Monday, 14 April 2014

Hallelujah ! New Look 6356 Parisian Ombre Lace Top .

Finally ! I finished something .
This `simple ` top only took 6 months - that is three different patterns, four toiles , goodness knows how many trial sleeves and lots ( and lots ) of adjustments to get the final finished product.
I feel almost embarrassed to say all of the above.
The problem ( well two problems) was that the top was for my daughter and we bought the lace in Paris so I have never felt so nervous before in sewing anything - ever .

My daughter is quite petite - the top she wanted me to base this lace on was only size 4 ! None of my patterns get close so I looked at every pattern company and could not find anything suitable. I traced off an old Burda magazine pattern from 2004 and even a Top Kids pattern but for some reason they did not suit .
I settled on New Look 6356- a very basic top pattern  and started the long , seemingly never ending fitting process.
In the end I had to take out several cms from the back, fix a gaping neckline, raise the bust darts several cms and work out how to stop the `sleeves that bind` .
Do you know how hard it is to coordinate getting a teenager to try on toiles with a mother who can be bothered to then analyze the fitting problems ? In the meantime while you are doing this my youngest DD has the affrontery to keep on growing so your toiles are then getting too small .

However in the end I did it. I don`t think this top is perfect but we are both pretty happy ( and relieved ) with it.

Cutting and sewing the  actual lace was easier than I thought after all the toiles.
I sewed the sides and shoulders with french seams  but just sewed the back seam and sleeves the` usual` way.  I pondered how to finish the back/armscye  seams and in the end thought it was just all getting crazy so just overlocked the edges.We had decided to not line the lace because she has a few matching camisoles.
The final act of madness was to make my own bias binding out of some satin charmeuse which I finished both the neckline and sleeve hems with  .

And now guess what. I have to do it all over again for my middle daughter with fabric we bought in Tokyo !
( I know I know - I can`t complain )
Cheers Janine.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Liebster Award !

Thankyou so much Paola for your Liebster Award. I am always seriously surprised when this happens because my blog is so small and haphazard and I seriously do not sew cool or trendy stuff .
So as part of this I answer 5 questions posted by Paola and then 5 random facts.

1. What is your greatest achievement ? Being a mother to three daughters the first question is easy - they are!
2. What motivates you ?  Currently my main motivation is to help my children get through their schooling and hopefully develop into happy and confident adults. We are also trying to live our lives in a way that has the least impact on our current environmental concerns.
3. What is number one on your bucket list ? Hmm to be honest it is just to get through the current year ! I currently have three jobs, my middle daughter is doing her final year of secondary school and my husband intends to run for parliament again !
4.You find $100 on the pavement .What do you spend it on ?  OK assuming that I don`t take it to the police station I think I would take my family out to dinner . Or possibly there might be a cheap one way fare to New Zealand and then because there was no money left I would have to stay there - now that`s an idea . If I took my family to McDonalds for dinner I might be able to do both !
5. Summer or Winter ? Which do you prefer ? That`s another  easy one - Winter ! I am such a downer but to me summer means bush fires, snakes, intolerable hot weather and too many flies . Winter never gets too cold where I live , you can snuggle up in front of the fire and once it snowed where I live and it was such a pretty site -but it only lasted a few hours.

OK 5 Random facts
 1. I am a general practitioner so I can never ever talk about work on my blog. My husband is also a doctor.
Our eldest daughter is now studying medicine at the same university we went to which really makes me proud and weird to think she will be sitting in the same lecture theatres  that we did .
2. I live in a straw bale, rammed earth home - our last house was mudbrick. The house is so well insulated it is like living in the cone of silence - very quiet . We live on 2 acres and currently have 5 sheep, 12 chooks and one dog. This is a down grade from 57 acres, 12 sheep , and a horse( and chooks and dog ). Sadly we sold our horse last year.
3. I have only sewn one item for myself this year ( the T shirt project was completed last year ) but made curtains for my eldest DD and  a T shirt for my husband and  multiple toiles for my youngest DD . I am missing selfish sewing .
4. When we got our dog from the dog shelter I wanted a female dog with short hair. We came home with a male dog with long ( shedding ) hair. He was going to be an outside dog but now spends most of the time on the end of our bed !!
5. We just bought an all electric car which is really cool but we can only use it for local trips ( which is most of our driving anyway ) because it only has a 150km range before the battery runs out.

OK That was more more than 5 random facts but I should add in that I am hopeless at computers and passing on this award is beyond my skills. Also I love all the blogs I read so it is hard to choose .
Again many thanks Paola and I am so sorry it took so long to reply !

Cheers Janine.
PS I have just finished sewing a top for my daughter and I am very excited about this .