Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's your style? Dress Me Up!

It's been a long couple of weeks, and will continue to be a long a couple of weeks in the lead up to the events I organise every July. There's not enough hours in every day for all the things I need to do, and all the things I want to do. Each and every day has become a blur of knitting, changing nappies, feeds, spinning, emails, photographs, making lunch, taking kids where they need to go, sewing, phonecalls, THINK OF SOMETHING FOR DINNER!, quotes, forms, and list making. Always with the list making. 
In amongst all this has been a fair bit of design, some dreaming, motivating and motivation. Ideas growing, being bounced around and built upon. There's been some hard things to face, some interesting points come to, and many things still marinating in my head, as they tend to do. 
For a start - on the lighter end of the spectrum - I'm coming to terms with a 'new normal' post pregnancy. Not only did I lose ten kilos while pregnant (I know, I know - I'm not bitching about it) - but my entire body shape has also changed as well. This means that 90% of my wardrobe no longer fits. Either things look like a sack, or they cling to all the bits I don't want them to cling to. Throw into this mix the fact that we have a wedding to go to in early August as well as two parties between here and then and you have a recipe for panic. 
Enter the fabric stash. The stash I periodically add to by buying decent metreage of interesting things I find on sale. 
Butterick have re released a range of their vintage patterns and I like many of the 1950's styles, so I bought a couple of patterns. One I am still waiting on to arrive on backorder, but the other one came home with me, pattern B5032.
After a dive in the fabric stash I came up with some nice cotton sateen I bought on clearance for about $5 a metre about a year ago. There was not enough for the full skirted version (which I would have liked) but there was definitely enough for the straight version. This is how it turned out:
I quite like it. I added a sash out of red dupion silk, because I felt it needed it, and because I am a sucker for silk. Red silk, to be specific. If I make the same pattern again (and I probably will) I will probably go down a few bust sizes on the top, as I found it to be very loose and I had to do a few tricks to get it to tighten up some. Perhaps I've lost more in the bust than I measured?
This is the pattern I am waiting on the arrival of though:
and I have another dress pattern and the fabric for it sitting down in the studio, just waiting to be cut and sewn. In between, you know, everything else. 
There is progress at least - the mammoth spin is less than 100g of spinning away from being DONE. Which will be nice because I am 100% DONE WITH IT. There's a reason I don't spin more than about 200g of the same colours very often. It's called the sort of boredom that makes me want gouge my own eyes out for fun. I also have a matching set of mitts and a scarf soaking in a bucket waiting to be blocked and photographed before they get popped in a parcel pack to be sent off as a gift. In the same bucket there's also a wee cabled vest for Master BJ to wear to the wedding - he at least already has a button up shirt and nice pants to wear under it (conveniently given as a gift by the same person who's wedding we are attending! - thanks Coll!). A new dress pattern for Miss Chaos arrived today, from which I will make her a new dress to wear to it too.. and that of course means more fabric shopping. All together now.. aww.. yes yes I know, smallest violin in the world playing just for me. Master Mayhem and all of his too - short - in - the - leg - socks - showing - like - michael - jackson pants has not been forgotten either. There's an Ottobre Design mag on the way with a nice vest pattern in it, and I bought a metre and a half of a fabulous tartan fabric the other day to make him some seriously groovy wide legged punky pants from. I'm wondering if it is possible to get pants for him, and a skirt for Miss Chaos out of the one metre and a half of fabric. I'm going to give it a bash anyways!
It's 1am right now. I had more to say in this blog post. So many thoughts. But again, I am out of time - story of my life right now.  The one question I keep coming back to at the moment however is this - Am I who I want to be? And I think the answer is yes. But I think it's important to note that the question is WHO and not WHAT. Which are the most important things to me, that I allow myself to be defined by? There's a list in that there question. Always with the lists. But for now, I'm just going to leave this here for anyone pondering the same question. 
Take it away, Ms Fucking Palmer. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The List and The Toadstools (Giraffe Cameo!)

