Tuesday, July 27, 2010

50s styling on a cardie

There's a fabulous shop in Newtown called Faster Pussycat, which has some gorgeous 50s styled cardigans which I have coveted for ages.  But $90 for a cardie seemed a little over the top.

Brisbane to the rescue!   We wandered around the Sunday Riverside market which we got to far too late and half the stalls were closed and the others were packing up.   Not to worry though, because the one selling iron on transfers was open and my eyes alighted on these beauties.  
A quick trip to SES for a $10 cardigan:
And now I have my beautiful Faster Pussycat cardigan for $15 !  Faster Pussycat has either a cardie with a rose either side or cherries either side, but I thought hey, I'm going for one of each.  I'm in love.
I mean the quality is nowhere near as nice as the real ones, but for a quick fashion fix this will do.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Nicole Mallalieu Sling Bag - Best bag ever !

I wanted to make this pattern up quickly because our little family is going up to Brisbane to check out the Ron Mueck exhibition this weekend.

I needed a bag that I could carry a bit more than my usual handbag's contents and would say "Hey Brisbane, check out this Sydney chick's handbag".   I think this bag says that and more.

The fabric is a cotton sateen from Spotlight.   On special for $6 per metre.  I bought a metre and a half. 

 I reviewed it at pattern review so that I could also enter Nikki's current competition.  You can see the whole review here.  You have until the end of July if you want to enter.  Get cracking!

This is a design variation using a tutorial from Nikki's fund of fabulous tutorials.  It lifted the bag from 'really nice' to 'AWESOME'. 

And its so roomy inside.   This is basics: wallet / glasses / keys / pouch for mp3 / keys and a hair comb. Only half full !

Here's the bag turned inside out.  Patch pocket.  Handy zippered coin purse (my addition).

Here is the complete review:  

Pattern Description: A Sling bag from Nicole M Design.   The bag is in the 'intermediate' section of her site.   I don't know that it deserves that label.   Don't be scared if you're not sure you're up to it - trust me - it is easy to put together!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes - but better !

Were the instructions easy to follow? Nicole's patterns cover everything you need to know, from tips on fabric conservation when you're cutting out, making zips sit nicely, grading seams, understitching etc.   They are very comprehensive patterns and even though I'm a competent seamstress, I have the pattern out and refer frequently because there's always a handy bit of info that is helpful.

Fabric Used:I used a cotton sateen.   It had a stretch to it, so I interfaced the outside pieces of the bag as well as the facing.   This is an optional step depending on your fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:I added the rings in the strap and OMG it makes the bag 100 times more loveable.   Nicole has a tutorial on altering the pattern to add the rings here.  Yet another fabulous thing that Nicole offers, a whole host of tutorials on her website! 

Another design alteration I made is to add a little loop between the lining and facing to hang a little zippered bag from.  Sometimes I like to leave the wallet at home and just carry the bare basics in a little zippered bag that I have easy access to.  I do it to all my bags and it makes my life a little easier !

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?This is my second sling bag, I made the standard pattern variety the first time, with the extra long handle that converts to an across the shoulder bag, and this time with the standard shoulder bag handle.   I can see me doing this in many fabrics and many looks in the future.

Conclusion: This bag is beautiful AND it is ROOMY !!   There's so much space in there, its very deceptive you know.   I made this specifically for a trip to Brisbane with my family, where I knew I'd need more space for camera, snacks, water bottle etc as well as my usual ton of stuff I carry anyway.   Its going to fit the bill beautifully. 

I'll leave off now as its 8.30 and must go and pack for the early start tomorrow 4am !   Booking a red eye to Brisbane seemed like a good idea at the time.


edited to add - me and the kids (and my bag) with Ron Mueck's Woman with Sticks.  I'm a lot more comfortable carrying my burden than she is!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rock & Roll and Alternative Market - Tempe

I found this in my local newspaper The Inner West Courier.

Its the first one, so not sure whether it will be great or a dud...  If you wanna take a chance on going I might see you there.  I'll be digging out my best vintage frock.

I lifted this poster from their myspace page here.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

McCalls 7777: Plaid A-line skirt and a matching beret

I found this gorgeous wooly plaid / tartan recently, as soon as I saw it I knew the project it would be perfect for:

The fabric has an orange gold glittery thread, and a multicolour thread.  It looks great in a macro shot

And because its been really chilly lately I've been wearing a beret when I'm out and about.  So thinking all things beret I found this great tutorial at craftstylish.com where you draft your own pattern based on your head size.  The tutorial is here.  It was super easy.  

I love the skirt and its already been worn to work.  If I had my time over again I'd interface or stabilise the centre back seam where the zip is inserted.   It presses flat, but after pulling the skirt on and drawing the zip up, it seem to buckle a bit.   It wasn't a huge issue as its a winter skirt and I wore a jacket most of the day.  And the buckling isn't so bad as to make passers by faint.  It is a reminder to me that slow and steady does a better job than - hey! new fabric - chop chop - skirt made - record time!

I love the matching beret, but I'm not game to unleash the two together on the world.  

