Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

After getting back from town yesterday, I did the usual washing and housework.  I remembered that I had a spraycan of black paint to do the bamboo blinds, so started doing those, only to find I didn’t have enough.  Oh well.

I tried on the new green dress, which will be ok for the conference dinner, and decided not to take the hem up.  Not worth the effort for a small amount.

I forgot to mention that on Friday an electrician replaced a rusty old cable cover for a cable leading from the house to the garage.  It looks 200% better now.  Paid some bills online and put my Aussie money with my passport.  Tested my tablet to see how typing on it is, and subsequently cut back my fingernails!

I can’t actually remember what else I did.  I’m sure there was something.  I watched two episodes of “Mad Men”, there being nothing on TV as usual.  I didn’t do any exercise other than some weights, push-ups and crunches because I went and hit my little toe on the coffee table, and it hurt a lot!  It’s quite bruised.  I was limping round for the rest of the day.

This morning I decided to go through the clothing I’m taking to Sydney and loosely packed it in my small suitcase.  I tried working out outfits and discovered that: 1. the black top I recently bought is a tad too long to wear with a skirt so needs taking up; and 2. I don’t have any jewellery to go with the new green dress.  Most of my jewellery is for belly dancing and is too big and blingy.   So, emergency trip to town to look for jewellery.  I found a black necklace and earrings which should go ok.  Decided to buy some more black paint for the blinds while I was in town.

In the afternoon I put the hem of the top up, and pulled the sewing machine out to sew it.  The machine behaved itself for once.  Then, once more, I tried working out what my outfits were going to be for each day and realised I had completely forgotten about two blue dresses and a longer lacy skirt.  Turns out I won’t need the extra skirt and I won’t take the long-sleeved dress (which is very heavy).  I have more outfits than I need now.  I needn’t have panicked, although it was good to get two extra dresses for the evenings.  I might keep an eye out for some nice (non-bellydancing) jewellery in future.

I considered giving the bamboo blinds another going over, but there’s a bit of a wind and I don’t want black paint all over the place.

I haven’t updated on my exercise/diet regime.  I’ve lost 3 kg over 3 weeks, which I suppose is good – certainly better than nothing, although I’d hoped, with the daily exercise and cutting back on carbs, that I would have lost more.  Slow and steady is better I suppose.  I’ll keep going, I think, until I lose at least 5 kg.  Wouild love to lose lower tummy fat.  I never used to have fat in that region, but it’s a difficult area to target.  At least it’s easier, in the hot weather, to have salads every day, and lots of water.

Feeling a little lonely again.  The weekends can get that way.  Never mind.  Off to my favourite city next Sunday.  But then, when I get back from Sydney I won’t have anyone to share things with.  Oh well, c’est la vie.  I just wish I didn’t have to put Jasmine in the cattery.  She’s not going to like it.  Poor girl.   Should be the last time for a while though.



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Started off well.  I pruned back plants against the house to make easier access for house painter.

Then took hem up of a top I bought (too long to wear with a skirt) and one of the pair of black pants.  The other pair is still soaking in white vinegar to try and get rid of the smell.  I shouldn’t have bought them but I couldn’t be bothered looking round for another pair.  Serve me right.

Converted some more tapes to mp3.

Finished a library book which is due back tomorrow.

Feeling tired and lethargic.  Slightly headachey.  Might go outside now the heat’s off (summer at last), to dig up a few weeds.

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I did not think this dress would take so long to sew!  I thought by the end of a four-day weekend that I would have finished all but the hem.  How wrong was I!  I’ve joined the bodice and skirt and am now working on the sleeves.  The long dangly bits were proving a right pain to sew!  It took about 2 hours to pin together the contrasting velvet to look even!  Velvet has a mind of its own!  So frustrating!  I’m not fond of sewing so this is one big project for me and I do a lot of little other things in between in procrastination when I come to a fiddly bit.  I even went out and mowed the lawn after dealing with those pesky sleeves all morning.  I haven’t finished my Spanish homework yet either.  When I look back on the weekend I seem to have achieved very little.  Once I’ve finished the dress I’ve got daughter’s skirt to sew and a top to alter.  OMG.  It’s just as well I”m taking the week off after this short week.  I’ll need it.

