Success!

After my first not-quite-right, blue-tinged attempt at Mod Podge Dimensional Magic (see here), I have had great success with round 2!

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Meaningful quote necklaces for the win! 🙂

This is a Carl Sagan quote, but also strongly mirrors a sentiment in Poetics by Aristotle.

Love!

Crochet beginnings

My Nanna, my Mum’s mother, died when I was 7, almost exactly 20 years ago. I have only good memories of her, as does everyone else 🙂 She made THE best cups of tea, taught me the difference between a weed and a plant and made me eat chickweed sandwiches when I was sick.

MMM...taters!

MMM…taters!

428114_10201041820308360_896114288_nNanna made a crochet rug for each of her grandchildren up until she died. She had 11 adult children so that was ALOT of grandchildren! I specifically remember her bringing a big bag of yarn for me to choose the colours I wanted. I chose blue, pink and purple, and this is my rug:

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At over 20 years old it’s faded, covered in pilling, and has a hole that will only grow, so it stays safely tucked away. After buying my reading chair recently I decided I need a rug for it, and then when I realised I would be off work for 2 weeks after my surgery I decided that a great recovery would be to lean back in my new chair, watch Supernatural, and crochet a rug, all for me. I once got about 1/3 of the way through a rug the same style as the one above, in dark blue and black. My mum started it for me and I never did finish it, and now the colours just aren’t me.

I’ve decided to start from scratch. For my new rug, I want to do it all myself, do it as a ‘granny square’ rug (a patchwork of small squares instead of one big one), and I have also decided that it would be a reimagining of my original rug from Nanna, using mostly the same colours.

My work colleague, who is a big knitter, has suggested I use real wool from a very reasonably priced supplier who sells it machine washable and almost itch free. Nanna’s rugs were all acrylic yarn (when you have to make that many, they have to be!), but a real wool one appeals to me as my house can get quite cold. So I am going to look at a colour card next week and order from there.

In the meantime I wanted to do a few test squares, to decide the design, colours and size of the squares. My Aunt, upon hearing about my plans, called with some great news. She actually has Nanna’s old crocheting bags, complete with yarn! Better still, some of the colours match my blanket, and were probably actually used to make it. Isn’t that amazing?!

So, after a very quick YouTube tutorial, I set about crocheting properly for the first time. This is the result, and will be the design I use in my rug:

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The rug will be a patchwork of ‘mini Nanna rugs’ broken up by the white. I chose to incorporate the white to make the mini versions of my rug pop, and to also break up the colour a bit. If I were making a blanket to my tastes, as opposed to a tribute blanket, the colour scheme would be far more neutral. The white tones the colour down a bit, yet conversely, highlights the design of the original rug….I am very pleased with the way I have reimagined it. The blue and the pink yarn you see in the test squares is over 20 years old and from the same lot as my original blanket! Even though I will only use that yarn in the test squares, it’s still a wonderful feeling 🙂

My surgery is still 7 weeks away, so I am going to order wool in a couple of weeks and won’t be starting on the rug until just before the surgery. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted!

In spite of the chill of late autumn, it’s been a very ‘warm’ weekend, full of hanging out with my Aunty, crocheting, baking cupcakes and finding an old 2 cent coin in my chair 😀

A weekend of crocheting, baking cupcakes and finding an old 2 cent coin in my chair :D

Costume time!

I am going to a fancy dress part next month, the theme is ‘S’. I have a costume all planned out, but I can’t share it with you yet as it’s a surprise.

What I can say is that it doesn’t involve a lot of actual sewing but its going to be fun and a little challenging no less. And it includes these:

Bedazzles with RHINESTONES! :D

Bedazzled with RHINESTONES! 😀

It also meant I finally purchased a hot glue gun which opens a whole lot of new creative doors.

Hooray!

Also, I realise I haven’t yet come good with the blog anniversary competition post but I haven’t forgotten and it is coming 🙂 Once I settle on a prize I will be having a combined “anniversary/reached 50 followers” celebration 🙂

Ps: Whilst typing this up I was counting down the seconds to snipe in and win a couple of great sewing things on ebay…and it worked! Bargains were had! Hopefully I will pick them next weekend and post with excitement 🙂

Colette on the way!

I haven’t been posting much. It’s a combination of a genuinely busy life, not doing much sewing, and most of the sewing being done having the status of ‘top secret Christmas presents’.

However, good news on the Colette front! Following on from my last post in which I outlined my planned dress makes, my wonderful mum agreed to buy me Lily and Macaron AND The Colette Sewing Handbook. Then Haby Goddess announced a pre-Christmas sale including all Colette! This was such an exciting moment 🙂

Mum, continuing in her wonderfulness, told me to take advantage of the sale even though my birthday is still a month away. Colette bundle is on the way! Can’t wait!

