Monday, August 30, 2010

Something old, something new, something boring, something true.

Well, I did it. Last week, following the advice on this blog, I managed to score myself a subscription for La Mia Boutique, and thanks to this blog, I saved myself $100 US dollars by ordering direct from the publisher rather than through the only English speaking magazine site that will ship LMB to NZ. (sewers down under, make sure you choose the "Oceania" option and then you have to muddle through in Italian, I had google translate open in a separate window) Oh how that warmed the cockles of my thrifty heart!

And then once I had my reward for completing the competition I actually found some inspiration to do it.

It would be fair to say none of the pieces turned out as planned, because none of the pieces were planned. This resulted in some great disasters, some great successes and a lot of inbetween stuff. Once again, I proved to myself the 3-5-2 proportion of home sewn success to be true (3 items to love, 5 to use ambivalently, and 2 to hate.)

The 2 to hate need no introduction as I have already bemoaned them a plenty, the 3 items I really enjoy wearing are the velour coat, the green ruched top and the grey flannel pants. The rest are OK - I wear them, happily enough, but I can say about each of them, "next time I would .." which suggests a little dissatisfaction or maybe a lot of what my sister calls, "I-sewed-it-itis."

I learned lots from doing this competition. Making 10 pieces to work together is blimmin hard. I mean really hard, especially if you refuse to plan any of it. Since I relied totally on luck, and luck is a fickle friend, it's not surprising I had my share of bad luck too. However, in the end, it was trust and intuition that bought this collection to fruition since it was an unconscious longing for completion that took me to the end.

Although I have finished the competition I have decided not to enter it. Writing all the reviews and taking all the composite pictures takes more time than I want to spend. In addition, while everything goes with something in my existing wardrobe, they don't all go with each other, which is a central tenet to the competition! However, here is a photo of one complete outfit, just so you know that a lot of the things do work very well together.

Here is the top that I made to finish the competition: another round of Kwik sew 3338. Yawn, It's so boring isn't it? I twin-needled around the neck facing and hems to give a mock coverstitch look, and also to add more stretchiness. The fabric is more liquidation merino from Nicks. I wish I bought more of it. This is a really thick warm snuggly wool knit.

And lastly, look what my mother in law gifted me for my 40th. This is swiss lace, at least 60 years old, hand loomed and half a yard wide. It comes from my husband's grandparent's factory - they were clothing manufacturers. I wrote the full story about it here - and it is worth a read if you want to read something uplifting in these harsh economic times.

This fabric is so precious. Style gurus out there, what would you do with it? I have 7 metres (8 yards) but remember it is very narrow. I am thinking of having it professionally dyed and then maybe a modern jacket like Burda did Feb last year?


  1. Oh that lace is just beautiful. If I had to decide what to do with it I have a sneaking suspicion that I would never ever use it for fear of not living up to it. I can't WAIT to see what you come up with!

  2. Hey that new top looks great, and the knitted licorice allsort necklace is the perfect accessory.
    Your photos are particularly beautiful today, too.
    Well done on 10 garments. I totally agree that that in itself is worthy of two gift subscriptions and an honorable discharge from writing reviews for PR.

  3. Oh wow that lace is lovely. Your idea of a jacket to showcase it is a good one. Just a word on professional dyeing...I had professionals ruin a suede jacket of mine so please if you go that route get them to dye a swatch first.

  4. I agree with Miss photos today are beautiful. Congrats on getting the 10 items completed. Can't wait to see what you make from the LMB subscription.

  5. Congrats on finishing! An accomplishment no matter how you look at it. That lace is gorgeous!! I'm glad you got it. I'd be terrified of cutting it!!

  6. Mmm...gorgeous lace! I bet is is fab quality too, not like the junk you often get these days!
    Make something precious!

  7. Lace: wow. I'm trying to think of something shy of a wedding dress that would be worthy of it. Could it be overlaid over something dark and rich-coloured for a fabulous evening gown? Would you have any use for such a garment if it was? The jacket is probably as good an idea as any. Good luck!

  8. I'd be way too scared to do anything with that lace. It really is lovely. Glad you finished the 10 garments. I think your result is pretty common for those of us who sew wardrobes like this. I always have at least one garment that never gets worn and one that I wear, but really don't enjoy. The majority are OK, which is no worse than RTW, except they cost me less and fit me better. Then one or two are things I love, love, love and wear to death. I think that's a pretty good result, all things considered. I look forward to seeing what you make from your new magazines.

  9. 3 Items to love isn't bad at all! I am amazed that you got ten garments done. I can't wait to see what you sew from LMB. It's not a magazine that I ever find around here.

    The lace is very special indeed! I can't think what I would sew. I probably wouldn't have the guts to cut into it ever!

  10. Both outfits are great including the yawn top because the skirt doesn't need something else saying 'look at me'. What a lovely gift from your Mother-in-Law.And how nice for her to have someone to give it to who has the skills and knowledge to use it.
    Thanks for all your hospitality. It was a great w/e.

  11. That lace is breath-taking!!

    Good on you for finishing all 10 pieces - totally understand not wanting to spend time writing the reviews!

  12. I don't think your gray top is boring at all, maybe because I'm suddenly into scoop necks?
    Even if you're not pleased with the results, your craftswomanship is always outstanding. You are so good with the details!
    That lace is amazing.

  13. I read your button story and it reminds me of MY husbands family who came out to Australia in very similar circumstances. They did ok here too with one of the grandchildren of the original immigrants becoming a high court judge .It makes me wonder at the horrible attitude that some people have refugees in Australia at the moment.

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