Apart from mowing the lawn and planting some flowers in pots I haven’t managed to tidy up the garden at all.  For once it’s been sunny and hot outside so it did beckon me outside, but only to sit outside and read a book.  “The Hobbit” finished with and it’s back to the ghastly sewing.  I tell you what, that velvet dress is going to be very heavy to wear.  I only hope it’s not a scorcher on the day of the feast, but at least it’s evening.  (I well remember being dressed in medieval garb at the Medieval festivals at Mana a few years ago – not comfortable on a hot summer’s day, I can tell you!)

The pattern calls for some decorative trim around the neckline, waist and sleeves.  Spotlight is absolutely hopeless.  They only have ric-fac, ribbon and sequins (I’m sure I’ve moaned about this before).  Luckily TradeMe came to the rescue and I’ve bought some lovely Indian braid (which you used to be able to buy in shops, but no longer, it seems).  When looking for contrasting material for the dress I was looking for some sort of brocade in preference to velvet, but there was nothing.  It was either a satin type of material or plain cottony stuff.  Nothing suitable at all – hence the velvet to go with the velvet.  Might have to do some arm exercises to boost the muscles enough to hold my arms up with that weight!

Getting rather nervous about the feast.  Never organised such a thing before so want to get it right.  Need to hire a few extra trestle tables, need something for table cloths, need candle stands and candles, need ingredients for food I’m making.  Need music sorted.  Need to work out what belly dances there’ll be.  Thank god I have a week off beforehand.  Will also need to tidy the garden and get the hot water cylinder leak sorted before brother comes and comments on both again.  Ho hum.  A week probably isn’t enough!

Well, I’ve had a long enough break from sewing – back to it.  I want to have the bulk of it finished by tonight… and there’s still the Spanish homework to do…

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I’m not much of a sewer (ugh – no umm a person who sews).  It’s just as well I took a day off – I didn’t think it would take me most of the day to complete a skirt hem!

I headed off in the morning to look for necklaces without luck.  A vaguely belly-dance-ish one was about $23 which was more than I was prepared to a pay for something that was average.  I did other stuff in town and returned home about 11am.

The circle skirt had an uneven hem.  I thought I’d straightened it out beforehand but it was a mess.  My attempts to rectify it made things worse.  Now the hem is crooked with it being short on one side.  I asked my daughter if it was noticeable and she didn’t think so.  Nevertheless, pinning it was one thing and sewing it another.  Remind me never to sew chiffon again.  It was a nightmare and the result looks pretty ghastly.  I might ask daughter’s opinion again (when she’s home) and wonder if I should sew some ribbon around the hem to hide the ugliness?

Anyway, since the skirt was shortish, it was now too short for the blue underskirt.  Blast!  I headed back into town at 3.15pm for a rescue mission to Spotlight to buy some purple satin for an underskirt.  Back home again and a quick cutting, sewing and hemming.  I should have bought non-roll elastic – the waistline took forever.  Finally at 8.45 pm I finished the underskirt.  Aside from the horrid hem on the chiffon skirt, I’m done!  I feel exhausted.  At least the sewing machine behaved itself!

On the bright side, I tried out a new choreography pattern for my brief solo in the group dance and am happier with the result.  I just have to practise it a few more times so I don’t forget!

I hope my sewing attempts for a medieval gown go much easier!  (I’ll have a pattern for a start!)

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I finally have a proper complete belly dancing costume!  I bought one late last year but it needed fiddly alterations – the bra straps were too long and there were no fasteners on the bra or belt.  Sounds simple, n’est-ce pas?  Not for someone who’s crap at sewing.

