Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So Sew

Silk dress - made by me from Zimmermann fabric (via Tessuti Fabrics)
Nude patent heels - $70 Sportsgirl sale

I finally attacked my overloaded sewing bag today, so I'm dressed for the job in my traditional sewing dress. I whipped it up when I was pregnant with the little dude so it's made with elastic and therefore perfect for constantly dragging clothes on and off to try on as I sew. The slightly incongruous shoes are also part of the sewing mission - when I'm hemming dresses and skirts or trying stuff on I need to make sure the shoes I'm wearing are kind of ok, otherwise everything looks dreadful and I get sewing fatigue and shove everything back in the bag.

I wore this poor little frock to death when I was pregnant, it was my default going out dress, party dress, beach dress and everywhere dress. The silk fabric is so soft and light and just what I needed when I was waddling around feeling puffy and exhausted by the growing of a new human. Occasionally people pointed out that the peacocks (or chickens as the little dude would have it) were very unlucky, and that as a pregnant lady I should have shoved the dress to the back of my wardrobe and never worn it at all - but despite my usually superstitious nature I ignored them all. I think peacocks must lose their bad luck when they're peach and mint green and printed on silk!

I had rather mixed results with my sewing spree this morning - the scorecard looks like this:

Ugly print halter dress ($2) - successfully converted to high-waisted skirt
Late seventies denim skirt (50c) - cut too short, now in garage sale bag
Fabulous eighties dress from Etsy - cut too short but saved by quick thinking
Linen eighties blazer ($2) - successfully converted to sleeveless eighties blazer
Oversized yellow eighties dress - kind of a success but I think I hate it.

This dress was an impulse purchase from Bondi markets, it was only five dollars and I didn't bother trying it on as it was about three sizes too big. I thought it might work if I took it up and took it in a bit, and I suppose technically it kind of does work now (although it needs to be shorter still) - I just don't think I like it enough to bother fiddling around with it any more. It looks foul with a belt so that option (so often the saviour of an awkwardly cut dress) is out too. It's the kind of thing which in theory I usually like, but somehow it's not quite doing it for me - I might just have to pose a mini "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" question here. So if you have an opinion either way, please let me know!

Sewing with the little dude around is a constant challenge - he is a demon for finding pins on the floor, getting his hands on the scissors and pressing down on the sewing machine pedal at the worst possible time. Not to mention the last thing he wants to do on a sunny morning is be cooped up inside while I ignore him in favour of a pile of old clothes and a rickety sewing machine. I do have a solution though, please observe:

So I can sew in the sunshine, and the little dude gets to dig happily in the dirt nearby! I think that is what is known in the workplace training seminar game as a "win/win situation"...

PS. Tessuti Fabrics have an online store now, but if you live in Sydney it is really worth going into one of their stores to look at the range of amazing fabric they have in stock. They buy excess rolls from designers (including Zimmermann and Karen Walker)so you can get some wonderful treats if you look out for them!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Country Road grey marle ribbed tank - 50cents op-shop
Blue oversized 80s overalls/jumpsuit - $5 Bondi markets
Jelly gladiators - $22 (inc postage) UK ebay

There are a few things in my wardrobe which are obvious surefire husband-bait - like my spotted dress or black knee high boots - then there are the things which are totally inexplicable surefire husband-bait. Hammer pants would be one, and these overalls (which he calls "the sack") would be another. I think if you asked most men to nominate the least sexy garment ever created, then this all-in-one (which I suspect is actually eighties maternity wear) would have to be in the top ten. It's weird, it's baggy, it's all-encompassing and it makes the wearer look egg-shaped:

...and it also makes my husband get that glazed eyed, open-mouthed expression of helpless lust. Bizarre (yet kind of awesome)!

