#FMSphotoaday Week Four (+2 bonus days)

November 22. Grateful: Some shopping vouchers – always grateful for a little bit of help at Christmas time!

November 23. Black: Everything on my desk that was black

November 24. A Sound you Heard: Can you see him? A beautiful Tui proudly (and noisily) greeting the morning

November 25. Sky: Grumpy afternoon clouds hail a windy (and possibly rainy) night ahead…

November 26. In the Cupboard: Backup drives for work, time to change them over

November 27. Tree: Christmas tree in Midland Park

November 28. Vehicle: Wellington’s famous electric trolley buses have been in operation since 1949 (Not these exact ones! These are the newest additions to the fleet)

November 29. Big: More Wellington sculpture – “Shells” (2002) is by artist Jeff Thomson, cast in concrete using corrugated iron as the mould

November 30. On the Wall: A sad but common site now in Wellington, “Earthquake Prone Building” notices must be displayed if a building is assessed to have a strength less than 34% of a new building and are required to be strengthened or demolished by a certain date, usually 10 – 20 years in the future

Check out December Photo-a-Day list here.

#FMSphotoaday Week Three

November 15. In your Bag: Lippy, nail polish, small random things purse, camera, hand sanitiser, business card holder, loose change, access card & keys for work, house keys, purse, personal mobile, work mobile, headphones, memory sticks, notebook and a ‘baggu’ carry bag (because my camera and my phones live in my bag I had to use a bit of a dodgy camera to take this so please excuse the blurryness)

November 16. The View from your Window: From my seat at work, looking a bit grey outside today

November 17. The Last Thing you Bought: Lining fabric, thread & zippers for my next two projects – oh and some cute birdie fabric just because…

November 18. Happened this Weekend: Cooking dinner with my Hubby – his own Beef Stroganoff recipe

November 19. Something Awesome: My first ripe strawberry of the season and it is humongous!

November 20. Work/Play: The same but different!

November 21. What You Wore: Trying to get the washing dry before the rain shows up!

#FMSphotoaday Week Two

November 8. Something you do Everyday: A little bit (or a lot) of sewing – even if it is just 10 minutes of pottering in my room

November 9. Small: I am a little bit obsessed with collecting small scale sewing machines – this is my newest addition…

November 10. Can’t {won’t} live without: My car. Not very “green” but it takes me where I need to go

November 11. Night: Evening view from my lounge across the valley 21:30 (NZDT)

November 12. Drink: Mmmmm Ribena

November 13. Where You Slept

November 14. Man-made: Re-visiting the man-made giant kina (sea urchin) art work Nga Kina by Michel Tuffery in Wellington Harbour – looks like the installation is finished

#FMSphotoaday Week One & an award

November 1. Something beginning with ‘c’: Mmmm COFFEE on my way to work from the gym

November 2. Colour: Choosing fabric for my next sewing project – so pretty!

November 3. Breakfast: A cooked breakfast is a rare weekend treat in our house, yum!

November 4. TV: Watching some strange reality show about artists in the dark, so I could also see the neighbours fireworks out the window

November 5. 5 o’clock: Shutting down my work PC for home time at 5pm

November 6. A Favourite Thing: Wellington Harbour – one of my favourite places! Here workers are installing another new art piece, it is giant kina (sea urchin), Nga Kina by Michel Tuffery

November 7. Reflection: Buildings on The Terrace reflecting in PWC Tower

Now, on to the award: I feel a bit slack for not posting this earlier!

Aaages ago (ok, 20th of October, but the second half of this year has zoomed by so fast it feels like months ago), Melbourne sewing blogger Zoe awarded me The Lovely Blogger Award.

Go Team Sew Australia/New Zealand!

This blog award asks you to pass it on to 15 other bloggers and also share 7 things about yourself.

I have been so slow in posting about this that my favourite blogs were either already on Zoe’s list or have been awarded by subsequent passing ons so I’ll give that part a miss.

I did really enjoy reading everyone else’s random facts about themselves, it’s fun to learn more about our on-line “sewing” friends, we have such a close and helpful community.

So I thought I’d still  share the 7 random facts about myself, because it’ll be fun. Ready?

1. In college (high-school) I wanted to learn to play the saxophone but was convinced by the music teacher to learn the clarinet first. I eventually became 1st clarinet in the school concert band…I never got to learn the saxophone.

2. I love to mountain bike, like proper mountain bike. Single trail, cross country and I don’t mind myself a little bit of downhill. New Zealand has some amazing trails all over both islands. Here in Wellington we are lucky to be a very short drive from both Mt Victoria and Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park, both are awesome! I hope to get up to Rotorua over Christmas break and explore more of the Whakarewarewa forest.

3. There are 20 unfinished blogs in my drafts folder – hmmm, I should really finish some of those!

4. I speak REALLY fast – most people don’t understand me at first and I am always being asked to repeat myself. I inherited it from my father and I concentrate really really hard on slowing down always even though it sounds painfully slow to me inside my head. If I am speaking to you and you are thinking, “gosh, Mel doesn’t speak that fast at all!” then I must be trying really hard!

