Thursday 27 August 2009

Celebrate Good Shorts, Come on!

Yesterday played host to two very exciting occurences which require documentation:

Number one:
I received a copy of the Aussie-based and produced Mixtape zine (issue 10) which, incidentally, includes a little piece written by ME! Woo hoooooo! That's right, I'm published in Mixtape which makes me extremely happy. Not only is it a beautifully designed and thoroughly interesting little zine, it's manifesto to proliferate, indulge and encourage DIY culture, making stuff and eco-mindedness makes it EXACTLY the type of thing I want to get behind. Or in, in this case. The piece they included was this little piece entitled 'The Return of the Blouse' I shared here back in May. And as if I needed another reason to smile my face off, they included a super-cute little badge that says 'I write for Mixtape', much like the virtual button on the side panel here.

Number two:
I finished making a pair of Burdastyle's Ruby shorts. As a rule, I don't wear shorts and wasn't fully convinced that my curvy frame would carry them off. But hot damn! They look good:
Apologies for the rubbish self-portraits-in-the-bathroom, my official photographer is away on family visiting duties and I got too excited to wait until I found someone else to pap me. Plus, I know what your thinking: 'Umm, road test Zoe! Jeez!'. Sorry but times is just too heady round here at the mo, I will give them a thorough testing tomorrow, promise.

I used a nice navy twill with a good stretch content, which I deployed to help off-set any potential fit/sizing issues, but I'm really pleased with the final fit and would risk making these in a non-stretch. All in all, I found the pattern very good, though I omitted the time consuming front jet pocket, avoided the strange add-on belt thingy, and replaced their back pocket scenerio with my preferred patch pocket shape with rounded corners. I constructed the side button fastening sections with as much patience as I could muster, and I'm really pleased with the outcome. For the life of me I couldn't figure out their turn-ups instructions, so I re-enacted a turn-up construction method a sample machinist I used to work with once showed me. It's a fantastic method, it traps in the bottom edge into the faux-turn, making a really clean and professional finish. Remind me to show you some time...

The buttons are some fabric covered ones found in my stash. They were just the right size and shape, as well as the correct quantity. I think they look just right, cute but not too kiddy, for these sailor style closures.

I'm pretty much having to physically retrain myself from immediately making another pair, (they would be red, FYI), but I definately have plans to extend the leg and make a couple of different versions as capris, trousers and/or jeans. Aside from a sweet, retro-y feel, these closures have to inmeasurable benefit of allowing the makery of shorts, trousers and jeans without having to construct a fly-front, something I would cross continents barefoot to avoid. I just don't think fly-fronts are worth it, as in my experience, they take up equal construction time as the whole of the rest of the processes and cutting out put together. I just don't have that kind of time! I'm already nearly 30! But nearly 30 with some greats shorts in which to enjoy my inclusion in Mixtape!

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Two is the Magic Number

If you're in the UK at the moment and thinking about hitting the charity shops sometime soon, I wouldn't bother. My recent visit has left the charity shops of the southern counties a little light on stock. Here's a sampler of my acquisions, all purchased for £2 a pop! Apologies for the night shots, I've gone nocturnal until further notice (too hot).


Very nice sandals (technically bought from a vendor on Brick Lane, rather than a charity shop, but second-hand nevertheless. Actually I think she was Spanish, selling her stash before leaving London.) A thoroughly amazing day was had around the Spitalfields/Brick Lane stomping ground with my home-lady Michelle.

Primark retro-print cotton top, which is excellent for the frankly excessive Barcelona summer heat. Now, Primark are pretty much at the top of my list of Most Hated Mass-Manufacturers, however, as a former addict, I do at times feel the pull towards their often quite nice designs. So it's good to be able to peruse their wares later down the foodchain in the charity shops, with the guilt of direct purchase eliminated.

I did replace the missing decorative button with this beautiful vintage one from my stash.

Let's just check how it works in a bar (accessorised out of shot with a caipirinha):

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank my folks, for their encouragement in the development of my charity shopping skills from a young age, and whom have always believed in my abilities.

Monday 17 August 2009

Dressing for Dinner

Back in Victorian times, it was common for peops of the middle and upper class persuasion to change their garms a bunch of times throughout the day, particularly for having dinner. The middle classes largely knocked this custom on the head after the onset of the First World War, what with there being far more important things going on. *

These days, I am very thankful to report, our menfolk seem to be relatively safe. So maybe we should once again think about introducing a bit more celebration and ritual into our lives and wardrobes. I'm a big fan of 'getting done up' for going out for a meal, but what I'm proposing is REALLY getting dressed to go for a meal, eg:

This woman is SO going out for some sushi! Hell yes she is, and I want to join her, she looks like a right laugh. But what if you just fancy a takeaway? It's ok, I've thought about this!:

I think that garments are a great way to add some fun to your day to day, so if you're planning on spending a day whipping up some magic in the kitchen, maybe you should get sewing first. Those crazy 50's fabric designers were all over this tip back in the day:


Of course, cocktail o'clock may also require it's own dress:

So that's home cooking, takeaways, sushi and drinks covered (and this site can provide you with fabric of pretty much every ingredient you can think of). But what if you're just heading out to eat with no specific food genre in mind? Or your heading over to a friends for dinner and don't want to make any assumptions? It's ok! Fashion yourself an all-angles-covered garm from this!

I reckon an Anda dress would be your best bet (plenty of room round the belly!)

* Historical 'facts' interpretted by Zoe
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