Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another trip down memory lane...

...  Remember when I said I had only once before made Cassie and myself matching clothes? Well this is Cassie's dress, that was made from the leftover scraps of a dress I had made myself.  Her little dress, made using a TopKids pattern, has a white Peter Pan collar, and a miniature faux man's tie in turquoise fabric, itself the leftovers from these shorts (so you can see how long I hang onto scraps...!)  I'm sorry it's not a very good picture, and what's more I have no pics of my own dress in this fabric; but imagine this maroon, deep turquoise and red large-scale plaid in one of those 90's style shirt-dresses with a high small collar, long sleeves and a big full gathered skirt.  Something like the red version of this pattern at right... yes, very very very 90's.  I hope I haven't shattered any delusions of myself as a style maven now!  At least I never liked shoulder pads so never used them.
So I've got that going for me...    (Can anyone recognise that quote?)

Tim is wearing here a little jumper here that I knitted for him using scraps of wool from other projects... rather cleverly eked out if I say so myself, so that the front, back and both sleeves had the same colours and in the same proportions!  Knitters will know this is not necessarily a simple thing to achieve when you are working with scraps...  It went from the dark shades of purpleblue and green at the bottom through grey, then pale blue then the palest yellow and back to navy blue at the top, and the colours were not in defined stripes but faded together in an ombre effect.  I did this by knitting two colours together per row in the fair-isle knitting method.
In this picture, Tim is wearing another jumper I knitted, and I can't recall now if it was from a pattern or if I took the embroidered teddy bear design from a cross stitch and just transposed it to a knitwear graph... yup, memory not what it used to be!  Again using scraps for the teddies.  Cassie is wearing a little dress I made for her using a TopKids pattern.  It was in two different white and navy blue prints, one a polka dot and the other a floral.  The fabric was slightly fluffy, brushed cotton, and I sewed in white piping around the collar, sleeve cuffs, the single curved breast pocket and around the dropped waistline where the buttoned-up blouse joined the skirt part of the dress.  It was quite cute, no? and a nice and warm little number for winter!

And the quote?  From that great 90's cinema classic, Caddyshack.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Crocheted granny squares

I know there is a phrase to describe occurrences like this but I can't think what it is...
This morning I dug out this crochet scarf and put it on, thinking again how much I like it and its beautifully swampy, underwater-y, murky combinations of colours! but especially it got me thinking about crochet granny squares.  This scarf is simply a sewn-together row of large-scale mohair crochet granny squares, and I was thinking idly about how much I would like to make a scarf or something out of the original type of crochet granny squares; those ones that were all kinds of colourful but always black-edged.
So I took the above photo this morning  (I've still been taking photos occasionally but not always putting them here), and afterwards, Cassie and I were going along to meet with my mother in the Jo Sharp knit shop, which is a tiny little shop but like a wonderful Aladdin's Cave stuffed full of divinely colourful balls of woolly goodness...  Of course you guessed it, we walked in and what should I see but straight away!, and that is this rather funky little skirt below, made entirely out of exactly the crochet granny squares I had been daydreaming about.  Bizarre coincidence; magical thinking? that I should select this vaguely granny-squarish scarf and be thinking about granny squares, and then immediately find this rather cool new-age take on granny-scarf couture??  (cue Twilight Zone music)
(image of the Hexagon skirt below from Jo Sharp)
Don't you just love it?  Old fashioned, unusual, quaint, reminiscent of those awful old op shop blankets like you always saw flung over Rosanne's couch on the 80's sitcom?  Goodness, that thing was so daggy as to eventually become quite cool, yes?  No?  Am I on my own on this one?  Well, I guess to my 80's-addled consciousness the ol' granny square blanket did assume an aura of grungy chicness anyway....!
So Mum and Cassie did a bit of enabling, and I did not walk out of the knit shop empty handed...   I just bought a few colours to get going along with some blacks for the edging, but I can always go back for more if I need to...  I'm still undecided as to whether to just go for a scarf as per my original thoughts, or to go for the full-on skirt... what do you think?

