Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An Amazing Royal Find

Who remembers Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding on 29 July 1981? Who was alive then! I was a teenager at High School and remember vividly watching the Royal Wedding. I really disliked Di's dress - not in style but in the way it was made and its proportions. So I immediately made a replica for my biggest doll, that went on display in a local craft shop.
We (the shop) were given a bag of old knitting patterns recently, and when Karyn dived in to raid it, she found this magazine:
It has a knitting pattern for a Sindy wedding dress in it, of course at this stage the dress was still under wraps - so the cover art was quite impressive in its likeness to the actual neckline.
It's in fantastic condition, and I wonder if it has any value?
So far the best value has come from me posting it on Made Marion's Facebook page, and the stories  that have come out - my favourite being of the crowds stuck in London that night as the Tube closed early, who stayed the night in the foyers of the various stations. It must have been really annoying at the time and even scary, but a great yarn!

Monday, May 22, 2017

47 pairs of warm Pyjamas!

Sung to the tune of 47 Ginger Headed Sailors! Which is a very silly song Bertie Wooster sings in the famous TV series. Video clip below.
ANYWAY, local charity Foster Hope put a call out for winter pyjamas for children being placed in foster care. Any excuse for some selfless sewing, the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network members jump to it!
Laura and I staged a flannel raid at the local Voldemart, which was the cheapest option for good quality flannel, and bought as much as we could on our budget of donated coupons and cash. I reckoned we were going to get 25 pairs out which seemed pretty impressive!
These are all but one of the fabrics we bought. It was tricky as we wanted to get gender neutral options, but they were few and far between, whereas some of the girlier ones were on super special, so we probably ended up with more pretty ones than plain. Oh well. (the plain flannel was rubbish quality compared with the prints - what is that all about?) We (Made Marion Craft) contributed the only two flannels I had in stock - the grey with pink butterflies and the second from right top row.
On Thursday I put three loads of flannel through the wash, and dried it and pressed them dry over the next couple of nights. All 40+m of it.
I actually thought I had killed my iron at one point, and bought a new one, but it was the plug. BUT I love my new Tefal iron so all good!
ANYWAY, on Sunday a group of us gathered together to cut out, eat scones and laugh.
Left to right, Laura, Kirsten and Me. Gemma was taking the pic. Aly had been and gone with a stack to sew. I swear I did more than just eat scones ;-)

And I guess I've given the game away - we managed to get 47 pairs of pyjama bottoms out of our haul! Now we have to solve the tops problem. Knit tops, warm enough for winter with good coverage. Sourcing enough knit fabric of the right type and weight is going to be interesting!
Happy Days!

Monday, May 8, 2017


Now folks here's the story of Constance the Moocher!
We did our show and it was fun! I found just the right jacket at City Chic, because tailoring jackets is not my bag for a costume. I made the trousers and the corset I embellished. The rad pink sequin trim that looks a bit like film was $1m. Cheapest costume I ever made!
 Three rows of the trim on the lapels.
 I trimmed the already pink corset with rows of the sequin
 Side trim for trousers, which are super wide, in keeping with the era but also my shape! I am not made for fitting trousers!
 The back wall of the stage area we decorated with clocks of all sizes.
It was strange using a hand held microphone, I usually have a head mike but it was feeding back everywhere so we ditched it. I felt very off not being able to wave both my arms around all the time!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Photos can make you look different!

This is me! It blows my mind! I am sitting on a chair backward, leaning forward, wearing a top hat. Sort of a la Marlene Dietrich. Because, you know, we're so alike hehe.
Sunday past, we did a photo shoot for our 1930s themed cabaret on 6 May and this was one of them.
L-R: Mz Twinkle aka Debbie, Me, Pip, Andrew, Dahlia Dangerous aka Stacey
Group shot. Sadly our two lovely boys couldn't make it to the photo session, but Andrew our inseparably important tech support and husband of Debbie, got scrubbed up to help out. He is very much an integral part of all of our shows so he deserves to be in the cast pic.
The upshot of all this is that we had so much fun! I get bored really fast in photo shoots because I get tired of being snapped, to be honest. But a group shoot is awesome because we had a laugh and we all got a break.
If you are in Wellington NZ and fancy a trip back in time, the show is on at S&Ms, 8pm 6 May, bookings on Eventfinda. xo

