Archive for the ‘Me-Made…’11’ Category

Hurrah! A chance to redeem my first and failed effort and document my outfits for a whole month this time: Zoe of So, Zo… has announced she will be leading the force that is Me-Made through the month of June, which means I should turn off the computer and turn on the sewing machine. Me-Made tights, warm tops and maybe some mittens! And I should finish that hat I started last year too.

Oh! That hat matches the bag I put on lay-by at Minnie Cooper! Which matches my nice shoes from the same shop. Oh, the hazards of a good blue…


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Although my camera is broken and I can’t record it, I am still participating in Me-Made-March’11, albeit in a rather low key way. Without the eyes of the flickr group upon me, I have been repeating the same outfits that I wore earlier in the month. Not because I can’t be bothered, but because I have pretty much run out of new Me-Made clothes and combinations. The challenge has certainly brought to my attention the limitations of my me-made wardrobe (or, in fact, my wardrobe in general) as I knew it would, but if my camera was still working, I probably would have got to it and made a few more things to wear. Instead Rata and I have had a rather trying week of fever and sleeplessness (chickenpox?), and when she stayed at her Poppa’s on Saturday night I got started on making books instead.

I have been keeping an eye on the flickr pool though, and thought I’d share some highlights and new discoveries. Candied Apples had a very cool outfit on Sunday, which made me wish that Minnie Cooper made yellow shoes. There are a number of very kind and dedicated members of the pool who seem to comment on just about everyone’s photos, and from these regulars I discovered Carolyn (a very talented maker in Perth) who pointed me in the direction of her tights tutorial. Well, now you mention it, I went to a garage sale last weekend and came home with the perfect zigzag fabric for a pair of tights. I’ll be following the tutorial to make the feet but my method of making leggings will save me from a lot of stabs to the leg. I’ll just cut them out with lots of fabric left at the ends to play with.

Other highlights have been Buttontree Lane and Lazy Stitching: each of them pitching in for the Antipodes with style and punch! Two favourites from colder climes I have encountered through the flickr pool, but who don’t seem to have blogs, are High Wire Act and Hilary. Miss High Wire Act pulled off an amazing double plaid combination the other day which clearly I am still thinking about. Hilary is a magical person who writes lovely encouraging comments on everyone’s photos and has some killer outfits of her own. Plus, she took a photo of her cat. I like it when that happens. Oh, and I mustn’t forget crab & bee, another prominent source of encouragement to many in the flickr pool.

I’d have really liked to comment on more people’s photos, but every time I click on the pool it seems more people have joined! I have, however, enjoyed the broad range of styles and combinations and the opportunity to see what people have made for themselves. I’m feeling really quite inspired to make things – re-energised even – but for now my sewing machine is on the floor and my table is dedicated to cutting paper.

But in other sewing news, I have acquired for myself a fantastic cupboard for my stash. It has come from some government department and has a multitude of A4-sized shelves, probably for letters. Most are quite short, but around the sides are some bigger cubby holes and the doors even have a key! It has come from someone’s garage and is quite dirty, plus it doesn’t quite fit where I wanted it to go, necessitating a massive rearrangement of my sewing room. BUT when all that is done I hope to be able to unpack all my fabric and have a bit of room to move my elbows in there. The possibilities of how I might arrange my fabric in that cupboard have kept me awake at night with pure GLEE!

I will certainly have to find a new camera before that part of my life is done. You are really going to want to see how an archives-type person would arrange their fabric in the perfect circumstances…

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My garden is quite exciting – things are actually growing! And although there are still evil white butterflies hanging about, none of my broccoli or Brussels sprouts have been eaten! (Maybe it really does work, spraying wormwood tea on their leaves…) Carrots and radishes have been sown today (I nearly wrote sewn there) and a whole new bed has been dug over today:

So, while my outfit is nothing special, that spot in the bottom right is where my garlic will go this winter. My dad’s birthday is on the winter solstice, traditionally the day you plant it, so I think there’ll be a wee garlic planting party. The last time I planted garlic I was 37 weeks pregnant and couldn’t do it myself, so I stood there handing cloves to Louis to ram into the soil. Something we learnt from that exercise is to only grow the big cloves – eat the rest – because only the big cloves grow big heads of garlic.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here – it’s only just turned autumn! And in the backyard I’m sure the temperature is never below 25°C. All I had to do to make this bed was to lift up a VERY old weed mat and pull out a few bits of that evil kikuyu grass. Then on went my precious pile of seaweed, some large dead leaves (a tree that always sounds like rain) and some grass clippings. I feel a mammoth soup/chutney/bottling effort coming on to make a nice layer of vege scraps. Then a few bags of compost (cheat!) and we’ll be away sailing…

Oh, I really like my garden…

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Apologies for the out of orderliness, but in all the excitement of the weekend I forgot I had taken a photo.

