14 January 2012

Declaring my intentions

I've debated over the last few weeks whether I should say something about my lack of blogging activity over the last few months. This morning I've decided that I will 'declare my intentions'.

I started this blog a couple of years ago. It was intended to serve as a record of the changes my husband and I made to our apartment, and also provide some sort of 'creative release' for me. I had been breaking my balls in the same job for almost a decade, and, although it was in a creative industry, I was getting very little back from it (besides a mediocre pay cheque to pay the bills). Having Flying Ducks helped me to feel that I was 'taking control' in some small way. I didn't expect anyone to read, but many of you did (for which I am very grateful).

Eventually, I was blogging several times a week. It was a few months ago that I realised that I didn't understand why I was doing this. It seemed to be mostly just to show off that I'd bought some new kitchen utensil, and not that I'd done something creative in the form of renovating or making. This, it dawned on me, was quite shallow. As many of you know, I also started a new job in the middle of 2011. I have felt much happier as a result, and have no longer felt compelled to force myself to write blog posts in order to feel like I am doing something (however shallow) to fulfil myself.

[I must also point out that I have no problem with those who DO choose to blog on a regular basis, and I am in no way calling your activities shallow. Many of you have a lot of great things to say or show, and many of you blog as an important part of your business promotion. That is something I respect.]

So, what's my plan? Well, I don't plan on closing this blog down. I'll still be using it whenever I feel that I have done something that I am proud of and that I'd like to show off. That might be something we've done to the apartment, or something I've made. What I won't be doing is blogging to show you a new tea towel or fruit bowl or ornament. There will be no giveaways. Ever. I can't say if I'll be blogging on a regular basis or not. That will depend on whether I've done something that I feel is worthy of a post. I may also start to again post on my other blog (which is intended to be largely political in nature), but I won't be forcing that either.

I realise that some of you like regular posts on blogs in order to justify following them, and that's cool. I don't expect everyone to be into it, so I understand if you unfollow. I've already had a couple do this, and that's fine. I'm not going to be paying any attention to my follower numbers or stats in the future. I've never made a cent from this blog and never intend to, so those things are irrelevant. As long as the people who ARE visiting my blog enjoy it, that's what I care about.

Thanks to everyone who's supported Flying Ducks over the last couple of years. I've met so many people (online and in person), and many of you I count as real friends. This has been the best part of it all.

08 January 2012

New sewing project: apple print dress

So rather than addressing the fact that I haven't shown my face around here in quite a while, I'll just get straight into showing you my latest completed sewing project.

A little while ago, my friend Kass (who I've known since I was eight, but not seen since I was twelve) contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in joining her to work on a sewing project. She had an original 1950s dress pattern that she wanted to try out, and I couldn't say no!

We both decided to tackle the view on the left. Kass is also adding the embellishments, but I decided to leave it plain given that I chose a bold fabric. We both made some minor alterations to the bodice, and I also omitted the piped waistband and decided to the bodice directly to the skirt. Here is the bodice in progress.

The bodice was by far the most complicated bit, so I was glad to have that out of the way. However, while the skirt was easy since I've worked with gathers before, it was very time consuming due to the ridiculous volume of fabric. Here is the unfinished dress (no zip or hem) right after I attached the skirt to the bodice.

Finally, once the zip was added and the skirt was hemmed (also very time consuming due to the volume of fabric), it was done! I decided to photograph it with a pop art filter to enhance its brightness.

I've purchased this patent red skinny belt online, as I think it will finish it all off nicely.

This was by far the biggest sewing project I've embarked on, and overall it went very smoothly. It did take me about 12 hours (including cutting the pattern), but I have to say it was well worth it. If I was to make this dress again, I'd definitely remove a lot of the skirt fabric; it's quite heavy (partly due to the canvas-like fabric), so not really suited to Brisbane summer days. That said, I LOVE this dress and will be wearing it every chance I get!