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cake for a Fifth Birthday

On 1 April, I turned 52 and my favourite show, Caburlesqe, turned 5. So we had a HUGE cake.
I love making tall cakes - they are so impressive but really not too hard to do. Time consuming yes. Difficult, not so much. The trick is to know your strengths and stick to 'em.
The cake, enough to feed the whole audience and provide cake for a bunch of lunchboxes for a week.
The little frames are made in white chocolate from a silicon mold then brushed with gold lustre dust. The images in them were printed onto an edible sheet by an Auckland company. A trim and a lick of tylose glue and they were all done.
I tried to create an imprinted velvet look by brushing red lustre dust through a rococco type of stencil onto the red fondant but it is a bit subtle! The bottom tier I sprayed with edible gold paint. I love that stuff.
Sadie von Scrumptious and I are the cake fairies - it was Sadie aka Emily, who got married last August. We share Emcee duties and it is rare for us both to be on stage together ad we had a pile of fun!
I got ambushed! Debbie our producer seen here planting one on my cheek, presented me with flowers! Such a lovely birthday surprise <3 p="">
Currently I am feeling the early stages of the nasty cold making its way around the city. Erg. So, it's vitamin C and rest for me. Wish me luck; I don't fancy a winter like last year again.
Mind you, the new shop is warmer and drier than the old one was and maybe I will shake it off!


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Good Friday Catch Up!

Ah, Easter is upon us. I've been rather busy for the past however-many weeks, with new staff, new projects and chasing up evidence of past ones to share.
Finally, a result! Remember in February I had a show in the NZ Fringe Festival with my delightful friend Hans - it seems an eternity ago now. But finally I've had time to go over the videos of each night, choose the one I like best and start uploading them to YouTube. as you dotube.
Our show is Clever and Constance Sing Songs for Grownups. It is thus titled because we sing about things that young people don't really have to deal with.
Of all the songs we butchered in the show, this one is the one everyone keeps talking about. It is very long, but there's a reason for that. The actual song starts about 2:50.
Apologies to my overseas readers, as my accent can sound rather like a chicken clucking I feel. Happily the singing is a bit easier to follow!
If you enjoy this and want to see more, follow the video to YouTube - this song is in a playlist of other songs from the show.
More on weddings and other things soon xo

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The finish line is in sight!

Goodness me the endurance race that has been my February is close to the finishing line!
Songs for Grown Ups closed last night - it was the best fun! Our second venue was a small downstairs club seating about 50 people and it felt just right for what we do.
Costumes hung away, wigs and makeup stowed, sales tallied and initial post show reflections begun.
We have video being edited, but not photos.
Except a couple of selfies! From left to right: Gertrude aka Penny, our dour and terrifying stage manager/care giver. Penny is a smiler and it was an act of supreme self control to maintain a poker face! Constance in her new robe, revealing all her chins. Peeking in at right is Clever Hansel. We all look like our characters!
So, that complete, I've spent today organising everything I need to do in order to drive to Auckland tomorrow! It's an 8-10 hour drive so I am wanting to get going earlyish.  Our Sarah gets married on the 4th and I am part of the "week before pit crew"!
The sewing machine, steamer as well as all the usual stuff one needs for a week away are pretty much under control. NOT under control is the Stepmother of the bride outfit. It is mostly finished in a bag - I have some sewing tasks to do up there so I can finish it then. My attempts to make an orange lace bolero were stymied by me being an EEJIT (more later) so at my Kat's suggestion I dyed one I already own orange, then will overdye it red later. Nobody needs two orange lace boleros.
But today I did fit in some retail therapy. I rarely buy RTW, but I wanted a back up shrug option, and found a black chiffon one at City Chic which could be useful. Also making it into the bag are a leopard skin dress, a fetching halter neck top, and a bra and undies set SO BRIGHT it could be seen from space. I also talked another lady into buying a dress that looked amazing on her.
Oh my, I am looking forward to this week away. A change is as good as a rest and with an action packed schedule of preparation and fun, it will be change not rest, but joy is very invigorating and I am VERY joyful about this.
So many photos and tings to share when I get back. I've done so much interesting sewing but it will have to wait.
Love to you all xo