Saturday, 30 May 2009

Recovering from a Week of Festivities

So I am over my little pity party! There's nothing like an illness in the family to remind you of your priorities. My Dad has had a scare this past week and after numerous tests they have decided that, while still serious, his condition is nowhere near as bad as it could have been - Phew!

Anyway, thanks for the birthday wishes. I ended up having a fantastic week. On Wednesday, my actual birthday, we went out for dinner with my Mum, my sister and her boyfriend to an Indian restaurant in Victoria Park. On Thursday my friends Sarah and Cam took us out to dinner at a posh restaurant called Opus. Friday night was my party, it was a great success (IMHO) and on Saturday we watched a stand up comedian Adam Hills (who hosts one of my favourite shows, Spicks and Specks).
After a relaxing Sunday, my fella took me away to Margaret River for a couple of days. We stayed in a cabin surounded by untouched bushland with a spa and pot belly stove. If you can bear to see holiday snaps I'll post some in the next couple of days.
This is the dress I wore to both the dinners. It's the dress I made last year to wear to my friends' wedding. It's McCalls 5466. I know there have been some problems with this pattern but a simple alteration to the front armhole curve seems to fix it.

This is the dress I made for the party on Friday night (review to follow). Unfortunately it was freezing so I wore a coat over it most of the night but it still came out okay. I think this must be a bad photo as I don't remember looking so portly on the night! You probably can't see them well but I think my shoes were the star of this outfit - they are Fetish by Melissa in a copper/bronze colour that is not shown on the website. I heart Melissa shoes - eternal thanks to Claire for introducing me to them!

I am woefully behind on posting projects and writing reviews, but I will do my best to catch up soon.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

I should be like Desmo

This is Desmo. She and her foster sister Bodine are really good to me. They let me live in their house, wait on them hand and foot, sit on their chairs and sleep in their bed. And they know how to relax.

Relaxing is what I should be doing since I am on holidays for two weeks (yay!) but I am beginning to think that I am incapable of relaxing, even a little bit and that the zen-like level of contentment demonstrated above by Desmo is something I will never come close to.

Tomorrow I will turn 40 and to say I am apprehensive is an understatement. I know milestones such as these should be celebrated but I can't see past all the doors that are closing to me. Marriage, babies, raising a family - all I've ever wanted for my life is just probably not ever going to happen now. Of course it's not like flipping a switch, I've known my chances weren't good for a while, but 40 just seems so final!

So, if I have to have this birthday (and apparently I do), then I shall make the best of it. I am having a party on Friday night and a whole bunch of friends are coming, including a number that I haven't seen for many years. I'll be making a dress (of course) but I haven't started it yet (also of course).

And I'll try to practice being more like Desmo.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

BWOF 01-2009-124 Herringbone Waistcoat

One of my favourite TV shows is The IT Crowd. In the third season Jen, the female character, wears a really cute blouse and waistcoast combo.

I re-created it in my own way. Here's the front:
And the back:

You'll recognise the blouse from my previous post. The waistcoat is from the January 09 BWOF.

I cut a size 38 down to the bottom of the armholes, then graded out to a 42 at the waist and I made an FBA.

I used fusible bias tabe to stabilise the neck and armholes and pretty much followed the instructions except for the armholes. I never get a nice finish when I join the shoulders after sewing the armholes so this is how I did mine.

Sew the waistcoat shell and lining, leaving a gap in the centre back of the lining. Sew the lining and shell together all around the outside, turn through and press well. I didn't topstich as I thought it might look a bit weird on the plain back.

Now on to the armholes, turn in the raw edges on an armhole (I did it at the side seam) roughly and pin them together (don't worry this is just a marker, not for construction):
Reach inside through the hole in the centre back and pinch the raw edges you just turned in. Pull the edges out through the whole and remove the first pin.
Now start pinning around the armhole as far as you can. You might need to start over if you get a bit confused - it takes a while to get the hang of it. I usually sew from the side seam to just past the shoulder seam on the first go. This is after the first pass, see the opening in the upper right hand side of the armhole?
Then untangle your waistcoat, go in through the hole again and sew the remainder of the armhole. Trim and press your seams.
The finished armhole:

Overall, it's a pretty cute outfit. I'm not sure how far into winter I'll get before I have to change from a cotton blouse to something warmer, but it will do for a while at least!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Attitude of Gratitude

Thank you McVal for nominating me for the 'Attitude of Gratitude' award.

The Rules of Accepting and Sharing this Award
1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude
3. Link to your nominees within your post
4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
5. Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award
6. Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude
I hope you don't think I'm copping out but I really can't choose only 10 blogs to nominate to pass the award onto. If you read this and want to respond then consider yourself nominated!
I have to say it was really nice to receive this award, especially since recently I have found it hard to maintain an 'attitude of gratitude'. It has made me remember the things in my life that I truly am grateful for:
  • That I have a job, even one that doesn't make me very happy, when so many around the world are struggling right now.
  • My fella, who is a rock for me when I need it, and makes me laugh the rest of the time. Oh yeah, he cooks and washes dishes while I sew too!
  • My friends who are always available for long chats about frivolous or serious things.
  • My family who I love and who love me.
  • That after months of insomnia, I am finally getting a reasonable night's sleep on most nights (without medication).
  • That in less than 2 weeks time I am on holiday!