I used to be well known for having an excellent memory. For the most part, I still do, but the reason for my good memory is because of The List. Yep. All capitals. 
The List is something I think many people have but in me it seems to reach ridiculous proportions. The List is a real thing you see, something in my head that hums along constantly, much like the fridge in the kitchen. Most of the time it hums along quietly in the background, flicking through it's main folder of 'this year' and then the subfolders of 'this month', 'this week', 'today' and now with the addition of a baby to to the household 'THIS FREAKING MINUTE!' (because a hungry baby waits for no bastard).
The List frequently keeps me awake at night with it's cacophony of things that need to be done, places that need to be visited, things that need to be purchased - even tiny events like getting dressed and dressing the kids. From huge events to the most mundane it's a never ending ticking cycle. Once my mind gets to the end of The List it starts at the start again, immediately. I'm frequently heard to say 'I'll add it to The List' and as such it has become a tangible thing, something that features in the day to day running of the house and lives. Even the kids know about it. (Miss Chaos said to me just this morning 'where is fixing my cardigan on The List?)
Where was I? Oh yeah. Most of the time The List is manageable and quite a handy thing. But sometimes, at certain times of the year (generally preceeding large events) it becomes.. well, a beast quite frankly. The more things that are added to The List, the more unmanageable it becomes, like juggling, until I start dropping balls. It's always the little things I drop. In my haste to clear things off The List to make it easier to handle, I forget small things along the way. Like.. eating. Drinking. Going to the toilet before kidney explosion becomes imminent. 
Currently the list is becoming unwieldy. One month from now is the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show, and at the same time the Ravelry Event(s) I organise annually. This year I was kind to myself. Knowing I would have a wee baby at the time, I limited myself to one event - a Friday night Dinner. I dropped the traditional Saturday morning breakfast. It's still a lot of organising though, so there are balls being dropped left right and centre here at the moment. I nearly reached critical kidneys this afternoon and couldn't work out why I felt so uncomfortable. The cat meowed at me incessantly for an hour this morning before I realised his water bowl needed filling. The front porch - something I normally keep very well maintained for some reason - has tumbleweeds inhabiting it. So if you are a Ravelry member and you don't know what the hell I am on about, do a search for 'Bendi Baa' among the groups, and you should find all the info you need. 

Meanwhile in between all this organising there has been stuff created. Every body gotta have some down time. I have a scarf and mitts set for a gift which is not quite ready to be photographed, I'm back at the spinning wheel making headway on finishing up a custom spin. But there's been sewing, too. A pair of new pyjama pants for both Master Mayhem and Miss Chaos have been produced, and tested by them. They passed if you are interested, Master Mayhem proclaiming them 'warm and comfy WITH TRAINS ON!'. Priorities. He has them. 

A couple of months ago though while browsing through a local opshop I uncovered some vintage / retro kids sheets. And they were AWESOME. High quality cotton, already washed and worn in though not TOO worn in. There was quite a bit there, a matching bunk bed set of two pillowcases, two flat sheets and two fitted sheets. I bought everything they had, and will be sending half of the haul to a friend. My half has been sitting, languishing in the fabric cupboard for a while. Miss Chaos' wardrobe is somewhat lacking though, given I have difficulty finding clothes I like for her. Everything seems to be OMG SO PINK!!!!! Or makes her look like the star of a movie that might be called 'The littlest LapDancer'. 
So I upsized a pattern I had kicking around for a wee A-line / mod type dress. (Heh. I keep calling her Queen of the ModKids.. and if you haven't watched that episode of the Mighty Boosh with the King of The ModWolves, you won't get that reference so I'll shuddup)
She quite likes it, which is the main thing - 'I LOVE GIRAFFES! AND IT HAS GIRAFFES!!'. It looks excellent with her new ass-kicking boots too, and I like her in it. No whore outfits on a five year old here, no sir. 
as an added bonus I had the perfect buttons, already sitting around waiting to be used. I love buttons. Have I mentioned that before? I really do. 

She was so pleased to wear it to kinder yesterday. Her teachers commented on it. I love it. 

We've also rearranged the studios. I have a better creative space now. I'm very pleased but photos of that will have to wait until next time.