Sunday, June 26, 2011

The internet is an amazing place and no matter how much trouble it gets me into -- time wasted on Facebook, buying things I can't afford etc -- I am still drawn to it for it's absolute wealth of information at my fingertips.

This week I found a series of tutorials by a fellow Aussie The Haby Goddess who seems to own the same machine as me (or my mum's). She explained how to use the other foot attachments (feet?) that come with your machine. I know I could have looked it up in the book but just seeing it illustrated with clear photos made me go "Yes, I own one of those!" The picture above shows the blind hem foot.

Source: via Jane on Pinterest

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What baby? I don't have a baby up my shirt!

So many great patterns go out of print and yet...this is available should you want to smuggle your baby into a kitchen somewhere.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Grandmother: Style Icon

This lady reminds me of my maternal Grandmother. She was a stylish woman in her day and when she was older was always on the lookout for fashion and accessories. She verged on the outlandish and her make-up became a bit scatty as she aged but I always loved her exhuberant style and her splash of red lipstick.

Oddly, and you may find this macabre, but when we went to see her body when she died, my mother and I both exclaimed at the same time, "Oh! She looks beautiful!" Her hair and make-up had been done impeccably and I was so happy for her. I knew she would have been absolutely chuffed to know she looked gorgeous at the last.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Delivery: MyUSshopnship

My Loot!
Well I got a delivery from MyUSshopnship and it was VERY exciting. It had all sorts of patterns (all vintage or out-of-print), fabric samples and 3 yards of wool fabric to make a jacket. Most of the purchases were from places that didn't ship to Australia so in that respect it worked really well. I don't think it saved money by having them consolidate the orders so I won't use it to save on postage unless the international postage is ridiculous.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Finished Project: Sunday Brunch Jacket

Pattern: Sunday Brunch Jacket by Oliver + S (out of print)*
Fabric: Wide Wale Corduroy in emerald green, $2 per metre at Spotlight
Made for: Miss Five

This is a great jacket. The actual construction of the jacket was very fast but I came unstuck on the Hong Kong binding to finish the seams. I'm not happy with how the binding turned out but it doesn't ruin the look of the jacket. I ended up hand sewing all the binding down which took ages but was kind of therapeutic.

I used new fusible interfacing for this project, sheerweft, and I'm in love! No more cheap, crappy interfacing for me! It's not cheap -- about $10-$12 per metre -- but I bought some from McCalls when they were having a 50% off sale for Sew Loyal Club members. It's strong but keeps the drape of the fabric and fuses really well. I don't know why I always just accepted the stuff I was sold over all these years?? I noticed you can buy this from Lincraft. Not sure about Spotty.

I used a rolled up towel as a pressing ham for the collar and shoulders. This seemed to work quite well and I was really happy with the shape.

The buttons: Aren't the buttons great? I was actually showing my daughter a photo of No Big Dill's version of the Sunday Brunch Jacket in wide wale cord to show her how it would look and she fell in love with the buttons! So I hunted around and amazingly found them.

The instructions show you how to bind the seams and it doesn't include a lining but next time I might be tempted to line it. And perhaps give bound buttonholes a go!
*This pattern is out of print but I noticed on the Oliver + S forum that Liesl is thinking of making her out of print patterns available via pdf download.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back to it: Works in Progress

Oh. my. goodness. The last three weeks I have been working about 30 hours a week which has needed to be during baby's nap time, after Miss Five has gone to bed and on the weekend. Which has meant every spare minute has been working except for my posts here on body image which were kind of work related. I wrote five articles on cosmetic surgery and an article on eating disorders which had my mind whirring about body dissatisfaction.

But I have submitted all articles and the only things left to do for work are one article due end of this week and any corrections my editor wants.

So, yesterday I got some sewing in, yay!! I started a Sunday Brunch Jacket for Miss Five which was going along nicely until I got to binding the seams. I have never used bias binding, can you imagine? I tried making my own first up which was highly unsuccessful. The  I found some vintage bias binding in my mum's notions cabinet which she gave me (ha, don't tell her I called something of hers vintage) which is actually not wide enough but as it was a Public Holiday and I couldn't run to the shop, I tried to make it fit. Not a great result but not too bad. I need a finished project so I decided not to fuss about the binding. I hand-sewed a few bits that didn't catch and since my mum made me learn to hand sew before I learnt on a machine my hand sewing is pretty unnoticeable.

I'm hoping to have that finished today and then I'll start a floor quilt for Bubba.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Body Image: Why are other women women's biggest critics?

Why as women do we criticise other women so much? Too fat, too thin, too rich, too poor, stay-at-home mum bludger, working mum abandoning kids...It goes on and on and it is so self-defeating!

Let me just say, I think Miranda Kerr looks amazing. Why do we then criticise her for being attractive and a working mum? She must be a horrible mum if she is so beautiful and works too!! Are we jealous because she 'bounced' back after childbirth and we can't? As this article says, if you are fit and lean before pregnancy then you will go back to your pre-birth shape much more easily. I was fat and lazy when I fell pregnant so why would I expect to spring back to some gorgeous model shape 6 months afterwards? Also, my career doesn't depend on me looking gorgeous, otherwise I'd be in dire straits but Miranda's career does so she had some incentive.

She has her baby with her when she works and is still breastfeeding him which is a feat for any woman. Only about 23% of women are still breastfeeding at 6 months. She can so she does, I applaud that. Not everyone can, which is fine.

The media certainly has a lot to answer for. We see more women like Miranda than we do the average woman who doesn't make a living out of the way she looks. And magazines are notorious for using a bit of photoshop to slash those kilos.

