Friday, 9 January 2015

RTW Fast 2015 and Wardrobe Architect here I come!

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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A deer Deer and Doe dress - a wearable muslin on holidays

I made it into Buffalo Bill country yesterday (Cody, Wyoming) and I just had to wear my Deer and Doe Sureau dress!  I spent the day visiting the museum, and I had a number of women come up and tell me they loved the dress.  It was good to have some positive affirmation as Mark kept making jokes that I would get shot by a hunter if I wore the dress here.  Better still...I wasn't shot by any hunters! He did however, keep calling me 'dear' all day God love him.

This dress was actually my wearable muslin.  I have since made another two of them in a size smaller...and a little longer than this one.  No other adjustments were made.  I like how I can wear it as is, or if it gets cold, with tights and boots.

So I am one month into this holiday, and I am missing my sewing machine more than I thought I would!  I check into a hotel each evening and get an urge to sew.  Maybe I should buy a small one and carry it with me for the rest of the trip!  And on a high note I still have not not a single piece of RTW this year.  I actually have not even been tempted.  I am tempted however to buy some shoes here before I leave.  The range is so much larger than what we have back in Australia, and the prices are very good too!  

Has anyone ever taken a sewing machine on holidays?  Could anyone recommend a small one which travels well?  Or am I just being obsessive with my sewing?

Monday, 12 May 2014

100% Megan Nielsen

Hi there!  I know it's been ages since I've written a post but I'm baaack! I've been very busy at work but still managed to dedicate most weekends to sewing (if not blogging) prior to leaving on a vacation to the US a couple of weeks ago. 

I have had to plan and think out my closet for this trip, as I will be gone for two whole months, and I wanted to stay true to my RWT Fast.  The planning has paid off.  Only the second week into this holiday and I've gone from balmy shorts and tshirt weather in Hawaii and LA to snow in the Sequoia National Park and the Grand Canyon to a night out on the town in Las Vegas.  And everything required so far for these extremes I have found in my luggage due to planning.  

 I like to travel light so my bag is one size up from a carry on cabin bag.  Admittedly, it is packed to the brim and I need to sit on it to zip it up, but it also ensures I won't be buying anything else as nothing else will fit in there.  And as I made pretty much everything I packed except for a few items purchased pre RWT Fast, I am very unlikely to get rid of clothing just to fit more in.  It's all psychological.  

The only purchase I have made so far is 2.5 metres of silk from Michael Levine's Fabric store in LA.  It squishes up nicely and fits into a ballet flat in my luggage.  This store is located in the garment district in LA and I was truly astounded at how large the area is and how much was on offer there.  

Anyhow, here's a couple of pieces I made for this trip - it's 100% Megan Nielsen.  The top is the Briar which was an easy make with the serger, and her Virginia leggings in a wool jersey.  That was even easier than the Briar.  I made no changes to either of them.  The aliens are compliments from a little town called Baker.

I'll keep putting up posts as I go, and we can see how well my travel wardrobe was or wasn't planned for at the end of the two months.  How much planning do you put in for holidays when it comes to clothes?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Back to Work Dress

This week I started work again after the break.  It has been exceptionally hot here in Australia with temperatures down south here hitting the high 30s (celsius).  I usually park a couple of kilometres away from where I work to ensure I get my daily quotient of exercise in - I am definitely not a gym goer!  I much prefer the fresh air, and my daily walk takes me through the parks and the lake.  It's a lovely way to start and end each working day.

I consider myself lucky that I am not required to wear a suit to work, and therefore can pretty much wear what I like (to a certain degree).  My criteria for work clothes are I must be able to walk or ride my bike in it.  I don't tend to wear trousers as I am usually in my walking/gym shoes until I get to work, where I change into heels.  Trousers without heels tend to drag on the ground whilst I walk to work, or get stuck in the chain of my bike.

With the high temperatures this week, I wanted to make a dress which ensure I stayed cool enough during my walk to work, and also be dressy enough for work.  It also had to be easy to make as I wanted it and I wanted it NOW!  So, I chose Butterick 4789 by Maggy London and made not one...but two of them!

Here is the one I wore yesterday. 
I made this in a size 12.  It is very easy to make (it only has two pieces) and the only change I made was to shorten it by 4 inches. 