Skirt; Vogue 7303 with modifications, green cotton velveteen, details here
Scarf; crocheted by me, details here
Tights; my own design, denim print jersey, details and a tutorial on drafting your own tights here
Top and cardi; Metalicus
Shoes; Francesco Morichetti, from Zomp shoes

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Layered rusty-red wool skirt

So, using the leftover bit of fabric from my rusty-red wool skirt, combined with the cut-off from when I decided to make my long skirt shorter, I made Cassie a little layered skirt.  Using the same pattern as I did for my own skirt, Vogue 8363.  I even managed to reuse the cut-off lining as well for the lining for this skirt, and covered a button the same way... and now I really have used all of this gorgeous Japanese wool/silk fabric!
I only had tiny scraps of suitably coloured thin cotton left; so not all of the seams in this skirt are Hong Kong bound, but the most visible ones are.  I really debated whether or not to even go this extra step, for my daughter, being a typical teenager, is still learning respect for her clothes.  I can almost guarantee that this skirt will be discarded in a little puddled heap on the floor of her room unless I am there to explode and guilt-trip her into picking it up immediamente!  However, I eventually decided that the fabric was indeed worth the small time and effort put into finishing off the seams properly, and that it was high time she experienced a bit of sartorial classiness in her apparel.  Plus it might inspire tidiness and respect.  Plus it might inspire her to try doing this in her own sewing creations.  Plus I could use the practise...
So anyhoo, I went there, and finished off most of the inner seams.
She has shown her approval by wearing it out with her friends already; high praise.  So I'm happy!
Now I'm sure the thought has occurred, are matching mother/daughter outfits a common occurrence in this household?  Well, actually no.  I'm not that sort of a Mum that needs to have a mini-me...  this is only the second time in her life I have made us matching garments, and this has been for the same reason each time, a largish bit of leftover fabric that was of too good quality to leave.
I think we will probably both take good care to not wear our skirts at the same time!
Oh, and on a sewing note I have gone back to edit my review to include the following... another reason I really like this new Vogue skirt pattern.
The skirt front has four darts, two each side of the centreline, and each skirt back has two darts each also, making eight hip-to-waist darts into the waistband overall.  For somebody with mine (and Cassie's) figure type. a small waist compared to our hip measurement, or pear-shaped; this is a very helpful feature for getting a good fit.  I sewed in an extra 3mm off the waist-end of each dart, which left only about 1.5cm extra to be taken in off each side seam at the waist.  With my usual Vogue 7303, which has only four darts overall, each dart has to be much more drastically taken in, and the side seams also.  Having those four extra darts meant for a much more even distribution in removing the excess.
To illustrate: below is my skirt; not Cassie's that is pictured above, but hers is very similar... the hemline with the bias finishing is at the left of the picture and the waist band is at the right underneath the lining which has been pulled up to reveal that side seam.  See how much excess width is taken in off each of those side seams from the hips to the waist?  Well, about twice that is usually required when the pattern has less darts on the fronts and backs.  Yes, I could just measure out and put in some extra darts myself, but I'm an extremely lazy seamstress in many ways, and have always just gone for removing the extra width off the darts and seams already there!  Having this pattern, with the extra darts marked in, all evenly spaced out ready for me is a much more attractive option to me!  And yes, I sometimes do opt to leave that excess seam allowance there like this, and not cut it off.  Especially in the case of a special skirt like this that I intend to last most of my life anyway.  Just in case I ever do need to let the skirt out.


I just wanted to say a big heartfelt Thank You to all you kind people who left nice comments on my last post... as your kind words proved; the online sewing and fashion community is such a beautifully supportive and helpful community, isn't it? 
And just want to reassure you that the real life (not internet) "porky" insult levelled at me by my "friend" didn't hurt me so much for its content, as I do have many many faults for sure, but "porky" didn't really strike me at my heart all that deeply!  It was just the fact of being singled out for disdain that hurt.  Plus that I felt a wee bit humiliated, as you do.  This particular girl has said rude things before and obviously has a, shall we say, slight deficiency in etiquette, but is still part of a group I meet up with, so can't be avoided.  I'm sure everybody has experienced such people in their lives and understands what I mean.  I try to think of people like this as a little fly in the soup of life; a bit yucky when you come across them, but not bad enough to spoil the rest of the bowl.
 I wish I could gather us all together in one spot where we could sip tea, chat, and check out each others creations for real!  Wouldn't that be nice?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thinking positive...

