Friday, September 30, 2011

A weepy day...

... not because it is the last day of self-stitched September natch, which would ordinarily make it a day of yay!-ness.  No, today is the last day of school for my son Sam and we attended a mother/son service together in the school chapel this morning.  It was pretty moving and I will admit to the lump in the throat and a few odd tears...  One thing the boys do is to present their mother with a rose, and it was a pleasant surprise to me when the colour of the rose Sam gave me accessorised my ensemble so well ... fortuitous, or what!  We had morning tea together and strolled around the garden and chatted.  So a sorta emotional morning; but nice and sweet emotional, not horrid emotional, so that's OK.
Thoughts on the dress:
You've seen this exact ensemble before, when I introduced this dress here on the blog.  I was pretty happy with how these raspberry pink sandals went with it, really says "summer!" I think.  I just may have been saving this dress for this special occasion this month...  :)  It received several nice compliments from friends, which is always a plus, hehe.  It is super comfortable to wear, and the skirts ripple and swish most satisfyingly around your legs as you walk, and in the breeze, so I'm pretty happy with it.  I can see it getting a lot more use for barbies, parties and get-togethers over the next few months as the social season starts to kick in and roar into life.  The last few years my party dresses have been relatively colourless (the three lace dresses I wore recently during this month; the pink, the beige-and-silver and the beige-and-black, are all ex-party dresses from previous years)  So you can see this super-saturation in colour is a big departure.  Good to have something different once in a while, yes?  I reckon it's always wise to be well prepared with a fab party dress way in advance of the social season.  The last thing you want is to be madly running up some complicated number in panicky desperation mere hours before a big event.  Much better to have worked through any problems of a pattern and/or fabric in a stress-free environment... and I've already discussed the teething problems I had with this pattern!  But it all worked out to the best in the end; realistically if I'd ended up with the planned white version working out then that would have been yet another colourless party dress, right?  So it was meant to be, I reckon.

Dress; made utilising the twisted front design from Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi, teal silk jersey and with a yellow lycra petticoat of my own design underneath, details here
Sandals; Pedro Miralles, from Soletta shoes

Self-stitched September; I was planning to write some claptrap insightful meaningful thoughts on my feelings about self-stitched September this time around, but hmmm.  I don't want to say this the wrong way... I really appreciate the great community that Zoe sets up each time, and there is a little core group of people that always make it worthwhile.  We leave supportive comments for each other and I look forward to seeing what everybody has been sewing and how they put it together.  However I did receive one dodgy comment when somebody called me a show-off.  That made me think I didn't want to do it any more.  But when I start something I see it through, so I finished off the month, in hopefully as non-show-off-y a way as I could.
I've written before about how one tiny seed of negativity can sadly and wrongly wipe out a whole host of positivity.  It is wrong and it shouldn't be that way.  But it just is.  So I am a bit doubtful if I want to go there again.
But to finish on a positive note; the other nesting black swan I mentioned has successfully hatched her brood today (or last night maybe, in between yesterday's walk and today's walk anyway...) I was thrilled to see four cygnets in this batch...  So it is baby season in a big way down at the river... here are some more brand new families that I have seen over the last few days.  Please enjoy the baby bird cuteness!


  1. Awww how gorgeous! We all used to love Wesley boys when we were at school. What's your son hoping to do next year? How exciting. I miss that age.

    The dress is outstanding, of course, but I especially love it with those sandals. I used to have a pair in the same colour. RIP :(

    OMG what a total bitch giving you that negative comment. They're just jealous of your amazing skills. Ignore them. Although I'm sure my feelings will be hurt also when I get a negative comment.

    I ran out of things to wear for SSS. I was hoping it would get warmer so I could dig out all my superior summer clothes. Shame. Oh well!

  2. At first glance I thought this was a dress over a dress--the colors are truly lovely on you.

  3. Does sam know what he will do next? How exciting! And maybe even a little scary (just imagining my girls in years to come.)
    Your dress is lovely. As for SSS, I think of you as an inspiration, not a show off! My guess is that the person meant it in a playful, teasing way, but it didn't come out right in print. Whenever, I attempt snarky humour in print, I just sound horrible! There is no facial expression or tone of voice on the Internet.