Last weekend I made the underskirt for the see-through skirt part of the costume.  Earlier, during the Xmas/New Year holidays I unpicked the bra straps, shortened them and marked where they needed to be sewn back.

This weekend I sewed the bra straps back and worked on fastening the back of the bra.  I had to remove some sequins and beads at the back in order for the straps to overlap properly.  Hooks and eyes are a real pain! Well that took most of yesterday.

Today I finished up sewing on the eyes or hooks or whatever and tried it on.  It seemed ok although I had to strengthen the sewing a bit after a try-on.

Next, the belt.  It came in two pieces so I first had to join one side and attach fastenings to the other side.  Note to any beginners like me out there.  Don’t alter a belt after trying it over a pair of jeans!  I actually put the skirts on first this morning to figure out where to put the fasteners and discovered the joined bit needed to be tighter.  Sigh.  I never ever seem to do any sewing without having to unpick and re-do.  Next the bigger hooks and eyes normally used for trousers.  I did these after adding a bit of material for the eyes to go on and tried it on.  It was too loose by about a half centimetre.  Unpicked the eyes once again and re-placed them.  Finally!  It fitted properly!  OMG.

I will try it out on Tuesday night and see if it withstands some dancing.   Below is the lower half of the costume.

Now I’m all set for next weekend for the performance.  I just have to practice the moves a bit more.

I also have Spanish starting again this week.  I haven’t done any revision.  I’m actually regretting having agreed to continue because I can’t really afford the $340 it’s going to cost this year (compared with $160 last year).  But I can’t pull out because the costing is based on the number attending and the minimum is 8 (including me).  If I drop out I jeopardize everyone’s chances of doing Spanish and the cost goes up.  Damn.

I feel hot (it’s humid today) and exhausted and the weekend is now basically over.

Back to work on Monday to a new regime.  The boss has retired and the other senior member of staff will take over – her work ethic is a lot stricter – she expects everyone to work as hard as she does (no breaks except those allowed) which also means no browsing the internet or answering personal email or going for a stroll to take a break from the computer. If so, you make up the time.  Fair enough but those times I am “browsing” or answering email usually take up less than a minute each time and it provides a welcome break from tedium.  There are two opposing viewpoints here and I’m of the belief that a bit of “mucking about” as some might call it actually makes you more productive.  Besides, part of my browsing is work-related (if not directly) and I read about the latest developments or technology.  But obviously some take it too far and one particular part-timer has made it obvious that she spends far too much time on Facebook and email (and has been complained about).  Damn her!  Hmm, I might have to upload some music onto an mp3 player and listen to it at work.  Surely that will be allowed as I don’t have a customer desk to attend.  We’ll see, I guess.  Some people also seem to the think that you can’t work and listen to music at the same time which is utter bullshit.  If the new regime requires an obligatory monk-like silence, I’m definitely listening to music.

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Friday was a write-off.  I didn’t go to work because I got no sleep between 2 and 6am and felt shit, as well as having a sore throat and headache for most of the day.

On Saturday I felt better and went ahead with the planned costuming projects.  The underskirt seemed the easiest thing to attempt.  (It will go under the see-through skirt of the costume).  All was going fine until I attempted to change to a zigzag stitch to do the edging of the seams when the sewing machine had a spazz and refused to sew properly.  I was getting loops and skipped stitches all over the place.  I tried to change tensions but this didn’t make anything better.  It took me a good hour to work out what might be wrong, trying everything.  I resigned myself to edging the seams by hand and this took about another two hours but at least I had the Winter Olympic opening to watch while I did it.  But I then needed to sew the elastic casing and buggered if I was going to do that by hand.  Eventually I just replaced the bobbin with another one loaded with the right cotton and the machine behaved itself!  By evening I’d finished the underskirt and tried it out with the other skirt on top and it looked ok.  I was going to shorten the top skirt because it’s too long but I figure if I just turn over the top it will be alright.  It was too fiddly to unpick it all and remove some of the fancy edging.

