Sunday, November 14, 2010

A love for all seasons

For the last couple of weeks our house has been abuzz with excitement and preparations for the wedding of our lovely friends Alex and James. First, new frocks had to be made. Mine, a navy strapless number with ruffles all over the skirt, Pearl's a gorgeous blue inspired by the hessian dress in the filmclip for Megan Washington's song, Halloween.
She also had a matching bolero made with one of the many many fabrics that recently arrived in our Alewives order. Olive's dress also had Alewives input, and was inspired by her 2 favourite books, The Owl and the Pussycat and Little Seed. This little dress actually made its debut last week at the Arias, but, being the current fave, was of course first pick for wedding dress-ups as well. But the thing that really kept me up late at night (no seriously, baby-related sleep deprivation has nothin' on this one) was the pair of pillowcases I decided to embroider as a wedding gift. As always, I wanted to give something handmade. But I also wanted to make something useful, and something that wouldn't take up too much (or any) space in their house. My lovely friend Louisa has a set of 4 quite stunning embroideries that her grandmother made for her when she was a child, which I've always rather coveted. They are trees. One for each season of the year. So it was decided that I would create a pair of pillowcases with seasonal tree embroidery down the edges, so that when the pillows are next to each other on the bed, the trees will all be together. Like so.

Now, I am not experienced in embroidery. I've basically never done it because it always seemed like it'd take too long. Boy was I right on that front. But, it was a labour of love, and I was actually quite surprised by how well things were going after I finished the first tree, Spring, so I persevered. If I do say so myself, I reckon they're tops. We wanted to keep them, actually. Olive was particularly taken with Spring. Nothing like a billion little french-knot blossoms to impress really.

I was also really kind of excited about how the trees looked from the back. I saw once, a long time ago, I do not know where, an exhibition of embroideries where real-size photos of the backs were exhibited next to the framed fabric. So I actually spent a lot of time looking at the backs of my trees as well as the fronts. It's like the patterns on the back have a mind of their own, as they're being created almost without consciousness from the embroiderer. Cool. This is the back of Summer.

The wedding was spectacular, beautiful, love-filled, and delicious, just as we had anticipated. We know that Alex and James do indeed grow a love for all seasons, so it was wonderful to celebrate it. Yay!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

thunderstorms, rainbows and denim, denim, denim...

So it seems that there's a bit of a denim thing happening at the moment. In the space of a week, I've had quite a few requests come through for denim-y skirts and alas, I have none! A few months ago I did get around 3 metres of lovely dark blue denim (which I made Megan's skirt and a few others from) from an op-shop, but other than that I hardly ever find it. Which is unfortunate for a few reasons, not least of all it is SO FUN to work with, and it seems that at the moment people are just busting for denim A-lines. What to do? Well, I'm not one to deny people their sartorial urges so I've decided to just go out and buy some. New. Shock horror.

I generally try to avoid buying fabric new mostly because I think it's far more interesting to work with second-hand stuff. Weird shapes and sizes force creativity, generate excellent colour combinations and are just more exciting than your average, bought-off-the-roll fabrics from Spotlight. Of course, it's also better for the planet to re-use, duh, and using second-hand fabrics gives me an infallible excuse to satisfy my op-shopping addiction which is both genetically propelled and remarkably insatiable.

So the bought-new denim is somewhat of a challenge for me, but hey, the skirts are fun and who am I to say what people can and can't have? So I made this cutey-cute little number today, based on the Megan, for a custom order that came through Georgie Love.

Yes, the custom skirts are really that flexible! You CAN have the skirt of your dreams! And yes, that is wheat featured there on the button panel. Wheat! You don't get that at Spotlight, let me tell you...
Also whipped up this vintage plisse rainbow stripe wrap skirt for another GL custom order. I LOVE this fabric, and have been hanging onto it for quite some time. When the order came through last night with the following directive - "bright colours, pink, green, yellow, blue" - I knew its time had come. Add an extraordinarily bright (we're talking borderline flouro) 70s floral waist band and tie, some yellow bias binding and I'm pretty sure it's fulfilling the criteria.