Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Even More Apron Happiness!

Honestly there can never be too many aprons in the world, IMHO. And so, imagine my delight when I was contacted by a woman organising a 'hen party' who wanted to make aprons!!!
Well, with every new class, I need to make samples. So I can show them to the class, time the make and assess difficulty etc. Erk, that is hard. You just never know where people will be 'at'. But oh, the joy of being able to say, "Yeah, I just HAVE to make some aprons/pillowcase dresses/a baby quilt for WORK." My life is SO hard! NOT! hehehe
 So here is Sample #1. Inspired by an apron Miss Grace wore to work today, with bias bound wavy scalloped edge. I chose the stripy fabric because it was the one that went best with the stunning strawberry print bias binding that came in last week. That I just HAD to use on something. As you do.
 Scallopy pocket with strawberry applique. I used steam-a-seam. Um, because I only decided to apply it AFTER attaching the pocket, it is only held on by the steam-as-seam. This is not ideal of course, but the great thing about class samples is that you can use mistakes to show people what not to do! ;-)
Close up of the gorgeous strawberry bias binding. It is SO sweet, but it only works on simple patterns like stripes and plains. And I don't HAVE any plain fabric. PLAIN? Meh. hehehe
And now, I am off to work on class sample 2. Featuring giant red rick rack (Scruffy Badger eat your heart out!) and hot pink bias on a black background mod floral. It's delicious!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More from Aethercon

More fab if fuzzy photos from the recent Steampunk Convention in Wellington. :)

 A photo of me by Captain Neave R. Willoughby (say it out loud) who was the elegant gent in the last post with a camera in his hat.
 I loved this upcycle military look -I think it was made from old army trousers. Very clever!
 Those stockings are body paint. Cute eh!
 Mortimer was in the last post too, and here he is after wonderful facial makeup. Cyber explorer!
 Dante simultaneously demonstrating our fab steampunk buttons and his unerring eye for spotting a nymph.
 More Goth than SP but a great look love the sideburns!
 I do love this look. Such a sweet man too!
 Pure sass.
One wonders what swashbuckling adventures this intrepid traveller has experienced.

Tremendous fun!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Aethercon 2012 Steampunk Extravaganza

Well, I just know you're busting to hear about how I spent my Saturday. It was Wellington's very first ever Steampunk Convention, Aethercon 2012. What a great day! I had a stall in the bazaar, selling the same things we sell in the shop - antique brass locks, rings, sprockets, buttons -  all manner of things for costumes and props alike. Ironically, our supply of steampunk buttons was quite low as so many attendees had already bought them for their costumes on the day :)
I didn't have time to make a new costume (say awwww) so I blinged up my favourite stripey 1910ish jacket with some screw head buttons.

I was so thrilled with my hair!! Those rolls are stuffed chocka with ratts made of my own hair, and held up that rather heavy tophat and goggles with great ease. My hair fall augmented the back. I love big hair!
Below are some of the attendees.
A wonderfully evocative costume and character, with a genuinely NZ feel to it. Loved it!
 Father and daughter punkers. Apologies for the awfully blurry photos - I didn't have my glasses on, and didn't realise they were out of focus, and that there was a smear on the lens that is causing the mysterious blurring in every photo. Not a tear in the space time continuum after all!
 Mother daughter this time. Miss is a mad scientsit complete with leather apron and phials of mysterious powders. Lovin' the goggles, made of preserving jar lid rims and leather!
 Lady Jane Craven, a symphony of elegance and finery! I love the cut-away jacket!
 Lord Leslie Craven, who unfortunately I never got a photo of in better focus than this.
 Agent Darling, all the way from Oamaru, which is, for the non locals, a small town in the South Island with a stunning Victorian precinct that has led to a highly active Steampunk presence. It is in fact the Steampunk Capital of NZ.
 Our photographer. The camera is real, on the inside. Loving it.
 My dear friend Nini of Things Unseen Jewellery. We were Bazaar neighbours and her supply of rice crackers and chocolate kept me going since I forgot to bring any lunch. Thanks Nini!

And that was a small sample of the amazing people who came through. I have more photos to share next time!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Neighbourhood part 2

 A few posts back, I started a photo tour of the area in which I live and work.Today I took some photos of the views form my parking building.
I love the higgledy piggledyness and urban grungy quirkiness of these views. Because they are of the back of buildings, not the street frontage. 