As for other sewing, there is mostly secret Christmas magic coming up but there will still be things to post about, and since we are coming to a year since I bought my first sewing machine of my own and started this hobby I am hoping to post a ‘lessons learned and plans for the future’ type post. Maybe I should even have my first giveaway! 🙂

The Dress

Well, it finally came, the wearing of my almost completely successful Vogue 1102, my first real fitted garment. I’ll launch straight into the pics I know you are all dying to see, then talk a little about it shall I?

(Thanks to my Mum for taking snaps and giving us a ride! xo)

While boyfriend tucked in shirt and put on tie, Mum insisted I pose wedding style to show off the skirt.

Full front

Full back

Close up of the bow! Yep, that’s my low back bra peaking out. We fixed it before we left the house and it didn’t reappear till many champagnes later. I was just pleased to be able to wear one! The zip is not crooked, but yes, the bodice is uneven here. The only real flaw!

All ready to go

I am so happy with how this turned out! 🙂

There is only slightly too much fabric at the top of the bodice as I expected, but this happens in many dresses of this style so it didn’t bother me. It was certainly an alteration that would be beyond my skill level so I’m pleased I didn’t meddle. The bust fits perfectly and I am so pleased I added extra darts. The area of the below bust seam joining the skirt is still slightly too big on me but is better than too small and the density of the fabric meant it didn’t billow out and exaggerate my belly…win! The skirt was perfect and very twirly! The bow was a little challenging to tie evenly, but I am pleased with the final look. I was very glad I had the sense to hand stitch it in place here and there so it wouldn’t come undone….it stayed perky and cute all night! The only actual flaw in the dress is the one inch piece of bodice at the top of the zipper at the back. The back bodice should be one inch at that point, however on the left it is half that. I have an idea what happened and there was no way I was unpicking it all to fix it. It was not noticeable enough! As that was the only actually mistake/flaw I am very happy! The fitting issues were almost completely resolved as well so this was definitely a success!

Any beginners out there wondering, yes I would recommend this pattern. I had a number of fitting issues and managed to make three muslins of the bodice, but that was mainly due to my inexperience in bust alteration as well as my desire to shape the bust a little more than the pattern called for. I wanted to bring the top of the skirt in a little to prevent the “pregnant” look. It complicated things choosing this dress for my shape, but the pattern and instructions themselves were not difficult at all. And I learned so much doing the alterations that I have no regrets about the time I had to put into this. I think it also has taught me not to fear garments designed for shapes different to mine. I am now sure that in most cases I can make it work!

The firsts for me:

  •  A fitted garment to wear
  • Bust adjustment
  • Pattern alteration (shaping bust, narrowing shoulders)
  • Adding darts
  • Inserting a lining
  • Working with satin
  • Hemming something larger (much larger) than a pants leg
  • Invisible zip (or any zip for that matter really)

How I deviated from the pattern/instructions (such a rebel):

  • Inserted side bust darts to bring more shape to the dress, bringing the waist in slightly
  • Made the bow ties double sided as opposed to the single sided version in the instructions. This was necessitated by my one sided fabric but I would have done it regardless…it looks much more professional!
  • Simplified hem

As always, my sewing books were very, very helpful, as was YouTube and a fantastic tute from Coletterie on sewing an invisible zip.

I am so thrilled with how this turned out, and yes, also thrilled it is over. It was alot of work!

In the pipeline now are curtains for my step dad, yoga cushions and a long list of simple but fab Christmas presents. I am going to have to find sneaky ways to post about what I am up to without revealing too much, but there are sure to be other little bits and pieces to report on. I have some great bargain bin stretch knits I want to turn into summer skirts so I am sure you will all get some interesting rants about my first attempts with that sort of fabric. Hooray! 🙂

xo

Sneak peak!

The dress is complete! After a mammoth hemming session yesterday (this thing has alot of skirt!) I finally was done…yay!

It is not without its problems, but I am very happy with the finished product considering this is my first attempt at a real dress and it’s for an important occasion no less. I am going to take nice pics from all angles on Friday when my hair is all nice and my makeup all done, however I think everyone deserves a sneak peak, yes?

This is the back, just beneath the bow, please excuse the slightly out of place low bra:

And this is the full extent of the skirt, pre hem:

Oh the excitement! I now technically have nothing left to do on this, though I may revisit the bow briefly before the main event. Due to the thickness of it and the type of fabric it is difficult to tie evenly. I got it done, and hand stitched it to keep it in place, but I am thinking I need to do it again. The tails hang evenly but the one side of the bow is larger than the other. That’s ok, but it is slightly more noticable than I would like. It’s a pain though so I am leaving it for a day or two. I am also going to test some anti static spray on some spare fabric, and if the watermarks dry out nicely I am going to antic static the skirt…it be clingy.

Can’t wait to show you all the complete do on the weekend! 🙂