Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A July Sewing Challenge...

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It's July tomorrow and the beginning of my month long clothes shopping ban. To combat my slight need to shop, I've come up with a cunning plan that will leave me feeling both satisfied and productive all at the same time.

I am going to make one dress from a vintage pattern every week for the whole month of July
!!

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I got the idea from reading this lovely lady's blog. In fact, she has turned into one of those blogs for me (the ones where you check back every five minutes to see whether they have posted. I'm sure everyone has at least one!). But I know for a fact that there is no way I'd be able to do this for a year - a month, however, is manageable.

I'm also hoping it will kick start my sewing mojo again so I can get my lagging Etsy shop back up and running. Towards the end of last year, before I closed my shop, I was starting to feel like I was only sewing for the shop. I started to feel guilty when I did do little sewing jobs for myself because I felt like I should be sewing for the shop! So hopefully coming out of this with 4 beautiful vintage dresses, will make me feel happier about sewing for others again - because I actually do love it!

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At the start of next week, I will do a post showing all four of the patterns I plan to make (I've just ordered another 4 to add to my ever expanding vintage pattern stash. I'm hoping they arrive by the end of the week, as there is one in particular that I would love to use this month).

And then at the start of each consecutive week, I will post the finished dress, with the pattern and talk about how it went. I'll hopefully throw in a few tips and tricks to help those of you out who are new to sewing with vintage patterns (I remember opening my first pattern and wondering where on earth all the printed markings were!!).

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So, I hope you enjoy the fruits of my little challenge as much as I'm sure I'll enjoy sharing them with you.


XX
Jen

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wedding Bells...

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I haven't really spoken much about our wedding plans on here yet, mostly because there were no plans until I got a job and we could figure out boring things like budgets. But the past few weeks have seen us racing full steam ahead with wedding ideas, lists and plans.

For one thing, we finally set the date - November 20th 2010. Yup that's right, only a few months away and that time, I'm sure, will go very quickly...

We do not want a big wedding - we're not really the 'big wedding' kind of people and our modest (read:teeny tiny) budget doesn't allow for it either. Our initial plan was to have the wedding in Sydney, however, that plan went straight out the window when we started researching venues - everything is so expensive! We wanted a lovely historic place to hold the ceremony and reception, but even the places without any historic relevance were expensive and wanted a minimum 75 guests (ours will only be around 40).

We were starting to feel a bit low about the whole wedding thing and our piddly little budget when David mentioned he had emailed a beautiful historic venue in Dunedin. When they got back to us with pricing, we decided that going back to New Zealand was what we were going to do.

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We spread our venue search as far north as Christchurch, looking at vineyards and other lovely venues. David even found the CUTEST little berry farm just outside of Christchurch that we very seriously thought about using (I squealed when David showed me the website). However, we decided that staying in Dunedin was easiest for us in terms of having family there. We've chosen a historical garden and homestead just around the corner from where we lived last year - it's also well and truly within budget, which I still can't believe!!

So now the work begins - its going to be very much a DIY wedding which I'm really looking forward too. David is designing the invites, I'll be doing the flower arrangements and am going to have a go at making my own bird cage veil and we'll both be making the wedding cake.

Oh, and I've already got the most important thing - my dress, of which you are seeing small snippets of throughout this post. Its a beautiful full skirted 50's gown that I found at my local vintage store. I initially put it back and decided that I wasn't going to buy a dress until I had a job. But I kept thinking about my beautiful dress and a few weeks later went back, tried it on and bought it.

The bow, I'm sure, is not original and looks a bit tatty so I'm going to replace it. I also need to fix a tiny seam where the zip is coming away, and do a small amount of hand sewing to fix a little hole in the lace by the zipper. Otherwise, it's in amazing condition, with attached tulle petticoat and all!


XX
Jen

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thank you...

I sat down at my sewing machine for the first time in over 5months last night to make some adjustments on 9 vintage dresses I seemed to have magically acquired during that time (funny how that happens). This made me realise that David and I have been in Sydney for 5 months now, and my goodness how the time has just flown by...

We have slowly settled into a routine here and, believe it or not, are really only just starting to make inroads into exploring the place. Sydney is huge and there are so many gems to be found.

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I have met some lovely lovely people here and all of those people, believe it or not, I've met through blogging. I'm at a loss as to what I would have done if I hadn't started blogging - trying to meet people and make friends is HARD!

Making friends is a bit like dating - you have the semi awkward first date, where you talk about your interests, where you grew up, pet peeves etc. And after the first date jitters come the questions and slight insecurities - who makes contact first? Did they even like you? Does the three day rule apply? (you don't want to seem too needy after all...). And once that's all done, if things go according to plan, you go in for the double date - what will your partner think of them? Or even scarier, what will your partner think of their partner?

Its all a bit mind boggling, and I'm completely aware that these things take time to brew (good things do take time after all!). And so I need to say a huge thank you to all those people in Sydney who have reached out, its made things so much easier. Thank you for the lunches, and the coffees and the dinners. The suggestions of places to see, of things to do - you don't know what they mean to me.

