May 2008

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Off to Brisvegas with the girls – fabric shops!  WHEEEE!

Talk to you when we get back….

because I HURT, dammit!

Calling the pain management doc first thing tomorrow and BEGGING him to inject my right hip with whatever it damn well takes to make it STOP HURTING!  It could be napalm for all I care, just MAKE IT STOP!

Bed now.

I missed ANOTHER quilters day. Grrr! I am SO SICK OF THIS PAIN!

Went to the gastroenterologist yesterday – he was much nicer than he seemed last year – thank goodness! Agreed that my issues are NOT his department, and also agreed with the course of action that my GP had already planned. Good to know, but not particularly helpful on the day.

Also – he acknowledged that while I don’t have diagnosable coeliac disease, I do have a wheat intolerance. YAY! Why yay? Well, now I feel justified in avoiding gluten most of the time, but can allow myself the occasional piece of toast if I really feel like it.

No sewing happening either – tried a sleeve from the Rio jacket in muslin and Mr Beloved reckoned it looked like something Frankenstein’s monster would have sewn! Also, the whole tricky seam is on the back of the sleeve, where it can’t even be seen – so why bother?? I still like the look and drape of the vest so I might have a go at that. I might even just put a plain sleeve in and make the jacket…

Sorry no posts with pretty pics – all I want to do right now is hunch over a hot water bottle and moan. I realise that isn’t helpful, but you try exercising when your lower abdomen feels like it has a bread knife cutting into it!!


We are total Eurovision tragics in this house. Every year we invent drinking games (Which we don’t actually drink to, it’s symbolic, fewer calories that way!) try to predict The Dress Trend (so far: backup singers in WHITE. Boring!) and get wildly enthused for some obscure country (AZERBAIJAN! You ROCK!!! Devils! Angel boys with an almost castrati soprano voice! Devils transforming into Angels! OMG!!!)

We got to watch the first semi-final tonight (we have been on a Eurovision news BLACKOUT since the actual event on Tuesday) and I must say -I never knew Poland produced so many plastics. I don’t believe there is a single natural element left in their contestant:

(Trust me, those teeth were SCARY when she sang…)

Greece sent their usual Britney-esque bubbly performer (Britney before the drugs and shaved head, obviously); Belgium YET AGAIN sent a group wth an entirely made up language; political voting was in evidence even at this early stage (was there anyone who doubted Boznia Herzogovina would get in ?) and Ireland and Estonia sent joke acts.

Thrillingly – Finland are in the finals again with another hard rock act (minus Lordi’s rubber prosthetics this year) – pure 1980s long-haired bare-chested pleather-panted ROCK GODS!!

Bring on Semi Final TWO!!!

Just watched Trinny and Susannah do their body shape show. I’m more confused than ever – what shape am I??

That’s my silhouette, traced from a photo of me in me undies. (no WAY would I post that!!) You might need to click to see it bigger. The line across my boobs is because that’s the widest part.

I’m on the list to get their book from the library but that’s months away yet – and I’m not buying another book where I’ll only use half a dozen pages! Maybe I’m this shape?? OR maybe this one (if I had more of a waist)

Opinions? What shape are YOU?


My knees are buggered after my very short session working with only SIX different exercises int eh gym. How pathetic! However, I have allowed to three entire squares of Lindt 80% chocolate in my calorie count today, and that has lifted my mood considerably.

And so to bed.

The Plume dress.

Interesting idea, but would it work on a curvy women – especially in a plus size? Course I wouldn’t pay 298 POUNDS for something that’s going to be knocked off in every high street shop anyway. (Unless perhaps it was silk jersey,in aubergine. Then I tend to lose any sense of reason.)

[Found on The Thoughtful Dresser, which is a very cool blog.]

(Mr Beloved does not like having his picture taken!)

The tears were worth it – this turned out to be an almost wearable prototype!  (I’ve said he’s allowed to wear it at home only, he can wear the next ones in public, LOL!)  You can see my review on Pattern Review here.

After a good nights sleep:

Mr Beloved explained why the screw for the overlocker needle wouldn’t go back in: As ex IT support sysadmin, he insists that there is a “Frustration Field” generated around equipment that has somehow misbehaved or otherwise not met the expectations of the user.

The fields are quite powerful, and have a half life of anywhere up to 12 hours. Any attempt to rectify the fault before then will be nullified by the force of the Frustration Field .

Thanks for your help, though, I am greatly appreciative that there is someone more experienced with this beastie that is so generous!

That’s why I could NOT get the darn thing back in last night – but this morning when the FF had dissipated, it took Mr Beloved under a minute.

Same thing happened with converting the machine to coverstitch and back – although I did also take the precaution of giving it new needles.

(They took FOUR SHOPS to find – arrggggh! I must find a source to order them online.)

