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Archive for August, 2010

I had one day to borrow my dad’s camera, and somehow that day was not much of a picture-taking day for me. Thus, some very bad photographs of otherwise awesome new clothing. Here is the new dress I slaved over for an evening…

WordPress is playing its ‘unable to save image’ thing, so for the time being, it must stay on its side. When I put this dress on I feel taller, slenderer and as though I could be wearing some 1970s vomit. Until I look closer and say ‘oh! but it’s a 1950s inspired quilt fabric!’.

I drafted (draughted?) the pattern from a tunic I found in an opshop and altered too small in the bust. Out came the measuring tape, the ruler, and large posters from Te Papa which also happen to make nice pattern paper. The collar doesn’t quite work, and I may end up pulling it out, but in all other respects I feel as though I finally have a dress pattern! Woop!

This photo perhaps also illustrates how difficult it is to take a photo in my room – the area with the mirrors is dark as anything, while the background, with its millions of skylights, is thoroughly washed out. You’d think I wouldn’t have the nerve to complain about the skylights when I live in a valley where they are the only source of sunshine for most of the year, but ha! I can complain! And often! You cannot sleep during the day while face to face with the sky, nor can you sleep in or take decent photos of your baby. Then, in summer, you cannot move for banging your head on the corner of an open one. I’m telling you: dormer windows, yes; skylights, no.

This next photo was supposed to be about the pattern of the fabric, but turned into a Rata show-stealing affair. I like it when she does that (takes the pressure off).

But see that milky-white skin? The second we leave the wardrobe area, here comes the glaring light (even on a dull grey day). So, that is my poor, uninspired attempt at documenting my new dress, which really deserves better. Still, it is a summer dress, and there will be plenty of opportunities (I hope) to document it in fabulous situations, conveniently seated next to the jug of Pimms.

And now to the rompers! (hooray, another photo on its side! I really am cursed…)

This is the same pattern as Lucy’s turquoise beauties, and sadly they will not fit for long. Rata, although too small for their width, is already the right length. Add to that the sadness of the only domes I had available, ones that pop as soon as she bends over, I fear these rompers will not get their day in the sun. Unless I sell them at Organic Baby in Petone. Better to do that than let them trick me into having another child. NO! I will not let them!

I altered the pattern to leave a bit more room around the neck (it seemed too small on Lucy’s, although it doesn’t look it when she’s wearing them). I also changed the front so it could accommodate buttons instead of a zip. I should have finished them the week I started, instead of losing interest and procrastinating: that’s three extra weeks she could have looked cute in them.

I’m quite excited by these rompers, actually. Rather than that kooky mid-20th century look for clothes that my scrap heap has been dictating, these have a bit of a Victorian feel, mixed with a Wild West showgirl (I think – it’s the braiding that does it for me, anyway). And it makes me think I could possibly, if I ever get enough hours in the day, make bebe clothes without stomping on the territory of people who have already nailed that kooky mid-century look. ┬áBut the experience has also taught me that if I do make clothes for other people, I’m going to get other people to sew them for me. Seriously. I am so over stitching at the moment. Huh, can you tell?

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Delays, delays…

I have things to post, just no camera! A new dress (for me), a pair of grey rompers (for Rata) and there are probably other projects lying around, completed. Rata is also growing out of her last batch of creations, which really should spur me on to great things… but oh, the joys of temporary single motherhood should put paid to that…

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Only one of my cookbooks sold (to relist? to pawn at the secondhand bookshop?) but a set of cake tins, with their own little storage tray, sold for $23. The excitement got to be a little too much, so I went downstairs and made a cake. The butter did that weird thing it does sometimes, and leaked out the bottom of the pan, leaving a rather smoky oven. But when I sat down to eat it, $23 richer, it turned out to be as good a cake as I am capable of making without dislocating any joints. Cool background, huh? It always makes me think of licorice allsorts. The trays are quite cute too, and attracted many views, 17 watchers and 21 bids. God bless the autobid. Two bidders battled it out early this afternoon, and then the first bidder swooped in later on to claim the prize.

Let us return to the topic of Ladies, A Plate. No post by me would be complete without a reference to this book, would it? I suspect that many others have been captivated by the photographs of old baking equipment, and these tins must fit the bill for some. I wouldn’t own a couple of gem irons and a set of cream horns if it weren’t for Alexa Johnston, and every now and then I flirt with the idea of purchasing some patty tins. I’m tempted to pick up any baking equipment I see in the opshops now and sell it on. Oh. Except that I hate that sort of thing. But there is clearly a market for it.

I hope my cake tins are going to a kitchen where they will get lots of use, and not languish on top of the fridge as they have here.

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