Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Couture Dress

OK, deep breath. I can do this.  I've just flashed my credit card at craftsy and signed up for the Couture Dress Course.  I really like the dress that she uses and doing this dress, with this course is on my list of 52.

I'm a largely self taught sewer, and I'm sure that my technique could do with some major work so I'm hoping that this course will do just that.

Of course, now I have to wait for the pattern to arrive before I get stuck in.

And maybe tackle some of those other projects off the list of 52 that I have started.

Monday, 28 January 2013

My new, improved (re-branded) sewing STUDIO

OK, first step to rebranding my old sewing room had to be signage.  After all, how else could I expect people to know it was my studio, not just the spare room cum study where Mum keeps her sewing stuff?  Of course, the signage had to be relevant to the room, so I sewed a poster to hang on the door!
There's a bit of applique going on, and a fair amount of machine embroidery.(Courtesy of Urban Threads)

The dressmakers' dummy is where my imagination takes flight, and I couldn't be without a reference to my first every sewing machine:
I started with a truly messy study-sort-of-room, with a huge L-shaped desk as a reminder of the days when I did a lot of work at home on a desk top computer.  By the time it finally died I was using a laptop more anyway.  The old desk top, along with it's huge screen still sat in the corner of the desk gathering dust.
  As a hang up from it's dual use the room wasn't organised for my sewing, there was no where to cut out (I took projects down stairs and cut them out on the dining table) and it was permanently untidy.
The biggest change for me was swinging the L shaped desk round to give me a cutting space that I could walk round and moving the space for two of my sewing machines to the window, so I have better light. 

Unfortunately I this process put my sewing on hold for a couple of weeks while I managed to get various children to help me move the furniture around and got rid of the old desk top computer, so the minute it was operational again I jumped in and messed it all up with projects off the list of 52!  The dress on the dummy?  That's the Brown Print Maxi Dress, item three on my list.

I probably should have either photographed it first or tidied up again for the pictures.

OK, I feel guilty now.  I'll go and give it a quick tidy up.
It only looks slightly better, but my Bernina (my main machine) and my overlocker tuck neatly away in cabinets and I have a clear space for cutting and drafting.
No, of course, I need to get cracking on the 52 projects.  I've actually already completed two of them and started another two, but I need to take photos and get blogging.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

belated up date

I have finally read through all the blogs that I follow so I feel the need to update mine.
When I last blogged I had almost completed Me Made May.  I can’t remember exactly what I wore, but I recall thinking that it was just as well it was over when I received the news that my father had died as I didn’t have a me made black dress!  (Strange thoughts go through one’s head at these moments). 
The same day I was offered a job that was far from the job of my dreams but a job that would keep the bills paid in the mean time.
Over the next few months I was overwhelmed by the difficult circumstances surrounding my father’s death and the stress of a new job along with the acceptance that, for the time being, the less than perfect job is what I have to settle for.  I have spent a lot of my life holding the proverbial black dog at bay, but for the last six months it felt as though he had moved in.  

After 18 years living in New Zealand I was also declined citizenship, which left me feeling rejected by the country that I consider home.  Even reading other people’s blogs seemed an effort, and when I did it looked as though everyone else was doing better than me.  Updating my own blog was just too hard.
It’s not that I didn’t sew; in fact I sewed like a mad woman, feeling that sewing was the only thing that I could do that didn’t make me feel like a failure.  I continued to attend pattern making classes and drafted new patterns, but didn’t want to write about it and risk bringing the black cloud into my blog too. 
Finally, at the suggestion of my adorable little boy (22 yrs old), I managed to scrap the funds together to fly to Australia for Christmas, visit my mother and reconnect with someone special who had moved to Australia just before the black dog moved in.  

As I’m sitting on a train back to Mum’s I can’t believe I didn’t realise how healing two weeks of his calm and care would be.  For the first time I feel able to plan forward without seeing blackness ahead. (I’m also impressed that the Brisbane Air trains all have Wi-Fi on them)
While I was being healed in tropical North Queensland I read through all the blogs that I follow, and even picked up a few more.  I was inspired by Karen (Did you make that?) to make a small commitment to getting jeans sorted in 2013.
One small sewing commitment… Why stop there?  So while I was on the plane to Brisbane I made a list of all the projects that I would like to complete in 2013:
1.       Small case for travelling medication
2.       I Pod case
3.       Brown Print Maxi Dress
4.       Black and Yellow Bikini
5.       Re-trimming a straw hat (using new bias binding making machine! More later)
6.       Patchwork quilt – following Craftsy course
7.       Tote bag for pattern making classes
8.       Purple and  grey dress
9.       Black and grey polo shirt for special person
10.   New cover for my deck lounger
11.   Barrel shaped saddle bag for my bike
12.   Bucket bag to fit into my bike basket
13.   Grey and Black Jacket
14.   White Leather Hat
15.   Pink and brown tweed skirt
16.   Black and white checked skirt with arch shaped godets and red piping
17.   Pink and black houndstooth bias cut skirt
18.   Short sleeved black and white checked jacket
19.   Red Silk Shirt
20.   Red Lycra mock wrap top
21.   Blue, black and white Lycra dress
22.   Grape “Couture” dress (another Craftsy Course)
23.   Olive Green Short sleeved Jacket
24.   Olive green tailored shirt
25.   Grey crinkle Maxi dress with embellishments
26.   Candy Striped dress
27.   Blue Lacy cardi/wrap
28.   Black Merino Cardigan
29.   Black Merino T shirt
30.   Green Peplum Dress
31.   Green and cream silk skirt
32.   Brown Tencel Shirt
33.   Blue and Green Striped skirt
34.   Blue, black and white dress
35.   Red white and blue striped shirt
36.   Blue and white striped shirt (for undetermined male)
37.   Black and Blue striped dress
38.   Black and white Corset dress
39.   Graduated dyed dress (originally white)
40.   White flowered sleeveless blouse
41.   Bottle Green Tailored Pants
42.   White slashed shoulder blouse
43.   Teal Crinkle dress
44.   Chambray short/culottes
45.   Pale Green laptop bag
46.   Quilted dust cover for my overlocker
47.   ‘Purple seahorse appliqu├ęd cushion for my bedroom
48.   New York cushion for the living room
49.   Pink and silver blouse
50.   White Flowered jeans
51.   Red ¾ Jeans
52.   Grape coloured Jeans

If anyone reads this you may have noticed that there are 52 projects for the year, averaging precisely one a week (nifty bit of maths there!).  Unlike the commitment to Karen’s challenge, these are projects that I would LIKE to complete.  I recognise that one a week is an ambitious goal, and quite possibly unattainable.  However, there are several reasons for such an extensive list:
A)     It will ensure that I always have something to sew to distract me should the black dog attempt to re-appear
B)      I am embarrassed to admit that everyone of these projects are from my stash – no fabric purchases required.  Should an irrational urge to purchase fabric come upon me, the list should remind me of just how much fabric I already have.
C)      The list includes a number of projects that I don’t have the skills to achieve at the moment, so I’ll be up-skilling as I go (including two craftsy classes).
D)     If I even get half-way down the list I will have made a real dent in my fabric stash, so I’ll have to go fabric shopping – Whoopeeeeee!
Irrational, yes, but I’m going to give it a go.
First up – a major re-organisation of my sewing room: While I was relaxing I had some major inspiration as far as my options are concerned and can hardly wait to get home and get started.  

Once it has been re-vamped I will re-christen it my Sewing “Studio” – Sounds much more industrious
“Where’s your Mum?”
“She’s upstairs in her sewing room” or “She’s in her Studio” 

I like the sound of studio.