Saturday, 28 June 2008

Crisis Averted

I am becoming mighty sick of knitting my Minimalist Cardigan, mainly because it's been on my needles for months and months. Wanting to finish it while the weather was still cold, I started knitting like a demon, and was half way up the first sleeve when I realised I only had one ball of wool left! I'm sure I bought 9 balls of exactly the same yardage as is said in the pattern, but something has gone very, very wrong along the way. I made an emergency phone call to my mother (my excuse: the shop where I bought this yarn from is a 4 hour round trip from my house on public transport) and she managed to find two extra balls. Apparently the colour has been discontinued, so I was lucky. Now to finish this bloody cardigan!

This is a card I made for my father's birthday next week. I'm actually organised for the first time in ages, and managed to post card and present off in time! It's a Hungarian girl in traditional Matyo dress, from the town of Mezðkövesd, which I visited last year. They have the most beautiful outfits, and yes, those are supposed to be giant woolen pompoms on her head, like the woman on the right in the picture below. That's what married women used to wear! Matyo outfits are totally different from all the other folk costumes in Hungary, and I think they are the most elegant and beautiful.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

More Dresses

Went to GJ's Discount Fabrics yesterday, which is probably my favourite fabric shop. The quilting room upstairs has some great prints, and I bought a whole lot of fat quarters from Japan, with tiny florals and miniscule gingham (possibly to make a shirt with). I also bought the paisley one above, from which I made Ivy a new sundress. The pattern I used was the Party Dress from Puchi Collective, and it was very easy to use and turned out nicely. Below is the A-line Dress, pattern from the same site. It's a bit more shapeless than I would really like it to be, but quite cute.

I've joined a couple of Blythe swaps over at Swap-bot, and I got my first swap partner today. It's an apron swap, and I think one of the fabrics I bought it going to be perfect for this particular person! Now I'm off to look at vintage apron patterns...

Thursday, 19 June 2008


Here is Ivy's lovely new dress from Academy Bedlam on Etsy. Can you see the deer and turquoise mushrooms on it? How could I resist! Around her is all the cool little things that came along with it, I especially like the pineapple hair clip she is wearing. It's so dark here in the mornings before work, and then it's dark by the time I get home, so when the days get longer, I'll take some better pictures outside.

I had a stall at the Camberwell Market with my cousins on the weekend, just selling old clothes. While I was there, I picked up these two lovely patterns for $6! The blue polka dots one is from 1953, and as far as I can see has never been used. The wiggle dress is from 1957, and while it has been used I think all the pieces are there. I wish women still went out in gloves and a cunning little hat with a net veil!

Saturday, 14 June 2008

For the Love of Ivy

My Blythe arrived a couple of days ago, and I've been in agonies ever since trying to choose a name for her. I can't even imagine what people go through trying to name babies! I wanted something a bit old fashioned, and eventually the Wolf came up with Ivy, which is perfect. Here she is in our luxuriously overgrown garden in her wet weather gear.

I must confess that I have a bit of an obsession with small things. I once saw a tiny cheesegrater at the supermarket, just like those big four sided ones with the plastic handle at the top, but REALLY SMALL! I got so excited, and the Wolf was standing there, totally bemused, saying "but it's just small". I still love cocktail umbrellas and those little bottles of alcohol you get in hotel refrigerators (just like the real ones but tiny), and things like that. I think it stems from having a dolls house when I was a child.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

I think I'm in love...

Oh dear, I seem to have caught the Blythe Disease! For anyone who isn't familiar with Blythe, she's a 12" doll with an enormous head and huge eyes which change colour when you pull a string on the back of her head. She looks a bit like Christina Ricci. The original Blythe dolls were made in 1972, but didn't take off with little girls (too creepy looking?). However, they became popular again in the late 90s and now a Japanese company makes new versions of them, with over 100 different ones to date.

So, I've finally plucked up the courage (and the cash) and bought a Rainy Day Parade Blythe on eBay, she should be arriving in about 10 days from Kansas. That's a picture of her above. I'm really excited, and I've found all these great forums and amazing patterns around the web, and I decided to make some clothes for her so she'll have something else to wear when she arrives (told you I'm crazy!). Of course I decided to try something really difficult, and chose a pattern for a ruffled dress, kindly scanned in by Murusaki on the Australian Blythe Forum. Not only did it involve bust darts, set in sleeves and tons of gathering (my least favourite thing in the world) but all the instructions were in Japanese! Why do I make things so difficult for myself?

As you can see, after a lot of cursing and unpicking, it actually turned out rather well. The original one was black and white gingham, but I had the pink stuff already. Also, there was a weird little ruffly thing that went down the front, but I couldn't really see properly how it went on, so I left it off, and made the collar black instead, and added a little black velvet belt. There was a pattern for the socks too so I made stripey ones, and the shoes I bought at Robio in Fitzroy.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Half a Book

I have been having a difficult time settling down to anything at the moment. I'll do a bit of knitting, and then flit away and sew something, and then go onto something else, which is all very well, but not very conducive to getting anything finished.

So here is my third book, or the beginnings of it anyway. I brought it home to sew the sections but I reached this point and ran out of thread, so I'll have to do the rest tonight in class. It has sewn on endpapers, I chose a pale chocolate, and also a marbled paper which you can see at the front of the photo. It's actually wrapping paper, and while it is quite thick and good quality, it curled up terribly when I put glue on it, and was a real bother to stick down.