365 days without shopping!

Let's be honest girls...we buy too many clothes. This year I have decided to put an end to my constant clothing consumption and re-invent, re-work and recycle my own wardrobe and the wardrobes around me. I will only wear clothes made by my own hands, exchanged / borrowed from a friend (or friendly stranger) or salvaged secondhand. And so starts my good fashion choices, even if I'm only making them for myself.

Friday, December 31, 2010

No New Years Resolutions Here

Happy New Year Everyone! Has it been a whole year already? ‘Far out Barbie!’ I hope you are all relaxing and enjoying some time off!

While this is a great time of year to be reflecting on the year that’s been and look ahead at the year to come, I can’t help but feel I’ve been a little lazy this year and am hesitant about sitting down and writing down some goals. I tend to start projects all guns blazing, peak too soon and run out of puff quite quickly. This is particularly how I feel towards this blog. I think I’ve spent more time staring guiltily at my keyboard, imagining myself tapping passionately away at it’s keys, than actually sitting down and nutting it out. I’ve also been avoiding questions from friends that start with ‘How’s your blog thing going…?’
Although I have sewn more than I ever before…written reams more than in previous years… and organised swap events that have raised money for charity… OH and I did go a whole YEAR without buying new clothes!
            What am I talking about? I have been good this year! I got married, finished uni and set up a home. I even bought a second-hand wedding dress for crying out loud! I also managed to sell it again, only yesterday, to a beautiful bride up the north coast who loves it just as much as I do.
            I think that maybe by the second half of the year this project had become lifestyle and didn’t seem like such a sacrifice or blog worthy news. I think my first goal for this year is going to be cutting myself some slack and just keep striving for what I’m passionate about, regardless of what the results might look like short term. I will be doing a little clothes shopping though. But I am by no means dying to run out to the shops and buy a whole new wardrobe. In fact only the other day I was doing a massive clean out of my wardrobe and still thinking I had way too many clothes, even though I haven’t purchased any new ones FOR A WHOLE YEAR!
            Thank you to everyone that made doing this project so fun and inspiring! Special mention to my resident sewing-fixer-up-er-er: my mum, Kristy Rigg, Aziza Green, Karina Hancock, Joanne Yan, Georgia Lee, Kiara-Ra-Ra and of course my incredibly lateral thinking husband, who thinks my most banal ideas are pure genius!

I will continue to post sewing projects and updates as they come, as long as they don’t interfer with my no. 1 goal for this year ;)

Much love and I’ll chat to you soon,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flower Girl Dress

Like a delicate winter snowflake or precarious spring butterfly, a flower girls’ dress lasts but one day. This is, I think, part of their charm. And so I searched every fabric store in the city, to find the perfect matching fabric for this miniature dress (I may have wanted to create a mini-me, just for a day). I ended up finding the French lace in a remnant bin at Tessuti fabrics and was rather chuffed with myself.  I got to the counter and the lovely sales assistant was so distracted by my ring , she undercharged me by quite a bit. When I tried to interject her praises, I was cut off by stories of when her daughter got married. Not a topic to be interrupted! Needless to say I practically skipped all the way down Reservoir street. 

With the little piece finally finished (it’s rather difficult to do fittings on a three year old as it turns out) I couldn’t wait to show the ‘princess’ herself –Georgia Lee. The night before the big day I finished off the covered buttons, pressed it and hung it on a pink, satin hanger (or my mum did all that, I can't remember) all ready for the big reveal.
On the morning of the princess arrived a little late and abruptly announced (whilst holding her aching ear), 

‘Mummy, I don’t want to get married today!’


I was convinced we weren’t going to get her down the aisle. Her usual giggly demeanour, had been taken over by sobs and scowls. That was until, we put her in the dress. She went from this...
To this...

In the time it takes to say silk-satin, tulip skirt!
Sorry I don't have a very clear picture of it for you. As flowers and handbag and Bride Barbie and Groom Ken, had to go with us everywhere.
Next up...The Wedding Dress!
Photos courtesy of Andrew James Photography

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Kitchen Tea/Coffee Date Dress

Why must we always do this to ourselves? We have an important event coming up, which of course justifies a new outfit. So we drag out our sewing machines, blow the dust off and away we go. With the lofty aspirations of the innocent we trawl the net for patterns, select that 'oh so perfect' fabric, lay it out and introduce it to our scissors. We bask in our own cleverness, imagining the complements we will receive when we spin the line 'Oh thanks I made it myself'.  Then we sew for our lives, right up until... that insurmountable snag!
     It could be a sizing issue, a pattern piece missing or a zipper that just won't zip. But low and behold 'that' moment happens, when you reach for the quick-unpick (yet again) and your arm spasms! You think it's just a cramp until you look down at the rest of your body and it to is convulsing, in the manner of a small petulant child, when it doesn't get it's way. 

Am I speaking to you? Or is this just me in a crumpled heap on the floor?

I don't know why (okay maybe i do) but every time I set out on a project I seem to overlook:

a) my skill set
b) my available free time
c) my sewing machine's capacity
d) every past project I've ever made

  I made this dress (featured above) for my kitchen tea, from the famous Burda Coffee Date Dress pattern. I was still sewing it as the first guests arrived bearing cellophane-clad goodies.  But it's okay, everything turned out alright in the end, except for the zipper, which no-one notices anyway right? 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Two Shoes

I bet you thought I'd died or something right...?

Well between work, study and planning a wedding I think I almost did!
But I'm back in business and can't wait to show you all what I've been up to.
First up are these too cute shoes I have embellished for my flower girl. That's right, not only am I going to sew, swap & salvage my way through this wedding but I'm taking the bridal party down with me! 
I had some left over crystals from the bridesmaids shoes and knew the extra bling would go down nicely with the little 3 year old princess. The only problem now is I have to stop myself from eating them, they're so darn cute! I have put a tin of French mints next to them, just in case.
much love,

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm Engaged!

I'M ENGAGED!!!!!!!!
And getting married very, very soon! Did someone say winter wedding?
As I sit here writing this the temperature is literally dropping and I can't quite fathom how or where I'm going to find/make winter knits, leather boots or some non-stinky, vintage fur. But then it dawns on me...
I have to find a wedding dress!
Do I have time to make one? Will I go secondhand? Does anyone have a spare dress they would swap?
Ohh heck...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I was selected!

Well I did it! My skirt was selected to go on the catwalk at the Melbourne Stitches and Craft Show
I'm going to ignore the fact that only 17 people entered and hold my head up high while I post off my creation to be judged by the sewing world. Thanks to everyone who voted for me, I know it wasn't a straight forward process ;)
Now I just have to wait till May for the results...arghhh.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Formal Alligator Skirt

Well it's FINALLY here! The skirt I made for the BurdaStyle/ Tessuti Fabric competition. I did make it in time for the 2nd of April deadline (barely) and with the help of my usual peeps (mum, boyfriend, even my dad tried to help me take photos) it's up online for all of the Burda-world to see. I have already received nice comments (the sewing community are so lovely). 
I was aiming to create a quirky twist on the classic marie skirt, making it  out of Tessuti’s textural ‘Formal Alligator’ fabric. The pleats have been reversed to create a triangle shape and to move the bulk of the fabric away from the middle. Then two ‘bow-tie’ pieces were pattern-made to fit into the front waistband, continuing the line of the pleats. The shape of the bow-tie mimics the raised texture of the fabric whilst steering clear of the overused, classic bow shape.
Have a look at http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/the-formal-alligator-skirt