Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fugly, or Fantastic?


I secretly love this afghan / blanket thing from the Time Life Art of Sewing series. The series is a 10-volume guide to sewing and knitting that came out in the 1970s, and has some amazing design and photography. Not cheesy, more glam and retro-licious. I think this afghan, knit in the HoJo color ways, could look amazing in a really pared down, modern bedroom, with no totchkes or knick-nacks to give a sense of fustiness or grandma-ness.

what do you think?

But I care, really I do.

Tonight is time for more sewing. I am desperate to start a few new pieces in some recent Burdas (the fifties cocktail dress from 2/2007 and the forties wrap from the same issue), but I have to complete something before I can do that. Hopefully there will be some more sewing content at that point.

In the meantime, a rant.

Every evening I walk my dog up a twisting road in my Laurel Canyon neighborhood. About half way up this bucolic country road I pass a pretty little house, with two very expensive cars sitting outside it. At least twice a week the owner of these two cars is out there washing them. Now, we are in the midst of a potentially very dangerous drought, and LC is a notorious fire trap. The whole Canyon is tinder dry, and packed with wooden frame houses that sit at the top of narrow windy lanes. If anyone in LA should be aware of the value of water, and the need to conserve it, it should be us. This guy is out there for HOURS. He chats on his cell phone as he splays water idley over his Audi and his BMW. He puts down the hose and lets it run as he goes inside to talk to his wife. The street runs with water, to the point where the asphalt gets that great steamy smell you normally only experience after a hot, unexpected summer rain storm.

If people like us, people with money and education and time to play around, don't 'get it' what hope for the rest of the world?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Oh Just Fuck Off...

Cracking open my Sunday Times today to read the nauseating---but can't miss----featured wedding in the "Vows" section. Oh barf. 42 year old film dude marries 'luminescent,' 'ravishing' society 26 year old. We're all 'luminescent' and 'ravishing' at that age moron! God, just give her a few more years till she grows up, and realized she married her Dad.

Try marrying someone your own age, idiot!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Project Finish-all-the-forgotten-sewing-projects-piled-up-and-covered-in-dust-bunnies-under-your-bed....


I started this dress over TWO YEARS AGO!!! Dear Lord. The pattern is from the Feb 2005 issue of Burda, which remains my all time favorite issue. It is packed with amazing, classic, yet still cool designs, and I've sewed up many of them. This issue would definately be pulled out of a house fire, along with my dog and my photo album.

The dress itself is a very, very streamlined Duro shape. Originally I didn't love that they'd sleeked it down so much, but now of
course the dress just looks like a nice, simple dress, rather than something that was completely in fashion, and is now potentially a little dated.

I threw this dress under the bed in disgust because I mis judged my cutting, and ended up with two back panels where the skirt motif (see how it is centered around the waistband) faced the wrong way. Yesterday I finally pieced together two new back panels from the scraps, and now it's not as pretty as the front, but it does 'work.'

Taking the dress with me to Miami, where I will beg my wonderful Phillipina aunt, Ana, to help me finish it.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I think I give up, again!

This dress is the bane of my life. I started it last year, got discouraged by the back-less and bra-less connundrum, then was finally reinvigorated a few weeks ago to get it done. There's just no getting around the fact that there is No Tension in this dress from which to suspend any kind of bra-like device. As per Threads, I made what can only be described as orthopedic shoes for your boobs out of white elastic and bra-cups. It sort of worked, but not well enough to provide the necessary level of comfort and carefree-ness you would want in this summer frock.

The only solution I can see now is to unpick the painfully hand-sewn zip, undo the bodice, jimmy up some back panels, and make this a full-back dress. For now though... I'm done! This dress has caused more swearing, cursing and misery than it deserves! Damn you Anna Sui, damn you, ridiculously over-priced Liberty fabric.... arrrrgh.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Amelia...

I've blogged about my style inspirations. Here is one of my life inspirations.

Brave, Passionate, Reckless perhaps, a Dreamer...

Amelia


Friday, May 18, 2007

Retro Rewind

It's a little disconcerting - but a lot of fun - that mid-90s fashions seem to be coming back in a big way. It seems like only yesterday that I was sewing them up the first time! I am totally inspired my the Prada and Miu Miu looks from around 95 and 96. I love the bold fabrics (themselves a throwback to the late 60s and 70s), the mod-ish shapes and the simple glam.

Maybe we all are emotionally attracted to the clothes we wore when we were young and life was all promise. I was a troubled person in the mid-90s, but I wrapped myself up in images of Carolyn Murphy and Kristen McMenany in Prada, and had a vision of what life could be like. I sometimes wish I could go back to my 26 year-old-self, and tell her, "You're better than you think you are."


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Life...

Life rolls on. The last few months have been way too rough and tough to blog about. I haven't been doing anything very crafty for much of that time, rather I've been dealing with a move, an emotional break-down and rebuilding and my new life. I'm still in Laurel Canyon, and it's beautiful here. The mornings are filled with bird song and fog, and the wierd pleasure of waking up alone. I like it. Really.

In a few weeks I leave for Miami, then I'm going to be in Southampton. Two weddings, younger cousins. It's been odd to realize I am now out of that period of your life where you are one of the young-ones. Where you and your siblings and cousins your own age are celebrating the big events in their life. Now its time for the people who were left sitting at the kid's table, even after I had graduated to the grown-ups.

But Im really not complaining. Life is good, I feel well, and happy.

Here is a dress I am working on finishing. Its an Anna Sui pattern from 1998, that is very '50s' in style. It is conservative from the front, but completely backless, with a little tie pulling the side panels together. Like it! I have so many other projects Im dying to start, but have to actually finish some of these damn things first....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

LA Burns!

Driving to the Tom of Finland party last night, was astonished to see flames licking their way down INTO Hollywood. Holy Shit... truly apocolyptic stuff, the kind of thing you have nightmares about, especially if you live in Laurel Canyon, like I do. Which is basically a tinder-box now. I look out of my tree-lined picture window, and imagine how fast, and how ruthlessly, flames would overtake my little wooden home. Dear God.

At Tom of Finland, I was surrounded by the most charming leather-clad bears, who kindly flirted with me, offered me chocolate and champagne, and admired my little red Built by Wendy mini-dress and black high-heels. A very good first-toe-in-the-social-waters type of event... even if the only person who hit on me was a fairly tough Marilyn Monroe-esque lesbian.

This weekend I am driving out to the High Desert Test Sites. An art instillation out in the boondocks of Yucca Valley... now if only I could get a big old hetero-bear to be my date....

Alot of sewing and knitting going on... but this is the only picture I have to post right now. My Twinkle SeaBerry Shell (from IK '06) too short... but not sure if I can be bothered to rip back to the armholes and knit further. I think it would look swell at this length with a high-waisted pencil skirt... but not much else.