Monday, 13 May 2019

Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

The Minnie Mouse wardrobe is a lot less developed than I expected it to be so much of my wardrobe for our Easter week away is RTW rather than me made.

The leather jacket which I really want to wear but seem unable to start sewing is sitting patiently waiting for a courageous moment. Sewing in general over the last couple of months has been set aside for some compulsive stash tidying without really very much to show for it if I am being brutally honest.

The only momentous thing that has been achieved since Christmas is we have moved back into our bedroom after at least eighteen months of sleeping in the guest bedroom. Luckily it hasn't been needed with our only overnight visitors sleeping in the second guest bedroom.

Fortunately I have enough clothes in my wardrobe that a lack of sewing is not a disaster and I was able to put together a really effective travel wardrobe.

I took my Singer Featherweight and some sewing with me which added The Sewing Workshop's Ann's Cardigan to my week in Wellington wardrobe. Neither the Silhouette Patterns Lana's jeans in a wine coloured metallic linen nor the Silhouette Patterns Traditional blouse in Atelier Brunette black cotton double gauze were finished whilst away (or even since I have been back).

This selection of garments needed to last me fifteen days (eleven on holiday and four at work). Some garments were included for my work wardrobe and others only for play. The asterisked clothes/accessories went home in the suitcase with my beloved, at the end of our trip together. I only had what I needed for the week in Wellington in my carry-on (a Hedgren duffle bag) that has been part of my weekly commute for many years.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Top row: Victory Patterns Ulysses Trench; *Andrea Moore Bomber jacket; SP Lana's Minnie Mouse jeans; *Andrea Moore Boyfriend jeans
Second row: *TSW Ann's Red Letter tank; *V2494 smocked felted merino cardi; Moochi dress; V1410 Winter Floral dress

Third row: *Ready to Sew Janis Two Ronnies top; *Moochi Kicked tee; *Papercut Patterns Bowline NY Circuit sweater; Moochi Fraction tee
Bottom row: *Moochi Trust tee; Moochi Precinct sweater; *Moochi Kicked tee; *Andrea Moore Fly My Pretty top
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Clockwise from top left: *UN Issey Miyake Step in black; Liberty Orion Print Merion tote bag; UN Lev Wrap Lo in red; *Mulberry black small cross body bag
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
The extras: Self-drafted DKNY leggings; TSW Ann's Red Letter Cardigan; Hedgren duffle bag
As it took me so long to write this post I have pictures of the travel wardrobe in operation over the fifteen days away. I greatly admire those bloggers like Fadanista and My Vintage Inspiration who manage to travel and blog at the same time.

Day 1 Thursday 18 April

The journey north started with an early morning flight to Wellington, where thanks to the late departure of the flight we missed our connection to Auckland and spent a fun filled couple of hours in Wellington airport. Once we finally arrived in Auckland the journey continued by car with a stop at Eutopia Cafe in Kaiwaka for a late lunch. More pictures of the Eutopia Cafe can be found here.

The stats according to Google Maps: flew 787km, drove 350km and walked 1.7km.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Day 2 Good Friday 19 April

On Good Friday we travelled south down the west coast back to the Hokianga harbour, around some of the bays and home again, with lunch at the pub kitchen in Kohukohu - delicious steamed green lipped mussels.