I got a lot of compliments on the style and the colour at work.  And it was cool enough to walk to and from work in as well. 

I will post the other one I made at a later date.  I didn't want to wear both of them in the same week, even though the prints on both were quite different.  It's flattering and so easy to make that I think I make more in different prints!  Do you do the same when you find a pattern you like? 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Out for Lunch with Mum Dress

I finally finished the hem on the New Look 6749 dress I started making last week and got to wear out to lunch with my mum today.  You can read my full review on Pattern Review, but it is a very easy dress to make.  I am still tossing up whether to put a trim under the bust area, but I can't decide whether to make it a white or blue trim.  What do you think?

Anyhow, it was a gorgeous day to be out and about (30 degrees celsius) and we had  a lovely lunch.  I appreciate our time together.  She is currently 81 years and still going strong.  Here is a photo of us together at lunch.  It looks like we are on sale!!!

I was at her place last week, and she was going through her closet.  She gave me a few of her dresses from the 1960's.  They were beautifully handmade, and if they actually fit me (she was a lot smaller than me!) I would actually wear them as they are current.  I will post photos of them in the next couple of days. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Big Closet Clean Out

So, for the last couple of days I have been cleaning out my closet with a vengeance!  This action is inspired by a couple of other RWT Fasters.  It is amazing how much I have managed to accumulate since my last cull 5 years ago.  I admit that I have kept a few items which I probably shouldn't have, but they are lovely sequinned and beaded dresses I got whilst travelling through SE Asia and hold some lovely memories for me...and if I lose weight (how many times have we said this???) I may fit back into them one day.

So, here are the piles of clothes I managed to sort through.  The one closest is the keep pile.  The ones behind are the discard piles which I will pass onto others.  Only a very small volume were thrown out due to stains.  I am ashamed to say there were also a small number with their tags still on them as well.

After hanging up my 'keep' pile of clothes in the closet, I know I need to cull again - do I really need 6 black pencil skirts for work???  I have also decided that I am not really good with separates, and much prefer dresses for both work and play.  They are so easy to throw on and accessorise (if I want to) and just walk out the door.  No need to try on 3 different tops with a skirt, before deciding I still look fat and that nothing really matches, and then deciding to start all over again with another which time I am 30 minutes late for work (again!).  Does anyone else have this problem?

Over the holidays I also read "Overdressed - the Shockingly High Cost of Fashion".  It is quite an eye opener and was one of the reasons I joined RWT Fast 2014.  I also recognise the fact that I stopped sewing my own clothes when the fashion in the shops became so cheap that it was not worth my while (never mind the poor fit and bad fabrics) sewing them back in the 90s.  Prior to that I had always sewn my own clothes as it was more feasible to do so financially as a uni student.   It is also from my throwback sewing days that I have some very lovely good quality cottons, linens and silks in my stash currently.  Jersey and stretch fabrics were never that widely available back then. 

Anyhow, I have sewn another summery dress to end the holidays with and have started on a back to work dress as well.  I will post those soon.  My thoughts go out to all of the RWT Fasters in the US - I hope you are all safe and not being too badly affected by the freezing temperatures there.

Friday, 3 January 2014

First day of 2014 - Saltspring Dress

Well the weather here has been 30+ degrees Celsius for the past week.  I made this dress on new year's day as everyone was recovering from the night before.   It is a cotton voile Saltspring dress.  It's cool, flowy and comfortable.  The elastic waist is especially good after the countless meals I have had during this holiday period which has been spent catching up with friends and family - usually over a meal.

This is actually the second Saltspring I have made.  I lowered the bodice lining by an inch this time around, and I did not attach a zipper as I was able to pull it over my head.  I think if I make another one, I will lower the bodice by a further inch, and take some of the fullness out the skirt. But like most ladies who have made this dress, the pockets are a real bonus. 

You will have to excuse the bad photos and the crooked foot pose whilst I work out how to get my camera and my posing working together. 

I am not back at work for another week, and I hope to get more dresses made - both for work and for weekends - during my time off.  I am also moving house at the same time, which will definitely limit the time I have to sew, but I will be putting in as much time as I can!  How much sewing are you girls hoping to get in during your holidays?