Friday, June 25, 2010

Vogue Skirt-Check.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Vogue 8246"][/caption]

I've spent the last 3 days making that Vogue 8426 -inspired skirt I blogged about on the previous post and took pictures today. From the start to finish, I told myself that it was going to be a mock-up/test garment/muslin instead of the real thing in order to test the fit of my drafting, and then to later make other versions of it if it was successful. However, I also wanted to make it a wearable muslin. I was quite determined to use fabric from my stash, and only to buy little incidentals like zippers if absolutely necessary. The path to the  end was frought with mishaps, with me miscutting the front centre piece NOT on the fold, and having to piece another bit of fabric to make up for it, then I discovered a hole in the skirt fabric, then after that, I couldnt' insert the lapped zipper properly. Also, this was my first time inserting corded piping, so the results aren't as uniform as it should be.

After reading about SewVeryPrairies' skirt here, I thought and thought about how to draft the skirt. The front of the skirt was quite easy to draft. It was the back which had me puzzled for a bit. The bum-hugging shaping of the back of skirt has to be built into the 3 seams at the back, which ends in inverted pleats. This was what I came up with.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="321" caption="drafts and doodles..."][/caption]

It was quite successful-although for the skirt to hug the bum even more, I'd have to curve in the seams even more inwards. But I'm quite happy with my skirt as it is.

The materials I used were a dark grey crepe material, a silvery rayon? fabric, and bemberg lining.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Fabrics"][/caption]

Here are the pattern pieces laid out on fashion fabric ready to be all cut out.
Ready to cut.

I wanted my skirt to have piping details in the lower waist seams and on the side, but didn't want to buy ready made piping-so I made my own. I started by cutting 1-inch wide bias strips with the grey fashion fabric.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Bias strips"][/caption]

Instead of buying cord for the piping, I used some regular knitting yarn.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Knitting yarn."][/caption]

I used a zipper foot to sew the yarn into the piping.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Handmade corded piping"][/caption]

I was too lazy to take pictures of the process in between. But here are the photos of the finished project.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="Front view"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="Back View"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="Side View"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="Closeup"][/caption]

The whole project cost me nothing-I used everything out of my stash, most of which came from opshops.

Not too bad for a mock-up. I'll be making more soon.

My little man was very good-he just smiled at me from his little rocker as I hammer away on my sewing machine. How lucky am I?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pencil Skirt-Vogue 8426

I have an itch to scratch. I want to sew. Want. Want. Want. I want need more winter skirts. Skirts in sturdy, thick tweeds and houndstooth. Pencil skirts. Skirts like these.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="320" caption="Gray high waisted pencil skirt"][/caption]

But I started having serious skirt envy when I saw this.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="516" caption="Back view"]Vogue 8426 by Sew Very Prairie

Sew Very Prairie is a sewist/blogger who made this skirt for her boyfriend's mum. What a sure-fire way to win over your mother-in law. Visit her blog for some sewing inspiration. She has made some amazing garments.

I didn't think much of the pattern based on the envelope cover below. But made up in real life it looks stunning.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Vogue 8246 illustration"][/caption]

Here's another view og the skirt.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="298" caption="Sew Very Prairie"][/caption]

I just loooove loove this skirt. It would go with just about anything. I love the seam details and the kick pleat in the back. So slimming. I would draft it myself though.  Vogue patterns can be very dear and upwards of USD15. And I do so enjoy the drafting process.

Sometimes I get an idea in my head that I just can't stop thinking of. When I do get one, like when I did for my white jacket (which was a wadder), I become a bit obsessed with making it and finishing it. I've just realised how few skirts I have that would go with a big oversized jumper on the top. I do have quite a few skirts, but the suitable ones are denim and too casual, and the others are too light and print-y for spring. Some are too long and paired with an oversized jumper would look too frumpy-and I hate frumpy. And so does Wyld Man.

With the Little Wyld Man around though, it's been a little bit hard to find the time to sew, and I need a longer stretch of time at the sewing machine. I need my sewing mojo. Where is it when you need it?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More Opshop Goodness and a Hat Refashion

Went to the opshops twice last week-once after my dental checkup (a follow up root canal treatment), and last Saturday. Saturdays are the only time I get to go out to the shops alone-Little Wyld Man stays with his daddy at home. And since I've started him on solids, he is a teeny weeny less dependant on me as Wyld Man can feed him something if he's hungry. As much as I enjoy my little man's company, I do miss my opshopping jaunts, which I used to do before he was born. So Saturdays are reserved for grocery shopping, opshopping, and an occasional visit to the library. Anyways, last Wednesday, I dropped into the Salvos on Smart Road.

For the benefit of my Malaysian readers back home, Salvos stands for Salvation Army, a charitable institution who franchises their charity opshops into what is now a huge opshop chain. Vinnies is another opshop set-up, short for St Vincent de Paul, a Catholic run organisation. These two are the main opshop operations in South Australia, but there are other numerous opshops around. People donate things they want to get rid off which are in usable condition, and the opshop volunteers clean them and price them. People come in and buy an item, and the money goes to fund a charitable cause. In recent times however, it has become fashionable and trendy to opshop, as people go 'green', tightening spending during recession times, and as 'vintage' becoming the by-word in fashion. As a result, prices in opshops are getting steeper and steeper, which goes against the whole ethos of opshopping. On this trip, I saw a beautiful checked coat, rather old, with a stained and ripped lining selling for AUD25 at Salvos! I can get a brand new Target one for AUD30! And Wyld Man once saw an old army issue wool coat, probably made during the Vietnam war, selling for AUD90 at a Victor HArbour  Salvos opshop. It wasn't old enough to be a collector's item, nor in a good condition enough to warrant that price, which was outrageous in an opshop. I saw a wool men's overcoat at Peter Shearer's brand new for only AUD 124.  In the one year I have been here, I've seen prices increase quite substantially. And Vinnies is the same. I'd like to support Vinnies more, being a Catholic-run organisation, but at those prices, I'd think again and let the prices decide.