The Papercut Patterns Bowline NY Circuit sweater made two years ago has never been worn as whilst I loved the idea of the sweater the finished product wasn't really me. I decided to give it one last chance to redeem itself and included it in my travel wardrobe. It isn't however my best look and it went into the donate pile after washing.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Left; viewpoint at Mangamuka Gorge; right Kohukohu footbridge
The Kohukohu footbridge is the first stone bridge built in New Zealand, and is the oldest surviving bridge of any construction still in existence in the country. It was built some time between 1843 and 1851 at the mouth of the Waihouuru Creek where it flowed into the Hokianga Harbour. As you can see from the drawing below the span of the bridge was much wider than today and closer to the harbour. The sawmill at Kohukohu created so much sawdust that land was reclaimed resulting in the bridge now being about 500 metres inland from the water's edge.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
One of the converted boatsheds at Kohukohu
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Left and bottom right: St Mary's Church Motuti; top right pier into Hokianga Harbour at Kohukohu
St Mary's Church Motuti is the final resting place of Bishop Pompallier, first Bishop of Auckland. He died in France in 1871, three years after his return from missionary work in New Zealand. He was particularly revered by the Māori people of Hokianga and during the 1990's there was a campaign for the return of the founding Catholic Bishop. In 2002 the campaign achieved success with the  re-interment of the Bishop’s coffin beneath the altar in St Mary’s Church, Motuti.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Driving on the beach at Mitimiti

Day 3 Saturday 20 April

A very relaxing day with a trip to Kaitaia farmers market, then back to the bach for lunch and a lazy afternoon doing nothing, before making pizza for sharing at the Beach Abode pizza night.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Hibiscus flowers in the winterless north

Day 4 Easter Sunday 21 April

Another lazy day this time spent sewing after a walk up to the North Drift Cafe for morning coffee.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Sewing station set up on the dining table!
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Love all these fishes swimming on the Ahipara school fence

Day 5 Easter Monday 22 April

A drive north to Cape Reinga.  Ahipara is at the bottom of 90 Mile Beach which stretches to Scott Point, five kilometres south of Cape Maria van Diemen. For those who are sticklers for the facts the beach is actually 88 kilometres long. As beaches in New Zealand are considered roads we could have driven along the sand, but it's really only suitable for 4WD vehicles and is safe to drive only at specific tide times. The big barrier for us is that rental car companies won’t allow their cars on the sand, mostly for safety reasons. We took the easy route and drove along the road.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Pukenui wharf
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Tapotupotu beach
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
View of the Pohutukawa tree from Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) lighthouse walk
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Meeting of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Cape Reinga lighthouse
Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) is the most spiritually significant place for Māori. It is here that after death, all Māori spirits travel to the pohutukawa tree on the headland of Te Rerenga Wairua. They descend into the underworld (reinga) by sliding down a root into the sea below. The spirits then travel underwater to the Three Kings Islands where they climb out onto Ohaua, the highest point of the islands and bid their last farewell before returning to the land of their ancestors, Hawaiiki-A-Nui.

Day 6 Tuesday 23 April

A drive down the East coast to Kerikeri where we had lunch at The Rusty Tractor (the best meal we had all week). Then on into Kerikeri to do a little retail therapy. We needed to replace the cafetière as my dearly beloved put his thumb through the bottom of the one we had (only a small gash in his thumb nothing to worry about), plus I needed to visit a sewing shop to buy some thread.

The day wasn't really photograph worthy being a bit overcast and drizzly so only an outfit of the day photo complete with rusty tractor.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Day 7 Wednesday 24 April

A brighter day and another drive down the east coast but only as far as Mangonui where we had lunch at the Little Kitchen, with a stop off at the Wild Nekta Cafe for morning tea and a pre-lunch morsel (deep fried Mars bar) at Cable Bay. After all that eating we had a walk along the beach at Taupo Bay.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Mill Bay
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Little Kitchen, Mangonui
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
A walk along the beach at Taupo Bay
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Sometimes eating your dinner (tuatua clam) is hard work

Day 8 ANZAC Day Thursday 25 April

For me this was a stay at home day, as I had some work to do. At least the view was pleasant as I typed away on my laptop.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
The garden at Beach Abode looking out to 90-Mile Beach

Day 9 Friday 26 April

Morning coffee at Beach Box in Coopers Beach, followed by a drive down to Mangonui for lunch, a walk and back to Ahipara. Coffee and gelato at the Beach Box was excellent, not that I had a gelato of my own just a taste of my beloved's.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

