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July 23, 2010

picnic wear

Posted by dogpossum on July 23, 2010 3:24 AM | Comments (0)

Every year dancers go to the Governor's picnic, and to the Gatsby picnic, wearing late 20s/early 30s clobber and having a lovely time dancing to a live band, picnicing, chatting and so on. This year and last the Sartorialist took some lovely photos.

There's also a story on Citizen Couture about one of the dancers. I like the pics, there, but it bothers me that he used staples to keep his vintage trousers' hems up - the damage they'd have done to the fabric under those conditions!

Rick has also posted a story about the day.

I like the summer fashion of these events, and wish we had that sort of thing here. I can never decide what I'd wear, though. I like the light summer dresses of the period, but they do NOT suit my body shape. I do, however, also like the men's fashions - straw boater's, strongly coloured striped jackets, linen trousers, bow ties... It's all good.

Garance Dore made a comment a little while ago about plus sized models being 'unhealthy'. I can't remember what happened with that story, but it caused a bit of a flurry. I liked the way it highlighted the hypocrisy of the Sartorialist's commitment to 'everyday' fashion on 'ordinary' people but only shooting the same old body types.

"picnic wear" was posted in the category lindy hop and other dances and old sew and sew

April 9, 2009

another round-up post

Posted by dogpossum on April 9, 2009 12:27 PM | Comments (1)

Today I have a heavy cold and feel a bit rough. The Squeeze blames a trip on the train. I blame post-allergy secondary infection. Means I spend some time on the couch with Dr Who, so it's not all bad.

The other night we went to see Hot Club of Cowtown.

It was great. I'm not sure I'm struck on the venue, though. The Basement is kind of a sit-down supper club type situation. The sort of venue that I associate with jazz - a jazz club. Which means it's full of people with money who like to sit down and Be Entertained. Which is, of course, inimical to good, hot jazz. Hot jazz should be played to a crowded room full of partyers looking for a good time. Not straights sitting and eating overpriced, uninspired food.
But Cowtown did a fairly good job overcoming the venue. They're friendly sorts, who like a little audience participation. And it was a little tricky at first; they needed the crowd relaxed and engaged. Guess this is when a support act comes in handy. But eventually they had the audience engaged. Took about five songs, but then they had them. They were, musically, as amazing as I remember. And there's something really pleasing about western swing, the western swing they play. It's friendly and cheery and makes you want to dance about like a fool. And sing along.
Before the "likkermission" they invited us to come up and chat and give song requests. Then they wandered down into the main room and mingled. I was excited and also too afraid to go up and gibber like a fan. Though I really, really wanted to. They seemed really nice and friendly, and talked with all sorts of crazy fans. They were happy to sign CDs as well. I made three trips to the souvenir table, trying to work up the guts to say hello. But I'm shy (sometimes). After the show, one of them (the one I love) stood near the door saying goodbye to people. And I managed to squeeze out a little smile and a 'thank you'.
I'm such an idiot. I'd have loved to request Pray for the Lights to go out, but I couldn't get it out.

I did find myself cheering and clapping along mid-set, just as I would for a dance performance. And people looked at me. But it slipped out accidentally. They were giving the 'engage now!' vibe, and jazz has taught me nothing if not how to respond when someone calls.

Overall, it was ace. I bought myself a tshirt (which I'm going to cut up to be my size and just my style) and a sticker (which I think I'll put on my laptop). I had a great time.

On other, slightly related fronts, I have a pair of orthotics in my shoes now, care of the podiatrist. The podiatrist is a friendly, chatty bloke, who takes up most of our sessions yapping. He loves to talk. Which is ok, because I do too. If I didn't know that he sat in there interacting with people all day, I'd suspect he too spent his time making up crap to fill his unemployed days. But I'm happy to chat.
The orthotics, though. They freaking ROCK! We had to walk a bit to get to the HCCT gig the other night, and I didn't get any pain! Well, I got a bit of abrasion from the new shape of my shoe sole - blisters a-coming. But there was no pain inside my foot. And none later that night after we'd gotten home. It was wonderful.

