Sunday, December 27, 2009

District 9 is really really good

District 9 is one of those rarities - a science fiction movie which has a good plot.
Set in Johannesburg, it's a story about a population of aliens who've ended up as refugees in this unfair city. If you know anything about South Africa's torrid history, then the apartheid theme will hit you in the face. It also reminded me of the news stories on tv that I've seen, about refugee camps and the treatment of the people who live there because there really is nowhere else for them to go.

But it's not all depressing. The man who's got the job of organising the removal of the alien population to somewhere 200 miles away, is quite a comical figure. He ends up being the hero (or anti-hero, perhaps).

I wonder if the timing of the remake of V was coincidental?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TLM and Christmas

This is the year that TLM remembers what happens at Christmas time. She started nagging about getting decorations up about two months ago, and has been counting down the sleeps for about two weeks now (literally).

She is also the one person in our household who is the subject of great present-giving splurging. I hope she likes the dolls house that could well become an heirloom - everyone else is getting a daycare calendar or something from the bong shop up the road from work (they sell toys too).

She knows the words to Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, We wish you a merry Christmas and Jingle Bells - well, the bastardised Kiwi versions anyway.

She remembers our holiday this time last year, up the coast at the beach. And she knows that we aren't going anywhere this year - but she'll be very happy to have girlie parties in the tent staked out in our back yard.

And I'm looking forward to receiving my first Christmas gift from her, which I spied drying on the top of the wardrobe (it's a painting).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Saved by Glassons*

I now have a dress for my cousin's wedding. It took me 3 shops and 50 minutes and cost me $40. I have definitely broken my own record for quick and cheap, and it's actually something I like - not a desperation buy.

I haven't taken a photo because it needs shortening. But it's a black maxi dress with a deep V neck at front and back, and shirring just under the boobies, in a cotton/viscose/lycra knit which drapes really well without clingy to anything dodgy. I'll have to be careful with the hemming because I have ruined knits in the past when the presser foot action has stretched the fabric out and I've ended up with a rippled and warp hem. So I may even do it by hand.

Funny, I always thought a long dress would just make me look like one of those Greek columns you see holding up banks (or perhaps a hot water cylinder with arms and head). I'm quite happy with this one, and the boy is too.

*Also known as the House of G - it is THE place for cheap 'n' cheerful women's clothing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nothing to wear

This happens every bluddy time.

I get an invite to a wedding...and I have nothing to wear.

The last wedding I went to was over a year ago in mid-winter. I managed to find a nice enough dress to wear, that looked nice with black shoes and black opaque tights.

But this one is in summer. Also, that dress is now too tight for me.

I have considered buying evening wear ahead of time, so that these last minute panics don't happen. But what's the point if I get too fat to wear it by the time I need it?

Can anyone recommend a shop that sells glamorous-looking tents?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A name change - and about time too!

I was never entirely happy with Short and sweet like me as the name of my blog. It's amazing that it's lasted about 4 years.

Never mind. I have thought up a new name, one which more accurately describes my posting personality.

I might even change the image in the header - but don't hold your breath.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Finally, the end to my shirt refashion

It started out as an attempt at clevergirl's "man's dress shirt transformed into woman's shirt dress". The boy had donated a lovely designer shirt with fine blue, black and white pin stripes and pale blue french cuffs. He said he'd stopped wearing it because of the ironing. And I felt that I really had to not stuff it up completely. I was really keen to keep the french cuffs, and also wanted to make a garment with longish sleeves so I could wear it in winter.

Unfortunately, although the shirt was an XL, I am not an XSML. There just wasn't enough fabric in the right places, for me to turn the shirt into a shirt dress - well not one that I could fit into, anyway.

Also, without a dress form (or willing slave to pin-fit it to my body), I wasn't able to properly fit the sleeves back onto the torso of the shirt without it looking like I was trying to wear a man's shirt.

Eventually I bought New Look 6808, intending to make the view represented by the pink top with the side-on bow, with long, french-cuffed sleeves.

And I did make it. But when I put the sleeves on, well...let's just say it was not a flattering look. It probably didn't help that, with my wide torso, I should not be wearing tops that stop at the top of my hips. Nor tops that are fitted at the waist. Nor pale blue fabrics.

Go on, chortle. You know you want to.

After a couple of sleepless nights trying to figure out how to save it, I decided to just get rid of the sleeves. My arms are probably the skinniest part of me, so showing them might overcome the lack of attractiveness everywhere else.

This is way better, especially if I can remain upright while wearing it. Because othewise I keep wanting to adjust it.

What I've learned from this tortuous experience - that I still have much to learn about what styles suit me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santa gets it wrong

We had two children's Christmas parties to attend, in the space of 3 days - both of which required the donation of a named, wrapped present so that Santa wouldn't have to turn up empty handed.

