Look at moi (but not too closely)…

I actually made jeans.

Yes jeans.

Okay, so they don’t have a real fly and the front pockets are fake…but I made jeans!

And, they fit…really well.

And I am never tucking tops in ever again, so I don’t care they have an elastic waist.

And the topstitching got better as I did more of it.

Did I say that they fit?

IMG_20180317_151116.jpg  Gosh that mirror is filthy 😦  IMG_20180317_150838.jpg    IMG_20180317_135439.jpg  My daughter commented that ,”They are very flat”; I told her that flat is good when you’re fat!!!

I am chuffed in case you hadn’t picked it.

They are the Blakley Jeans by StyleArc, bought as a pattern and fabric (the denim has 5% elastane) in a size 14. The only modifications were the removal of 5cm off the leg lengths and the faux fly front put onto the male side (like almost all jeans these days).

Oh happy days 🙂

How to dress an apple so it doesn’t resemble a turnip

Okay, so I don’t really know how do do that 😦

I have spent most of my life being a somewhat waistless thin, but muscly person, then menopause hit and I have become a waistless, flabby woman with waaaay too much “condition” on me.

I think of apples as being delicious, crisp and beautiful  9849406-Ripe-juicy-apple-isolated-on-white-background-Stock-Photo-red and turnips as being ugly, squat and nasty-tasting vegetables. Hence (although I am no longer crisp), I have the capacity to be delicious and beautiful, however, too many times I end up a turnip turnip-24-56a8c50e3df78cf772a074e4

Do you ever find that you start off your working day looking (what you think) pretty great and then you catch a look in a shop window or somesuch and reality hits, it’s a sobering experience that can get you down if you let it.

I have lovely clothes and plans to make even more (time is an issue here), but sometimes I just can’t seem to get it together. Sometimes I make something that just does not suit my body type and I end up wasting a beautiful piece of fabric, other times I just wear unsuitable clothing because I like the quirkiness of it (have always liked the though of being viewed as a little weird!).

So how do you dress an apple? I am liking Lagenlook more and more, the secret to it here in Australia is to make the layers very light in weight, otherwise it’s just too hot in summer.  What isHowever, there is a little inkling that stops me embracing the Look with gusto and that is, it appears that it really only appeals to women in mid to late middleage (like me) and there is always the knowledge that it’s hiding something 😦

I HATE that idea! You see, in my head I am still 23 years old and I do not see any 23 year old girls wearing the Look.

It’s a dilemma for me, this ageing thing.

How do you “cope” (if that is the right word)? I actually love my life, I am happy in my head, happy with the life experience that allows me to not sweat the small stuff (well, most of the time), happy with my face, happy with my family etc etc, but the ageing thing? Nope.

Now all I need is a party!

As mentioned in a previous post, I recently bought a 1960’s Hostess Gown from a lovely vintage shop in Dunsborough, if you are ever down that way “do yourself a favour” and check it out (Oroton mesh bags, skirt suits a la Jackie Onassis etc etc, it’s a treasure trove!).

Anyway, this lovely dress caught my eye, the fabric colours are my two favourites. I don’t know the maker Noble Frocks of Sydney (last mention I found online was 1969), but I think they must have been a high-end manufacturer. The dress was very well made, with pattern-matching and tailoring techniques- it made unpicking the whole thing quite a chore, but oh, so worth it 🙂

dsc_0533.jpg  I didn’t even bother trying the dress on in the shop as it was very tiny around the waist (and those days are a distant memory for me) and the bust sat so high, I don’t think I was ever that pert!!!

The first step was to harvest some fabric from the lower hem, I took about 20cm as the dress was very long and I am not particularly tall. I added 5cm to both sides of each shoulder to drop the bust points to where I am and also to keep the balance at the back. Then I added another 5cm to both sides of the dress. Unfortunately the pattern matching had to go as what I had available just couldn’t be wangled that way. No matter though, the pattern is pretty busy and the areas I added the fabric are not glaringly obvious.

The sleeves were left open at the bottom edge. The fabric is synthetic and I wanted to have as much air flow around sweaty bits as possible. I had enough fabric left to close the sleeves with a seam, but decided against it, I may well change my mind in the future, but I am happy with the decision at the moment.

I finished the bottom with a finger-rolled narrow hem, to be honest, it’s a bit of a dogs breakfast, that chiffon just moves around so much when trying to cut accurately, methinks I will need to investigate Tear-Away… anyway, the hem is far enough away for it not to be an issue (really?).

Now all I need is a party to “hostess” !