Basically, they change the way I walk. The bit under my arch, just in front of my heel is a bit raised, and this means I put the weight on the outside of my foot more. And this means that I don't put so much pressure on my big toe - I don't put so much weight on my toe, I don't stretch the plantar fascia so much (yay! - less pain!) and I don't then have to roll the weight over to the outside of my foot when my bung ankle can't bend any more. This means I'm just putting the weight down straight onto the main part of my foot, and I don't roll my foot. This will be great when I get dancing - it'll make my weight transfers clearer and easier to follow/lead. It also means that I'm not in pain.
It's all a bit exciting. I haven't been able to walk without pain in four months. And now I can. Of course, part of me wants to run out and go dancing NOW. But the podiatrist headed me off at the pass on that one: no dancing. No experimenting with movement. No! I have to give it six weeks to test it out. Then we talk.

Part of me wonders what effect this new way of walking will have on the rest of my body. I hope it eases the bit of ache I get in my right knee (which is largely a result of the rolling-foot problem). And I hope it eases my right hip a bit (which is similarly affected by my foot). But I hope it doesn't do other things to me which cause problems. But that's what the check up is for. I have noticed that the orthotic changes the way I pedal when I'm riding my bike. All of a sudden, I'm much more efficient.

Because my ankle doesn't bend as much as it should, I have to roll my foot to get enough bend in my leg to pedal properly. But the orthotic starts me off in the right position, so I don't have to roll my foot (or my knee). This means that instead of all the energy I put into pedaling sort of flying off or being wasted in my knee/foot rolling, it goes straight down into the pedaling, moving the wheels around. So riding my bike is suddenly a heap easier and more efficient. It's wonderful.

I'm not sure whether I'll have to use orthotics forever or not. I think it's more that these will teach my muscles how they should be working, and in combination with my exercises, I'll eventually be able to do away with the orthotics. My legs will eventually be working properly and I'll be able to use my muscles and tendons and bones and joints more effectively.

I think one of the most important lessons from all this plantar fascia stuff, is that it's important to pay attention to the aches and pains in your feet and body. If I'd realised I was in pain from the plantar fascia earlier, I could have done something about it. But you get so used to aches and pains when you dance, it's difficult to tell when something important is going on. I guess that's why it's also a good idea to keep in contact with a decent physiotherapist when you do a lot of sport. Even if you're not an elite athlete. :D

"another round-up post" was posted in the category bikes and lindy hop and other dances and music and old sew and sew

September 5, 2008


Posted by dogpossum on September 5, 2008 5:05 PM

this lack of fabric shops is killing me. Yes, I has no self expression.

This is becoming an issue as I'm dropping some girth (owing in part to the lack of bike riding and excess of walking): most of my trousers are now held up with safety pins. Perhaps I shouldn't have been so diligent in lightening my load before we moved. Thank goodness I didn't get rid of those golden/beigh beighe fuck, how do you spell that? Anyhow, those cordurouy ... fuck. Spelling, he no here. Anyway: good thing I kept those pants, right?!

Thankfully, it is now warmer here. The summer is so short. People are still wearing scarves (though I've only found it cold enough to warrant it twice in the two months we've been here, and that was at night), coats, etc. I mock them in my tshirt (and ill-fitting trousers).
Soon I will be wearing shorts and sundresses. Then I will have to be naked most days, once summer comes. Hopefully I will have acclimatised by then. My students (yes, I'm tutoring atm - at a BIG RICH G8 UNIVERSITY - another country after the small, povvy one in Melbourne) would be far to frightened by my over 20, comfortably insulated self. And we must protect the kiddies, mustn't we?


"also" was posted in the category old sew and sew

August 15, 2008

round up

Posted by dogpossum on August 15, 2008 12:24 PM

Enough of the random posts. Just join them all together and make one long stream of consciousness post.

Right now my stomach is feeling unsure. It began feeling unsure yesterday after I had chicken salad from the joint in Summer Hill. I wouldn't have eaten there if it hadn't been 4pm and I hadn't forgotten to have lunch. I'd also walked to the hardware store (again - I freakin' love that place) and then round the long way to the shops, mostly so I could look at the flour mill that's up for redevelopment. I am fascinated by the fact that there's a giant flour mill just down the street, and that it's joined to another flour mill in Dulwich Hill by a special-duty train line. That one's been made into flats, though. But I'm still really interested in it. It seems I'm not the only one into flour mills. There's always someone leaning over the railing on the bridge over the railway, staring at the giant white flour mill (the one in Summer Hill). It's a pretty good view - a long view, from a height. And it's so freakin' big. And you just know that the people having a stare are thinking about what they'd do with the site if they owned it. I don't know why they're bothering - it belongs to a gang of crows who've been terrorising the pigeons in that neck of the woods, and they're not likely to cede it to a bunch of no-winged two-leggers who'd like a little light industrial inner-city living.

