Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Finished - Sailors Top and Elise Tee

As we approach summer I've been trying to plug some wardrobe gaps, and one of those gaps was a few new t-shirts. I know making basics like tees can be a bit boring and many would rather spend that sewing time on something more interesting, which I understand, absolutely. But right now I just can't bring myself to buy them. I'm just so sick of poor quality, badly made, off grain t-shirts. And I'll be honest - I'm too tight to spend cash on a crappy t-shirt when I can make one myself for a quarter of the price....

Today I'm sharing two new tees, plus some patterns I'd like to try (if I hadn't promised my beloved that I wouldn't buy any more fabric before Christmas.....).

First is Marilla Walker's free Sailors Top, available to download from here. It's a very simple square tee (or can be extended into a dress), one size, with some interesting neckline and sleeve gusset details. I ended up leaving the sleeves and sleeve gussets off - I just couldn't get mine to look as nice as Marilla's, and in the end realised the sleeveless version would be more suited to the Australian summer anyway.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Finished - Vintage McCalls 8222 skirt

It's been a weekend of highs and lows at Chez Tragic. First the biggest low was the Rolling Stones cancelling their concert for the second time, disappointing not only the fans but the poor community around the Macedon Ranges who had been gearing up for the influx of thousands of visitors and therefore dollars. What can one say? Not much. But one can sigh. A lot. Sigh.

On the plus side I am thrilled to say I am now the very happy owner of a little secondhand Janome overlocker/serger, and was cackling with glee when I managed to thread it correctly first time in under 30 minutes, and it worked perfectly! Thanks so much for your recent comments and recommendations. I know you'll all understand how exciting this is for me!

Today I'm sharing with you a skirt made from a vintage pattern I found at a local op shop ages ago. Whilst it's not going to rock everyones world there's a few little features worth sharing, the least of which is the fact that I love it!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Advanced Style, and some opinions needed.......

Hello lovelies. I need some opinions from you regarding sergers/overlockers (depending on where you are in the world) but first I wanted to share with you the fabulousness that is the documentary Advanced Style.

Advanced Style was/is firstly a street fashion blog, devoted to capturing fabulously dressed women over 60. The photographer and author of the blog, Ari Seth Cohen, has recently released a documentary starring several of his amazing regulars.

I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed this film - it was, in a nutshell, joyfully inspiring. I'm not normally one to bandy such words around, but seeing this made my month, if not year! Ari is so respectful and protective of his 'entourage' and the ladies are indescribably marvellous. They refuse to be invisible, and have clearly changed the lives of many by inspiring them to develop and embrace their own styles as they age. It was hilarious, touching, charming, occasionally sad but never condescending. I loved it. I've just turned 36 and I hope that when I'm the age of these ladies I have just as much contentment with my age and style, and I look forward to following the blog now that I have learned about it.

I don't want to give too much away - all I can say is do try and watch it - it has limited independent release in Australia at the moment, but you can view the trailer and buy it as a download via this link.

My favourite quote - "I never wanted to look young, I wanted to look great".

My favourite lady - Ilona, the 94 year old who harvests her own red hair to make her own false eyelashes and jokes about not buying green bananas as she can't be certain how much time she has left.....

Image from Advanced Style
And now to back to me me me!
I'm sniffing around at second hand overlockers at the moment, but am getting rather overwhelmed at the variety out there in the wild. I'm going to look at a Janome Harmony 9102D on the weekend, and really just wanted to get the vibe on peoples experiences with different brands. Tell me - what have you got, what do you love about it and what do you hate? I'd honestly rather not have one than get one that's a lemon.....
Thanks in advance!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Finished - Art Deco Hudson Pants!

As mentioned in my last post I've made myself a pair of fancy stretchy-wear pants - after my beloved declared them to be a little man-repelling he softened his stance and allowed that they 'weren't as terrible' as expected. Praise indeed! It's funny how there's certain types of garments that women love and men don't. I love these, my mum loves these, and my 84 year old great aunt thought they were fab. Yet the husband and brother - decided ambivalence there....

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Gin Kimono and a fashionably late bloghop

Rather embarrassingly it has now been about 3 weeks since the delightful Morgan of Crab and Bee nominated me in the little blog hop that has been whizzing around the sewing blogosphere in the last couple of months. Firstly I stalled because I wanted to do the answers justice, then I injured my arm and found it a bit hard to do anything and lost my mojo. Then I worked what seems like 75 weekends in a row (but it might have just been 2......). First world dramas aside, all is good now, and after a massive sewing binge this week my mojo is restored and hopefully I can give you some vaguely interesting (but unlikely to be profound) answers.

In case you have no interest in what motivates me to blog, I shall first placate you with my latest make, a highly unnecessary but very fun kimono. I call this my Gin Kimono, as I intend to wear it on cooler summer evenings drinking gin. I feel rather Phryne Fisher in it (although of course Phryne's would be silk, and not a rayon snapped up off the Darn Cheap $2/m table). The print is the most marvellous explosion of ikat roses, splattered with neon pink, tomato red and the slightest spatter of chartreuse. I know you'll all be thrilled to learn that I do still have the ability to sew a woven fabric.....

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Tracing patterns - yes, no, maybe?

Hello lovelies. I do hope you've had or are having a lovely weekend. I'm coming to the end of a sewing drought and hope to have some pretties to share with you in the next week or so. But in the meantime if you're interested in reading my manifesto thoughts on tracing off paper patterns and PDF's pop on over the the Stitch 56 blog and let me know what you think....... Can I convince you? Any suggestions on improving efficiency and technique?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

My stunt double - a tragic victim of spam

I'm a pretty lo-fi person when it comes to this blog - I make my stuff, I post, I enjoy reading the comments, and thats about it - there's little in the way of stat analysis because yawn.  This is all just for fun for me. Blogger is really good at filtering out spam but every now and then I go in and clear out all the crap-filled garbage that piles up in there, and I started to notice that I had one particular post that was spammed constantly. So I checked out my stats, and noticed that this particular post, written about 18 months ago now had clocked up 24000+ views. Being an old post I was tempted just to delete it because the global care factor would have been well into the negative, but it's actually a really useful one - my DIY paper tape dress form post. So I've deleted the old one, and reposted the content here. Back when I wrote it I don't think even my mum could be bothered reading my blog, so it might be of some interest to newer readers. I use my little papery friend ALL THE TIME, and she has helped me with some many fitting issues. She's also awesome to just dump crap on when I'm too lazy to clean up. So enjoy!