I wonder if the original owner would recognise her dress now? It has gone from a long, elegant gown for a slim and pert 1960’s woman, to a shorter and slightly less elegant one for a slightly plump middle-aged woman.20160229_195433.jpg   20160229_194830.jpg

It is funny though, I am gradually coming around to liking this stage of my body’s evolution; it is a strong and capable one that has borne children and worked hard.  it is pretty fit and getting even fitter as I write; it is good 🙂


UPDATE: This may well be my last post for a while. Personal stuff is pretty overwhelming at the moment and I haven’t much energy for sewing or commentary; hopefully things will settle over the next few months and I can get back into this…



It is finally starting to feel like Christmas (in my head)

It has been a ridiculously busy year and trying to find time for thoughts other than busyness stuff has been difficult. However, the weather is finally becoming warmer, I have been to a couple of present-themed markets and it is starting to feel like Christmas in my mind. To this end, I have finally made a list of things to get and to do and have actually done a bit of sewing 🙂

I made this pair of trousers two years ago, specifically for Christmas Day, they are a silk/linen mix and beautifully drapey and cool, however the top I made to complete the outfit always felt a little too like surgical scrubs. I have now updated things and intend this to be my Christmas Day ensemble, same pants, different top.

fbjLZMt714dAZhaNlrluen2axx_mjKA4Bax9iZd6jFs=w603-h1072-no If the shape of the top looks familiar to some of you, it is because it is a Sorbetto to which I’ve done a bit of embellishment. The fabric was always a fave from Ikea, but I never bought it as it seemed a bit pricey, however at half price how could I walk away empty-handed? The neckline is pleated and the top itself feels pretty special, quite dressy in fact… I like it!  DSC_0978

The next project has been somewhat bigger in it’s production. My lovely Mum has finally rediscovered her inner artist after an hiatus of probably 60 years. She works in acrylics, oils and pastels and is really enjoying herself. When she saw my daughters art bag she took a shine to it and asked if I would get her one next time I was in the art supplies shop? Of course I said, but then I got thinking…

I asked my daughter if her bag could be better and she thought of some modifications that would improve the design, basically, all the fundamentals were good, but the whole thing needed to be BIGGER, so I went to work.

P1030622 P1030623 P1030624 P1030625 P1030626 The fabrics are an assortment of pieces I have bought at different times, that have come together nicely for this project. The front has pockets for brushes and paint tubes, the sides are pockets for rulers and whatever else, the back has a large pocket secured with velcro and the inside has another separate pocket. The inside base is removable stiff cardboard inserted into a sleeve of thick denim. I have just two things left to do, the outside bottom which will also be in denim because it will need to be hard wearing and I am waiting for my labels to arrive, so I can proudly sew it on the inside. Knowing my Mum, she will love it (fingers crossed!!!).

If life couldn’t be any busier, I have ventured into the land of Etsy. At the moment the store is not open, I am just listing stuff from my extensive wardrobe of designer 1980’s stuff (that I just couldn’t part with before). When I was single and the only person I needed to indulge was me, I spent a lot of money on some gorgeous clothes, but frankly, I am tired of a whole wardrobe being full of beautiful clothes that will never fit me again, the funny thing is that Etsy classes the 1980’s as Vintage!

Ha ha! If anything is going to help me feel as if I am on the way to decrepitude it is being classed as Vintage, I feel “Classic” might be a word I would respond to better!!!

What is style and other stuff

DSC_0972Every now and then a blog post comes up talking about style.What is it, what does it mean to me? Basically, I dress for comfort and a bit of individualism; the days of suffering for fashion are long gone for me and thank goodness I say!

I have decided that one of my favourite styles is wide-legged pants, personally I don’t think that there will ever be enough wide-legged pants for me. Years ago I had a pair of wide-legged linen trousers that were my favourite. I still have them, but there is only so much iron-on mender that can be used before things start looking too tragic.

My solution was to draft a pattern off said trousers before they gave up for good. This is so long ago that  I had never inserted a zipper, let alone sewn a fly-front. So my pattern was for draw-string waisted pants. This pattern has become my favourite, to the extent that I have made four pairs of pants off it. This weekend I made two pairs, a white pair to replace my original faves and a navy blue pair, just because…

Today is my birthday and this evening my Husband took me to the cinema to see “Pride”, (and I must say how proud I am of my Welsh heritage after seeing it; but that is another story…). I wore my new blue pants and a new pierrot-collared sleeveless blouse to go with it, I felt pretty funky! Look, I know my taste in clothing is pretty wacky a lot of the time, but I dress for myself and the rest of the world can go jump!

While I was getting ready to go out, I laid a few outfits on the bed to make choosing a bit easier and there is definitely a theme here!

DSC_0970  tonight’s garb DSC_0965 another contender, white pants, newly-made Sorbetto top and coral-coloured bolero  DSC_0966 white pants and blue peasant blouse

tbh, I really like them all. It was a hot day here in Perth (around 36 degrees) and those outfits are all pretty cool temperature-wise; plus I know that there will never be anyone I see who is wearing anything that looks like my clothes and really, isn’t individuality one of the attractions of sewing for oneself?


52 and still got it (well, still got something anyway!) 😉