Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Black Drapey done!


Well, angels or no angels, I finally got my black Drape Drape dress done. I found it was a wee bit longer than I wanted it to be, so I gathered it up some more, and teamed it with a belt. Voila! Snazzy black drape drape dress in a length that suits me!

Project Details
No. 17 drape drape dress from Drape Drape Japanese pattern book
Fabric: 3m of Birdie Black Orbit, a viscose jersey blend from Tessuti Fabrics (yes, 3m does seem like a lot, but there is bucket loads of draping in this)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I gave you my heart and then you ate it

Heart Toast

Nothing, I've always maintained, but nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day!" more than eggy heart shaped toast. Thanks, Galumph!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Where angels, alas, are too bored to tread

The elder angel sat with his younger charge, both of them stretching out luxuriously on the wide oak branch, watching the cars zoom along the distant road. "See, now, that's the problem with the world these days" said the elder. "Everybody is in such a darn hurry. I long for the 16th century, when I could happily fly over to check on my favourite wee villages in England, and find the same group of reliable, God-fearing folk, busily going about their day-to-day business, most often outside. Yea, many was the happy day I spent watching over them all, listening with pleasure to the simple thoughts they had. The best part was how they cared about each other, you know? But now all I can hear is the roar of engines and motors as the humans rush about their business. If only they could realise that just being human is one of the nicest parts of existence, and take some time to slow down and enjoy it".

The younger angel gazed at his mentor with rapturous attention, and murmured his assent. He always enjoyed hearing the tales of days gone by, especially from such experienced angels such as this one, who seemed to have been there and seen it all. They sat in companionable silence, save for a fleeting visit by their friend the east wind who rustled gently through the leaves of the oak on his way through, when the elder said "Come - let us depart, and make haste! I know somebody who, although often in a rush, does have some interesting thoughts. Let us fly!"

And so they flew, whipping from their perch to soar along the very edge of the earth, like two blasts of pure speeding light. In a timeless moment they were outside the window of Jorth, who was looking with dismay at her latest dress, wondering what exactly she could do to salvage it. The elder angel whispered in a glorious voice that could be heard, if chosen to be listened to, throughout both heaven and hell, but passed human ears by completely: "This one often has the most fascinating thoughts bouncing through her head. Sometimes she even gets close - well, as close as a human can - to sensing the divine, but it always slips outs of her grasp at the instant she becomes aware of it. Let us see what she is thinking of today."

Leaning closer in, both angels concentrated on Jorth's thoughts, which unfortunately today went along the lines of "Bloody heck! This thing is a mess! What AM I doing to do to fix it? Stupid, stupid thing. Gaaaaaaaaah!"

Despite the angels listening for quite some time ("After all, said the angel, "despite the fact we have eternity, I really can't hang around and listen to that all day") no further thoughts of interest were forthcoming.

"Oh well", said the elder, smiling down at his young charge. "You win some, you lose some. Yes, I do miss the 16th century days..."

As they flew off, Jorth looked up suddenly from her sewing, convinced she had seen a flash of light. Or was it the sound of the lightest footfall? Or perhaps a feather, fluttering gently down in the air? Shaking the fancies out of her head, she bent her head back down to her work, muttering once more "Gah! Stupid thing!"


Friday, February 04, 2011

Warning: mopey Jorth ahead


Jorth walked home, feeling the bittersweet tugging of her heart over the first day back at school. For the last 6 weeks she had been shadowed by a very talkative companion, who was now happily sitting cross-legged in her new classroom, staring enamoured at her teacher whilst Jorth let herself into the house alone.

The silence was heavy, despite the cheerful working music being played, as the dishes were done, the beds were made, the floor swept. Once the daily jobs were finished Jorth thought about sitting on the couch and feeling a wee bit lonely and sorry for herself, just for a quiet minute or two, but shook her head determinedly and set about composing the shopping list. Rolls for burgers, yoghurt, milk, salad leaves were written down. She did not write "Man I miss her chatter", even though she did.

Shopping done, Jorth returned home, and checked the mailbox herself. It was a much quieter procedure, doing it herself, and Jorth missed the clamour of the box being opened, exclamations over the presence of mail, and the mail box door being slammed shut. "Get a grip, Jorth!" she muttered. "She's happy, healthy and having a great time. She's growing up, and that is how it's meant to be. Now find something to do, and get over this mopeyness!"

Later that afternoon, after a very dull and quiet lunch, she sat and picked up her sewing. Pinning some pieces together, she pricked her finger with a blunt pin. "Dammit!" said Jorth, as a drop of blood oozed out, and the tears welled in her eyes. Putting the sewing down on the table and sucking on her finger, Jorth let the tears fall unbidden.


The strange thing is I actually feel much more cheerful after writing that. Talk about blog therapy! Here's hoping that all my readers who have little ones back at school have a good first day (mums, dads and kids) and a great year ahead.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Static Wriggle Dress

The senior detective lent back on his chair, and fixed Jorth with a baleful glare. "So, young lady" he said. "You've come in here declaring yourself to be the perfect candidate for the undercover surveillance position at the Vogue Patterns Archival Museum*. There's a cabal entrenched in there that are making sure valuable vintage patterns are never allowed to see the light of day, and we're determined to smash the ring preventing the sewing public from accessing and using them."

The detective paused the fill his pipe up with tobacco. Jorth sat impassively, watching him go through his particular brand of pipe-lighting ceremony, and used the time to ponder the job being discussed. It was horrid to think of all those gorgeous vintage patterns that were not being allowed to see the light of day. In a world that was overrun with slovenly dressers who thought that a g-string hanging out of saggy stained tracky daks paired with a too-tight t-shirt that was embellished with glittery lettered statements such as "Wannabe P0rn Star", classy design-driven vintage patterns were more important than ever! Jorth was determined to play a part in their rescue.

Finally, encased in a haze of blue smoke the detective started up again. With a hard look at Jorth he said "Listen up: not only will you need sewing experience and vintage pattern knowledge, but you'll also have to look the part and never let them suspect that you are working for the Vintage Pattern Wiki Freedom Squad**. How do we know that you can keep your cool?"

Jorth threw him a confident smile and said "Why, sir - I'm so darn cool that my dress has it's own built in air-conditioning. When do I start?"

After admiring the back of her dress, the detective grinned then pressed the intercom button on his desk. "Mandy? Organise the employment papers for Miss Jorth here. I think we've found our gal!"


Project Details
Pattern: McCalls 5845 (ugh! Out of Print, it appears)
Fabric: 1.15m Japanese cotton "Kobe Static Grey" from Tessuti Fabrics (sold out now, alas!), plus 1.15m silk/cotton voile for lining.
Notions: 30cm zip, hook and eye

I quite like how this dress is rather demure at the front, but a bit "hey, momma!" at the back. And, yes, it is nice and breezy on the back on a hot day! Not bad for a remnant piece.

The one change I did make was to sew my darts on the inside, instead of out the outside like the instructions requested. Forgive me, McCalls pattern designers, but I just thought that was a completely daft design concept. I felt it would make it look like you didn't KNOW that darts were meant to be on the inside. Plus, how would they sit nicely? Huh? Sorry, but no outside darts for me.

*Totally made it up. But wouldn't it be cool to be let in amongst all those vintage Vogue patterns for a day that I'm sure they have stored away somewhere. Or a week.
**Fighting the good fight on behalf of cloistered vintage patterns everywhere.