Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sew Pink!

"To sew, or not to sew: that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous malfunctions,

Or to take arms against a sea of time constraints,

And by opposing end them?

To succeed or not succeed; in sending one's offspring forth,

into the world dressed as another?"
(William Shakespeare & Me)
I don't limit myself to vandalism of great artworks, sorry Will..
I like to take risks. And not just with famous artists or bards.

Like taking my little daughter to a fabric shop a week out from the next dress-up party.  I know from experience she will be overwhelmed. She wont be able to limit herself to less than five fabrics for the one dress...
But it's worth every minute to watch the excitement on her face as she skips around a forest of glittery fabric rolls arms and fingers stretched, touching everything.  All the ooooooh's and aaaaah's and 'WOW, mummy look at this!"

This was the case with the fairy costume. The fabrics were a little pinker than I'd hoped (I had imagined pastels) but of course She-who-Worships-Pink had other ideas and it was her dress so what the hey.

 We came away with Pink panne velvet, hot pink georgette, pale pink and hot pink tulle and a couple of meters of pink ribbon.
So this is a rough sketch of the design, my quazi-tutorial below is even rougher!

I started out as I often do,using the stretch velvet to make a tube dress. Then added to the waist a full skirt - nothing fancy just a long straight piece sewn together on the short edge (this is where you measure your skirt length) gathered on one long edge. I cut the bottom long edge into a sort of petal shape and left it a raw edge. Luckily you can get away with that using tulle; my sewing machine chews up fine edges.
I tacked then sewed this to the velvet tube at the waist line, leaving the bottom of the tube below the waist to act as a petticoat.

I used some ribbon sewed into the top facing for straps to be tied into bows on the shoulder. Across the bust I gathered rectangles of tulle in both colours, and hand stitched that over the bust.  Pulling it in vertically at the center front I added little clear butterfly beads (from the $2shop) over the top  of the stitching line.

After that I cut leaf shaped pieces of the georgette finishing the edges on the machine with a fine zig-zag.. Miraculously I managed this without having the fabric chewed up and stuffed below into the bobbin housing, which is what normally happens.

This is where you can have fun and just get creative: I sewed these spaced at short intervals over the skirt waist sewing more butterflies at the top of each - but you can play with shapes and layers all you want. At this stage it's just getting all dreamy and floaty which is what little girls are after.

As the day came closer the weather got cooler. Strappy dress was looking like an uncomfortable option not to mention an invitation for a chill, so I pulled out a girls bolero pattern. 
I re-cut the pattern front on some brown paper - cutting away and reshaping it to lay open under the dress's bust detail and tie underneath with left-over ribbon. As it turned out the bows on the dress sat over this as well which added more detail and made the bolero look like part of the dress.

That's it for this weeks crafty.   I'm  still renovating so I need to go now and attach some handles on a cabinet Pinkster and i finished last night, there are venetians to be hung,  paintwork retouching..

One of these days Fridays I'll finish up an apartment!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Delicious Paws

The Lake House  is one of my favorite quirky love stories.
In the movie, Sandra Bullock's character tells Keanu Reeves in a letter;
 "I love the smell of Jack's Paws." I know an odd comment in a 'get to know you letter'.. may put a few blokes off right there..but anyway. I did say quirky.

But this comment gave me pause for thought (pun intended).

Dogs get pretty stinky, but surely with all they tread through and on that would make their paws the worst part of them from an olfactory perspective?

But curiosity got the better of me so during our nightly tummy rub session I pulled a paw up to my nose.

Wow. What is that
Like oatmeal cookies and fresh baked bread or something. I got the dog walker and the house-sitter on board and we debated several earthy/ foody smells. 

But there's agreement all round: Buddy's paws smell tasty!

Well following my recent trip to a French Deli to buy genuine French saucisson sec I started to cut some slices: obligatory glass of red already poured, and there it was; 'that' smell. 

I sniffed the meat and since Bud was hovering, salivating just next to me, I bent down grabbed his paw and sniffed.

Buddy's paws smell like freshly sliced  French cured sausage! 
No kidding - I am not mad- I made Mr Frenchie sniff too and if anyone knows his native cured meats he does.. he agreed. Absolutely

So it became unanimous; Buddy is one delicious dog.

Next time I went to the deli, as many people do, the owner admired our elegant orange dog tied outside. Stupidly I told him about the saucisson fragrant paws. He looked kind of started then a bit offended to be honest. 

He gave me a pained, moderately indulgent - 'this Aussie is nuts' kind of smile, so to compensate him for the trauma of his interpreting my claim as - 'your food smells like my dogs feet' - I bought half a dozen sausages at $8 a pop.

He really is delicious