Saturday, August 17, 2013

Kinda-Alabama Mittens

I am obsessed by things that keep hands warm, people. It's because it is so freakin' cold here!
Anyway, I have lost my purple merino mittens. I'm not too worried as I wasn't really happy with them. So, I've had another go. And I LOVE the new ones.
Boiled wool in my favourite warm red forms the body.  I was going to do some felt applique, but then I remembered my unfulfilled curiosity about the reverse applique techniques used by Alabama Chanin. If you've not heard of it, Google it, it is amazing. I bought one of the books and every now and then I dip into it.
It was a cold day on Sunday, we were nestled on the couch watching Midsomer Murders in DVD, and so I decided to entirely hand sew them. I used a grape purple ponte as the underlying fabric in my negative applique. Purple and Red, mmmm...:)
The Chanin method involves stencilling and dyeing but meh, I wasn't going to muck about with messy stuff. I drew around my hand, added some width to allow for 3D ness, cut them out, then just drew a design on one piece. I cut it out with little sharp scissors, then pinned a piece of ponte behind, and sewed it on with a running stitch in embroidery floss around each cut out. The assembly was just overlapping the pieces and stitching them, with a blanket stitch finishing the thumb to finger seam, for a change of pace.

They took about 2 hours from start to wearing and I LOVE them. And as I have loverly nails now, it's a nice chance to show them off! They are different as I freehanded each design - I prefer the first one - and very warm. No need to hem as the boiled wool won't fray.
I have more boiled wool and ponte in black and grey, and I may have to run a class in this as it is lots of fun and is a non-threatening start to hand sewing, applique and Chanin work.
For a far more ambitious and impressive Chanin project, check out Zara's new blog! She is a local and VERY stylish!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wellington gets its shimmy on

Oh dear the shakes are back. We were just getting to the point of thinking life was back to normal when this afternoon around 2.30pm, a 6.5 hit. The shop rocked like it was on board an ocean liner. I dived under one of the big tables in the studio. It lasted a long time. That's the worst bit, when they go on and on.
Amazingly, noone else in the shop joined me. Mostly young students, they went outside for a bit then came back in and continued their purchases. Design students are tough!
Knowing there would be no customers, we rang the small shop and told Mel to lock up and go home. That part of town is full of government and corporations in high rise buildings, who get sent home on such occasions. With the trains and buses cancelled, town soon got gridlocked with cars. I had the car at work and managed to get home quite fast as it is not far.
David got sent home from his 24th floor office, so he took over the shop from Bruce. I was meant to be cutting out shirt samples at home (my leaving early was because of this not the quakes) but I was too freaked out to concentrate.
That was 8 hours ago. Since then we have been jolted, swayed, rocked and shaken almost constantly, from gentle tiny, barely perceptible shocks that make one wonder whether they happened or are just shaky legs, to deep, hard jolts and long deep rumbles that put my heart in my mouth and had me running for the doorway.
 From this website, I think we can all see that it's been a bumpy ride today!
Our beloved old factory apartment is perfectly fine. I know this, but I cannot rationalise away the fear. I wish for once we were in a nice one level wooden house built on rock!
I am a tough Wellingtonian born and bred. I grew up with earthquakes and they have never bothered me. But this, with the spectre of Christchurch still vivid, feels really bloody scary.
I have cut out one shirt now, even pattern matched the pocket, and I feel calmer. I hope that we are not awoken by a shake as sleep deprivation does not help at all!
I am eyeing the dining room table, and wondering if I could make a little nest under it to sleep in.....

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Introducing Constance

Constance Craving is my altar ego, because she likes to be worshipped and has LOTS of ego. ;-)
Constance is "Wellington's only anatomically correct drag queen". 
I took Constance out on the town last night for the first time ever (she only came into being recently). We went to a burlesque show where she behaved badly - big mouth, smutty humour - I had to take her twice, the second time to apologise!
 After we got home. As we walked home together, she insisted on singing very loudly all the way down Cuba St. Still at least that way people knew she is actually a woman under those eyelashes!
EYELASHES!! False eyelashes what a nightmare. Twenty minutes to get them on straight. Erk.
Constance borrowed my Anne Harvey 1970's pants suit, and has eyes on a piece of fabric gifted recently in MANY COLOURS to make a duster to wear over it. The black PVC number looks better laced up over a corset, and we were not in the mood for that malarkey yesterday.
And not shown are her FY boots. What are FY boots, you ask? Well if you have heard of FM boots, you can probably work it out ;-) They are pointy and strappy and generally look pretty dangerous. I wouldn't want to get on her wrong side when she has those on!

Can I just say it is fun dressing up as someone else who is really oneself magnified? Really in this case it is about performing, not just going around dressed up, but it is fun to go off to a show in character so the right people get to know one is available for gigs. :)
Right, after a day of making quilt tops for charity, I am off for a drive with the Mister and a lazy night in front of the telly. Or, more likely, making replacement bunting for the stuff stolen from the front of the shop on Friday night. Lesigh. I hope someone has used them brighten their flat and not just chucked them out. If Conny catches them, I pity them!