Now I’m off to watch “grumpy doctor” (House.  Even when he’s being a total jerk, Hugh Laurie is still gorgeous!) More later.

WAAAAAH! Just when I thought my overlocker and I were going to be friends:

Lat night I got the coverstitch set up and stitching beautifully. Tonight? ARRRRRRRRRRGH!!!! NOTHING would work! Needles coming unthreaded, tensions that would not reset – I unthreaded and rethreaded the whole shebang. Read through all the instructions ticking them off as I went. Adjusted each tension a lot of times. Tried the ultimate computer nerd trick: “Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?” all the way down to the power point.

THEN – one of the little grub screws that holds the needles in place CAME ALL THE WAY OUT and I can’t get in back in again and I’m terrified I might have stripped the start of the thread in the hole it goes into. At least I have the teeny weeny thang, but – ARRGGGH!

Poor Mr Beloved has just spent the past half hour rubbing my back as I sobbed, full on SOBBED – with only being able to *sob* get*sob* a *sob* single *sob* word*sob* out* sob*each*sob* breath *sob*!!

I’ve packed the machine up ready to see if Dale the (wonderful) Sewing Machine man can see me as an EMERGENCY tomorrow…. meantime, I think I’d better go to bed, don’t you?

OMG, I did it!  I worked out how to make the overlocker do a really nice coverstitch!  WOOOOOT!

Right now am sooo tired – and have lost a VITAL piece of paper for a job I needed to do…ummmm… yesterday-ish?


(Well, I was excited!)

After what feels like aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages of reading other peoples reviews on, at long last the NEW BURDAS ARE HERE!!!

Even better – THE BURDA PLUS IS HERE!!

[Mum, I’ll be popping yours in the post tomorrow. Along with the January one which I really really liked a lot of things from.]

Some months I want to make EVERYTHING in the Burda magazine – some months – meh, not so much. I love every pattern except one in the Burda Plus – so that’s 29 out of the thirty illustrated. Not bad for $20, eh?!

The March issue of Burda WOF – well, not so impressed with the plus size selections, but there are some very pretty patterns in the regular sizes. For now I have enough alterations to make on a plus size, there’s nothing that would realllly tempt me to grade up a smaller pattern.

Now if you’ll excuse me, that lining fabric has just finished going through the washer; it’s still so windy here (but not as cold, thank goodness!) that by the time I make a cuppa tea the lining will be dry and ready to cut out.

Off to SEW!!

With the windchill this morning, that’s what the weatherman told us it was.  MINUS BLOODY FOUR!!!  I coulda stayed in Canberra for weather like that!

No cutting out fabric tonight, I am too cold.  Our house was not built for such temperatures – I’m off to hide under the blankets!

Well, Sue is was being very good today and sewing up a skirt. She had to stop to go get lining, so we popped over to Lincraft – only to find them shut. BUGGER!! One of the few stores in Toowoomba actually open on a Sunday , but we missed it! Never mind, we went and had a coffee, then I loaded her up with even MORE books and magazines once we got back to my place. (Yes, Canberra folks, Caity’s Library is still going strong!)

I have been looking through the stash, finding a lot of bigger dressmaking pieces of fabric from way back when there was a big fabric shop in Canberra down around where the Casino is now – the name has gone from my head. (“Fabric something-or-other” – anyone remember?) ETA: Annie reminded me: Home Yardage!  Thanks, Annie!

Discovered I have SCARLET wool/poly crepe – 8 yards of 60″ – perfect for one day making this suit. Not now while I’m still shrinking, though. Damn – just realised I have this pattern in sizes 18-20-22 – now I’ll have to go looking for it in the smaller range… arrgh! Of course it’s OOP…(Out Of Print)

Isn’t it DIVINE? Of course, I need the mink wrap too, dontcher know – and the hat, and gloves, of course. Just the thing for popping up to Woollies for the bread, yes?

(I know one thing about glove making – the fourchette is a BUGGER! “What’s a fourchette, Caity?” A fourchette is the gusset in between the fingers. Not found on el cheapo gloves. And I am NOT talking about the female genital piercing of the same name, owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Although I bet that makes your eyes water, too.)

Do I even remotely DRESS like this? No. But I’d like to. And pattern buying is nothing if not aspirational! I mean, I can’t be the only one who lies in bed and reads pattern instructions, can I? (Ok, I also read dictionaries, I may be just weird.)

Also excavated enough fabric to really have a good fang at some shirts for me AND for Mr Beloved: two shades of blue tshirt material, one of bottle green (it looks browner in the pic) – and quite a lot of a scarlet stretch velvety thing (think I’ll keep that one for mine, not sure it’s Mr B’s colour!)

Now that my overlocker (serger) and I have declared a truce (and may even become friends) I can consider sewing this sort of thing.

