Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Finished! The "A-Hunting We Will Go" Waistcoat

In November 2009, my lovely friend, Shelley, asked me to make a winter waistcoat for her. I very enthusiastically agreed and used the request as a great opportunity to head to Walthamstow High Street for the first time ever. (Of course, I hefted back armloads of fabric and notions, but 'that's another story...')
Anyhoo: fabric, check. Lining, check Buttons, check. Thread, check. ('Passport, check! Camera, check! Traveller’s cheques, check!')

Fast forward to March 2010 when Shelley & I go to the V & A Museum for some birthday oogling and I spot the perfect pattern in BurdaStyle 4/2010 (#135).

BurdaStyle 4/2010 #135

Fast forward to ... ummmmm ... September 2010 when Shelley organised a pamper day at another friend's house and I actually get around to tracing the aforementioned pattern on the kitchen floor.

Tracing & looking like an egit
(Shelley actually took this pic!)

Due to the intense guilt of the 10-month long delay, I got my shizz together and sewed. Like, a lot. I lined, I interfaced, I made welt pockets (and then covered the shoddily-made welt pockets with lovely chocolate brown velvet ribbon). Aaaaaaaaaaand then I got stuck, pending a fitting.

Fast forward to July 2011, the morning after Rob's birthday party, when I grabbed the semi-waistcoat and manhandled poor Shelley into the various layers. Minor adjustments aside, we were onto a winner!!

Final fast forward: to Sunday. After unpicking side seams & shoulder seams & side seams again (in an attempt to figure out how THE HELL you're supposed to freaking freaking freeeeeaaaaaking well turn the bastard thing right sides out), it was finally finished. And it actually looked pretty decent. I wasn't sure what to expect after all this time, so it was such a relief so see Shells happy with the end result!!

Happy Shelley!!

A-Hunting We Shall Go ...
so named as our friend Jason reckoned she looked like a "real English lady".
(This said to the vegetarian, wearing a waistcoat made by a vegan - LOL!)
Check out that lining ... and that facing!!!

Velvety chocolate pockets and lovely wooden-y buttons
Holy cow. I just noticed that I actually lined up the pattern, too! How the HELL did I do that??? Bahahahahahaa .... Yay!!


PS. Oh, one more thing. Back in May/June 2009, Shells & I spotted some felt brooches in Brick Lane Market that I reckoned I could 'make that for a fraction of the price'.

I, ahem, also didn't manage to deliver this item until Sunday. The fact that I made it from scraps (bottle green gabardine, waistcoat lining, waistcoat fabric & green felt PLUS a button I inherited from an amazing seamstress in Antwerp) in under an hour makes this all the more embarrassing.

Icky picture, pretty flower brooch thingy

so many lovely blogs, so little time

could you all please stop being so inspiring ... and prolific?? ;)

I mainly read your lovely blogs during above ground commutes or in the bath. we don't have a shower in the new house yet, so it's a good use of soaking time. but seriously. this weekend I had no blogreading time (yes, I did bath!!) and this morning I had to read according to a process I hate, which is basically saving favourites for last!

but I luff you all ... goddammit!!

(image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Betliar_inside4.jpg)

(originally published 08/08/2011)

Posted by ShoZu

grimacing compliments

when I went through the security gates at Gatwick this morning on my way to Amsterdam, the guard on duty gave me a wry smile & said, 'you can always tell a frequent flyer'.


while, at first, I was chuffed that I'd not invoked the wrath of the summertime airport guard, I'm left with this overwhelming sense of ickiness. To me, being a frequent flyer means:
- getting up at 4am to fly to historic cities that I don't see in order to attend unnecessary meetings;
- hedging my bets by unpacking most of my bag & disrobing of all accessories (shoes, belts, hairclips, glasses, jewellery);
- getting 2 stamps on my Caffe Nero card because the barista recognises me from a few days before.

most importantly, it means being away from home and missing out on normal life (like dinner with friends or just sitting in the garden on a summer evening).

that's not worth anything. to anyone.