  4. Carolyn, congrats for your son! Is he the youngest?

    That is a gorgeous dress - the colors just pop!

    Re: the show-off comment, hopefully the person was just kidding. I leave comments sometimes that are meant to be ironic, to show that truly I'm just admiring the work! That's a reminder to me that sometimes humor doesn't come across as such.

    Anyhow, I always love seeing your creations in the me-made challenges and would miss you if you weren't there.

  5. A big day for Sam and, of course, for you too! My best wishes for his future, what an exciting time. He looks like such a lovely young man. What a nice picture - something to treasure for ever. Your outfit looks perfect - elegant and pretty - and I love the colours.

  6. Congratulations to your son! Might I also add, wondeful dress colors?

    The bird pictures were a lovely way to start the morning! There is not much cuter than baby birds.

  7. Awww, cute baby birds - you must be very proud of your `baby` too. I will repeat that I love your dress- I am sure the person who left that show off comment is just totally jealous as I am - of your clothes and sewing ability and photography skills .

  8. Sounds like a lovely time with your son. :O)

    Print is tricky, if the comment was meant literal sighhh I don't know why anyone would say that, in self stitched your suppose to show what you have made in outfits you wear. That isn't showing off that is participating :O).

    You do a lovely job at both the sewing and putting the outfits together :O). I am still drooling over the apricot jacket!

  9. Why in the world are baby ducks so cute? We had pet ducks as kids (lived on a pond). I think they may be one of my favorite animals.

    Your dress is gorgeous- a perfect party dress!

  10. What a wonderful, wonderful dress! It is soooo elegant.
    I have enjoyed your daily outfits immensely. I'm so glad that you "stuck it out" to the end of September.

  11. Congratulations on your son finishing school! What a nice way to say goodbye to the school life.

    I'm sure you know, that we know, that you are not a show off. Isn't that the point of a sewing blog?.. to highlight the items one sews??? Seems a pretty silly comment, so don't take it to heart. Keep showing us your fantastic creations.

    By the way, I love this combo (think I said that when you first posted it) but I really also love the Futuristic Nun!

  12. I guess one person's show-off is another person's inspiration. If you didn't show off your lovely stuff I'd miss about a hundred lovely ideas on what to sew. Try to let the comment roll off like a bead of water on the swans' feathers.

  13. Can't believe that someone left a negative comment like that, especially as one of the things SSS is about is showing off what you've made anyway, if we didn't want other people to see what we've made we wouldn't bother posting would we?!?

    I have found your pictures and garments inspiring and lovely to look at. Each day even if I couldn't manage to look at everyone's pictures I made sure I'd seen yours. I only wish I had the talent and skills to make what you do, I'm very much a stick to the pattern and throw it together kind of sewer.

    Thanks for all your kind comments during the month and I'm looking forward to following your blog and seeing what you make next!

  14. I cast another vote for ignore the strange person who said you're "showing off". Why would you be reading a blog that details someone's creative work if you didn't want to see it!? I am taking great inspiration from the SSS people, especially your takes on Pattern Magic II, since I have a copy, but haven't felt up to the challenge yet!

  15. What a nice picture of you with your son. These moments are meant to be cherished, its nice that you share them with us.

    Seeing as how I have just started following you this month. I have really enjoyed you sss and I appreciate the work that goes into it, so thanks for that. Looking forward to seeing what comes next:)

  16. I'm a new follower and have absolutely loved seeing your creations. Everything looks impeccable and inspires me to make my work look the best it can be. I also enjoy how your creativity and uniqueness show through in each self-stitched item.

    And thanks for letting us know about the shoes in each post. :)

  17. I think I can speak for all of your 'fans' when I say - please don't let someone who is obviously just out for their own attention deter you from posting your wonderful outfits. You and your blog are such a great inspiration to many of us.

    I believe you are a wonderful person I enjoy your style, wit and most of all your kindness. I know my blog is not the only one you visit and leave encouraging words on. Please don't let one individual ruin things for you.

