Monday, August 31, 2009

Seersucker delight

The Jorth family are heading off overseas for two months (I know! Eeeeeeeee!) in a couple of weeks, and I've been one busy beaver, trying to organise and plan it all. I thought I had it all under control until the other day when I was riffling through Grumble's drawers, trying to find something summery for her to wear as we were having an unseasonably warm day.

Then it dawned on me - she has no summery clothes. None that fit, anyway. And whilst I was completely on top of her travel wardrobe, the poor little scamp was going to come home in the middle of an Australian summer with scarely a thing to cover herself with.

So three cheers for Ottobre Magazine for coming to our rescue. I knew just what to make: the ubercute summer dress pattern from the 3/2009 issue, and I also had to hand some of the most incredible seersucker I've ever laid eyes on (heh heh, one of the perks of working in a fabric store!)

Seriously, this seersucker is the best! If I could marry this seersucker, I would, because it truly is that wonderfully brilliant! It sewed like a dream, and shall be perfect for those crazy summer days we're expected to have this year. I don't know about you, but I'm not looking forward to those 46 C days again...

Speaking of again, I'll be making this dress up again and again. It took all of two hours, and was so easy peasy, yet looks so good. The hardest part was doing the rolled hems on the sleeves, yet even those were a breeze with this fabric. Everybody who has seen the dress has done the "oooh, ahhh!" thing (most gratifyingly, I must say!) and I've even got some orders put in from the other kinder mums. Nothing beats the kinder mum stamp of approval, I say!

Anyhoo, enough babbling: I'll let the results speak for themselves:

Project details

Pattern: Three Way Dress pattern from Ottobre 3/2009, size 110 cm

Fabric: Japanese seersucker from Tessuti Fabrics, 60 cm of main body fabric, and 45 cm of contrasting fabric

Notions: 130 cm grosgrain ribbon

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happiness is a scarf with pom poms

I mean, seriously, what's not to love? I think I need a pom pom scarf!

Project Details
Pattern: Both hat and scarf are from Phildar Pitchoun Automne-Hiver 2006-2007

Needles: 6mm for scarf, and 4.5mm for hat

Notes: The hat was knitted using double strands of the yarn.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pattern review: Vogue 8468

Fabric: $10 special fabric from Tessuti Fabrics

Pattern Description: Vogue 8468 Loose-fitting, A-line, lined dress, mid-knee has self-lined yoke with back button and loop closure, back zipper and stitched hem.

Pattern Sizing: I made the size 8

Did it look like the drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done? Not really, because of course I had to do an alteration or two (cough, cough).

Were the instructions easy to follow: They were easy enough, but I didn't like the construction method used. The pattern instructions call for you to assemble the dress front and back and lining - complete with understitching - prior to adding the sleeve, but this, I feel, creates unnecessary bulk, as you are essentially sewing the sleeve onto a half-finished sleeve opening. If I made this again, I would assemble the dress sans facing, then assemble the lining and then sew the lining to the dress in the usual fashion.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I shortened the dress by 13 cm as it felt too bulky in the fabric I used. I really should have used a lovely soft floaty fabric, which would have looked much better, but what can I say - I loved the fabric, especially the colour, and was determined to make this dress in it.

Once I tried it on I realised that this fabric wasn't quite right for this pattern. In fact, my husband said it looked like a very bad church choir vestment, and then helpfully suggested that I belt out numbers from Sister Act whenever I wore it. After that comment I took to it with the scissors!

I also didn't add the sleeve flares, and increased the sleeve length by 12 cm.

Would you sew this again? Nah. How many church choir dresses does a girl really need?

Conclusion: This dress is growing on me, but I made the mistake of trying to the make the fabric fit the pattern, because I looooooved the colour. As a result, without the belt it's frump city! I'm so sorry, fabric. I did you wrong. I really should have given you a pattern you deserved. Forgive me!

I also made it a wee bit too short. Without the leggings, it's undie city. Not exactly the look I was going for.

Still, with the belt cinching in the waist and the leggings and the cool fuschia colour, it's a pretty darn good rock chick dress. Not what I envisioned, but I'm oddly very happy with it.

And I must say that I'm still in love with the fabric. It's so comfy to wear, and the colour is just incredible. I feel quite glamorous walking around in such a beautiful slinky shade of fuschia!

Now if only I could do something about the dreadful hairdo I'm sporting in the photo. What was I thinking?!?!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Clever green design posters

Greenpeace Australia recently held a design competion, with the brief being 'Be a Part of the Action'. According to the website, they wanted the posters, above all, to raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire action.

I'd say the above finalists did a pretty darn good job of that! Click here to check out the other entries. Link via Make Wealth History.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Tree Planting

Sunday dawned bright and sunny, and... oh, heck. Who am I kidding? It dawned windy, chilly and miserable, and seemed determined to stay that way. It was a poor looking day for tree planting, and my cajoling wasn't swaying the Galumph at all.

"Trust me!", I beseeched, "You'll love it when you get there!"

"Trust me!", he answered, "I am quite content in my pyjamas, and not freezing my behind off in that", waving an arm towards the window, which gave an opportune rattle in support.

Still, I must have some tricks up my sleeve after all these years together (either that, or it was the continual wailing of "But what will my readers think if we don't turn up? I'll be lynched the green blogging brigade. Waaaaaaahhhhhhh!") because we were soon out in the wintry day, pedalling like mad to get to the tree planting. After being shown the ropes, we were sent off to a far corner of the reserve, and a-planting we did go.

And do you know what? It was brilliant fun. Sure, our butts were soon oddly sore from all the squatting, and after a while I couldn't feel my fingers, and Grumbles, in her valiant attempts to help, kept sloshing filthy tree planting water all over us, but it was great! We soon had rosy cheeks from the exertion, and met some fabulous people, and I even got my falafels at the end of it.

The only concern was the wind. It was blowing like mad, and I kept glancing up at the gum trees towering above us, suddenly remembering EVERY SINGLE STORY I've ever read or heard about people being suddenly killed by limbs dropping in strong winds, heads split open like over ripe watermelons (ok, so I've never quite heard of the head split thing, but when I suspect danger my imagination goes into overdrive). "Bright side, Jorthy, bright side!", I muttered to myself. "Let the equation go like this: we're doing a good deed, all three of us, which makes it good deed times three. That's a lot of good karma points. I'm sure I won't be walloped by a falling branch when I'm doing a good thing for the environment and the whole entire world in general. Huzzah! I'll be safe!"

And to top off a most excellent day these lovely guys fixed all our bikes FOR FREE! When they are not hanging out at tree planting days, they can be found at Human Powered Cycles. Get 'em to check out your bike, as they really know their stuff. Tell them the crazy girl with the Townie sent you. I'm sure they'll know who you mean.

The blue beauty finally getting some attention. Apparently I've been a very bad bike owner. Oops!