Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Sad Saga of the Scaphoid Continues

Well, this week has been a little bit disappointing for me. On thursday I rocked up to my orthopaedic surgeon's office with a spring in my step, completely expecting to get my cast off. I thought I'd need some physical therapy - after all, the poor little arm had been immobilised for 6 weeks.

I went into my appointment, got the cast off, and got it x-rayed. Still springing around, smiling at everyone, laughing at the shrivelled little arm that had emerged (not to mention the smell).

Took the x-rays back into the surgeon, where he told me I'd need a 'brace' for 2 months - and not to do the washing up. I'm still giggling and smiling at this point. Surgeon tells me to hop on over to another hospital where the occupational therapists that specialise in upper limbs are housed.

La la la, still smiling, thinking lucky me, I'm going to do some sewing today!! Sewing!!

Go in an see the OT and find out 'brace' is more aptly described as 'hard plastic half-cast that completely immobilises my arm and cannot come off for 2 months except when showering'.

No more smiles, no more giggles. Cue in wailing, heaving sobs, few swear words, general cursing of the sky and the earth and wondering when the hell I'll be able to work properly again. Poor Michael. He dealt with all of this right outside the hospital. Mostly by promising me a trip to the fabric store and as much help as I needed to sew my Lady Grey Coat.

So - stayed tuned for later today when I unveil the Michael and Rachel made Lady Grey coat!!!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Streamer Frock Grosgrain Giveaway

Hi everyone! Have you seen the blog Grosgrain Fabulous? It is absolutely amazing. The frocks are to die for. Kathleen hosts regular giveaways of her frocks, and this giveaway is something else! Check it out:

You can view it here: The Streamer Frock Grosgrain Giveaway. I've entered, and you should too!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vintage Pinking Shears

Hi all! I don't have a serger/overlocker, so I've been on the look out for some pinking shears til my 30th birthday when I've been promised one as a present.

My parents-in-law own an industrial textiles company, and have many pairs. But, lucky me, they have gifted me with these vintage pinking shears - apparently they were Michael's Grandma's or Great-Grandma's.

How cool are they? But - I don't really know much about using pinking shears. So - I appeal to you, fair seamstresses. Any tips, lessons learnt, don'ts etc? Can you really use pinking shears to finish the garment instead of a zigzag stitch? Please tell me everything you know! This may revolutionalise my sewing!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tea & Hotdogs: A Red Rooibos

I feel like this poor little dress has been quietly waiting in the wings, patiently biding its time until it could be photographed.

I made this about 2 months ago - I definitely cannot sew to that extent with my blasted cast on. Although I did do some straight stitching on a skirt I already had cut out yesterday. My gosh it felt good to hear the whir of my little machine.

So without further ado, I present the hotdog red Rooibos! It is made from a cotton sateen called 'Hotdog' (from Tessuti Fabrics) and a black cotton voile (some stash fabric that I got from Spotlight for about $2 per metre). 

I had to wear it for our coffee outing - the sun was actually out!

Bess was a bit cranky about not coming for coffee, but she did get a 12k run with Michael and a 5k walk with me today, so we told her to get a grip.

I don't really have anything new to add from when I made my spotty version a while back. On this dress though you can see the details a bit better:


When I made the spotty Rooibos, Sunni aka the Cupcake Goddess asked me to a tutorial on how to get the little collar to sit flat. It is super easy, so here is how I did for both versions:
  1. Choose a contrasting fabric that is a bit lighter in weight or quite a crisp fabric for the facing (i.e., lightweight cotton or voile).
  2. When you get to sewing the shape of the collar, make sure you make the tips of the collar a very sharp point. This may entail sewing the points a few times to get it right.
  3. After you have sewn the points, clip and trim as much of the collar off as you dare. Those tips will not be pointy if you don't thoroughly trim.
  4. Turn the collar the right way out. Press thoroughly, and if it is not flat and pointy enough, go back in there and trim some more.
  5. When you have it lying nice and flat, stitch the collar to the dress. To make it invisible, stitch the underside of the collar (which is the red side on this dress) to the facing (which is black). Then the stitching will not show.
  6. When you are doing this, ensure you stitch right up to where the centre of the collar is. This will make it sit completely flat. Also make sure you stitch right down the tips of the collar.

