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. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Melbourne holidays and fabric buying.

While those who can try to leave the southern states in the winter for the warmer climes of Queensland, during the recent school holidays we went to Melbourne. I was lucky that I could get time off (without pay) from my new employer for the school holidays and so I decided my first pay packet in 13 years would be spent wisely on the things I love... being with my son, travel and fabric!

Years ago I had a boyfriend from Melbourne so went down firstly to meet his family and then years later I  worked for a travel company that is based in Melbourne and we would go down for training and managers meetings at least twice a year for 6 years and since then, have been going regularly at least once a year. I loved Melbourne from the first time I went down.. the food, the shopping, the comedy, the arts, the theatre and most importantly the very different nature of the people. Of course I didn't just limit myself to Melbourne but visited many top areas in the surrounds too. 

So off we went. We had a terrific Air BNB for the first couple of days out of the city and then moved into town into a terrific apartment opposite Southbank, then we had a last night in another apartment hotel. 



My son kept photo bombing the photos I was trying to take of the cake shops in St Kilda. Of course we had some of those terrific cakes although we were good and had it instead of dinner. Plus gelato... that's our holiday treat always... looking for great ice cream. Lots of great eating in Melbourne.


Evidence of the (mostly) beautiful, but very cold days we had in Melbourne while we were there. Alex is wearing the grey stripe merino top I made a couple of years ago under the new grey hoodie I made.


I was thrilled to remember that the 200 Years of Australian Fashion was on at the National Gallery of Victoria. (Although I did forget to see the Warhol exhibition in the other building... doh!) Alex did get a bit sick and when I said we were going to this, he was less than thrilled, but after walking ahead (of course I'm looking at the details on everything so was slow) he raced back and said, "actually Mum, it's pretty good!". That's my boy!



This dress was in the '70's section. I have some silver lurex fabric... maybe a lurex shirtdress is in my future. I do have a '70's 40th dinner in a couple of weeks??






I love this combo above. The pink and red jacket and the spot skirt. I'd like to copy this in some form soon. I also loved how the different light colours gave it a different look and how it reflected under the hat.


I also loved this large print rose dress and the curved hem.


I love this outfit. I took this photo to copy that as well, but not sure how my 158cm frame would actually carry this off.


This dress coat above is actually one piece, including the hat! (obviously not the sleeves. It was so clever and the back had very detailed open louvre look. It is made from wool and from memory it was a Wool Board completion winner.


This was just so fun, but I thought I couldn't bear it having to put all this sequins and feathers on that fabric.



Alex had to see a doctor while we were there and this old Chinese doctor had the most disarming surgery. The bed had a colourful canopy over it and the patient chair was a huge cane number, reminiscent of Morticia Adams of The Adams Family, painted pink. He was also a terrific doctor, him and his surgery put you at ease immediately so we were very lucky to stumble upon him.


Although Alex was not feeling well at all, we had a short day out going to Rippon Lea Estate and Gardens to see the exhibition of the costumes from the film The Dressmaker. We had a lovely morning tea there and then walked through the exhibition. It was such a shame not to be able to go through the gardens too but it was bitterly cold and Alex was really pushing himself. Alex was again very patient but really not well so I rushed it a bit but it was still lovely to see the costumes. There was small films about how the costume department made the clothes for Judy Davis' character appear so old and dirty which I found terrifically interesting, with  tools of the trade for doing this on display.





Is now the time to say I haven't seen the film yet? I live 10 minute walk to two different cinemas and somehow missed seeing it on the big screen. It's on the list. Of course Marion Boyce is the designer and she's the same designer for Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries currently at Old Government House in Brisbane.


On the last night we moved to an apartment hotel across the road from the Immigration Museum and there was groans when I suggested we go to investigate it. It is a terrific building firstly but a great exhibition and with nearly 70% of us descendant from overseas, it is very relevant to a lot of us. In the end I had to drag him away  so we could go to other places but we did spend 2 1/2 hours there.


This shop goes about this length again behind, past the large round thing on the ceiling. It was huge.


I'll leave you with the photo bombing of a lovely cake and coffee shop (so much more than that) in Lygon Street,  a great mostly Italian restaurant strip, just around the corner from where my Melbourne office was... that was lucky!

Because this post is long enough I'll put my fabric purchases on the next post.