Friday, December 31, 2010

Sofie's VCE Studio Arts

2010 has been a quiet year for me sewing wise but it was a big year for Sofie. A few posts back I talked about Sofie's year 12 VCE Studio Arts pieces. As part of her assessment she was required to produce two art pieces that were related. She also had to produce two folios discussing the preparation of samples and the actual completion of the art pieces. She chose to represent Odette and Odile of Swan Lake. She used similar materials and techniques - tulle, feathers, glitter, quilting, embroidery etc.
I was reluctant to post much about it as she was working on them as they were externally assessed and become part of her VCE score. I didn't want to do anything to effect that in any way.

So now that results are out;
.She won first place with Odette at her schools Creative Arts Week.
.Won peoples choice at Creative Arts Week
.Won the school's VCE prize on the Night of Excellence for Studio Art
.And received a 43 study score on her external assessment. This is out of 50. Anything over 40 is considered very good.

Needless to say we are all very proud of Sofie. I have uploaded quite a few photos on Flickr(please click over and have a look to see close up) and have a few here to show.

Excuse me if my spelling or grammar is off - it has just turned midnight here - Happy New Year - and many champagnes have been had..hic!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vote for Ellen

Ellen, my eldest daughter, is a film student. She has just finished her second year at Swinburne Uni. Being a big David Lynch fan, when she found out he was running a competition for a music video, she jumped at the chance to make an entry. The highest voted videos become finalists. If you would like to sit back and relax with some very chilled out music (and video to match) hop over to Ellen's blog . Please vote so that she can become rich and famous and I can then stay at home and whip up some Oscar gowns :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sofie's formal dress

Sofie asked me to make her year 11 school Formal dress. She wanted something unique and as she said something "made with love". How could I refuse?
We chose Burda 12-2006-113. Fabrics were purchased from Cleggs in Lygon Street, Brunswick - a shop that specialises in evening fabrics. The lady who served us was so helpful. She helped us decide upon a sequin fabric for the bodice, poly satin for the trim and skirt and a soft pink silk Georgette for the over skirt.

After shopping for the fabric, Sof and I make a trip to Bridge Road to the perfect shoes - nude, shiny and very high!
Sofie trimmed an old bag of mine (from 1982) with a scrap of fabric and some trim
The zip was handpicked. I wish I could say the dress was a dream to sew, but my recent lack of sewing made it quite an adventure. Burda has it as a 2 dot pattern, but with our choice of fabrics it made it more a 5 star. I started on the Sunday for a Thursday night deadline. By Tuesday I was tearing out my hair and wondering why on earth I was putting myself through the torture. In fact I was telling myself that I was never going to sew again! However, after a few fitting tweaks, some hand sewing and few more hours of work, we were ready to celebrate with Champagne! And it was finished a day early!
And a couple of more photos to finish off. Sofie and her friend and a family shot.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Q&A and Sofie's project

Thanks everyone for all the nice comments and the compliments on the new hair “do”. My usual hairdresser wasn’t working on the night of my last appointment and I had someone new. I was a bit scared as his hands were shaking but I shut my eyes and hoped for the best. Luckily it turned out pretty good!

From the last few posts there were a few questions to answer:

Birgitte asked: Is Sofie sewing a triple layer in the last pix, and if so, would it be easier with a walking foot? It caught my attention cause I'm using mine right now. Yes she is, and thanks for mentioning the walking foot – I hadn’t given it a thought. And obviously her teacher hadn’t either!

Karen (kbenco) asked: Where did you get the print? Mmm, not sure but I think it was good old Spotlight. It was a while ago.

Carol commented: This pattern is so versatile. Have you seen the Stitches magazine article that shows you how to draft a cowl collar and add a pleat front to this pattern? I use it all the time. No, I haven’t seen it (or just don’t remember seeing it). Do you have the issue handy – so I can see if I have that copy?

Isabelle suggested: It's probably time Sofie asked for a sewing machine of her own - as an early birthday present perhaps? :) I don’t think that would work. I have an older machine but she wants the better one. Everything belongs to Sofie! Lucky I love her and she brings me coffee in bed in the morning.