The little dude has a long history of getting around in funny little striped jumpsuit onesie things which we call "Seuss Suits" because they make him look like a character in a Dr Seuss book:

But I actually think my overalls are the ultimate Seuss Suit - the silhouette is utterly and undeniably Seussian. If you don't believe me, please inspect the evidence below:

All from Dr Seuss's Sleep Book

There's not a whole lot of sleep going on in this house at the moment - the gazillionaire who employs my husband has taken a massive hit in the market chaos and has decided to drastically restructure the production company (we have been expecting this to happen ever since the whole sub-prime thing blew up). So in a month we have to move out of our house, and my husband's job finishes up at the same time - so I'm off the hook with househunting/slum searching and now we've got to make a whole new plan. The universe is definitely sending us a message, we just have to work out exactly what it means. We're waiting to hear about a couple of deals and then we're packing up and heading off into the great unknown. Scary and exciting all at the same time!

All from Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr Seuss

One thing I do know is that in my Seuss Suit I'm ready for anything, and I have an inkling that might be just as well...

PS. My apologies for not posting yesterday, all hell was breaking loose around here (and I might have had a teeny weeny run in with a certain pair of taser heels as well).
PPS. The little dude and I are wearing matching outfits today. This happens reasonably often, although always inadvertently. Plainly I was just in an overalls kind of mood this morning when I chose our clothes for the day!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Unleash Hell!

Navy tie-dye/batik dress - $4.50 op-shop
Tan seventies leather belt - $1 garage sale
Black leather gladiator sandals - $50 shop in Bridge Rd, Richmond

Wearing a short blue dress with a belt and gladiator sandals is a bit of a dangerous game. Walking around the supermarket this morning I felt like at any moment I might be called upon to fight a tiger with my bare hands, or a giant scary guy in metal undies brandishing a trident. There was the faintest thought that as I turned the corner of the dairy aisle I might find myself forced into hand-to-hand combat with a hapless fellow shopper in front of a jeering crowd throwing bread rolls, cans of cat food and handfuls of cheezels.

You see what I'm saying? I did hesitate over the Maximus ensemble this morning, but since it's 33 degrees out there right now I didn't hesitate for long. A loose dress and sandals is ideal for amphitheatre-based mortal combat, and also perfect for scorching hot weather by the sea. Really hot days around here are a bit like hell on earth, not because of the temperature (we get a sea breeze which makes even surface-of-the-sun kind of days bearable) but because of the vast army of humanity which swarms in to visit the beach.

This would be high summer, but it's not far off it today.

It does get a bit Boschian down there in summer, so I'm hiding out in our backyard and avoiding the oiled up shirtless dudes strutting up and down the street leering at all the girls, and the drag racing youths in hotted up hatchbacks revving their engines. I'm just waiting for magic hour when they've all gone home and the setting sun makes everything golden and glorious!


In other news, I really need to trim my fringe:


I'm off to find my fringe trimming scissors before the little dude wakes up from his nap, so you have a splendiferous Sunday wherever you are and I'll see you tomorrow...

PS. The last recipient of blog love for this week is...everyone on my blogroll. If you're on there, consider yourself loved up and luscious!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Mirror Crack'd

I am having a sort of day off from the blog today in order to recover from the apartment viewing we went to this morning. There was plenty wrong with the place, but most of it was forgivable for desperadoes like us. The bus stop outside the front door I could have lived with (noisy, yet convenient!) There was brown carpet, but it was the faux sisal kind which (next to actual sisal) is at the top of the brown carpet pantheon. There was no storage space, but the apartment was huge so there was room for extra cupboards. It had a sort of indefinable aura of slumminess, but with our stuff in there that would have been banished. It was at the very top end of our budget, but still just within our budget (who needs to eat?) All in all it was way better than a lot of the hellholes we've viewed in the last couple of weeks. So why did we hightail it out of there like the devil himself was nipping at our heels?

It smelt like poo.

