Thursday, 30 August 2012

Melbourne sewing meetup, a belated post

So almost two weeks ago I managed to escape the restaurant for long enough to make it to the Melbourne sewing meetup. It was really great to see so many fellow sewing enthusiasts there and see several faces from blogs that I've been following. It was quite intimidating in some ways, me in my best me-made skirt next to some truly incredible pieces made by everyone else, but I had so much fun and everyone took the newbie (me) under their wing.

We started off at Tessuti, where I was DETERMINED to buy some stripey knit fabric for a Renfrew. As per usual, I got overwhelmed with choice, and even after spending an hour and a half walking around the store and looking at all the different choices, pulling and tugging and draping them, I walked away empty handed. Le Sigh. That's ok, though, I haven't had time to sew since then anyway, so I have time to look at some other stores. It will be my first sewing-with-knit experience, and I'm quietly petrified but determined to give it a shot.

The cast of thousands at the meetup were all incredibly lovely and it was SO nice to sit and talk sewing with people as excited about it as I am. Kat from All the Whimsical Things kindly wrote out the list of all the attendees, which I have shamelessly cut and pasted below for those curious.

Kat All the whimsical things
Robyn: Sew love red Boo dog and me My messings Rocket Sews Sew Brunswick Thornberry PoppyKettle Funkbunnys kitchen garden Little Betty The two windmills Sewsquirrell Rocketsews The perfect nose Bella's Collectanea of Sewing
Fabulous ladies who are blog-less. AnnaCatherineHeatherSue A

We followed up with drinks at Time Out in Fed Square and I disappeared earlier than I would have liked to get back to work that night. Sigh.

My workload at the restaurant is beginning to ease somewhat, so I should get two or three nights a week at home soon, which will leave me more time to sew! I'm pretty excited about that thought. I've taken next Wednesday off work, with a plan to go buy several meters of knit fabric and make two or three Renfrews in a sitting. I'm ridiculously excited about this.

And the reason that it's taken me so long to write this up? I guess I could have earlier, but I really didn't want to add "and I'm still working on my Beignet, but no real progress yet" again. But now I don't have to add that line, as I'm sitting here at work WEARING MY FINISHED BEIGNET! Well, practically finished. I can tidy a couple of things up and I need to add the belt loops, too, but it's wearable, now! and wear it I shall. I'm just very relieved that I finished it before the end of Winter. Two whole days to spare! yess!!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Working 9-5. Then 6-10. And weekends.

So sewing progress has been non-existent since Monday. Sigh. I've been working at the restaurant quite a lot and haven't had time to scratch my nose, let alone rethread my machine. So sad I haven't finished my skirt yet.

I AM going to try to make it to the meet up tomorrow though. I WILL buy some knit stripey fabric for a renfrew. I'm taking a day off (both) works next week just for me and am planning to sleep and sew all day long. Ridiculously excited.

In the meantime: where's my coffee??!!??

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Buttons and sleep

Progress has been made on the Beignet. Not as much as I'd like, but I'm pretty pleased with the skirt so far. All I need to do now is the buttons and button holes, and then add the belt loops! I really hope to finish it tonight. I got close last night, but ran out of thread! argh!
My sewing machine doing it's buttonhole making thing. Two seconds before I realised the bobbin had run out of thread!!
Oh well. I work right near a big Spotlight store, so a quick trip there today should set me right. Then fingers crossed that I can have another play with it tonight! The restaurant is closed tonight, so it technically should be date night - but I think I'm dreaming if I think I'll be able to drag The Chef away for long enough for dinner, even!!

