Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Finished - Summer Frocktail mashup

The reality is that I really don't think sewing saves me an awful lot of money. I'm sure if one had iron-clad willpower and only bought WHAT ONE NEEDED PER PROJECT (I shout because of course the notion is for me ridiculous), instead of allowing oneself to accumulate curate a marvellous fabric collection then things might be different. But when it comes to making a silk maxi frock, then it's a bit different. A super quick squizz at Shopstyle with 'silk maxi' brings up an endless array of pretties, starting at about $300 AUD and peaking at $16000! That is Sixteen Thousand Dollars my friends.  Oh how that makes me laugh - see?!!


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Finished - Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby!


Late last year the girls over at Bombazine did a great week-long round up of tank patterns for summer, including the Tessuti Ruby. I'd been eyeing off Ruby top, after seeing all those elegant shoulders (such as Helens, and Rachels) but feeling a bit tight post Christmas decided to try my hand at the free Salme Sonja dress pattern which has a similar high neckline and cutaway shoulders (but with darts and much more fitted). To cut a long story short it was a fail fail fail and didn't get past the calico stage. Time was short as I had a plan whirling around my head for Frocktails so Ruby it was.


Saturday, 6 February 2016

Finished - perfect pleats!









Head on over to the Stitch 56 blog to read about my cute little Lumme skirt, from Named Clothing. Don't be put off - those pleats are easier than they look!


Thanks Anna for being directory of photography! xx

Thursday, 4 February 2016

2015 - Brought to you by the colour blue, the number 37 and a whole lotta stripes.....

Whoop here it is! The year that was at Chez Tragic. Let's all ignore the fact it is now February.  It's been a good one, with more successes than failures. I've had an awful lot of fun collaborating with Helene and the other girls at Stitch 56, meeting other seamstresses in real life, and tumbling into the time-sucking world of Instagram. I've actually read a few books, yet failed for the third year running to make a welt pocket (oh the laziness and SHAME). Now more than ever I rely on my sewing for stress relief - watching that sewing machine needle go up and down is extremely therapeutic and meditative (until I force it over a pin). Our elderly kitty is still with us despite kidneys that give me nightmares and the kombi is still with us merrily sucking away at our bank account with a new engine (replacing the old one that gave us nightmares). 

My overlocker acquisition has been life changing - it gives me an inordinate amount of pleasure to have no zigzags, and I do love me a rolled hem. I was also able to track down a walking foot for my regular machine and it's been fantastic. My beloved gave me a magnificent old Singer for my birthday which I'm still get to get up and running - soon my precious, so soon! 

Last year saw me make lots of repeats, this year not quite so much - lots of new patterns! And sack dresses! And a jumpsuit! Really I just don't know who I am anymore (kidding!). This year I tried to only buy quality fabric, and only slipped up a couple of times. The stash is reassuringly out of control, full of beauties that mostly have their futures mapped out. I started using Evernote to catalogue my patterns, stash and sewing plans - meaning I can look up what I have or need or am planning either on my phone or iPad.  I had heaps of fun planning for a tropical island holiday - what started as a bit of a pisstake of myself ended up as an enormously fun holiday wardrobe I nicknamed the Resort Collection (no actual outfit photos I'm afraid). 


Lots didn't make it to the blog - either repeats, or refashions or meh makes not really worth sharing or abject failures. Ain't nobody got time to write about those anymore. I did a little sewing for others - the husband scored a few things, my mum got some Hudson pants, Bebe gifts etc etc. Of about 60 things at least 25 remain unblogged, and of those 60-ish things probably 10 have been ditched to the opshop or given away or languish in my Ironing Basket of Shame awaiting a refashion or tweak. Here's some of the more successful that at least made it to Instagram...


My knitting has slowed due to a chronic tendinitis that nearly 15 months hasn't settled. So my pattern choices have to be far more considered due to the extra time it takes me now. I've learned that A-line skirts just really aren't my bag and am in the process of slowly straightening out those garments that I still wear that can be straightened. I've learned how to do a forward shoulder adjustment in simple kimono-sleeves garments and this has helped enormously with tops and dresses falling backwards off my shoulders and choking me! 

My favourite garments of the year are probably not hard to pick. I love them because they are unique, wearable, finished well and are the perfect combination of pattern and fabric. In no particular order...


Ninja Jump Suit / Check Me Out Granville / Olivia Wrap/
Maya-Inari Mashup/ Saunio Cardigan/ Kwik Sew twist top
Barrie undies

Honourable mentions go to a few garments that I love but don't get worn that much due to limited seasonal suitability or events - my Elisalex skirt I made for Frocktails, my Woodland Stroll cape and my Liberty shift. 


I had a couple of real stinkers that didn't get blogged. I made another Style Arc Fiona cardigan (such a success last year and worn all winter again) in the most luscious drapey red merino from the Fabric Store and it was terrible choice for the pattern (despite drapey knits being a recommended fabric choice). Flaccid and limp, it didn't hold the collar shape at all and looked like a haemorrhaging jellyfish. Lesson learned. I bought some lovely Cloud 9 cotton from Spotty and in a fit of insanity tried to make a self drafted beach cover up - carnage I tell you! I managed to salvage it into a wearable version of M6751 but felt a bit trashy with my back flashing (I kind felt like I was showing off a non-existent tramp stamp). It might be ok for pyjamas but it'll probably get moved on. That stripey little number below is causing me the most heartbreak - it might be saveable.... Watch this space.....


I continue to adore reading sewing blogs - for me the sewing blog is definitely not dead. This year I've added more fab new-to-me sewing blogs to my list. Liza Mae's blog Sew It or Throw It is fantastic - she makes me cackle with laughter with every post yet also swoon over her mad skills honed as a professional costume maker. I love Lori's sense of humour on Frivolous at Last (but damn her blogging platform HATES my iPad making my comments very hit and miss -sorry Lori!). I love the simple chicness of Tomatoes and Jasmine, only just the other day discovered Maya's beautiful blog The Minimalist Hypothesis. And local Melbourne ladies at Bombazine have me wishing I could be as stylish and put together as they are. 

I do of course have massive, likely over-ambitious plans for 2016. Those fabrics sit there, crooning at me. I'll share my ideas with you soon.... maybe.... I'm already 6 garments into the year!