Friday, May 18, 2012


Today's mini photo challenge for the me-made May group is Green.
Yah, a fairly unoriginal backdrop but that is all I have time for today.  I hope my ultra-smashing outfit more than makes up for it, haha.

So, talking of; I've seen clashing prints worn together in a few editorials lately and really liked the un-mixy-matchiness of it; so I decided to give it a whirl.  And I likey!  The floral and the check here are wildly different prints, but they have white and deep purple-y navy in common, tying them together, along with my old navy blue silk blazer for a bit of warmth.  Navy blue was once upon a time a colour I wore daily; the colour of my school uniform.  Consequently I avoided it for years.  Finally I decided it actually suited me quite well, and embraced it again.

So, sorry about the post-haste nature of this, er hasty post (hehe)  This may be my last for a while.  We are heading away on our trip... and since I have no idea how easy or how extraordinarily difficult it will be to get on here, so will have to assume the latter.
I am reeeeeallly looking forward to meeting up with Donna while I am away... that will give some clue as to my eventual destination  :D
in the meantime, wishing everyone a perfectly luver-ly day!!

Picture taken around 10.30m;  Temperature at the time 19C.
Overnight low: 11C; Today's high: 23C
Fine and sunny

Top; based on top "a" from Unique Clothes Any Way You Like, by Natsuno Hiraiwa, blus and white polycotton, details here
Skirt; Vogue 2894, floral cotton, seen first here, and see it styled in 6 different ways here
Blazer; Simplicity 4698, navy blue raw silk, seen first here, and see this styled in 6 different ways here
Thongs; KMart

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Dingo Flour Mill

Thank you so much for the positive comments, and I'm so glad my featured Perth landmarks are giving some extra interest and enjoyment to the usual rather repetitive "outfit shots" that I admit I am getting just a tad tired of myself.... :S  I know, barely halfway through and already: sad, huh?
My location today takes in the Dingo Flour Mill, a working flour mill that has been on this site since the 20's.  The big red dingo painted on the side is an iconic image here in Perth.  These heritage listed buildings are right across the road from the dog beach where I walk my own dog with a frequency that this blog can attest to  :)  It was a tough call! but I forwent my usual favourite ocean backdrop and pointed the camera in the opposite direction this time.
Sienna was very patient, watching and waiting for me, tied to a nearby tree.
She was a very happy and satisfied doggie, given that just minutes earlier ...
So; a very appropriate me-made May photo given my actual daily activities with my very own, real-life, red dog, no?

My outfit is nothing new and has been seen here before, but is still a firm favourite, one I wear with monotonous regularity during the colder months. So much so that I don't know what I will do when it is no more.
There is just something about it I love to bits... and I always receive compliments whenever I wear it.  (The former no doubt influenced by the latter  :D  )

Picture taken around 12.30m;  Temperature at the time 21C.
Overnight low: 8C; Today's high: 21C
Some sun, some cloud; fine all day

Top; the twist top from the Japanese pattern book Pattern Magic, by Tomoko Nakamichi, charcoal jersey knit, details here
Skirt; self-drafted, made from the same fabric.
Shoes; Enrico Antinori, from Zomp shoes

btw, my husband thought the uncropped photo to be far more interesting, so here it is for comparison...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The DNA Tower

Please allow me to introduce to you, the DNA Tower.  
Hehe, I am being sorta touristy on the blog lately! but not completely since obviously Perth has always been the backdrop to my life... 
The DNA Tower was built in the early 60's, and I have lots of fond memories of my brothers and me having the time of our lives pelting up and down the tower as fast as we could, while Mum and Dad boringly sat with the picnic on the grass nearby.  And since we would come home so tired all we could do was to fall into bed early, then I'm sure the DNA tower was equally beloved by Mum and Dad as well...!
When my own children were little they loved running up and down the tower too, so each whole new generation repeats the same routine.
Nowadays, the tower is much beloved by fitness fanatics too.
So I am enjoying my me-made May photos at the mo'... employing a few Perth landmarks certainly makes the photo-taking, always the most challenging part of the, er, challenge for me, a heck of a lot more exciting and interesting.  And happily this is another spot that is basically on the way home from dropping my son Sam off at uni, which is part of my current daily routine.  He is learning to drive, and guess who gets to be the driving instructor?!