Yesterday Yoshimi who is both a beautiful lady and an accomplished seamstress, wrote a post about a negative comment, and its effect on her.  Of course I rushed to support her because she is my friend, and friends are supportive in times we are feeling low.  But it made me think not for the first time about how just a small amount of negativity really brings you disproportionately down, and even in the face of overwhelming positivity and supportiveness even those of us who appear to be quite self-assured and strong can suffer after one mean comment.
When we blog we really put ourselves out there.  We may feel we are documenting a personal journey, but of course even though we may be sitting quietly in our own homes, by ourselves, tapping away on our own keyboards; the "privacy" is an illusion.  Anything on the internet is very very public, and trolls are free to judge us and say whatever they like.
I have received negative comments.  Actually, I count myself to be extremely lucky to be part of the sewing/fashion community, which on the whole is a very supportive group, and I feel I have some real friends out there who I would get along with very well if we met in real life.  But barbed, and sometimes outright rude comments creep in every now and again, and it is a huge downer.
Even one's real life "friends" might be having a bad day, and say something off that sticks with you... when I posted about my new little red wool skirt on Monday, I had worn it out that morning to a tea and feeling quite proud of myself; and somebody obliquely referred to me as "porky".   There were some raised eyebrows and horrified giggles within the group because it was not said in jest, and no explanation or apology came forth.  It is ridiculous I know because it was obviously her bad day and not mine and should have stayed that way; but her remark transferred it into my bad day too.  I felt attacked, and very down for the rest of the day.
Why are we so fragile?  I feel I should be mature enough that I am above such petty things as a flippant comment here or there, and I shouldn't need validation to be happy about myself.  But I just do.  I guess it is basic human nature to need approval.  It makes us feel like we are accepted.  The need to connect and belong is built in as part of our survival mechanism, and approval is part of that acceptance.  Disapproval puts me into panic mode.

I am still defining my own personal style, but I do know a few things about it.  I treat all drab colours as neutrals and love to wear them, but I also like to be occasionally colourful.  I like clothes that have a twist, or something unusual about them.  I like skirts to be either quite short or quite long, but not usually in-between.  I think I am vaguely sporty or outdoors-y.  I am emphatically not vintage or retro, nor am I particularly girly or dressy.  I think today sits in that comfort zone.

Dress; the "gathered hole" dress from Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi, charcoal wool mix, details here
Top; Ezibuy
Tights; Metalicus
Scarf; d/lux, from Uggies in Dunsborough
Shoes; Francesco Morichetti, from Zomp shoes

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fabulous stuff made by Mum and Dad...

My Mum and Dad are enormously creative and talented.  They have made heaps and heaps of beautiful things...a visit to their house reveals one lovely work after another.  I took some pictures of just a few during our last visit...
a sofa table made by Dad, using wood he milled himself from a fallen tree on their property
a pile of colourful socks, knitted by Mum

A banksia seed-pod vase, drilled by Dad

A pair of colourful "leftover" socks, knitted by Mum
Candlesticks, made by Dad from materials scavenged from the tip...

A pair of intricately patterned socks, knitted by Mum

I am so lucky to have such amazing parents.  Thank you Mum and Dad for your never-ending inspiration!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rusty red wool/silk skirt

I've made a new skirt...
I found this yummily coloured, beautifully textured wool/silk mix fabric in a remnant bin in Tokyo, the day of our shopping trip with Yoshimi and Novita.  At the time I just picked it up instinctively, with only a quick check to see it was enough for a little skirt.  When I got home and actually laid it out however I could see there was quite a lot of fabric, too much for just one little skirt.
Oh well, maybe I could make a longer, almost-ankle-length skirt...?
I had originally intended to go for my ol' favourite Vogue 7303, but here's the thing; two years ago I bought another plainish skirt pattern Vogue 8363, and have rudely ignored it because of my steadfast and loyal allegiance to Vogue 7303; the poor thing has languished uncut in its packet.  I decided it was high time to try out a different skirt pattern, gave myself a strict talking to and bravely took out the new pattern.  And set to making a three-quarter length skirt (actually view C, lengthened).... but by the time I had reached the point of hemming I knew that a longer skirt was not the right choice for this fabric.  It is such a heavily textured fabric, and is so visually impactful that the big unbroken expanse of it in a longer skirt was just too overpowering... so I ended up cutting a big chunk off to finish up with the very same little skirt that was my original vision for this fabric.  Full circle!
Because this fabric is quite special to me, a memento of our Japanese trip, I went all out to fit and finish the skirt as well as I am capable.  The skirt is lined with raspberry acetate lining fabric, the inner raw edges are finished with HongKong seaming and the lower edge is hemmed with bias tape.  I searched and searched for a suitable button and failed dismally.  So I tried out something new to me; covering a button with my own fabric, using one of those kits you see in the haberdashery section.  Super easy, and the perfect finishing touch!  I don't know why I've never even had a go at this before!
I do have one teeny tiny regret... I have read somewhere about how iron-on interfacing is never used in couture construction, so I decided to go for sew-in interfacing in the waistband.  This was basted in and the waistband was finished, but I could feel the interfacing was waffling loosely about on the inside of it, so I decided to topstitch the waistband to hold everything firmly in place.  That worked, but now I kinda regret doing this, I think this style of fabric and skirt together suits a much more clean finish without any topstitching, and the loosely woven fabric is not the sort to take kindly to unpicking... I'm more afraid of damaging the fabric in the unpicking stage than I am of the look of that topstitching, so it stays.  This does not diminish my love for the skirt; buuuut... should have stuck with the iron-on interfacing!
And no need to worry about that cut-off leftover fabric, it has been put to good use already too!  Results to appear here soon...

