Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I would have voted for Obama too, if I was American

I don't mean to be cynical, and I do read the newpapers so I don't have my nose in fashion magazines (or my head up my bum, as the English are so fond of saying - not necessarily about me) 24 by 7.

But it seems to me that the Obamas' greatest achievement  since moving into the White House, is that we now have a pretty decent role model for "women of a certain age" who want to dress stylishly (as opposed to frumpishly, slutty or like their daughters).


For a long time I resisted the allure of the Chanel style jacket, mainly because I didn't think that the boxy shape, high rough neckline and cropped length would be very flattering on my body shape. But I have always loved the look of those tweeds and boucles that the genuine articles are made from.

And then one day I walked into my favourite fabric store and saw a lovely orangey fabric that looked perfect for a Chanel-esque jacket. But I had to walk away from it because orange is soooo not my colour.

I went back there the day after the boy's redundancy tax credits came through.
To cut a long story short, I ended up buying the lime green version, plus matching polyester satin for lining.  It's way more green-y and less grey than the photo suggests, and the satin looks kinda brown unless the light is shining on it. I would have preferred..I dunno, pink and lime green or maybe even something in violet or emerald green. But around these parts, the range of fabrics available for home sewers is pitifully restricted.

I'm going to use the celebrated Vogue 7975, which has a nipped in waist and the potential for the upper facing to flip down flatteringly while I'm wearing it (either View A without the ribbon ties, or View C with patch pockets instead of welts).

But it's highly likely that I won't be going the whole couture hog. This is because:
  1. I'm too stingy to buy that back issue of Threads magazine that tells you how to quilt the lining and I haven't yet found freely available instructions online
  2. The only chains I have come across are those el cheapo necklaces that you wear to go clubbing (or whatever it is young 'uns do these days), or the chunky ones that cyclists use to prevent their bikes from walking away
  3. there'd be a lot of hand sewing involved
I know, you're saying "she don't even know how to make a 4-gore skirt without it going all monster on her - what makes her think she can handle a tailored jacket?"

And my answer is...I just want to make something that I can get excited about.

Friday, February 19, 2010

One for me, one for her

I finished that long brown skirt (Burda 8280). Here it is
You might be thinking "Gosh, doesn't it look rather enormous!" Well, you'd be right. It's made from a crepe-y viscose fabric that shrank alarming  during it's pre-cut out, pre-shrinking phase - so much so that I had to go and buy extra yardage (or rather, meter-age). But as I stitched it together, it slowly stretched out again...The day I wore this ankle-length skirt, it initially sat at my mid-hip. By the end of the day it was touching the tops of my feet and barely respectable. I'm not sure whether to just take it in at the sides or - gasp - gather it all the way around.

I also made this for The Little Madam, out of an old rib singlet of mine. The decorative elastic at the waist is actually pieced together from the internal bust support of the singlet.

I didn't use a pattern (I'm too cheap). I just traced around an existing stretch skirt, directly onto the singlet and took it from there. The trim is from a grab-bag of offcuts that I bought for 6 bucks, little knowing that most of it would be unused a whole year later.

So that's one skirt for me, and one for TLM.  And you know what? I reckon she won.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Three times free - lunches

You may recall that last month I distinguished myself at work by gobbling down three ice creams in one session, outdoing any of my workmates (though to be fair one of them is a vegan and there is only so much popsicle you can suck).

Well today I had the opportunity to do the same with lunches.

The big all-day meeting that had been planned for today, which I was not expected to attend, got cancelled. But the lunch was not cancelled, so all the staff were treated to free lunch.

Unfortunately for me, I had only just eaten my home-made roast pork sandwich (not free-range, but at least the poor animal's suffering was not for nought). But I did my best and heroically chowed down in a piece of ginger crunch and a few slices of tropical fruit

Fully sated by now, I was off to an afternoon meeting - actually the afternoon session of another all-day meeting (one which I had been invited to, but had completely forgotten about) - and arrived just as the other attendees were diving into a yummy looking spread of club sandwiches, chocolate cake, more tropical fruit and cook meats.

But two lunches in a row was all I could handle. If I'd tried sample lunch number three, I would have done a Mr Creosote all over the nice conference room.

It's just as well, as I'm watching my figure.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Motherhood gives me gumption

Don't you hate it when you get on the bus in the morning to get to work, and find the vehicle is about two thirds full of loud and obnoxious teenagers? It could have beeen a peaceful, brains-off journey - a chance to catch up on your sleep, perhap. But instead you are forced to suffer inane chatter at top-volume, in surround-sound.

I found myself on such a bus and sitting next to an under-showered teenage boy, though to be fair he wasn't contributing to the general noise pollution. But I couldn't wait for the herd of kids to evacuate at their high school bus stop.

And when they did, my seat-mate stood up, swung his immense back pack over one shoulder and silently waited for me to get out of his way.

Still seated, I smiled at him and asked "And what do you say?".

He was good-natured enough to throw me a big sheepish grin and say  "Excuse me".

Monday, February 08, 2010

The question of shoes

Those high heel platform shoes are so hot right now (if you say it like Jacobim Mugatu from Zoolander it sounds better). I quite like the look of them - something about those curves and wotnot - but am sensible enough to know that I simply cannot wear them. And if I could, then I certainly wouldn't be able to walk in them.

Most of the time I wear sensible shoes that are wide-ish at the toe and low-ish in the heel.  They are comfortable and mimimise the likelihood of me falling over and breaking an ankle or two. But there's no denying that I look better in a bit of heel (because only people with Audrey Hepurn-esqe physiques look really good in ballet flats).

Wearing heels increases your sex appeal. Wearing flats increases your agility.

So I guess the question I must ask myself is this:
Do I want to be able to attract men, or do I want to be able to run away from them?

Well seeing as I already have the much-desired attentions of lovely fella, then it has to be the latter...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Sequels I have loved

There are very few movie sequels that I have loved. I loved Matrix. I didn't love the sequels. In fact, I thought the third and last one was a complete waste of time with all it's messianic-references.
The same goes for Alien and Terminator - loved the originality of first one, hated the straight-forwardness of the sequels

Sometimes it's better just to let a story finish without trying to explain the 'verse it inhabits (I'm talking 'bout you, Matrix).
With Alien, the monster surprise was no longer a surprise.
With Terminator, maybe the novelty just wore off.

And yet..and yet...I loved all the Die Hard movies. Why is it that I did not get tired of watching Bruce Willis getting older and balder and getting his body beaten up all the time? He's not pretty like Johnny Depp. Maybe when a sequel that is really just another story with the same main characters as the previous film, it works.

Harry Potter -  yes I have enjoyed every single one, despite whinging about how Hermione's really not supposed to be that pretty, and all those stereotypes about fat boys, and all that boring quidditch. These stories were all designed to follow on from each other, conceptualised from the start by the author. I guess that's why these work whilc others don't.

Lord of the Rings. It's really one story split up into 3 movies, which is similar to Harry Potter.

Anyone else got any theories?