Sunday, April 29, 2012

365 : 2012 : 17

My week in pictures:
- Typewriter shot
- The "I'm nearly finished shot" of the Polka Dot Blouse with a Bow
- The finished top worn out on ANZAC Day
- Our glasses - every night while we sleep our glasses hang out together
- Mint cotton silk for my next project
- A photoshoot at sunrise this morning at Tamarama Beach and a walk to Bondi for breakfast.

In other news Boyfriend is starting a shiny new blog of his own to fuel his obsession passion for photography (more on that later!). This is the only reason I would be up at 5am on a Sunday. He's editing some photos as I write so I'm sure they'll be ready for me to show you soon. p.s. they may involve hula hoops!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Polka Dot Blouse with a Bow!

My latest sewing adventure was to make myself a top with a bow. I received a vintage Butterick 3403 pattern in the mail at around the same time as seeing this gorgeous version on Cirque Du Bebe's site. Happenstance. The time had come to try just a top for myself.

I cut up all my pieces for a muslin of the pattern only to find that I had to lop giant chunks of fabric off to make it sit nicely. In fact I had to tamper with it so much it seemed easier to simply start again and make my own version of the pattern myself than to change it so much.

So that's exactly what I did. I took out my trusty Lydia pattern from Burdastyle (which I'm kinda just using as a basic sloper/bodice pattern), added some darts, improvised the neckline and hoped for the best. I must add that I also did all this on the actual fabric because I was so sick of staring at plain white cotton after all that mucking about with the muslin.

Now the miraculous part of this whole process is that the top worked out perfectly! It seems that I just have an aversion to following patterns. I'm yet to figure out why this is but in this case I'm not going to think about it too much because I'm stoked at how well this turned out! It looks exactly how it did in my head.

I even added these little plackets on the side of the sleeves which I kinda love. Want a close up?

I guess the only detail that bugs me a little bit is the fact that I didn't have enough continuous fabric to make the bow the length I wanted. I ended up having to add 2 smaller sections on either end which means you can see the seam quite plainly in the bow.

But, honestly, I don't think anyone has every stood this close to me to inspect my clothes. So I think I'll be OK.

The cost of sewing:
Fabric: 1.5 metres cotton x $7/metre = $10.50
Buttons: Pack of 8 = $3
Total: $13.50

Also does anyone else find it hard to take pictures of things when everyone that walks past needs to gawk at you? Seriously can't a girl pose and have close up photos of every possible detail of a top in peace? No? Guess not.

Monday, April 23, 2012

365 : 2012 : 16

My week in pictures:

- Smocking with faux leather - FYI - you should probably never try this - it doesn't really work
- So much water falling from the heavens that the river spilled over
- So much water falling from the heavens that it started raining inside at work
- After an epic, epic day at work a trip out to the coffee factory for Boyfriend. Look at that machine that he uses every day. Awesome.
- Room with a view - with mould setting in we opened up the giant window at work - happy courtyard gazing, breeze-filled, sunshiney day (interspersed with hayfever and the growing smell of mould)
- Freshly washed polka dot cotton - and a muslin that defeated me. In other news I've now enrolled in sewing classes. Hurrah!
- Family fest day that ended in cake - did you see the lovely candle mum bought dad? Nice.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Emerald Top with a Velvet Bow

So I found myself halfway through sewing a blazer when I had lost all will to keep sewing. Ok, maybe that's a little bit dramatic. I was struggling to make the sleeves talk to the bodice and really felt like I needed to put it to one side and sew something fun and easy. So what better way to do that than to revisit my Lydia Pattern...again.

This time I adjusted it to include a Peter Pan Collar by following this tutorial I found on Pinterest and then adding a velvet bow.

To be honest the best bits of this top evolved from a series of mistakes. Firstly the collar didn't meet up in the middle so I was left with an empty bit of fabric between that looked awkward. Solution - make a tiny rounded fake placket. Then I realised that I had no way to edge this without it looking weird. Solution - fold it over and handsew on a small piece of velvet ribbon over the top. Which is when I decided to add the velvet bow. And so it all worked out in the end.

One bit that didn't work out so well was the length. I had cut it too short (really have I not made this pattern a thousand and one times??). So I ended up sewing on another section of fabric at the bottom in the attempt to solve this. I don't love it but at least it's long enough now!

Oh and let's talk about Peter Pan Collars. I love them. Adore them. Wish I could have one on every one of my tops at the moment. But it took me many a draft to get this thing sitting right. And then I sewed it on. And it was wrong. So I kinda cheated and did a handful of tiny stitches periodically around it so it would sit relatively ok. As you can see it's still warping a little bit but I can live with it.

