Wednesday, January 11, 2012

.. now in shiny.

Burda 10-2011-129, now in silk dupioni, the grandmother of silks.

This silk was for sale in Nick's - and it being cheap and silk I couldn't resist, even though I find silk dupioni tremendously difficult to use, it being so closely linked in my mind to mother-of-the-bride outfits. (especially this shade and fuchsia).

"When the student is ready, the teacher appears" so the expression goes. I was totally ready to take on the advice of the Collette sewing book which is to reduce your failure rate by working with a pattern that has proven to be successful for you and incrementally modifying it to produce a variety of garments.

This is contrary to my usual practice, which is to make a test garment, identify potential, and become distracted. This is the danger of having so much exposure to so much variety - without clarity of vision, and commitment to producing a cohesive look, it's really easy to rush on.

It's funny, that was something that was identified in my year 2 school reports - I've been doing it since I was 6!

It has taken a long time for this student to be ready.

For this variation, I added bows to the pockets. They are just lined strips with a band in the middle.

The band is constructed by zig zagging the raw edges together and then turning out.

I would like to try one more version of this skirt before retiring it. I have 2 goals for this year: to sew more of the same pattern (TNT's), and to sew more outfits (tops and bottoms specifically planned to go together.)

Although I sew things nicely, they don't always look that nice on me. At the moment, I suspect I look quite frumpy a lot of the time. Now there is something a little endearing about that aesthetic but I want to take it up a notch, so this year I'm aiming for "elegant frump."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

..something a little more sedate

Well hello again! Off the starting blocks nice and early with this number from Burdastyle magazine (10-2011-119) hot off the ship in this little part of the world.

The fabric is vintage corduroy, and I'm afraid the lovely details are lost in the whirl and swirl of activity but there is a pocket and a lovely button in there, I swear:

But here's the technical view so you can see what you are missing:

Aren't those pockets just adorable? At any rate I realised early in that I would probably be more likely to wear this skirt with boots and tights for the other 8 months of the year when things are a little cool, so I popped in a lining.

For those of you who need to see the scale of the thing altogether, the fool nerdy monty:

and a little photo of our Hebe in bloom. I am a shocking gardener, neglect and death roam our garden unchecked, so it's nice to see something survive, even thrive.

What happened to the Pastille dress, you might be asking? Well I had bad dreams about it all night, living a 41 year old's life trapped with a 21 year old's life experience and maturity. I woke up relieved to be living the life I have, despite its big challenges. I then neatly folded the pattern and put it away, at peace with my "inner mutton," quite content to be wearing less nubile garb and looking the age I am.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Awards for 2011

Well people, I simply love roundup posts and so should you because you can get a year's worth of blog reading in a single viewing. Now that's economy.

So here they are, the awards for 2011.

The "this goes straight to the pool room" award for most sophisticated item goes to this Burda sheath in Zambesi fabric

The "we're going to the circus and here's your costume" flop of the year sewing award goes to this Simplicity coat:

The "life's a bitch and so is this to sew" award goes to the Amy Butler Weekender bag:

Visible panty line (VPL) took on a whole new meaning with these jeans from Burda, bringing us the "most interesting detail" award:

The "flog the working horse" award for most worn item goes to this Ottobre top:

Award for the least satisfying to sew but most enjoyable to wear goes to this Ottobre tee "shirt".

The "most expensive never sewn from subscription award" went to La Mia Boutique for 2 muslins in 12 issues:

The "you are only as old as your fabric" award for vintage sewing went to this number from Collette patterns:

Fabric score of the year could well have gone to these $1 a metre vintage finds from a deceased estate,

...but how can you beat free! Yes, Valerie gave me some beautiful Liberty tana lawn, simply because I wanted it. So, the "if only the rest of my life could be this easy" award goes to blogger Valerie for her generosity.

Best wishes to everyone for a satisfying sewing New Year.