Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Don't you just love going inspiration shopping. I admit I did buy a couple of things though. One was a wee shrug to go over my dress on cooler summer nights, and another was a summer top, it looked nice on, was nice fabric and gave in and bought it, after an argument with myself.

But while I was there, I saw this skirt it just shouted out to me

gorgeous right? So it should be for $80.

And then I saw this fabulous tunic, cowl neck, funky print and looked fab on, gorgeous once again, so it should for $65!

So I decided to go to the sewing store to check out patterns for a cowl similar as I've got the perfect fabric for it.
What did I find instead? The fabric from the skirt!!!!! I could've jumped for joy - but instead I bought the fabric and an invisible zip!!! It was the first time that I've ever found fabric from a fashion garment, in our wee sewing store, so I was pretty excited.

 This top called out to me too. $100 it could stay on the damn rack!
It was pretty cool though, had a matching skirt. I wish I'd paid more attention to how it was made. By the looks of it, each of these wee white tulle like strips was sewn into a seam, one by one. As it moved, the tulle kind of floated about giving peaks to the black, it was so pretty.

I couldn't really find a cowl pattern suitable for the top at the store, I did get talking to a lady though, she was so cool, I wish I'd asked for her number or something now!
There's a free pattern over at Burda for a cowl neck top, only in size 36, but I'm sure I can add on where it needs it, since it's a simple pattern.

So there we have it, now I'm off to have lunch since it's almost 4pm! It's been a fairly busy day, and slightly emotional too. I had to meet the lady who is renting my late grandmas house, let her in and show her round. At least she loves the place and will look after it well. Just a funny feeling.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beautiful Blogger

Thanks to Heather of Sewing on Pins for nominating me for a beautiful blogger award.

I thought I'd stop my current Bejewelled Blitz addiction on Facebook for a bit to write the 10 things out about myself. Hmm this could be hard. (both writing about myself, AND stopping BB for a bit hehe)

1. I still live at home! Yes folks, thats right. At the age of 23, I still live at home with my darling parents.
I did move out when I was younger, but unfortunately with my health getting worse, having to give up work due to that yada yada yada, I had to move back home. I'm lucky that my mother is as much an avid sewer as myself, and loves having a sewing room that we can both work in, and leave all our stuff there for another day when my body has given up. Although for the next 3 months - I am alone! Just me, and the cat. My parents are off to Cambodia. They leave Tuesday. *grins and thinks of all the sewing bits they can bring home*

2. I've never had many clothes. Yes really! For years, I've only ever had a couple of pairs of pants, and a couple of tops. Now, every morning I get up, look in my wardrobe which is now laden with clothes, and think hmm what am I going to wear today. And every time I think about that, it really excites me.

3. A year ago, I sucked at sewing. I could sew, but the results were less than satisfactory, they were only useful for rags. I never took pride in my work, hated cutting patterns out so cut corners, never followed SA guides, never knew about fitting issues, and lets just say my zipper insertion left a lot to be desired. We won't even discuss the total fissy hits that occurred regularly with each project.
It's amazing how much can change in a year. When I look at what I am able to create now, it truly amazes me. Especially when I can now do it with ease.

4. I have a younger brother (17 almost 18, he's also off to Cambodia with my parents) and a sister. My sister isn't a biological sister.
She came to us as an exchange student from China when I was 13, she was 17? She lived with us for 18 months, and really did become one of us. I think of her as my sister, and her gorgeous son as my nephew, what else could they be, they are family even if not by blood.
My brother and I get on like a house on fire - flames everywhere and a lot of breaking glass, needing someone to step in and stop us! LOL. We fight like cat and dog, for that reason, you won't find us in the same room a lot.

