Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Room Changes #2

And the move process has finally been completed. My sewing room is back in action. It's just a shame that I am too sick to use it. Because, my wonderful father passed on his illness to me - the chicken pox. I never had it as a child, so when my dad got it, I had the vaccine. It's meant that I have had a much lesser case that hasn't made me as ill, but it is still taking it's toll.

At any rate, I managed to help my Dad get my sewing room complete last weekend. We patched and painted the walls, moved furniture, hung curtains and put up shelves. I am really pleased with how it looks and I think I have a much better set up than previously. It's worked really well.

It also gave me the opportunity to sort through my fabric supply. And in doing so, I refolded everything neatly to fit into the cupboard properly (in other words, without pushing the doors out) and took an inventory of it all. That way, in the future, I can check my list for what I have. It also helped me find some pieces to use in some of my projects this year. (More on that later).

I also took a tally which put me at approximately 660 metres of fabric.

It really knocks home that I need to use my stash more. And I must admit that I love having such a tidy and organised stash.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


And the sewing plans for 2014 have begun. Thankfully, my first big event at this point isn’t until April. When, hopefully, the weather will start to cool to a point where it is comfortable enough to wear a costume. And that event, is Gold Coast Supanova.

My current “rule” for cons is no more than one new costume. Otherwise I find myself stressing in the lead up trying to get too much done in such a short timeframe and I am unable to put in the level of work that I would really like. Plus, it makes me re-wear some of my other character costumes which would otherwise just sit in the cupboard. And I am all for re-wearing. If I have put in all that work, I like to get a bit more out of it than just one wear. And while I haven’t quite settled on my other two costumes that I will be re-wearing, I have chosen my new one and collected the bits.

This time, I am going for one from TV, the show Once Upon A Time. I had originally planned to make Maleficent (who appears in an episode in season one) and had started collecting fabrics. However, a blogger that I follow recently posted photos of the original costume on display and it is a completely different colour than in the screencaps I was using ie, purples instead of red tones. So, I have decided instead to make Tinkerbell (who appears in the most recent season).

I’m terribly sorry if you haven’t seen it yet, and I give away any spoilers. But basically, there are two different outfits for Tink. Her fairy outfit and her Neverland outfit. I am going with the fairy one (pictured). I re-watched a few episodes, pulled up a bunch of photos and went shopping last weekend for supplies. Thankfully, I am able to use the same wig that I purchased for Maleficent, so I can save myself some angst over that.
It was a long list of supplies
- green lycra
- gold lycra
- elastic (STASH)
- gold cord (STASH)
- fabric dye
- heavy lining lycra (STASH)
- acrylic paint (STASH)
- lace
- sequins
- beads
- organza
- wire (STASH)
- sculpy
- spray paint (STASH)
- buckram (STASH)

Thankfully, I have some stuff already in my stash, so I feel happy about at least putting a dent in it (one of my goals this year). I’m also on the hunt for some appropriate boots and will have to pick up a couple pairs of sheer to waist stockings to wear. But all in all, I am really happy with my choice and excited to get started on it once my sewing room is back in action.

Cross fingers that I remember to take progress photos. If I do enough, I may even be able to toss together another tutorial.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Room changes

It’s not that I have been slack this year, I have just been focussing my energy elsewhere. Namely my room. I have just spent the last week and a half moving out of my old bedroom which heats up like an oven in the afternoon (awful with the 30 – 40+ degree temperatures that we have had in Brisbane lately) and moving into the room that was my sewing room. The whole process is taking some time. At first, because my father who was to help has been very ill, but all these things just take time.

To begin with, on the last three days before I started work again for the year, I stripped all the furniture out of the sewing room ( it is now cluttering up the rest of the house). This means that my sewing table is out of action. I then took down all the shelves and curtain rods, and plastered up the holes. Last Monday, I sanded it all back and scrubbed down the walls and floor (tiles). Tuesday evening, I painted my first layer of cutting-in (the edges). Thursday night, I did my second coat. All this while I have been schlepping off to work each day.

