Saturday, 27 April 2013

More about me......

I was nominated for Liebster Award by Danielle, Dani, over at One Small Stitch .  Thank you Dani -  And thank you to my 9 followers you guys rock - I was pretty excitied the 1st time someone other than me folllowed my blog!!  So Thank you Danielle. She writes a mean blog herself, with a nice mix of refashions, amazing technical sewing (have a look at this vintage dress) and basics.  She gave me 10 questions.  Here are my answers:

1. Why did you start sewing?

I remember sewing in primary school.  We made soft toys and things out of felt, all hand sewn.  I loved it and had LOTS of cuddly toys as a result!!!  Then I learnt to use a machine at school and did a bit after That but I didn't really start to sew in an obsessive way until I went on maternity leave just before my 1st daughter was born.  I had found some craft blogs on the net after researching ideas for Art lessons and sustainability.  I've not really stopped since.

2. Five words that describe you: 

Cheerful, Positive, Adaptable and (occasionally) Bossy.  I'm sure my husband would change that 4th word to (often)! 

3. What is your favourite make?

My Chloe Dress by Victory patterns.  I always get compliment on it whenever I wear it, I feel really comfortable in it and really feel it reflects my style.  It uses old material but in a modern way.  Not that I don't love a 50s tea dress but honestly they just don't look that great on me.

 4. And your least favourite?

I tried to make a DKNY vogue dress out of very curly jersey.  The skirt was just too full and made me look pregnant again.  I don't like the way the bias cut stripes hang on the circle skirt.  It was a pain to make and I still haven't hemmed it as I don't love it and the material was just too horrible to sew with.  Ho hum.  Maybe one day I will refashion it as I do like the big turquoise stripes.

Start of Vogue disaster

5. What piece(s) of sewing equipment (besides your machine) could you not live without?

Nice sharp scissors and actually a little sewing guage thing that I found in my mum's sewing room that was my grandma's.  I don't know why but the little sticky out bits make it easier to use than a ruler for measuring hems and seam allowances etc.  Oh and my kids washable pens for pattern markings.

6. What are your three favourite blogs?

Thats a really hard one. Probably... - she just makes amazing things, so different and individual, her photos are fab and her writing great too. - she makes beautiful clothes, some simple some much more complicated, not always my style but very wearable and her attention to detail is amazing....and I like playing guess the location with her photos. - only very occasionally a sewing blog but beautiful photos and writing about life on the south coast of WA.  

All 3 are very inspiring in totally different ways.

 7.  What accomplishment are you most proud of?

It will sound strange but being a parent.  Finding that I can actually look after 2 little people and provide them with love and what they need (most of the time) is really empowering.  Its made me feel much more confident about doing all sorts of things...and also strangely ambitious in that I want to make things work so my kids can have a good life/childhood.

8. Sweet tooth or savoury?

Definitely sweet I find it hard to walk past a cake shop although its easier now I don't live in France!

9. What's the most daring thing you've ever done?

Climbing Mont Blanc.  It was a bit of a spur of the moment thing, planned just a week or two before.  I've done lots of mountain walking but not lots of the crampon/rope stuff and I wasn't feeling very fit BUT you have to grab these chances when they come along.  We climbed to the 1st hut the night before - lots of snoring in the dorm and nerves meant no sleep, then up before dawn to set off.  I have never been so cold in all my life or so glad when the sun came up over the top.  I still can't believe I walked along that knife edge ridge to the summit with 1000s of meters to fall on either side.  It was howling a gale on top.  We got warmer as we went down and then it turned into an absolutely beautiful day.  I eventually regained feeling in my right thumb a week later An amazing experience but I don't feel any urge to do it again. 

On the way down - after my camera came back to life.

10. What's your secret for a happy life?

Enjoy the small pleasures of your day - Birds singing, a nice cup of coffee, a cheeky squeal from your kids, a warm bed, sun, rain, a hug.  This is actually what life is about.

If you are stressed look after yourself - make time, get some fresh air and exercise, eat well.   

Adapt to the challenges and changes life throws at you and see them as opportunities and not threats.
Smile and people will smile back - life is good. 

The Liebster award seems to say that I should nominate 10 bloggers I like with less than 200 followers, and let them know.  Then they answer my 10 questions and do the same. I think I am just going to go with 5 so that I really mean them (and to keep the whole thing going longer, until the whole world has a sewing a blog, becasue if everyone else nominates 10 surely we will run out soon).  I'm keeping the 10 q's though because well its just interesting.

So here are my favourite 5:

Megan at meggipeg. So many of her makes are things I would think to make or wear.  She also seems to share my penchant for op shops and has lots of great upcycling ideas.  Fab photos too.