So yeah, my stomach feels a bit odd. I can't decide if it's dodgy chicken salad or anxiety. It could quite possibly be low level anxiety. This is the first day I've had to myself in the new house with no real jobs to do. I guess I need to go up to Ashfield to get groceries (we have none). I'd really like to get into the city to a) go to see some Art, and (more importantly), b) find that tapestry speciality place. But I'm apparently crippled by... that thing that makes it difficult to leave the house. I think I might chalk all this up to hormones, as I've actually been feeling quite wonderful ever since we got here. I really like traveling and I love being in a new city. I like all the walking. Plus Sydney's fabulous weather is making me feel so good. I hadn't realised just how draining Melbourne's grey skies and nasty cold were until we left. I am remembering how nice it is to live in a warmer climate. But I'm not so struck on the increased humidity - I am also remembering its effects on my allergies.

It's not so much that I've been shouting at innocent blokes, but more that I've been trying to rub my nose off my face and had trouble concentrating. It could be PMS, but I actually am pretty sure it's allergies screwing with my mood. I'm trying not to take antihistamines as I seem to be on them every single day, but it's not really making me feel nice.

I'm also at home because I'm waiting for tradesmen #62 000. Actually, it's more like tradesman #9. Really. I am liking living in a house where the owner actually fixes things. The things we've needed fixed have been fairly inconsequential... well, except for the River of Effluent... but they've been fixed immediately.

1. windows painted shut? fixed (Charlie, from Greece - my favourite)
2. fence built? done (whatsit from Malta - initially my least favourite, but later one of my top 5)
3. forgotten bathtub spout? done (young fulla who's name I can't remember. ok)
4. garage door doesn't close? not quite fixed, but at least a couple of blokes came to look at it (one of whom was Mal, whose parents were from Italy).
5. garage door still not closing? still not fixed (another bloke who failed to return and give me his life story, though he did provide a few interesting tips on the tensile strength of various metals).
6. sound proofing? quotes done (including.... can't remember his name either. But he was Greek by descent and he lives in the outer suburbs but works in Marrickville. He recommends the cakes in Leichardt)
7 and 8. River of Effluent? dammed. ("Maria! Send tradesmen, please! The garden is full of effluent!" 2 young fullas of skip descent, up to their knees in human waste, giving our drains a good routing. White neighbour-cat carefully discouraged from helping)

9. Today it's another sound proofing guy. Apparently the owner is going ahead with it (which is wonderful). He was supposed to be here between 9.30 and 10, but it's 10.39 now. He and the garage door guy have failed to return.

Part of me is worried about all this tradesman action. I don't want to use up all my credit now when I'll certainly need it in the future... or will I? We have obviously moved up a rental bracket, to that wondrous place where wiring isn't illegal and life-endangering (we have a trip switch! No plug points have caught fire! We have had electricity for at least three weeks!) and where plumbing is generally sound, barring the usual hiccups of a house that's over 100 and recently had new pipes installed. No water mains have burst, filling our veggie patches with boiling water. No windows have broken, letting in arctic winds. And the stove works wonderfully. There are no mice (knock on wood), but I have seen one large cockroach in the house. I remembered why I actually wear thongs. After I dealt with it The Squeeze proceeded to sing 'la cocka roacha!, la cocka roacha!' around the house for about five minutes in a Tom Waits voice. It was entertaining, but perhaps too entertaining so close to bed time - it was difficult to sleep with the thought of Tom Waits serenading me in a Mexican cantina.

So I'm wondering if we're tempting fate with all this tradesmen action.

This hasn't stopped me asking if it's ok to dig up the garden and plant zillions of herbs. Ordinarily I'd just do it, but the landlord seems pretty house-proud, so the rules are different. Our back neighbour (who lives in the back part of this federation home) is a chef, so he's also quite keen on a herb garden/veggie patch. He is now My Friend, partly because I am still in post-move aggressive friendliness mode and will not allow otherwise. He is also the owner of aforementioned friendly white cat (Alby).

