31 October 2012

I might have accidentally bought some fabric already...

I was in town trying to get things sorted for my immanent departure from the mountains (tomorrow- whoop!) and it happened to be market day.
Which was a pain, because the town isn't very big, so all the centre was closed off to fit the stalls, including the main carparks, which meant I had to drive around for ages trying to find somewhere to park in the side streets and compete with all the shoppers from the surrounding villages for the few available spaces since space is at a premium in the valley.

I might have been slightly distracted from my tasks. After all, who can resist a foreign market?! There were lots of clothes, fruit and veg, cheese and meat, some handcrafted wooden items (timber and woodwork is the traditional industry of the valley, along with wool and cheese).

But then I spotted the fabric :)

It was a remnants stall, and mostly had sheer curtains and bed sheets. But they had some nice clothing fabric mixed in. All of it felt synthetic, but the small remnants (1-2m) were only 1 euro. The large ones were 5 euros. But they looked huge.

In amungst I spotted this fabulous stripy fabric. I love the mix of olive greens, sea blues then the shocking orange. Its just the colours that I love to wear as well. Its something synthetic-ish, but quite light.

I instantly saw a top. Maybe not my usual sorbetto style one... I think this fabric needs a bit more of a fitted look. Maybe it can be the first make of the New Look 6829 I won in Fars giveaway! I'm hoping there is enough fabric for view D. The piece is about 150 x 120 cm. Fingers crossed!

30 October 2012

I won! I won!

I've never won a giveaway before :D

So hopefully soon I will be sewing up some nice new summer clothes thanks to Far @ MemorySeed. How exciting!

Look at all those pleats! 
I'm thinking I might give it a go out of something solid to begin with, maybe kind of like the drawn view, though I think it would be great in a printed voile, if I could get the pleats to work in something thin! Mot sure about that collar, but I'm sure I can find a way to make it work!
I would never have chosen this to buy, but I think it will test me and make me step out of my comfort zone!

I loved this pattern from the moment I saw it. The shape is one I love- defined at the top then flaring out. And those long puff sleeves! So many options!

Thanks for hosting the give-away Far

27 October 2012

Milano Tessuto Ricognizione

Would it be bad to book a hotel based on where the fabric shops seem to cluster?!?
 I'm not that fussed by churches, or art, and if all goes well I'll be back at least twice next year. This year I have 2 nights, and probably one day and a few hours in Milan. I know where my priorities lie- so I want to search out the fabric shops!

I've been putting together a map of fabric shops in Milan. - Negozi di tessuti a Milano

View Fabric Shops Milan in a larger map

The main ones on my list are

Tessuti Raponi - They seem to be the lower end of the market, and apparently used to/still do sell by weight, and include lots of remnants of good fabric. There are 3 in Milan, so I'm sure I cam make it to at least one.

Emmepi Tessuti - They describe themselves as "The Emmepi-Fabrics specializes in the retail sale of fabrics for clothing, classic and trendy, and its supply includes scraps and cuts of excellent quality, prefering those made from natural fibers."

Tessuti Mimmi Gini - they look to have some nice silks and linens in their online store. So definitely worth a look!

And I would like to see what Il Veccio Drappiere has to offer. They look much higher end, but I would love some nice woolen fabric. SO maybe it can be a birthday treat to myself. 

There is also Tessuti Scampoli made famous by fellow sand-groper Carolyn. Its a bit far out of my concentration, so I might have to save it for next time... We'll see how time pans out!

Maybe I will have to mail them back to myself. I think my suitcase will be full of rocks!

PS: Google translate is your friend when it comes to these websites! Or my chrome browser automatically offers to translate for me.

26 October 2012

Christmas Party Planning

I think I want to make a dress for the christmas season... and I think I might use Style 1157.

I might try making one out of something easy to work with first, that I can wear to work during the summer, and them maybe if I like that one then I'll try with something a little slinky for the party season.

I'm also tempted by Collette Patterns Eclair or Parfait, especially now they are available online! So excited by that new option! But I already have this one sitting waiting to go, so I should probably give it a go before buying more!

13 October 2012

I can't wait to get back to try this!

I had something like this in the really good restaurant in town.
So good! Though ours was with a local crumbly cheese sauce.

Broccoli Flan (12 portions)
Flan mixture:
300 gm blanched green broccoli
200 gm whole eggs
90 gm egg yolk
100 gm heavy cream 
60 gm parmesan cheese, graded
S&P to taste
1tsp extra virgin olive oil
Method: In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth texture is obtained, use 3.5 oz muffin mold to fill with the mixture, and bake in preheated oven at 350F for 15 minutes. Allow to cool down before serving.
Brie sauce:
200 ml full fat milk
100 gm brie cheese
Method: In a sauce pan over low heat, combine cheese and milk until completely melted and use a hand mixer to smooth the sauce season with salt and pepper, hold it in a warm spot until service, and garnish with a sliced of your preferred prosciutto.

11 October 2012

Sydney ToughMudder 2012

For our anniversary we took a trip to the NSW Central Coast. More on that later, but the main objective of the trip was to take part in TOUGHMUDDER... a 20km long obstacle course- mud, berlin walls, river crossings, electric shocks- just about everything they could throw at us!