Julie at joliesbobines.  An absolutely beautiful blog - her clothes and her pictures are amazing.  Its in French but if you can't read it don't worry it would still be great inspiration.  She probably has many more followers now after being featured on Colette's blog.

Cathy at Treadling in Benin.   Cathy makes all her lovely clothes on a treadle machine whilst working for peace corps in West Africa.  Her posts all have really interesting stories about life there, her clothes are fun, in great fabrics and she tries out lots of techniques.  Her photos are lots of fun too.

Kathy at Kathysews.  I think she gets her burda magazines about a month before mine arrive but she often picks out the same things that i would so I always look to see what she's done.  I have yet to do any sports gear but thinking about it (maybe need to do sport 1st!).

Merche at Aventuras de Costuras.  Again I just love the clothese she makes, she always looks great in them and seeing her successes with coats and silk is making me itch to make some more complicated garments.

My 10 questions for them:
  1. What got you to start sewing your clothes?
  2. What do you most want to make in the next 6 months?
  3. Fabric or pattern first - and a favourite example.
  4. Which part of sewing your own clothes do you like best?
  5. Which part do you like least?
  6. Your favourite sewing blogger?
  7. What other big obsessions have you had in your life? (real life love affairs not included)
  8. What's your day job?
  9. What's the most daring thing you have ever done?
  10. What are your secrets for a happy life?  (surely its always good to have more of these?)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Green and Wrinkly

I made myself another one of the crunkly raglan t shirts like my grey one.  Its from Burda Style Febuary 13.  I am just waiting for the buttons to arrive in the post for my Kelly skirt so wanted something to fill the hole(s... there will be 7 buttons) while I wait.  I got this jersey for $1 in the op shop. It actually matches one of the colours in my Kelly skirt to be, I have a shortage of long sleeved winter Ts and I had the pattern already traced so a bit of an easy/lazy choice.  Its just plain green cotton jersey, quite a bit thicker and much less stretchy than the fabric in the grey one. Lazy (or only 1/2 my brain on) seemed to be a bit of a theme.

Kite flying at Yallingup
It ain't perfect but it works well enough.  I had one of those sort of mind blanks where whilst I remembered that the last time I made it I had cut the neckband shorter, because it seemed to be the same length as the opening, I didn't do it this time!  Some sort of muttering in my head about it being less stretchy but all the time I really knew I should BUT I didn't.  I am really a bit lazy and think I didn't want to faff with my tape measure.  Ho hum.  As could have been predicted the neck back is a bit loose and gapes a bit, its also slightly irregular around the front.  But hey ho I think people that pass me in the street will find many much larger flaws in my general appearance to pull me up about.  And one has ever stopped me in the street to criticise either my general appearance or my sewing finish, or even to ask me if I made it in a kind of  'that looks awful you must have made it as you certainly wouldn't buy it' kind of a way so I'm not going to worry.  Still it might have been good if I hadn't let my brain do the same at the bottom.  When I cut the still too long (despite shortening to the shorter length on the pattern since the last one) bottom off and found one side to be about 2cm shorter than the other.  Anyway I folded the cut off bit in half and sewed it on as a band and well obviously it was longer one side than the other..but if I walk with a hunch to the left you won't be able to tell and will be more concerned about my silly walk.

Laziness and wonkiness aside I like it, wore it 2 days in a row and now its in the wash.  Where it will probably shrink because of course I was too lazy to have washed the fabric before (well surely the person who had it before and made something out of it would have done?!).  I guess most people would probably wash anything they got from the op shop before they wore it, oh well.  We'll see.
You can just make out my co-ordinating new van curtains. It was getting a bit dark.

Small people think its really boring when they are not included in the photoshoot.

Good things:
  • I can be cosy for winter.
  • A mildly interesting staple.
  • I have made the pattern twice, whoop whoop, could be a 1st?  It must be good.
  • It only cost $1.
  • I co-ordinate with the new curtains that I just made for our van, which co-ordinate with the stripes on the side of my caravan..which means that if I make a pair of trousers out fo the same shet I used to make the curtains I will be in full camo.
Slightly Less good things
  • Bit annoying the pattern is made for a 7ft giant with very long arms. 
  • A mildly interesting staple.
  • MUST NOT BE LAZY.  Even neck lines and hem bands would be a good thing.
  • I haven't posted the less flattering photos but if I had you would see that if you have a bit of an undefined midriff section (i.e. no waist and some wobble) then its not necessarily the most flattering of tops!
Kite flying seems to make you lean back and breathe in!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Liberty Top

This tank was made from a pattern I drafted from a top my step daughter brought.  Hers had a fancy collar a bit reminiscent of my Roxanne top but it was the simple shape and good fit that made me want to make it.  This was the second version, made with a piece of Liberty fabric that my parents brought for me for Christmas.  It was probably only about 80cm but it was perfect for this.