Alby is convinced he actually lives in our part of the house as well, and follows me around all day. He divides his time between sleeping in front of the front door in the sun, trying to climb into my laundry basket, romancing me with quite lovely accapella and playing in Rivers of Effluent. I am mightily allergic to cats, so there's no physical contact, a lot of "No! Don't go in there! Get out of there!" This has, of course, made me both the most interesting and the most appealing part of our neighbourhood.
The other day Alby was joined by Fluffy Tailed Black Cat from round the corner, and they both proceeded to play in the mulch and attempt domestic incursions. Alby failed (I think he's a bit dumb - he's very pretty, being white with pale blue eyes and a pink nose - but he's not so smart. He's also quite young), but FTBC had a little more luck. I was making the bed when a pair of large black ears was followed by a goofy black face over the other side of the bed. As I picked him up (physical contact! Aaaargh!) he let out a sort of 'mrprrft' purr-burp and kept up the chainsaw action as I clamped him under the armpits and hefted him outside.
I have also seen a giant orange and white tom with a mangled up face. Both Alby and I gave him a deal of distance as he marked out the new trees as his territory. We were both willing to concede him sovereignty.

On other fronts, I am working at Gleebooks doing functions (thanks Glen!). I like it a LOT. I was too late for sessional teaching this semester, but have lined up some contacts for next year. I have already DJed one set here in Sydney and am set for a blues set this Sunday. It seems there aren't too many DJs here, which is a shame. But I'm really enjoying dancing, so I'm not sure I'm ready to DJ a whole lot. I will set limits.

Last weekend we went to Canberra for Canberrang, the Canberra lindy exchange. I bought a Tshirt and DJed one set. We stayed with an old school friend of mine and only attended two night's worth. I think I prefer shorter events - Fri, Sat, Sun nights max. Any more is kind of too much. We went on the bus and it wasn't too bad. It was also very cheap. On the way back it snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed. It was like Europe. With eucalypts and kangaroos. We had a good time, over all.

We have quite a few friends here in Sydney, and have already had interstate visitors. Next week we get more. And the next week The Squeeze's matriarch arrives, so we will get our tourist on, big time. Which I'm looking forward to. I feel like the OPERA HOUSE is out there doing fun things without me every day. Then we have people coming up for SLX in September. Then my mother in October (perhaps). Then we're down in November for MLX. Then it's christmas, which we may spend in Melbourne, but we aren't sure. So it's all systems go. Sydney is apparently one of those cities people really like to visit. Partly because it rocks - there's just so much to do. And also because the weather is nice. Which is where it pwns Melbourne.

I like Sydney, but I am a bit sad that there are so few fabric shops. I have seen two in Marrickville, and I have been given the sweet lowdown by a dress making Hollywood lindy hopper, and will get on into the city (Haymarket) to find more. Then there's Cabramatta, but that's miles away. At any rate, none are a short bike ride away, so it seems I will have to find new hobbies. Or rediscover old ones. I have also found a yoga studio quite near by, but it is some sort of arty made up bullshit yoga, and not straight out iyengar. I need to get on that ASAP as I miss yoga already. Also, I haven't ridden my bike once. This means that I'm getting more exercise, but I am missing my bike. Poor blacky, stuck in the shed all day, bored and lonely. The Squeeze has been riding to work in the city and comes home with stories about having his arse kicked by the hills and making friends with other bike riders. This city is disturbingly friendly. Everyone seems so delighted that we've left Melbourne for Sydney - there're lots of "How do you like it?"s and chats with strangers about cake. There are fewer conversations about the weather, but I suppose that's because it's so nice here there's really nothing to say beyond "pwoar - another freakin' beautiful day, hey?"

Alright, that's enough blathering. I have to go.... well, not do anything, really, but I might as well think about doing something other than making internet. You know the rules: get out of bed, change out of your pajamas (or pa-yamas! if you're Tom Waits a la cantina), leave the internet alone after a couple of hours. It is, unsurprisingly, a beautiful day, and there're fabric shops to stalk.

"round up" was posted in the category bikes and djing and domesticity and greenies and lindy hop and other dances and old sew and sew and sydney and yoga

June 4, 2008

big, long round up

Posted by dogpossum on June 4, 2008 12:22 PM

To celebrate a return to blogdom....

