26 August 2013

'Sprinter' weekend holiday

This Sprinter (Winter that feels like Spring and moves really fast, ha!) has been decidedly mild in Auckland. The real Spring officially starts on Sunday here, but who cares when winter has been more than bearable? Me and a group of friends decided to make the most of the fantastic weather and spent this past weekend in Mangawhai Heads, a small beach town about an hour and a half North of Auckland. We couldn't have asked for better conditions on Saturday morning so hit the Mangawhai cliff tops pathway. It was a good 3 hours of walking up and along the cliffs, through foresty patches then venturing back along the beach and rocks. It had clouded over by the afternoon so we definitely timed our walk to perfection. I got a bit snap happy so this is a minor selection of all the photos I took.....

Mangawhai Heads walkway SDC12046 SDC12048 Treeee SDC12078 SDC12089 Hare's leg Rocks Walking

Right towards the end of the trail, we almost went home with a new friend....

Furry friend - TobyAlex and Toby

but he eventually returned to his rightful owners.

I wore my leopard print Oh La Leggings and they were perfect: not too heavy but provided enough warmth for when the wind picked up. My top stitching on these was a bit wonky, however, the pattern hides it, I think. Luckily, the pattern also obscures the fact that this fabric is slightly see through, normally something I'd abhor in leggings.

Rock hopping
Oh La Leggings from above
Oh La Leggings close-up

And after all our exertions we went back to the bach for some hard earned toasted marshmallows and home-made Sangria, delicious!

Roasting marshmallows

If you are ever near Mangawhai I'd highly recommend giving this trail a go. It was stunningly beautiful with all the Nikau palms, Pohutukawa trees and Toi Toi bushes, and that was during Winter. I imagine in the Summer with the Pohutukawa in full bloom it would be an even better sight worth seeing!

23 August 2013

Vintage and Retro Sale

I've surprised myself - I've almost finished my dress (in under a week, no less!) for the Sew Weekly Reunion. More on that once I've taken some photos.

Recently, I was lucky enough to go to a vintage and retro sale in Titirangi, Auckland with Katherine and Tamzen, and boy, what a sale! It was advertised to start at 10am, we rocked on up around 10:15 only to find ourselves at the end of a line snaking down the driveway. There were probably 100 people in front of us. It was the middle of winter, drizzling, and we were lacking caffeine, so we were seriously questioning whether it was worth sticking around for.

We were told that groups of 20 were going to be taken through at a time, for about 10 minutes each. Ten minutes! While we were pondering our chances of actually getting any good stuff by the time we reached the front of the queue, others were walking out with boxes and armloads full of stuff. I'm talking fabric, clothes, shoes, hats (and hatboxes), and all manner of great vintage-y goodness. These people were all willing to throw us a sympathetic bone and exclaim "don't worry, there's plenty of goodies left in there", whilst walking away with a gleeful glint in their eyes at the amazing finds they were walking away with....

It was with a slight manic excitement that we finally got inside, and it did not disappoint. There were two rooms still absolutely chocked full of clothing, shoes, hats, patterns, trims and fabrics. Oh, the fabrics! I rushed around grabbing anything that jumped out at me and only, just, got out of there within the time frame. We had no time to try any of the clothing on so I just had to trust that I had accurately eye-balled everything.

Vintage and Retro sale finds
My haul
I ended up with 4 dresses (2 not pictured - 1 is in the wash, I wore immediately that Saturday evening, and 1 I gave to Katherine as it was too big pour moi), 3 patterns, a bag of lace trims (not pictured) and several pieces of fabric.

Before going in, knowing I had limited time, I wanted to focus on finding some polka dot fabric and I succeeded. Katherine helped by shoving a few pieces at me, and I found a few myself. I was most excited about the pale blue and white polka dot piece - it's 2 yards of a vintage seersucker fabric, but when I checked it at home it has some discolouration on it, waaaah.

Polka dots - red/white, navy/sheer, white/pale blue seer suckerPolka dots - large black/white and small green/white

Hopefully I can work around the damaged area to get something useful out of it. The plaids came as a bundle of 3 for $5 - when I got home and unfolded it I realised that both the navy/red and blue/yellow pieces were around 3m and the grey and white gingham one was a whopping 5m+!! The husband (S-Club) has claimed he wants a shirt out of the navy and red, I'll have to see if I've got the cahones to tackle making a shirt...

I grabbed a $5 bag of trims, mostly for the pink floral ribbon I could see in it, but I'm sure I can find a use for the rest of it
Vintage lace trims and floral ribbon

I have no immediate plans for any of it but the thrill of picking up vintage things at bargain prices is too good to resist.

Looking at these photos now, I may incorporate some of those trims into my Sew Weekly Reunion dress.

14 August 2013

Sew Weekly Reunion Challenge

I'm thinking I might jump on the bandwagon and attempt to make something for the Sew Weekly Reunion.  I followed the Sew Weekly for all of 2011 and 2012 but was too scared to dip my toe in the water as I am a S      L        O      W sewer at best. It would be more like Sew Yearly for me....  I really miss reading about all of those weekly creations, it was inspiring seeing what people with different styles and tastes from across the globe are making. But things are changing, I have a new(ish) sewing machine and I am determined to use it. Often.

The challenge theme is to sew something from the Pantone Fall colour report 2013. Since winter is very nearly over (it's been ridiculously warm for most of this winter in Auckland), I'll be making a spring/summer outfit. I'm liking the Mykonos blue, Koi (orange) and Linden green (pale green).

I need to check what fabrics I already have at home. I recently picked up a whole bunch of fabric from an estate sale but it's mostly pale baby blue or white; not exactly ideal for this challenge. I vaguely remember buying an aztec-y print that might have some of the right colours.

As far as what type of garment I want to make: who knows? The deadline is 1st of September, which is also my Nana's 80th birthday, so I could possibly plan to make something appropriate to wear to her surprise bday lunch... a pretty, tea length dress or a laid back, summer maxi Saltspring?

12 August 2013

Hello World!

So, I've finally gone and done it. I clicked that wee button and created my blog. I'd been thinking of starting one for well over a year and for whatever reason never got off my arse and did it.... well here it is. I have no concrete ideas for what direction I want to take this blog in, but I wanted an outlet to keep track of the things I've made, what I'm currently making (Papercut's ooh la leggings) and ideas for the future. Plus anything I'm loving at the moment and what I find inspiring.

I learnt to sew during intermediate school and then never kept up with it. In 2011, I started re-learning sewing techniques and have made a few things since: a circle skirt, a Laurel dress, a Vogue jacket and a couple of costumes for various events. These were made with a really decrepit Brother machine, which I think hails from the '50s (I inherited it from an ex-flatmate).

Mint and white polka dot circle skirt
Mint and white polka dot skirt

Laurel front
Taking photos when the sun is rising is not so great... Laurel dress

Just last weekend I actually got myself a half-decent sewing machine (by that I mean one I'm not in fear of electrocuting myself with every time I use it), so I'm hoping to get a lot more sewing done! I am a complete over-the-top kind of person when it comes to clothes - if I could get away with it I'd wear sequiny, sparkly, velvety and/or shiny things all day long. Sadly, my sewing skills are not quite up to tackling most of those fabrics just yet....

My Mum taught me to knit and I've been knitting on and off for the past 8 or so years. I don't always follow a pattern, preferring to experiment and try recreate garments I've seen or ideas in my head.

It's always a tug-of-war between my inherent laziness and the desire to be crafting something; hopefully this blog will spur me towards the side of productivity.

Please bear with me through my continued sewing and crafting (mis)adventures.