Picture taken around 11am;  Temperature at the time 19C.
Overnight low: 11C; Today's high: 21C
Fine and sunny

Top; top "a" from the Japanese pattern book Unique Clothes Any Way You Like by Natsuno Hiraiwa, white cotton, details here
Jeans; Au Bonheur des Petites Mains PLH08002, strawberry pink non-stretch cotton denim, details and my review of this pattern here
Cardigan; knitted by me, the Fitted Cardigan 04, version 1 with the lace edging and three-quarter sleeves, in Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton; colour Calico (shade 216), details here
Thongs; KMart
In an almost complete hat-trick of me-made sightings in my household...
Last night Cassie wore a cocktail dress made by me, to a party 
Cassie's dress; Vogue 1105, silk charmeuse

Today Craig again wore again the blue linen shirt I made for him, and Tim wore the shirt I made for him for Christmas
Craig's shirt; Burda 7767 modified, blue linen, details here
Tim's shirt; Burda 7767 modified, blue check crinkly stuff (a blinkin' nightmare) details here

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Boatshed

Isn't it nice when you open a winter woollies drawer and discover a little something that you had finished off a few months ago, in the height of summer when you could not wear it, and suddenly you can wear it??  That is the serendipitous case with this blue cardigan... 

My location today is the Crawley Boatshed which has been here since the 30's; a real iconic photo-spot here in Perth, it's practically a cliche to take a photo here actually.  I felt extremely un-innovative standing here...  :D   On any weekday one has the spot to oneself, but over the weekend there is bound be a bridal party or two, or three, rocking up to have their portraits taken here.  I don't usually like to be so obvious in my choice of locations; but it is such a beautiful little spot and it seemed logical that I should use it at least once, someday!  And since I was dropping Sam off at uni any way... so, yah...
Plus maybe I am getting a little sentimental; in a few days we are heading off on our trip, and since I am soon going to be featuring beautiful locations from another part of the world (well, hopefully!) I thought I could show off some of the nicest of the spots in my own hometown too.
So I hope my me-made May photos are almost like an enjoyable little peek at Perth; and not merely a trivial documentation of my wardrobe and what I am wearing  :)

Tshirt; the top part of a dress drafted from the Japanese pattern book Pattern Magic 3 by Tomoko Nakamichi, white cotton jersey, details here; later chopped up to make this and a few other Tshirts, details here
Skirt; Burdastyle magazine 10/2010, skirt 136 (the Karl Lagerfeld skirt) lengthened, black suiting, details and my review of this pattern here
Cardigan; Garter stitch jacket from Jo Sharp Knit 6, in Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in colour Iceberg (the individual pattern is available by digital download here)  details here
Shoes; Enrico Antinori, from Zomp shoes

Picture taken around 12pm;  Temperature at the time 19C.
Overnight low: 11C; Today's high: 21C
Cloudy and fine

Later edit: I almost forgot!  Today Sam wore the jacket I made for him...
Sams; jacket; Burda 7767 modified, navy corduroy, details here

Monday, May 14, 2012


... Cassie took this photo when we went into town together today.  I am standing beside a statue, a new piece of street art that at first bemused most Western Australians but is now known as the Cactus
This is a funny (peculiar) name, since cacti are not a native flora to Australia.  
It is also kinda funny (haha), because when I was growing up "cactus" was a slang term, an adjective that one applied to something that had broken down and died.  
As in: "How's the car running, mate?" 
"Nah, mate, it's cactus."

