Thursday, March 18, 2010

Moving my blog...

I've decided to move my blog. From now on you can find all posts here:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Hen's Night

For my Hen’s Night, my bridesmaids organised an awesome night of teppanyaki & karaoke. The only thing I had to do was organise an outfit that would fit in with the theme of ‘a touch of Japan’.

I decided to make something from the Japanese pattern books my (now) husband bought me for Uke Christmas. I picked a design that added a big bow into the front of a standard fitted bodice block. I modified it slightly so that the bow would be at the back instead of the front. Anyway, here are the pictures & details;

What I’m wearing: Self-made dress, Karen Millen shoes & bag.
Pattern used: Self-drawn, based on basic fitted bodice block with a gathered A-line skirt.
Fabric used: Silk from Spotlight
Cost: This dress used about 4 metres of silk in total, so it cost me about $120.
What I like: The hidden pink in the bow. I also really like the length of the skirt. It’s just that tiny bit shorter than what I normally wear, which kind of fit the feel of the night.
What I don’t like: I’m not sure if we ended up tying the bow correctly (after all that effort) as all the instructions are in Japanese & it didn’t look quite like the pictures.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For all the knitting Nancys out there.

Alice Euphemia are stocking some funky knitting patterns from Nikki Gabriel.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I have the best bridesmaids IN THE WORLD!!!

I would like to send a massive thank-you out to my two beautiful bridesmaids, who have gone above & beyond to produce these BEAUTIFUL invitations for my hen's party! Yes they are actually invitations! I have had NO idea as to what my bridesmaids were planning for my hen's party & when these arrived in the mail I was VERY intrigued. Each lovely piece of origami opens out into a beautifully printed invitation. I was SOOOO excited when I received them. I thought the pink, suggestively shaped piece of origami was a rather nice touch, (it also made me laugh because it made me think of that skit at the end of the first Austen Powers movie) - well done girls.

I must admit I was very afraid to open them up for fear that I may not be able to re-create the origami shapes, but I opened them & was actually able to re-fold them (correctly, I think). YAY!

Anyway, in case you haven't noticed from the large number of words in uppercase in this blog, I am really excited about my hen's party. Now I just have to dream up an outfit that fits with the 'A Touch of Japan' theme. Awesome.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Great Gatsby

A friend of ours is having a great gatsby birthday party soon & I'm very excited to be planning my outfit! Here is a collection of images I'll be using as inspiration.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I wonder if it's too late to change our wedding cake...

Cake Wrecks (one of my favourite blogs to check out on a lazy Sunday afternoon) has posted an awesome geeky wedding cakes, you can find it here.

Sitting on the couch with my fiance this is pretty much how my response played out...

"OMG that Mario cake is SO freakin’ awesome! AND it comes with extra cakes. I wonder if it’s too late to change our order…

The pixellated Zelda & Princess cupcakes are also pretty sweet*.

*Nice pun, heh?"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

'The Dress' Status Update - COMPLETE!!! (Almost)

I’m very happy to say that today my mother & I did my final fitting of my wedding dress & we put the pieces of it together.

There are a few small things to be done, there are some buttons that still need to be hand sewn on & we will need to put in a couple of small handstitches here & there to ensure everything sits EXACTLY the way it should, but all the machine sewing is complete. My mum has ever so kindly offered to sew the buttons on this week & we’ll put in the last little stitches in a final fitting shortly before the wedding. So rest assured people, I will not be walking down the aisle naked in March.

I’m feeling really good having finished all the machine sewn bits, I won’t go into too much detail now about it (for fear of spoiling the surprise) but I’ll be put up a few big posts after the wedding with pictures & all.

Ahhh… relaxation at last… Oh wait, bridesmaids… Crap! Better get back to it!*

*Just joking H & V - your dresses are under control :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

‘The Dress’ Status Update - BUTTONS, BUTTONS, BUTTONS!

What a week! This week I covered 60, (yes 60!) teensy, tiny, buttons for my wedding dress.