  18. I found your blog through participation in SSS ‘11 (this was my first time) and I’m gad I did. This dress is absolutely stunning, as are all your creations, and photos for that matter. And whoever called you a show off is simply off their rocker. Or jealous. Or both.

  19. What a lovely way to recognize the end of school. It may have been a weepy day, but you look positively cheery in your outfit with the colors and the shoes.

  20. Showing off?!? Well, isn't that what SSS is celebrating? Being able to show off our MAD SKILLZ to fellow-stitchers and get some self-esteem boosts from people who understand? Don't be put off! You make amazing stuff and have every right to be proud!

  21. I find your daily posts very easy to read, lots of good sewing info, you always have an interesing photo. So post daily or not - as the mood strikes you! You and your soon look fab together, great dress. and I think more color is better. love the combo with the shoes.

  22. you look lovely; great dress. You've been a huge inspiration throughout!

  23. It can't be negative to be labeled a "show off" when the whole point is to SHOW OFF what you've made for yourself! You are an accomplished and adventurous seamstress, and you make some of the most interesting and thoughtfully composed, yet deceptively simple clothes I've ever seen. You have no reason, whatsoever, to edit yourself, or be modest about what you make. You are rad! Show off.

  24. Although the people before me have said it, and probably better than I could, I want to thank you too for the delight and inspiration your photos and blog postings were during this SSS'11. I did look forward particularly to see your choice of the day and was never disappointed. I find your photos stunning - styled in synchrony with the outfit they feature; you could actually publish a photo book of 30 ways to look fabulous in self-made clothes.
    And I'm getting a new sewing machine for my birthday next week :)

  25. Your dress looks lovely - what a wonderful day to celebrate! My son starts high school next year, another milestone...
    I say please keep 'showing off' your self-made garments as they are fabulous!! If the comment was made in bad taste then it deserves to be ignored.

  26. Please don't stop doing this just because one person is a pain in the arse. Your clothes are fascinating, and also the choice of back drop and seasonal stuff (I am in UK). I will go back to lurking now. (except to ask if you can identify the non-swans? for us they would be coots/moorhens?)

  27. Wonderful dress, wonderful day! I am so grateful that you "show off" your creations, especially those inspired by the Pattern Magic and Any Way You Like books. I look at Pattern Magic and think, "Wow, that's strange." Then I look at your clothing and I totally get--and love--the look.

  28. I, too, was hurt by my daughter's comment about showing off on my blog. But she saw the expression on my face and said, "That's what blogging is for, to show off what you made."

    I say, keep showing off your creations. I love reading about them and it inspires me to sew from my Japanese pattern books and tweak Burda classics.

  29. Awww! Baby birds, and another kid leaving the nest... almost. How sweet that he gave you an outfit matching rose! :)
    And yes, I really, totally, love that dress!

  30. Please keep "showing off" your wonderful sewing and outfits. My family asks me "What do you have to show off today?" when they are asking about my sewing (they are well trained, he, he) so maybe it was not meant negatively?
    Your dress looks beautiful again, and the yellow rose, perfect!
    Our year 12s don't finish until mid November. Are there exams still for your son? How exciting to have everyone finished with school.

  31. My mother always used to say, "if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything" and I try to apply this to my blog life especially.

    It must be a sad day, having your baby graduate from High School and moving into the big wide world. My middle child is graduating from Primary/Intermediate next term and I am finding this a little sad, having him move into the bigger world that is High School.

    I do like the colours in that dress. It certainly photographs nicely.

    The blue and black bird looks like a pukeko which is something that is quite common around the swampy areas in these parts.

  32. I can't even imagine the day when my son might finish high school - even him starting school seems so far off!

    A special needs teacher recently told me that according to their code of conduct, they are not allowed to express opinions to the parents of the children they care for. They are not allowed to comment in any way that might be construed an "opinion". At first I found the idea rather odd, but recently I've come to realise that it is very liberating. How much of our time is spent having to have an opinion about something. What if you could just not have one? What if things could just be, without our commentary?

