Monday, 28 May 2012

MMM Days 22 - 25

Hang in there, we're nearly at the end of MMM12 and normal (sewing) services are scheduled to resume within a week.

But while I'm here I'd better do my latest MMM summary.

Day 22

Nearly winter - I wore my black V1013 DKNY dress, made a couple of years ago (blogged in this post). It feels a little bit vintage to wear, but maybe that's the amazing fabric - it's - umm I don't know - maybe a black moire? I need to look it up somewhere! It's textured like a twill but with a sort of watermark, and cold and silky... does that ring any bells with anyone? My favourite thing about this dress is the sleeve puffs - boy did they challenge me at the time!

This is such an arty, attractive photo compared to what I'm capable of by myself! And I reckon Marylene can make anyone look good :-)

This dress is one of the first things I sewed for myself when I started sewing again (around 2010), back when I was sewing in our dining room and when my whole stash and entirety of notions fitted into the baby bassinet.  I love the puff sleeves (quite a challenge for me then) and the vintage feel of this dress (even though it's a very modern looking pattern). 

I started sewing this dress because I felt like it - no plan at all - liked the pattern and found a large enough piece of fabric in my stash. However, one evening when I was a good way through and in a bit of a sewing "zone", an unexpected statement popped into my head: that the dress would be ready in time for the funeral. Creepy! Talk about unsettling. Half of me told myself not to worry, the other half was muttering "please not one of my kids... " And sure enough, this dress had its first outing for a funeral, that of my mum's step-dad Tony, who passed away quite suddenly. I felt like Tony would have approved of this dress.

Day 23

Here I am in the better of my two V1247 Rachel Comey tops, this one in a charcoal linen-silk. Even though this one feels too loose, and I think the vertical pleats / darts need to be closer to the centre, it is at least wearable. And I really like the seam details, which are better photographed in the original blog post here. FYI my second version of V1247 - in a very loud orange ikat - just doesn't quite fit in with my wardrobe. 

Marylene has taken a short holiday and my imagination is not fired up, so the photo location is the same as on Day 22.

Day 24

A shivery cold, rainy day. It was COLD, but I was determined to wear a top not yet seen in MMM - this little Liberty top made from an OOP V2465 Chloe pattern (for a dress, mind you). So this is what it looks like when it rains a bit in Sydney (at least it wasn't too heavy!):

To keep a bit warmer I have to admit to a wool singlet underneath :-) and this gorgeous wool scarf, knitted for me last year by my friend Winny.

Can you tell my photographer is still away??? These photos were taken on the balcony at work. I discovered that if you go right to the end of the balcony there's an area that's hard to see from the other parts of the balcony - perfect for embarrassing self-portraits! 

Day 25

Day 25 was a Friday, so a day with a photo theme. And the theme was WATER. It was still looking a bit miserable in the morning, but by late morning the bad weather looked to have blown away - so I decided to have a bit of a fun, touristy lunchtime visit to Circular Quay for my photo.  

I was wearing V1194, a DKNY pattern, made in a really cosy thick jumper knit from Tessuti and originally blogged here. This dress is shorter than I meant it to be - I got my partner's advice on where the hem should sit and I think we have different tastes in dress lengths! 

This photo was taken by me with my camera balanced on a bollard - and there's the famous coathanger in the left side:

and this one was taken for me by a young man who observed me struggling to take my own picture. I gave him some instructions and I think he did a pretty good job, even getting those famous sails in the background for me:

I made my way back to the office feeling on top of the world, and absolutely ready to take on all the silly work issues. I think this view of Circular Quay with the city behind it kind of encapsulates how I felt - tourism is very cheering! 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

MMM Days 12 - 16 (We're Half Way There)

I feel like breaking into that Bon Jovi song (Living on a Prayer, is that it?) but I don't remember the lyrics... probably not really right for MMM12, but we ARE more than half way there!

Over the weekend the weather turned cold - and so I am back to a more limited wardrobe, and the idea of wandering about at lunchtime with my colleague and taking a few snaps along the way is much less appealing. Apologies in advance, hope you can cope!

Working backwards so that you can get the better photos first:

Day 16 - today!

