Thursday, 30 April 2015

Befeathered Belcarra

There is nothing - to quote a friend - more boring and predictable than the apologetic blog post for an extended absence. So, like him, let's not have one of those. For one I doubt that my silence has weighed very heavily on your mind, and secondly, because I needed the break and quite enjoyed it.

Oh hello again!
But I now feel the need to write again, and seeing as I am now back in the big smoke that is Wellington (I got a new job, yay!) and living with my friend and fellow member of the Wellington Sewing Blogger's Network, Jenna, my wardrobe is starting to have its holes addressed.

There is, I admit, a third AND fourth factor to my return to sewing and blogging - a prompt from my friend Leimomi, aka The Dreamstress (and one of my historian heroines) with her wonderful linking 0 Degrees of Sewing challenge, and The Monthly Stitch's challenge for April - to 'put a bird on it'. What an easy solution that I could use the same fabric for both! And so I present to you, my 'Befeathered Belcarra'.

I picked up this vintage rayon at the Palmerston North fabricabrac (a fabric jumble sale, if you will). Leimomi had travelled up to see me and while we fossicked through the fabric, both ended up buying a length of cream rayon, with rusty orange and royal purple feathers upon it. We didn't scheme to do it, and both had a great laugh when we discovered our identical purchase - and this became the spark that started the 0 degrees challenge.

I don't deny, I struggled to find a pattern to link into the chain. I had completely lost my sewjo and I was out of practice. I didn't want anything too hard, and any pattern links I had wouldn't have suited my feathery fabric. So what's a girl to do? Procrastinate. And knit*. And take naps with the dog on the couch. And all of a sudden it was two weeks until my assigned blogging date and I couldn't bring myself to let anyone down. So I looked at our chain for broken links, and found one with FlossieFT, who is also making a Belcarra Blouse.

Bonafide lens flare - none of this instagrammy stuff
I admit - I cheated, because I bought the pattern. It wasn't in my stash. But don't shoot me - I need blouses. So ACTUALLY I only half cheated, as I've already got another Belcarra cut and ready to sew.

The sewing was actually quite easy - I even enjoyed the pin tucks, but I needed some help with fitting from Mama Gypsy, after finding that I cut my fabric 2 sizes too big. The neckline gave the some cause for concern - it's bit wide, and the raglan sleeves mean that it can't really support itself. I forgot to stay stitch it, so in atonement I had to run a gathering stitch all around my neckline, and pull it all in just a bit, to save my top from the dreaded gape. There are a few tucks along the neckline where the gathering stitch and my binding didn't make friends, but nothing so bad as to unpick and sew again.

Silly disasters beset this Belcarra. I spent ages at Spotlight trying to find some fabric to make coordinating bias binding with, found the perfectly shaded orange remnant - $2! - took it 'home' (aka our house in Palmerston North where my beloved is living until he finds somewhere that he'd like to work at in Wellington), washed it and then promptly left it in Palmerston North when I returned to Wellington. So I had to suck it up and make some self binding, which I was convinced was going to look awful, but instead looks just fine - so that $2 could have instead gone towards wine.... sigh....

Sneakers. Ruining my outfit.
And, on our photoshoot day, I had shoe issues. I tell you, I was really pleased with my outfit. Monochrome skirt, Belcarra blouse, and to tie in with the colours on the fabric, my purple cardigan, orange glass earrings, and red heels. But while climbing the stairs at one of the Museums that I now work at**, I stepped wrong, got my heel caught on the step, and yanked the heel tip right off. A cobbler could have fixed it, but time was thin - I had to go and meet Leimomi and have photos taken in my sneakers. Not the look I was after, but it's good I had them with me!

The photoshoot was such fun, and I had great envy of Leimomi's Dorothy Lara dress - it looks just as stunning in real life as it does in the photos, and we had a lovely idling conversation about everything from bias binding to genealogy. It's good to be in Wellington with my friends who sew, even if my life is chaotic at the moment. At some stage we'll settle a bit more, but in the meantime - I'm back!

* I can knit now! It's slow, but I can knit!

** I KNOW. I work in Museums now. Not just one, but with four. And one of them was a favourite childhood haunt of mine... My inner geek can't stop pinching themselves!