10th (it was worth the wait):

Me-Made peacock skirt with Me-Made bow top… in need of a wee stitch behind its wee bow to hold it back in place. Fare thee well, absent stitch, wherever you may be…

Oh, now I remember Thursday: I ate a lot of Marshmallow Slice and procrastinated pretty much everything. Wait, did Rata go Me-Made?

Yes. Reindeer dress: Check. Flower for your old mum: Check. Mother-daughter pattern-off… oh yes.

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Oh boy, what a weekend! I will try not to tell you everything…

(What was I wearing on the 10th? I know it was Me-Made, but what was it? Oh, now I remember… it’ll have to be a separate post…)


Me-Made skirt (well, sort of: I cut it out and designed the pockets and Imogen overlocked the fabric and sewed it up in exchange for a Me-Made notebook. Here we are driving to Auckland in a teeny tiny car… crammed with five people.


Louis’ Aunty Helen turned sixty this weekend, and to celebrate her son threw her a party at his house. I mean, mansion. By the sea. With a view to Rangitoto Island. Here I have managed to find the sunlight as it was filtered between mansions on this millionaire’s row. I found everything extremely amusing: the waitresses who looked like hookers, the swimming pool, the bridge over the swimming pool linking the two halves of the mansion, the lush carpet which showed you EXACTLY where I had trod in my jelly sandals, all those bathrooms…

…and the waiter who ignored me for a good five minutes because he knew I wanted a mojito and he couldn’t be arsed making one. I got my own back by pouncing just as the speeches ended, and while he made them as the queue formed, the man behind me asked for one too… and so did the woman behind him. And if you are a fan of the show PARTY DOWN, an exact copy of Roman was there.

All this amusement kept me entertained well past my bedtime, and Rata stayed at home with her Oma so her ma and pa could stomp on the nice carpet to JT til pumpkin. And cheekiness aside, it was a lovely birthday party for an extraordinarily lovely woman.


And here is the dress I actually wanted to wear to the party, but as it is still summer in Auckland, the heavy drill with the soft kinda plushness to it was set to smother me. Still, today it was my only clean clothing (you pack light when you pack into a teeny grandma car) so on it went for our flight home. WHICH WAS TERRIFYING. I’m never flying again. Or eating anything other than plain boiled vegetables for the rest of my life: mojitos and rich food equals Perpetual Fullness. Ooh, I think I’ve found a solution to world hunger…

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Me-Made top from the archives: the polka dot braces top, with a pair of braces sewn at the back and clipping to pockets on the front. I made it from my bodice pattern of 2002, made to fit me at university (and generating an A for the finished top, for the record). But the pattern disappeared sometime around when we moved house last year, and I am LOST without it.








I don’t have a photo of my own Me-Made oufit yesterday (a very old corduroy skirt for a messy messy morning at Playcentre) but Rata was workin’ this delightful combo on the beach yesterday at the beach! She wouldn’t stand still when I tried to photograph her, seemingly unwilling to be any small distance from me and running to me – probably for shelter from the wind. The hat was her old dad’s when he was wee, the leggings were made by a local lady who also makes THE BEST UNDERPANTS YOU WILL EVER OWN (she’s my hero, and possibly deserving of her own tribute post) and the painting apron made by me for getting paint on (instead of the rest of her clothes). While it looked pristine, the apron was secretly too cool to get paint on it but I put away my crazy mother tendencies and soon enough some very attractive paint splodges came to the party. It was funny though, trying to make something plain and then coming out with something cuter than if I’d done it deliberately. Such is life.

On another note, I do not own a handbag, and have no idea how Rata came to know what to do with the bag her shoes came in.


Favourite (can you tell) skirt worn with the belt from my shift dress and a fabulous vintage shirt left behind the couch by a friend when she moved out of our house. It has its own belt but it doesn’t fasten, so every time you bend over it pops open. The front has a cute detail where it seems to have been ribbed lengthways by folding the fabric and stitching very close to the edge. That technique must have a name…

About five years ago I added triangles of fabric inside the arms as I was tired of not being able to lift my arms up. I did it by hand when I was many, many miles from my sewing machine (on the other side of the world, in fact) and frankly I’m surprised those stitches are still in place.

There’s quite a mess behind me. It’s called ‘Making Marshmallow Slice and not cleaning up immediately afterwards.’ The feeling I am experiencing as I type is called ‘Realising Louis said he’d be home early today and I should probably get to it.’

(I am really looking forward to eating the Marshmallow Slice, let me tell you. If it has worked, I think it is a feat worth blogging, so watch this space.)

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Friday’s earthquake made me very unenthusiastic for having my photograph taken. That lack of enthusiasm continued into Saturday, when I didn’t even attempt a detail shot of my circles skirt. But I do like this combination of me-made peacock skirt with those emperor penguin leggings quite a lot. I think I’ll be repeating that one again sometime…


Me-made Peggy dress and yellow leggings with the wardrobe staple Glassons cardigan to hide the top of the dress, which I am seriously considering cutting off. I only wear this dress like this, so I think it’s be more useful as a skirt. But every time I go to address this with the scissors, I chicken out though.

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