Can't wait to start making clothes in summer again, I hate disrobing to try on for fitting issues then getting back into uggies and track pants and three jumpers.  Slows the whole process down.  I much prefer to sit and sew in a singlet and knickers when fitting myself.   Now there's an image you didn't need.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Supre fabric - t shirt fabric bargains

If you live in the inner west in Sydney you may or may not have visited the Supre outlet near Marrickville Metro.

Now I know you wouldnt go there for the clothes - give me some credit !   But did you know on certain days (Thursday is one of them) they get out all their excess fabric in this gigantic boxes and charged $1 a metre.  Only they don't charge $1 a metre, the girl at the checkout charged $1 per piece.  And these pieces are GIGANTIC!

So these pieces were $1 each.  Now the white and the pink/blue were just your standard very cheap and nasty t shirt knit.  The thin and nasty variety.  But the black and white stripe is a nice thick sturdy 2-way stretch with (I think) a bit of lycra.

Three dollars for that lot.  I couldnt say no really could I?  There's plenty more out there, there are plaids and plains and wide stripes and colours...  I can see myself getting there next Thursday, but I have promised myself to use up the fabric before I get some more.

I used up the pink / blue fabric making 2 pairs of pj pants for 2 x 10 year old girls.

And I've used up the black and white stripe.  Made myself a long sleeved t, but it was too short so I cut the hem off and made it extra long.   Its just for around the house and bed so I'm not too worried about how I look in it.  

And I made a singlet for my daughter with the leftover.  I pretty much used all of it which is surprising cos its a giant piece, but I love when I can throw the scraps in the bin without feeling they may have some future use.

And I got to play with my twin needle which I havent done for a while.  I do love a twin needle!

The plain white is destined for singlets for my kids, as I was looking in k-mart and they are $8 each for plain bonds singlets.   Hey, this piece will give me 50 !  Well it will give me plenty and I'm already cutting and sewing.   Nothing like a bargain to get the sewing senses all stimulated!

back to the machine I go !


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Answering a few questions.

I didnt really have anything to share today.  Everyone seems too be on a bit of a 'go slow' - even the indefatigable Gertie took time off !  I blame winter but, hey, some of you guys aren't even doing 'winter' !

I have been sewing but nothing I'm inclined to share as all a bit boring really. 

Anyway to dip my toe back in the water, I'm responding [long overdue] to Rachel's tag.  Thanks Rachel for nominating me to answer - I'm so complimented !   My first 'tag'.   I feel like we're buddies now.  You know, if ever I'm in Melbourne I hope I can stay at your house !!   Same goes for if you come to Sydney -  although we don't have a spare room... couch ok?

Anyway, here goes:

1.  What is your favourite pattern of all time?  I'm 3/4 way through the Walkaway Dress and although this is my favourite pattern to look at and fantasize over - I've yet to complete it.   But it does have the honour of being the pattern that got me hooked on retro!  I have a date to do this dress with my girlfriend at the next 50's fair at Rose Seidler House.  Oops - it's in August. better get a move on.   TANYA - how are you going? 

2.  What is one place that you really want to visit that you haven't been to before? I've been to loads of places but you know I never went to fashion museums when I was there so London and NY for sure but for the fashion exhibitions this time! 
3. How do you relax?   Well I'm enjoying a nice red wine whilst I compose this post!  But I suppose its the usual - with friends and laughter.  
4. What is your favourite childhood memory?   When I was 7 (in 1972 egads!) we went back to Germany for 6 months and we 'skated' on a frozen pond just with our shoes.  Even the 'grown ups' did it and everyone was laughing and having fun.    It was the first time that I had seen snow(having emigrated to Aus when I was 2) and walked on frozen ponds.  I mean, really !?!   You don't see that in downtown Sydney!
5. If there was one pattern you could own, regardless of availability, cost, or whether you'd actually make it, what would it be?  

vintageous.com has so many gorgeous creations.  But this dress is fabulous.  Easily reconstructed methinks - of course I don't have anywhere to wear it!:

6. If you could spend the rest of your life doing anything you wanted, what would it be?

Really struggling with this one.  Of course I'd love to stay home and sew, but without work where would I wear my creations?  And I get a lot of stimulation at the office.  And the kids are in a great low maintenance stage of life now, so all in all no great yearnings to be off elsewhere.  Right here is fine by me.
7. How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)?  I'm terrible !  Its the first thing I do when I log on, and can float around for hours.  I usually know I've had enough when my eyes are burning.  Then its time to turn off and go and sew something.   I love the blogging world.   I tend to see the same people through the blogs that I watch and I love the inter-connectedness of it all.  Its probably a really bizarre psychosis that I have these 'friends' that are only cyber acquaintances, but hey I have enough real life friends and only a few of them share my passion for sewing, and only one for retro goodness !  

Thanks so much Rachel for picking me, its nice to have a think about what you're passions are once in a while instead of just following them blindly !

I don't really have anyone to tag back as all those I follow have been tagged already but I thought I'd give a shout out to the recycling/refashioning site  The Thrifty Garde Robe as its fledgling and there are some kick ass creations there, particularly:

Jenny at Kerrfect: 

and the sewing dork with this fabulous skirt

 It's creator Ninja-Eema

making undies !

Oh hey, I do have something to share - bought today for $5 - its 1.6 metres (reminds me a lot of the gorgeous echino border prints).   Havent thought of a purpose yet...