I love the the colours in the photo here, and how everything is gleaming; the wet pavement, the plastic surface of the art and of the skirt: and I like how the black twisting lines up the statue mimic the twist inherent in this Japanese designed top; one of my winter favourites.

Top; the twist top, from the Japanese pattern book Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi. cream jersey knit, details here
Skirt; Vogue 1170 lengthened, PU laminate (or "leatherette"), details and my review of this pattern here
Shoes; Sandler (had these for yonks)
Brolly; Charlie Brown, from David Jones
Picture taken around 11am;  Temperature at the time 19C.
Overnight low: 12C; Today's high: 22C 
Both sunny and overcast, some early rain

below, just for interest; the uncropped photo, showing more of the art

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Wishing a very Happy Mother's Day to all you yummy mummies out there!
I sure hope everyone got the obligatory cup of tea in bed this morning, hmmm?
I did not, but I forgive them because everyone did tiptoe in to kiss me and wish me a Happy Mother's Day before rushing off to their various jobs  :)
And then there was this...
I'm dressing for comfort today, although of course I am a big believer that dressing for comfort does not necessarily mean one should sacrifice style.  Jeans are comfortable, and look especially good when worn with a plain and simple white Tshirt; a timeless example of casual chic, no?
Doing another assessment of my wardrobe this morning, preparing for our trip coming up soon!  (squeee!)   I am embarrassed to see that as usual I could easily wear weather-appropriate, entirely me-made ensembles for the whole month with no double-ups of any garments whatsoever.  I need to either stop sewing and knitting (IMPOSSIBLE!!) or get rid of a few things (ALSO IMPOSSIBLE!!)  I'm simply too ridiculously attached to my handmade stuff, but I still have this restless urge to create more.  Last night we attended the ballet (fyi; I wore my red dress and my ivory trench coat together (below), so I was completely me-made but no photo sorry...) and it occurred to me as I sat admiring gorgeous costumes twirling and wafting by on wondrously graceful and athletic ballet dancers that I should try to get a job helping to sew costumes for the ballet or the opera or something like that.  I would be as happy as Larry just quietly toiling away at the sewing machine everyday and I wouldn't even care about the pay; seriously!
The only problemmo would be this; who would do my very-unstimulating-but-still-unfortunately-very-necessary officework if not me??

Tshirt; basically self-drafted, white cotton jersey, details here
Jeans; Burda 7863 modified to be flared, purple stretch cotton denim, details here 
Thongs; KMart

Picture taken around 11am;  Temperature at the time 19C.
Overnight low: 13C; Today's high: 22C 
Overcast, but fine and humid

below; last night's effort ... for the ballet I wore my red dress and my ivory trench coat together, and with those black pumps at right...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

An unusual dress

Wacky warning alert... this is it!!  
I've liked how Caroline is making good use of old Tshirts lately.  And Tim did a clean-out of his wardrobe recently, and part of the toss-out pile was a few old surfie Tshirts, in shades of blue, navy, grey and black... there were cool prints and interesting stitching details... and my brain started ticking over.  I saw artistic possibilities.
Also I have just bought a few new patterns recently, and Vogue 1281 was mysteriously part of my haul, a very pretty, extremely flatteringly shaped, draped cocktail dress.
This is the thing, you see; when it comes to sewing I like to be challenged and so I prefer the more interesting, difficult and intricate styles and it so happens that these patterns are also usually the most formal and prettiest of little cocktail numbers, totally unsuited to my actual lifestyle.  Most of my days are very casual; I walk my dog, I go to the beach and climb over rocks and walk through the bush, I work at home and I do the housework; so what is a girl to do?  Well I'll tell you what this girl does; she still stubbornly ploughs ahead and sews up the challenging and intricate patterns she loves, but by using the most casual and grungiest fabrics I think this rather formal style has happily become a very cool dress with a deconstructed urban style that fits in very well with my tastes as well as my actual lifestyle.  I am thrilled with how it turned out, and could not be happier with my new dress!  This is now a perfect everyday dress...
I used four Tshirts for the main pieces of the dress, and another one for the lining pieces.  I cut them and sewed them together, arranging the different colours to be evenly spaced around the finished dress, and to have the prints and areas with the interesting stitching details that I liked to be prominently featured.  One of the Tshirts was plain black with no interesting stitching or detailing but was of a very lightweight and beautifully soft knit compared to the other three; so this one I used specifically for the potentially bulky part of the dress; the pleated, draped and knotted areas all coming together on the centre front of the bodice.

