28 January 2010

dual weaning

Lucy had long given up her dummy by the time Audrey came along. Audrey doesn't use one, wouldn't have a piece of it, though we did try her with one earlier on to ease the crying. This was when Lucy's interest was re-piqued(?), and now this sorry sight has been a daily occurence. I am weaning two kids, it seems; one from milk, the other from a dummy. Such an appropriate word. I think I will go out and bury the thing in the garden, tell Lucy a dummy tree will grow, though to be patient as it takes a long time to grow something this good.

wedding faux pas

I don't know if i should be watching this sort of thing, especially with Lucy being flowergirl. And for the record, I did not go looking for this, it was wedding string quartets I was after (you do believe me?). I particularly like the enthusiasm of the woman lunging for the bouquet at 0.35s.

26 January 2010


The reason I am making Lucy's flowergirl dress, and not a dress for me is because my search is O.V.E.R. I found one that I could not bear to leave in the shop a moment longer! Hurrah! Though I'm afraid I can't share it here as it is to be a surprise for all. All I will say is that it is a Collette Dinnigan gown, and I promise to share photos in April.

What I can share here is a flowergirl dress I made for Lucy. I figured I might make more than one, to try different styles out but I'm actually happy with how this turned out. And I made the inside as pretty as the outside, which does matter. It's sewn in an off-white dupion silk, with a couple of hand cut flowers on the bodice. All up I would say there is close to 6m of fabric in this size 3 dress! The pretty tassel-front leather sandals are from Country Road, a sale bargain at around NZ$35 (and even cheaper now!). They hands-down beat a pair of Colors of California sandals I saw recently, seemingly identical in quality, selling for NZ$160.

25 January 2010

nursing audrey

She does love a tight-lip smile. Anyone would assume she has no teeth, but at last count (a couple of months ago) she had twelve. I'm still nursing. Just one short biting episode, but I think she was more surprised than I (and quite teary after I scolded her). I do hope she self-weans (rather than me force it) sometime in her second year, like Lucy did.

I really can't see that happening though - most days she systematically sheds books from our bookshelf, and nine times out of ten the first book she picks up is a tome on breastfeeding (doesn't everybody have one of these in their collection?). Mum remarked (affectionately, I'm sure) that Audrey is a bit greedy, especially considering her lovely, plump thighs (certainly not a case of 'failure to thrive'), and that she is reading the nursing book to see how she can get more milk, and to see how she can make it last longer. A harsh assumption, though quite possibly true. I have been asked by a number of people when I will stop nursing (it would help with weight gain, which is welcome) but Audrey is not ready and nor am I. I couldn't bear to give her formula either, which must be a throw-back to my vegan days.

Here are two shots of Audrey dismantling bookshelves; one at home and the other at a local library. Though I'm not fond of the work it creates for me at home, I think Audrey is helping keep someone at the library in a job.

21 January 2010


That's how Lucy says 'Audrey'. So tonight, elocution 101.

Me: Aud-REY
Lucy: Au-GIE. I did it!
Me: No, not quite. Let's try again. Au-D-REY.
Lucy: Augie-de de de
Me: Hm. Au-DREY
Lucy: Aug-Dee!

Lesson finished.

Without further ado, here is Miss Audrey/Augie/Augie de-de-de on a recent outing.

18 January 2010

3.1 Phillip Lim in black

Hilarious! I found a stock image of the 3.1 Phillip Lim dress (see previous post) in black, and it turns out I was wearing it all wrong! But funnily enough I prefer how I wore it, and to be honest wouldn't have even stopped for two seconds to look at the dress above. It looks somewhat dull, conservative, restrained.

Isn't it funny how the same garment in a different colour, and worn differently, can look so different. Plus the dress I am wearing is a size 6 and I am a size 2. I have always maintained that one shouldn't always go by the size label (though the one I'm wearing would require some nips and tucks should I buy it). I like it worn looser, but that's just me.

Obviously I'm still deliberating (dithering), and currently working on yet another version of my own. At this rate, come April I'll have ten dresses to choose from!

14 January 2010

the bride wore Phillip Lim

Could she?

Today's obsession is this draped 3.1 Phillip Lim dress I saw at a (non-bridal) boutique today. I love how it drapes, the colour is good on me, and I particularly like how it doesn't have BRIDE written all over it. Though Brendan thinks it isn't bridey enough, despite my insistence that it might with the right accessories (headpiece, etc). I think the owner fibbed a bit when she said she got it in around November last year, as I found out it's from his Spring 08 collection. I still love it though, but have been told 'we can do better'. Oh how I despise my parade being rained on!

As for 'proper' wedding shops, I stopped in at John Zimmerman yesterday and there were some lovely pieces there. I did not appreciate, however, his abruptness in telling me I needed to book to try his dresses on (the shop was empty), and when I said I'd have to get back to him as I have two children to factor in (babysitting-wise), he said in no uncertain terms 'don't bring your children'. As if! Even Mum, who was with me as she is up on holiday, was quite offended. So even though he had a couple of lovely dresses, I'm not sure I'll bother going back. He did nothing to make me want to put $3,000 in his hand, that's for sure.

