Tuesday 20 February 2024

Guo Pei: Fashion, Art, Fantasy Exhibition


Rihanna's famous Met Gala gown

This garment had at least 50000 hours spent on it

Guo Pei is a Chinese couturier, who creates the most magical, fantastical sculptural beaded and embroidered garments.  For more about her see here.

I enjoyed the exhibition so much, I revisited it and was able to absorb the details in her creations without as many people around. 

The yellow gown made famous when Rihanna wore it to the Met Gala weighs around 25kg.  Some of the garments have had up to 50000 hours spend on them.

As a sewer and embroiderer, I really want to touch them, and lift pieces up to see what's underneath, but understandable one can't, so lots of photos and close-ups where I could were taken.

I totally recommend see this exhibition f you get the opportunity.

Monday 12 February 2024

A New Year and a January Round Up


A belated happy new year, even though it's halfway through February already.

January was a pretty lazy month, some time off over Christmas and New year, lots of books were read, no sewing was done, though I did purchase some fabric. My dahlias and zinnias have finally started flowering and I am loving having big bright bouquets in my house.  I've hiked, and continued my daily walks, paddle boarded, and went on a holiday with The Scout to Mangiwhai.   Most excitingly I have booked myself a trip to Brisbane later in the year.

Lets see what February brings.

Friday 22 December 2023

Papercut Patterns - Lulee Dress



As soon as I saw the new Lulee Dress pattern from Papercut Patterns, I knew I had to make this.

I had two fabrics suitable in my stash, a beautiful cornflower blue linen and a hot pink /orange rayon.

Needless to say I chose the more difficult option - the rayon.  Hanging it outside on the clothesline and spray starching it made a huge difference to it's manageability when cutting and avoiding stretching on the bias.  I made a size 4, and it's very true to size, I shortened the sleeve to sit halfway between the short and long-sleeved lengths, and shortened the dress length by 3"/7.5cm.  Probably the hardest part was inserting a 35cm invisible zip in the side seam.  For a change this went in beautifully on the first attempt.

I love the fit and feel of this dress, the keyhole in the back and the swishy bias skirts and puff sleeves.

I'm sure I might need to find some heels in the perfect shade of orange to go with this.

Monday 4 December 2023

Kismet Kiss - A Finished Quilt


Photo from https://www.instagram.com/cultivatedbychristin/

Yay - I'm so pleased I managed to finish a quilt this year.

I started my Kismet Kiss quilt back in April 2021 and as usual, with my quilts, it has been a slow process. 

Originally I had planned a totally random scrappy quilt, but decided to make it a little more cohesive using colours from a  beautiful floral arrangement as my colour palette.  I think I managed to work within the restrictions quite well. 

The English paper pieced blocks (EPP) were supposed to number about 48, but I got sick of doing them and stopped at 25.  These were all pieced together in January this year .   Borders from Kaffe Fasset fabrics were added to make the quilt a useable size, and a multi fabric pieced backing in colours similar to those I used used in the quilt front was made.  I decided to hand quilt it using a deep purple perle thread, my stitches are definitely not even, but really no one will be looking that closely ( hope)  and I do think that finished is better than perfect. 

The binding is an orange grunge fabric with colours found in the quilt too.

I am really happy with how this quilt has turned out, and as yet haven't decided if it will be a keeper or gift.

Monday 10 July 2023

Tama Lakes


Lower Tama Lake

Me at Upper Tama Lake, Mt Ngaruahoe in the background

Taranaki Falls

The Scout and I have just come back from a few days break away.  We stayed and Taupo, which is a rather chilly place in winter.  A lot of reading, some walking and hand sewing was done by me.

Probably the highlight of my break was a trip down to National Park in the centre of the North Island.  This is the major ski area of the North Island, and still an active volcanic field.

We are not skiers, but chose to do the Tama Lakes hiking track, returning back to our vehicle via the Taranaki Falls track.  Thankfully it was the most beautifully fine day, if rather cold.  I had all the thermal layers on.  The return trip is about 18 km, 5-6 hours walking, depending on fitness and how many times you stop to take photos.

It was icy, very windy in places, the plant life was very different to what I expected too.  There was low level snow in places, and icy parts of the track to navigate.  The final 1.4 km from lower Tama Lake up to the Upper Tama Lake was hard work, but oh so worth it when I got there, with picture perfect views of Mt Ngaruahoe.

The walk back down seemed harder, though the waterfall was pretty spectacular. 

All in all, it was a fabulous day, with astounding views, and great memories.