This morning didn't feel as cold as the last few mornings, so I braved it with just a mini jacket (also - not seen here - a ginormous woolly scarf / shawl, and a wool singlet). So the me-mades today were the lined jacket - made way back in the late 80s or early 90s from some lovely but quite lightweight wool, my recent polka dot silk top (made from an 80s Butterick pattern) and the pleat-front skirt made from an 80s Vogue pattern.

The jacket was posted in Me-Made-March'11 here, the polka dot silk top was posted here, and the skirt here.

Very conservative, isn't it - would you have picked this for an 80s outfit?

not sure that this helps really...
Day 15

I know this looks like lovely weather, but trust me, it was cold! The skirt here is made from V1038 and was introduced in Me-Made-March'11. Unfortunately it needs taking in: the waist is a good 4+ cm too large, which makes the waistine sit around my hips, and the knee length-ness become something very frumpy!  I guess I made this before I'd worked out my skirt sizing :-[. The pink merino wool top was a present last year from my mum and the purple scarf a present from my mother-in-law.

Day 14

Marylene and I ducked downstairs to the edge of the food court by our building for this photo - I should have brought my jacket with me, it was freezing!

My floral blouse is from pattern #125 of Burda magazine issue 2/2009 (in Japanese cotton + coordinating buttons from Tessuti fabrics), and was also seen last year:

Day 13 (Mother's Day)

Lovely cuddles from the kids, a croissant and coffee in bed, heartfelt homemade gifts from the kids.  My son was anxious that I be pleased he'd sewn something for me - I sure was!! - he sewed a felt dress for a wooden spoon doll he'd made at school: a neat running stitch down one side of the dress and a nice straight blanket stitch down the other!  My daughter made me a special book with a picture of a princess on one page AND a picture of a fairy on the other page, and was so excited about it that she gave it to me two days early.  Very lucky me :-)

It was a chilly, windy day when I got up.  The only me-made here is my self-drafted stripey top, originally blogged here (hmmm I do seem to have made a lot of stripey tops....).  I am keen on my improvised cuffs and the neck band.

Day 12

A bit chilly...  so I wore a 2010? bateau-neck wool jersey top from a BurdaStyle pattern, plus singlet, plus scarf from Nepal. Even though this is not a great photo, this is the best of about 15 I took with the remote controller and/or timer.  More photos of this top are also here - showing a bit of my stripe matching.

By the way - you may have noticed I haven't been posting photos of my daughter wearing me mades over this last week. She is definitely choosing to wear home made clothes most days, but I was finding it hard to make time for decent photos in the mornings, and by the afternoons she is always very, very grubby - so I'll just focus on my own me made efforts now.

Fingers crossed for more warm weather?

Sunday, 13 May 2012

MMM Days 6 -11

MMM, hooray!

You see, if it weren't for MMM I wouldn't have much to say right now. For most of the week I've been trying to heal an eye infection, and it's made sewing a bit of a pain in the eyes. [Don't worry, it doesn't really look too bad - and I'm not showing you an unpleasant eye close up anyway, so you can keep reading.]

Day 11
The Day 11 Friday theme was ugly places.... My "photographer" (my colleague Marylene) and I walked around at lunchtime, but struggled to find an ugly place near work, as everything seemed to have its own charm - even an electricity box by a building site and a garage door.  
Interesting rather than ugly!
Boring and washed out but maybe not ugly

The final "ugly" photo was taken at the entrance to a big underground carpark, but I quite like the gunmetal grey paint colour :-). 

Day 11
What is ugliness? (Reminds me of another great question: what is madness?)

My dress is V1175, made in January of this year from broderie anglaise and linen with daisy trim around the neckline - a bit of a favourite of mine and I do tend to wear it whenever the weather makes it possible :-). The dress was originally posted here

Day 10
On Day 10 I wore my V1220 dress, which is one I don't wear very often. It's a popular pattern and the dress looks great on a variety of body shapes, but I've found I don't like it that much on myself. The waist feels too high, and the neckline too low cut - and of course this was one of those makes where I didn't check these sorts of fundamental measurements before cutting and sewing. The dress is originally posted here - and you'll see that I started out loving this dress!
The photos were taken at an outside table in a laneway bar by our office block. We popped out really quickly mid-afternoon for some snaps - and we were so quick with the photos that no one asked us to order anything :-).  I tell you, there is no way I would be looking this relaxed if I were taking my own photos!

