Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The humble knit blazer

All Zen on the building site

Today's photos are courtesy of our building site, formerly known as our back yard. There is no work today because the engineer has to come back with the new calculations for the footings, which is what happens if you try to excavate into volcanic lava flow and find that the massive boulders you remove are too deep for your foundations.  I suppose I should be stressing about the cost of all these delays and re-engineering works but whenever I am tempted to go down that line of thought, I just think to myself, "first world problems."  Of course it is easier to take a broader perspective when you are not paying for it - and since I contribute precisely zero to the house hold economy my zen like attitude is perhaps slightly less admirable.

It's funny though I have start to think of the cost of things in terms of renovation fit outs. This re-engineering work will cost us a new toilet and half a hand basin.

In times of huge expenditure and expensive footings, isn't it nice to be able to return to a hobby that over the course of a year costs me less than a heated towel rail?

 Let us turn our thoughts to more comforting and reassuring pursuits  - that of the hobby seamstress. Here is my experiment with Ottobre 02-2014-10 the humble knit blazer.  I purchased a 3 metre length of felted wool merino from the Fabric store at a huge discount because of a fault that ran every couple of metres down the centre of the fabric. It is thick and warm and cozy, and it is just like wearing a snuggly wool blanket. That is on the plus side. On the minus side, the semi fitted style and heavy fabric add quite a bit of bulk to the figure, which is why I have nicknamed this jacket, "the ten pounder."

I used snap domes instead of button holes. I didn't like my chances with the sewing machine - the fabric is very thick.

It's quite handy for the school run when I need something to stave off the early morning autumn chill and its casual look makes for a good jeans and jersey combo.

I love the whole idea of the knit jacket but this is not true love, it is not, if you will,  a Vittoria and Albert quarried quartz freestanding bath.

The zipper  is a humble black 10 cm jean zipper.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

There and back again: a sewer's journey

Pattern:  Burda style  08-2009-104 
Fabric - cotton silk voile

Well people, here I am again, ready to begin blogging after a one and a half year hiatus. Here's what I learned from my blog vacation. It's fantastic lurking. All joy, no commitment.   So why begin blogging again? Well it's quite simple, because I have started sewing again and it's really nice to have someone to share it with.

I did want to start a new blog though, I'd had enough of the old one. I felt I'd done smirking. I want to shift my focus to the celebration of home crafts in all their wonky glory. I decided it was time to embrace the imperfections of the hobby seamstress - to sew the best I can, as a celebration of creativity, and just enjoy the sheer pleasure of saying, "why yes, I did make it, how can you tell? "   (the uneven hem, the under collar rolling out from under the top collar, the lopsided top stitching?)

At any rate, to get me back into the swing of sewing as part of a collective endeavor, I entered the Pattern Review fitted shirt contest.  If I did not come last, I came pretty close to it, which made me roar with laughter.

But the purpose of entering was to encourage me to lift my game, and I made such a good effort with this shirt, I'm really proud of myself. I made a full wearable test garment, and when I sewed this one I did everything properly right down to using a sew in cotton batiste as interfacing. That's commitment folks, because every piece had to be carefully cut to allow for turn of cloth and sewn in separately, not like fusible interfacing that just needs to cut to one size and then spanked with an iron.

I have just been reading in an updated Colour Me Beautiful guide that I got from the library that full busted gals should not wear shirts. I think it's fear of button gaposis. When I see me in this shirt I do think I look very full figured, but then I went to a sewing workshop last weekend where we measured for our true size and I came out as a size 20, in which case,  perhaps it makes me look quite slim (for a size 20).

Pattern:  Burda style  08-2009-104 
Fabric - cotton silk voile