The whole place had a pervasive stench of poo, and because I am neither cautious nor wise (and apparently slow to learn my lesson) I looked in the toilet just to check if it was the source of the foul miasma. I'll say no more about what I saw in that putrid little bowl of horrors, suffice to say I needed to drink a shandy (or several) in the sun to recover my equilibrium.

I hope you are all having the shandy in the sun kind of Saturday, and not the poo stench kind!

PS. No outfit today because what I'm wearing is of the dullest possible Impressing Real Estate Agents With My Respectable And Reliable Appearance variety, sort of visible in those dodgy phone photos. Someone (who now has about 77 years of bad luck coming to them) left that broken mirror out on the street, I like the multiple dimensions and crazy leg lengthening of the cracked reflection.
PPS. Today's blog love goes to Hammie just because I love her (well she sent me a present too, but mostly it's because I love her).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Accidents

Cotton voile floral shirt - 50cents op-shop
Chambray skirt - $7.50 Supre bargain basement
Natural tan leather eighties belt - $1 op-shop
Natural tan leather sandals - $7 op-shop

This is my accidental shirt, a wholly unexpected little treat that I never intended to wear. I originally fished it out of the fifty cent bin because I needed some buttons for another op-shop shirt that I have which has been denuded of its own buttons. I was going to cannibalise this shirt for parts since it has the sweetest little shell buttons carved with a delicate flower pattern:


which would have been perfect on the button-less shirt. When I tried it on though, I fell in love with its airy summery not-trying-too-hard vibe and couldn't bear to cut the buttons off at all. Are you confused yet?


So now the other shirt is crumpled up in a miserable ball in the bottom of my sewing bag awaiting a suitable button donor, and this one gets to spend a breezy spring day with me. I did find another shirt in the fifty cent bin today which might give up its
buttons willingly, and since it's an old men's business shirt in an unfortunate shade of avocado I am unlikely to be tempted to wear it instead. I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to actually sew those buttons on though. This house-hunting rigmarole is taking up all my little skerricks of spare time at the moment and one of the victims is my alterations bag. It is in a desperate state of overstuffedness at the moment, and I fear a Mr Creosote style explosion if I put another thing in there.

These are just some of the clamouring multitudes of unfinished projects filling up my sewing bag at the moment:

Clockwise from left
Pink/peach/grey/white floral print eighties dress (from Missa) awaiting transformation into a highwaisted skirt.
Ribbons intended for a ribbon weaving embellishment as per Sass & Bide.
Late seventies ruffle sleeve blouse which needs buttons.
Eighties linen blazer which I am in the process of turning into a sleeveless top.
Late seventies denim skirt which needs something done to it, but I'm not quite sure what. Shortening and sandpapering most likely.
Khaki/black zebra print silk eighties dress in the process of becoming a paperbag waist skirt.
Yellow cotton print Fashion Assassin dress (don't worry I only paid $1 for it) which I am changing from a horrible Paris Hilton halter top frock with a frumpy hemlength into a shorter puffy highwaisted skirt.


The only chance my alterations bag has of surviving without erupting into pure chaos and madness is if we actually get the apartment we applied for last night, and the whole moving catastrophe can be over and done with sooner rather than later. I can't say I'm particularly optimistic since there were about fifty other people there to see the place, and although the creative life we lead is fulfilling and satisfying in many important ways, it doesn't exactly bring in the big bucks most of the time so I don't know how competitive we really are. You never know your luck though, so I'm going to keep hoping...

PS. Today's blog love award goes to the splendiferous Missa over at Thrift Candy who has a post all about the fruits of our thrift swap today. I can't wait to get the moving thing over and get another swap happening!

PPS. Look at this laughing doofus! This is the kind of happy accident which happens when the little dude and the self-timer conspire:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Op-Shop Thursday & Trans-Tasman Love

Chambray dress - $6.86 Target clearance rack
Plaited leather belt - $1 op-shop
Tan/black leather brogues - $5 garage sale
Mimco opal crystal studs - $40 (50% off sale)
Little tan leather bag - $1 op-shop


I feel like a little Girl Guide in my blue dress today, I think it's all the brown accessories - although I suppose I am more Brown Owl than I am Brownie these days. The dress actually has a skater skirt which is quite swirly and girly, and definitely the kind of thing to wear when skipping round toadstools!