The laneway

The book is one I refer to a lot at work if I'm writing SAS code as I tend to forget formatting details - it's called The Little SAS Book.

Day 10

Day 9
On Day 9 I wore a recent dress, made using V1137, a vintage Vogue reissue. I really like the silhouette of this dress - lately I'm really liking these long skirt lengths, although I think they do make one's top half look short. This dress was originally blogged here, where you can see what it's like without a cardi.

Day 9
Isn't this an interesting photographic backdrop? This is the delivery area of a pub near work. On the right side of the next photo is proof that people don't necessarily stare or jeer (phew) when you get your photo taken in public.

Day 9

I'm so glad of this beautiful weather - we didn't get much of a summer, so the sunshine is better late than never as far as I'm concerned.

Sunburst - is that what it's called?

Day 8
A fitted black skirt seems such a wardrobe staple to me, but my go-to black fitted work skirt is getting less fitted as it ages (it's now several years old, and it's made from a black ponte di roma fabric). On Day 8 I thought I'd give a "tester" skirt in my wardrobe another go...  This skirt is V1915, an 80s pattern - but skirt shapes mostly seem to recycle, don't they?

Day 8

These photos are taken next to my building, in a green area next to an outdoor food court. It's not too bad for a corporate lunch spot, and no one batted an eyelid when we snapped a couple of photos.

I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with "M"

I'm still not sure about this skirt; it has a strange puffiness in the top of the pleats and I don't think that can be a good thing. Perhaps this pattern is better for a very drapey fabric? In case you're interested, the cardi is from Cue - a relatively recent purchase that I am completely happy with, despite the cling.

Day 7
Day 7 was an unplanned sort of day, but cool enough for me to crack open the winter wardrobe for this dress (V8511 dress, blogged here last May) made from a piece of wool jersey from Tessuti Fabrics. And I tried my cashmere jacket (V1098, made last June) with it - and lo and behold, we have a match!


The colours are not identical, but certainly very close. I hadn't realised these two garments looked this nice together - I'm pleased to have learnt something!

Day 7

Click goes the remote, and chop goes the head
 These photos were taken down at Barangaroo with the remote control - embarrassment at every click and "flash" from the camera, and a ratio of about 7 bad to 1 presentable photo.

If I crouch down into as small a space as I can I think I'll fit in the frame! 

Day 6
This was a relaxed day at home, just going out in the late afternoon for a family dinner.  Even though it looks like a lovely day, I was chilly.

Day 6

This blue top is recent sewing - and not blogged. It's a mildly tweaked version of pattern 108 from Burda 2/2009 in a deliciously soft merino knit from The Fabric Store. Basically I reduced the width of the boat neck opening, lengthened arms and body significantly, and added a band on the neckline. Easy peasy but very comfortable, and I really didn't feel like taking it off even when I went to bed!

Now you can see the neckline and the extra length...
So, back to it.  The above two photos are "weekend quality", and it's the weekend again. Tomorrow when I wake up it will be Mother's Day - so happy mother's day to all the mums: I hope you get a cuddle or a kiss from someone special!

Monday, 7 May 2012

M-M-M'12 Days 2-5

My new remote control is not coping with more than a tiny distance - but luckily I've found some great photo helpers for MMM to date.

On Wednesday (day 2) after a coffee & stats meeting my colleague Ken was happy to help, and even made useful suggestions about where to stand in relation to the sun. I forgot to tell him how to focus the camera, but he did a fine job anyway and said he could help on other days too. Aww thanks Ken!

This is my new Vogue skirt - the skirt feels very comfortable although it feels as though there may be some puffing out in the backside, so perhaps it's supposed to be tighter or perhaps my fabric has relaxed. I'm wearing this pretty much exactly as when I first showed it to you - not very imaginative, I know!

On Thursday (day 3) my colleague Marylene came out for a lunchtime walk, even though I explained it was going to be a "photo" walk. She was glad to help too! She was very aware of the light, she showed a great eye for locations, and she managed to take fantastic pictures that didn't need any cropping, unlike mine.  

There are several of these big rocks in a group - I really like this sculpture.  

Marylene's photos are better than my originals for this jacket - V - and I think she's made it look as good as it feels. The dress (V ) has been a bit of a corporate workhorse; I wear it year round and I suppose it's getting a bit tired. Might have to remake it one of these days!

