Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Hamburger City

Yes, the burger construction has begun! Here are the constituent parts: 
I bought some stretchy, fluffy polar fleece (called Husky) for the bun, found some old red knit fabric for the tomatoes and green dance satin for the lettuce. I also bought a darker brown polar fleece with the idea of creating the hamburger patty but as I'm progressing I'm thinking the girl wearing the bun can be dressed in brown, a metaphorical patty.

Here is my first night's work. 

I covered and stuffed the top half of the bun, created some cheese slices and the tomato halves (still to be stuffed in this photo). I started to wrestle with the lettuce. How to make it leaf like and yet self supporting? The cheese slices are interfaced with  a piece of thin plastic (the type you use for wrapping delicate parcels for transit) to help them stand up on their own but that was not going to work with gathered lettuce fabric. I have ended up sewing florist's wire to the inside edges of the lettuce leaves. 

Here it is before I turned the leaf.

Here is the prototype turned, pleated and sewed in half from behind.

I'm hoping it will be enough. Whilst writing this I am wondering about some heavier duty interfacing, like buckram (used for making hats). I may try this on the pieces near the neck edge and use this one near the bottom where it can just hang.

 By the end of yesterday I had: covered the second bun, stuffed and sewn up the tomatoes, wired the lettuce and tried several protypes for attaching the shoulder straps. 

This proved to be challenging so I've gone back to attaching the fillings :-)

The show is two weeks away and I still have to start the bag of chips (french fries) costume. Fortunately we have managed to farm out a most of the shirts to other teachers and parents. There are still buttonholes to make and buttons to attach but I'm not getting too stressed yet. 

School starts again on Monday :-(

Friday, 19 July 2013

And She's Away!

 Standing at the bus station with the Baby Angel, it suddenly occurred to me that I haven't seen her off at the airport this year. Now that she's finished school and is working (albeit part time), she hasn't done her holiday flights to her dad like she used to. Today she's off to spend 10 days with the returned soldier, for his 21st birthday. He's a country boy from the border of Victoria/NSW and he's spending his disembarkation leave back at home. We're not sure where this relationship is going. He's a lovely lad, but he's starting to think of the future and he's astute enough to realise that the BA isn't even close to that yet. Oh well, I hope she has a good time and stays safe. A 13 hour bus ride lies ahead of her. Hmmm. She met Soldier Boy on a plane. Maybe she'll meet someone else on the bus??

Monday, 15 July 2013


So we know why the Small Boy wanted to stay with us the other week.
He was avoiding a camp.
The Small Boy will always avoid things which cause him discomfort.
Fortunately, his dad forced him to go to the camp and he returned last Friday with a big smile and a sense of accomplishment. But then he decided to stay with us for another week.

A large part of me wonders what he is trying to achieve, or avoid.
I am cynical yes, but it is a cynicism borne of experience. Unfortunately, I am completely powerless to do anything about it.

On the following Monday morning, having spied the vile X Box (which had arrived with Small Boy),  I asked Himself,
"What are the rules about X Box going to be during the school week?
"Well," he drawled, "I've said there will be a one hour ban every night."
It was all I could do not to choke.
"A BAN?" I sputtered."How about a one hour ALLOWANCE??????"
My protestations were not met with sympathy.In Himself's eyes he had made a reasonable compromise.

Now here is a Flaming Sword lesson in the obvious. A ban suggests that the activity is the norm, and reinforces the idea that our normal life is spent engaged in the pursuit of virtual reality. Giving an hour of internet time however, assures our children that the internet is an appropriate, entertaining and necessarily brief reward for persistence in the bigger issues.

I went to work that morning seething with resentment. Small Boy is not my problem. His father is.

So do I tell you of my Big Falling Out with Small Boy now, or do I leave it for another post?Another post methinks. It exhausts me just thinking of it.

It 'Seams' I Have Some Sewing To Do

It's that time again! The school musical is upon us and once more in a fit of creative stupidity I have volunteered to work on costumes.

This time around, I was lulled into a false sense of security, or maybe a real sense of inadequacy, when the Home Ec teacher ( a sewing whizz) also volunteered. 'Great', I thought, 'at least with an expert on board I won't have to make all the decisions.'


Lulled as I was, it took me some time to notice that not very much was happening regarding costumes. To be fair, the director also 'lulled' me when she said that the costumes would be 'easy' and that part of the time they would wear their own clothes. By the time I had realised what we needed to do; met with the Home Ec teacher and taken on board her ideas; seen the logo and realised the colours were all wrong; asked for the logo/sets to be redesigned colourwise and decided on a plan; I was just in time to notice that we had less than a month until the performance! How did that happen? I was sure that last time the show had been 3-4 weeks after the holidays. This year it is in week 2!!!!

(Oh and just to clarify, we are now entering the second week of the holidays).

So what do we need to do? Well, there are 15 fast food restaurant 'uniforms' to create. The 6 boys will wear red trousers, yellow shirts and black aprons. The 9 girls (yes, NINE!!) were originally going to wear princess line, button down, panelled dresses in black and red/yellow/or orange with white aprons. The time line check forced a very quick rethink on that!

My next plan was: buy red/orange and yellow T Shirts for the girls and sew some one colour, one hour, A line, pullover shift dresses, probably in black. Then I felt worried about the black and thought red, which meant yellow T Shirts, so I went on the hunt for yellow T Shirts. There were none to be found.

What I DID find though were some lovely red mens' chinos for $7.50 a pair at the outlet store! I bought up their supply, praying desperately that the random sizes could be made to fit our lads (this still remains to be seen). Next I found the cutest red flip skirts for $4.95 each! So I bought up 10 of them too. The tops are my next challenge.

I had planned to make shirts on the serger for the boys so I figured we could do the same for the girls so they all had tops in the same colour which would at least look like a corporate uniform.

I had thought to use these two patterns for the girls and boys respectively, until I realised how many buttonholes I/we would need to do. So now I am contemplating sewing up the fronts so the shirts go on over their heads, thus eliminating the need for buttons, but I am not sure it will work with the girls' pattern. Next step: make some prototypes.

Once all this has been decided, I have another 4 teachers willing to sew up one or two shirts each so we should be able to knock them off reasonably quickly. The Home ec teacher has agreed to take responsibility for the aprons (see girls' pattern above).

So that only leaves me the vexing issue of how to create both a hamburger and french fries costume in the time remaining. We looked online of course and you Americans have all manner of ready made costumes available whilst we Australians do not. Unfortunately the shipping costs to Aus will be ridiculous so that is out (not to mention the time factor).

I am hopeful that we can construct something like this:

or this:

although Himself is determined that I should be aiming for something like THIS! Sanity, blood pressure and marital/collegial harmony will determine the eventual outcome. Stay tuned!