Sunday, November 30, 2008

Artsound Open Day

Artsound radio station had their annual open day today, so I went along to check it out. It was great weather for a BBQ and live jazz performances, and I wore my new jacket that I finished sewing yesterday.

One of the presenters took us on a short guided tour which was interesting because I'd never been inside a radio station before. He told us some interesting factoids about the Artsound premises (well, interesting to me because I don't work in the media). All the studios are identically set up, right down to the chair and desk layout, so that presenters can continue their show in another studio if equipment breaks down.

Artsound also broadcasts 24/7 so there's a music server that will automatically start playing a default track list if programs can't be broadcast. We also went inside the recording studio (Artsound started this service so that local musicians and students didn't have to travel all the way to Sydney to record their work), where the walls and ceiling jut out at crazy angles to divert echoes into the floor.

After listening to a jazz ensemble and a South American folk music group, I went to an exhibition inside the PhotoAccess gallery, which is next door to the Artsound studios. I came in just in time for some cheese and crackers and the launch of Residue, an exhibition by sisters Holly and Valentina Schulte. They had some very striking photos of inner-city and suburban buildings.

I also found a vintage Polaroid on the counter. I wonder if it doubles up as a camouflaged surveillance camera.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cotton jacket

I've just finished sewing a jacket that I started at the beginning of this month. It's
a Burda magazine pattern from February. It's made from canvas-weight stretch cotton drill. The seams are covered with bias binding and the sleeves are lined with contrast polyester bemsilk.

I chose this pattern because I liked the asymmetric front closure. To make the design more streamlined, I removed the horizontal pleats across the chest, omitted the extra row of buttons along the front, and replaced the gathered pockets with pleated ones. I also removed the sleeve cuffs and added epaulettes to the shoulders.

Unfortunately this jacket doesn't fit me properly anymore because I've dropped a dress size since I made the toile last month. I'm certainly not complaining about that but the jacket is baggy around the upper waist area because the front darts don't sit properly anymore. It's too troublesome to fix because I'd have to remove the bias-binding, the pockets and the sleeves; re-position and widen the darts; take in the side seams; then re-attach the pockets, sleeves and binding. I'll stick with taking in the side seams as much as I can.

Extra virgin olive oil

This is extra virgin olive oil from Greece. I only use extra virgin oil because of the strong taste. As you can see, this one is green which I wasn't expecting - the bottle is also green so I couldn't see the colour when I bought it. The oil that I previously tried (also from Greece) was dark yellow. Both are delicious, especially with a few drops of raspberry vinegar which I enjoying eating with bread, but this one has a slight bitter aftertaste.

Handmade market

Last weekend I braved the horrible afternoon weather to visit the Handmade Market. Although I didn't end up buying anything, there were a lot of unique handcrafted items that were interesting. I particularly liked some of the wooden/acrylic jewelry and Amy Butler fabric bags but decided not to splurge because I couldn't think of any coordinates in my wardrobe. Oh well, there's always the next market in February.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Houseproud - not!

When I'm sewing, I don't like to do anything else. That includes cleaning and putting things away. With projects involving sewing or computers, I need to work very intensely and continuously until I'm physically unable to continue - I don't like to stop and start, stop and start.

As a result, this is the current state of my loungeroom:

Note: That white lump in front of the window is a Burda World of Fashion pattern sheet that I used for a jacket pattern. I stick it to the window and use the natural light to help me trace it onto plain paper.

CSS in progress

I never quite got the hang of CSS (cascading style sheets). This blog layout needs an overhaul.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My new blouse

My blouse, which has been a work in progress for several months, is finally finished! If the weather isn't too warm next week, I might wear it to work.

The pattern, Simplicity 4112, is a Built By Wendy design. Although it's meant for cotton fabrics, I decided to make it from a sheer nylon jersey that had been languishing under the bed for 2 years. For the parts that required interfacing, I used polyester organza - just as well I also used it under the puffed sleeves, or they would've sagged.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New cushion cover

Behold my new cushion cover:

"Before" and "After" shots of the loungeroom:

How to buy Burdastyle patterns by credit card

I've been meaning to get the Ute blouse pattern for a while and decided to pay by credit card since the paypal link doesn't work. After some messing around, I was finally able to buy the pattern.

If you're a Burdastyle member and you're buying a pattern for the first time, here's how to do it. Basically it involves clicking on the Shopping Basket link after every step in the purchasing process. This makes the web pages display your updated details so you can move onto the next step.

(Note: the Burdastyle team is working on fixing the technical issues so these instructions may not apply in the near future)

Select the pattern you want to buy and click on Buy pdf. The screen doesn't change so you think nothing's happened, but click on the Shopping Basket link (on the right-hand side of the screen) and your pattern will be in there.

Click on Checkout. Add your billing information and credit card details. Click on the Make Primary option and press Submit. The screen doesn't change but your billing details have been saved as you'll see in the next step.

Click on Shopping Basket and then click on Checkout. Your billing details are now onscreen. Enter your shipping details and click on the Make Primary option. Press Submit. Again, the screen looks the same but your shipping details are in the system.

Click on Shopping Basket and click on Checkout again. You can now see both your Billing Details and Shipping Details. Scroll down the page to the credit card payment option. You should now see a Submit Order button. Click on the button to complete your order. You'll then see a new webpage that has links for downloading the pdf pattern.

If you click on Shopping Basket now, it should be empty.

If you need to change/delete your billing and shipping details, go to Account Info under My Profile.

New patterns

All patterns at Lincraft were half price this week so I bought 2 bag patterns, Simplicity 9949 and McCall's 5198. I've never made a bag before, apart from a basic drawstring bag, but I recently found some nice printed canvas that would look good for summer.