Monday, 22 November 2010

Short update

It's Monday again, I'm sick again and I'm itching to get some sewing done.

Tonight, I'll be cutting the fabric for little Zoe's birthday present -- luckily, sewing for a one-year-old doesn't take up a huge amount of time, and there are no annoying details like welt pockets or bound buttonholes to take into account like the annoying BWOF waistcoat I'm working on for the lovely Miss Shelley. More on that later.

In the meantime, I'm catching up on some blog reading and attempting to get some spreadsheet analysis done - but wanted to share these points:

The gold dress just didn't work. Aw, I'm so sad. The fabric was too lightweight and I didn't make sufficient adjustments to take into account that the bust line was already too big on the old RTW version. I suspect that the finished version will hang much better on someone smaller across the ribcage than me ... and I have a worthy candidate in mind. Mwahahaha!

Also, I hate ric rac. What is the deal with this stuff? No offense to anybody out there who uses it and likes it, this is a purely opinion-based observation rather than a critique, but I've never looked at ric rac and thought, 'Oh yeah, that'll finish my project off perfectly!' ... to me it just looks like something a 4-year-old should have glued onto a craft project along with some macaroni and glitter. Ugh. 

I went hunting for pictures of truly awful examples and, of course, there are many out there but I shan't share them with you for fear of offending a plethora of fellow bloggers who have proudly shared their work.

My search for evidentiary pictures was cut short by the annoying fact that a number of the pictures I did find were of seemingly very attractive garments, where the ric rac wasn't just sewn on in a straight line but used much more creatively. Oh bugger, I see an experiment coming.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Copying the Hennes Dress

My previous post was typed weeks ago and much has changed since (though I only published it today, whoops!) ... the Day Job project which was near completion now seems to have been extended for another 2 months (ugh) and my SAD has officially kicked in. Bleeeeuuuggghhh, winter. Soggy grass and cold fingers.

Not the most flattering shot, but all I have 'in-dress'
In an attempt to cheer myself up I'm making what is supposed to be a simple garment: a copy of a black Hennes dress, worn on many a successful night out. The dress was given to me years ago by a very fashion-conscious friend who was unfortunately (for her) too skinny for the LARGE size. Huzzah for me, though!

From that day to this, however, many (well, some!) kilos have been shed and alas, my lovely LBD is too big for me. How fate mocks me! So, I've traced pattern pieces by laying the dress flat onto tissue paper, and have taken 0.25" off each outer seam to produce what I hope will be a slightly smaller version. As the back has always been a bit droopy anyway, I've also lowered the back seam by nearly 2" - seeing as I can't wear anything under it boob-wise, I may as well have some fun with the back!

The new fabric is a black & gold stretch of some description (I will learn to make a note of these things when I buy them in future) and cost me £6/metre. Did I mention I only need a metre? That, and £0.48/metre for the stringy stuff to make the halter neck. Tralaaaaaaaa! 

What do you think?

It's been a while ...

There have been much goings-on in our little house of late, dear ones. When I last posted, I was in the middle of a 'hiatus' (read: gut-wrenching gap between jobs) and had a list as long as a long-armed person's arm full of jobs and projects and events and other time-fillers.

Alas. Just as my mood switched from panicked about not finding work to being quite zen about general unemployment and my list went from being one of those all-the-things-you-never-have-the-time-to-do-which-somehow-still-don't-get-done lists to the kind where you're actively making progress, disaster struck: I got another job.


Kitty Love
Suddenly, I had to go from slowly emerging out of bed at 8am and having beautiful days of sun, gardening, making stuff and kitty-love, followed by quiet nights of snuggling and yummy dinners to dreary 6am awakenings and 10-hour workdays with people I don't like in offices among snooty City-workers. Yeaugh. The exciting part was the my new 3-month contract offered the opportunity to travel to undisclosed locations in Europe for 2 nights a week. Or so I was led to believe.

Turns out, I was expected to devote 4 days of my life, every week, to working out of a godforsaken margarine factory in the dreariest, shabbiest part of Antwerp you've ever had the misfortune to lay eyes on. Occasional travel to other equally unimaginative areas of Belgium & the Netherlands broke up the monotony occasionally, but ALAS. My still new seedlings and garden-in-progress went to shit. Our kitty babies forgot what I looked like ... and the remainder of summer and all the loveliness I had planned for this year went out the window.  I have learned the hard way that whilst I enjoy the occasional bout of travelling for work, I am not the kinda girl who likes a jetsetting lifestyle. Yes, I would like to travel more extensively - on a recreational basis - and I love getting out of my comfort zone for a spell. But living out of a hotel room and spending up to 18 hours a day with your colleagues (eating every meal, excusing every trip to the loo, laughing at every bad joke) is just a whole other ball game! My patience ran dry remarkably quickly, I fear; and typically my notion of self-preservation was overwhelmed by a need to continue earning an income -- so working through the night (or certainly, til the wee hours) became a very regular occurrence while 'abroad'.

Anyhoo. Enough of the whinging. Nowadays, the original project for which I was employed is nearly over (or so I really, really hope) and there are a few weeks of normalcy looming ahead before Himself & I zoot off to South Africa to spend the Christmas holidays with my lovely family. I've dug up my original list and added another few hundred items to the list (bolstered by many hours of eBay comfort-shopping while stuck in aforementioned hotel room) which will be predominantly sewing-based due to the stinky colder weather slowly creeping into our nook of Londahn.

I'm super-excited to announce the following projects coming up:

1) 1st Birthday presents for the lovely little daughter of (one of) Himself's best men whom we've yet to meet ...
2) newborn garments for the son of a friend whose 30th birthday party we're attending - haven't yet figured out how to explain that I'm not making anything for her! :)
3) a winter coat for our ex-next door neighbour's little one-year-old - they moved away a couple of months ago and I swore I'd make the kid something when we was born ... so I'm a little behind!
4) a few outfits for my adorable little 5-year old niece who we'll be seeing in December
5) something (God knows what ... I'll have to figure that out while making all the bits above!) for my nearly 10-year old nephew who is now in love with all things sport-related
6) and somewhere in there, a winter coat for me - loosely based on the white version of this lovely Project Runway Simplicity pattern.