Thursday 28 June 2012

Photography Fun: Intro

Photography is such an important part of our world. A lot of memories are nowadays made by photographing the world around us, and our experiences.
If you are a blogger you probably know how important good photography is in attracting, captivating and retaining your readers. And if your blog is of a fashion or sewing nature, photography becomes even more important.
One thing that attracts me to a blog is good quality, interesting photography. I want to be able to look at an overall interesting image of a beautiful garment. With sewing blogs, I also want to be able to look at details clearly. Us seamstresses can be quite nosey of other people’s sewing ;). The most disappointing experience, for me personally, is to see a beautiful garment but to be unable to see any details because the photo is too small or fuzzy.
I have promised many times (some of you might remember) a few learning/ tutorial/ tips type posts on photography but I've been shortcoming. Photography is such a vast subject that I have struggled to organise this successfully. However with me, I need to start first and organise later (dreadfull I know!) so this mars the first post on Photography Fun.
Every month there will be a post on  photography and the following themes will be explored:
  • Equipment
  • Concepts and Jargon
  • Exposure
  • Light
  • Composition
  • Colours
  • Etc.

These posts will focus on portrait photography for bloggers and my aim is to cover these themes wether you have a small compact camera or a digital SLR,  although some posts might be redundant for compact camera users.
You might be wondering what on earth do I know about photography! Well, I am far from being an expert but have done photography for some years now and even though I am self taught, I have learned quite a lot. I know some areas can be seen as a matter of opinion, so I hope no one gets upset over anything I may write. I’ll allow some self indulgence to direct you to my old photography website (not recently updated as I haven’t done much photography since moving out of London).

So my dear readers, do you have any burning questions on photography and any area you’d like to see covered?

Wednesday 20 June 2012

My Vintage Red Polka Dot Dress

I finally took some photos of this beautiful dress I finished over a month ago! I had plans to take photos wearing this dress whilst on holiday in Portugal (1st week of May) using my grandmothers treadle sewing machine as a prop. But then I fell ill and couldn't do it! I then had real trouble combining a time I could go out and take photos with a time of hot weather. In the end I ended up taking indoor photos.
But on to the dress! The pattern is a the vintage Advance 5756, Size 9 Bust 28 seen below. Yes, that is right Bust 28. Now I need to say something very, very important!! If you have any Advance Patterns from the 50s that are a Size 9 Bust 28 please tell me!! I will buy them off you and will pay well. This is the first vintage or non vintage pattern I have made that fits me everywhere just right without any alteration to the pattern.
I have to clarify I am not a size 28 bust, I measure 32 at the bust so there is 10cm ease on this pattern. I would say 5cm would be enough, if not less for this style.
So the fitting was perfect (wrinkles below are due to arms position) and the sewing was pretty straightforward too. Instructions were scarce but there was nothing too challenging.
There's not much more to say about this dress really so I'll leave you with a couple more pictures, a repeat of my pledge for 1950s Advance Pattern in size 9 (i really want them) and a question: Have you found your perfect match on a sewing pattern size or company? Something that will fit straight out of the envelope?

Monday 18 June 2012

Accepting delays

How good are you at setting timeframes and deadlines? Are you one to plan carefully and realistically, bearing in mind foreseen and unforeseen obstacles or do you just wing it and go with the flow?
I confess I am more of the latter, which I must aceppt now, it a real problem in certain areas. Even though I feel frustrated that something hasn't moved along as I wanted, I find accepting it quite liberating. It means now I can re-think and re-plan.
I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for me to release my summer pattern in August. So what has caused delays and what is in the way?
 - I’m getting married in about a months time (OMG!) and even with a very small number of guests there is SO much to organise (unbelievable!!)
 - I work full time in a target driven environment with deadlines looming frequently. I do end up doing extra hours in evenings and are often exaustead by the weekend.
 - I "suddenly" discovered I love gardening and have spent some time outdoors. First spring with a garden, you see!

When I get excited with something I want to do it now; here and then. I am extremely impatient! And that often means I‘m overly confident in doing it quickly. When obstacles arise and I can’t progress I get demotivated. Silly isnt’ it?

I am super motivated to take Suzy Patterns forward, but I rather compromise timings than quality. I am making great progress tackling grading issues and quite positive these will be gone with my next pattern. But to make sure I need more time. A few hours with excel and I feel I’m on track.

The next Suzy Pattern will be for a Autumn/Winter design with a tentative late release early to mid November. I’ll keep you posted on progress!

Thank you for your understanding!

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Violet & Clover

A few days after publishing my last post I hit a serious stumbling block with my new pattern design. It is easily fixed but fixing it means losing some of the main characteristics of the design...which is very annoying! Understandably so (I hope), I felt unmotivated and a tad down. I decided on a mini break from pattern drafting. I lounged around doing nothing for many evenings, which felt good, and with the big weekend approaching I decided to sew for myself. I give you slightly fuzzy photos from Violet and Clover, as worn today.
I missed a buttonhole...duh!!
It was the 3rd go at the Clover trousers. I fiddled further to improve fit of the pattern but not sure it paid off well. I was looking at my Maroon Clovers for alterations but this fabric behaved very differently. It's a lovely soft and comfortable stretch cotton drill (I think) I bought in Portugal.
The Violet blouse is part of my "plan" to sew more blouses and shirts. I used a lovely soft and lightweight fabric of unknown content I bought very cheaply at the Walthamstow meet up. Sleeve insertion had its dramas as did buttonhole making. General speaking though, it was an easy make. I though I wouldn't like the boxiness of the blouse but actually I quite like it. The only issue I'm having with this pattern is the collar. It doesn't seem to lay properly and even though I fiddled with it a lot, I haven't managed to be completely happy with it. Anyone else with collar issues?
I'm still working along to my Couture Dress (slow is better for that type of projects) and will probably sew a couple of jersey tops using Sewaholic Renfrew. And yes, back to pattern drafting!


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