That's some mighty fine balboa right there. Bal is the 'tighty whitey' member of the swing dance family. Seriously popular, seriously cool and absolutely fabulous for really sweet leading and following. There's less 'room' for the follow to improvise (though a decent follow can make it work), but that's really the appeal - the lead has to not only listen to the music and make it work musically for both partners, they also have to be a really good lead to make the whole thing work. 'Pure bal' often refers to the stuff in 'closed' position - no open position here. But 'bal-swing' is often a term used to include all the other stuff going on in a dance like the one above. These terms are (of course) as contentious as you might expect.
I like it, though I rarely dance it. I can lead very little of it, though I really like the challenge. The bal crowd here are really friendly and fun, so it's always nice to hang out. And because bal is a lot less physically intense than lindy hop (though the tempos are frequently super fast) you can wear nice clothes and avoid looking like a drowned rat at the end of the night. Having said that, I sweat like a fool when I'm leading anything so perhaps that comment is misleading.

In other news, I'm busily preparing for another semester of lecturing and tutoring (casual basis of course :( ) and work has long since begun on MLX8: the Exchange of the Living Dead. It's big, it's bold, it'll be beautiful. If you like to dance de lindy hop (or blues or bal or whatever) you'll like this year's MLX. Winter has pretty much arrived here in the 'wick, though it's oscillating between heinous autumn and proper winter, really. Not much rain, over all, which is kind of crap, though it's very misty and foggy and has been pretty bloody cold.

This past weekend I made a nice suit for interviews. It's blue, made of some sort of stretch and has a sort of pale grey cross-hatch type pattern (very small and discrete). The suit itself includes a nice pencil skirt (tres chic, apparently) with a nice buttoned flap feature thing at the front. The skirt was originally just making use of some left over remnants, so it's actually made of six panels - two large front and back pieces and a smaller, narrower rectangular strip down the centre front and back. The feature flap thing was also remnants. The buttons cost about $17 for both skirt and jacket, which is mad as the fabric itself was less than $10 a metre. The jacket is really quite pretty - Simplicity 4412 (pattern B, the green jacket in the bottom right hand corner):
I haven't used contrasting fabric or buttons (just plain blue buttons) and I've folded up the wide sleeves to make three quarter sleeves (which looks a lot better than the big sacky ones in the photo. It's not lined and there aren't any shoulder pads, though the interfacing is quite stiff and the shoulders do fit quite nicely. I've also cut it a bit closer so it fits quite snugly. Overall, it's very 1930s secretary and gives me the right type of curves. I'm very happy with it. I guess I'm going to have to match it with some sort of heel, as the skirt is over the knee and I want to avoid the frump. But I don't think I'll wear it with a shirt under neath as it doesn't really need it. But perhaps a slip would be a good idea for the skirt.

I also returned to yoga a few weeks ago, after a year's break. It was like being a complete bubb all over again. The hardest thing was relearning how to lie still and quiet for 10 minutes. But now I'm back to twice a week and I LOVE IT.

"big, long round up" was posted in the category old sew and sew and teaching and yoga

April 4, 2007

telly update

Posted by dogpossum on April 4, 2007 12:44 PM | Comments (1)

I've been watching a fair bit of House lately, and while I've decided Hugh Laurie is about as hawt as hawt gets, it's getting a bit wearing. Lots of dramatic blood and far, far too much miserable middle aged man for me.
So I've replaced it with some of this action:

gilmoregirls.jpg The video shop has about six seasons all on DVD so I'm set for a while. The Squeeze is disgusted, but I'm enjoying it. I like it that no one dies. I also like that it's really all about the ladies. The few male characters in the program are really just props for the female characters - Rory has an attractive young thing who's flitting in and out of the narrative, and whose only purpose seems to be admiring Rory's choice in reading matter. Laurelai has a couple of blokes who drop into the story now and then, but they really don't seem to do much except ask her on dates and be knocked back (especially if they're only interested in her for her body), be grilled and then perhaps taken on a date (if they're interested in her brain). Or they make her cups of coffee.
I like it. Nobody dies. I know it's trash, but it's better than Smallville, and there's lots of it.

We are still mowing our way through West Wing - just started season 4. I have to say, I was really disappointed that the CSI secret agen guy was killed off at the end of season 3. He satisfied my inner chick-flick fan.

I care about telly at the moment because I'm on an ob-con fuelled craft kick. I've been quilting like a demon (I do have some lovely photos to put up - I'll get on it STAT), I've been doing some crocheting (I like the complicated patterns, and really get more pleasure out of figuring out how it works than in creating a final product - there's been lots of undoing and redoing), and I've just finished a queen sized quilt thing. The Squeeze hasn't decided whether he wants it to be a quilt cover or a light weight quilt for summer. So I'm waiting on that. That one's lovely - all shades of blue, and lots and lots of different types of Hawaiin print fabric. The patchwork design isn't one of my best, but it was satisfying to put together and actually looks pretty ok.