Picture taken around 11am;  Temperature at the time 22C.
Overnight low: 14C; Today's high: 29C 
Gloriously sunny and warm!  Maybe the last really warm day of the season.

Dress; Vogue 1281 modified slightly, using 5 of Tim's old surfie Tshirts
Thongs; Mountain Designs
please excuse the sandy bottom...!

Pattern Description:
Dress has no side seams, very close-fitting, lined bodice, single layer, pleated shoulder strap looped through front pleated drape, front wrap skirt cut-in-one with back, raised waist and invisible back zip.  Strap and bodice: Narrow hem.  Bodice lining: Elasticised upper edge.
Pattern Sizing:
6-14.  I made a size 10.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
in essence, yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Pretty easy.  Step 8 and 9 takes a little bit of concentration to get it right.  I had to redo this when it didn't work out the first time.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the style of the dress, the draping, the interesting bodice and neckline!  The pieces fitted together perfectly well.
I personally didn't like the instructions to hem the upper edge of the bodice before attaching to the pre-elasticated lining pieces.  Instead I constructed mine to sew the bodice and bodice lining pieces right side together, so there is no visible stitching on the outside.   I really think that visible stitching would take away from the dress, particularly if one was sewing this as a dressy cocktail dress which is I suspect the purpose for which pattern is intended.  Not that it really makes much of a difference in my particular dress, which is a very casual style using very casual fabrics, but that is just my personal preference in any case.
I thought the stitching line along the bodice lower edge left it with a weirdly wide seam allowance, and for no discernible reason...  I left it wide but I still don't seen why it is like that.
Fabric Used:
Cotton knits
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made my dress using slightly stretchy knits, so I eliminated the invisible zip and sewed up the back centre seam.
I extended the right skirt edge by enough so that I could sew the skirt edge down on the inside to a joining seam inside the left side of the skirt.  This was only possible because I had made a pieced skirt piece, but in any case I think it would be essential to extend that right skirt edge to wrap around more fully underneath anyway.  Unless one plans on wearing a slip underneath the dress, or lining it; since there is absolutely nothing to stop that skirt from flying open in a breeze!
I found the strap piece to be pretty long and needed to shorten it considerably... by 10cm!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might sew it again.
It is a gorgeous style, very flattering to a woman’s curves.  I liked that shoulder strap, how it frames the decolletage and the face in a very lovely way, that chic front draping, and how it joins in at the back asymmetrically.  Interesting!
You could eat to your heart's content at a cocktail party or dinner, and this dress would allow you to do so very comfortably!
I love this dress and plan to wear it a lot!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ugly Places