5. I've always been a crafty person. At the age of 4 I remember my late grandma (affectionately known as Sugar - not nana, granny etc) teaching me to paint. She was a very talented artist, unfortunately I didn't pick that skill up and the best I can paint, is a wall. It's a block color that requires no design lol.
Just being crafty is so much fun. I thoroughly enjoy machine embroidery. And I also up until recently made Reborn Dolls - not everyones cup of tea, but I got a great deal of joy seeing the transformation.
Sewing has now taken over, so my doll making has been packed away for a bit. I find sewing is a lot easier on my body, and easier to leave in the middle of a project if my health isn't the best.
I think I can pick most crafts up really, I know the basics of knitting, can do a small amount of crochet, know how to do tapestries and the likes, but I choose not to! hehe

6. (hey this is actually quite fun) I have a delightful tabby cat, called Sox. We liken her to a newborn baby. She's very demanding, sleeps a lot of the day, loves her cuddles and has her own routine with every one of us.
I love it when I'm sewing during the day, she will come up and have a wee chat with me. Often she will sit and just watch the machine, especially the embroidery machine. It's like a tv for her I'm sure.

7. I'm a fairly decent cook. Actually you may be able to tell that from the size of me, never trust a skinny cook, right?!
My favourite ingredient to use would be Karata pepper, from Cambodia. It's been likened to be the best in the world, and I put it on and use it in just about everything! What's funny is, I hate pepper! This is divine though, and food doesn't taste the same without it. I still hate normal black pepper though.
I also love to bake, but hate to eat anything I've baked, it gets a bit boring after you've been slaving over a cake mixer and then the oven. My raspberry and white chocolate muffins are pretty scrumptious though!

8. My cell phone is never far from me. It is on the bed beside my pillow each night as it's my alarm, my diary, my newspaper etc and I feel very lost if I don't have it.

9. I went on my first overseas trip last year, to Australia. I loved it and got the travel bug!
My ultimate travel dream is to go to New York, stay in the Garment District, and go shopping. One day it'll happen, bring it on!

10. (can you tell I'm running out of things to say?) I drive a Manual (stick shift) car! My car is my baby, and I had a hard time finding it in manual.
Nothing like changing gears, especially with some of the curly wurly roads we have over here in NZ! (oh yes, some of you may not know, I live in New Zealand!)

So there we have it, I hope you've had fun learning a little bit about me.
The nominations I'm going to have to think about overnight. How about I just say all the ones to the right, on my fave blogs list can be nominated? good? great! LOL

It's the first day of daylight savings here, so while it's 830, really it's only 730. I'm shattered so am not far off bed, after a few addicting games of Bejewelled Blitz ;o)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I miss sewing!

It has been a week, and a busy one at that! Have a friend here staying, (in the sewing room! argh) and his toddler comes every couple of days for a night, so it's been a no sewing week, I've missed it like crazy! Lastnight I had a friends 4 week old for the night, scrumptious baby cuddles - there's nothing like them. Even at that age the snuffling snorting at 2am is cute and worth the yawning I'm doing now! LOL.

As of tuesday, I have the house totally to myself, for 3 whole months. Not a single soul around! Woohooo! The sewing area is going to be moved to the living area so I can sit, sew and watch movies! Perfect I think.

But what am I going to sew?
I've got the most gorgeous Karen Walker fabric here, that my sister purchased for me, that I've been wondering what to use it for, it's designer fabric, so needs something funky! So I browse my patterns, then the Burda mags. I've found a great pattern in the 06-2010(*!) of which I cannot find a picture online, so I'll just have to surprise everyone and hope for the best.
It's a skirt, coming into summer I need some more light weight items, so might make a wee wardrobe plan up.

*=So we are coming up to October, the 10th month. Why is it, that we here are only up to Burda 06-2010 that I bought here mid last month! None of the mag shops can tell me when the next one will be out, nor can the sewing place I purchased my latest one. We can't be that far behind the rest of the world, surely!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Imelda's new shoes.

I totally forgot to show the shoes finished.

I've also loaded my review of my dress up on PR, and have included the links to tutorials I used.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The LBD is here...

Well I'm not ultra happy after seeing these pics. There seems to be bunching from the hip area down in some pics? I think it's the way my hands are pushing on the fabric though, it doesn't seem to be there in pictures that I'm not!