SInce it was for our anniversary- 1 year married and 7 years together- we(I) decided we should do it in appropriate fancy dress :D But obviously the course was going to be tough, so we needed something that wouldn't get in the way too much. Both outfits are made out of cheapo technical fabric refashioned from K-Mart sport clothes. 1 vest, 1 black tshirt and 2 white tshirts = $15. 

Didn't we look great?! Ok, so my dress looks a little like a nighty, but I quite like the draping I managed to do on the back to make a bit of a bustle instead of a train.
The dress was the vest chopped off short, attached to one of the tshirts chopped of below the sleeves. Plus some lace and flowers from the stash (the flowers were prototypes for the actual wedding!)

The suit was the black t-shirt cut open along the front, with the front panel of the other white shirt carefully sewn in along the seams of the black shirt, so it effectively had two front panels. I sewed down the "lapels" so they wouldn't just flop around too much- one side has an actual buttonhole and the other side has a fabric buttonhole, also a prototype from the big day, and sewed the front closing button on through all the layers to make them stay. 
The bow tie is made from the left over fabric scraps and sewn on firmly.
I think he looks quite dapper, all things considered!

Just before the start!
And just after.

Part way through, climbing down to swim a river.
Notice the not-so-white dress!

Then the photos stop... it gets hard to tell who is who when you are this covered in mud!

Most of it wasn't too bad. The spirit of mate-ship was great, so for things like the berlin walls (especially the one that was 4m high) where they way no way in hell most people would be able to get over, there were people to give you a leg over. Or basically throw you over! Some of it was just shear determination, like carrying a log on your shoulder through thigh deep swamp for a kilometer. Easy to start with, horribly hard half way through!

The worst for me was the electric eel. I always knew it was going to be the hardest for me, because I am a strong believer that people and electricity shouldn't mix, but I wanted to try it. It was awful. I was almost in tears just trying to make myself start! Army crawling through the mud in wet clothes under charged wires and regularly getting painful zaps. Halfway through I got a really strong one on my head and freaked, I just wanted to get out of there. But the only real way was to carry on, so I did. While getting zapped some more. I got out the far end and just lay there in a puddle, hyperventilating. Then the Boy picked me up and I burst into tears. After I recovered, I was good to carry on but there was no way I was doing the second electric one!

I loved all the water ones, swimming or wading or jumping off a high platform. They were fun, and cool (it got up to the high 20s), and washed some of the mud off! The monkey bars were hard as they went up hill, not just flat. I was hopeless! And the hills they threw in to wear you out were just plain cruel.

The hardest was the Mud Mile- a series of trenches filled with increasingly viscous mud. They started of OK, but by the end they were so thick that it was really hard to move. Even pulling your self over the top was hard, never mind if you sank in it at all. and by that time (probably about 16-18km in) we were getting pretty tired! My skirt acted as a sail, slowing me down even more. I'll admit we gave up on that one after about 5 of 7 main trenches, in the hope of actually making it to the end of the course. 

We made it through to the end though, slowly but surely!
We had lots of people congratulating us on our anniversary, and saying what a great way it was to celebrate. I have to say I agree!

There were a few casualties- our outfits were binned, and our shoes were donated to charity (though I'm not sure who would want them!)
The Boy kept his bow tie. I think he quite liked it. Win!
I managed to fall on the 5m halfpipe, and land on my cheek/temple. I think I was so shocked at almost making it over the top that when my hand slipped out of the hand of the guy who was going to try and help me over and I totally forgot to protect myself. 
It gave me an awesome black eye to be proud of, but sadly the swelling trapped some of the nasty mud/water in my ear and I developed *the worst* ear infection within 12 hours. I woke up in the middle of the night in agony, and made the Boy drive us around Sydney in a camper van at 7am on a monday trying to find somewhere to buy drugs to make the pain go away... 

I got an emergency appointment with my GP when we were back in Perth that afternoon  because blood stained gunk had started pouring out of my ear hole... too much information, you say?!? Yup, but it was really disturbing, on top of the pain. 
My heart was saying 
"head injury plus fluid in ears = serious"

I knew in my head that it was just a bad infection, but always good to get these things checked! 
(I did get it checked straight away, and they couldn't feel any abnormalities and just gave me a cold pack to help with the swelling, but they had lots of people to cover...)

I flew out to Italy not long after, and got some funny looks. Its hard to explain what I did in English, never mind in a language that I can only just order a coffee in!

So... Would I do it again?
Yes, probably. Now the pain has gone away. If only to see how on earth Perth can produce that much mud, considering we only have sand!

Would I recommend it to others?
I think so. To the right others anyway. I can imagine certain friends wanting to do it, but then complaining the whole way around. Thats not how it works! And we saw a few people who were potentially quite seriously hurt, and heard of more later (but also heard they were OK in the end).  

But if you read what I just wrote and still like the sound of it, then do it! And get a bigger group than 1 or 2 together, because it definitely looked more fun in a team! And wear something like skins that cover your knees. They don't have to be expensive- mine and the Boys were from K-mart, under the rest of the clothes- but I can't imagine the chaffing from all that mud in a non-synthetic, loose pair of shorts, and both of our knees are scratched to hell.