Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cute Little Shop Spotlight

I realize that it has been six weeks since I stumbled over this cute little shop, back when I was visiting Auckland. By now, after a quick stint to Wellington and New Zealand's South Island, I have made my way to Melbourne and will stay in St. Kilda for a couple of days. Still, I wanted to share my Cute Little Shop Spotlight, Auckland Edition with you, to delight in and maybe visit, should you ever amble that way. It's a little fabric and notions shop called "Fabric and Things" between Parnell Rd. and the Auckland Museum. Such pretty fabrics! Look at the one with the roses, can't you just see it as a tea dress?

And those little trims and buttons, sorted by color!

I fell in love with some of the lace (see the two-toned one in the middle?), alas, it was a bit on the pricey side and I need to watch how much I'm carrying in my backpack...

They also had some really sweet handmade things, coin purses and the like...

And don't you think it's a fabulous idea to decorate with framed vintage pattern sleeves?

If you're ever in Auckland, you should really drop by! Here's a photo of the storefront, so you won't miss it:

And afterwards, make your way down Parnell Rd, there are quite a few more quaint little shops there! :)

I'll be back (reasonably) soon, after I've hit the Melboune fabric stores lined out by Carolyn and the thrift shops (already stumbled over two on my way between hostel and supermarket, although they had already closed for the night). I'm also going to meet my boyfriend in Sydney next week! And spend Christmas with him and spend a 3-week holiday on the Aussie Eastcoast! So maybe not all that much blogging and more snogging... ;) (pardon the crude rhyme, I've been reading Harry Potter...)

Happy Holidays everyone! (Even though I'm in zero holiday spirit, this being summer and all...) But Happy Holidays and Happy Sewing, wherever you are!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

standing still

So yes, I'm still enjoying my travels! 

I have been in New Plymouth, Taranaki for the past almost 4 weeks, working at the hospital as a trainee doctor and exploring the places around here.

Two other medical students from England were working with me, and we spent so much time together exploring and talking, cooking and walking around and watching TV, that I hardly spent any time on the internet... 

But it was fun! There are so many beautiful places around here!

(Oh, and I thrifted a really comfy and nice red jersey dress from a salvation army shop in taupo, you can see it in the photo below - I love it!)

My travels continue on Friday, when I make my way to Wellington and from there to the South Island.

Blenheim, Kaikoura, Milford Sounds, Queenstown...

If everything goes well, I'll be going whale watching! And Wine Tasting! (I'll probably skip the Skydiving, though...)

Of couse I've also been a very bad backpacker and hit the fabric store here - not a good idea (for my back) but so many nice fabrics in patterns that I probably won't ever get in Germany! Cute Asian border print canvas, some upholstery fabric scraps for the Desigual inspired garments I've on my to-make list, huge polka-dots on satiny black, sewing novelty fabric... I haven't taken pictures yet, but I'll post them soon - as well as a shopping spotlight blog that I've been meaning to write since I went to Auckland...

Have a nice rest of the week, everybody, and Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Things I like... Holiday Inspiration - Tutorials

I'm pitifully behind on posts on (all three of) my blogs, but reading through my blog feed the past couple of days, I have decided that I'd really like to share some of the things I've stumbled over with you. Sarah and Casey both do that, and I love their inspiration posts, so I'm shamelessly stealing the idea... ;) Though, with my amount of spare time at the moment, it'll probably be more of an occasional than a weekly post...

This week: Holiday Inspiration - Tutorials

1. A looong collection of beautiful tutorials for holiday gifts over on Ms. Cuteness's blog including (but not limited to)

fabulous fabric-covered button necklaces

incredibly cute clutches and

a totally cute hat!

Among more than a dozen other intriguing tutorials.

2. Leather and Lace bangles by One Pearl Button

3. Vintage Purse Organizers by Vintage Girl

4. Boo Dogg's Fabric Necklaces (Tutorial by Amy Butler)

5. and not to forget, Tilly's Crafty Christmas Club, where an incredible amount of cute handmade gifts have already been posted (but you all knew about that, right?).

Have a wonderful week, everybody!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

travelling impressions

Los Angeles - Auckland - Tauranga - Rotarua/Taupo
more verbose reports coming soon...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

busy bee

My dear fellow bloggers, I love travelling. I love the excitement of getting to see new places, meet new people, try new things, but it can also be a little frustrating, especially pertaining to blogging... I've had a very exiting couple of days, visiting LA and arriving in Auckland. So exciting that I've barely managed to sort through my pictures and keep up with my personal blog (which is mostly for my family and friends, but don't hesitate to visit if you'd like to see some more pictures of the places I travel and if you don't mind that the text is all German...) - and seeing stuff I'd like to blog about over here several times a day - like the awesome fabric I bought and that cute little fabric shop... - doesn't make it any easier...

I'm not complaining, because I'm having the time of my life right now! :) I just want to say sorry that I'm really bad about keeping up with blogs at the moment - I barely have time to read, not to mention comment and there are several blog posts in my head that I haven't had the time to write yet.

So, here is a little sewing post before I have the time for another travelling post. :)

I actually managed to get in some sewing while I was visiting my friend in Kentucky. She really loved the brown curderoy, so I decided to make a little pregnancy skirt for her, as thanks for putting up with me (and feeding me) for almost a week. I found some brown knit jersey for the wide waistband and made the skirt a very slight A-line, with no closures and just a couple of back darts. Sadly, it ended up a little bit more slapdash than I would have liked. While I fell in love with my friend's sewing machine on sight...

