Friday, October 18, 2013

The riot of paisley top

I only bought 1.5 metres of this fabric, which starts out pale paisley and moves to bold paisley colours across the width of the fabric.  I originally planned a hummingbird top, but decided the crossover was a longer lasting option - I think the peplum will be a one season wonder and I already have two wearable hummingbird tops (and one unwearable first make).  So this is a Cake Tiramisu pattern, with the skirt pieces cut shorter for a top.  I like it, and wish I'd bought enough for a dress.  I've got it on with the skirt I wore to work today, but it does need something narrower underneath it ideally.  I think I've got the best first up fit with the neckline and this is my fourth Tiramisu make.  This time I stretched the band tightly the whole way along and snipped the excess off at the end.

I think more dresses are in order.  I have the Cake Red Velvet pattern on order, and fabric ready to go.  I've got plain black for the trial, and a soft black with pink dots for version two.  I really really like how dresses require no coordinating.  A cardigan if it's cool, and some footwear, and GO!  Which is the only option for my mornings.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

flax and twirls

Above: big flax.  Very big flax.  We were so excited when we were gifted these little flax bushes six years ago.  We were broke, the fence was ugly and suddenly we had attractive vegetation.

Six years later, they had overtaken the area and were so big that we only got them out through the kindness of a neighbour and his crane.  Down at the recycling centre, the second load was do big we couldn't even slide it off the trailer yesterday.  Today we came back armed with forks, a machete and a hatchet.  We won!  Even better, the neighbour helped us get them out as he wants to change and paint the fence. 

Birthday party season continues.  Brighid models today's birthday present, which I made for her friend who is teeny tiny and quite a bit shorter than Brighid.  I didn't have enough bias tape to do the hem in one colour, so the front is navy and the back is red.  The fabric comes all the way from Brixton, London, where I went looking for an authentic and strong African print to use for babywearing.  Fionn was a bit big and fidgety for my newbie wrapping skills, so I stuck to the ergo baby carrier and this fabric has lived in my fabric stash since.

Tomorrow I start a new job.  Best I get some sleep and wake ready for action. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

sewing notes

I made a successful top out of my black merino fabric.  It isn't the pavlova top, which is sitting in disgrace back in its box after I triple stitched the neckband on backwards.  It is the hummingbird peplum top which I made from the leftover merino fabric.  Without another layer, then it's a little thin but this afternoon as soon as I finished it, I added a lovely wrap top I was gifted which is also not quite enough clothing on its own and now they work together just fine.  I do need to make the neckband smaller.  I thought I did this time, but clearly not smaller enough to help it lay flat.

No photos.  Some days, I can pretend this blog communicates to a world beyond my own head.  Others, like today, it's my personal journal working at its most basic level - completed a top.

There is lots more sewing I would like to do, but there is the smallish (maybe not so small) matter of a chapter for a book to finish, so I may have to ban myself from the sewing machine until the chapter is done.

Drove to Punakaikai this afternoon and saw a baby seal on the beach not very far away from us at all.  More lovely than the dead baby seal we found on the beach at the beginning of this week.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

tulip love

I read Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In and I loved it.  I had quite a lot to say about it and started writing this morning, but whereas I blogged happily about gardening for years and still can about gardening and sewing, my responses to Lean In are both personal and also linked to my work.  I realised that I wasn't comfortable posting a full response to Sandberg's book online.  Such is life.

But as I'm still blogging about sewing, I can report that I made progress with the merino pavlova top I cut out many months ago.  Until I didn't.  I made darts successfully and then I sewed a complicated piece on back to front using a stretch stitch on my machine which isn't easily unpicked.  Unpicking black triple stitched thread from black fabric without a quick-un-pick is im-poss-ible.  I don't know where my quick-un-picks go.  I lose them all the time.  Not through lack of use during sewing time, that's for sure.  So tomorrow I will buy a-noth-er one.  One day when I die or get dragged off to a rest home, my children may find 23 quick-un-picks when they get the house ready to put on the market.

So with the remainder of the black merino I have nearly finished cutting out a hummingbird top.  I'm having to cut the peplum in two pieces and the stretch runs different ways on each.  Maybe later this week there will be a photograph with evidence of whether or not this works.

No camera today.  But my eyes feast on my red tulips.  I have two clusters of them and they are the most beautiful sights.  More tulips next year, for sure.  I've been weeding and sowing mesclun, phacelia and misome.  I also planted some gladioli.  Today I even raked the grass clippings and fed the chooks because our child labourers are far away, having fun and being spoilt by their grandparents and aunties.  In my windowsill mini-greenhouse, the tomato and basil seedlings are poking through and outside, I ponder where to build a tomato garden.