Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sewing from the not too distant past...

Well, I had lots of things to show today but my camera doesn't want to play so I can't show you the fabrics and clothes I bought at the fabric sale I went to (see previous post).  I can tell you I bought felted wool, silk organza, Japanese cotton voile, wool knit, and 2 fabrics with woven metal threads all for $3 per metre!!!  There is nothing you get for $3 per metre let alone this quality.  (even the remnants at Spotlight are $2 per metre!) Anyway will show you when I get the camera happy again.

My sister is having her 40th birthday party tonight and it is an 80's themed party! Even though she was born in 1971 she thinks the music of the 80's was better! The reason for telling you this is because she wanted photos of her and the rest of us send to her and while I was looking I found photos of some things I had made many years ago.  So I scanned them and thought I would share them.  


I made my middle sister's wedding gown in 1989.  (I have 4 sisters - the one with the party tonight is the youngest!) It was a Marianna Hartwig copy. (She is a wedding dress designer in Melbourne, Australia, and has beautiful gowns) My sister loved the style but of course couldn't afford the $700 that it was back then.  I bought the fabric for her too - it was a crepe back satin and I bought it in Gardam's when it was in Queen Street.  What made me think I could do it, I'm not sure now but I obviously did!  I do remember that it when I attached the skirt to the bodice and flipped it to the right side, I had sewn the skirt inside out.  Of course I had also sewn it with triple straight stitch.... aarrrggghhh!!! It took me three hours locked in my room to unpick it - I didn't even cry I just said to everyone - "don't talk to me, I'm going in here to unpick it!"  I was so mad with myself I knew I would explode if I got even one drip of sympathy.  We had friends from Darwin staying so I think at the time there was about 15 people staying with us so there was plenty of distraction! 

Because my sister wanted this dress we went into the shop selling them under the pretext of buying it so that she could try it on and I could see how it was made.  The draping back piece under the huge bow I couldn't work out on my own and a lady at Gardam's told me how to do it... very easy when you know how! It was just a rectangle of fabric with a semi-circle cut from the top and then when it is straightened you get the nice drape ... of course now I know this but then...

The purple spot thing was a shorts jumpsuit made with rayon (one of my fave fabrics) I really loved that suit (look at my hair - I have hair that does what it likes regardless of what I'd like it to do). That was at the Woodford Festival in the early days.  

The photo of me and the cross looking bride was taken in Toowoomba. My friend, Angela also made her wedding dress and finished it the day before.   We were not cross actually but I think the timing of the photo was just before or after we smiled!  I made my dress in a size 10 (oh, memories) but my shoulders are so tiny that the top was bunching up and looks terrible.  I also remember that I had to buy really cheap flimsy satin because I couldn't get the right weight in the colour I wanted.  

The photo of 2007 is me with my 3 year old son and my neighbour's 2 month old son  It is a burda top I made that I loved and then made another really beautiful one in better fabric but can't wear as I forgot to add the seam allowance!  Not a good photo of the top as you can't see the details like the button loops made from satin cord (what a fraying drama) and the pin tucks under the bodice top.  A lovely pattern.  I love this photo as these two boys are still very good friends even though our friends moved away to Yeppoon a couple of years ago. I love the way they are so connected they don't even take any notice of the calls for a smile at the camera!

These friends I met the same week I separated with my partner and have been the greatest of support to me and my son.  The male party of the these friends made a covered maze for my son's 4th birthday party and it took up the whole back yard and many hours of work.  The kids loved it and it stayed up until it fell over, they loved it so much! We had many visitors that week.

What a blast to see all these things again! Do you get surprised at the things you made way before?


  1. I am envious of your fabric purchases, just based on the description of fabric content and prices. They all sound lovely. I am impressed that you made your sister's wedding dress. What a huge responsibility! I was stressed out making four bridesmaid dresses for my sister’s wedding. Anyway your sister looks beautiful and radiant in her dress. I do get surprised, remembering some of the good and the "ooh what was I thinking?" things I made.

  2. Wow, you have made some totally beautiful things. Especially your sister's wedding gown, it is magnificent! And I'm thinking what a kind and generous sister you are!


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