I've also moved on from the recent rash of thriller/murder mystery books to some restorative Dianne Wynne Jones:

The Pinhoe Egg is lovely children's fantasy, and I'm enjoying it very much.

"telly update" was posted in the category old sew and sew and television

February 21, 2007

she who dies with the most fabric wins

Posted by dogpossum on February 21, 2007 3:12 PM

Bravery report
Ok, so I survived the dentist yesterday. The appointment took about 10 minutes, was absolutely painless and very effective. The dentist was all "Why didn't you come in? There was no reason to suffer that pain for so long for such a little thing?" and I was all "I was scared," and then he was "but I'm not scary, am I? You can talk to me" and then I went "it wasn't rational. If it was rational I would have come in."
But it didn't hurt, he didn't charge me and it doesn't hurt any more. It was just a bit of sticky-out filling that was bumping out into my bite and needed filing down so it didn't echo impact up into my jaw. So now it's all nice and I am much braver about the dentist. He had to remind me: "But that last time was a root canal. That's the most painful thing you can have done. Nothing else will hurt like that." I can't help these things.
I was pretty brave all up. I only teared up a bit when I told him I was scared. I don't know what my problem is - I can get up in front of a few hundred people and do a bit of strutting and telling of shit. I can get up in front of zillions of people and dance like a fool (with authentic chicken steps and all*), do the worm and so on. I can deal with aggressive bullying blokes. I can teach groups of surly teenagers about the internet. I can run massive week-long dance events. I can play music to ensure a room full of picky dancers have a good time. But I can't handle a bit of pain.
Sigh. Something to work on, I guess.

So I go back in a year for a regular check up. I'm sure I'll be back to my pre-surprise-root-canal bravery by then.

Yoga update
On other fronts, I went to yoga again today. That's two weeks since last time. I suck, because I love yoga, it makes me feel so good (though it's hurting at the moment), it helps me avoid injuries and muscle strain in dance and it's fun and social with lots of nice nannas. But I went, and that's what counts.
Then I went to Sugardough and had a nice salad roll and a cup of tea followed by a nice brownie. Then I bought an olive bread thing (like a skinny french loaf, but not as skinny as those Italian bread stick things - help me out here, Galaxy, will you?) which I love eating toasted with fetta cheese on top.

Sewing news
Then I went to the-fabric-store-whose-name-we-cannot-speak and bought too much fabric. I will blog images if I can ever get them off The Squeeze's camera (I have a backlog on there). I bought:

  • some black stuff to make a dress for The Squeeze's sister's wedding (two weeks away or something). It will have straps, a high waist (sort of empire-lined, but A-line skirt), a bodice that's in three bits (I've forgotten the proper name, but it gives a more fitted look) and I'm going to make some little flower petals or some sort of shaped pieces to sew onto the front to add detail. I have a nice purple version I should also blog - I'm too fat for it these days, but it's still one of my favourites. The shaped bits will be like petals (two pieces sewn together to give a bit of a 3D look) and are a black-on-purple paisley-esque print. Very tasteful.
  • some cream background craft fabric with nice green crocodiles printed. This will be a bodice for a dress with a high waist (again - it makes my body look longer), with the sirt made out of an interesting greeny patterned craft fabric. All crocodiles would have been fun, but perhaps a bit too unflattering. I like interesting prints, so I wouldn't have minded the crocodiles all over. Just not the cream background. It will have the green as bias binding around the top of the bodice, and maybe the straps will be the green as well. I'm thinking a crocodile pocket as well. But I haven't decided on the pattern yet. If I love this dress, it may be the wedding outfit. But it's my first green dress ever and I usually don't like any colour that's not black, purple, pink, red, maroon or some other warm colour. I look shit in blues and greens and whites and yellows and oranges (because I am 'olive' coloured. Which means I look yellow when I don't have a tan, which means I look a little jaundiced. I also have dark eyes and eyebrows)
  • two big pieces of white voile with black prints. One is a nice rose sort of pattern (like a line drawing - I know it has a real name but I've forgotten it). The other has a stronger black print and is William Morris-ish. I doubt I'll ever make anything from them but I like looking them. And as we all know, she who dies with the most fabric wins.