5. I am quite clumsy, and it gets infinitely worse for just a few days each month, you know what I mean ladies. I get the dropsies and bruise myself all over but if you ask me how I got a certain bruise I won’t remember. Sometimes I just need to slow down, like my speaking, I’m not quiet sure why I am in such a hurry sometimes. Early in our relationship my not-yet-husband asked my why I was so clumsy and he didn’t believe me until we started living together and saw the pattern. Can someone tell me I am not alone with this symptom?

6. Before I started my university degree my hair was so long I could sit on it! It defined me and even people who didn’t really know me knew of me as the girl with the really long hair and I liked it. I probably should have cut it sooner but one day I realised that I was me, I had a personality worth getting to know beyond my ridiculously long hair and I chopped it off over summer break. It was like a clean start and now I get my hair cut all the time. I’m don’t have to be scared to try something new and I can trust my hair dresser. If I don’t like it, well it’ll just grow back!

7. I am obsessed with doll houses. I have a whole folder in my blog reader devoted to modern doll house blogs. I never had one as a child and now I want to make my own one from scratch – 1950s/1960s inspired, a little bit Le Corusier, a little bit Frank Lloyd Wright, maybe a little Bauhaus – Henry Colbert’s doll houses are my main inspiration. I have been doing a little bit of planning and I’ll admit to some 3D modelling in SketchUp ;)

I’m still here…somewhere + #FMSphotoaday

As per the title of this post…just busy dealing with life, as you do – but I am sewing, something I can’t share quite yet…the RNHS rugby jersey is awaiting my locating some white drill for the collar (and also working out how to sew the button placket), also I have fabric for one of the two birthday dress patterns on the short list…I even pre-washed it…and I may have seen fabric for the other one…

… because who am I kidding? I’m going to sew them both up anyway!

Yesterday was the most beautiful day here in Wellington (today too it turns out!) and I just wanted to go to the beach…and then go home and sew dress after dress after dress for summer, haha!

Anyway, back to the fabric: The dress I really want to sew requires more fabric that I usually buy for stashing – around 3.5 meters. So I’ve been wandering the fabric stores for a while, waiting for something to grab me – yesterday I saw this gorgeous sateen cotton in white with a blue zigzag running across the width – just trying to get my head around how it will piece up and gauging how much of a headache lining up zigzags will give me! I forgot to look at the cutting layout last night so if I remember tonight and I can see it working I’ll go buy the pretty fabric tomorrow – the shop is just down the road, my office is dangerously central in Wellington, dangerously fun ;)

In other news I decided to give myself a creative kick and do one of those photo-a-day challenges. I saw it on another Wellington blogger’s site, Modern Vintage Cupcakes. Kat has been playing since mid September and now I am going to play too :)

If you think you want to join in too then click the image above to visit Fat Mum Slim and learn a bit more about it.

Here is this month’s list:

November Photo A Day Challenge

I am not going to post my photos everyday to this blog, I will do a weekly round-up instead but if you want to see my photos before then I am posting to my Pinterest account here

EDIT 14.01.2013 – Because Pinterest is being a little b*tch I am posting via Photobucket instead – please use the links to each months album under the photoadaypage at the top of my blog :)

(because  I can’t work out that whole instagram thingee and I don’t “tweet” either) so feel free to follow that board, or all my boards, or just some of them…

However, since this is day one, here is day one’s photo:

November 1. Something beginning with ‘c’: Mmmm COFFEE on my way to work from the gym #FMSphotoaday

It was a pretty easy one for me! :D

Manequim 629 (November 2011)

I have to confess, despite the best intentions, I haven’t gotten very much sewing done these holidays, or blogging. This was my last week off work before I go back (yes, I got an extra week, not my idea, I think the boss secretly wanted an extra week so we all got given one. It has been fun reading all my friends Facebook status updates about struggling through the first week back…but that will be me on Monday).

I managed to finish my JJ (yet to be photographed along with the 1930s dress, I know, I know), had a brief go at my forever (and ever) jeans and cut out this skirt (view A).

I did make it to the January Fabric Hoarders Meet, see?

Evidence & plenty of room for more friends - you should join us!

Despite the weather looking like this:

My sewing room also gained two new friends, courtesy of my Mum who took over all my indoor plants when I moved overseas. These two are “babies” she took off the ones that are growing a bit too large.

I promise the Zygo is actually alive, it has two teeny tiny pink nubbins that you might not be able to spot in the photo but they are there.

I also finally upgraded myself to an Android phone, (Thank you Santa! xx) so now I am an annoying droid-nerd, and the first App I downloaded (after Angry Birds & Cut the Rope – love you Om Nom!) was Evernote for Android.

So then I spent a bit of time tidying up my Evernote database to make it more useable when I am both purposefully fabric shopping and also when I am surprise fabric shopping.

If you haven’t read my super epically nerdy love post about Evernote yet you can find it here.

