Thursday, March 24, 2016

Appleton

My last make before leaving NZ was the Cashmerette Appleton.  Inspired by both The Takahe Bites and Sew Biased, I wanted to try out the pattern.  I love that Cashmerette has designed for a curvy figure but was a little concerned that she has already factored in a Sway Back Adjustment. A sway back adjustment is great for other types of curvy figures but I don't need due to my almost non-existent derrière.  



The dress came together quickly on my overlocker and apart from the waist ties, I didn't have any hiccups - plus there's a very helpful waist tie tutorial and a sewalong for this dress.  

So - what's it look like?




It fits well and is comfy - but the wrap has a tendency to blow open in wind (not such a problem in Melbourne but will be really troublesome in Wellington!).  I plan on making a slip for it when I get back to Wellington (and my much missed overlocker).  I plan on making another version in a heavier fabric in future. I think the future version will a nice addition to my wardrobe but have to be convinced that the slip will work for Wellington to avoid wardrobe malfunctions.

Fabric $3 a metre at Fabric Warehouse Popup Shop - I have a little left over but surprizingly I've made up something in each of the three fabrics from that buying trip!
Amendments: graded between sizes for waist, hip and bust.  Used the D cup pattern pieces.
Future changes: make the overlap longer - so the dress is less likely to blow open in the wind.
Was it a win? Yes - a really wearable muslin - I've been mostly using it as a wrap over my swimming suit in the evenings (most classy!)














Saturday, March 5, 2016

Melbourne - the adventure begins

Hee hee, I'm finally posting on my Melbourne adventures.  At this stage, I've been here three weeks followed by a week in Kaikoura for work and I'm back again.  

BM and I are living downtown in an AirBnB one bed apartment for three months and city centre living has been fun so far.  I wondered if I would find the noise off putting but I like being in the heart of things.  Melbourne is a lot more multi-cultural than New Zealand (and it goes without saying, Ireland).  The city centre has a strong Asian population which has translated into a growing addiction to bubble tea as its so easily available.


Both BM and I are here to work, so our adventures are restricted to the evenings and weekends.  

The apartment is lovingly decorated from Ikea and I'm rather taken by the decor.  Bright, spacious and functional.  Perfect for two but entertaining is more of a problem.  We have a poker night on tonight and the living room is full to bursting with 7 people ...


The kitchen is small but serviceable.  Though the lack of good knives was driving BM slowly insane.  I brought back one from NZ on my brief travel through our house on the way back.  We even have a dishwasher!


Proof of our downtown location!  That's the extent of our out door space but its nice to be able to open the door to the outside and have some fresh air circulate.


I love the feel of the apartment - neutrally decorated with splashes of colour - enough to have some interest.



Our bathroom even has a bath!


The landlord lives in the same building and has been both hands off and helpful when we needed it.  

We've been visiting a few of the restaurants and bars within walking distance - the boilermaker house was a delight on the first night.


I work near Melbourne Central and was surprised to see the clock play Waltzing Matilda on the hour - I don't know how the staff in the nearby shops can stand it!


So what I have learnt about Melbourne?


An abundance of donuts (short stop).


The meetups are friendly - Melbourne Alternative Crafters


There's lots of places offering massages at relatively cheap prices (compared with walkins in Wellington)


There seems to be a festival on every weekend...


So far we've stumbled on the Chinese New Year (first weekend)


Complete with firecrackers and dragons.


White Night: and I do mean stumble (as we had no clue any of these were on but you can't miss them where we live)


Lots of street performers and projections on key buildings.


State Library above.


The image above was my favourite from the night as it just the shape of the building to play against.  I loved the dystopian waterfall.

Greek festival - we live close to the traditional Greek quarter (minus most of the Greeks from what I can tell).



The down town seems to buzz at night - I love seeing the Asian signs (I'm assuming Chinese but as I can't read them...)


The abundance of restaurants are hard to resist!

This restaurant is close to our apartment (unfortunately the decor out paces the food!)



Interesting decorating choices in a local shopping centre.


And that's me out of steam for the evening...




Thursday, March 3, 2016

A final kiwi round up

And this is the final Kiwi post before I start writing up my Melbourne adventures for 2016!  

Hurray - I'm almost up to date in my posting :)  Thanks Gemma for the encouragement to get the posts written!


I had a quick work trip up the East Coast in Jan - and managed an early morning beach stroll.  Stunning!  It might just be my favourite photo of the year.


Spotlight had a sale on patterns just after Christmas - I think it was 3 for $15.  They're all Simplicity Amazing Fit patterns and they cater for different bust sizes.  I want to increase my work dress wardrobe.

I brought one of these patterns with me to Melbourne and hope to at least mock up one before I get back to NZ.  Though as I'm already up to 3 fabric purchases (technically 5 but that's another story) and one piece I brought with me, I'm going to try and sew up what I have first - hah!  Famous last words?


Work trip to Christchurch in December brought me past a veggie front garden.  I love this idea rather than just wasted grass.


A quick cocktail in Merchant and Co in Wellington before our departure.  The non-alcoholic cocktail in the foreground was yum!  Definitely worth a revisit.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Muse Jenna Number 4


I love, love, love this pattern.  As evident by it being my fourth version.  1 and 3 are still in rotation (2 was donated).


Black merino knit from Levana purchased in 2015. 

Buttons from Made Marion purchased especially in late 2015.


Sorry again for the crappy photos!

I really love wearing this cardi.  I messed up on the top and bottom button holes on the button band but as the fabric is black its not visible (phew!).  

The only change I'd make in future is to tighten the sleeves at the bands (or taper them to it).  They're a tad on the loose side. The rest of the fit is great and its my go to cardi at the moment.  Not too bulky and not too light.

I really like the bust/shoulder gathers.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Blank Canvas T Dress




Another Blank Canvas make - lengthened to a dress from the T pattern.  I added 16 inches to the end of my T pattern.


Blue merino from Levana - not long in the stash.  


The last photo is the most accurate for colour.  I need to take in the sides a tad - I had planned on taking this with me to Melbourne but the merino was a little too toasty for comfort so I snuck in a wear before I left.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Muse Melissa


I really loved this pattern when Kat asked around the WSBN for testers.  It was the first pattern I've ever tested and I was giddily excited to test it.  Its a great pattern and I'm keen to make it again - but if I want it to take a lot less time (and for it to fit better) I'll have to seriously learn from my mistakes.  


I needed to grade between sizes and unfortunately as I was so long between starting this pattern and finally finishing it up, I can't even vaguely remember what I did to the pattern pieces to get to this stage.  Must. Take, More. Notes. As. I. Sew.


The fabric was a relatively light weight cotton from Brazil.  The weight was great for the pattern but the design made it look - as one of the Fabric Hoarders suggested - like a paediatric nurse's uniform.


So what would I change next time?
1. Place button in a location better suited to my bust (reduce bra sightings) - photo above


2. Grade around the bust differently - there's too much weird bunching under the sleeve


3. And the bust shaping under the bust needs to come in more quickly.  


4.  The sleeves are little too tight so will need to come out a bit more.

5. I also want to make use of the really nice details, Kat has built into the pattern - much clearer on the pattern page than on my version. The pockets are a neat detail.  

The fit issues aren't surprising as I didn't have time to muslin first (and still didn't finish it in time - I got about 3/4s of the way through testing before running out of time - and motivation).  I had a clear out of clothes before I left NZ, so I can't remember if I held on to this to see what changes needed to be made to the pattern pieces (I hope so) but I was in major declutter mode!