(isn't it wonderful?! so cute! and the color! ok, I'm done with the exclamation marks...) ...we didn't see eye to eye on thread tension and couldn't resolve our differences without one of those tiny screwdrivers, so she arranged for me to use the sewing machine of one of her nieces. With a little toddler in the way and a BBQ planned for the evening and the machine problems,  fitting and finishing kind of got the short straw, so I was a very bad little sewist and didn't iron the seams or the hem! (I felt really bad about it, too...)

It did turn out wearable, though, so I won't say anything about it anymore! (Also, I won't have to carry around some of that fabric anymore. Good for my back! ;)

I have to admit to being a very bad backpacker, though. Apart from buying the fabric and buttons I already showed you, and those three cute patterns and the buttons shown above (hey, Walmart: 3.50$, home: 10$), I went fabric shopping at the FIDM scholarship store in LA, as per Ali's suggestion.

Dear reader, if you ever go backpacking across the US, don't go there (except for, maybe, with a very empty backpack).

Honestly. Before I went in there, I thought I could get a couple of yards of nice patterned knit fabric, you know, for a summer dress maybe.

In there I was like, oooh, nice fabric, and that too, and you sell those by the yard, too? Well...

Out I came with a little over 10 yards of various very nice fabrics.

Having paid a little over 11$ for all of it.

And about 10 lbs more to carry, in my hand luggage of course, because my backpack is already very full, and the post office had, by the time I saw what I had done, already closed.

So I carried the handsome lot all the way to New Zealand, to post it here, for a horrendous price (although all in all, I've probably still paid less then I would have for the same fabric at home...). And now it is on its merry way around the globe, to Germany.

Whenever I'll wear a garment made from some of that fabric, I bet I'll tell this story to anyone who'll hear it... ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

traveling further

Hi everybody! First of all, thanks so much for your fabric shop suggestions! I went to most of them and had so much fun!

I liked D.C. a lot, I spent loads of time in the different museums and also a day in Georgetown. I met lots of really nice people at the hostel and we had some great days together!

I went to the American Gallery, and although I prefer modern and contemporary art, some of the paintings really struck me. It's the first time that I consciously looked at the way the fabric was painted... 

Look at that gorgeous blue fabric, how it shimmers and falls!

And when I looked at this painting, my first thought was: wow, cute dress! *lol*

I also went to the Natural History Museum, and guess what they had: half a dozen crocheted coral reefs! And they were huge! Some of them were made from wool and some were recycled plastic and cellophane and tapes... It must have taken ages to make!

Also, I tried to be smart in Washington and googled for "fabric shopping" and actually found a couple of shops. They were even conveniently located on the way between Georgetown and my hostel - but when I got there, I couldn't find any of them... I was a little bit disappointed but my wallet (and back) were rather happy about it... ;)

Back in New York, I was again rather happy about my aforementioned new fleece sweater, and I actually took some pictures of it, so here it is:

It's embroidered fleece, lined with a cute rose-printed jersey and I used jersey ribbing for the cuffs and hem. I traced the pattern from and existing sweater and modified it. I think I cut the arm-scythes of the lining a bit too big because the fabric drags there, but it's not too bad...

I spent two afternoons in the garment district, and was overwhelmed with all the shops. The first day, I was a little late, so apart from a couple of trimming shops (where I found some really cute buttons and elastic lace) I only had time to go into Mood. I have to say that I didn't like it all that much, it felt very cluttered and the fabrics felt cheaper than their actual price. They did have a pretty big selection, though... The next day, I went by I think it was P&S Fabrics near Chinatown, and while I didn't find any fabric, they had a huge bowl of buttons for 25c a piece. I found some cute gold ones with anchors and some other gold ones and those cute teal ones...

I also went to B&J, NY Elegant Fabrics and to Paron, but conscious that I'd have to carry the stuff or send it home, nothing awed me enough to actually buy it... except for the slightly stretchy pinstripe in dark blue you see above, from Paron's 50% section. It feels really nice and at 9 bucks a yard, I thought the money was well spent. Especially since it reminded me of this Desigual dress:

I tried it and really liked the look, but not only was it crazy expensive, it also didn't have *any* darts whatsoever - not at the bust, not at the back - so the fit was rather awful... I'm set on recreating it, though! I also saw some more cute styles, and I think I'm going to scour some fabric shops for shiny upholstering/home decor fabric to make something like this:

Oh, and I totally forgot, I also went to Purl in SoHo... such a beautiful shop!

They had so many cute fabrics!

And colorful yarns, and decorations, and, and, and...

I would have loved to buy lots of stuff there, alas, it was very expensive...

Yesterday, my friend from Kentucky picked me up in Nashville, and this morning we went shopping... Bad idea, I guess, since we went by a Walmart and they had a pretty big fabric section - between 2 and 5 $/yd!

Look, it's Elvis fabric, just like Sarah's! I think she made a circle skirt from it and I think that's a great idea! The one on the left side is destinied for a shirt dress, I think, and the third one from the left will become a little A-line skirt, like the ones Ali has made. The last one is from Hobby Lobby, and may be turned into a dress I've seen at Pin Up Girl Clothing...

Well, as soon as I get home, at least...