Next I have to do the bra and belt.  I also wanted to quickly sew another overskirt to go over my black skirt.  A while ago I bought some shimmery material which I couldn’t resist.  All I need do is put some elastic on the top and some edging of some sort to decorate it.  Well even doing the elastic casing is easier said than done.  The material keeps curling under at the edge.  Sigh.

I went into town to Spotlight to: get some material to join the two bits of belt together; get some fancy edging for the planned overskirt; get some fastenings for belt and bra.  The scrap bin had nothing suitable for the material so I bought 20 cm of a heavy navy blue material which should be strong enough. I bought a couple of packets of fastenings not sure which would be good enough for bra and/or belt.  I also looked for some fancy braid or something to edge the overskirt with.  All they have is sequins and ribbons!  There’s nothing else except boring wads of lace and rick-rack.  How tedious.  Some other bits which might have done (but were actually too narrow) were just the wrong colour.  I’ll have to take in a piece of the skirt material and see what might be appropriate.  Looks like it will have to be sequins.  Disappointing.

I figured while I was in town I’d look for some silver earrings to go with the bright silver necklace I have for belly dancing.  Equipe in the Plaza was hopeless.  They had nothing except diamante-type bling.  Tried the other similar jewellery shop – again nothing in silver.  Pagani wasn’t too bad and I nearly bought a pair of earrings but thought it was just a bit dark – it had bits of black in it.  Next stop K-Mart and I found a couple of contenders and ended up buying the cheaper pair.  When I got back home I realised how very bright the necklace is so I could’ve gone with something brighter but never mind.  It will do.

Then figured I’d go to Ezi-buy to look for tops while I was at it and headed home via that side of town.  I should know by now that Ezi-buy is going to disappoint.  Every single time I go in there I come out empty handed.  It’s like an old ladies’ shop.  The tops are boring and shapeless with kacky colours.  My daughter moans that I just have blue or turquoise tops.  That’s because that’s the only colour on offer year after year which isn’t white, pink, kacky green, yellow or brown!  Where are the reds and purples???  I did see a couple of colourful items but they were just horrid styles – shapeless and round-necked.  I get so sick of the tedious bloody styles and colours and my daughter comes back from Aus with three items of clothing which are just beautiful and they were cheap.  Oy veh.  I so hate clothes shopping.

Right.  I’ve had lunch.  Time to do the overskirt and I think I’ll leave the bra and belt, fiddly as they are, until next weekend.

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Two days is just not enough to catch up with everything.  On top of housework, washing, etc, I want to do those things which I have no time for during the week.

I achieved something yesterday, I suppose.  I picked up my repaired sewing maching and sewed the hems of two veils for belly dancing.  I knitted about 4 peggy squares to contribute to the work peggy square blanket(s) which will be donated to charity.  I bought and installed venetian blinds for a window which had ugly, broken vertical blinds (which I hate).  I threw them out with pleasure.

Today I had committee-related stuff to do.  I want to make an OpenOffice database for Australian descendants of my gt gt grandfather.  (I couldn’t get it to work so got a library book out on it).  I have some discarded NetGuide magazines to look through.  I haven’t begun to look at my chaotic room.  I still have a huge pile of old photo albums to organise…

I haven’t made a list.  Well actually I did make a brief list while at work, when I thought of things.  The piece of paper is somewhere… 


Then there’s my Sims 2 addiction.  In the middle of the night I thought of redesigning my vampire family’s home, so did that first thing this morning.  When I first started playing Sims 2 just two years ago I read about others having played or aiming to play 10 generations of a family.  After two years I’ve just achieved 5 generations.  I have to kill off a few surplus Sims and families have intermarried.  It’s rather a good genealogical exercise actually.

Just remembered I have a blog post to think of for Tuesday so better get off here, and continue to aportion a few minutes to each thing that needs doing.  Not much left of the weekend…

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