Anyways, during my Wednesday jaunt, I picked this up.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="Summer knit dress"][/caption]

It is in extremely good condition, almost brand new, in a size 8. It was a teeny weensy bit tight, but, hey, it was only AUD7, so what the heck. I tried it on and couldn't resist, the print was so pretty. And pink! I don't know what the deal is with the straps though. I'll cut it off sometime.

I recently taken to wearing hats to church, instead of veils, and have been keeping a lookout for nice hats in opshops. I've got two already, but wanted something to match my brown winter coat. And I came across this.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Brown hat with turned down rim"][/caption]

It is very similar to my navy blue hat.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Navy Blue Hat"][/caption]

I love this hat. It goes with almost everything. I had made a mental note to myself to buy one in brown if I ever see one with that turned down rim design. Lots of op shops carry brown straw hats but with a flat brim. I've never liked those. This design however looks leagues better.

The brown hat however has loads of this.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Plastic flowers"][/caption]

It looks ok in the pictures, but there's too many of them, and they're old and dusty. The kiss of death for hats. And I know that I'd never wear it to church as they are. And not in winter-they were a bit too spring-y. So, I ripped them off.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Naked hat."][/caption]

You can still see the price tag on the hat-AUD4.

So I did a refashion.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Hat refashion"][/caption]

I based it on my blue hat, and used brown satin that I had lying around, with the insides fused with interfacing for some weight and substance.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="New and improved."][/caption]

I would definitely wear this version. I had planned to wear the bow at the back, like the blue hat, but I think the bow looks better in front on this one.

Aside from those buys, I also snagged 2 jumpers at Vinnies on Saturday.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="White oversized chenille acrylic jumper"][/caption]

I love the oversized look-big top and a narrow bottom. The narrow waist band and the cuffs gives it shape and makes the oversized look look like it was done on purpose. Here's another view.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="View B"][/caption]

Here's the second white jumper I bought at Vinnies.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="Cable knit white jumper"][/caption]

I loove loove cable knits. Wyld Man asked me why I needed so many white ones. Because. I. Need. It. And. Want. It. And. It. Was. Cheap. AUD 13 for the two of them. And I think those are REALLY good reasons.

Here's a picture I took of the Little Wyld Man this morning.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="William in a bonnet"][/caption]

All rugged up for winter. He will be 16 weeks old this Friday, and 4 months old on the 19th of June.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Wedding Anniversary

One year. That's how long we've been married last Sunday. On Sunday last year was the last day of autumn and the happiest day of my life. It had rained all week but on the Saturday we were married on May 30th 2009, it was a beautiful day with piercing blue skies and light breezes. We were married at St Laurence's Catholic Church at a Solemn High Mass with three priests.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="486" caption="Virgil of Pentecost -Solemn High Mass"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="680" caption="Me paying very close attention."][/caption]

Or so it seems. Actually, I recall being rather distracted.

I loved my wedding dress. It was custom made for me, and I picked the pink and silver threads for the embroidery. The bodice was laced up and it cinches the waist beautifully-as well as not needing any adjustments for any fluctuations of weight. I made the veil out of tulle and sprinkled pearls randomly through it. If anyone wants to order a custom made dress in any design, I can get one for the price of a rental. Just email me.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="485" caption="My family"][/caption]

They flew all the way from Malaysia and arrived the day before. I've never seen my brothers in suits...I don't know if I ever will again...

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="All the siblings."][/caption]

After the ceremony, we left for a few select locations for a bridal photo shoot. Nothing staged in a studio for me.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="424" caption="Montefiore Hill"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="483" caption="The cloisters at Adelaide University"][/caption]

I thought our photographer did a great job. I don't think the photos were touched up too much, yet they turned out really well.

Photos by Ricky of CTR Photos, flowers by Donna Lovell, menswear by Ferrari Brothers.

Sigh. Well, that was a year ago. I love reliving it though. Everything went without a hitch. It was just such a beautiful day.

On Saturday we celebrated with a simple dinner at home with the family.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="One year later-Our budding family"][/caption]

The Little Wyld Man is 3 and a half months old now. He's cooing and gurgling all the time and likes to talk back! He's developing motor skills and tries to touch things with his hands-although he's not quite there yet. He recognises a smile and will smile back at you when you smile at him. And his cheeks! They jiggle when you pat his back to burp him, they're that chubby! He's just so beautiful.

Here's the Little Wyld Man and his grandma.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="Gwemma and the Little Wyld Man"][/caption]

That cake was the top tier of our wedding cake. My lovely mother in law made it and had it iced by a very talented cake lady. Here's a closeup.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="The Wedding Cake"][/caption]

There were three tiers. One tier was used at the wedding. One at the Little Wyld Man's christening, and now the last one for our anniversary. It had been staying in the freezer for all that time, but it tasted lovely and just as fresh as when it was first made.

I cooked Corn Soup, JFC, Pork and Pumpkin, and Cream Chicken and Vegies. JFC stands for Joyce's Fried Chicken, and was so named by the Wyld Man's younger brother-he raves about it-and it's pretty yummy, if I do say so myself. I'll post the recipe up sometime.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="A simple dinner"][/caption]

It's been a womderful year, and here's to many more to come.