Indigo navy/white striped top - 50cents, Black highwaisted linen blend skirt - $2

I had a funny sort of op-shop day today - I didn't find anything from more than a couple of years ago, and I found lots of things for the little dude, yet I'm quite happy with what I ended up with. I almost feel like I went shopping at the mall because everything I bought was so contemporary. Here are a few of the things I brought home with me:


This top (which is navy/white despite what the photo says) and skirt remind me so much of the kind of things I wore to my first office job as a dizzy nineteen year old. I'm not actually sure how my co-workers withstood my terrible teenage insolence, arrogance and endless chatter about nightclubs, shoes, my hair, and boys. Actually they didn't withstand it very well at all - I once came back from lunch to find a note on my desk which said, "We DON'T CARE about what club you went to on Saturday night so stop talking about it!!!". I must say that was remarkably polite of them, I probably deserved a swift kick up the bum. As well as the highwaisted receptionist skirts, my office wardrobe included highwaisted hotpants, mini-dresses (my favourite of which was a lime green and turquoise psycadelic Pucci-esque print with CUT-OUTS), platform shoes, and worst of all, mid-riff tops! Totally office appropriate.


About two years ago I was hopelessly in love with this Zimmermann silk dress. The burn-out silk swallow and blossom print and the lovely deep sky blue (which my photos haven't captured at all well) seemed like they were designed just for me, being the Skye Skylark that I am. The $400 plus pricetag wasn't designed for me though, so I didn't buy it. A year or so later I saw it at a Zimmermann warehouse sale but it was still around $200, so again I left it behind. About six months ago there was one for sale in Bondi markets but the girl wanted $90 for it, so regretfully I left it on the rack for a third time. Today it turned up in the op-shop, in my size, for two dollars. TWO DOLLARS, people. Good things come to those who wait, that's all I can say!


It needs an iron (and the right bra) but this dress is heaven and I am thrilled to bits. I am also thrilled to bits with the parcel that arrived from New Zealand courtesy of the beauteous (and telegenic) Andrea from a cat of impossible colour. We had a little wee baby sized thrift swap, which I highly recommend if you get the chance. Shopping for someone else is lots of fun, and getting surprise packages in the mail is even funnerer.


This cropped military style jacket is perfect for days when I need a little structure. I intend to wear it to a viewing this evening for an apartment we really, really like. Hopefully the jacket will make me look like a respectable future tenant, and give me a little bit of luck into the bargain. Thank you Andrea!


This morning's op-shop loot included two brand new t-shirt bras with the tags still on them. Miraculously in my size, and also randomly left in the scarf drawer where I could find them, since I don't look in the lingerie bins at the op-shop as a general rule. It's lucky I found t-shirt bras (one of them even had an extra tag which said "I'm a T-Shirt Bra!" on it) since Andrea also sent me this rocking Ben Sherman tee. It has the trickiest winged sleeves which you can't really see in the photo, and you know what a sucker I am for wings!

Andrea also included a relaxing scented eye pillow from New Zealand which is so lovely, and will no doubt come in handy when dealing with the stress of moving (assuming we find somewhere to move to). It is made from a distinctively Kiwi black and white print fabric, so I may need to hide it from my rugby-crazed Wallaby supporter husband!

PS. Today's blog love recipient has got to be Andrea from a cat of impossible colour - how could it be anyone else on a day where the sun is shining and the trans-Tasman love is flowing!

PPS. Slightly craptacular post today because I'm busy running around like a fool trying to get myself and the little dude ready to go and fight off the other twelve thousand applicants for this apartment we like. Please cross all your fingers and toes for us!