Quilting news
Come on, summer, get over yourself. I have a new project to finish and it sucks to have to put the fan on so I can bear to work on it.
Remind me to post some pics of my latest (divine) job, will you? I am all about quilting using found or remnant fabrics, so most of my quilts are quite small, but also quite beautiful**. It's nice to see vintage fabrics from which I made favourite dresses (which died ages ago) all matched up in one quilt.

Cinema review
Yesterday I saw Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man and really enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of Cohen's music and I really liked all the music in the film. It's a doco, but a pretty arty farty one (not much useful knowledge in there), and it's mostly footage of other people at a concert singing Cohen's songs. Rufus Wainwright does a freaking amazing version of Everybody Knows which blew my brain and made the whole film worth the entry cost.
It does, however have fucking Bono and The Edge talking about Cohen and performing with him. I wanted to scream profanities at them. I fucking hate U2. I fucking hate Bono. He sucks arse. And can't sing half as well as he thinks he can. And the Edge? Shit, I could play guitar better than him. It was so pathetic to see them playing with Cohen after people like the Wainwrights, the Handsome Family, Nick Cave and Jarvis Cocker doing these wonderful, interesting versions of Cohen's music. And Bono is suck a wanker. I mean, Hallelujah is a wonderful song, but so freaking obvious.
But aside from thaose nasty little Irish moments, the film was neat. Go if you love Cohen, but don't go if you don't like him. It'd suck if you didn't like him.

*the peck is a very Frankie Manning move. These days I am saying "what would Frankie do?" whenever I want to spice up a basic step. So I imagine I have a giant, 90-year-old-man arse, an interest in boobs and a really low centre of gravity. It really helps me get down off my toes and work it. Just like a dirty old man.

** not in a 'man, you're so talented! what a fabulous bit of patchwork/quilting!' way, but in a 'aren't they nice fabrics?' way.

"she who dies with the most fabric wins" was posted in the category domesticity and fillums and old sew and sew

October 6, 2006

Katherine's bag detail

Posted by dogpossum on October 6, 2006 7:54 PM

Here is a very orange photo of a bag I made out of remnants for the friend who hosted us in Sydney (there is another photo on flickr there if you're interested). Note the little button thingy there - it works as a fastener for the drawstring (which was also recycled - the ribbon from a box of chocolates). The floraly fabric was made into a skirt for a good friend in Canberra, and the lining is from... um... oh, it was supposed to line some wool trousers which turned out to be a big mistake - say no to check trousers.

The whole thing is actually far less orange in real life, but The Squeeze took the photo and he has colour issues, and I couldn't be arsed fiddling with it in photoshop. But the bag turned out well, pleased the recipient, and took only a minute to make. Yay.

(It is of course, non-dancers, a shoe bag. Which I did fill with nice Tasmanian soapy things for presentation)

"Katherine's bag detail" was posted in the category old sew and sew

October 18, 2004


Posted by dogpossum on October 18, 2004 7:12 PM

i've perfected my pattern for 30s berets. the perfect accessory for a neat 30s women's outfit. very chic, especially with a pair of long, wide legged trousers. this is a very nice look.

i've been making lots of clothes for lotte, which require a beret. this is the sort of look i've got going for her:

she's actually proportioned like the women in these pictures, so these outfits look awesome on her. the early 30s are her era.

i also like this look:

similar sort of style. lotte isn't as androgenous, but the style is nice. lots of excellent trouser. and a lot more interesting than the mainstream, late 30s american fashion. this french stuff rawks.

though we're also planning some overalls like the orange ones in this photo:

i've bought some turquoise fabric, rather than orange, will be just as good. they didn't have any of the fabric in the orange. it's a very lotte colour.

this is the other idea for overalls:

this is actually a 40s pattern. that orange one is a later 30s (post 1935) pattern.
40s stuff is very chic with swingers, very swing, but i tend to associate it with the west coast in the 40s, the movement of lindy hop into the mainstream and the whole white appropriation of the dance. i'm really digging the 30s era on the east coast a whole lot more. i prefer the dance itself (a la whitey's lindy hoppers etc), i prefer the fashion of the 30s, and i know lotte does as well.

so it's all cool.

