Saturday, January 30, 2010

Arabian Nights

I got this fabric when I was finding fabric for the bag (see below). It reminds me of Moroccan tiles (not that I've been to Morocco, but I imagine it features lots of tiles like this). I decided to make a little summer nightie out of it, maybe something I could lounge around in on Saturday mornings feeling cool and cottony and leisurely languid. Sipping coffee, writing my novel, padding around in bare feet, that kind of thing.

Used satin ribbon for the straps (I almost just wrote 'handles' - that bag workshop made an impact!). Didn't have a pattern, just cut around my favourite nightie, straight into the fabric, with the fabric on the bias. Used Amberguity's overlocker for extra safe seams, and the rolled hem foot to do the hem. It ended up a little shorter than I might have liked, but other than that very happy with it. Accidentally twisted one strap in the sewing, which would be easily rectified, but for now I am just going with it (lazy aren't I?). Oh, also added a very twee little matching bow on the front to finish it off.

New Bag

Went to a fun sewing workshop last weekend, in the mountains. My friend Mountainspice organised it (that is, invited me, booked us in) because we both love fabric and have grand plans for sewing but neither of us really learnt to sew or actually sew anything. She saw this advertised in the local free 'workshops a plenty' newspaper that they get up in the mountains.

We were a tad late because she picked me up from the train station and we made our way together. The workshop was held in a community centre, and the other (8 or so) women were already there and busy with their cutting and pinning when we got there. The teacher Fiona Warmbath is a dressmaker who runs regular workshops through the week, in fact most of the people there were regular attendees of her week day dressmaking classes.

We got to choose which bag to make, from 3 different designs. I went for a more 'handbag' style bag for myself, Mountainspice went for a shoulder tote style as a bookbag for her library-loving 3 year old.

I bought fabric the day before from the Fabric Store in Surry Hills, Sydney, with Miss Snapdragon's help choosing something extra groovy. I also raided my fabric suitcase (excavated from under the bed) to find cheery light coloured lining for MS's tote. Also waded through my button jar to find something large, decorative and lolly looking to finish it off.

Bag is lined with contrasting patterned fabric that you can only really see when diving in deep to find keys or other hiding things in the bag. Inside pocket got scrapped in an effort to get the bag finished in the confines of the workshop. I did end up staying after the official end time to get it done (a few people did) and I was truly exhausted after sewing for 6 hours after not having even said hello to my machine for well over a year but was super chuffed to have finished it at all, and the bag is now officially my very favourite handbag in the world. Like a kid with a macaroni necklace that's more loved than pearls, I love it extra much despite the wonky stitching and missing pocket or maybe even because of that.

Monday, January 25, 2010


New year's project - scanning drawings and learning to play with them digitally. Have a new scanner set up and am enjoying learning to use photoshop to soften edges, delete dots and dust and eventually plan to do a short course in illustrator so I can manipulate 'vector graphics' better. I figure having them scanned in is a good start. Exciting the idea of taking the drawing (collage, whatever) as a seed and them having a whole range of new tools for making colour and texture and light. I am getting with the 21st century! (slowly)