And a lot of you want to see more of what Sofie is sewing too. She will be making two dresses/tutus. One in white and one in black. These need to be artworks and not something you would wear. She must manipulate the fabric and incorporate different textures, embellishments etc. Before she starts on the art pieces she has to fill a portfolio on different techniques – including unsuccessful ones and annotate them.

She has lots of ideas but no firm decisions have been made. There will be – feathers, tulle, satin, quilting, sparkles. Already the sewing area is covered with “stuff”. She seems to be enjoying the subject but it does also include studying other artists’ work – which involves articulating what you are actually seeing.

This is a page from her portfolio showing the initial design thoughts.

This page shows some samples for the black dress.

Sorry about the photo being sideways - Uploaded 3 times (even as a small image) but blogger insists it be sideways!

Here is a close up view of one of her samples. She has screen printed onto silk, quilted and stitched around the design. Excuse me if I don't get the terms correct..

She has to continue to try new techniques until her book is full of samples.
In the future, I am not sure how much I will be able to show of her work as she is being examined on it. I will check with her teacher in case there are any "rules" about what I can show.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

SMOT no 3

I managed to get one more top in for the challenge. Cut out in April but sewn up in May - that counts doesn't it?

I used good old Kwik Sew 3338 - basic T top. I made some changes to look like that very popular Jalie tie neck top.

I lowered the front neckline slightly and added a length of brown mesh to the neckline. I also added the mesh to the sleeves to balance the look. The body of the top is a very soft viscose lycra. It was almost entirely made on the overlocker....and here is why...

Sofie has taken over the sewing area and MY machine. She is studying studio arts - textiles (VCE). At the moment she is filling a portfolio of samples. She needs to make two major works and she has decided on Odette and Odile of Swan Lake. She is up to her neck in feathers, glitter, satin and tulle.

Friday, April 30, 2010

SMOT no 2

Thanks everyone for the welcome back! As you know I have been here but just watching from the sidelines. Thanks for all your posts over the past year - I have enjoyed them all and learnt a lot. And have got a lot of inspiration too!

For my second top I used Vogue 7799. I have made up view A previously but this time decided to make view B. It went together very easily. This time I did not stabilise anything., and it stretches to fit beautifully. I would normally stabilise the shoulder seams but these were so narrow I didn't think they would stretch much if at all.

This top has a front seam that really doesn't need to be there. Your could cut it on the fold. I went for the seam and am glad I did. I think it adds to the design - makes it a bit more interesting.

My fabric is a very soft viscose lycra and feels so soft. Which is nice, but doesn't give me the best look with low rise jeans. Shows bumps that I didn't know I had...hmmm. Perfect for work skirts however.

I can't remember where I bought the fabric but I noticed when cutting out that it was faded on one side. To make the pattern fit, I needed to put a seam in the sleeves. I think they look pretty good - matches the seam down the middle. And the best thing of all is that the colour matches perfectly withmy new teal shoes (flats and heels) and teal belt. Perfect.

The suit is RTW.

Sorry the photos aren't great. Our old camera went to Europe with Ellen and never came back the same. These photos were taken with the new camera but I think we need more practice. Also my duct tape dress form went to heaven and I am hoping I can get a real one on sale for mothers day.

I am hoping to finish top no 3 tomorrow.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


It has been a long time between drinks! But hopefully I am back into the sewing mode now.

I signed up for Faye's Spring Month of Tops - which is a bit silly as it is Autumn here. But I have managed to make two tops so far and have another one cut out. All knits, so nothing of great excitement...but I am sewing :))

As the sew-a-long is for the month of April, and I did not start until last week, I decided to try and make a dent in my knit stash. And being short of time I thought I would make up some big 4 patterns. The first is an almost vintage McCall's 2418 (from 1999 I think).

A nice easy 1 hour top..Ha! It took me a lot longer. The pattern has a turnover for the neck facing. This doesn't work - it pulls and puckers. So I just stitched it down about 1 cm from the edge and trimmed it close to the stitching. I also used Burda's method of stabilising the armhole edges with tape. Which was not such a good idea - the armholes are a bit tight and of course now have no stretch. So, in the end it is OK, but I won't be making it again.

It goes well with my suit I bought in Hong Kong and also with another skirt I have cut out but yet to make up.