Here is what the Android app looks like (I am guessing the iPhone app is similar):

You swipe sideways to see each image or text block in the “note”:

(click to enlarge)

Basically I added in more pattern info (line drawing, fabric allowances, notions etc…) which wasn’t difficult. Using the Evernote programme on my PC I dragged it all off the pattern company websites, easy peasy, sync it up, and all within hand when I find that PERFECT bolt of fabric and need to know how much to buy, plus zipper, I always forget the zipper!

Incidentally I also keep a Pattern Wishlist Notebook, so that when the amazing BMW or sewingpatterns.com sale comes up I am ready to pounce.

I have been working on two pretty cool sewing related items with the help of Nerdy Husband, it’s not difficult to convince him to help me when it involves power tools. I’m quite proud of our result but when I show it off I also want to include the pattern. Unfortunately AutoCAD and Windows 7 are currently having a big glitch fight, so I’ll have to knock their heads together and sort them out, but for now, here is a sneak peak:

So instead of sewing I enjoyed quite a bit of extra napping and reading, which has been great – 2011 was a big year for Hubby and I: We got married (just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary btw, yay us), honeymooned, quit two perfectly good jobs, moved our entire life back across the Tasman Sea, said goodbye to far too many amazing friends, found new jobs each and basically tried to settle back into life making new friends and catching up with our families. Couple that with a few family health crises and it’s no wonder it’s all just caught up with me!

OK, enough of that, here is Manequim 629, yes it did finally arrive, out of order but fabulous as always just the same:

The first time I saw a blouse with knickers attached was in a La Mia Boutique magazine. I made that blouse but left of the knickers (knickers? I guess it is more of a mini-jumpsuit, no?) and made just the blouse part but I can see the benefits when wearing it tucked in to a pencil skirt. I was just concerned about getting the torso length correct, being my first LMB pattern ever I could see it ending up quite uncomfortable (as it was the arms we so tight I had to alter the button holes to button loops). Have you ever made or purchased a top that is more like a mini jumpsuit like this pattern 438 above?

The pink dress has an interesting back with pleat detail, I’m really not sure how it works, There are gaps at the back of the neck but I am guessing there are joins at the shoulder which the model’s hair conveniently covers up.

I also like the blue top, another interesting back detail, the pants fit is pretty terrible, I think she’s standing like that hoping we won’t notice.

Halston is our fashion house for this month and I think they’ve done a good job capturing the style, very draped and Grecian but for all the pretty styles we only get three patterns. The long black dress, the gold top/tunic/dress and the blue draped top. I really like the gold tunic even though I am 90% sure it wouldn’t suit me, the different styling make it look really versatile.

I think these two above are in the section called “Devastate the Party” (love Google translate), my favourite is this gown (excusing the zipper) and my elusive bow blouse is finally patterned, yay.

In “Mix of Colours” I love the blue and black combination (pink belt!) of this dress but not the one-shouldered half sleeve thing, Burda tried to do it in the last issue I received in my subscription but I’m not a fan. The coral dress I completely missed on my first look through, it wasn’t until I saw the front on image in the back that I re-scanned it because the lines and details are really nice.

And just in case you were worried there is a jumpsuit in this issue ;) and a few celebrity styles to copy, the only people I recognised were Drew Barrymore, Pippa Middleton and Katie Holmes,  I’m not a Katie fan but the top is cute.

Next month looks good, lots of colour, love the look of that dress and black/white top in the Céline section.

I have Patrones 310 & 311 to share with you next so stay tuned :)

Manequim 630 (November 2011)

Manequim 630 showed up last week, not sure what happened to issue 629…but it wouldn’t be the first time they have arrived out of sequence. Hopefully it shows up soon or I’ll have to write them an email, the Manequim distributors are really good actually, they might be slow to respond (most likely due to language and time conversions) but I have no complaints.

So, what is 629 supposed to have inside it?

Ohh party dresses!

The great thing about Manequim is that Brazil’s seasons are more or less in line with ours down here in the Southern Hemisphere. So the current issues coupled with Wellington’s fantastic start to what is meant to be a terrific long summer has me quite excited! :D

We begin with the style of actress Adriana Birolli. The polka dot top is deceptively simple but buttons up at the back, I am a big fan of a boatneck, it’s really flattering for me, it’s also multi-sized (38/42/46/50). The pleated skirt is great too (another multi-sized pattern) and guess what? Another jumper ;) but this one is short and fun, very beachy, in my size (42), I quite like it.

Apparently prints are big this season (aren’t they always?) and this section gives us lots of prints and long slimming silhouettes. Love the key hole knotted halter and the partially sheer top, the dress is pretty simple but how amazing in that print? Will be keeping my eyes open for something similar. must. have.

This months issue is also super colourful and I almost scanned this entire “easy fashion” section, lots of simple lines in vibrant colour. The pink and red bicolour dress would be very slimming. I thought the blue dress was long with a fold all around to create that detail but looking more closely at the instructions I think its maybe just a tunic top over a separate skirt…

I wish they included the pattern for the orange top but I’m sure there is a similar pattern in a past magazine, winding up with two more easy tops.

Next month is PARTY month, yay, I am looking forward to lots of beautiful dresses and a fabulous plus section.