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Friday, December 26, 2014

I Finished Something

I finally finished my Nuvem that I started as soon as I finished the Citron shawl in July. A very long knit but an easy one when you've got it established, good for TV or car knitting. The technical bits are here. It's knitted in a lovely blend of wool and silk that was a pleasure to handle and will be gorgeous to wear. It's slightly longer than I am high and weighs very little.

It was very hard to get the colours right in a photo. This one is more or less right. I think it looks like a lovely wooly silky seaweedy thing.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hemming Jeans

No 'real' sewing to show, but I have proved that the sewing machine still works :)

Since my MiL died eighteen months ago, there was no-one to shorten George's jeans unless we paid $30 to the nice people in the little alterations place at The Glen. (Who do a great job but that's a bit pricey for jeans. We use them for formal trousers and the like). It's one sewing job I had never felt srong enough to tackle. I have spent six months being stared at balefully by two pairs of jeans/chinos and a husband, who proved the point at the weekend by busting the zip on a pair of summer pants and then tearing a pair of shorts so dramatically that all we could do was laugh hysterically.

I gave this tutorial a go:

and this is the result

I also did a black pair but that photographed badly. I am quite pleased with the result, let's see what George thinks when he gets home.

I also finished the shawl I;ve been working on for some months but haven't blocked it yet, so that can wait until I can post a picture.

Friday, December 12, 2014

On the Trail of My Sewing Mojo

I haven't done any dressmaking for a very long time. I have been in a total funk about fit and whatnot. But I have recently bought LOTS of pretty fabric and read books about fit (reread books about fit, actually) and I;m almost ready to do some real sewing.

This is one pattern I want to try. It is dead easy, so long as I can get some sort of correct fit. It's a bit short for me but that's an easy alteration. Tissue fitting has suggested some slashing and spreading is required. I am using a fabric that I like but won't cry over if I can't turn it into something wearable. I refuse to stand in this silly pose while wearing it though!

I've had this book for a while but had assumed that the clothes would not fit or suit me. After doing some heavy duty measuring and thinking I have decided to have a go at a tunic/dress. Slashing and spreading may be required again, plus lengthening the bodice. Again I;m using a nice fabric but not my favorite.

So I suppose this means I am about to launch into hopefully wearable muslins. Mind you, having washed the necessary fabrics, I really meant to iron them today and I have not, so I still have to do that.

Will post updates - even if they are tears and tantrums!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Warehouse Sale at Phillips Shirtmakers

Last week I went to this place, which was having a warehouse sale. I didn't go through the actual shirts, lovely though they are: I went for the fabric. They were selling off large quantities of shirting fabric, quite a bit of it 'vintage'. I don't know what vintage exactly, but I do know that new was one price and 'vintage' another, and I bought stuff from the vintage section (because I liked it, not because it was vintage in particular).


A hand-picked selection of unworn vintage shirts is availablefrom our archive.

Unbelievably in this era of cheap imports and overseas manufacturing, this company still makes shirts in a tiny factory in the CBD, Little Lonsdale Street to be precise. The fabric sale was held on the factory floor. The fabric storage area was rather cramped and uncomfortable. While I'm sure the women involved are going to do some lovely things with any fabric they bought, I don't think the mother with the small toddler really thought through taking her child to such a location; and I am certain that the mother with the huge pusher did not! I wanted to point out that having a huge pram blocking exits (no matter where she put it) was creating a fire hazard, which is a serious concern in any textile factory, but thought I would get told off for being mean to mothers (and please don't abuse me - if there had been a fire the baby would have been in the most danger of all).

You could fill a shopping bag with remnants for $5. I have a lifetime of remnants, but I did end up collecting a bag of various bits of white and off-white shirting fabric for embroidery purposes (and there was a scrap of pale blue in that lot). There was also a pile of remnants of the lovely fine iron-on interlining that is used in commercial shirts, which I added to the bag.

Baby Bear, fresh from an exciting morning rubbing shoulders with our State Health Minister (as was on the day, we have had an election since) launching a collaboration between Family Planning Australia and YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS) to improve sex education in schools, joined me and bought a bag of remnants to do exciting things with.

I also bought three dress lengths. They are all vintage cotton - the green one is seersucker.

And then I found these handsome vintage chappies. Carved from wood - roughly but with beautiful lines - and one of them wearing a silk bow tie. I;m sure they have a history but I couldn't find out anything at the time. Does anyone know anything about them?