Don’t worry, the sewing obsession will lessen and I WILL get back to quilting eventually. The prospect of actually fitting (with alterations) into even the largest size of patterns is just so thrilling!

And as the lovely Rooruu commented on my coat patterns post:

I notice, however, that many of them are what you could call afashional, not specific to a year or season, based on interesting shapes, so they don’t date.

Yep, that’s me – although I adore reading the fashmags, (“Aby-bloody-synnian Vogue!” chimes in Mr Beloved, channelling the AbFab fashmagslags themselves) drooling over the impossibly expensive designer gear at Net-A-Porter, and checking into every day, I’m not a slave to fashion. For one thing, I’m not rich. (ha! We actually live so far below the poverty line that we ASPIRE to being poor!) For another, I am not 6ft 2 tall and I weigh a LOT more than 40 kgs.

But I know what I like, even if I don’t wear it a lot of the time.

I have no memory of buying this either, but isn’t it yummy?

Inspired by Marji of Fiber Arts Afloat I have been starting to go through my pattern stash, to see what I have in the way of warm outer layers that might be worth sewing up (hopefully without a gazillion tricky alterations). And I discovered that I really like to buy coat and jacket patterns (I haven’t even looked at ones that come as part of suits here…).

In reality I have actually made and worn exactly ONE of these patterns.


Most of these have only ever been out of the pattern envelope for a read, not even had the tissue unfolded, let alone cut:

Now, even bearing in mind that this represents *mumblety* years of pattern acquisition, that’s a lot of coats and jackets.  Obviously I feel I NEED something warm, but just haven’t got around to MAKING it yet! Some of them I wonder WHAT I was thinking. Me, in a classic Chanel style? Ummmmm……

The one that I’ve made and worn so often that the hem and cuffs have abraded and the lining is about to disintegrate is the Burda 4385 here, in the longer style. Not in white, obviously – I don’t really do white, not even for shirts, let alone COATS!  Mine was a red loose woven wool thing.  I don’t think I even have it any more.

The one I’d most like to try next is the V8399 Marcy Tilton jacket – but the only review on PR says there are dreadful problems with the draft and the instructions – I find this odd, because normally Marcy’s patterns are really good. But as it “broadens shoulders” and I’m pretty sure my shoulders are somewhat broad anyway, it might not be a wise choice. (even if that WOULD make my waist look smaller…)

Anyone have a favourite out of those posted here?  Anything you think look especially “Caity-esque”?  I’d love some input!

I’m off to get Mr Beloved to help with the next step: Retrieving fabric tubs from the back of the shed so I can see if there’s a fabric I love that I can use for whichever pattern.

Printing Fabric at Marimekko

*Swwooooooooons and has to go lie down with a nice cuppa tea.*

Marimekko “Always Mod”

I have ONE piece of Marimekko in my stash, that I got as a trade many years ago.  It’s lime green with orange flowers and I love it too much to cut it up!

In other news: Today I bought a new book.  Which is very helpful, so I’m off to read some more.  I have got a photo to trace off to see my body silhouette (so very confronting!)  like these women did.

The author, Annabelle van Tongeren, is an Aussie who has dressed a lot of our celebrities, Book coverand the book is beautiful.  (And looking at her gallery, I remember seeing one of her gorgeous dresses ages ago in Australian Stitches magazine – but that’s not one I keep, so I can’t tell you which issue.)

You know, when I finally get down to my goal weight, I’m going to find a way to have one of those makeovers.  In the meantime,  I’m going to try and learn and sew as much as I can to keep me motivated.  Only another 47 kilos to go!

Not much happening here.  Went to the GP today, to discuss ultrasound results and further treatment.  Still trying to track down why my Ferritin (stored iron) levels are continuing to fall – ulcer, girly problems, bowel, WHERE?!?!  Did solve one issue and will hopefully be having surgery later in the year/early next year (need to lose some more weight first, mainly.)

Boring, huh?

Honestly, between that and a couple of other little tasks, the day just disappeared.  Unless you want to hear about the ongoing grossness that is Mis KitTerns abcesses?

No, didn’t think so.

Ottobre for Women… indeed, FIGHTING! the urge to go out. *sigh* I cannot justify taking the car out just on a whim, especially when we HAVE to go out tomorrow for medical appointments.

I need (? Hmm, not sure what Maslow would say about that!) to replace the Butterick 5001 pattern I was working on yesterday with a bigger size while they’re still at half price. I really really want to check the mailbox to see if Ottobre is here yet.. and check the one newsagents in town to see if the new Burda has come! ARRRRRRRRRRGH!

The Butterick pattern: so far I have added 2 inches (TWO INCHES! ) across the back; I know I need to add nearly as much in the arms; the length will need to be adjusted, the waist too – and I need to work out how to do a Full Bust Adjustment on the wrap over bodice.