Skirt; Vogue 8363 with modifications, rusty-red wool/silk mix bought in Tokyo
Top (not seen); Metalicus
Cardigan; Alannah Hill (bought damaged, and repaired)
Tights; Kolotex
Boots; di Sempre, from Zomp shoes
My review of this pattern...
Pattern Description:
Skirts A, B, C, F have front and back darts and back zip.  A; ruffle.  B; lace overlay and back vent.  C; side buttonhole closure.  Skirts D, E have front pockets and front and back darts.  E; purchased trim and snap closure.  F; front stitched pleats and back vent.  Skirt length is 5cm below mid-knee.
Pattern Sizing:
6-20 overall, I bought the AA (6-12) and custom-fit to myself during construction, as usual
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
Essentially yes, except that my version is a simple short skirt incorporating none of the variations pictured...!
Were the instructions easy to follow?
very easy!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like everything about this pattern.  Super easy, stylish, a basic wardrobe builder.  It might even be my new favourite skirt pattern!  Without a doubt I will use it and use it over again.
Fabric Used:
Wool/silk tweed, polyacetate lining
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
This version pictured is a short version of view C, without the button/button band at the bottom, the only other adjustments were fitting alterations.  Also my skirt pictured is fully lined, provisions for which are not supplied in the pattern but is an easy alteration.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Definitely yes, to both!
Very easy, very basic, therefore a very useful pattern.  It has no standout or trendy features, so it will never go out of style.  This pattern is a winner that I will hang on to forever...!
(below; going for a fashion magazine pose...)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Featuring small versions of Tim and Cassie...

Whizzing back a few years now...
and here are some more of the little outfits I made for my children when they were small.  These were "good" outfits, but of course I used to dress my children in good outfits on a day-to-day basis anyway, reasoning that they wouldn't fit into them for very long!  So these clothes were worn to parties, to playgroup, to picnics, as well as for playing in the sandpit at home and to the beach; anywhere.  We're not the sort of family to ever be precious about our clothes.  Oh, OK then... with the exception of that Chanel style coat, I admit it.
These designs were all from TopKids magazines.  I still have all nine of the magazines I bought, although none of the patterns I traced out!  They were such wonderful magazines.. ooer, I've probably said that a few, or a dozen, times before, haven't I?  I've got this tendency to rave about them, sorry.  Such a pity they were discontinued.  I've never seen such great, trendy, funky, interesting little children's patterns anywhere else since.
The dress Cassie is wearing has a few rows of smocking on the bodice and a little white Peter Pan collar, on which I hand embroidered a few flowers, stems and leaves mimicking the design in the floral.  Another cute little dress that has gone, goodness knows where...
Tim's outfit was a little short overall, of a light denim fabric and with patches of a thickish checked cotton.  I was pretty proud of this, and he wore it tonnes of times, until it got holes in the bottom...  That red button sewn on the front is an aeroplane.
The button-up boxy little jacket is of the same light denim fabric, and has contrasting fabric for the pocket flaps and the hoodie part of it.  The contrasting fabric is printed with cheerful hippos setting sail in sailing boats.
The pictures of Cassie alone and of the two of them, were taken on her first birthday.

Friday, July 22, 2011

An ancient xanthorrhoea...

... and me.
We have been busy recently; school holidays and an overseas visitor staying so we have been going sight-seeing.  There is nothing like touring one's own surroundings and talking about local features to make one truly appreciate all over again where you live.  We have been doing lots of Aussie stuff, including a visit to the Perth Mint where we learnt about the Gold Rush and how many of the world's biggest nuggets have been discovered here (most of them); lifted a gold brick (far heavier than I imagined) and learnt about the minting process.  Can you guess the melting point of gold?  Go one, take a minute to guess....

