Saturday, April 30, 2016

Me-Made-May 2016 Pledge

I cannot believe how fast this year is passing, nor how extremely slowly winter is disappearing - it's cold enough to still have the heating on and it's May already tomorrow! And with May comes Me-Made-May! Organised by Zoe of So, Zo every year, it is a month where you set yourself a challenge to do with wearing me-made clothing. It should be something that is personally challenging. It could be wearing a me-made item a few times a week, or solely me-made garments every day. It's up to you to decide.

I have been hesitating over whether to join in all the fun this year. I've taken part in a lot of these Me-Made-Mays over the years, I know I can go months just wearing my clothes. That in itself isn't extremely challenging although it means I have to give up my store-bought jeans (and the wearing of all my boyfriends clothes - his stuff all fits me - cardigans, jeans, everything!). I was thinking I can use this challenge as a chance to change how I feel in my clothes. Lately the weather has been so miserable and I have been in a rush to get out the door so I have worn some outfits that I don't totally love. I am generally a big fan of mismatched clothing but recently I haven't been doing it in a way that I find aesthetic... I would like to use this month to work on that, to really think about what I am wearing and plan things out because it makes me feel so much better about myself, more confident, when I wear an outfit I love.

'I, Jodi Wade of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear only me-made clothing (excluding undergarments and hosiery) in outfits I consider to be nice each day for the duration of May 2016'

Also, this challenge is a great reason to finish some of the many half finished projects I have lying around everywhere, so I can have some variety in my wardrobe!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Teenage Treasures

I went back to New Zealand for a visit earlier this year. I had a lot of fun going though all my old boxes, my wardrobe and my dresser throwing out lots of things, choosing what I really want to keep. My dad had been a bit annoyed about all my stuff still being in my old bedroom (it was basically untouched for, oh, 13 years) but I managed to empty it.

I even found all my old payslips from when I worked at KFC during high school. And my old bank statements from the same time period. It was quite hilarious/shocking to see how much I spent on fabric back then!! Half of my pay check went on fabric! I wish I was exaggerating. (And I earned so little! Just over $5 an hour...) And then seeing how much of that fabric was still sitting in my wardrobe... (it is now mostly in my mum's stash because we have similar fabric taste). Nowadays I am really trying to not buy too much fabric because I have so much to use up and it takes up so much space.

My style as a teenager was much more colourful and brave than it is now. I brought back with me a few of my old cardigans but the majority of pieces I just cannot wear anymore.

Like for example this fluffy, furry orange hoodie with gold bead string with a matching skirt from 2002.

All of my skirts from about this time (early 2000s) seem to have these ridiculously high splits. They are quite obscene. I was even embarrassed wearing them in front of my mum for the photos.

This pink dress was one of my favourites back in 2001. I modified a 70's pattern to make it. It's a little bit too tight now, made me feel too self-conscious, (and of course, another scandalous split...) so this one stayed in NZ.

This green zigzag dress is made from the original pattern of the above pink dress. I think I made this one in 2000 when I was 15 or 16. Back then I didn't care about pattern matching. At all! I used to love wearing this with matching green tights. It's a little too tight for comfort now even though it's a stretch fabric.

 This next outfit is kind of horrifying. I almost didn't post this because it is so unflattering. I think I wore the skirt quite a bit but I am pretty sure the matching (hahahaha, what was I thinking?!) top never saw the light of day.

I loved these blue pants to death. It was rather surprising for me to see how badly they are sewn. The insides are not finished at all. The waist is so high! They are from around 2000 when I was 15, the top from about 2002.

My gown for the ball (prom) when I was 17. I can't believe I can still get it on!! Not much breathing room though. I'm surprised at all the details in it like boning and an internal bodice. I was very last minute sewing this up, I made it in a week and it was only finished half an hour before the ball started... One of the pieces I am most proud of.

The main reason for my trip was my Nana's (grandmother's) 90th birthday. She's really cool, she keeps up with things, she's active on facebook, has skype, learns languages online! We had a big party for her which was lots of fun with lots of my rellies and family friends. On the day of her actual birthday I went over to her place. She mentioned she had found her wedding dress a few days before. Now this is a dress I have ALWAYS wanted to see but never had because it was "up in a cupboard somewhere". I got to try it on!! My Aunty Bonnie was so patient and did up the seemingly thousands of buttons (with tiny, tiny loops). It's a little short in the front, and the sleeves could be a tad longer but the bodice fit perfectly. I couldn't believe it. My grandparents married in 1948. People loved her dress so much a few of her acquaintances copied it!