My 1st version of this had disintegrated (made out of an old skirt, itself made out of a patchwork ofrecycled indonesian fabrics, I had already replaced some of the patches but went a big tear opened up right on my left boob (what do you call them on blogs?) I gave up but knew I had to make another as I wore it a lot.

It fits pretty well but I don't think I copied it perfectly as the pattern isn't quite how it should be, front not as wide as the back etc. The original was not brilliantly made but even so think I have a bit to learn.  BUT still it works and I wore this one today...which got me to write the post.  I shortened the front a bit to have a bit of a curve rather than be straight across.  And I promise last of the beach photos!

I love the colours and the print.  In fact I think its really reminiscent of the landscape round here.  I put in the picture of the jetty and scrub, taken at the same place (just by Canal Rocks) as I think they compliment it so well.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Talking and Teaching

I was just trying to write an about me page and it turned into something a bit longer and I think its a post.  A different one to my usual, about me and not what I've made.  Eekkk.

I'm Lucy (Maud is my middle name) and I seem to have become a bit of an obsessive sewer.  I used to be an obsessive paraglider pilot and I'm not quite sure how one translated into the other but there you go.  It might have had something to do with moving to a completely flat part of the world and having 2 children in quick succession.  I still fly but not so much.  I've always had a sewing machine and sewn sporadically but I didn't really start properly until 3 years ago.  I found a cheap machine in the auctions, Burda Style in the library, fabric in op shops and of course sewing blogs on the net ...... away I went.

Definitely obsessed, definitely got too much fabric on my shelves and too many clothes in my wardrobe.  In my day job I teach about sustainability.  I totally believe we have to change the way we act and can't possibly continue to consume like we do....but its hard isn't it?  Even sewing and making, its such a positive thing and as many many blogs have discussed it makes you realise how stupidly cheap clothes are, how little people are paid, how little value is placed on the skill, how disposable fashion has become.  In a past life I analysed retail companies... Inditex (Zara) and H&M so I've seen the drive for expansion, increasing sales volumes and faster fashion turn around 1st hand.

But its a bit of a paradox.... for a while there I just wasn't so interested in fashion any more, but as I sew more I am more interested, maybe not in slavishly repeating it but certainly a nod - I've made peplums and hi-lo hems which I probably wouldn't have brought from a shop.  One a refashion and the other recycled material but I'm definitely buying in to it in my own way.  How much material have I got??? Too much - lots from the op shop but more and more not.  How many vintage patterns, and increasingly new indie ones?....lots and lots.   I'm totally into supporting small independent businesses so this explains this but its nonetheless more than I am likely to make.

I love sewing its definitely my therapy - I sew in the evenings when my kids are sleeping and I'm not writing blog posts ; ).  My angsts about it don't whirr constantly around my head and are far outweighed by the positives but I do wonder how many things I personally need to make myself and where I will go with my sewing.....

Recently seem to have met so many people who have a sewing machine but just don't really know how to use it.  People who would like to refashion things but just don't know how.  I'm not a world expert or anything but I realise I do know a lot about sewing (especially when compared to someone who doesn't know anything!) and I can teach and more importantly really enjoy teaching.  I've not been doing enough of it at work either so I've got a bit of an itch there too.  I've also realised that I want to take loads of classes to learn more about sewing, screen-printing, pattern drafting etc. but they're all in Perth.  Well maybe some other people feel that about learning to sew? 


I've decided to try running a few evening classes.  I'm writing it so I make sure I make it happen as I am really excited about the idea.  I think I have found a venue and I've been making up a Megan Nielsen Kelly Skirt which I'd like to use as the pattern for this 1st class.  So stay tuned and if you know anyone who lives in the Dunsborough area who wants a new obsession, a new skirt and to eat cake with other (would be) sewers then send them my way.

Off to excitedly do some more planning. Yey.

A blog post needs a photo and as I don't have one of me sitting at my sewing machine here is one of me flying my paraglider in Canungra, near the Coast in QLD.  A more photographic hobby I guess!

In other news I have signed up for me-made-may and am really excited about it.  Here's my pledge.

 I, Lucy of Maudmade sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ´13. I endeavour to wear atleast one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2013, with no outfit repeats. And to finally sew a pair of trousers so that I have more bottom options for winter!

Sign up over at So Zo...  I am really looking forward to it.  Think I'm planning weekly round up posts but more importantly I need to get planning those trousers.