So this month has flown by…

So many things have happened

I turned 26 (gez I know adding on the years)
Completed multiple trips up to Auckland
Packed up my childhood room for my last few nights in the house that has been filled with so much joy, laughter, sadness and growth (probably one of the hardest things is saying goodbye to the place in which I grew up, the place my mother passed away in, the place I felt safe)
Dropped 4 points on my skinfolds (hey this is a huge achievement, I’m getting toned baby)
Started winter rowing training… um er yes there have been some tears and near vomiting moments on the erg
Undertook the fun challenge of making my friends wedding dress (sleepless nights, there have been a few)
Started homegroup!
Went to an awesome Christchurch craft fair… and about to go to a “British” themed one this weekend
Become a coffee addict
Lived through my first Christchurch snow (there was a lot of joy, jumping up and down and comments such as”I am cold, but this is soooooooo coooooooool”)
Oh and bought a house, yes you read right, with a little help from my dad, as of 6:20pm last night I am a home owner baby (provided the builders report comes up good, contributing to the MIA blogging)

So as I run around like a crazy woman trying to sew a wedding dress, organise transporting my belongings from one end of the country to the other (between two islands hmm fun fun) and organising all the legal fun stuff that comes with buying a house, I thought it was time I posted a wee hi, I am looking forward to June and the preparation for the big move (and out of the dysfunctional flat)


That green dress with a fever

This year I have fallen ill with tonsillitis twice, the second time I took some time off to rest and relax, working from home and sleeping a lot. My mind could only handle so much structural engineering jargon, so I decided to make a dress, a dress to wear to a wedding at the end of the week, I don’t tend to do things in halves.

So generally when I make a garment the process is

– Purchase fabric (and pre wash), pattern and notions
– Trace the pattern
– Make a muslin (this can be a calico bodice plus a wearable muslin for dresses)
– Take time and care and sew garment making any required adjustments

Well, the pattern was sitting in the “find amazing fabric to go with me pile”.

Side note – the pattern is the Elisalex Dress by By Hand London, and is a very simple pattern to whip up in an afternoon, I am very much looking forward to making a short sleeved version with a heavier fabric and maybe some embroidery on the skirt. I am very excited to see what else these girls come up with, their patterns a super easy to understand and are extremely fashionable and versatile (the best kind of pattern).

The fabric (a soft cotton) was purchased at the last Global Fabrics VIP sale, on the recommendation by a dear friend and fellow sewer (it was out of my comfort zone, but that is the beauty of making your own clothes, and a challenge I am taking up more often).

I however forgot to purchase the notions and jumped straight tracing the pattern. My large roll of paper is sitting up in Auckland, so I used the next best thing I could find in my room, baking paper – not my wisest choice, but I made it work, then went into making a calico muslin for the bodice, and the size 2 fitted like a glove.
Due to time I didn’t embark on a wearable muslin (it did cross my mind substantially throughout the sewing process).
So I began to sew the dress, and then realised I needed lining, due to my lack of knowledge of good fabric stores in Christchurch, other than quilting, I resorted to popping down the road to lincraft and brought some pretty cheap fabric (big mistake) and didn’t like the right side, so actually used the wrong side for the lining.

After putting the dress together I realised it needed a zip – a very large one – back to lincraft, and ended up being cornered into buying a chunky black zip due to the lack of range for the required length (this actually wasn’t a bad thing, and really has made the dress, shock horror).
Zip in, time to hem – ahem, it needed quite a bit taken off, being a curved hem, ironing it up didn’t work (yeh I know I tried it, it was really late at night and I did have a fever), out came the overlocker, what a beaut.

– this was totally by accident but actually worked out wonderfully, I took and extra 0.5mm off the armholes.

So the downsides to making a dress while sick
– it really needed a lining on the skirt portion (didn’t notice till a wee bit too late), its a tad see through and I resorted to wearing a pedicoat underneath to the wedding.
– it is still a tad long, I would like to take it up a few inches to finish at the bottom of the zip.
– the whole back is a zip, it looks awesome as (girls love it, boys ask me why the heck it’s like that), but I did wear a thin black belt just in case someone got an idea to pull it down (this broke up the pattern on the fabric nicely).
– I didn’t conceal the zip in the lining and also didn’t fold the top portion over at the top of the dress, so there is an inch gap at the top of the dress (and a eye and hook would have just looked weird).

– AND….. to top it off the lining split during the night!

– BUT….. I got a ton of compliments on the night, so it mustn’t have looked that bad.

So the plan… to unpick the dress, yep all of it (well at least remove the zip, skirt – bodice and lining), re-line the dress, bodice and skirt and by doing so fully enclose the zip in the lining and tidy up the zip placement on the back and finally hem it a little shorter.

This will have to wait a while as I am in the process of making a friends wedding dress (and yes I will take more care with that) and also a dress for a friends birthday present, not to mention some more practical winter clothing.


Made By Me May – Pledge

Ok so the whole blog thing these past few weeks has been a bit neglected (rowing and all taking over my life), what can you do, its life, and it keeps chugging along quite nicely.

So it’s Made by Me May time!!

Last year I watched the sewing blogging world embark on a magical endeavour called Made By Me May, and now that I have a blog, and a growing wardrobe full of hand sewn garments, what the hell, I am going to take part. Now the only hurdle is its getting into winter, and my very summer hand made wardrobe or “Auckland winter” wardrobe is not so suited to Canterbury weather, so I am going to use this month as a little challenge to start sewing those damn clothes I have had planned for many many moons (some since mid last year), and also learn to adapt my current wardrobe to winter weather (apologies for my flippent language in this past paragraph, some times it is just called for).


 ‘I, Audsley, of plumpudding sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear me-made clothing twice a week for the duration of the month of May’

Why twice a week, well as much as I would love to wear home made clothing all week, its just not practical in my current situation, next year is another story tho.

We are nearly a week into May, and yes I have already rocked some home made this week, photos hopefully will come over the month.

Also a little update on that dress I made when I had tonsillitis, well it turned out not too bad (not quite up to my perfectionist nature), however the lining managed to split when I wore it to a dear friends wedding, so I have been humming and harring about sharing it with you… next post I will have some photos of it (in its current state) and also the plans for this very green and out of my comfort zone dress (yes it is going to get a bit of a make over, with a lot of unpicking ahead I fear).