Monday, 25 February 2013

The Oscars 2013

Dear Bloggers,

I love seeing what people wear to the oscars every year, from Haute couture to Oh my what was that to the Isn't that awful I love it shockers. Sadly since almost all of the actors hire stylists these days and no one so much as does up their own zips, the fabulous shockers are getting to be few and far between. Where's Bjork? Where's Cher? I guess I have to look forward to Lady Gaga making some sort of guest appearance to liven things up.

In the meantime my award for Standout Glamour goes to two ladies. The first is Jennifer Lawrence, in this stunning gown. Photo Credit

The second, looking amazing, was Michelle Obama.

I wish there was a full length shot of the dress. Photo credit from this website

Another favourite of mine, while not regal but young and fun, interestingly appeared on both best and worst lists. I give Zoe Saldana marks for thinking out of the box.

Photo credit. See first link,

That's it folks. Both websites are great for an overall roundup. What did you like?


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Burda 11-2012-108 Blouse

Hello Bloggers,

How are things in your part of the world? I've been looking at the upcoming Autumn fashions that are coming into our major department stores, especially David Jones Autumn Preview because I think it is good to know what is going on in the fashion world, even if all I want to do is take the odd idea here and there to tart up my sewing. To be honest I haven't seen much to get excited about. Fashion direction seems to be all over the place but classic shapes remain prevalent for winter. That's a relief because while I can do 'fashionable' when the need arises, most of the time I'd rather go my own way.

In the meantime, there's still a bit of summer left and six weeks ago in a moment of weakness I bought some blue cotton voile with white doves. I loved the material and wanted to make something with gathered three quarter length sleeves and front fastenings. I found something similar to what I had in mind in the November 2012 issue of Burda.  Here's the link

Line drawing

Burda photo

My material changed the nature of this blouse from work-place sleek to almost Oriental Jacket.

I was going to put front buttons but put snaps instead to stay more true to the original, then covered the outside of the areas where the stitching showed with little squares to hide the stitching. (Photo to follow).

All in all I'm happy with my little birdies.

Happy sewing folks.

Edit about the snaps. I didn't do the placket on the right side as shown in the line drawing, but a double cut-on facing type fold on both sides. Buttons just weren't going to look right with this style so I wanted to put medium black snaps and somehow hide the stitching on the outside. I came up with this. I made little squares out of rectangles of leftover neck facing. I had a bias strip left 4cm wide. I cut it into 6 cm pieces. I folded down the long edge by 1 cm and ironed it then folded the pieces in half and stitched narrow seams along the other three sides, ending up with little squares big enough to cover my snap stitching once they were turned the right way out of course. I pinned them into place and sewing them on from the snap side. You may have to bast by hand so figure out where to stitch. Ta Da feature.

Here's a pic. (hidesously hard to photographs details on dark fabric!)

Oh and a hint about sewing on snaps so they stay is to finish off by sewing in a little mini circle of stitching on the wrong side of your fabric once you've done the proper stitching, then finish by burying as long a stitch as you can manage. (i saw my granny doing this when I was a kid, amazing what you absorb..)

Gratuitous close up.

More summer tops to follow... or maybe a dress... hmmm decisions, descisions!



Sunday, 10 February 2013

Inspirations: Waste Not

Dear Readers,

It is not often that I write a post that is not about a garment I've made, but sometimes things happen that spur on a feeling of creativity, of inspiration, of  'I just want to go home and make/design/recycle something'! Today was such a day. A friend and I were going to CarriageWorks at the old Eveleigh train carriage yards to go to the Artisans Market that is held once a month there. I had gotten my Sundays mixed up and we stumbled upon an art installation that is part of the 2013 Sydney Festival instead.

Song Dong: Waste Not at the Carriage Works
Information about Artisans Market at the Carriage works, Sydney.

It is called Song Dong:  Waste Not. It is an exhibit of ten thousand normal daily household items hoarded by the artist's mother during a lifetime of poverty and hardship under the Mao regime in China. It's just normal stuff and my initial reaction was 'What's this?'  but then.. the more I looked the more I connected with this frugal woman.

I don't know if she made these items, but they had that love about them.

There were sewing items in the exhibit .. so she could have made them ..

as well as the hand knits.

There were bars soap which was precious because it was rationed out per person and used for washing everyone and everything including clothes.

Anything could come in handy one day.

Even a headless doll, shoe boxes or magazines.

I felt a fascination for these humble everyday things and realized I have so much.
I want to make full use of what I already have, and buy only what I need.

I want to figure out more creative ways of using the stash and adapting what patterns I have and trust me, I have plenty. I haven't documented the extent of my stash on this blog, but I could sew for years and not need to buy anything but notions.

Song Dong exhibit is on until March 17.

Happy  creativity everyone,


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Back to the Jungle Simplicity 3505

Dear Readers, Can you have too much jungle print? Photo credit Jason Dundas's blog.

Ok, maybe you can ..  but here is a jungly dress that almost made it to Petty Grievance's Jungle January made from Simplicity 3505.

This pattern has made a guest appearance on this blog before, in shrunken green leopard print cotton.

You'd think a dress that I'd made before would be easy, simple, quick. No, it wasn't! I wanted to incorporate a bit more ease but had added too much and had to fiddle with it and take it in. The rayon fought me all the way and the result was, and is, too floppy to wear without a belt but you know once I put the belt with it I started to like it again.

Now that the days are warm again with no tempests or fires or weird weather - this week at least - summer sewing is back on the agenda.

So many projects jostling in line to be made up, so little time. Oh and I will never ever again try to sew a project at anything other than in my normal plodding meditative fashion. I will sew for enjoyment as espoused by who also came up with the cute new logo on my sidebar. Visit her and join in!

Wild seas coupled with unseasonably cold windy weather last weekend. Here's hoping for some normality!

Happy Sewing, (blogging & photography) wherever you are,