From the Waterfront cafe (lunch was pretty average and gave both of us chronic indigestion) we did a bit of the heritage walk, walking up Thomas Street, along St Andrew's walkway, down to the police station and back along the waterfront to the car.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Looking out from viewing point Whakaangi-Kainga o Ngati Kahu into Doubtless Bay
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Viewing point Three Harbour Entrance Pa
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
View of the harbour along from the police station

Day 10 Saturday 27 April

Another visit to the Kaitaia farmers market and then a very long walk on Ahipara beach before a late lunch at the bach.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Day 11 Sunday 28 April

Driving back down to Auckland to catch an early evening flight to Wellington, with a stop for lunch at Bennetts cafe (they also make delicious chocolates) in Mangawhai.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

These self drafted leggings were whipped up on the Wednesday night before the trip as I got a bit obsessed about wearing them with the Moochi Label dress. However the Label dress resembled a sack when I tried it on (after the leggings were sewn) so it was substituted with the above dress.  One day the Label dress will be transformed into something more suitable.
Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe
Bennetts of Mangawhai - cafe and chocolaterie

Days 12-15 Monday 29 April to Thursday 2 May

The return to reality and how harsh it was - selfies in the bathroom at work. Apart from Wednesday when I forgot so made a valiant attempt at an arty selfie back in the hotel room which was a complete fail - think I need longer arms.

Creates Sew Slow: Easter 2019 Travel Wardrobe

Northland Easter 2019: The Film

Google Photos kindly made a slide show, complete with music, of our ten days away in Northland.

And finally...

Photo bombed by the neighbours cat

Monday, 6 May 2019

TSW Ann's Red Letter Ensemble

Two recent purchases came together to make this ensemble. The Sewing Workshop pattern Ann's Cardigan and Tank matched with a recent Marcy Tilton fabric purchase Red Letters viscose knit.

Both the cardigan and the tank journeyed with me to Wellington the week before Easter. Amazingly the tank was finished and the cardigan was complete apart from missing sleeves and unhemmed. In a further burst of enthusiasm I determined to finish them before I started on my Pattern Review mini wardrobe items and they duly accompanied me to Ahipara for our Easter week away. It took me until the Friday after Easter to finally sew the hems on the cardigan sleeves and announce the ensemble finished.

Whilst the cardigan was intended to be part of my travel wardrobe because of its unfinished state another cardigan was packed (V2494 a Donna Karan waist length jacket made many years ago in a charcoal grey felted merino wool which I American smocked). Do they both count as part of the travel wardrobe when the grey jacket was used extensively during our week in Ahipara but went back to Christchurch with my beloved whilst Ann's Red Letter cardigan was part of the four days in Wellington wardrobe?

The finished garments

The finished cardigan is a great shape unfortunately the folded back front band doesn't stay in place causing the double sided nature of the garment to not quite work as imagined. It may be that this fabric is re-made into another cardigan only time will tell. For the tank the length doesn't seem quite right. Once the warmer weather returns next summer I will see how I feel about it and shorten if necessary. So neither garment is a resounding success at this stage but the pattern does have possibilities.

Ann's Cardigan with Moochi Precinct Sweater, Andrea Moore Boyfriend jeans
and United Nude Lev Wrap Lo red shoes
Ann's cardigan letter side out and Ann's tank stripe side out
Cardigan with 1" sway back adjustment and tank without

The cardigan and tank in their various combinations

The fabric

This viscose elastane red letters French jacquard knit from Marcy Tilton is described as a stunning jacquard in red and black with a pleasing jumbled letters design. A variety of knitting patterns make up the design in this gorgeous quality jacquard from a French mill. We've never seen anything like this before! Fabulous. Softly textured with a pliable drape, crosswise stretch with a bit of lengthwise stretch, 9" repeat and just a touch of rolling at the cut edge. The light/mid weight is right for a top, t-shirt, tunic, cardi, dress or skirt.

Pre-treat by machine wash/dry gentle. After sewing, machine wash gentle and air dry.