"meanwhile" was posted in the category old sew and sew


Posted by dogpossum on October 18, 2004 6:56 PM

a decent pattern for men's 30s trousers. this one is from 1934.

i did have this one:

which is a picture of 1933 oxford bags, but it's a bit much for your average swinger. The Squeeze adores his, though. of course. aren't they huge? like giant 70s flares. and doods were wearing these in the 30s. originally over plus 4s, which were a little riske at the time. especially on oxford university's campus, where they were banned. blokes wore oxford bags over their plus 4s to hide the illicit shorter trousers.

while plus 4s were far more radical than the large trouser, they've not had a big revival in melbourne swing. i can think of only one guy who's ever worn his out in public.

i've been looking for a decent pattern or picture to inspire a pattern so i can finally make a pair of trousers for a friend who requested them aaages ago.
i'm still scared of making men's trousers. goddamn The Squeeze. he's ruined my confidence in my sewing for men...

"finally" was posted in the category old sew and sew

October 10, 2004

sewing update

Posted by dogpossum on October 10, 2004 10:34 PM

now i'm making trousers for dachelle (with plans for a pair of very short sailor pants style shorts), spent some time altering some old trousers of mine for corinne (with plans to help her figure out how to make them for herself), have done a bit of alteration for doris and still have multiple projects on the go for lotte.
i have pair of denim pants on the go for me, but i hate altering my own pants. and it's denim: too much work. i think i have an idea for a dress for me, but i'm still ruminating.

dachelle will colour my hair for me, corinne has been very good about lifts places, and doris provided an excellent afternoon tea. dachelle's past life as a cook has been a bit of a score as well.
this seamstress gig ain't so bad.

lotte's projects have changed. i've had a shitty time with the sleeves on the jacket of the suit, so i'm ditching it. or else making it sleeveless.
she has a pair of maroon trousers, a blue gingham tie-waiste, buttonup, sleeveless shirt, a blue collared, sleeved blouse done, and i've got a black and white striped shirt in progress, with plans for a pair of black sailor pants style trousers. those i'll make a bit quirky. lotte's not really into full on vintage, so i'll make them sailor suit themed, but actually kind of quirky. make the buttons out of alignment and different sizes (rather than a row down from each hip). i'll use a lighter, softer fabric so they're comfy. high waisted of course. though actually all these 'high waisted' trousers are actually normal waiste height. just feel high with today's fashions...

we also have plans for a pair of late 30s/40s overalls, high waisted, in a bright colour. orange or blue or turquoise, or red. in that order of preference. with a little contrasting colour blouse underneath. this is a very lotte outfit, which i know she'll adore. i'll match it with a bright headscarf.

for the black and white ball outfit i need to make a red beret to bring colour up around her face as she doesn't look so good in black and white. i'm also planning a red necklace of some sort. savers here i come.

there's also a blue blouse to buy to go with the blue plaid skirt i found in tasmania. i might also make up some white frilly knickers for that outfit (tres swinger).

and sorted!

what will i wear at mlx? oh, i don't know. clothes i hope. who cares.

"sewing update" was posted in the category old sew and sew

October 6, 2004

30s fashion

Posted by dogpossum on October 6, 2004 10:36 PM

we're having technical difficulties over at free swing press.

uh-oh. problems with images...

"30s fashion" was posted in the category old sew and sew

September 27, 2004


Posted by dogpossum on September 27, 2004 9:48 PM

i've been working on some outfits for lotte to wear during mlx this year. i'm going for a vintage 30s theme. some of it is historically accurate, some is sort of 30s themed, but more loosely interpreted.

lotte has the perfect figure for early 30s stuff, pre 1935. long legs, slim build, tall. but that earlier stuff isn't too practical for dancing. she also prefers trousers, and while women were wearing trouser then, it really wasn't until later (with the beginning of the war and women's mobilisation in the conflict in various capacities) that trousers became common-place.

so i've had to compromise and go for later 30s stuff, for the most part.

i am keen to do some nice earlier 30s stuff, though. i'm also very interested in some deco-styled garments, late 20s stuff. but that's not really the clothing of swingers...
hm. we'll see.

meanwhile, that picture up there is of my prelim plans for lotte's outfit for the ball.
my movable type is totally rooted at the moment.i cannot upload images at all. not even on fsp, i don't think. if anyone can help me out with that, i'll love them forever...

, which is black and white themed. and difficult to work with. bit naff and over-done if you ask me. i reckon black and white cinema would be way excellenter, and give people something to really work with, as they did in 2002.

"sewing" was posted in the category old sew and sew


About dogpossum

i live in melbourne sydney, australia, like jazz music and dance, swear too much, sew, drink a lot of tea and adore puns. ask me about my phd.