Thursday, 27 September 2012

Home Sewn

I went to the Home Sewn exhibition, a pop-up exhibition celebrating New Zealand home sewing.  It was pretty well done, but small.  There were about 30 odd dresses, from the 1930's to now.  Here are a couple of my favorites

 This one was so cute, and impeccably sewn.  I love the green contrast on the bodice and pockets. 
 I liked the cut-on sleeves on this one, and the belt is homemade as well.  Very cute. 
 This was a very simple sheath dress, but I thought the shaping on the side was genius.  It had two panels curved in to add shape to the bodice.  I haven't seen anything like it. 
 Finally, they had a few cases of 'treasures' most of it I had seen before, but this trouser presser was new to me.  My husband can't even get me to iron his shirts, never mind press creases in his pants.  I don't really get how this can make life easier though, wouldn't an iron be almost as good?
The main reason I went to the exhibit though was to buy the book.  They published a book with the history of home-sewing and fashion in New Zealand.  As an added bonus, there are 10 patterns from 10 different designers in NZ.  Papercut Patterns has a great skirt pattern in it that I'm dying to try.  After the exhibit I went to a little coffee shop around the corner, in Queen's Arcade, they have the best coffee and coconut rough slices in Auckland.  The book is great, well worth the money.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Seamless Pledge

I'm the featured pledger today on Len's awesome blog Seamless.  As I said there I'm still committed to the pledge, with the occasional slip. I work full-time and try to spend as much time as possible with my little one, so I do the best I can.  It's carried over to other aspects of our life.  We moved to New Zealand to try to become less consumption focused, and we try to avoid buying things, except what we really need.  I'm sure as the little one grows he'll become more demanding, but for now he doesn't care.

I have been sewing (slowly)  I attended a great sewing retreat yesterday, organized by Ange and Anissa.  I spent most of my time basting organza to wool for my upcoming peplum top, but I also cut out stencils to make my son some new t-shirts/singlets.  I bought him a Spiderman t-shirt a week ago, and he's been wearing it non-stop.  Instead of buying him more expensive (and gaudy) superhero t-shirts I decided to make some myself with plain shirts.  Here he is in his Superman t-shirt.

And his best superman impression:

He loves it.  I also made his pants, elephant pants v.2.0 (the first pair was pants, became high-waders and then shorts as he grew).  I also need to stop cutting his hair myself . . .

(Edited to add additional photo and expand text)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

My sewing space - before picture

I was so excited to come home today to a little package in the mailbox, my new sewing fabric!  I know the keep calm thing has been done to death, but I love it :)  . 
I have decided to do a mini-sewing area makeover to make it a bit prettier.  Here is what my sewing corner looks like now:

My current sewing space is a corner of our kitchen, so I share my storage space with plates and bowls.  When we moved in I took over the closed-in porch as a sewing space, but it was too cold, and small, so now it's just fabric storage.  I have a very understanding husband. 

It's a little cramped.  The desk is on sliders, so I can slide it out a bit.  The frame on the wall has a 4"x4" (10cmx10cm) cross-stitch of my face, my husband has a matching one.  When he was living in NZ and I was in the States I used to fly on points to visit him, 30 hours each way.  I did most of the cross stitches on the journey.  

 I keep my current projects in two bins in the buffet.  The other two doors hold our dishes. 

My plans are pretty basic, as we're moving into a new place in 3-4 months.  I am going to paint and recover the stool with the awesome keep calm fabric. 
I'm also going to paint the desk white, with two metallic stripes that cross on the top.  I'll get new handles as well.   It's finally starting to warm up here, so I'm hoping that I'll get the painting done by October.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Burdastyle Dress 08/2012 #115

I needed a casual, comfortable dress for weekends, and I have been dying to make a peplum top, so I made Burdastyle 08/2012 #115 as a 'wearable muslin' (well, I first made an unwearable muslin, then made the dress).  It was quick and dirty.  Serged edges inside, machine stitched hem.  The only thing I hand-stitched was the zipper and the hook and eye.  The pattern includes lines to cut off the skirt into a peplum, so that's what I'll be undertaking in the next couple of weeks.

I was too cheap/lazy to get an invisible zipper, so I did a hand picked zipper instead.  I quite like the look.

I wore it today to Wynyard Quarter, a newly re-vamped industrial area of Auckland.  It's Auckland fashion week and unbeknownst to us they were having a big fashion event (sale?) in the building behind me.  The fashionistas were out in full force, and I can say that not a one was wearing a floral dress with bare legs.  I guess I'm ahead of the curve, or something . .  .
The other benefit of Wynyard Quarter is that the Auckland fish market is there, so we stopped for fish and chips before heading home.  Here's Mr. RP, wearing a homemade merino t.  The little one did not appreciate the pause for a picture.  
Here are some more shots of the dress.
I'm not a huge fan of the proportions.  I don't own any full skirt dresses, and I think they just aren't very flattering for my shape.  I added the belt to break up the pattern a bit, it's quite overpowering.  I also chopped the sleeves off at 3/4 length.  Initially I had them at full length and they were awful.  I don't own any dresses with full length sleeves, and I think it's the same thing, just not a flattering look on my figure. 

The back hem is a bit longer than the front.  I'm not sure if that's what the pattern intended, but the waistline has the same shape.  I like the mini high-low look that's going on, so I'm not going to fix it.  I do need to lower the waistline about an inch all around though.  I did lower it 3/4" from the original, but I think it's still too high.