Last year Mia Freedman posted about Kourtney Kardashian and the image photoshopping after she gave birth. When you look at the before and after it really is ridiculous. I much prefer the before the magazine art department got their hands on it. She is nestling her baby close to her body and her head is bent towards him in a sign of maternal love. After the 'touch-up" we have her strangely holding her newborn away from her body with her head turned away. She looks like she doesn't want anything to do with the child. I would much prefer to see a woman loving her baby.
and a photo of Jools Oliver - this is how a real woman looks like 7 days after delivering a baby.

I had no idea when I had my first that your stomach still looked like you were pregnant!!

So let's ease up on each other, ok?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Too Matchy-Matchy?

My five year old dressed herself then came to me with an unsure look on her face and asked: "Is this too 'matchy-matchy'"?

Now, this isn't something I say which makes me wonder what Kindergarten girls talk about at recess? "Don't you hate the school uniform? It's so matchy-matchy."

Or, maybe she has secretly been watching Project Runway? (Highly unlikely) Now, I don't watch Project Runway but there is an article in The Age today Too Matchy For Heidi Klum. Apparently that is one of the criticisms of the judges -- It's too matchy-matchy.

But Revlon has taken on the matchy-matchy police by reinventing it's iconic 1952 ad for 'Fire and Ice' -- matching 'lips and tips' -- with Jessica Biel.

Best of all, the collection features what is sure to become a collector's item - a lipstick, in classic red All Fired Up, in a silver vintage case with the original "'Revlon'' logo in cursive script across the gold band. It's $25.95. The matching nail polish ($15.95) also features the vintage Revlon logo. And everything matches
The big question of the article is:

Could you see yourself - bring your fashionable self - to wear matching lips and nails (fingers and toes)? I can. I can use Mad Men to justify it to Michael Kors if necessary. I like it. Stuff cutting edge. Bring back ladylike polish.
I have to be honest. Even before this non-matchy matchy movement, I always had a deep or bright tone on my toes and a neutral but complementary shade on my nails. I guess I thought toes could be more strident but nails look best demure. But I love this fashion dilemma. Mad Men or Project Runway? I like both ways to be honest. I like my shoes to be a statement so they often don't match the rest of the outfit. But vintage lips and tips is gorgeous too. 

Or then there is world poverty, child soldiers, women in muslim countries...probably better things to think long and hard about.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fashion File: Advice, Tips and Inspiration from the Costumer Designer of Mad Men, Janie Bryant

Source: via Jane on Pinterest

Fashion File: Advice, Tips and Inspiration from the Costumer Designer of Mad MenJanie Bryant isn't a new book but the SMH had an article on it today and quoted Janie Bryant as advocating having your clothes tailored for you because the key to fashion is fit. Here here! I thought it interesting to hear her take on why the 1960s fashion (and I'd say 1950s) is so popular and she said because they flattered women's bodies.
And here are her picks on 1960s styles for modern wardrobes

The sexy sheath: This body-skimming dress hugs the bust and hips and is ideal on hourglass figures.
Cigarette pants: Preferably in black, these flat-front, slim-cut pants that taper at the ankle are more elegant and wearable than capris.
A shirtwaist dress: Choose a classic tailored style with a nipped waist and full skirt.
A twin set: A cashmere shell and matching cardigan are day-wear essentials.
A string of pearls: Jackie Kennedy often wore a luminous pearl necklace, and many women owned them in varying lengths and styles. Brooches, too, were an accessory staple for sweaters, jackets and dresses.

Body Image: Achieving the impossible?

Cosmetic surgery is a booming industry with an increase in teenagers seeking to conform by eradicating 'abnormal' body features or seeking to replicate the models in the magazines. According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) 400,000 teens had some form of cosmetic procedure, and an estimated 210,000 elective plastic surgeries.

This short Australian film shows a young woman getting ready for a date given the ability to mold herself like clay to achieve her ideal body and face.

Watch it. It is only 6 minutes.

Plastic - Short Film from Plastic the Film on Vimeo.

Interior Designing

Ok, so it's not sewing but it is along the same theme of sewing, I think, in that it uses combinations of colour, patterns, fabrics etc to create a unique look.

We have just moved into a rental that is nice -- I know! Crazy huh -- and I hope we can be here for a while. The decor of the house is very neutral which is great because you can't change a rental so if the curtains and paint etc sucks you are stuck with it. So even though we can't paint to personalise our home, the neutral decor gives me a very nice blank canvas to add some personal touches.

I have been collecting images of looks I love for children's rooms. The problem is. My eldest is five and has a mind of her own. So it isn't really fair of me to decorate her room to my taste but her taste right now is...different to mine. She wants a Hannah Montana doona cover and posters of Justin Bieber and hot pink and purple. I want vintage, floral, hand-made, classic, sea greens and ombre details.

Anyway. I hope we can come to some kind of agreement that gives her room to explore her own tastes and interests and me room to...ummm...impose my tastes and interests on her ;)

Here are some pictures I'm loving right now for ideas for her room.

Source: via Jane on Pinterest

Source: via Jane on Pinterest

Source: via Jane on Pinterest

Most of it she is probably on board with but in different colours. Fortunately Amy Butler has released a wallpaper range:

I think Miss Five and I can come to some kind of arrangement.And let's not forget I have a sewing room/home office to decorate!! And another daughter who isn't old enough to speak ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

For Pretty Sake

Isn't this gorgeous? I love green depression glass and have a collection of it. This obviously isn't true depression era but is that lovely green and it's topped with a pin cushion!! Cute! I don't really care what the eau de parfum smells like. I just want the bottle!