I looked for a little while to see if I could find a button covering service that would do it for me, but all the ones I found were closed over the Christmas break. So I bought a whole heap of the ‘self-cover’ buttons from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

It took me a little while to work out the best way to put them together. I first followed the method they recommended on the packet, which involved using a gather stitch around the very edge of the circle of fabric, then gathering that around the shaft of the button, before pushing a small cog down the shaft to hold the fabric in place.

Being the impatient creature that I am I decided there was no way I was going to hand-stitch around 60 little silk circles, so I tried one on the machine, it was a complete failure. To begin with the gather stitch was too long for the size of the circle, then it was too hard to turn it underneath the foot. Finally when I finished sewing & tried to gather it, the thread just pulled out the silk weave leaving me with a frayed mess. FAIL!

Instead I found a small cardboard tube, roughly the same diameter as the buttons. I would lay the silk circles over the hole in the tube, push the button into the tube, stuff the excess fabric into the button & then push the little cog down to hold it in place. This method worked a treat.

Now I’m sure there’s some sewing goddess out there who always does things the way they are meant to be done & who is eternally patient. I’m sure this impossible person will go on to tell me that I should have done it the way I was told to. That the sides of the buttons would be more even, no creases anywhere, the buttons would last longer & so on. But, these buttons only need to last one day, nobody is looking at the sides & I like the way they look. Which is, I guess, the most important thing.

2010 Malanka Dress No.1

So after all the drama… here is rundown on the outfit I wore to Geelong Malanka.

What I’m wearing: Self-made dress, Karen Millen shoes & bag.
Pattern used: Not sure, because I can’t find it :S
Fabric used: Embroidered cotton blend for the skirt, silk for the waistband (I couldn’t believe it either - it almost looks like denim) & silk satin for the halter neck. All from Stitches in Armadale (one of my favourite fabric stores).
Cost: This one was a little more expensive than normal, the embroidered cotton blend was $143 a metre, the ‘denim’ silk was $130 a metre & the silk satin was $44 a metre. I worked with the ladies in the store to work out exactly how much I would need even though I didn’t have the pattern with me, so the total ended up at $184.40.
What I like: The colours of the skirt, it was quite warm that day & I felt really cool in this dress. It’s strange but I think the colours help with that…
What I don’t like: I had a lot of trouble with the halter neck & getting it to sit right. My fit model is broken at the moment & I find it REALLY hard to fit this kind of stuff on myself. I’m still not completely happy with it, it still gaps & creases a little in places.
What’s next: Project Bridesmaids…


So you may be wondering why my posts have been a little absent in the last couple of weeks, and also why I failed to post pics of my Malanka dresses, WELL, I had a little accident at Geelong Malanka (the first one) that rendered my left arm useless for a couple of weeks...

I bought a lovely new pair of shoes from Karen Millen (with matching purse), but I was in a rush & failed to get them re-soled with proper grippy soles. I think you can see where this story is headed, but I'm relive it for embarrassment's sake...

I was having a lovely time chatting away at Malanka... My friends had just set up the food on our table & came & told me. I was hungry so headed on over. I had to cross the dance floor to get there. I took one step out onto the dance floor before slipping (in quite a spectacular fashion), & I landed flat on my back*. I lay there for a good 5 minutes before I could work out what I'd actually done. It ended up that I'd bruised my coccyx (?), & sprained my arm very badly**.

There was some good news though - I managed to fall and land without spilling my untouched drink!

The worst news was that I had to break my shoe rule of 'if you wear them there, you wear them all night AND you wear them home'. I did still wear my shoes home - I just couldn't wear them on the dance floor :(

Despite the dramas and rule-breaking, it was a wonderful night anyway, we danced, drank, sang & jumped on stage with the band.

I'll put up pictures of the dress I wore later in the week.

* My friend later told me that she didn't know it was me that had fallen & only saw the shoes on my feet. She thought 'what lovely shoes'. All of a sudden I felt like the witch that gets crushed by the house in the Wizard of Oz (or the hilarious parody in Anthology of Interest 2 - Futurama), don't ask me why, but it made me laugh...

