Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Vogue 8534 and New Look 6648 - a different take

Dear Bloggers,
I hope all is well with you in blogland. Recently I've spent hours perusing a lot of websites and blogs and seen what everyone is making up and what is fashionable. A couple of recurring themes at the moment are tops made from sheer fabrics, another is lace. These two themes coupled with access to more of my stash led me to see how I could use two favourite patterns designed for knits in a different way. The first is this georgette top

 Vogue 8534

I used view C with the ties that go through a loop, with a bit of length through the body from view B and added 1 cm to the shoulder seams and 2cm to the body seams for enough ease in a woven with no give. All seams were done on the serger and all edges were done with the serger's rolled hem. Super easy. Now I have to wait for the sunny spring days to wear them with capris and sandals! (And  of course a shoestring tank top for modesty).

Another top made from  knit pattern is this lace top

 New Look 6648

With this one I cut the exact same size and used very lightweight fusible hemming tape to give a bit of temporary body to the seams. I didn't fuse it on, just pinned it on top and serged the seams to prevent distortion. It is also a way of making sure  your seams don't stretch as you sew. A lightweight strip of interfacing would serve the same purpose. The sleeve edges were folded over twice then zig zagged. anyway, making this top out of heavy cotton lace worked! In the past I would have ideas like these and not act on them or get distracted or just not take the risk. No more. When inspiration strikes I am going to follow it and see where it leads me.

In the meantime I am trying to summon up the courage to start on a project that is ambitious and a bit of a risk. I have the materials at the ready for my muslin then the real thing. I will tell all a bit later.

Happy creating everyone.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Art & Sewing The 18th Sydney Biennale

Dear Readers.
I have been doing a pile of practical sewing lately. My fifth (yes fifth!) pair of production line pants is on the cutting table. That will be the second pair for my daughter, who is already wearing the first pair to death and one more pair for me in deep green velveteen. Oh and from a different pattern, I've made two pairs of custom design pull on pants for my mother as a stash busting exercise. Then there's a velour top that was also a hit with my daughter that hasn't been photographed yet and quite frankly, maybe never will. My work is appreciated, which is nice, but I won't bore you with any more pants! My daughter who speaks sewing but doesn't do sewing said "Mum, You've got the ideal skinny pants sloper!" Funny how she claims not to be able to sew in a straight line.
Onto more interesting things, next week I will no longer be a lady of leisure. My knee is better and I am going back to work. After I got clearance from my doctor, I felt well enough to venture out for the day.  Yesterday was a freakishly warm spring like day in Sydney - 22 degrees celsius and so sunny. What better time to go into Sydney and catch a free ferry to the site of Sydney's biggest bi-yearly art exhibition (also free)?
18th Sydney Biennale
Cockatoo Island used to be a convict jail then a ship building works.

The following post is picture heavy, but worth it.

Pulling out from Circular Quay

Going to the left and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge

and past some expensive waterfront real estate ..

to Cockatoo Island, which is one big art exhibition!

Lets just say some exhibits are more 'what the?' than art

and others are just magical

This artwork was welded/cut from a shipping container

The shipbuilding machinery left behind is artistic in itself!

Spooky tunnels also become art works

The islands current inhabitants.

The following photos are from one of the most wonderful art works, a large collaborative piece taking up the whole rooftop space of one of the warehouses. Lots of wire and partially made clothing in silk and chiffons and velvets hanging in mid air. Mirrors dotted the edges and glass bowls full of buttons, surrounded by teapots were spread out on the long white table down the centre. A number of people had collaborated to 'sew' a light and lovely atmosphere. I enjoyed it.

One of the collaborators above and more information about the work, below.

If you click on the biennale link earlier in the post it shows the other events, including the clothing swap at the MCA on the 22nd July.

Happy Sewing everyone.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Burda Shirt 113/3/2012 and an August preview

Dear readers,
Those of you that happened upon my previous post know that my background is Russian even though I grew up in Australia and consider English my primary language. My recent time at home from work has led me to explore the Russian language again. Slowly, with the alphabet in front of me, sounding out words like a child. You know how if you don't use it you lose it? But .. I had another language embedded deep in my brain and was not taking advantage of it. No longer!
(I had been too sensitive to childhood taunts.)
Anyway here is a new feature dear readers, a link to the Russian website and a preview of the August 2012 issue. I'm still  learning my way to navigating the new site. I'll give out tips as I learn them!

On the sewing front I've been reading too many blogs. There is an interesting issue raised by a blogger about shoddy Sewing Tutorials.

Hot off the sewing machine I've just made this burda shirt, from some Liberty cotton. I was going to sew it out of some crinkle polyester I'd bought at Spotlight some summers ago but it shrank to a piece only just big enough for a little blouse. Thank goodness I'd pre-washed it! This shirt doesn't quite have the casual vibe of the burda original ..until I roll up the cuffs, which is how I wear my shirts anyway.

Burdastyle 113/3/12

Learning curve: my next shirt will have a centre back seam with a sway back adjustment built in. I need to do something about the left shoulder droop as well. But I'm being a picky perfectionist, not unheard of in the sewing world.

Happy sewing everyone. It's back to the pants production line - one for DD, two for my Mum. Gee it's nice to be popular :))
Update Edit. Here is a link to my review of this shirt on Pattern Review. I'm wondering why my widget takes so long to update. Anyone know?
Also a picture is worth a thousand words so here are the shirt with the look I was going for and the line drawings.

Happy weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Where I am From

Dear Readers
I've had way too much time to think over the last few weeks. I've been mulling over things both past and present. I awoke wondering about the whole idea of destiny, of doing all the 'right' things, of doing what is expected, of the rough and the smooth, of having to make decisions or just give in and drift down the easy path.
I  checked my little blog roll for new posts and came across Sigrid from Analog Me's version of the poem Where I am From by George Ella Lyon.

Sigrid invited us to write our own poem. Here it is. I invite you to write your own.

I am from the Hill's Hoist
From Dettol and Listerine
I am from the gully down the back
full of reeds and marshes and leechy things
I am from the gum tree
and the lemon tree in the back yard.
I am from the silver spruce
My mother planted to remind her of home.

I am from cabbage rolls and piroshki
and grandmother's criss-cross apple pastry.
From Nikolai, Veronika, Wilhelm and Nina
but not in that order.
I am from chants sung standing up in church
and I Know That my Redeemer Liveth.

I am from the wheat fields of central Russia
via the Ukraine
and a language half remembered.
I fought not to understand.
I am my destiny that I confront and a past that catches up to me
and lands me on this doorstep
Where I do not fit.

I am still me.

Under my bed were diaries
written from too young an age
To realize how valuable they were.

I am a tumult passed down from war and trouble
and restlessness
I carry it with me
From my family tree.