I took Friday off to start the wall painting and made a trip out to fabric shops for curtaining supplies and to buy a ceiling fan. The second coat of paint went on the walls mid-morning on Friday and we spent the afternoon putting in blinds (which had to be cut down at the ends to fit, and shortened to fit the window – thanks to you-tube for the video).

Then up went the curtain rod. My bed then got drained (waterbed), moved and refilled. I spend Friday night as my last night in my old bedroom on an airbed. That is after I vacuumed up the layers of dust and pins in the carpet. The dangers of being a sewer.

After I got home from my museum trip on Saturday, I started moving furniture – chest of drawers, cupboard, DVD bookcase. I finished the day be hanging my new curtains, and loading my clothing back into my hanging cupboard.

Sunday morning saw my Dad and I off on a trip to bunnings for a few supplies – board to fix the warped bottom of my bookcase drawer, board to stuff in the recessed top so that my hatboxes can sit on top, shelf brackets and a new shelf. Then the loading process started. All the knickknacks and plushy toys appeared back onto my chest of drawers, the DVDs got loaded into their bookcase, the TV was hung on the wall, the computer set up (a new table is imminent), the hat boxes returned, and the shelves put up on the walls.

It's all complete now. New ceiling fan, new down-lights, shelves on walls, TV on wall, hooks on back of door. The only change will be when my dad makes a new desk for my computer to fit the space. (The one that I liked from Ikea is too big for the space that I have).

And then, I get to clean up my old room (again, plaster and sand shelving holes, and patch up the painting) ready to move my sewing room furniture in. It’s turning into quite a lengthy process, but it will be well worth it in the end. So far we have cleaned it out, plastered up the holes and the carpet was cleaned today.

So, at the moment all the sewing is on hold. I’ve started planning bits and pieces for the year ahead and collecting my fabrics and trims, but that’s about all I can do until my two rooms are set up. I do have a great pile of hand sewing awaiting me, so when I’m not moving furniture, I’m busily finishing off work dresses and re-enactment pieces. But the muscles are complaining from all the heavy lifting and I am covered in bruises.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

California By Design

Thankfully the weather in Brisbane took for a cooler turn on the weekend as the Queensland ACG ladies made the trip into the Queensland Art Gallery to see the exhibition California By Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way. The exhibition showcases a collection of industrial, architectural, commercial, fashion and craft design from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
It’s a great exhibition that really shows some fantastic aspects of vintage design. My particular favourites were some of the art deco furniture from the 1930s, a floor plan of a 1950s home and of course, the fashion. One piece in particular that grabbed me was a swimsuit and skirt ensemble that when put together work in such a way that they look like one dress. The shirring on the skirt is designed to fit in perfectly with swimsuit. Best of all though, photography (non-flash) was allowed in the exhibition. Which means, I have some photos to share of the pieces on display. Of course, this isn’t everything, but I did get photos of my favourites.
On offer, was a combined lunch and exhibition ticket that we all chose to buy. At the gallery café, we used our coupons for a special themed lunch of wagyu beef burger, fries, aioli and homemade lemonade. It was a delicious lunch and definitely worth buying the package deal if you happened to be going.
 And, as usual, we dressed up for the occasion. The only stipulation I put on attending was to wear something that fit with the range of the exhibition (1930 – 1965). Vintage is actually a wise choice in the heat of the Aussie summer – anything else and we would have passed out from the heat.
Most of our ladies chose 1950s dresses, but I decided to wear a new 1930s dress that I happened to be making for work at the time. The dress is the same design as my grey 30s ballgown, however a more suitable daytime length. It’s made from a jacaranda spot poly blend fabric that I bought a number of years ago with a 1930s dress in mind. I paired it all up with one of my vintage hats and full 30s makeup. I love how the dress turned out though, it drapes so well and I am really happy with the fit. I suspect I will be making more of this pattern in the future.