Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where'd November go?

It CAN'T be a whole month since I last blogged anything! Apparently it is. November is a pretty busy month around here anyway with two birthdays and a week of sole parenting while David was away with Georgia on her year six camp. I'm not sure who had more fun! Next time I want to go.

Just to really ramp up the busy factor I got a phone call from the secretary at Georgia and Oliver's school a couple of weeks ago, and after reassuring me that nobody was sick and in need of collection, she asked if there was any chance I could sew up a tutu for her daughter's end of year ballet performance. Apparently the costumes were supposed to be made at a sewing bee by a group of ballet Mums but this had fallen through and with two weeks to go before the performance she'd been handed a cut out tutu and told that sorry she'd have to organize it herself (!) After some fruitless phoning around anyone who looked promising in the phone book, she asked in the staffroom if any of the teachers knew anyone who could help. Which naturally led straight to me! (The secretary is actually very good friends with a friend of mine, who would also have sent her straight to me. I was destined to make this tutu.) Anyway, long story short, I made up the (very simple) tutu, and the skirt she had dumped on her with a week to go, and all was well. The phrase "saving my bacon" was uttered more than once and I got a very happy text after the performance to say that M's dresses were clearly the best on stage. (Which is really important to a teenager, and much appreciated by her Mum!)

Then the call from a friend of my sister last week to ask if I could alter a dress for her to wear this Friday. No probs - finished that today.

Oh yeah, and I'm working feverishly on the pages for the twins' activity books. Still assuming there'll be some late nights in the week before Christmas. Still loving doing them, so late nights won't be too dreadful.

Which leads me to my next big project for me. Here's what the first toile looks like on me.

Every year I cringe a bit at my 14 year old advent calendar and vow to make a new one. One day I'll get around to it. Probably for my grandkids.

The top is the corset from the Alabama Stitch Book. As soon as I saw Natalie Chanin's work I fell head over heels in love with it all - not only is everything just stunningly beautiful, but made by hand and embellished in a style into which I have dipped a toe and love doing, and want to pursue. Her books are on my list of coveted items. And there it was - on the shelf in the Dunedin Public Library. I actually said "SWEET!" out loud (in my library voice of course) as I snatched it from the shelf. We have a very good library here.

I want to make it as it is in the book - stencilled, reverse appliqued and all sewn by hand. So it aint gonna happen this summer! I have some maternity T shirts which would be perfect to refashion, but obviously at least one toile was needed to check the fit before proceeding. The measurement chart and comments led me to think that in a good stretchy fabric a small would probably be right for me.

Enter a cast off T shirt from my brother in law. Perfect for a trial run.

Only just big enough for my corset, thanks to inset panels in it's sides!

And it's great. Bring on summer 2011......


  1. Oh, I'm going to live summer vicariously through you. It's getting cold up here in Boston. I love the first toile on you!

  2. You sure aren't shy about taking on the challenging projects. I'm intrigued!

  3. What a lovely save for the secretary and her teenager! It's a great moment when you feel special for the right reasons on stage.

  4. Welcome back to blogland!
    Nice fit!

  5. Magnifique technique ! Bravo!!!!