On Friday (day 4), a really busy day in our team, Marylene again agreed to come out for a photo walk. When I told her how much I loved her photos from yesterday she showed me a few other photos on her mobile - a beautifully framed photo of a friend in her bridal dance, and a perfect sunset. Talk about hidden talents!

My loud and cheerful self-drafted kimono sleeve t-shirt - which I can now see is significantly too big - looked like it should be snapped alongside the colourful toilet doors at Barangaroo (which we'd spotted on our Thursday walk).


Unfortunately I hadn't yet read about the Friday photo themes, but I'm thinking to take part in the rest of them... for the record, if I'd known I should have been thinking food not toilet doors :-)

Yesterday (day 5) my son helped out, taking snaps after a soccer match in which he played his heart out. His team lost but played well - their third loss in a row, but their skills are improving and they are no doubt learning more from losing than they would from winning.

A friend told me that evening that I'm the sort of person who's never prepared to make myself look ridiculous - I think she's wrong, and to prove the point here are some ridiculous photos for the day:

This is an old kimono sleeve t-shirt, self-drafted using very a nice jersey from Tessuti Fabrics.  Evidently I have done nothing to these photos at all.... and I probably need to give my son a few more photography top tips - or even introduce him to Marylene.

My daughter has also been doing her bit towards my MMM'12 commitment. Here she is on day 2, having a hilarious time losing a sandal:

wearing a summery Burdastyle dress (originally blogged here) and an unblogged hoodie originally made for her big brother from Burda paper pattern 9614 (similar hoodie in pink blogged here).

On day 3 she chose a me-made t-shirt dress which I can't wait for her to grow out of because it's just embarrassing to think I made it (pale pink with green, yellow and blue naive flowers, and a terrible 80s pattern). I won't show you a photo of that one.

- SKIP - 

But she kept up the effort on day 4, playing at the park:

here she's wearing a me made long sleeve t-shirt (I think from a Burda paper pattern) to which I added ruffles, + a necklace she made herself.

Ken, Marylene and my son don't read this blog, but one day they may, so I am hereby recording my appreciation.  And thinking about the next 25 or so favours I'll be needing this month :-)

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The First Day...

It's the first day of Me Made May 2012, and even though I've only challenged myself to wear 1 me-made garment a day (and 10 a week), I am already feeling the pressure. This may seem odd if you've looked at my wardrobe tab (what's she whinging about, you may wonder - she has all those choices!). Well one problem is that I'm a BRRRRRRRR cold bug, and the weather at the moment in Sydney is rather chilly around the edges (although I have to admit it's perfectly pleasant around lunchtime). This is a problem because I mostly sew for warm weather! The other problem is ironing - I hate it! Last night I did some MMM preparation though: I ironed my grey "summer wool" trousers, hung them carefully with my teal blue cashmere jacket, and ironed a couple of tops. I don't think I'm going to keep this ironing malarkey up for long though...

Anyway, here's today's outfit, photos taken by my son on our way to kindy to drop off my daughter this morning. Brrrr.
full length but blurry
focussed but headless

The trousers were originally blogged here, the jacket here, and I don't think I ever blogged the top. The trousers and jacket are both from V1098, an Anne Klein design (but with the collar left off the jacket) and the silk twill top is from V8392, a Very Easy Vogue pattern. My impression of my outfit today is that the colours / patterns go well but that the fit of these garments isn't spectacular. The top is too blousey, the jacket a smidge too short, and the pants feel loose in the legs - but my mother-in-law thinks they look very flattering, so I'm in the middle of making them again in a pinstripe linen (summer sewing? don't I ever learn?).

My daughter got in on the act too with what may well be the last wear of a dress I made her for her birthday last year (blogged here).  This dress is getting  tight on her little strong girl arms, and ties at the back are not being tolerated any more because they're uncomfortable in the car seat. She took her coat off for this photo:

So... our cloud backup system seems to be making all normal computer functions very slow, so I don't know how often I'll be doing MMM posts. I'll definitely be trying to upload photos every day to the Flickr stream though if you want to have a peek at what I and others are managing to wear. 

And in very exciting news, today I bought a remote control for my camera! WOW!  I only found out my camera could use one of these today... and I tell you, the remote controller is infinitely more fun than the self-timer!

No guarantee you'll see any better photos - perhaps some crazier ones though?
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