I'm not married! Playing dress up only!

The details on it are amazing.

There is not much I love as much as playing dressing up!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Undies Undies Undies

This year I have been using up a lot of my stash fabric making underwear. They take only an hour or two, and I love putting the pretty little details on them - ribbons, bows, lace.

This fabric is from Istanbul. I bought it four years ago at the Sali Pazari. Has it really only been 4 years? It feels so long ago but then again also so very recent. I bought metres and metres of this stuff. I don't think I completed anything from it though.

This fabric is left over from when I made pajamas five years ago.

I can't even remember how long ago I got this blue cotton. The yellow elastic and the lace are from my grandmother's stash which she has been collecting for me. She's wonderful!

I bought this fabric sometime last year I think. 

This floral/herbal fabric has been languishing for years in my stash. Likewise the green ribbon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Me-Made-May Days 1-6

May is already well underway. Time is passing so fast. I'm loving participating in Me-Made-May again. It is making me wear clothes I probably wouldn't pull out of my wardrobe otherwise.

Day 1

I spent the day running round, baking, doing errands.

What I wore early on:

Then in the evening we had drinks at our place. There may have been dancing.

What I wore later:

Day 2

We went for the night to a little tiny town in North Eastern Hungary. I couldn't believe the contrast in the buildings there. An ornate palace and a few other beautifully kept buildings, and then the rest of the town is in a completely run-down state.

Beautiful yellow fields of rapeseed
Hungarian countryside
The weather was awful in Budapest but it cleared up

What I wore:

Day 3

What I wore:

  • Goosefoot hoodie, self drafted
  • Black track pants, self drafted
So nice just spending the afternoon at home

Day 4

What I wore:

Enjoying the sunshine, Spring is finally here!

Day 5

Did you know Sylvanian families still exist!!! I couldn't believe my eyes. I want to have kids just so I can have Sylvanian Family things!! I used to play with them when I was about four years old (I never had my own but my cousins did). Nostalgia.

What I wore:

A Sylvanian sized beer! Everything in the supermarket is so adorable.

Day 6

Budapest has suddenly had summer weather (27 degrees!) which calls for summer dresses.

What I wore:

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Me-Made-May 2015 pledge

I wasn't sure whether to join in with Me-Made-May this year or not. I bought two pairs of jeans last year and I have gotten so used to wearing them after spending years only rarely in jeans. It will be hard to give them up for a month. But I'm going to try! Also I don't have so many me-made cardigans or jumpers so it will be a definite challenge! Last year I participated in Me-Made-May but it was so hard posting pics all the time so I think I didn't even post them on my blog in the end. I hope that will be different this year.

 'I, Jodi Wade, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear only me-made clothes each day for the duration of May 2015 with the exception of undergarments and hosiery'.

Monday, April 6, 2015


I've just moved flats and with the packing (and starting of the unpacking) I have realised how I have really far too much fabric in my stash. Far, far too much. I don't know where to store all this fabric - I have even been thinking of buying furniture to store it all.  I came across the Stashbusting Sewalong 2015 which is just what I need. I'm joining a little late in the year but better late than never, right?

I have a lot of pieces of fabric I love which I have been saving for the perfect idea or pattern. Some I have had for years. I want to reduce all these. I will make a hard goal.

Stashbusting Pledge
 "I, Jodi Wade, commit to making 52 items from stash fabric in 2015. I also commit to not buying any new fabric except for that which I need to complete projects or for items for others until I have made things from at least 15 pieces of fabric."  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bikini Weather

Summer again. I love the summer. Hot weather. Holidays. SUMMER CLOTHES.

I haven't been doing much sewing this summer though. Just working, travelling, reading, drinking.

With Ron at the Dead Sea

One of my most favourite people in the world lives in Tel Aviv. Ron used to live here in Budapest and then moved back to Israel about five years ago and had been telling me ever since to visit him. So I finally did at the end of June. And it was wonderful! Great food, the sea, sunshine, cool people, cool bars.

The trip was a great excuse to make a new bikini.