** I didn't actually find this out until the next morning, when I finally decided I should go the emergency room to get it checked. Whoops...

Invisible Zips. Grrrr! Oh... maybe not so grrr...

Today I sewed an invisible zip into a dress for the first time...

You might say that I probably could have picked something a little less risky than one of my bridesmaids dresses to try this new technique, but that's just the way I roll, :P

I had a look online for a video showing me how, (here), and I was surprised at how simple it looked. I guess I should explain...

Everytime my mum made me a dress that needed an invisible zip, she fussed & huffed & puffed, and she put the zip in. She never liked it though, and you always heard about how much she didn't like them. So naturally I was petrified of putting in an invisible zip.

Since I tend to belong to the sewing school of "Oh my god it's Wednesday & I need a dress for Friday QUICK! Fabric! Sew & then I'll throw in the zip & hem it, while I'm sitting in my bathrobe with my hair & make-up done, ready to throw it on & rush out the door on Friday night", I've remained petrified of putting in an invisible zip, and never had the time to try it properly. But today I did it & it was really nice & easy & it looked nice & I don't know why it's taken me so long to work this out!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Website

I've created a tumblr account but I'm not sure yet whether I like it or not... :S

So for the next couple of months I'll be maintaining this site & the tumblr account, until I decide which I prefer.

Here'e the tumblr address:

Monday, January 11, 2010

A quick & easy summer skirt

With production of my wedding dress temporarily on hold last week, I made a couple of other quick & easy items.

The first was this skirt. About a month back when I was looking for fabric for my bridesmaids I found a beautiful Salvatore Ferragamo silk. So I bought 1.5m & put it aside for a little while. With the hot weather this month, I thought the silk would be perfect for a nice light summer skirt.

What: I'm wearing: Self-made silk skirt, Cotton On top, Cosgrove & Beasley bag, Marc Jacob shoes, Tom Ford sunglasses.
Pattern used: An old one I 'borrowed' from my mother's collection (Butterick 5896)
Cost: This one was a little more expensive than normal, the silk was $80 a metre, I lined it with some lining I had left over from another skirt I made a while back & it didn't need any notions, all in all it cost $120.
What I like: How light & breezy this is. It really kept me cool! It's also really versatile. I wore this out to dinner & drinks for a friends going away, & then the next day dressed it down with a singlet & sandals for my weekend errands. I think I'll wear it to work this week too, it was 43C today & will be 36C tomorrow, so I'll need something cool. Wearing this skirt, also makes me feel like I'm on the set of Roman Holiday!
What I don't like: Not much, I really love this skirt!
What next: Malanka Dresses!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Uki Christmas is the Best Christmas...

Today is Ukrainian Christmas Day, which means I got a visit from Ukrainian Santa this morning. Uki Santa is the best! Look what I got.... Pattern Books!

I saw these books in a fabric store recently & when I asked to buy some the girl told me that they weren't for sale & were only for display. I was devastated... until I found them online. EXCITEMENT.

Here are some of my favourite designs:

You've probably noticed that the books are actually in Japanese so they do take a little bit of extra effort to work out that they are doing, but they are still pretty cool. I'm hoping to give some of the more wearable designs in coming months (realistically I won't get a chance until after the wedding).

If you'd like to buy them you can find them at Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney or Melbourne or also online here. The books are called 'Pattern Magic' & 'Pattern Magic Vol. 2'.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Eve Outfit Post

My fiance & I spent new year's eve chilling at a friend's house this/last year.

It was incredibly hot in the afternoon before a massive storm later in the evening. So we played in the pool before changing for dinner & new years drinks. It was a great evening & we had an awesome time. Here's what I wore, post poolside hi-jinks. Homemade pants, Kookai lightweight wool top, Mimco fobwatch bracelet & my shoes of the moment, Marc Jacobs Misplaced Heels.

