbeach. What a view! It's a great spot right across the road from the beach and last week when we went for the weekend there was a great double rainbow that we saw both ends of. You can just make it out in the top left corner.  It was a bit cloudy that day (the next was magnificent - "beautiful one day, perfect the next" - that was the old marketing talk for Queensland a few years ago).


Hee hee, then my friend said want to take a weird panoramic photo - sure why not - so while he was taking the start of the photo on the left, we walked behind him and went to the other end of the balcony and there you go, we are both ends of the photo. I thought that was brilliant. As this is a sewing blog, the top I'm wearing is a Burda pattern, just a loose turtle neck made with some rayon jersey I bought in Auckland years ago. I bought about 4 metres, and only in this colour, wish I had more as it is so gorgeous, washes up beautifully, hasn't lost any colour and like woven rayon the creases just drop out of it.

Moving on, I had a couple of spare hours after having lunch with Dad and dropping him back at the nursing home. I made a deal with myself as I was driving back home... if I got a car park spot near Southbank* then I would go to the Miss Fisher costume exhibit, and POW, I got one. (*Southbank is a nice area with parklands, restaurants, shops etc on the river opposite the city and a short bridge walk to the Miss Fisher's costume exhibit - which is in Old Government House in the Queensland University of Technology grounds - but on a beautiful sunny Sunday it's nearly impossible to get a park spot). So off to the exhibit I went... here's some photos to enjoy.


The little cape really struck a cord with me. What a lovely way to finish off a strappy dress for warm climates.



This  dress (and many others) were really intriguing. When you initially view the dress, it is beautiful and spectacular and looks like a simple dress, which you would probably expect as it is costuming for a tv show (tv show actually sounds pretty lame, given the high standard, but you know what I mean). When you got close to many of the simple looking dresses you see the seaming which is pretty complex. I couldn't get great photos but if you look closely at the two photos you can see there is a "V" sort of seaming in the middle, then if you follow the next seam it kicks in and then  out again and goes down and ends there. The second photo sort of shows that the seams go all the way down, but don't be fooled by the light and shadow. It actually stops where you see the kind of diamond shape in the top photo. Just beautiful.





Look at that lace - so gorgeous and the way it was displayed where you could see the lace across from the wrap to the hem to the end of the wrap again.



The beautiful mermaid costume.


There was a theme I noticed... sleeve embellishments. Have a look at some of the creative elements on the ends of the sleeves.





Not only the sleeves of this (which weren't clear to see but looked gorgeous) but the whole look of the delicate top as an over blouse.


Then this beautiful cover.... it was so sheer and light and the trims were thoughtfully placed so that the light fabric would behave how the designer wanted. As I walked close to this a breeze blew through the door right by it and you can see the flow and shimmer it created.


A few observations, nearly all the fabrics were silk, some were dyed to get the right colour or to match older fabrics.


What I really loved was that there were swatches supplied so you could feel the fabrics used. I thought this was brilliant and so understanding of the wants of some of the people who would visit the exhibit. As we all know, the first thing you want to do when someone has made their clothes is touch them and feel the fabric so I was really pleased with this. There was a little blurb about the fabrics too. There was a collection of Marion Bryce's own costume jewellery and accessories and a display of her 'workroom', plus there was a dress up room too...I didn't partake.. but many did. You could even buy the lipstick Miss Fisher wears.


This is a little burnt out silk shawl/shrug that I took photos of to copy (one day...). This is silk and was selling in the gift shop for $250... It was just a large rectangle lined with a sheer soft netting and tacked together at some strategic points near the end to put your arms through. Genius  and so simple.

I hope you get to see this exhibit if you are in or around Brisbane. You'll love it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Holiday fabric

So onto the fabric....I really wanted to go the Clear It but didn't have time and with Alex sick, we just had some rest days. It's in a great food area too which would appease Alex so easily. Not a big problem as I don't need any more fabric (I should just stop saying it or buying it), but you have to look don't you. When we did have time on the last day, I repaid Alex his good nature and we went to the old Melbourne Goal, which was terrific. All my fabrics are from Darn Cheap Fabrics at Glen Huntly, the shop I went to last time. Nearly all of these were either remnants or off the $2 table. 


The coral fabric is a lightweight linen/cotton perfect for a little summer shirt and the cat fabric is for t-shirts for Alex. That's the only full price fabric (at $6.95 per metre it's still cheap). He loves cats and I can use this with other colour blocking.


The colours are a bit off here... the one on the left is a bit more aqua than baby blue an a lovely linen look cotton. I thought it would probably be one of those wash and heavy crinkle fabrics but that's how it looks after washing it two weeks ago and sitting in the laundry basket for that long and if feels terrific still so great value at $2 a metre.  The pineapples fabric is a synthetic but I loved the colour and the aqua matches perfectly with the cotton next to it. It's a bit more limey yellow than just plain yellow but I really loved it.


The floral is also a synthetic, which I rarely buy but it was a big piece as a cheap remnant and it is such a happy print it wouldn't be left. The next one is a deep coral/watermelon linen... holy smokes $2 per metre could you leave it? The next piece is a cotton chino type fabric. I'd been looking for this type of fabric and just never came across it but again bargain as a remnant. The last red piece is again a synthetic, remnant and quite a big piece for little money. It's like a synthetic silk as it has a beautiful sheen and the colour is amazing! It may end up being a lining but that's ok and I don't have a good stock of nice linings.


This it a remnant again... its got sparkles through it and is only a two way stretch knit. I've got it ready to cut out a little cardi to try out a pattern. I really like it though and it seems like a mostly cotton which is nice.

There was a large remnant of a black wooly fabric and it was quite cheap andr the burn test at home confirmed it was wool and the same wool that I have in two other colours already. Problem is now it is just not cold here. This week will go up to 28 degrees celsius! Goodness it's winter people and we'll  be able to go to the beach!! Although I've had lots of winter things planned, is it worth it to spend valuable sewing time on stuff I won't get much wear out of.

 Oops I also just remembered I don't think I've documented the fabrics I bought from Kitten d'Amour fabric sale and I wanted to make a Butterick 6244 coat out of some nice wool I got there. I asked my friend who lives in the US and coming home to get me a couple of patterns that I couldn't get here and that's one of them. I'll get that next week I think.

I've also got a 40th birthday (fancy restaurant) dinner in a couple of weeks with a '70's/'80's theme so I would like to make something but time may let me down. I am so tired at night with my brain being drained in the new job, I don't trust myself to cut things out.... been there, ruined that before.



This is Alex enjoying some of the fabulous food and hot chocolate we had a a great cafe near the Air BNB we stayed in. He's not enjoying much!


I saw this in a shop and absolutely couldn't stop laughing hysterically.... I think it's more funny if you think of someone who fits the bill.