Thursday, March 31, 2011

So darlin' save the last dance for me

And now, my dear friends, we have the final four days of Me-Made-March 11. It's been a blast.

March 28

March 28 - I was having a rec day. A day to relax. Unwind from the weekend's activities. Maybe do a little quilting. You know the kind of day. But no - the morning was spent arguing various points with both my ISP and also the stupid antenna people who never came back to finish the job. I was beyond frustrated. And then my lovely new boots from Duo showed up. Bless you Duo! I was so happy I didn't mind that it was a warm day and I was wearing knee high boots and a corduroy skirt. Because corduroy skirts, especially me-made ones and newly mended and better fitting ones at that, make everything better.

March 29

March 29 - I love this dress SO MUCH. That's all.

March 30

March 30 - I'm not flashing the peace sign like some Harajuku schoolgirl. I'm reminding Kuka there are only two days to go. I am rather embarrassed today that it has taken me till day 30 to finish and wear something I've sewn in the course of the challenge. This is a new skirt pattern, with some pretty bloody splendid cotton sateen that has freaking DOILIES on it people!! DOILIES!! Also I'm wearing a me-made brooch (the zipper one).

March 31

March 31 - Holy jeepers - it's the end! I don't believe it. And not only that, it's finally cold enough to wear closed in shoes and tights! So excited. But only the skirt is me-made and you've seen it a couple of times already.

So there we are, at the end of a long month of me-made fashion. I have thought long and hard about lessons learned and all that. Here, henceforth, is my thesis, in dot point.

  • It was easier than I thought to find something me-made every day

  • I'm actually proud of my achievements given that for about 3 weeks of it I was crooker than a sick dog

  • Actually, I think this challenge gave me something to think about other than my own pain

  • My friends at work actually got excited by Me-Made-March and were especially keen to see the photos Kuka texted me each morning. I doubt people in Kuka's department were as excited to see my photos

  • Doing this with a friend was pretty cool. Maybe next March we can rope more friends in and have a conference type texting photo session going on each morning. Or is that crazy talk?

  • I think I need to make more blouses, especially of the button-up variety

  • My husband got very sick of taking photos each morning, although secretly I think he enjoyed it and he will be bereft with grief tomorrow morning

  • The fact my husband is 6'2" and I am 5'9" meant that my photos made me look very short-legged. My legs are not that short. Might have to get a shorter husband by next March.

  • I don't normally like photos of my face going on Flickr or my blog. It's not a vanity thing, but a privacy thing. But getting a reluctant party to take photos at 7.15 in the morning, every morning, without the face being shown was tricky so in the end I bit the bullet. All future sewing project photos, however, will be of the headless sewing woman of Sleepy Hollow.

  • This challenge was really, really good fun. The other bloggers doing the challenge are something else! So inspiring and talented.

  • In case you were wondering what I was wearing tomorrow, I'm thinking of the corduroy skirt and some bright red tights, just because me-made is more fun for a Friday than shop-bought.

And to illustrate my thesis, here is a pie chart, simply because I love pie charts.


And to sum up, here's a little mosaic of the last 31 days.

Me-Made-March 2011

Tomorrow: some quilting, perhaps!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sew it Together

Last Friday I joined more than 50 other sewers and bloggers in Sydney for Sew It Together 2011. I didn't attend the Melbourne event in 2010, so didn't really know what to expect except that Sheridan organises it and she seems super cool. And I only knew one person who was attending in real life - Lara from Thornberry. The rest were just axe-murderers.
Calico and Ivy
We started out with a shopping trip on Friday - first stop The Remnant Warehouse. Good Lord. What a place. One of the first things I spied was DENIM CORDUROY. I know. I'd never seen it before either. So I bought some for me and some for her, plus very cheap plain denim and linen. The second stop was Calico & Ivy in Balmain. This shop is only new and to say it was delightful is an understatement. I've been to a lot of patchwork stores in Australia (and the US) and this was probably the prettiest by far. I bought quite a bit *ahem a lot* of fabric here.
Prints Charming
Our last stop for the day was Prints Charming in Annandale. This was right up there on the charm scale with Calico and Ivy. Cath and Kirsten welcomed us with champagne, juice and nibbles. We all bought up big here too, I believe. Well, I did. The scrap packs ran out the door. I managed to grab a couple so I could make a skirt like this.
Kirsten from Prints Charming - the skirt
I heard there will be a blog-along for making skirts out of our scrap packs very soon. I can't wait!