We've visited Kings Park, the beach and gone paddling on the river.  The last few days we have been down visiting my parents in the country.  We cooked damper and billy tea over an open fire out in the middle of the bush, as well as took plenty of photos of kangaroos.  Each of these things we have done lots of times, but have been extra nice when viewed through the enthusiastic eyes of an overseas visitor.  And today we visited a little traditional sweetshop, then I intuitively headed next door to the junk shop to have a trawl through ... I couldn't resist.  I told our visitor she didn't have to come with me but she wanted to!  She found a really old kangaroo print dish and a boomerang shaped leather covered shoe brush, also printed with kangaroos and xanthorrhoea (the plant in my picture above).  I found some more glassware and more old mismatched fine bone china to add to my collection, and a manual typewriter for Craig.  Sam found a double-headed adaptor... er, well, one person's trash etc etc, right?
So everybody scored and everybody's happy!
Finally; the melting point of gold; 1064C...  How close was your guess??

Top; Ezibuy (the indispensable one with holes in it, gulp!)
Cardigan; MNG Suit, found secondhand
Jeans; Burda 7863 with modifications, black corduroy, details here
Scarf; dark crimson jersey, details here
(old and cruddy) hiking boots; Scarpa

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sam's quilt

An ongoing part of this blog is the documentation of stuff I have handmade in the past, including the small collection of quilts I have made for my family.  I have shown here before Tim's quilt and Cassie quilt, now here is Sam's quilt.
Like the others his quilt still lives permanently on his bed, but unlike the others has never had to be repaired and, apart from some fading of the colours, is in very good nick.  This is probably due to three reasons; firstly probably because it is the newest of the three, but also possibly because Sam is not the sort of boy who played on his quilt like the other two did.  He liked to hang out with his older brother and sister so would go and play on their beds instead!  And lastly, because I had finally learned about finishing a quilt in the traditional way this one is actually finished off "properly", if there is such a thing!
The design is a simple arrangement of squares of fabric that I chose because I liked them, and I thought the soft antique-y shades of yellow, red and blue suited Sam's sunny but shy personality.  The squares are enclosed and showcased in a grid of pale yellow strips.  The quilt is bound in the traditional method with self-made bias binding.  Each of the squares is bordered by hand-quilting.  I embroidered my name in the bottom corner and the year in which I made it.
Every now and again I read on the internet about the "slow-sewing" movement; a trend that is about taking the time to appreciate the sewing process and work meticulously and carefully on getting a perfectly handcrafted result...  Of course, nearly always such references are about a garment of some sort; a project that would take a few months at the most, whereas to the quilting fraternity (sorority) that time-frame is hilarious!  
A handmade quilt is the very definition of slow sewing.  Making someone a quilt is a labour of love, not a project to be taken by someone after a quick-fix result.   Each of the quilts I have made has taken me a year to complete; no exaggeration.  I have usually machine pieced the top so this can be put together in a few days, but the hand-quilting process takes at least a year.  Anybody who has made a quilt will attest to this highly labour intensive hand-made craft, so I always have enormous respect for people who quilt.  I don't think I personally have the patience for another quilt (although I have at least one more, I think, to show here.) so I am pretty proud of these that I have made!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Horrible colour, begone