I finally visited Tutta Bella this morning, and the owner Lesley was lovely. She says 'sweety' at the end of every sentence, and although she too requires appointments to try dresses on, she did give me a bit of advice and draped a few dresses over me. There were some nice dresses, but all very bridey, and funnily enough the one that stood out the most was a Vera Wang evening gown, so not even a bridal dress.

What to do, what to do. The day is getting closer, and so far the only one I have taken to is the 3.1 Phillip Lim dress that Brendan thinks 'isn't enough'.

9 January 2010

long black dress

An everyday version of one of the wedding dress mockups, in a silk linen (the fabric is so divine). I generally don't wear black but I do really like this matte dark charcoal, better suited to my colouring. The lighting is making it look more black than charcoal unfortunately, but I'm too tired/lazy/call me what you will to drag the tripod, etc, outside to find a better spot right now.

I won't be using this pattern for a wedding dress, though it'll be a fun day wear one. Very fitted through the bust, then slight gathers from empire waistline and long shaped skirt. Because of the degree of structure in the bodice I don't think I could wear this all day, but it's been helpful knowing what I do and don't want in a wedding dress.

I'm going to make a more easy-fitting version with a few changes and additions, which would be perfect for today's sunny, light breezy weather.

And this is a picture of Sofia C in a Dior dress. If an unknown was wearing it I might have thought it a bit prissy, but I shallowly admit she makes it cool. The one thing I keep thinking about is detail at the back of the dress, as when I'm up front getting married it'll give the guests something interesting to look at.

Also, Lucy got a little dress of her own (a size 3 unstructured version of my fake Marchesa). Lucy loves it (easily pleased, it seems, when it is pink and floaty). Brendan asked if she was wearing her nightie. I guess guys would think the same about all those full smock dresses being worn the last couple of years. Ah, but what do they know (I guess if they're Scott Schuman, though, I wouldn't argue).

All that matters is I get a sweet smile from you know who.

8 January 2010

non-traditional wedding jewelry

Lanvin Transport Bracelet

Today's obsession. A pop of colour, perhaps in grey or in pink, worn with a simple wedding dress.

Vera Wang on Weddings

This is such a beautiful book, and where most large-format pictorial books are shy on written content, Wang manages to discuss pretty much every aspect of the wedding.

To those having trouble digesting the usual array of wedding books and magazines, I highly recommend this wonderful book. To those distinctly unbridey, it may even change your mind...I did say may.

7 January 2010

wedding dress try-on

I spent a lovely morning yesterday looking at wedding dresses, first up visiting Smith and Caughey, a lovely 100+ year old department store, as I knew they stocked Collette Dinnigan. The selection was pretty limited (hence there being only one white one to show here), but it was helpful to try on a few styles and get an expert opinion. The nice Max Mara sales lady thought what suited me was warmer cream or even pinky tones, an empire waist, ruching or detailing at the bodice and skirt front and, fabric-wise, silk chiffon rather than silk charmeuse. She also declared me to be short-ish in the torso as all the bodices would have required an adjustment. She suggested having a dress made (which I'm attempting), and also flying to Australia to visit a Colette Dinnigan store where there would be a complete collection to try on.

I then went on to Tutta Bella, but alas they were still on Christmas vacation, how inconvenient of them. I did take a few photos through the front window as the store is quite lovely, albeit overtly bridey. It didn't make me queasy though, like many do. I wonder if they charge a poultice to try the dresses on. Gawd, I am such a newbie to this world!

And since I was in Herne Bay I decided to pop into Yvonne Bennetti to look for bridesmaid dress ideas. At the time I thought some were lovely, but now I'm not so sure.

Although unsuccessful in finding a dress (not that my hopes were high), it was successful in terms of seeing how dresses were constructed, how they fit and of course the opinion from someone who knows about colours and styles to suit.

On a side note, I love seeing how professional garments are constructed (I'm sure I get sideways looks from sales people as I turn seams inside out and fossick around inside garments). It's the level of finish I am interested in, especially when garments herald a high price tag. A couple of non-bridal Colette Dinnigan dresses, around the $1,000 price mark, declared themselves to be made in China/India. I don't know about you, but those three words immediately shed the garment of any lustre and appeal. I also looked at a simple Max Mara top/dress and the cut was extraordinarily simple (rather than cleverly simple), and the price on it was $995. It looked much like these simple dresses I used to make (this was my first garment sold on Etsy!). Far. Out. I think in the case of that dress Max Mara is definitely adding on a fair whack for having their label inside.

As for Tutta Bella, I'll try them again next week which I'm looking forward to, and in the meantime I'll keep at my own version(s).

5 January 2010

mixy matchy

A linen dress with skirt in the LV dress-style (pleated, though longer) with the Marchesa dress-style bodice from yesterday. I think I prefer this pleated skirt to have the longer true-waist bodice (and that bow), and the length is kind of in no-mans land but it's fun playing around with the different pattern pieces.

Yes, I have plenty else I could (should) be doing but I'm so into sewing dresses right now. Probably heightened because it's beautifully sunny here and I need some everyday frocks to wear. Lucy wants the Marchesa-inspired mockup from yesterday now, she really does prefer all the girly things. Audrey is roaming wild beneath my desk, weaving in and out of cords and modems and sockets and Lucy climbed into Audrey's cot and is calling for me to get her out (for the past 5+ minutes). Not good, and they are both so unbelievably patient. I better up my parenting efforts starting now! Or is it time for a brandy...