Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Re-engineering my clothes hanger

If you've seen my older blog posts, you will know two things: 1) I don’t mind looking a bit crap in photos (I prefer the term “natural”, hahaha), and 2) I'm not thin. These things still hold true! But number one now more so than number two.

Sports bra/bikini photos below the jump...

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Soma (not summer) swimsuit

I love swimming, and swimwear. Even at my biggest, I was in no way afraid of wearing a bikini or a nice one-piece. Never having sewed bathers before, I've been watching out for a pattern that suits my style.

When the Soma Swimsuit pattern was launched by Papercut, I was really excited. Papercut Patterns are a Kiwi company (the ONLY Kiwi pattern company?), and I like to buy local. I loved the bikini style with regular pants, and was confident that I could make any adjustments needed.

*NSFW pics below the jump*

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Captivating Canterbury, 2013

As well as neglecting sewing, I've neglected photography. Frankly, the only un-neglected things are my job, my Chris, and my Nugget.

Definitely not neglected.
I promised last year that I'd eventually share the photos I took in and around Christchurch. Chris took me there for the first time last September. It is a stunning area, which suffered great devastation in February 2011 due to a a strong, shallow earthquake.

So here are a selection of photos. In the 9 months since I visited, there have been more exciting developments in the city (more restaurants, bars, shops... people are returning!). Christchurch will once again rise - and one great way to assist that is by visiting and spending money in the region. These photos are nothing more than my personal collection of memories and interesting bits. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Beautiful Akaroa sunset

Some of the oldest surviving buildings in New Zealand remain in Akaroa

Old cemeteries tell us so much about history. This one also, sadly, tells us that headstones which had been upright for 100 years were no match for the earthquake.

This one was just for my dad. He freakin' loves lighthouses.

Lake Forsyth - the reason for our trip. Model aeroplane convention, natch.

Lyttleton Harbour. I have a huge print of this on my wall at home, and it makes me so happy.

Innovative use of shipping containers as a massive retaining wall at Sumner. Note the remnants of houses on the clifftop, and the less-than-smooth road.

Yet more shipping containers. This represents the enormous amount of effort, energy and engineering that goes into retaining fa├žades of earthquake-damaged masonry buildings.

Eerie to see where this building's neighbour used to be.

I love the colour, the reuse of church bells, and the positivity this shows! This was near the shipping container mall (seriously, Christchurch has found a million awesome ways to use those big steel boxes).

Art is used to inspire, entertain, and remember what was.

It disturbed me that parts of the CBD were as yet untouched since the days following the big quake. Years later, and there is still so much to do.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Too much and too little

My last post arrived with little fanfare, considering I've been away for more than six months.

Life just became too much, and energy for sewing has been too little. I didn't want to post just to fill space on the internet, and I've been too exhausted to even turn on my computer after work. Things got a bit crap, to put it politely.

OTOH, I've been married to this guy for a year today. This stunning photo was taken five years ago in Walhalla, and still I agreed to marry him!
Work work work. I employed a new guy to help me out. He wasn't particularly dedicated to the cause, and resigned after 8 weeks of not doing much except sapping my energy and training ability. One of my other employees was so overwhelmed that I think he slept overnight at work once. Yet another hasn't taken holidays in a year, and is the only one who knows how to do her job. So now that she's on holiday, I'm also doing her tasks (at the expense of my own).

This seems incredibly dysfunctional, and very doom and gloom. These perceptions are pretty reasonable. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I've employed a new engineer. She's less experienced than I wanted (in fact, her exams aren't finished yet). But she is KEEN. So I'm confident she will learn fast and grab opportunities with both hands. Both of my other employees have now got coworkers to help them (or will soon). So we're going from a stressed team of three to a hopefully relaxed team of six. Aaaah.

What are your thoughts about putting blogs on ice when times are tough? Is it better to publish some short posts so people know you're alive, or leave it until you feel like you have something to say?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Stylish stretchy work shirts from Vogue 1389

Since my first success with a Donna Karan pattern last year, I wanted to sew more of her styles. They resonate with my personal aesthetic – I think the designs are streamlined, appropriate for many ages and shapes, and fit in seamlessly (ha!) with a variety of RTW and me-made items. I also think they are somewhat sophisticated (my aspirations!), without being staid or boring.

I sewed the DK top from Vogue 1282 earlier this year. Frankly, I have to agree with the general consensus of reviews that something is horribly wrong with this design. The photos were indecent! I am definitely not a prude (I sometimes lean towards the ‘b00bs hanging out’ style of evening wear), but even after raising the centre front by five centimetres it was just embarrassing.

There was something very strange happening at the back neckline too, where I took in a wedge about 15cm long and 10cm wide in order to have the neckline sit anywhere near my neck. Truly bizarre, and the pattern itself was not exciting enough for me to persist with muslins and adjustments.

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