Monday, February 29, 2016

Of Handmade and Humility

Friday I was excited to get to the studio and continue work on the '40s dress (mentioned here).  If you follow me on Instagram, you might've seen my post about the challenges of working with viscose.  So I'd already had a taste of what might be required of me with this.  But I was ready to take my time and continue forging ahead.

An aside here - I can sew, but like many of my other skills (knitting, cooking, bitching - hah!), I'm (more or less) one third trained, one third self-taught, and one third persistent.  I also know that sometimes (I find this especially true in knitting) I have to read instructions over and over again to finally translate them into something I understand.  It was with this mindset that I forged ahead.

Smack down 1:  I thought I'd managed the pleats (there are some great detail photos from someone's successful project here), and I was patiently trying to get the #$?%!* bodice to line up with the &*$#! skirt.

No dice.

Here's another aside.  It was kind of cold that day, and I was feeling less than hearty.  Okay, I didn't feel like biking home on a SoBi so the ladyfriend was going to pick me up.  However, it wasn't like I could call her a couple of hours after she'd dropped me off.  She had a grant deadline, and I didn't want to get in the middle of that.

So I decided to dig up an old project that I'd told Karen about - a pattern that I'd cut out who-knows-how-many-years-ago. (This means at least 13 or more years ago.  I'm serious.  I don't even know if I was living in Brooklyn when this all happened.  I could've been living in DC, which I left in '94).  It is in this amazing, almost ephemeral silk chiffon - the kind where you can't tell which side is the right side.  Pretty gorgeous, I have to say.

Now another aside - I'm positive that my mother and I collaborated on this.  I have all the notions and silk thread even to make the dress, but I don't know why we didn't cut out a lining.  I mean, it's silk chiffon; it's totally transparent.  Also, we cut this out either before I realized that sewing pattern sizes don't necessarily match conventional off-the-rack sizes or I was a little smaller.  Both are possible (she says, as she takes a sip of beer).

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Feel Me, Read Me, Eat Me, Make Me

(Time to clean up all the tabs on my browser; it's starting to drive me crazy.)
My Christmas cactus has a flower!
Seasonal Ontario Food has a two-part series on how big one's vegetable garden should be.  I'm keenly interested in this as we've been doing a major overhaul of our backyard, and there will be a dedicated vegetable garden space.  Combining this with Mother Earth News's recent article on gardens for food preservers, I could be in fine form.  Plus, it makes me think spring is coming.

I follow Lyndsey Eden on Instagram and am always blown away by her beautifully styled food images.  It doesn't hurt that there are actual recipes to go with them, and I'm finding myself intrigued by this salad.  If you're looking for something a bit more hearty, I'd suggest this variation on the twice-baked potato from the New York Times.

Since we're talking about food, I think this book will be finding its way onto my bookshelf soon.

If you're thinking about what to knit, you might to check this out: Naturally Straight Forward is having a flash sale on its patterns.  I bought this shawl pattern
Image from Drea Renee Knits
and this sweater pattern
Krista Blevin Photography

Karen from Day In & Day Out sent me this link, and it's got me wondering whether I could do a similar treatment to some of my clothes.  I did take that embroidery class awhile back...

I'm always in favour of an article that talks about how fashion retailers are capitalizing on the consumer trend of buying clothes that actually last.  While I don't think it's signalling the end of fast fashion, it's nice to know retailers are paying attention (of course, they are when it can mean financial gain).

Dovetailing nicely with this is that the next book in the Colette Book Club is Overdressed:  The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.

Unfortunately, yesterday I got an email announcing the closing of the ethical fashion line Eloise Grey.  I've adored some of her coats, many fabricated in a tweed of undyed shetland yarn woven within 100 miles of the farms on which the sheep were raised.  I could never quite afford one, however.  Everything is on deep discount now, and she has a few items still in stock (alas or perhaps thankfully not in my size) so you might find something for yourself.   If I can enable you, I'm happy.  It's vicarious shopping.

And finally, what's a Feel Me post without something bike related?  Incomplete!  So go ahead and fantasize about what bike trip you might take this year by reading the latest issue of Bicycle Traveler Magazine.  I'm in the process of planning a trip in Quebec with my father.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: No, I Didn't Quit My Job

But I'm taking a snow day today; ever since ViaRail changed their schedule (damn you, ViaRail!), I've been driving to work, and the conditions suck today (actual meteorological term) so I'm staying home.

Here I am in my (home)work clothes for the day.
Dress:  Cappucino dress made by me in what I call Acid Trip Deer Hunter, but the fabric is actually called Dreamlandia
Turtleneck:  Three Dots
Tights:  DKNY
Slippers:  purchased in Morocco

I had last week off; the week before I got to school later than usual and had a lot to take care of so there was no documentation (wore the olive green Junya Watanabe skirt with a Jo Sharp sweater I knit).

Today I'll be catching up on some grading, blocking a sweater,  knitting up some other things, and maybe getting to a long overdue blog post.  Hope everyone is safe and warm wherever they are!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mont Tremblant or My Secret Life as a Ski Bunny

Okay, not really.
But my father and I went to Mont Tremblant the weekend before last for a little ski trip.  I don't get to ski very often, which puts me at a perpetual advanced beginner/intermediate level, but that was fine for our weekend.  My dad was quite accepting of my skills, and we skied well together.
Selfie on the lift!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Feel Me, Read Me, Make Me, Eat Me

Last night the ladyfriend and I went to hear Naomi Klein speak about the link between capitalism and climate change.  Anyone who's experienced the recent snow dump and then April-like weather knows climate change is real.  Actually, anyone who understands facts knows climate change is real.  Her talk was inspiring and thought-provoking.  It is also action-provoking.  Things need to change.

The talk dovetailed nicely with an article I read about sourcing ethical wool.  Not surprisingly, it points to the fact that one of the biggest issues in sourcing ethical wool is avoiding wool processed in China.  This article does talk about the process of mulesing, which actually isn't the main issue; just the main issue groups like PETA like to point to.  I'm thinking about sending this link to my LYS since they're into sourcing "local, independent, and eco friendly yarns," but in a conversation with one of the owners she seemed to accept that most yarn for the larger companies is processed in China.  Not so local, nor independent, nor eco friendly.

I found this article from the owner of Vulpine (a great cycling clothing company) about the great helmet debate level-headed and logical.  Sometimes I wear a helmet; sometimes I don't.

One of the most overrated "holidays" is coming up.  Yep, Valentine's Day, or VD if you have a sense of humour.  Skip Hallmark and make your own pop-up VD card courtesy of Sew in Love.  I really like the sentiment of it.  Check it out.

Love your cats?  If you have one, of course you do!  Why not show your love by making them a little cozy hideaway?

Finally, last night (clearly a busy night for us - hah!) a search for a cinnamon roll in the freezer led to the discovery of a serious cache of overripe bananas so I'm making Banana Cream pie!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Details, Details, Details

Turtleneck:  Three Dots
Vest:  Noro pattern & yarn, knit by yours truly
Skirt:  Yohji Yamamoto
Shoes:  Blundstones