Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'm still here!

Yes - I'm still here and I have been doing many things! Eating African food for the first time, going to burlesque shows, dessert nights, spending times with friends, starting a BRAND NEW JOB, visiting friends with new babies, planning Christmas and not taking photos of a SINGLE thing!

I am in terrible blogger mode, or possibly in "its the end of the year and I just want to rest can I sleep now?" mode.

But I just wanted to say hi and assure you that I'm alive and show you a dress I made last week.

I have to say that I bought this fabric like a million years ago (ok maybe four) at the time it was on sale at one of The Fabric Warehouse pop up shop sales. I'm not even sure I had sewn anything with knits at the time, I wasn't sure what I would do with it because it was sheer, but I loved the pattern and knew it MUST be mine (oh and it was only $3 a metre).
Recently I was tidying up my fabric stash a bit - I wanted to get rid of a lot of the "smaller" pieces I had that I knew I was never going to use for anything (I was meeting with some friends who were more that happy to take those pieces off my hands for things like dolls clothes and other small projects) and I found this fabric again. Seen as I am ALL about the knits right now, I decided I needed to make it into something immediately.
When I finished this dress Rich said it reminded him of Split Endz and he also said "isn't this the same as all the other dresses you made lately" - yes it IS the same as all the other dresses I made lately. It's another Moneta - but as you guys know, I tend to find a pattern I love and stick to it a while. Maybe I will go crazy and try one of the collar variations some time soon.
Have an awesome weekend all - I'm planning on sewing, having high tea and going to watch a friends choir sing at the zoo!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Space Dress part II and fabric-a-brac finds

I've been taking it easy this weekend as I'm starting a new job tomorrow (eek!) and I've had a busy few weeks.

However as you guys know, I find it almost impossible to sit still, so even though I had a fairly quiet weekend I did STILL do some sewing. This project is a refashion, well, it is sort of a refashion.

Some of you guys may remember a while back I made a dress from space fabric - I was just crazy for the fabric, but the dress ultimately didn't end up being as great as I thought it would be, I actually didn't like it at all.

 When I don't like a project, it usually gets sent straight to recycle boutique, because why keep something that makes you feel unhappy? Especially if there is someone else out there that is just perfect for the dress you're not crazy about. But for some reason I COULDN'T get rid of this damn space dress - I don't know why! I loved the fabric and I had actually spent a fair bit on it (which to be honest is pretty unusual). So instead of being sent to recycle boutique it just hung out in my mending pile for months.

Then enter my current phase - my obsession with knits, as you know I've gone nuts for the Moneta and have already made two versions, here and here.I decided that I could use my Moneta pattern to rejig my space dress to make it into something I would actually wear and MUCH to my surprise, it actually worked out! Behold Space dress version 2.0.
I chopped off the top part of the dress just below the original bust darts and kept that part of the dress for the skirt on this one, so its an A-line rather than a gathered skirt. I used the Moneta bodice, but due to the leftovers that I had from the original version of the dress the bodice has a seam running through the front and the back as I had to stitch together a few pieces to make it work - but I think it actually looks ok (I thought perhaps it would look super weird).
Overall I'm pretty stoked with this dress - Rich even said I should make more dressed like this! I think I will, the  fabric is what I think is called scuba? It really does remind me of a wet suit, or at least it did when I was sewing it, but its as comfortable to wear as any of my other wonderful knit dresses (knits forever!)
Just a new dress selfie - I bought the necklace a few weeks back at a market Rich, Ria and I went to and yes they are teeth. I find teeth equal parts gross and fascinating - so I was pretty stoked with this!

I also went to a fabric-a-brac at the Dowse Gallery - this was a special fabric-a-brac event that's part of a new exhibition they have at the gallery right now "The Age of Aquarius". I didn't go to the exhibition as I'm waiting to go with Ria when she comes back from Australia (so I'm sure you will see photos of that sometime - just not today). I did find some great stuff thought, including four Maudella patters!

There were also some fabric finds - the brown fabric is so lovely, but I only have a small amount, I'm hopefully it's going to be enough for a top. I love the green lurex (obviously) and the other fabric really speaks for itself! I am hoping I will be able to make something from this fabric to attend the exhibition - it just seems like the right thing to do!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend - wish me luck for my first day tomorrow!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 9 - The Sultans Palace, Water Palace and All the Shadow Puppets

I am ever so slowly making my way through ALL OF THE THINGS we did on holiday earlier this year - it was a pretty epic holiday, so it does take a while to blog about.

I think this day was one of my favourite days of the whole trip - so many interesting and exciting things to see and do!

We decided to begin by heading to the Sultans Palace - a piece of advice, if you are heading to the Sultans Palace you  will be approached by all kinds of people telling you they work at the palace and its shut and they can take you to another entrance and a batik studio and various other things - they are trying to scam you! Just keep heading straight for the palace.

The palace houses all kinds of amazing every day objects that belong to the Sultan and his family.

A chap who said he worked at the palace came along and asked if we would like to have our photo taken together and explained a few things to us, he then asked if we would be like to be taken to the Sultan's shadow puppet workshop.
I can admit it - I was 90% sure this was a scam and we were just being taken somewhere where people would pressure us to buy the puppets or something similar. However, it was 100% legitimate!

The people that create the puppets are paid by the Sultan to keep the craft alive and they  explained to use how they create the puppets by carving buffalo skins and then colouring them. We were able to see the craftspeople work and were even able to look at both the shadow puppets and other puppets and masks up close. It was an amazing experience.

After checking out the puppets we decided to head back to the Sultan's Palace for a final look around.

Our next stop of the day was to find the Water Castle and underground mosque - both of which are effectively in ruins now, but they would have been pretty impressive in their day.

This was our first view of the water castle, which is a large complex which includes a mosque amongst other things. The whole complex was badly damaged in a natural disaster (I can't remember if it was an earthquake or volcanic eruption). 

We decided to head to the underground mosque, which lead me to panic that I wouldn't be allowed to enter as I wasn't dressed appropriately for a mosque (I usually wear maxi dresses when I know I'm going to temples/mosques). It turns out though that there were no issues at all as any religious aspect to the mosque is long gone. We did however have trouble finding the entrance - but that was ok, as it gave us a chance to see some street art we may have missed out on otherwise.

We asked someone for directions and next minute it appeared we had a guide - which I guess is what happens in Indonesia when you only tell someone eight times you don't want a guide.

The mosque was amazing and originally was constructed with two levels so men and woman could worship in different places.

We followed up the mosque with the water castle itself with out "guide" still in tow (we eventually got rid of him and we didn't pay him for the tour we told him numerous times we did not want).

After all of this we decided it was time for a break and headed back to the hotel in anticipation of the shadow puppet show later that evening.

 It was fun to see the puppets in action, but some of the tourists attending were really inconsiderate! Standing up in the middle of the concert, talking loudly, getting close to the front of the stage to take photos! I've never seen people behave like that before, if you did that at a performance in New Zealand you would be asked to leave.

We stayed for the first hours of the two hour performance - it was fun, but the performance was two hours long and in Indonesian.

That was it - the  ninth day of our trip! One day I will learn how to relax on holiday.