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I'd also like to say a big heartfelt thank you to all my readers as well, your lovely, kind, intelligent and thoughtful comments mean so much more than I can say. Thank you for bearing with me as we moved, the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the long silences - thank you all so much for being my friends where ever you are in the world.

The amazing thing about this community, of which I am so grateful to be a part of, is that no matter where you are, you always have friends, even if you've never even met them before.



XX
Jen

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More Adventures...

More photos from the long weekend - these were taken on Sunday as we strolled around our hood. We found a few parks and more lovely old houses.

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Now that all of our things have arrived from New Zealand, my problem of not having enough to wear has turned into a problem of having too much to wear. I seem to have forgotten how to pull an outfit from a full wardrobe (and oh how full it is!).

I'm really rather amazed at my skill(z) for coat packing too, I even packed a ski jacket! Who needs a ski jacket in Australia? Australia doesn't have snow! (Okay, that's a complete and utter lie. In fact, their ski season just started, albeit 3 months behind NZ's ski season. I just think its a bit weird that Australia has snow - when I think Australia I think hot and desert. I know, very stereo-typical of me).

So, I decided that I'm going on a clothes buying ban for the whole month of July.

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I'm slightly obsessed with the house in the background ...

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I often wonder how much money I would have saved if I hadn't bought a lot of the clothes I never wear/wore.

A lot of them are impulse buys mostly due to the number of fashion blogs I read - an inherent danger of reading said fashion blogs is the sudden and urgent need for a particular item of clothing. It's like your life is not complete until you have found said item, and once acquired, you end up never actually wearing it because it doesn't suit you or it isn't your colour or its uncomfortable or it doesn't go with anything you already own which means having to buy an entire outfit based around that one piece - and so the reasons go on.

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I must learn quality over quantity and I must resist the urge to buy something just because it's five dollars. After all, five dollars adds up over time - I cringe at the amount of five dollar coffees I bought when I was at university...

XX
Jen

PS) A wedding post is on its way - we've set the date :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Long Sydney Weekends...

We had a long weekend this weekend - happy birthday to the Queen. We had gorgeous weather the whole time and David and I did a lot of walking, a lot of exploring and took way too many of photos of me. What can I say, the new camera is lots of fun and David and I are starting to find a nice rhythm with our photo taking (read: I don't feel as awkward posing in front of him anymore and he has more of an idea of what I'm going for in my photos and takes a lot of them).

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These photos were taken on Saturday. We walked through town to the botanic gardens, ended up walking along next to the water along the bay which magically lead to the Sydney Opera House and then we turned back around to find the Government House and gardens.

Government House they call it. Ha! More like Government Castle!! Its beautiful, big and old.


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I have a huge list of historical places to visit in Sydney while we are here, which surprises me. I tend to think of Sydney as a modern and metropolitan city, but there is so much history here within the city. Beautiful old buildings seem to pop up out of nowhere as you walk around the CBD - and the trick to finding these buildings is to simply look up. They are everywhere, and I'm obsessed with them! I want to know why they were built, what they were used for, what they are used for now, the stories of the people who built, lived and worked in them - and my love for old buildings extends especially to houses.

For those of you who are new to reading my blog, simply put - I love love love old buildings. I don't know what it is but I find the history behind them so rich and fascinating. I love wondering about how these people lived - the parties, the people, the clothing, the drama and the tragedy... a beautiful reminder of a time gone by.

Also, I will live in one some day. I'm just saying...

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And on a side note, I think my jumping shots are getting better!

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XX
Jen

Ps) I'm so very very excited - I surprised David with tickets to see Neil Gaiman speak at the Sydney Opera House tonight!! Eeek!!! He is my most very favourite author and I have David to thank for introducing him to me when we first started going out. In fact, I like him so much, I bought tickets to two separate events - this and this! Bring on August!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away...

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your birthday wishes - I can't believe its been a week since my last post!

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Well, Sydney has been wet. Very very wet. As in torrential rainfall wet. As in roads turning into rivers in the CBD making crossing them a bit harder than usual wet. As in so wet that our courtyard doors took David throwing his weight at them so that they would open wet (they are hopefully being replaced soon as they were already rotting when we moved in and were told they were being replaced - one of the door handles has since come off because its been so wet).

So, I think you get my point - its been wet.

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This weekend saw some early morning blue sky, which in turn meant we could finally do some washing, but on both days the weather turned in the early afternoon taking with it any chance to dry out a bit more.

David and I bought a Mr Fancy Pants camera on Saturday. We had fun yesterday taking photos with it on our way to do groceries. These photos are before groceries, it started pouring down while we were doing groceries and having no car meant walking in the pouring rain with heavy bags of shopping, an umbrella each and very wet footsies by the time we arrived home.

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I also learnt that I am bad at taking jumping shots, which was one of the things I was really looking forward to doing with our new camera. Oh well, one can only get better...

XX

Jen

Ps) All our stuff arrived from New Zealand on Thursday. I came home to a massive pile of clothing and fabric covering a whole couch. Two vintage suitcases - one with shoes, the other stuffed with winter woolies, and a plastic case filled with my most precious vintage. Not to mention two bikes, a sewing machine, an over locker and a big plastic case of sewing materials. And thats just my stuff...