Creates Sew Slow: TSW Ann's Red Letter Ensemble

Unusually I managed to buy just enough fabric to make these two items with only scraps left over. The little pile on the left was saved for the coat idea that is floating around in my head, whilst the pile on the right was thrown away.

There is however a further purchase of this fabric wending its way to me as the thought of a double sided dress for a future travel wardrobe was too much to resist.

The pattern

This pattern is described as: open cardigan with cascading panels and fold-back front band, front and back waist seams, long sleeves and stitched hems.Wrong side of fabric will show.  Scoop-neck tank with shaped waist, winged side vents, unfinished neck, armhole and hem edges.

Suggested Fabrics are for the cardigan - medium weight knit such as jersey, double knit, ponte, French terry, sweater knit. Novelty knits. Wrong side of fabric will show. For the tank a light to medium weight knit.

Creates Sew Slow: TSW Ann's Red Letter Ensemble

The pattern alterations

My usual pattern alterations were made to the size medium cardigan and tank. For the cardigan I used the size small armhole, narrowed the shoulders 1", with a ½" forward shoulder adjustment, included a 1" sway back adjustment and lengthened 1¾". The finished back length should have been 29" but like the tank top it ended up longer than that but with the cardigan I don't mind the extra length.

For the tank the shoulders were narrowed ¾" with a ½" forward shoulder adjustment and lengthened 4¾". According to the pattern the original back length was 21¼" by adding the 4¾" the top should have finished hip length, instead it finished just below my bottom which would be a 29" finished length. Should measure the pattern to find out why the top is so much longer than expected and adjust it for next time as this length doesn't feel very flattering.

Once the shoulders were narrowed the armhole was re-drawn to maintain the original size. This generally means it ends up being higher at the side seam, as is the case with this armhole.

To lengthen the tank top, the top half of the size medium is traced to the lengthen shorten line (left hand photo below), centre front/centre back length extended the 4¾" of additional length, the traced pattern piece is slid up so the extended centre front/centre back is at the original hem (right hand photo below), size medium hem line is drawn and the two size medium points at the side seam are blended together.

The sewing

Both sides of this jacquard knit are usable so I decided to make both the cardigan and tank reversible. This meant not using the overlocker for the sewing. Instead the cardigan had a faux flat felled seam sewn with the sewing machine. All seams were sewn first with striped sides together at ⅝", one side was trimmed and the other side folded over and top stitched.

For the tank the side seams end in the winged side vents. Striped sides were still sewn together at ⅝" (but only to the marked point) then pressed open with both sides top stitched at ⅜" then trimmed. The winged side vents could then be hemmed easily.

In order for the turned back cardigan front band to be the same side of the fabric as the rest of the cardigan the opposite sides (stripe to alphabet) were sewn together. Originally the whole seam was sewn but that meant the hem couldn't be turned up with the stripe side on the alphabet side of the garment for both the front band and main body of the cardigan. The front band seam was undone, the hem turned and stitched then the front band seam re-stitched as in the photo below.

The re-sewing of the front band to the main body of the cardigan
Perfect mitred corners - shame about the wonky sewing
Both the tank top and the cardigan had four mitred corners each. In the past this would have filled me with dread but the combined wisdom of Gwen Spencer and Louise Cutting ensure perfect mitres every time. Gwen has a fool proof method of marking the fabric to get the perfect mitre and Louise recommends that the fabric is not trimmed. Not trimming the fabric ensures the mitre is plump without any lumpy bits. I have shared Gwen's mitred corner YouTube video before but here is the link again.

The outtake

No outfit of the day as it hasn't really been worn yet, we did however get an arty photo when doing the photo shoot (seems a bit pretentious for what we did with my phone camera) at our Easter holiday bach. The sun was streaming through the slats in the fence I was stood by and created this striped effect.  Love the shell garden ornament which is the point of the picture, we just chose the wrong time of day to take it.