So here we go!
I've cropped my face out of most of them, I seem to be making the most hideous faces today! I've also cropped out my lovely bruised arms! Especially from the back view, that was a real goodie! LOL

These are the more "evening" shots. Nice necklace, clutch purse(made by yours truly of course!) and my stunningly fabulous modge podged shoes!

From here are the more day time shots. More comfy shoes, carrybag (for while out shopping with a girlfriend of course!), flower to jazz it up a bit and a woollen cardi.

A couple of retaken pictures, eliminates the bunching at the front.

Now the rear shot.

And finally a terrible shot of the dress on a coat hanger. I'll get one of it lying flat on the ground I think for the PR review.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ta Da!

Ta da!
Well after a hell of a lot of hand sewing, I am done.
I haven't got full pictures yet. After spending the evening in the hospital with a mirgaine being jabbed all over trying to get a lure in, my arms are black and blue with bruises, not the best look for contest photos :-p

I had a slight fit issue as you can see in the below picture. After sewing the dress and lining together, I had wrinkles on the bust curves, that I didn't have on the muslin.
I ended up re sewing the bust curve. In the below picture, the breast curve on the right of the screen was not reshaped, the one on the right was almost finished being reshaped.

The original bust curve is closer to the seam allowance, the redrawn is on the inside.

This is the inside of the dress.
Including the gorgeous lining, it's such a stunning color.
I had a bit of a hiccup with the original lining - with there not being enough fabric! WOOPS!
Fully lined, the zip is all enclosed etc. It's so lovely.

My truly invisible zip! Second time ever sewing one(first one was a disaster), and man it's come out just so well.

I'm really happy with how it's turned out.
There was a lot of new techniques I tried on this dress.
A CB vent, the invisible zip, my first sleeveless dress that's lined, and an invisible handstitched hem (4hours later! lol)
But the finish is just so wonderful, that it was worth it!

Can't wait to show the full pics, once my arms aren't looking like I've been in a fight!

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I've been fiddling.

Well the LBD contest starts tomorrow, and now I'm finally getting over this headache/nausea virus, I thought I better actually make a start on any wee changes I want to make to the dress (the original version from the black sheet lol).

First change - Lower the back neckline.
As it was, it was sitting high up almost even to ear line. I guess that was due to my shortness, but also due to the fact the dress originally was supposed to have the collar.

Second change - Take out the excess in the back shoulders. It was too wide for me, and I seemed to be having a lot of gaping once the neckline was lowered.
I've created a dart about 3cm wide on each side of the CB, and when I cut the dress out, the dart will already be folded out, so there will be no actual dart on the dress itself. It now flows smoothly over my upper back.

Third change - Remove the gaping around the armhole/bust area.
I created a bust dart where the extra fabric was, and once again will be folding this out before it's cut, so there will be no dart on the dress.

Fourth change - I lowered the front neckline, about 3-4cm. Hey - if you've got em, flaunt em baby! LOL.
I am debating on whether I will do the gathered part around the bust now, I really like how it is sitting without it (although I will need to dart out the excess in the tip of the neckline CF now)

I think that is about all the changes I've made, and will need to make. I will add a smidge onto the front armscye, with the 1.5cm taken off it when the lining is attached, it will be just a bit too open for my liking, so will probably add on 1.5cm, so it sits as it is now. (As the lining currently isnt attached)

The waist/hip area I'm still unhappy with. With my podgey tummy, I need the extra room in the front for sitting, BREATHING and all those other things that we just unfortunately have to do lol. But it looks terrible side on. I'm off to see if I can find a suck me in-hold me tight-lift me up-hide the fat thingy this afternoon. Preferably the slip style, so I'm not having to get totally undressed to go to the bathroom! LOL
UPDATE: I found a suck me in hold me tight lift me up hid the fat thingy! Man it's great. It's a singlet, but it's long enough to go right down to mid thigh if I want it too. And it's comfortable. I'm now 100% happy with my dress. Woohoo

Otherwise, I'm good to go!
Watch this space!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Not long to go now!

It's not long until the LBD contest starts, and I'm contemplating changing my dress! Really? Am I insane? (Don't answer that guys LOL)
I LOVE the dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffanys, and apparently Simon Henry's Little Black Dress book has instructions for that.

