Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hopping around

Hop Hop Hop - the delightful Myra from My-Zee-Moo has passed the blog hop onto me and before I forget, I'm going to nominate my two hopping recipients - Jenny of Rennous-oh-Glennus and Helen Funkbunny! Now, to settle in with a coffee & answer the Blog Hop questions ;)

(no lie, I have just stepped back with a long Macc - freshly roasted beans & the perfect amount of texturised milk = yum) 

((and yes, Mac is named after coffee - a short and long one with just a stain of white...))

Ok, so I met Myra at the Sydney Froctails and it was a sudden - "Hello Canberra people" "I love your dress", "ohhh, silver, gorgeous", "can I pat it?", "you want to take silly photos in front of big stone men? I'm SO in", "lets have tea!"

Much more sensible, yet just as animated, conversation continued over brunch & at the Fabric Store the next day ;)
So, with many thanks, here are my responses to the BlogHop interview:

Why do you write?
I started my blog 18 months ago as I accepted an invitation (open to all readers of her blog) from TJ to go to the Holywood Costume exhibition on Mothers' Day. I'd been lurking around online and saw all of the posts from SewcieTea and thought "I want to be part of this community".
It felt a little bit stalkerish to be lurking without having met anyone, so I wrote my first post and put a picture of me on the internet, then replied to TJ & said - yes please (fingers crossed!)
The first sewing friend I met at the Holywood meet-up was Kathleen, who I sat with for dinner in Sydney at Frocktails ;) I also met Jenny on that very first social outing and she has become not just a sewing inspiration, but a very dear friend. It was Kathleen & Jenny who encouraged me to go along to Social Sewing where I met the rest of the 'Melbourne Spoolettes' and, well, I hopped into the local & online sewing community ;)

So, I write to continue my conversations with the online sewing community - and I find it very rewarding.

I also write as a form of personal journalling - it's one place where I can remember that I raise the neckline of DrapeDrape2 #4's top by 10cm. And if this helps someone else with their version, then I've helped repay the favour that everyone else has done for me when I read their posts before I start sewing my own version (of the Moss/Anna/V1310...)

What are you currently working on?
My DH has dubbed it "the dress that doesn't want to be made" - it's the graduated blues Collette Dinnegan silk in a Anna bodice/Nicola skirt that is plagued with mishaps - if I don't get it finished in the next few days, I'll be wearing something else to my brothers' wedding ;)

Next on my sewing list I have some spring sewing from ShapeShape (and if anyone has a copy lying around that they'd like me to take off their hands, I'm interested!), I've cut out the Cascade skirt (M) in a heavy cotton and am looking forward to sewing with stable fabrics for a while.
To step away from my machines, I'm really looking forward to my very first AlabamaChanin - I bought the Anna's Garden Tank kit during their sale, so it's all cut & boxed and waiting patiently for hand sewing during park play times ;)

How does it differ from other sites of its genre?
My blog has a dachshund.... well, so do Paola's and Anne's ;) I'm not aiming for different, just for me, so, I have both a dachshund and little photo bombers ;)

I've been sewing since high school & was guided my my wonderful mum & her ball gowns of the 60's - so I made my own boned formal dresses in my early 20's ;) I then dabbled with opp shop alterations & was inspired by friends working in the fashion industry in my 30's (including being a house model for a while - I was paid in clothes). I got discouraged by sons growing too fast & declining to wear outfits they'd chosen for me to make, so I decided to learn how to fit my post pregnancy shape - and I'm still learning with every garment.

I do find that there are (for want of a better description) 'technical' seamstresses who I admire immensely and in all honesty, am quite in awe of - Jenny and Mel, you're both in this category, I aspire to your skills one day.

So, I admit to not being very good at following instructions or the 'fiddly bits', I am always willing to 'have a go' and 'wing it' - large pattern pieces suit me beautifully as I love laying out & cutting fabric (usually), especially when I have to think about how the piece relates to the body. And I do like a challenge, so I guess, some variety will appear here on the blog as I continue to explore all the fabulous patterns out there.

How does your writing process work?
Usually, when I start a sewing project, I also start a blog post and jot down my thoughts, link to everyone I've been inspired by and take a few progress shots. Then when it's finished (in a perfect world), my DH agrees to a photo shoot, so we go and explore a new area of town or country and he takes amazing photos while instructing me to be 'less whimsical' & I minimise the photobombing of our little people. I then cull the pics, realise that we didn't take any of the back/sleeve/key outfit aspect, delete most of my construction ramblings & hit 'post'.
If he's not available, then I employ a random passerby, well, ok, often a little person under 6, to take some photos, or set up the timer and jump into frame - fairly typical blogging habits I think ;)

I've chosen Jenny as she sews beautifully and takes some gorgeous images - essentially I just want to steal her entire wardrobe, or employ her to be my personal seamstress ;)
Helen is amazing fun and her enthusiasm for life and new experiences is infectious - I love her choices and we have lots of fun sewing socially.
 - and both of them are fabulous Grainline Moss enablers!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A silk sarong for Sydney: V1310

May I present .... a sarong...
Well, ok, it's a Chado ralph rucci Vogue Pattern - V1310 currently out of print, but still in stock at my local pattern store during the latest (rare) $5 pattern sale.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

My little Scarflett

I Don't Knit.  I tried to, I drop stitches, I add stitches randomly, I have such a tight tension that I snap knitting needles, I have the attention span of a gnat. Knitting isn't for me.
Yet, somehow, I knitted this:

I've posted for the first time on Ravelry too - and lost so many hours browsing all of the wonders that are there - it's inspiring.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


My ear-worm for this dress has been Phil Collins Sussudio (you're welcome...)
There's a dress that's been on my mind... all the time...
If I just say the word .. "Kie-Kie-Kielo"....
always have a prop.... ;)
 Like many others, I was underwhelmed when it was released as part of Named's collection, yet strangely attracted to it. I then wanted it when Sew Independent looked so amazing in hers (blue & red). I stalked Busy Lizzy in Brizzy as she made hers transeasonal for MMMay14 and have since spotted Sew Jean Margaret's, Sara Berkes', Janika's and Annakreeta's.. clearly I couldn't move past without making it!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Basic Black Bodices; a book review

I only work in black - hmm... I feel like I just started a post with Batman's quote...

Along with many other sewing book fans, I waited impatiently for the English language release of Sato Watanabe's Japanese pattern book Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Sail away with Mandy Hudson

When I was a young, voracious reader, I used to dream of adventures along the Hudson with Trixie Belden, Honey and the Bob Whites - in my dreams I had short curly hair (just like Trixie) and was a bit of a tomboy - well, not much has changed ;)
My absolute favourite book in the 34 books that I read in the series was The Mystery of the Ghostly Galleon (1979) with a genuine glow in the dark disappearing pirate ship!
Don't mind me while I climb the rigging and dream of pirate adventures...