Monthly Archives: June 2011

In the (Aubergine) Trenches

Have you ever had a sewing project which started out as an enjoyable exercise, but rapidly progressed into serious obsession? Exhibit A: my aubergine trench coat.

I needed a lightweight, hip-length jacket for my autumn jaunt to Melbourne, and this “Project Runway” mix-and-match-your-pieces/decorative details pattern seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Whilst this was my very first fully lined garment, I blithely imagined that the assembly would be a proverbial piece-of-cake. And actually, the stitching and assembly portion wasn’t all that bad—it’s just that I failed to calculate that adding a full lining meant TWICE as much stitching/joining/seaming/finishing!

At least I had the wisdom to construct a basic muslin of the bodice, which helped immensely with tailoring the length and fit of the garment. In hindsight, however, I did NOT need to make a muslin of the lining pieces as well! My outer fabric is a lightweight aubergine/plum denim with a hint of spandex, and the lining fabric is a stretchy charmeuse satin. Both were extreme bargains from Sp***L***t, less than $5.00 per meter, since this was my maiden voyage into Lined Garment Land.  If/when I make this again, I will use something with a bit more body and interesting texture. Perhaps in magenta? scarlet? aquamarine?

In the end, this jacket wasn’t finished when I boarded the plane to Melbourne. But it WAS finished when we landed! The lady sitting beside me never said a word, but I wonder what she thought about all the pinning, basting, seam ripping, and button attaching that was going on in my lap.

My favourite bit is the lining, which makes me smile every time that I see it. I also used a contrasting red thread for the topstitching, and might switch the quickie/cheapo lavendar buttons out for some crimson specimens. And better buckles—does anyone have a great resource for retr0-looking buckles? The wrist straps and belt both need to be significantly shortened, so might as well change these too.

Lastly, here’s an action shot from Mount Buffalo with requisite waterfall background:


Reporting in from NZ

Hello from the (shaky) Land of the Long White Cloud

I have had a crazy few weeks but today I am finally feeling settled. You can read about our last few weeks in Perth and our arrival here in Wellington on my blog. But today I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been up to the last two weeks…like digging out the necessities 😉

We got the keys to our house the week before our container was due but I managed to get some pseudo sewing done before my machines arrived:

OK, OK, I know, it’s a very poor substitute for sewing (still better than scrapbooking, no?) but it kept my itchy fingers busy for a day and now we have privacy…then the exciting stuff happened:

On Tuesday last week men showed up with our container and started filling our rental with boxes. Everything went smoothly until they tried to leave. The truck got stuck on the slope of our driveway and after several failed attempts to leave a pretty-in-pink tuck tow-truck had to be called.

Real "Men" drive pink trucks (?)

I’d like to tell you that the first box I ripped into contained my sewing machine but that wouldn’t be true since with an empty fridge and dinner fast approaching the kitchen had to get sorted first.

I did go looking for my machines that evening and found this one peaking out of a box:


Here is what my “new” sewing room looked like five days ago. What a mess! half these boxes aren’t mine, the heaviest boxes, of course, ended up in Husband’s room down the hall so I spent the first two days peaking into boxes before sighing and then dragging them down the hall 🙂

This room is a bit smaller than my previous room so I’ll have no dedicated layout space, excluding the floor, so I piled everything into the hallway and got to work.

Hammer, screw drivers and allen keys later this is what I have, yay, I can (almost) actually sew and I even managed to find the two UFOs that are next on my list.

So things are going well. I’ll get to some real sewing soon, in between working on my CV and portolio, then it’s out to find a job (somethings got to fund my fabric addiction ;))

Wish me luck!
The Wandering Kiwi