After reading a great post at Tilly and the Buttons on the cost of sewing I thought I might start sharing the real cost of what I make. I tend to be pretty cheap with my patterns and fabric so I guess I get a little shock when I see how much things can cost other people to make. But I guess part of that is my confidence level in my own sewing. I'm still new. I'm still learning and I feel like buying expensive fabric and notions would be too much pressure.

Fabric: 1.5m of jersey - $4.50
Velvet ribbon: 0.5m of Velvet ribbon $1
Total cost: $5.50

Now I have a decision to make. Should I go back to the blazer? Or should I play around with the awesome fabrics I just got shipped from Decisions, Decisions.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

365 : 2012 : 15

My week in pictures:

- A run in the middle of my Monday - love public holidays!
- Autumn arrived and it got really cold in our house - time for long stripey socks
....and hot chocolate!
- Sewing with jersey
- Pub night dinner
- A top nearly finished
- Grill'd burgers opens in Parramatta - woohoo!

In other news I'm still somewhere around the halfway mark with my blazer but I felt a bit defeated and needed to sew something easy to get my confidence back up before going back to it. This is why it looks like I'm cheating on my blazer with a new top.

So my blazer still looks something like this.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

365 : 2012 : 14

My week in pictures:

- Twilight moon on the way home from work - goodbye Daylight Savings
- An Easter Egg Hunt with the nieces
- Discovering that Boyfriend drinks in the shower
- Jelly!
- Ready to cut the fabric for my blazer
- The thing I've been sewing starts to resemble a blazer!
- Boyfriend reading to his nephew

Thursday, April 5, 2012

365 Project - 3 months in!

Check it out! I made it three whole months into my 365 project!

I'm a little bit stoked that 3 months of my life can be turned into this. I've managed to pull all these photos in a pretty strict date order so I just spent a bit of time remembering each of the photos. In the midst of that I remembered what I did each day, what I chose to take photos of, what I chose not to take photos of and the original inspiration for each. I've never really been able to say with certainty that I can remember what I've done every day of the year until I looked at it all this way. It's pretty incredible.

If you've ever thought about making a 365 album you should. You really should. I'm not going to pretend that it's easy. I'm not going to pretend that I've remembered to take a photo every single day this year. But what I am going to tell you is that one little rule has changed the way I've been looking at the world this year. If you can't take a photo a day then you must take 7 photos that week to make up for the lost day. That's it. It's that simple.

So what's changed? I'm not neccessarily looking for something special that has happened that day. I'm not trying to make it exciting in any way. What I am doing is trying to find a snapshot. Something that encompasses what life held for me that day. Something that made it unique. I might find myself working the 9 to 5. I might feel like I'm stuck in a rut sometimes but in the midst of all that routine I'm recognising what that particular day of my life feels like. Maybe that day I'm lost in the monotony and so I take a photo of the train platform, or the escalators my feet stand on every day, or the train tracks zooming by. Maybe I'm feeling inspired and so I'll take a photo of some sketches or a landscape that moved me. But I guarantee no matter how small or insignificant the photos seem at the time they tell a story. My story. It changes the way I see my day and what I come into contact with on a daily basis. It changes the way I experience my daily life. And it changes me.

I'm really glad that I started this and actually stuck to it. So far I'm proud and most definitely inspired.

You're welcome to join me on the journey through Instagram I promise to make it all the way through the year! I couldn't stop if I tried now!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

365 : 2012 : 13

My week in pictures:
- I finished a book about Parramatta Girls Home which changed the way I view Parramatta - deeply moving.
- Boyfriend brought me a chocolate bunny home from work - did I mention Boyfriend works in a chocolate factory?
- This whole week proudly brought to you by Codral. I attempted to get through the working week drugged to the eyeballs with cold and flu tablets. It became apparent to me when I tried to exit the ticket turnstiles at the station with my ATM card the drugs were probably doing me more harm than good.
- My new prescription glasses - I shall be bespectacled henceforth.
- My blazer pattern arrived in the mail - hurrah! A pic of me drawing out the pattern pieces for cutting.
- Earth Hour - Boyfriend and I turned out all the electricity in our apartment, sat at the candlelit dining table with cheese, crackers a bottle of red and had an epic night of scrabble!
- A butterfly perched peacefully whilst I was out for a walk.

So just a heads up. I'm making a blazer. It's going to be epic. You may not hear from me until it's done and by god is this blazer going to get done!

See you on the other side! (of having made the blazer, not anything ominous).