Tuesday, June 29, 2010

OMG Hotpants!

I love my local op shops. One in particular is always well stocked with fabric, as well as patterns. The kind of patterns I like. A couple of months ago I noticed some super bright colourful patterns that shouted 1970s fun, so I had a rummage and was confronted by pure retro gold. Hotpants, bright knitted and crochet hotpants in bright colours, modelled by braless chicks wearing clogs and brandishing sporting equipment!

I just about died. Then I ran and shared them with my friends Over The Fence on Ravelry. I promptly bowed to peer pressure and knitted up a pair, in the yarn called for in the pattern - vintage Totem score!

The pattern took a bit of tweaking. The largest size was a 36 inch hip and I haven't had 36 inch hips since I was 14. So I sized up the pattern a little, tweaked the waistband, added a drawstring and I am now the proud owner of a pair of hand knit hotpants!

They have even been worn in public. Luckily for me, you get nothing but compliments on your knitted hotpants when you wear them to roller derby bouts!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Success & Failure

The Plan goes well. To recap, at the start of the year I planned not to buy any new clothes, anything that entered my wardrobe must be made by my own two hands or purchased second hand from a charitable op shop. With the first six months just about complete I have been reflecting on my successes and my coughfailurecough.

Lets start with that failure, which is really just a lapse and a life saver at that! In May my baby brother Tim tied the knot with his wonderful Beck. I had grand plans of making a dress from two separate patterns to go with a purple satin coat I bought for the occasion last year. As the time grew closer, I wasn't happy with my muslin, it was starting to stress me out and, most importantly, I wasn't enjoying the process. In this state of despair, I happened upon a wonderful, simple dress that fitted and felt great, and I fell in love with it. So I bought it. And let me tell you it was lucky I did! The couple of weeks leading up to the wedding (when I would have been making the dress) Coen was very ill with a high fever of unknown viral origin that knocked him about for a whole week and then turned into a nasty case of tonsillitis. The time that I would have been sewing my butt off was spent making daily trips to the doctor, midnight runs to the hospital and spending sleepless nights worrying about our boy. There is no way any dress could have been made in that time, and it was a big relief not to have to think about it!

On the other hand I am quite proud of my success in this little venture. I have had the thrift shopping gods smile upon me on many occasions! I have scored a pair of great jeans, a couple of comfy skirts and some tops that got a lot of wear in summer. A really cute jacket with a pixie hood, coloured tights still in their packs and my black waist coat. That waist coat has become a staple of my wardrobe, if you've seen me more than once in the last six months, chances are you've seen the waist coat! The best thing is that none of these items cost more than $7, and every purchase was a charitable contribution.

I have had some fun adventures sewing my own clothes too. Like the time I found a huge pile of underwear elastic in loads of colours at one of the local op shops and thought I'd have a go at making my own undies. I cut up one of Darron's work issue undershirts (that he never wears) and using a Knitwit type pattern from the 70's whipped up a couple of pairs of undies. It was intended as a bit of a laugh, so I could say 'Yup, I've even made my own undies.' As it turns out, they are the most comfortable undies in the whole world, and I have since made made several pairs from t shirts and other fabric from the stash! Here's the pair that started it all off:

Then there was the time I decided on a Thursday afternoon that I would really love a new dress to wear to Beck's hen's party that Saturday night. I already had the fabric and the pattern (Burda Mag 1/2010, 109 for those playing at home) so I spent 2 afternoons frantically sewing (in between the laser skirmish and go karting) and sewed the buttons on as the rest of the girls were doing their hair, and went out for dinner and salsa dancing in a brand new frock!

And the time I was procrastinating in a big way, repair basket overflowing, several items needing to be made by deadlines. Perfect time to make yourself a couple of pairs of bloomers to wear under skirts in summer. Yes, it is the middle of winter, my style of procrastination involves forward planning!

Speaking of skirts, this one is from a 1960s pattern, Vogue 7450, lots of fun. The fabric is from my stash, I bought the bolt, it was a bargain, now I have a skirt that matches my shopping bags... and the cushions on my couch. That's the waist coat I mentioned earlier, goes with everything, I love it!

There have been some hand knits in the mix as well. I've made a couple of cardigans, the green tweed yarn cam from the op shop, $5 for the lot!

A headband in my own handspun, in a lovely iPhone shot from when we had no proper internets.

A triangle shawl in hand dyed sock yarn from Mayhem & Chaos. The colour is Little Green Bag, the pattern is called Onerva, and together they make me very happy!

I also knitted some hotpants. But that's a whole other story...