Monday, September 20, 2010

Wardrobe Planning

A couple of days ago, I was sorting through some things that I was thinking of putting on ebay. One of them was the book by Brenda Kinsel called Brenda's Wardrobe Companion : A Guide to Getting Dressed From the Inside Out. I was looking at books on organising your wardrobe on Amazon, and bought this one. I didn't like it when I got it, and it has sat, mostly unread, on the bookshelf for the last 18 months. I thought I would flick through it just to check whether I should sell it, and I started reading. Really reading. The book has a lot of exercises (I think that is what put me off it in the first place) on getting you to think why you buy what you do and why you have so little clothes to wear. According to the author, we are only wearing about 10% of our wardrobe. That is a lot of wasted money and resources just gathering dust and using up space.

Some people just know how to put a fabulous wardrobe together, but others have to work at it. I know my wardrobe is suffering from severe neglect over the last couple of years, and I am working on changing that. Doing some of the exercises, I realised that my wardrobe could do with a dose of more dramatic clothes. Perhaps I want to stand out more! Kind of hard to do if you are about 5 foot tall.

The book has a kind of soul searching psychological focus, which is useful for working out why not much of what we have is wearable. There are the people who might buy great clothes, but then save them for 'best', and they go out of style. Then there are people who think they don't deserve to look good. Other excuses are buying clothes a size too small, because they were on sale, or clinging to a style that no longer suits. There are a whole lot of other reasons, which makes for interesting reading and much reflecting. The second half of the book is devoted to the classic wardrobe purge and then how to shop carefully.

Image from the website

I have also been eyeing off this DVD by Nancy Nix-Rice on wardrobe planning for the last 18 months, and finally gave in and ordered this one. It should arrive this week. I have had her book for a while which I really like, but agree with what a lot of other people have said on Amazon reviews; they really could do a new edition with more up to date fashions. Despite the dated fashions, the basic advice does not date.

Perhaps I just need to get sewing (with a plan) and that will solve some of my wardrobe problems.

I did do some sewing this weekend, finishing my top for Lisa's wedding. I got it finished with 2 weeks to spare. I will post a photo of the finished top (and describe how that satin fabric nearly got the better of me in the end) when I have taken up the hems of the RTW trousers I will am planning to wear it with. It is still cold here, so I don't think I will wear a dress to the wedding.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dolls! Clever Handknitted Toys

I don't know about you, but I am a very unskilled knitter, so I really appreciate these lovely hand knitted toys that I have found at local stores and fetes.

I wonder if I am right in thinking that it is a lost skill to some extent. I mean how many people do you know knit these toys? I would be interested to hear from you if you do.

First up is an elephant, the first one in my collection. Look at the expert shaping used for his trunk.

Here is his back view, and a close up of the shaping on his trunk:

Next up is a slightly scary but very bright clown. Notice the rose coloured wool used to highlight his gorgeous cheeks.

Look at the detail of the ruffles:

Finally, here is my latest purchase; a starry eyed mouse bride.

Look at her veil and posy. You can just make out the glitter flecks in the wool used for her eyes.

I hope this gives you some kind of indication of the intricate work and skill with matching colours to the subject in these little figures. It would not have been easy considering that they are all under 8 inches tall. These little treasures are not for little ones to play with, but are kept carefully in my display cabinet. Well, they can come out to play occasionally, but only if the children are careful.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Works in Progress, Vogue Patterns Magazine

Simplicity 2596, aka the Top for Lisa's Wedding, is progressing along nicely. Once I got over my shock that I was actually sewing satin, and my sewing machine didn't seem to have anything against it, things went along quite well. I just have the elastic to put in the sleeves, and the hem to do. I think I will shorten the sleeves quite a bit.

My second work in progress is a New Look jacket pattern 6619 that I started the calico muslin for earlier this year. I have fussed and tweaked the pattern quite a bit which could be a case of extreme procrastination as I have not done a jacket for a while. I tried on the calico this weekend and realised that the extra kilo or 2 that I collected over winter has added to my fitting problems. I am so glad that I did the calico because I found that the mid back was too big.

Below is the pattern and the rough calico. The calico is looking very rough and wrinkly after all this time sitting around in my sewing area.

I am doing view F, but making the sleeves longer.

A reviewer over at Pattern Review found that the depth of the sleeves was not enough to allow for a small shoulder pad. I had to add 1 1/2 cm to the sleeve depth to account for this. I found this sleeve depth matched a couple of ready to wear jackets that I already have.

Lastly, here are some shots from my Vogue Patterns magazine that arrived today. I have a subscription to the mag through the Australian distributor of Vogue patterns, and I notice that we get the issues that match the seasons on our side of the world. The bonus is that we get the buy one, get one free offer which is quite appealing.

From a quick flick, here are a couple of my initial favourites. This shirt is made up in satin, and I am an expert in sewing this now!

If you get a chance, have a look at the technical drawings for this dress (which is 8577) on Vogue's website as it shows the cut much better. It has a lovely retro look to it and the full skirt is divine.
I hope to get the top finished soon, and show you what it looks like. Then I will not be able to procrastinate any longer over the New Look jacket!
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