Pork Knuckle

That night those of us who were staying at the YHA at the Rocks went to dinner at Löwenbräu. This was Leah's meal - a pork knuckle. Impressive, no?
Saturday Craft Session
The Saturday Crafting Session was, well, wonderful. Fifty women in the one room, all chatting, crafting and laughing. This photo is of Lara, the only person I'd actually met before this weekend. She's awesome. I made lovely new friends, like Juddie. Turns out she is the same Juddie that posted Toy Society drops on the blog with me for years. Pennies like this were dropping all over the place all weekend with different people.

Saturday Craft Session

Saturday Craft Session

Kathy Doughty at the Saturday Craft Session

Kathy from Material Obsession was there giving some mini demos and workshops all day. She is non-stop fun, and so passionate about patchwork and quilting. I think I might have fallen a little bit in love with Kathy over the weekend. I think everyone did.

That night we had a big dinner at the Belgian Beer Cafe. There may have been a little beer (not me), dancing (not me) and karaoke (definitely not me - I was in bed by 11.30 pm!). But the next morning ten of us went to Material Obsession, where Kathy had opened up her shop just for us.
Material Obsession
Isn't it beautiful? What is it about Sydney quilt shops being so damn charming?

Kathy doing a wedge demo at Material Obsession

So Kathy made us all coffee and took us downstairs for more demos.Shopping ladies

We bought lots of rulers and fabric and patterns and oohed and aahed over the displays and the house the shop was in, and before we knew it, it was time to hop back on the mini bus and head to the airport for our flights home.
Shopping ladies
But oh. What a fabulous weekend.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Winding down

So Me-Made-March continues, and this weekend was a long one spent travelling, crafting and having more fun than should be legal.

March 25

March 25 and it's very early morning in the airport dunnies. I'm flying to Sydney this morning to attend Sew It Together, a big sewers/bloggers get together. But before I get to the first event (a fabric shopping trip! Wheeeeeeee!!!!), there is coffee with my bestie who lives in Sydney which is ironic given today is my 11th wedding anniversary and I am spending it not with the Mister, but with one of our witnesses. Anyway, I'm wearing a me-made skirt and a me-made crocheted cardigan.

March 26

March 26 and I'm looking decidedly crumpled as I've been sitting on my backside all day quilting at the Craft Session component of Sew It Together. I knew I should have had this photo taken earlier this morning. But thanks to Juddie for this one. The dress is me-made.

March 27

March 27 and we are all at the airport int he late afternoon for our flights home from the weekend of craft. We were having a last hurrah together with some superb decaf at the bookstore. Yum. Bronwyn took this photo - good one Bronwyn! I'm wearing a me-made Ink and Spindle skirt, along with a new me-made zipper brooch made last weekend at Brown Owls.

Only four days to go for Me-Made-March 2011! This challenge has flown. I have the day off tomorrow, so I'm hoping to be able to finish at least one item to wear for those last four days. I should be making project bags, but that can wait another day or two I'm sure! I also bought a little bit of fabric in Sydney to use for clothes. Just a little! Promise!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Autumn Sack/Sock Club

Just a very quick post as I'm currently at Sew It Together in Sydney (and yes, I'm having a blast!)

Remember the project sack and sock yarn club that Carrie from Fibrewebs and I ran last summer? Well the autumn club has been organised and it's now for sale here

The colours we are doing for this season will look something like this:

Sneak peak

More info over at the Etsy site!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Saturday, Sunday, Workday

March 19

March 19 - Saturday - thank heavens. Me-made denim apples skirt. And I got a new pair of Salt Water sandals. Love them.