So, as I mentioned last post, colour...
Exhibit one; some grey synthetic knit stuff from the remnant bin.  Remnant bins are a terrible trap really, aren't they?, the fabrics within can be so tempting pricewise, and the truth is they might not be very "you" at all.  So in a moment of madness I was swayed by this mottle-y grey fluffy stuff and brought it home, and eventually got around to making up a top and donned it, and it looked more than a bit awful.  No I wouldn't even take a picture of myself to show here on the blog; I looked pale, and ill, and ... awful.  The shape of the top was OK and I liked the monastic roughness of the fabric combined with the simplicity of the silhouette, it was just the colour that was the problem here...  So it was off to check out the dye section.  I was pretty sure the fibre composition here was mostly synthetic, so I bought iDye Poly for synthetics, in Yellow.
Et voila!
I was just hoping to just get a more yellow-y shade of grey out of this that would be more flattering to my complexion; but imagine my delight at this wonderful moss-y green that resulted!  Obviously the grey had far more blue in it than I realised, and I'm sure we all remember from our paint mixing days in art class at school that blue + yellow = green.  This is a prime (haha!) example right here...
Construction details; I drafted the top using one of my other Tshirts as a guide.  The fabric remnant I had was cut off at a funny angle, necessitating the curved lower front hem. I matched this curve on the other side of the front, but I left the back pieces straight for a contrasting hemline.  Initially I meant to curve the back hem too, but I think I like that contrast now.  Both lower hems are unfinished, and after more than a few washings that the garment received during the dyeing process, I can report the happily un-fray/ravel-abe nature of the raw edges of this knit.  However I did handstitch the sleeve hems in a rolled edge.  The neckline, well I tried to be sort of clever here, and apply a bias binding that would both enclose and stabilise the shoulder seams inside, and as well as finishing the back neckline.  This turned out to be a trickier exercise than I thought to achieve my desired effect, but I think I pulled it off.  The front neckline is rolled to the outside in a tight little roll, and hand-stitched down.  (these pictures taken before dyeing, obviously!)
Final summary; well to think I started out with fabric that was, let's face it, a bad purchase since I wouldn't have bought this fabric at full price off the roll, and then finally managed to get something that I am actually happy with; ultimately a successful project.  I'm still not in complete love with the fabric, it is a tad cheap and scratchy but the new colour is so wonderful, and was a far more perfect-for-me colour than I was hoping for.
On that note, does anybody know of a good source of pure wool knit fabrics...?

top; my own design, from (originally) grey synthetic knit stuff dyed using iDye Poly in Yellow
Jeans; Burda 7863 with some modifications, purple stretch denim, details here
Shoes; Francesco Morichetti, from Zomp shoes

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blue and green, etc

We all remember that silly ol' saying about blue and green never to be seen (together), but I love blue and green together.  Particularly because teal and turquoise, both quasi sort-of versions of both the blue and the green factions, are amongst my favourite colours.  I wore this outfit yesterday, on a very nice morning tea outing with my lovely sister-in-law A...
You know, when I first made this coat I was a little sad that I didn't have enough fabric to make the full length sleeve, and these half sleeves were the only option.  If I had had enough fabric, the truth is that I would probably have gone for longer sleeves....  but now I have them I am actually very happy at the serendipitous misjudgement on the part of my former fabric-buying self!  The reason?  quite apart from that gloriously feminine and distinctive shape; grey is a fabulous colour for winter clothes; practical and "serious", neutral enough so all other colours look good against it, and unobtrusive enough that one is not going to tire of it easily... but even in the dead of winter it is nice to have a little bit of colour somewhere in the ensemble to set the mood, and this coat with its half-sleeves has turned out perfect for wearing different layers of of whatever colour is currently taking one's fancy on the arms, and ditto for my charcoal Pattern Magic gathered hole dress... that hole!  who would have thought it would be such a great idea introducing a great little splash of colour into the ensemble!  (should have taken a picture sans coat but didn't, meh...)
Colour is starting to occupy my thoughts more and more, and particularly the fact that one is so restricted by what is available in the fabric store.  I am starting to entertain more fantasies about dyeing my own shades... and particularly in the wake of a recent success in the dyeing department, which right now as I type these very words! is drying on a clothes horse in our living room and which I am quite excited about showing here soon...!
So watch this space... and wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Coat; McCalls 5525 view B, charcoal wool, details and my review of this pattern here
Dress; gathered hole dress from Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi, charcoal wool mix, details here
Navy tights, teal top, and turquoise scarf cardi; Metalicus
Boots; Andrea and Joen, from Uggies in Dunsborough

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mum's dragonfly vest

I hasten to point out, not my work at all but another clever example of Mum's creativity...  A vest made of Japanese linen; resist dyed, with a lovely dragonfly motif in the natural linen, and the background in traditional indigo.  The vest is unstructured and quite loose-fitting; the interesting and creative part here is the unique collar and front band.  Instead of going the pedestrian option of cutting the band in a single length of cloth with no features and letting the dragonfly fabric of the vest do the talking alone, Mum has made the band a feature in itself by sewing together a random arrangement of patches and strips, including pintucks and exposed selvedge edges, a coupla patches of the dragonfly fabric, and sudden and unexpected crazy zig-zaggy machine-stitching (hard to see here, but they are there!)   The vest has a single HUGE coconut shell button...
Thank you Mum for letting me share this inspirational sewing moment!
(Later edit: the pattern Mum used is Vogue 8454)