(originally published 02/08/2011)

Posted by ShoZu

comfy pyjamas

While frantically getting dressed for work this morning (having overslept for the 2nd time this week), it struck me as strange that my go-to work outfit on a rushed morning is a suit.

Once out the door I realised that I was very comfy - a bit like wearing a favourite pair of PJs. WTF? Business PJs?

So the image above is not one which suggests workplace armour or gender equality or even (gasp!) quality tailoring ... but comfort, ease of wear & simplicity. All I have to do is find a suitable top, some matching jewellery (which I forgot today) & a pair of shoes and PHWOOM! I'm out the door looking good to go.

And yet, herds of women stalk through business districts wearing the same basic get-up & emanating 'grrr' vibes. Granted, I didn't straighten my hair this morning, nor am I wearing make-up (ugh) and I still bite my nails - so I'm sure I don't fall into the 'she'll eat her young' scary-lady.

So what is it that gives a suit power? Or is everyone just wearing jammies?

(pub 27/7)

Posted by ShoZu

eeeee!!!! Mollie Makes!

Found - would you believe it?? - in Morissons.

48 Ways to style my home with Thrifty Finds? YES PLEASE. (case in point: green broth cup thing, 20p from a boot fair)

Thank you, Tilly, Karen & Dibs for the heads up ... more printed word love in the house. *beams happily*

(originally posted 12/07/2011)

Posted by ShoZu

Saturday, 6 August 2011

... Shop Yourself Holy, 2nd July 2011

Woohoo!! Another catch-up post! It's so liberating (hee hee ... I typed 'liverating' --- WTF??) to post stuff that's been sitting, unedited & unloved, in my bloggy outbox :)

So, here goes. The Saturday in question was one of shopping yumminess. Rob had ventured out for a Saturday night of Foo Fighters, supported by Biffy Clyro, supported by Death Cab for Cutie, supported by (um) someone else. I wasn't jealous at all. Never mind that the tickets had been bought & paid for by his BFF in 2010 .... I wasn't jealous. not even 98% happy, 2 % jealous. Not. Jealous. At. All.

In an effort, therefore, to assuage my not-at-all-jealousness, I went shopping in South West London (Morden, Mitcham & Tooting, specifically) ... and found:

This 80s-tastic Dressmaking encyclopaedia,  £2
Add caption
A big black sari scarf/wrap and a gorgeous sarong/tablecloth/whoknowswhat, £6
Miscellaneous buttons (some still on their cards, SWOON)
and some supercool organisers, + some books £4
Stunning print, revolting 80s dress - REFASHION!
... and some seam binding, £4.20
Oh, how I LOVE these containers ...
my local pound shop stopped stocking them :(
£1.25 each in Tooting, baby!
(PS LOOKKIT Jack in the background :D)

I love Lidl.
If I'm going to buy (new) mass-produced stuff,
at least I'm skewing their sales stats by buying sewing gear :)
Elastic + Thread + Bobbins + Needles, £6
Some lovely stretchystripeystuff from one of the
many stalls in the two markets in Tooting (Tooting Market),  2m @ £4/m
In conclusion, y'honour, I'd like to say that South London rocks and it might be time to organise a group shop to the somewhat sticky streets of Tooting. Bookended by the two Wimbledon Sewing Machine shops (South Wimbledon & Balham), whose oddly interchangeable names have always struck me as mighty odd. 

OOOHOOOHOOOOH! And and and and the place in Mitcham that I bought the buttons & organisers from has the most STUNNING shop counter table thing ... um ... they're called .... um, a Haberdashery Shop Counter? Anyway. They have one, and the lady serving me mentioned that they were going to be replacing it soon as the drawers tended to fall onto the feet of the little old ladies serving customers (not nice, owowow!). Rob might leave me for this, but I gave her my number and practically begged ('practically'??? nonono ... 'SERIOUSLY') her to call me when they were ready so that I could buy the old one off them. HELLOOOOOO gorgeous!

Not the same one. But you get the picture.