Hope that helps! 

Friday, June 11, 2010

ButtonMania & Eight Questions

I just happened (cough) to go past ButtonMania on Swanston St in Melbourne CBD yesterday with a work colleague after we had finished at a Human Rights in Policing course. 

(NOTE: ButtonMania is up three levels of a building that is in the opposite direction to work).

My goodness, what a store. I've never been in there, and can't believe I ever lived without it. I bought the most amazing 1940s Spanish buttons for my Lady Grey Coat. What do you think?

And here they are on the material I have bought for my Lady Grey Coat:

Sorry about the slightly blurry pics - I had such trouble holding the camera with my gammy arm.

It is a navy 100% wool with a slight sheen. I really did want a brighter colour, but the colours I could find in wool were EXPENSIVE! And this coat needs about 4m of fabric. So I would have been looking at close to $300 for a coat. Not on my watch :-) I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has made this coat - did you actually need 4m?

When I've made this one I think I might make one in a brighter colour in a heavy cotton (or some less expensive fabric anyway).

Now, onto the 2nd part of this post. The very inspirational Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons has tagged me in a game of 8 questions. The deal is I answer her questions then tag 8 seamstresses to answer mine! Here goes:

1. What is your staple meal? (ie. what meal do you cook most often, when you can't be bothered to think of anything adventurous)
Hmm, I don't really do the cooking in our house. Michael has three specialities that we have every week: massaman curry, handmade pasta, and handmade corn tortillas for mexican. If I was left to my own devices, I'd probably have some boiled eggs on nice sourdough toast. I'm more of a dessert cook these days.

2. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I'm not sure! The possibilities are endless. I'm thinking of getting back into sexual assault research full time, but the most important thing I could want to be is a mama when I grow up.

3. What book are you reading at the moment (if any)? 
I've just finished reading 'The Book Thief' and now I'm starting 'Dead Man Running' - a book about Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs in Australia. My bro-in-law gave it to me and I'm finding it fascinating. 

4. How do you relax?
I have two ways. 1. Exercise. It is the most powerful way to stop my mind ticking over. 2. Over  a glass of red wine, on the couch watching something trashy on the TV. Like True Blood. Pure trash, but awesome for relaxing. 

5. What colour are the interior walls of your home?
Kind of an egg-shell white. 

6. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate. Red wine. Spending a week day at home doing nothing but sew. Sleeping in with Michael (so rarely happens). Buying fabric.

7. What time is bed time and getting up time?
Bed time is around 9.30pm. Getting up is 6am. 

8. How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)?
Too long :-) I have a quick look over my brekkie in the morning. Then when I get home I have a proper look, leave comments etc. 

Now, here are 8 people I'd like to hear some random things about:
  1. Veronica Darling from Veronica Darling
  2. Tasia from Sewaholic
  3. Sunni from The Cupcake Goddess
  4. Jorthy from Jorth!
  5. Lore from SEW RED HOT
  6. Miss Emmi from They Have Called Me 'The Bar Nothing'
  7. Karin from Ancien-Nouveau
  8. Kat from Kat's Creative Adventures
And here are the questions:

1. What is your favourite pattern of all time?
2. What is one place that you really want to visit that you haven't been to before?
3. How do you relax?
4. What is your favourite childhood memory?
5. If there was one pattern you could own, regardless of availability, cost, or whether you'd actually make it, what would it be?
6. If you could spend the rest of your life doing anything you wanted, what would it be?
7. How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)?

Phew! This has been quite a post! Happy long-weekend fellow Aussies!