March 20

March 20 - Obviously in silly, relieved mood after being sick all day Saturday. The Mister cracked a joke as he was taking photos and I COULD NOT STOP LAUGHING. Me-made skirt.

March 21

March 21 - Monday, and we know what that means, don't we? GLEESDAY!!! Me-made blouse, me-made bad posture and me-made jazz hands (there is a photo out there which is a pair with this one. Go and look at it. It makes me laugh.)

March 22

March 22 - this is the day I found out why I have been so sick. That face is a mixture of fear and relief and "oh crap". Don't worry - I'll be well again in a few weeks. Me-made blouse, and I'm not too sure what I was thinking with those jeans. I have lost a fair bit of weight in my legs so I either need to take these in and call it a refashion, or start again with a new pair.

March 23

March 23 - I really, really love work but this week is dragging something awful. I'm waving to Bron in our early morning SMS photo exchange and to cheer me up a little. Me-made skirt.

March 23

March 24 - when does daylight savings end? This is getting ridiculous. But on the other hand today is the last day before a four day weekend. Go me! Me-made blouse.

My thoughts? I may have too many clothes, and they are all cotton and linen, so just as well I love to iron. Even though I am starting to repeat pieces I am still finding this challenge easy. But boy - it's fun, and I have more clothes on the sewing machine at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to finish at least one piece before the challenge finishes in a week.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Working week

Thanks to Canberra Day on Monday, this week was a shortie when it came to work. Oh I do love a short working week!

March 15

March 15 was my first day back at work after being away for ten days. To say I was excited was an understatement. I am truly astonished that this photo doesn't better reflect that excitement. Top is me-made (same pattern as day 11 and 13) in a vintage-esque shirting with floral print.

March 16

March 16 - the top is the same as day 1, but I mixed it up with some black trousers that I didn't make. Not for variety mind you - it's because the usual bowtie skirt is in the mending basket waiting to be taken in.

March 17

Day 17 - This is my favourite me-made dress. Heck - it's my favourite outfit, full stop. I've been waiting for the right day to wear this, and today was the day. Yee ha!

March 18

March 18 - Finally a non-iPhone photo, and I got rid of that ridiculous brick wall. The thing with the iPhone is that it is easy to shove that into the Mister's hands first thing in the morning as we walk out the door past that red brick wall in the near-darkness. Much easier than handing him a DSLR is, anyway. Plus Kuka and I text each other our daily photos each morning (to keep each other honest, I think, but it's also a lot of fun!) and that's harder to do with a whopping great camera. But this morning's photos were positively grumpy, probably because I knew I had a horror morning of nuclear medicine and scans in front of me. By this afternoon I was mellow with the Friday vibe, and getting a decent photo in the front garden was possible.

Anyway where was I? Oh - my first me-made crochet items for the challenge, being the cardigan and the brooch.

Conclusions from the week - I seem to really, really love wearing red. And sandals. As a rule, closed in shoes don't get worn until after Anzac Day (that's my rule).

We have Brown Owls tomorrow and we are making brooches. That should keep me out of trouble as the weather cools and more cardigans and jackets come out of the cupboard.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


When Canberra has a birthday, she celebrates over a few weeks and with a festival or three thrown in. At the moment, we are being entertained up by the Enlighten Festival, which runs over 10 days and finishes this weekend. There are a variety of music concerts and events, but the main attraction for me are the fact that some of my favourite buildings have been painted in lightand i can see them from free.

Like this.

National Library of Australia

This is the National Library of Australia, a stunning building at the best of times, always looking so imposing by the lake. But tonight it was bathed in some very beautiful images.

National Library of Australia

National Library of Australia

I could have stayed here and watched all night, but I moved on to the National Gallery of Australia. Space to set up my tripod was at a premium as a photography class turned up at the same time as I did. That was kind of fun, and made me extra excited about the photography class I'm starting in a few weeks. If I get the time, I'd like to go back and take some of the shots at the gallery on a different angle.