I have to admit I was really giggling to myself while taking my photo here today...  with terror!!
Today's photo mini-challenge in the me-made May group is Ugly Places, and I immediately thought: building site.  Building sites are the epitome of ugly, aren't they?  Not just the piles of rubbish, but the dust, the noise, the disruption to the whole neighbourhood. This one is like a 2 minute walk away from our house, so I just popped over in the afternoon, assuming the workmen would have gone off somewhere else at midday like they do frequently... well, not today of all days, there was still sounds of building activity going on out the back.  Cursing my bad luck I almost turned on my heel and walked away thinking to go back later, but then stopped myself, thinking for heaven's sake, get a backbone, woman.  I did a quick glance about and truly there was no one in sight, all the builders were out the back.  So I steeled myself; nothing ventured nothing gained....  and quickly as possible set up my camera on the verge and snapped a coupla photos, as much as I dared! before courage deserted me and I packed up and cleared out with lightning speed.  This was like a thirty second photo op, honestly.  I was supremely lucky that not even a car went past during that time too...  the funniest thing to me was imagining those builders going about their legitimate business out the back nailing and hammering, whatever, completely unaware that some crazy woman was out the front on the street taking a photo of herself, so ridiculous, no?!
Sigh, the things we do... honestly, I cannot believe my audacity.
But y'know what, the truth is that, crazy though this photo was for me; the photo mini-challenges are one of the fun-nest things about the whole me-made saga.
But I will be glad to get back to more secluded spots!

Picture taken around 2pm;  Temperature at the time 22C.
Overnight low: 11C; Today's high: 24C 
Sunny and warm, in fact a beeeeeautiful day!

Shirt; my own design, a refashion of a pair of white linen trousers (also made originally by me) details here
Skirt; Vogue 8363, rust red wool/silk bought in Japan, details and my review of this pattern here
Scarf; knitted by me using Noro yarn, details here
Shoes; Betts & Betts Brazilian Collection, I've had these for donkey's years

Later edit: yesterday Dorothy asked who takes all the "wonderful" photos:  thank you for the compliment, Dorothy!  Unless otherwise stated all photos are taken by me, using a tripod and a remote control. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012



Still nothing.  Consider this a comfortable and companionable silence between friends  :)

Picture taken around 12pm;  Temperature at the time 21C.
Overnight low: 12C; Today's high: 22C 
Fine and sunny, some clouds

Top; Vogue 1248, light coffee cotton with silver polka dots, details and my review of this pattern here
Skirt; Vogue 1248 lengthened and lined, curtaining fabric with satin lining, details here and my review of this pattern here
Cardigan; my own design, green jersey knit, details here, later dyed with iDye in Brown here
Shoes; Enrico Antinori, from Zomp shoes

Cassie's top; drafted from Pattern Magic 3 by Tomoko Nakamichi, two different shades of blue cotton jersey knit, details here
This top looks so much better on Cassie than on me.  I'm so lucky that my daughter loves to raid my wardrobe, and even better, spirit stuff away so that I can make new stuff for myself.  :D

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tiny thoughts...

Me-made May, Day 9:
Isn't it dreadful when someone with nothing worthwhile to say insists on saying something?  So I will refrain from sharing the tedium of my mundane little non-thoughts today.
You're welcome.  :)
Except to say: my best wishes to everyone for a wonderful day!!
And also; No, my new ombre-dyed skirt from yesterday is not the wacky thing I've been working on.  The wacky thing will be obvious when it appears.  I'm waiting for a warmer day to show it off.  :)

Picture taken around 10.30am;  Temperature at the time 19C.
Overnight low: 12C; Today's high: 22C 
Some breezes, some sun, some rain.  Y'know.

Cardigan; my own design, leopard print wool jersey, part of a twinset, details here, and see the twinset styled in 6 different ways here
Top; drafted from Pattern Magic 3 by Tomoko Nakamichi, blue knit jersey, details here, and see this top styled in 6 different ways here
Skirt; Vogue 1170 lengthened and lined, blue corduroy, details here and my review of this pattern here
Shoes; Enrico Antinori, from Zomp shoes

In other handmade sightings today, my husband is wearing again the same blue linen shirt from yesterday (it's OK, he works in an operating theatre where they wear scrubs during the entire working day, so it wasn't really dirty from yesterday.  Really  :)  )

And Cassie is wearing the combined beanie/scarf that I knitted for her a few years ago.

Craig's shirt; Burda 7767 modified, blue linen, details here
Cassie's combined beanie scarf; my own design, various wools, details here