Now, TLM has been very vocal lately about what she want's for Christmas. She would like lots of love-heart jewellery.

This might be why she was slightly deflated when she opened up Santa's first present, the first Christmas party, to find that it was a pair of bracelets covered in a tiny cherry print. (Fortunately, she does like them now.)

I hoped that TLM would feel better about her second present from Santa, presented to her at the Chinese pre-school Christmas party. It was a green tartan handbag in the shape of a scary monster (it even had bloodshot eyes and sharp teeth). I'd bought it with my 6 year old niece in mind, but changed my mind after seeing the battery-operated voice-changer (3 different voices!). Well...I was very extremely wrong. TLM hated it. She even started getting teary-eyed and whiny - though that might have been also because she was a bit tired. Anyway I felt like a terrible failure as gift-selector.

Then my niece did something really kind and lovely. She offered TLM her present of Dora pens, declaring that she was too old for Dora. TLM was once again all smiles. And when I offered the niece the rejected monster handbag, she was all smiles too.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Body double

I'm thinking of getting a dress form, to help me with my sewing. I feel like I shouldn't 'cos they aren't cheap 'round this part of the world - around 350 bucks - but I did source one that's about 60 bucks cheaper (this is it here).

It would certainly make clothes-fitting way easier (unless I'm making trousers, because those things don't have crotches or legs), and I'd be able to learn how to design by draping.

But on the other hand, maybe it's still an extravagance. I've made do okay so far, and anyway fitted tops and dresses tend not to be very flattering on me. So maybe I don't need one.

The boy says I should get myself one and call it a Christmas present to myself. But my taste in prezzies doesn't normally run that expensive.

I dunno I dunno I dunno...

Friday, December 04, 2009


There is this shop I walk past on my way to work called Calico Jack's or some such name. Being where it is i.e. in the middle of boho-ville, I have never been inside. The shop window is always full of freaky spider-web patterned tights and tartan trousers a la Westwood, which I find highly amusing and sometimes even quite cool - but not anything I would wear. In other words, it is probably too young for me.

So I went in today and found that it is in fact a pirate shop (according to the chatty young man who charmingly called me darlin'.

Apart from the freaky tights and the tartan trou and the safety pin-trimmed corset mini dresses, are:
  • little hand bags in the shape of almost-cute monsters
  • tins of plasters decorated with fairies, monsters or skulls and crossbones
  • books of pirate tattoos
  • cigarette cases covered in voluptuous gypsy women sporting eye patches
I even found a few things that I would like to get as Christmas prezzies for the niece and nephew. But first I have to check out the bong shop up the road - they have fake-tattoo ink and invisible paints that glow in sunlight.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


We watched the first half of the pilot episode of V last night. I don't remember much of the original series, though I do remember that the one time I attended a sci-fi convention party, there was a rather voluptuous woman in a painted-on vinyl suit with lacing down the legs - just like one of the V characters.

There was no such costuming last night - no-one dressed like they couldn't decide between Catwoman and Liz Hurley in that Versace dress and tried to do both at the same time. But the serenely gorgeous Morena Bacharin from Firefly is in it, (so is Alan Tudyk but he dies in the pilot) so I guess the overall affect on male viewers would have been similar.

I read in some reviews of the show that the original series was kind of a reference to Nazi-ism, while, with the timing, the current series could be read as anti-Obama scare-mongering (death by universal health care!). But from what I have seen of it so far, the Nazi references are still very strong (not that it's a bad thing).

I'll give it another few episodes I think.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Call it the Northern hemisphere influence, or a late start to summer

I've never had my colours done, but I'm pretty sure I'm a Winter. I also seem to be a Winter in my clothing preferences. Maybe it's because now I'm older I am no longer happy to walk around in shorts and tank tops (well not in public anyway). I dunno - but anyway I do find it hard to get really excited about summer fashion, but am always interested in looking at great boots, jackets and dresses that go with black opaque tights.

So, while I ought to be focusing my sewing energies on, say, some cool summer tunic tops or - heaven forbid - aprons and whatnot to give away as Christmas presents...I am thinking of making a jacket.

Those peter pan collared jackets really appeal to me, but I have to find one that doesn't go all the way up to one's chin, which is a sure way get that no-neck look.
So here are some patterns that I'm considering:

New Look 6852 (the pinky coloured one at the bottom)

New Look 6736 (the shorter one)

Vogue 8300 (the green one)

Vogue 8623

Actually, Simplicity 4412 would be perfect - but the shop that sells Simplicity patterns is too far to get to in my lunch break, and anyway it's out of print :-(
(which is why this is the only image I could find for it in the five minutes I gave myself)