A quick word about the pants. They are fantastic! I used this fabric to make a jacket from a Yamamoto pattern a few months ago & had a heap left over so decided to make a pair of wide leg evening pants. I was feeling really lazy that day so just put in a elasticated waist.BEST DECISION EVER. They are super comfortable, (this may have something to do with the fact that they're essentially pyjama pants), & still look quite elegant (in my mind anyway). They are great on a hot night because their quite cool & last but certainly not least, they don't crease!

I'd seriously recommend you make a pair yourself if you can. They are so easy - you can whip them up in a couple of hours & I love mine!

* Apologies for the awful photo, I look a bit 'deer in headlights' don't I?!

'The Dress' Status Update - DISASTER!

Today was not a good day for sewing...

Whilst fitting my dress today with my mum, I pricked my finger on a pin* & bled on the lining of the dress**. Mum & I spent the next 10mins frantically trying to blot the lining with a damp cloth without touching the silk for fear of staining it & then drying it with a hairdryer!

The whole scene was quite ridiculous, but the crisis was averted.

Not three hours later, whilst switching to a different stitch to finish a seam, the stitch style selector knob on my sewing machine broke! I was most upset & could not immediately fix it. Luckily, the crisis was once again averted as I'm staying at my parent's house to sew my dress, so my Mum quickly set up her machine & we continued on.

Unfortunately the third crisis got the better of us. Mum was sewing together some very delicate lace pieces with a very small stitch & accidently sewed the wrong pieces together, leading to a seam on the 'outside'. Because of the delicate nature of the lace & the very small stitches it cannot be unpicked without destroying the lace, so we will have to head back to the fabric store later in the week & buy some more lace. Needless to say my Mum was most upset about the whole ordeal, but I'm positive we can fix it.

Tomorrow I will finish as much as possible & then wait for the fabric store to re-open after their Christmas break before heading back with Mum & getting some more lace.

*Like my favourite Disney princess***.
**Unlike my favourite Disney princess who fell asleep for 100 years
***In case you were wondering my favourite non-Disney princess is from the fairytale 'The Princess & The Pea'. Yes there is a girl inside this engineer :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

'The Shoes'

I realised today that there are nine weeks left until my fiance & I get married... And I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't even considered what shoes I will wear, (shock horror).

So tonight I frantically searched the Internet for options and now I'm torn... My dress is quite long & so chances are you won't really see the shoes I'll be wearing, so the question I have to ask is do I go for something more traditional, even though I will probably never have any need to wear ivory shoes again or do I get something a little bit crazy that I'll definitely wear again, but may not really be classed as 'wedding shoes'. HELP ME!!!

Here are my favourites at the moment on the traditional front:

Christian Louboutin 100s

Manolo Blahnik "Carolyne" Slingbacks

Alan Pinkus "Belle"

Here are my options for something a little less traditional, I love red, but I also don't have my something blue yet so I thought these would be interesting...

Manolo Blahnik "Something Blue" Pumps

Viktor & Rolf Pumps
Thakoon Mirror Mosaic Sandles (outrageously expensive, but still super cool... come on super sale!)

'The Dress' Status Update - Corset Complete

This week is my wedding dress week. I hope to have the dress (almost) complete by the 4th of January. It will still be missing some buttons (I'm getting custom silk covered buttons ordered in) & won't have been hemmed (because I have been lazy & haven't got my shoes yet...). But both of those jobs are fairly easy & won't take too long.

I finished the corset section this morning. It's more structural than anything and will hold the dress (mainly the skirt) up, so that the load of 10m of silk won't be transferred to some of the more delicate fabrics I'm using. Even so, I'm not going to post any pictures until after the wedding (sorry girls). In the mean time though, here are some shots that my mother took today 'to prove that I actually made it'.

Today I'll be cutting out the skirt & sewing it. Tomorrow will be the top section & finishing. I might get a chance to do the veil too.

Later this week I'll also start work on the Malanka* ball dresses. There will be two this year, a short semi-formal one for Geelong & a long evening gown for the masquerade ball in Melbourne. I'll try & take some photos to upload.

*Malanka is the name of old calender new years eve in Ukraine. My fiance is Ukrainian & every year in Melbourne & Geelong there are big parties to celebrate.