It's actually the first triangle bikini top I've made. The last few years I've just kept making bandeau variations and that was getting pretty boring. I made up the pattern myself. It could use a little work still - I would add a cm or two to the back of the bottoms so I don't have to keep pulling them up to avoid showing any crack, and I would make the elastic a little tighter around the waist.

We went for a day trip to the Dead Sea. What an amazing place! It's so beautiful and still. The water is extremely hot - hotter than I would run a bath - and so salty. Oh my god the pain when the water got in my eyes... But besides that, it was so relaxing. We even fell asleep for an hour just floating on the top of the water. You can't sink, you can't even really swim because it is near impossible to kick your legs down into the water you are so buoyant!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Me-Made-May starts again soon!

For quite a few years now the wonderful sewing blogger Zoe has been organising “Me-Made-May”. It's a month for sewers to challenge themselves by wearing clothes they have made themselves. Everyone sets their own challenge, what is hard for them – some try to wear one garment each day, others try to wear only me-made. There is a Flickr group where people can post photos of their daily outfits. There is a huge world of sewers out there and it is so interesting to see what types of things they make and how talented they are.

This challenge is hard for me because I have very few tops or sweaters that I have made myself. Actually I have very few jumpers at all. It's a big gap in my wardrobe. I have brought one non-me-made cardigan with me which I am hoping I will not have to resort to. It's hard though, because normally I wear quite mismatched clothes (polka dots with stripes with plaid for instance) but I will go to a wedding here and I want to look somewhat elegant.

 'I, Jodi, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear only wear garments I have made myself (with the exception of hosiery, lingerie and footwear) each day for the duration of May 2014'

I've taken part in quite a few of the previous challenges. I wasn't sure whether to participate this year or not. I am in Istanbul for the first week of the month (actually I just got to Istanbul now, sitting at the airport, waiting for the shuttle bus to depart. I JUST missed the last one – half an hour to wait...). I have packed reasonably lightly – so I can fill my backpack up with sewing knick knacks on the way back. I was last here three years ago so I am very excited to be back! There are so many places I want to see again, markets to visit, fabric and haberdashery to buy! And the food... I can't wait to go down by the sea and have a fish sandwich and eat mussels. I had been thinking about coming back for a visit for a long time (since I was last here basically).

Ok, now it's a few hours later since I last wrote. This has been a wonderful day. I met so many different and interesting people.

I chatted with these guys for the whole long trip from the airport to the city (so much traffic!). They work in Iraq and their flights were cancelled because of the elections that will be held there in a few days. So crazy, they just shut the airports, hardly any notice. So these guys travelled hours and hours by bus to get to Istanbul to take different flights. They were still so cheerful though!

I went to one of my favourite cafes. It's so relaxed and cosy. 

There are new staff but all so lovely. One especially I talked to a lot. A new friend :) She's an artist, a painter. She has a blog with her work.

I arrived here wanting to stay somewhere in Cihangir but not having any definite plans. I'm staying in a small quiet hostel off a busy, vibrant street I love. This neighbourhood, it feels so much like home. I had thought I would spend this evening out partying somewhere. Instead I ended up playing dress up with a 45 year old man! After dinner I walked into the empty hostel and the owner who I hadn't met before was wearing an Ottoman jacket and hanging dresses up on the walls so I had to ask what was up. Turns out he used to be a tailor for many years and he also made costumes for films! He will have some kind of a costume sale tomorrow. So I have been trying on all his costumes, discussing different tailoring techniques, also showing him something new (triangular bound buttonholes).  

Shiny and silver and my size!

So much work this must have been!

Then a couple of guys came back. They couldn't resist the costumes either... 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Down Under Trip

I went back to New Zealand in February for a visit. It was my first time back after living in Europe for eight years. I never thought I would be away for so long, it just kind of happened. I was quite apprehensive about going back, wondering how it would be, but it was wonderful! Well, not the actual travel getting there (30+ hours and four flights...) - that seemed never ending.  But it was so nice to hang out with my friends, to see my family and meet all the new additions - my cousins are rather prolific :) I wish I had gone for longer, the time there just flew.

Fun times with Hayley

My New Zealand passport expired a few years ago and I had no reason before to replace it. For this trip I looked into getting one but then I ran out of time so I travelled with my British one. I had to get visas to enter both New Zealand and Australia! In NZ I got a visa on arrival at the airport. I had my expired NZ passport with me but the immigration officer still said I couldn't work in NZ and would have to leave within six months!

