Thursday, 26 March 2015

Sewing | Vogue meets Vivienne Westwood

Dame Vivienne has long been an inspiration to me; mostly because of her devil may care attitude which I envy and find empowering.  Plus, she started out on her illustrious career in her 30s, at a time when career changes weren’t so common.   That self-knowledge and self-belief makes her a hero in my eyes.
Her designs look good on all sorts of women from titan curvies to waifs; which not only shows tremendous skill and understanding, but it’s also just plain positive and accepting.
Suffice to say, there was a fair amount of subconscious thought behind this skirt.  I had some tartan left over from my favourite sewing project of all-time and I thought it would be fun to play with the pattern in an unexpected way.  Enter the Lialia dress pattern with its crazy folds.
Love the folds in this pattern - something unexpected
Strike a pose!
Yes it’s a derriere enhancing design, but that’s part of the fun!
This last photo was taken just as a top tune came on the radio I got a little excited J
I’ve made the skirt before, so knew that it would fit etc, but also knew that it was very short.  So this version has a small band along the bottom of it.  Other than that, the only difference is that this material is patterned – but what a difference that makes, don’t you think?

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Sewing | Vintage | Pierre Balmain Vogue Paris Originals’ Dress 2526

This pattern was on my lust list for quite some time before I finally bit the bullet just before Christmas.  I just love how the style marries Mondrian colouring with tailored lines.  Of course, I am a sucker for this type of polished styling as well – it’s just so easy to look like you’ve made more of an effort than is in fact reality when wearing this type of thing.
When I ordered the beige knit for my Lola dress from Minerva, I also ordered a selection of knits to make up a toile. 
The pattern called for the entire dress to be underlined which I have never come across with a knit dress before.  I just used plain, bemberg non-static lining.  Might at first seem unnecessary for a toile, but I wanted to make sure it fitted without any stretch, and assumed the lining would help in that department.
With three different colours, cutting this out was a bit of a task.  Having not sewn this pattern before, I cut the material out with an extra 1.5 cm at the side seams of each piece.  In the end, I took 3 cm seams at the front/side front princess seams and 2 cm seams at centre back and back/side back princess seams, so I was glad of the extra width.  That did mean that I couldn’t cut out the full length of the pieces though; which meant losing the 7.5 cm ear-marked for the hem.
Everything came together so nicely.  Like all vintage patterns, the instructions are pretty sparse and assume a certain level of prior knowledge, but with a dress like this, there was no bother.  My machine refused to topstitch the material nicely (tension was all over the place) so I’ve lost that nice detail, which is a bit of a shame, but not really a problem given this was just a test for fit/style.
Putting in the earrings
Doing up the brass zips on the sleeves
Playing with the excess ease... grrr, still some tweaking to do on the fit then.
There were a few fitting issues - too much excess in the bodice (feels a bit like I've got fabric bingo wings and waist flaps - nice image Rachel!).  Also the neckline sits up too high on my neck (despite it not being too tight, weird) leaving me with fabric forming over-developed trapezius muscles above my collarbone.  Not what i'm going for really!
I think this would be really nice in a wool, and might very well keep pondering that for a while! 
One thing I'll need to keep in mind is that the invisible zip needs to go through all three colours.  I used a white one here and it wasn't easy to insert and nor was it 100% successful! 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Travel | New York City

Part two of our holiday was spent in New York, in the coldest temperatures that I think I have ever experienced.  It was bitter folks, bitter!  We had a great time though, and interest is definitely piqued. 
Empire State

Battery Park

Ice in the Hudson

New Jersey

Frozen boulders

Squirrels - cute internationally

Statute of Liberty, from the WWII War memorial

September 11 Museum

September 11 Memorial

Heart drum in Times Square

An original chequered cab

Manhattan & the Brooklyn Bridge

Lady Liberty & the Brooklyn Bridge

Some of the many snowdrops that fell on us

St Patrick's Cathedral

Wall art, 5th Avenue

the home of NYFW

the Guggenheim. Red would have been crazy!

standard lighting at Grand Central station

Grand Central Station

chandelier at the Eugene O'Neill theatre

cameo at the theatre

Frozen fountain at Brrrr-yant Park

NY Public Library - reception hall

M&J Trims - just around the corner from our hotel!

the giant needle and button of the Garment District

statue remembering the Jewish influence on the Garment District

Alice and friends, Central Park

our stop for the Frick Collection

the view outside our hotel as we left for the airport

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Sewing | Vogue 8804 Wearable Update

Here are some photos of the cardigan jacket on me.  I’m still working on what to wear it with (jeans are my favourite so far) as it can very quickly go from being nice to being stuffy or matronly. Plus, I can't avoid the fact that it is too big.  Those points aside, major as they might be, it feels absolutely sumptuous to wear, so I will persevere!
Up Close & Personal
A work in progress shot missed last time

Sunday, 1 March 2015

travel | Las Vegas Sevens & Nature

For our 5th wedding anniversary (and 13th year together!) Mr C.T. and I went on a fantastic holiday to the States.  It was actual bliss.  Gorgeous scenery and friendly, welcoming people.  
New York, New York

I love the engineering and design of this building

Bellagio fountains in front of Paris casino


Remains of a forest fire decades ago

The happy couple - long may it last please!

Mr Brave

Hoover dam, low due to a lack of snow

The setting for the Las Vegas 7s.  Something else!