The restaurant has been doing really well, by the way! A respectable crowd over the weekend, and rave reviews lead to a packed out night last night. They hit the paper today, with a big photo of The Chef and his business partner, so that should kick things up a notch too! I'm bursting with pride. He has done an amazing job. I've been working my way through the menu - only three more dishes to try! everything has been incredible, truly mouth-wateringly delicious, as I knew it would be. I won't link to all the reviews here, but if you google the restaurant name you should see them all!! So proud!!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Rockwell and Sons

A break from my sewing to announce that my husband, The Chef, is opening his first restaurant tonight! I couldn't be more proud of him. If you live in Melbourne or come here to visit, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out - I'm biased, but he's a truly incredible chef with a very impressive resume - He trained at the Culinary Institute of America and, amongst others, has worked at The Spotted Pig, Le Cirque (both in NYC) and Cutler and Co, (Melbourne - and when he was working there it was awarded the number 1 restaurant in Australia).

I'll stop bragging about how talented he is, but I am so excited about this place - it's been such a long time coming and has been the culmination of SO much work.

P.S. So busy this week that I haven't had time to finish the Beignet. I really hope I get a chance to do it tomorrow, but I suspect that I'll need any quiet time that I get for the next few days to replenish my sleep deprivation! 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Introducing the Olive Grove!

So here she is in all her glory... my Olive Grove! I actually finished this dress a couple of months ago, but I was vainly waiting until I could post it without the crappy selfie shot. Clearly you'll be waiting a while!

I'm pretty happy with this dress on the whole, but I'm not completely happy with the fit. I actually made muslins of the bodice, in two sizes, tried it on, could see that the fit wasn't right, but was too inexperienced to know how to fix it and if what I was trying to do was helping or hindering. Now that the dress is done, I wish that I'd taken in the side seams at the top of the bodice in, as there's quite a bit of excess fabric there. I'm also not really that happy with the shoulders, as they are too high and make me look a bit like a linebacker, but again, I just wasn't quite sure how to fix that. I mean, I could take in the shoulder seams at the top, which is what I was going to do, but then do I have to alter the shape of the shoulders to keep the cap sleeves? Would a horizontal tuck across the bodice have helped? i tried this and it was looking good, but then it was riding up at the bottom too much. You can see the horizontal creases from my shoulder seams. Sigh.

I dunno. I just didn't have the confidence that I wasn't going to screw things up royally by trying any of the above and I just got overwhelmed and steam rolled ahead.

I might bring out the muslin now and have a play, now that the stakes are lower and I've already got the dress... it might help for next time and I'm sure I'll learn a lot from the process now that I'm not as anxious about it.

So other than those two flaws, I love this dress. It's comfortable and easy to wear and I love, love, love the big pockets. I learnt so many techniques too - darts, curved seams, in-seam pockets, FRENCH SEAMS (I told you that I loved those!) and a few more. I feel more and more confident behind the machine, and I'm getting better at piecing everything together and crafting the clothes, too. I need to improve my finishing techniques, but I can see big improvements in my finishing techniques and the neatness of the insides of my clothes now that I've completed three outfits.

So here you are - my (not so) new dress! It's gotten a lot of wear since I made it, too.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Pretty on the inside

I have been head down, tail up for the last couple of weeks. Spent most of Friday and Saturday sewing and my Beignet is tantalisingly close to being complete. All I need to do now is add the twill tape, hem it, and add the buttons / holes and the belt loops! So quite a lot, really. Rockwell and Sons is opening later this week - some shocking electrical issues have delayed the opening by a couple of days, and I really want this to be ready by then.

I'm pretty proud of the finish of this skirt - some photos of the innards below. It's a navy cord and I've bias bound the inside seams with contrast seam binding, and I've used a polkadot facing instead of the cord. I *love* the look of it so far, and am really happy with how professional looking the finish is, well, for me, anyway. I'm glad I've taken a bit more time on this project instead of rushing it, but I still could have taken more care with it over all. I'm getting better, and I think I did an ok job, all up, but we're not out of the woods yet!! Most of the seams match pretty well, which I'm pleased about, and I think the fit should be pretty good, but I'll know more after finishing the seams a bit more - I just turned it inside out for the picture below, but didn't give it a proper press yet. I am rather proud of my curved seam, though!!