National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia

Finally, the lights on Old Parliament House, or the Museum of Australian Democracy as it is better known these days.

Old Parliament House/ The Museum of Australian Democracy

These photos took a long time to get right. When I first set up my tripod, I was too far away, even for my zoom lens and tripod and the shots were over exposed and blurry. Eventually I walked right up to the pond, across from the Tent Embassy, and set up there. Much better.

Old Parliament House/ The Museum of Australian Democracy

Old Parliament House/ The Museum of Australian Democracy

Old Parliament House/ The Museum of Australian Democracy

There were a few of us photographers standing by the pond, all taking slow shutter speed photos. It was quite peaceful, just the sound of our timers beeping and the occasional utterance of "cool" and "nice shot". I like photographers.

Old Parliament House/ The Museum of Australian Democracy

Old Parliament House/ The Museum of Australian Democracy

Old Parliament House/ The Museum of Australian Democracy

A lady turned up as part of a group, and started using her camera with a flash. Which was kinda silly when we were standing 100 metres from the building, but also annoying because we were all taking slow shutter shots about 8 to 10 seconds long, and we were getting un-stunning flashy bits in our shots. Luckily she decided to turn her flash off before any of us could turn into Wanker Photographers and growl at her.

Old Parliament House/ The Museum of Australian Democracy

But oh - isn't the old lady beautiful?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Clever hem marker

One of the things I'm loving most about Me-Made-March is the discovery of new-to-me blogs about sewing clothes. And in finding those blogs, I'm find other blogs, and before you know it my Google reader is full of beautiful sewing blogs!

Last night I came across the most beautiful blog called Crochetie, written by a Japanese girl called Ophelia. And in one of her posts, she has made a video of a hem marker she has made.

A hem marker? Seriously, you should watch this. I'm amazed that something so simple and beautiful could be so damn USEFUL.

(Now I want to get some washi tape and make my own, and one for each of my sewing friends)

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Me-Made Long Weekend

Since we last met, I've been lounging around the house on my sick leave planning outfits to wear each day for Me-Made-March. Ha! As if! In reality I've just been opening my cupboard each morning and pulling something out to wear that I've made. No really - I have. I'm not trying to boast, but at some stage in the last year, most of my clothes have become me-made. When did this happen? How did it happen?

And most importantly, can I keep this up through autumn and winter?

So let's catalogue the last four days, three of them which were a long weekend. Happy birthday Canberra! I think you're awesome!

March 11

March 11 - This is my "I can't believe you are making me drive you across town in peak hour traffic for a training course when I'm SICK. Can't you take a bus or something?" face. The black and cream madras top is me-made, using McCalls 5640.

March 12

March 12 - A lovely hot day, and we were off up the street to sticky beak at a house for sale. The weather was perfect for this dress! This is the dress I promised to blog back in January but never did. I will blog it properly one day. It's a beauty to make, and to wear, I love it. It's Simplicity 2929, the shorter version of the dress I made and blogged here.

March 13

March 13 - It's still lovely and hot, so I'm going all summery while it lasts. Plus I'm going fabric shopping with Carrie for our next sack/yarn club installment this morning, and I need to wear something comfortable if we're going to lug blots of fabric around the store. The top is me-made (the same as March 11), and it is the first version of it. This was the version than made me realise how ridiculously oversized this pattern is. It's far too big for me, but boy is it comfy. I now make it four sizes smaller (no really - I do) because, ooh, bra-strap alert!

March 14

March 14 - Oh hey! This is what I am wearing RIGHT NOW!! Coincidence? Oh wait ... Anyway, me-made top again, this time a buttoned back top courtesy of McCalls 2873 and some nice double gauze cotton. I'm doing a little skirt sewing today, so comfort is paramount.

Thanks for everyone for your kind thoughts and good wishes in the comments on my last post. I can report I am feeling a lot better and the pain has mostly gone. The tiredness is still there so going to work tomorrow will be a test, but I'm looking forward to spending some time with my crazy work peeps! It's been 10 days since I've seen them and I miss them!