30 Nov 2010

Wardrobe Woes

Apologies for my absence. If you follow me on Twitter (@TorsGrantham) you will have heard me whinge expound at great length behind the reasons. You can't tell reading this, but this post took me several days to write. Okay, so that's a bit of an over-exaggeration but I'm stabbing at the keyboard typing right-handed due to an accident involving the wolf, two cats, the lead and my dominant hand that resulted in a spiral fracture in one finger. I'm beginning to think the wolf doesn't like me anymore, particularly as he also ate my last bag of peanut butter M&M's and you can't even buy them in this country.

Consequently, I'm going out of my gourd (fair warning) as I'd planned a lovely weekend of sewing and now can't. I tried. I really did. You've no idea how hard it is to pin a pattern to fabric with the wrong hand. Or how hard it is to pin a pattern to fabric with the right hand (or left in my case) that has two fingers taped together and are rigid. Unless you've done the same thing, of course.

What did I try? Well, it wasn't Simplicity 1683 despite gaining the missing pieces. It wasn't the cut but nowhere near stitched Butterick 2198. No, that would be too easy, finishing something I'd already started. No, I had to start an entirely new project: Style 3894. With a re-drafted collar. Blame Ali, she's the one that suggested 1970's as a potential source of flattering patterns. I even decided, given my limitations and the constant sizing issues with everything I make, that starting with a muslin might be the way to go. I didn't get very far, I admit, but at least it does look like it might fit. Hopefully. I'd say fingers crossed but really that makes me want to cry right now.

What the accident has also meant is that I finally had the inclination opportunity to clean out my wardrobe and focus on a direction with my sewing plans. I have to admit it's been helped in part by Sarah and Ali, their recent posts have been exactly what I was trying to figure out without knowing exactly what I was trying to figure out. I can't tell if the exercise has made more of a mess in my room as I attempted tidying with one hand, it was in a fair old state before I even did myself any damage, but it has helped clarify some things for me.

Namely, I want two interchangeable wardrobes broken down into seasonal pieces; work and play with spring/summer and autumn/winter pieces. My current workplace requires business casual clothing and I've been getting away with a lot more casual than I would like purely because they know I can't afford new clothes. Ideally I'd like some more formal pieces suitable as business-wear that can be dressed down and added to my casual wardrobe if needed.

Perhaps controversially I've decided to stick with colours that match my favourite shoes (read: all of them). This seemed sensible as I'm anal about matching my shoes to my outfit in some way. I still have so much to learn. I haven't gotten down to the nitty gritty yet and with a full week ahead involving Harry Potter, gourmet burgers, a sleep-over at my Mum's and a small operation on my little broken bones I don't think I'll be getting around to it until at least the weekend. I can't wait though, it's certainly going to be an interesting exercise.

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm off to watch Kirstie's Homemade Home whilst attempting to stuff a handmade teddy with one hand. Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by,

11 Nov 2010


oh my word!Just a quick post because I'm way too excited to keep this to myself. I won a giveaway! Evelyn of Oh My Word held a giveaway and I somehow managed to be the lucky winner. This is A First and I'm very excited. Stay tuned to see what the winning prize is once it arrives. Thank Eve! And if you haven't checked out her blog I do recommend it.

Thanks for stopping by,

9 Nov 2010

Project Saver!

Today a rather innocuous envelope appeared on my doormat, courtesy of the lovely Anne of Vintage Fabric Market. If you don't know the site I highly recommend it, she has some great fabrics for sale, vintage patterns, hats, costume jewellery and a range of accessories. And she's got a sale on too!

Whilst browsing her site I came across Simplicity 1683, which you might remember stalled after I discovered I was missing the collar piece. On a whim, I emailed Anne to see if she might be able to help me with my missing piece (s - when I checked fully I was missing three pieces in total). Well, look what arrived this morning!

Yes, that's right, I can finish my dress! The collar, the cuff and the long sleeve pieces are now carefully stuffed in the envelope with my original pattern pieces. It'll have to wait a little longer until my crafting orders are over and done with, but it's now not a wadder for sure (which is always nice!).

Thank you, Anne. I really appreciate all your help.

Thanks for stopping by,

7 Nov 2010

CiN Craft Fayre

Work held a Craft Fayre on Friday to raise money for Children in Need. Despite never having sold any of my stuff, mostly because it's made from other people's templates, I decided to sign up as all proceeds went to charity. Unfortunately, because I've never sold any of my stuff I had no stock and only managed to produce a paltry 3 Easy Teddies (we nicknamed them Neopolitan), 1 and a half Day Bags and 2 lavender stuffed hearts.

Pathetic, right?

I'd been trying to keep my hopes up when everyone passed me by for the extensive jewellery selection on offer, particularly as I was very proud of my finished green bag (isn't the Ikea fabric fab?!)

It took me 3 hours to sew the 24 poppers to make the bag removable for ease of washing. 3 hours. Which is why only one bag got finished in time. Everyone thought the teddies were very cute but nobody seemed to want to buy them.

So imagine my surprise when, at the end of the day, I discovered I'd sold 2 green Day Bags, the half made Day Bag (to be finished this weekend), 4 Easy Teddies and 1 lavender heart. Not only that but I have orders for 2 vanilla strawberries, 1 lavender heart on ribbon, 1 vanilla heart on ribbon and requests for samples of my make-up bags, hobby horse, angel wings and hot water bottle cover. A win overall I think!

Thanks for stopping by,

6 Nov 2010

The Mists of Llanbradach

Yesterday was Guy Fawkes Night, an evening to celebrate the failure of the Gun Powder Plot to kill James I and replace him with someone more in line with the plotters religious views. Over the years the true meaning behind the evening seems to have been, not quite forgotten but maybe not quite as remembered as it once was.

The larger towns usually host a fireworks display, Caerphilly (my nearest town) is hosting a display tonight at the castle (if you watched Merlin last week you would have seen it throughout the episode pretending to be two different places) and I think I'll take a meander down to watch as they're usually very very good.

{ Source: Photokat22 }

The smaller villages, like the one I live in, tend to have private bonfire parties that, if they're anything like the ones I attended as a child, involve hot dogs and jacket potatoes and more cartwheels and sparklers than big exploding fireworks. If you're lucky there's even a bonfire and if you're really lucky you were allowed to make a Guy to throw on the fire.

Those of you here in the UK, do you find that the morning after Guy Fawkes Night dawns misty and smelling of smoke? It certainly does here! Below is the Old Tip and the Old Pit as the mist rolled further in at around 8am this morning. I'm endlessly fascinated by how the landscape here interacts with the weather, the clouds constantly brush the trees and it creates a beautifully isolated looking environment at times that I just can't get enough of! I predict more photos along the similar lines throughout winter.

I'll leave you with a section of a documentary broadcast in 2007 (I think), narrated by Richard Hammond, that recreated the Gun Powder Plot and explored Guy Fawkes' role in the conspiracy. Only this time they actually blew the building up (one they built specifically obviously, not the actual House of Lords). The results are astonishing and I highly recommend the entire documentary.

Thanks for stopping by,

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