See why I was thinking going up a pattern size or two might be easier? I’ll still have to do a FBA but the rest of the pattern shouldn’t require as many alterations. I’m tempted to just wait until I’m fitting better into the smaller size but I am so sick of having nothing nice to wear.

Thing is, once I DO get all the alterations done? This could end up being a TNT (Tried and True) pattern for me. IF I EVER GET THE !@#&!@(*& ALTERATIONS all done!

Mr Beloved has never helped tissue fit a pattern before, but is doing a fabulous job.

Meantime, How delicious is this outfit?

Burda Spring/Summer 1966

It’s from Burda – Spring/Summer, 1966. “An asymmetrically buttoned dress for afternoon or evening, with a spiralling decorative seam. Angled buttonholes mirror the line of the decorative seam.”

There are another 30 pictures of the same season’s lines on the Burda site right now.

And 24 images from Autumn 56/Winter 57… droooool! Although this dress owes rather more to curtains in the living room than I’d like. Eeeeeee!

Burda Austumn 56/Winter 57  Princess line coat

And except for the fact that a) even with “shapewear” my waist could never be that small and b) it just doesn’t get cold enough in Toowoomba for such an extravagant coat, I’d make this. And I’d need the hat and gloves, of course. Can’t you see this in a stunning periwinkle blue wool? Or perhaps this rich purple… or since this is pure flight-of-fancy shopping, unrestricted by such mundane things as price and fabric weight – how about THIS?! *swooooons*

I have to go have a wee lie down now….

And a very happy mothers day to everyone!

Most especially to my Mum, who let me sew on her brand new Elna SU sewing machine when I was only young (Under 10 – what trust!).  And who made the BEST clothes for me (she reckons I was not grateful at the time… Looking back, they were really AWESOME clothes, Thanks, Mum!)

Here’s the only recent photo I have of Mum – Chips (the retrofitted Scottish fold cat – it’s a long story) is assessing Mum’s work on the cushion she made  – “it looked so fast and easy until I counted the pattern pieces for the applique!”

…and not getting terribly much done. I’ve been mostly in bed since Wednesday – arrrgh! Twenty minutes of a fairly fast walk without any preparation, followed up by a fast-ish 10 minute walk down town on Thursday and I am BUGGERED! Hate hate hate hate that. It’s not just the hip and knee pain and muscle tiredness, its the overwhelming fatigue that gets me.

love this jersey!We did have time to pop into the Salvos thrift store on Friday on the way to the greengrocers, where I scored about a metre of green knit fabric – which solves the “What do I use for a muslin?” issue for at least B5001. It won’t have quite the same properties as the nice jersey I’m planning on using, but it was $1 – and that’s the right price!

Probably only just enough to check the bodice, but that’s the main worry – that, and the arms, which I have to make sure are large enough – nothing worse than heavy arms looking like sausages bursting out of their casings, yuk.

I’d love to make it in this jersey from Kerryn’s Fabric World – exactly the colours I keep coming back to this winter, browns, caffe latte, teal, and blue. Yum.

Instead the first iteration of this dress will be in a black jersey overprinted with a beige and coffee swirly, as modelled here by the faithful Dolly Bustenschneider. (That ‘u’ should have an umlaut, never mind.) The main shot was taken with flash, the detail shot without flash. I don’t know which is the more accurate. In some lights the beige print almost looks gold.

This fabric (like most others in my stash ) has “gunna be” a whole heap of different patterns – I originally bought it for the Wong-Singh-Jones Kimono Wrap Dress from Hot Patterns, but that will have to wait for another time.

I have recently decided that black is NOT a colour I should wear, since it makes every zit, wrinkle, and dark circle look a hundred times worse than any other colour. I’m hoping that this will ‘read” ok with all the beige, but even if it doesn’t – hey, I’m sewing it up anyway!

I need to take a leaf from Sue’s book and just get in and SEW THE BLOODY THING! I have so many books, back issues of Threads, and other advice running through my head that I’m almost afraid to cut ing out, cos I know I’ll do something wrong. *sigh* My recovery from being a rigid perfectionist goes better some days than others…

In any case, not much will happen in sewing today – first we get to watch the Red Bull Air Race (vrooooooooooooom!) then the V8 Supercars at Barbagello (Vrooom! Vrooooom!) and then tonight the F1 from Turkey (Veeeeeeeeeeeeeeroooooooooooom!) Not often we get a decent run of motorsport like that!

At least I’ll get the paper pattern cut out, that’s a start.

[Later Edited To Add: I did get the pattern cut out.  But once I started tissue fitting and reading the finished garment measurements printed on the tissue pieces, I decided that I needed to go buy the bigger pattern size after all – BUGGER!  Back to the drawing board, eh?)

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