    I am thinking about your "show off" comment - that's what inspires this line of philosophy - that someone just had to have an opinion about your efforts without allowing you to enjoy the fruits of your hard work and years of perfecting your craft.

  33. All the best for your son! You must be super proud!

    Please keep showing off, if showing off is like one of the above comments says... showing off what you create and what you wear and how you wear it. Please keep showing off!

    I'm often to busy to leave a comment, but I do really love seeing what you make and most of the time, this whole blog thing is a positive experience.

    A lot of my friends in real life are often amazed I put so many photos of myself online, but especially this year, I've found the clothes look WAY better and real when I'm wearing them. xoxo

  34. Congratulations to Sam. A mother/son service seems like such a neat tradition. What a great picture of you both! Even though I didn't comment on all your SSS outfits, I sure did love seeing them. I hope you won't let one negative comment stop you from participating in the future. I am always inspired by how you mix things up in addition to seeing your new creations.

  35. What a lovely tradition your son's school has and your dress looks fantastic.

    I'm really disappointed to hear that someone in the SSS group would make such a comment - I've always thought that you are exceedingly modest about your capabilities.

  36. Thank you all so much ladies for you lovely comments!! It was so nice to receive such supportiveness, I am so touched... and I should just clarify that the "show-off" remarks was I am pretty sure, directed at my photography and locations, not my sewing. I wasn't upset by it, but let's just say the tag "show off" doesn't sit comfortably because I don't like to think of myself that way (who does?) and that is what gave me pause ...
    Besides I do take pride in my photos too :)

  37. Sounds as though it could not have been a more perfect day.

    Maybe the person who called you a show-off meant it in a light-hearted way, rather than a mean way? Sometimes it's hard to tell from a written message.

    Your photos are works of art. When I scroll through recent posts of blogs I follow, I recognize the style of your photos immediately, even before I see the name of the blog.

  38. I loved this outfit the first time. Looks fabulous with the rose. I think you always do a wonderful job of the SS months. Your photos and outfits always look so effortless and arty.

  39. First of all, a big congratulations to Sam.

    I understand how one negative can cancel out many positives, but please don't let one person's negativity dictate your decisions. That person does not represent the majority. I have never thought of you as a show off. And even if you were, so what? It's your blog. You have the right. I think one of the whole reasons we big is to share or "show off" our creations. It's wonderful to have an audience because it acts as a support group of sorts. To me, you come across as a very sweet and humble person who is very gifted in her craft. Participate in what you want to participate in, and don't let others determine that for you.

    And if the "show off" comment was regarding the location. I really enjoy seeing these beautiful settings. It adds to the attractiveness of your blog and makes it much more interesting. It takes extra effort on your part to provide these wonderful pictures for us to gaze upon. I for one would like to thank you for all of your hard work to provide a great blog.

    By the way, you look very beautiful in your dress.

    I sent you an email yesterday. Just wanted to make sure you saw it and it doesn't get lost amongst all the others.

  40. Congratulations to your son! My oldest will graduate in 7 years, but I know it will come too quickly.

    I love the twist in this dress and I really like the futuristic nun dress, too. It makes me think of Hypatia (philosopher).

    The baby duck photos are great - they're so different from the ducks we get here!

  41. kbenco; I've also answered on your blog, but re the school schedule; Last Fri was officially the last school day for yr 12's, but of course we now have 2 wks of school holidays, then the ones sitting for finals (including Sam) do go back for 2 wks of intensive work on problem areas, and mock exams, study leave, then the final exams. So they aren't actually "finished" finished until mid November (exactly when depends on the exam schedule and your individual subject choice) Then the long wait until first post in January when they find out whether they got into their University course of choice...

  42. Lovely! All these mother-and-son photos, yours, swans, ducks....
    I like you very much, those kind of things that we cannot explain. I'm really sad that my english is so poor and sometimes I can't understand everything you write.
    Great dress.
    Congratulations to the young man!

  43. Regarding the water birds; my mother who is an expert on birds has helped me to identify them correctly, and they are from top to bottom, left to right; the Black swan, the Australian Coot, the Australian Wood Duck and the Purple Swamphen.
    Thank you again for all your kind comments!