 This view fascinates me. It looks like little sheds all stacked up on top of one another. The one on the right with the large windows is some kind of classroom we think, as there are often groups in there. I haven't ever bothered to go around the street side with the intention of matching the buildings to the street signs, perhaps I'll find out what it is we're looking at!
A lower close up, the palm tree is glimpsed in the bottom right of the previous photo. Showing an almost hidden garden, with bunting, trees and ivy on the fence. On my side of the fence is a carpark. The secret lives of others!

I love this view of fire escapes, doors all painted faded bright colours. The sunlight has bleached out all the tagging. The slight shadowing round the edge is not me playing in Fotoflexer, but the grid on the building where I am standing.
Looking out onto the Marion St side of the building, I had to get a close up of this building. I have a friend called Cathie Bills and it reminds me of her!
I do hope that the current understandable paranoia about building safety doesn't result in the clearing of these wonderful old buildings in favour of new, bland, nasty ones. Too much of that has happened in our area already. At the top end of Cuba St, dozens of little houses and buildings were swept away to build the ugliest buildings on the planet, and having to walk past them I almost hold my breath until I come out the other side!
More on my 'hood in a few weeks...

Master Class Last Day

Well, I DID get the camera out during the week, but really, there is nothing to take photos of with this. No progress shots because of modesty, and the black on black and black on white fabrics chosen didn't take good pix.
So, I've skipped to the outcomes.
 Caitlin at the sewing machine. The twin needle got a big work out on this merino and stretch lace creation.
 This is Katelyn in her design. I took a photo of it now before she chose a hem length as I really like it this long, even over jeans! It has a fab zipper up the front - bright silver 5 coil. We also have gold ones in the shop, they are apparently all the rage. Its main purpose, besides being a bit 'street' was to make the dress "getintoable" as she wanted a fairly firm fit. However, I won on this front and the fit is quite relaxed, and it will probably pull over her head.
 This is the back, with a V panel of a lacy knit fabric.
Miss Katelyn is looking so happy because she won the hemline war! I think the dress is out of proportion this short, but it makes her happy and it is hers after all. 
 This is Rebecca at the sewing machine, with her cow print fabric. Looking very colour coordinated with our crazy wallpaper!
 Stunning!?! The skirt has horsehair in the hem, and the stuff I have in store is stiffer than the type generally shown online, and does a fantastic job of holding a half circle skirt out. Rebecca worked very hard on her dress this week, doing most of it herself, including the calculations and drafting of her skirt pattern.
I love the red shoes with it too! We are hoping tomorrow is a warm day as she wants to wear it to church. Thank goodness for cardies as tonight the weather has gone baad and it may not improve.
This is probably the tidiest the tables have been all week!
We had a great time, and I am pooped. I confess I probably did too much for them, in order to get the dresses done by lunchtime Friday (you won't see Tim Gunn doing that!) but they learned heaps and both are thrilled with their finished garments and what they have learned.
I learned how to use a twin needle. I learned that I cannot afford to take 15 hours out of my week to teach - ordering and admin piled up and stressed me out. But it was also really good to do this and see how it went, and I remember now that I love teaching. :)
I am very proud of my Master Class graduates. Two very different, very lovely people who both realised a design they had in their heads without a commercial pattern to follow. :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Master Class Days one and two

Well, still no photos -we are so busy there's been no time! We will make an effort. Now that garments are starting to emerge.
Dress one - printed cotton drill being turned into a smart sun dress - fitted bodice, halter strap, half circle skirt to the knee. Miss 13 turned up with the right fabric, a great drawing and she is well under way.
Dress two - black merino knit and a black stretch lace - semi fitted sleeveless bodice with zip up front and lace V in back, midriff and tulip skirt. Sweet and street. Miss 16 turned up with a drawing and that was it.
First stop, Global Fabrics - we chose patterns that had a few useful elements in them but still required adjustments and drafting of skirts and things. For the learning of the thing. It is here we found the merino and lace for Dress Two.
Next up, tracing patterns onto calico, making bodice muslins, fitting, transferring the fitting changes onto a new pattern. Settling a few design details.
Day two - cutting out the patterns, learning how to draft a half circle skirt, way more time spent on Dress Two. It's a little more ambitious than its maker can handle, so our deal is that she will learn as much as she can and I'll ease it over the complicated parts.
What a pair of fabulous young women! So different, but so great.  More tomorrow!!