Tuesday, 29 July 2014

I've been very lucky lately in the shoe department. I found these beautiful hardly worn 1940s cherry red heels on ebay. They're amazing and they have that nice vintage smell to them that reminds me of antique shops and old buildings. This is my very first pair of true vintage shoes, I've often been quite hesitant to buy online because of my short yet wide feet but I took the plunge and it paid off. Finding vintage shoes in shops in Western Australia is almost impossible and even if you're lucky they are rarely the right size or style. I can't wait to wear them when the weather isn't so rainy, if only it would fine up! 

Secondly, there was a huge EOFY sale on at Myer (a major department store). While I was out with my boyfriend enjoying the evening hawkers market in the city we went for a walk and I spotted these beauty's by Vivienne Westwood for Melissa. Oh boy, was I leaving with those babies. I love Melissa shoes, they smell so good....they're like adult barbie shoes but ridiculously comfy. They were thankfully discounted and my boyfriend bought them for me as a very early birthday present. I've fallen so much in love with them, I've been waiting to buy a style of these shoes for so long so when the version with the red heart came back I was ecstatic. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine

Hurrah! I have finally some pictures of my shark dress to show you. I initially wanted to make a shark dress because in my state there has been a lot of anger about the routine culling of sharks to protect swimmers. While protecting swimmers is great, unfortunately its not a very effective or humane way of tackling the problem. There has been a lot of widespread community support against the cull and continued beach protesting which is quite an amazing thing and I thought that if there was ever a time for a shark dress, the time was now.  I fell in love with the fabric in spotlight, it was part of the 'shark bay' collection, (awesome holiday location, awesome fabric collection) and I had to have it. I must have swooned over it every time I visited spotlight until I bought it. It was just too cute with little patchwork sharkies and stripes. It makes me happy because it reminds me of Bruce from Finding Nemo, which I love. It's just so happy and the colours are so nautical, I've been wearing it a lot already but I plan on wearing it much more when summer comes.

Fabric close up! DUN DUN DUNNN. Mind the pleats that need pressing.
I used Very Easy Vogue Pattern  V8723, and boy, was it very easy! Despite some initial fitting issues such as my cutting a size too big it was almost perfect. I had terrible scoliosis up until I was 18 when I had surgery, so although my back is better than it was it still makes a nightmare for fitting the back of the bodice.  Unfortunately it gapes depending on how I move, although I did try to minimise this. I cut a size 10 cup-size D and it was too wide at the side and centre back seams. I think next time I will cut a size 8 D and maybe lower the waist a tad, however with the adjustments I made this fits fine.

I had some problems gathering the skirt so in my frustrated state I decided to roughly hand pleat them. It's not very precise, some of them are wonky and uneven, some of them stick up and it kind of looks a little like gathering but I don't mind. I wanted to get it together and wear it and thats what mattered at the time. I hand sewed the zipper and lining which I find easier than doing it with a machine.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

End of semester holidays and malfunctioning machines

I have a couple of projects lined up for photographing but unfortunately the weather has been all over the place and my photographer (boyfriend) is often home after dark. Hopefully I'll be able to get some soon and show you everything I've been working on in my end of semester break. It's been nice to push my (very heavy) anatomy and psychology books off my desk and replace them with my beloved sewing machine.

Earlier on in my holidays I experienced my first machine malfunction and I think that in this day and age with all the computerisation it's often easy to assume the worst. Problems with the computer components are something that say, my gran or great-gran would have not had issues with. Fortunately, the CSIRO gave us beautiful wifi  (something my gran and great-gran would have never had either) so I was instantly able to tap into the knowledge base that is the sewing community. I checked forums, checked the symptoms of the malfunction almost as thoroughly as one might do so on webMD and found so much information. I was immediately able to pinpoint the problem, do my machine maintenance and ended up fixing what was actually a minor alignment problem all by myself. I was so proud of myself for not only giving it a go but actually fixing it without any help. It's such an empowering feeling when you fix something yourself, not only do you save money but you gain confidence in what you are doing (YAY!)

I was considering all these things while sipping a victory cup of tea and I came to the conclusion that sometimes we get too caught up in romanticising the past that we forget to separate style and history. Sure, I LOVE the different fashions from the edwardian era all the way up to the early sixties but I don't think I would want to swap my life for one in any of those eras. I am grateful of my right to vote, the ability as a women to go to university, medical advances, technological advances and the beauty of the sewing community that has formed on the internet that allowed me to instantly troubleshoot my machine without spending $$.  Sometimes it may seem like life would be better in simpler times, simplicity is good but you can life simply while enjoying and using 21st century things. Hey, in fifty years people will probably being saying 'I wish I lived in 2014, what a simpler time'

Thursday, 10 July 2014

I don't really want this blog to be about what I buy. I'd rather share with you the tears and tantrums  joy of sewing and my little adventures in crafts and cooking. However I just had to write about a shop I went into today.

 Isn't it lovely when you stumble across a shop with things that really inspire you? I often get into slumps because I feel so bland and my ideas feel boring, it happens to everyone I guess.  I feel like everything I make should be extraordinary, which adds unnecessary pressure and unavoidably kills creativity. Anyway, whilst shopping I found this gift shop full of cute jewellery and hair bows with little felt and wood broaches. Lots of pearls, cute animals, felt, soft colours and tons and tons of ribbon....It was like a living inspiration board.

The three pairs of earrings and the hair clip cost $18.....I'll be back
What do you do to get out of slumps?

Friday, 4 July 2014

Sewing update: very easy vogue 8723

So far sewing the V8723 has been a breeze! It's so simple to put together, I think this pattern is going to be one of my go-to patterns just because its so simple and has a rather classic shape. It almost has a slightly watered-down 1950s feel to it and doesn't take up too much fabric which is a bonus.

This is it, in all its unfinished, un-hemmed glory. The picture isn't very good quality and it isn't very large but I'll post more when its finished. I wore a belt as I hadn't sewn the lining into the waist causing it to sit rather odd, however on the finished project I believe it will sit so much better. 

Also! you probably can't tell but the fabric is a cotton with small blue and white stripes and GREAT WHITE SHARKS. 
I'm a little tea-pot