Absolutely ridiculous! I am still a citizen, even without the passport.

My grandmother came up to the airport as a surprise! She even brought the teddy bear I knit for her years ago. Note, if you have the option to sew rather than knit - go with sewing! That bear took me FOREVER.
My dad's jungle vegetable garden. He has every kind of vegetable you could think of in there.

It was strange to see what has changed and what has not. At my dad's place time has stood still. My old bedroom is just like I left it - on my dresser I found receipts from things I bought when I was 18. My old KFC uniform (complete with cap and name badge) was still in my dresser. In the garage is my car, my love, my 1976 Honda Civic "the beast". I thought it had been sold so I really could not believe my eyes! That was a huge surprise.

The Beast
One of the best things about NZ - driving! It was SO GOOD to drive again. I went in to renew my drivers licence and the lady was like "it expired three years ago....". I haven't needed one in Europe. Really easy to get a new licence though. It was so nice to be back on the highway, the radio up loud.

The clothes I made as a teenager are still in my old wardrobe. My style was a bit more extravagant back then. I didn't mind standing out, so I had a lot of shiny, sparkly, sequinned things. I didn't get the best pics but I'll show you a few of the highlights.

Black PVC pants. I made these when I was 15. I was wearing them when I had my first kiss. And wore them until I couldn't fit them anymore (when I was around 18). I could just squeeze into them for the photo but the 15 year old fabric flaked everywhere, black pieces of plastic ended up all over the carpet for this pic. So, sadly, into the bin they went.

Most of my skirts had crazy high side splits like this. 
I made this from a vintage pattern when I was about 16.  It's a wee bit small now.
I loved bell bottoms. I found a few other pairs I made but couldn't fit into them. I used to wear these pants ALL the time. And sequin love. I even made purple sequin curtains for my bedroom at one point....

In my old bedroom I found a beautiful old Singer I bought years ago when I was a student in Dunedin. I saw this machine in a second hand shop.  Love at first sight. I just HAD to buy her. She was made in 1951. She's very heavy but I managed to carry her home on foot where I discovered the plug doesn't work and the foot pedal is missing. But she's just so gorgeous so when I road tripped up North when uni finished for the year I took  her with me. She had just been sitting at my dad's ever since so now I gave her to my mum and she was very happy. A crazy thing I discovered at my mum's place - she has an old Singer which is almost identical looking to the one I have here in Budapest - the same Tiffany decal pattern too. Her table is much more beautiful than my one though.

With my mum and nana.

Summer, sunshine, outdoorsy stuff. I climbed up the Mount for the first time ever. It's a landmark in the Bay of Plenty. Everyone has climbed up it or walked around it. Somehow I had done neither before. I won't lie. It was hard. Walking uphill is not my thing. But it was so nice to reach the top. Then later that day I went swimming with my friends at Plummer's Point which is around the bay (you can see the Mount looking tiny in the background of the video below).

Top of the Mount!

I also stopped in Australia for a few days and met up with both of my brothers. It's so crazy to see the youngest one all grown up. He was 13 the last time I had seen him... and now he's an adult! We could legally drink together!

Oliver (25) got IDed. Morgan (21) did not :)
Talking about getting IDed. I went into the supermarket in NZ with Hayley. We are both almost 30. The drinking age is 18. She was buying a bottle of wine. I wasn't buying anything. We BOTH got asked for ID. I got so mad. Why should I have to show ID in a SUPERMARKET if I am not buying anything?? I refused to show it, the supervisor had to come over, and in the end Hayley could buy her wine. Apparently it's some stupid new "party" law where everyone in the group needs to show ID. How does this stop underage drinking at all? All it seems to do is make it more difficult for adults to buy alcohol for themselves. When we were underage we didn't go into the shop with the random person we asked to buy our alcohol....

When I travel I quite often randomly run into people I know. This time was no different. I ran into my friend Chris not once but twice even though I was only in Melbourne less than a week and more than 4 million people live there! I was at the Sydney Road Street Festival with my brothers when we saw Chris. Oliver visited me in Budapest five years ago and stayed in the hostel when Chris was working there!

Oliver's lovely girlfriend Em, my brothers Morgs and Oliver, Chris and Chris' girlfriend.
I hope that not so much time passes again before I visit again.