All posts filed under: Miscellenia

The Mackenzie Cardigan and more excitement

Though it’s not historical, I’ve been doing some quite exciting sewing lately – and pattern drafting. The result? The Mackenzie Cardigan! Which is (squee!) almost certainly going to be my first commercially available pattern! Being able to make my patterns available to other sewers has been a huge goal for me for the past few years.  Teaching sewing as I do, it’s become very obvious how few well really well drafted patterns there are available to sewers.  The gap is particularly bad for some garments that I consider absolute wardrobe classics – cardigans, knit wrap dresses, simple darted blouses, the iconic fitted dresses with set in sleeves, slim skirts, and at least 5 darts for fitting, and interesting shift dresses.  The rise of independent pattern companies has been fantastic, as their patterns are often much better than the big five, but here in NZ they are really expensive.  People are always asking about the patterns I draft for myself, but I haven’t had a way to pass them on. I’ve been pattern drafting and and …

Travels in New Zealand: Swimming holes and sudden hailstorms

Today I ran out on a quick errand to the local dairy (like a corner store) and got caught in a hailstorm. As far as hail goes, the stones were pretty un-impressive, the size of small puy lentils, but the shower lasted a good five minutes, and left the road covered in a reasonable drift of white, and me covered in a reasonable amount of wet, cold and shivering.  Luckily home wasn’t far away, because our dairy really is just on the corner of our street! The experience reminded me of another hailstorm, which I briefly mentioned here on the blog when talking about my West Coast road trip, but never went into in great detail. Heading back into the mountains from the West Coast, we asked the garrulous proprietress of the cafe we had breakfast at if there was anything we should see on coastal route from Greymouth to Arthur’s Pass.  We’d already seen the historic miniature bungalow on our way down the inland route, so were hoping for new excitement on our way back. …

Rate the Dress: 1910s suits

What an avalanche of 10s last week’s striped ’40s frock was!  Of the 47 votes, only 13 votes were any number other than a perfect 10!  The only complaint that people could make about the frock was that the fabric was slightly reminiscent of tie fabric, or schoolgirl uniforms.  That association ruined it for one or two of you, but most of you thought it was stylish perfection incarnate (and I couldn’t agree more!), so it came in at a fantastic 9.5 out of 10.   This week let’s stay in the 20th century, and look at a suit from the 1910s – an era where simple lines met quirky details.  This suit of checked wool features interesting layering and details in brown wool.  The tailoring of the suit is contrasted with a very soft, frilly feminine collar. The collar apparently features a pastoral scene with shepherd holding a lamb, leaning against a tree, but I can’t quite make it out. What do you think of the suit, with its muted colour scheme, layered-look jacket, crisp contrast detailing, …