Maybe I'll just do two LBDs! Now there's an idea ;)

The undercoat has been purchased for the sewing room, it has been slightly rearranged, and today the top coat is being purchased. Fantastic. I'm going to have lots to do over the next few months.
I've been laid up with a charming migraine the past 3 days, so have done no sewing at all. The painkillers don't last long, and this last dose has given me nausea, even with anti nausea meds. Ugh.
But I'm still keeping up with SSS! 1-2 items every day. I love it.

If anyone has the Simon Henry LBD book, I'd be interested on hearing the opinion about the Audrey Hepburn dress, before I buy the book.

Monday, September 6, 2010

6 days in!

Phhhooarrr, what a hot on here today. Almost at 20degrees, the warmest we've had in a very long time!
It's been a long few days here. We finally had the garage sale to rid my late grandmas house of all the extra stuff, what a biggie that was. Then helped my mother and aunty clear the house totally, and today cleaned it top to bottom. I'm in agony pain wise now, hate to think how bad I'm going to be when these painkillers wear off.

Thanks for the emails and comments about whether I am doing ok in the earthquake. It was a biggie but centered a few hours drive away from here, so no damage here thankfully. It did wake me up though.
It was centered basically right under my aunty and uncles place, amazingly it's standing with no damage, a bit bizarre really when other places on farms next door have lost chimneys or more.
No one was hurt, and the prized family hand painted china SOMEHOW managed to stay perched on the wall unit. Wonders never cease.

6 days in to SSS, and I'm loving it. Have worn an item or two every day, whether it's been jeans, underwear, coats etc. Hope to get some sewing done this week, even if its just something small.

So once again, thanks for the concern re the earthquake, we are all fine :)
I'm off to go and wash the oven cleaner, wall cleaner and all the other yuckky chemicals off me! lol

Friday, September 3, 2010

Showing my crotch!

So this is once again Mccalls 5651. First Attempt
As I said with the first ones, I wasn't happy with the overall shape, as I prefer them to be more the shape of the front at the back as well if I'm going for that style of cheeky knickers.
I also was most unimpressed with the construction!

With this trial I made 4 the same, and cut size XL. This time I took a total of 8" off all the way around (2 inches at each side front and back). I used the front pattern for both front and back, and love them so much more.
I also changed the construction of them since I hated how they did the crotch construction.
This time I sandwiched the crotch piece between the front and back, so I had a nice seam, and then stitched the sides of each crotch piece under the picot elastic. It's a much neater finish than having zig zag stitching all over the undies in my opinion.

Picot elastic is my total favourite now! I don't even know if I'm attaching it correctly, but it seems to work for me and looks pretty.
For anyone whos never used it, I sew the elastic wrong side to garment right side, with the straight edge of elastic against the edge of the garment. I stitch this on using a 3 step zigzag.
Then I turn the elastic to the inside, and do a 3 step zigzag from the inside(bobbin thread is showing on the right side of garment). I make sure that I pull the fabric taught away from the elastic so there is no fabric covering/hiding the little scalloped edge of the elastic.
 It is double work, I know, but you do seem to get a gorgeous RTW look in the end. Except where you get a wee bit of fabric poking out from under the elastic that you forgot to trim, woops! You'll see that in the crotch picture.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Self Stitched September - HERE WE GO!

Today is the first of September - So that means two things!

It's the first day of Spring.

The daffodils are out, the Xmas lily bulbs are starting to sprout, and soon I'll be able to show you my spectacular view from my sewing machine.

And, it's the first day of Self Stitched September! Woohooo
I'm vowing to wear at least one item I've made myself, every day this month.
I cut out a few pairs of knickers yesterday afternoon, to whip up today, so if I do run short of outers, at least I've got some underwear that was self stitched!! LOL.
This means another trip into the sewing store this morning - oh dear!

And being the first of September, it also means there is 27 days left, until my parents and brother leave for Cambodia for 3 whole months. They return 2 days before Christmas, imagine the silk they can bring home for my Christmas present! haha.