Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy handmade Christmas!

Handmade Christmas crafting activities continue in the tree-house, as we approach the fun-ness that is Christmas time. SO EXCITING! It is so lovely knowing that all the gifts we're giving have been made with love, and have contributed very little to any kinds of adverse impacts on the poor ol' planet. Lets face it, she gets a pretty rough trot at the best of times, let alone at Christmas when everybody goes crazy with consumption (and I don't mean the kind that killed John Keats).

Our decorations went up the week before last, and the house has been resplendent with all manner of felt, fabric, wool and linen Christmas glory, including the super-cute '12 Days of Christmas' tea-towel, which I love so much I can't even bring myself to make anything out of it. Probably my favourite of all the decorations though, is our knitted nativity set, which, despite many people asking the question, I did NOT make, but bought on ebay a few years ago.

I love it. Part of me wants to keep it out all year, but I know this would make it a bit less special (and probably quite dusty) so I limit myself to one month of the year.

Why do I love it? Well... baby Jesus comes out of his manger and looks a bit like a little caterpillar, the wise men are a super-groovy in 70s-era flouro colours and they all have totally hot, giant knitted beards, and the sheep don't really stand up by themselves unless they're leaning on something. This, for me, is the true spirit of Christmas.

Our Christmas tree this year is a liberated-from-work Tuckeroo, which has been decorated with an array of home-made felt danglies. It was looking fab for the first week or so, even putting on some new growth at the top, but then I noticed that the new growth had turned to sticks, and that there was a pair of ever-fattening caterpillars chowing down on the top of the tree! I promptly picked them off and fed them to the chickens (Happy Christmas girls!), but the tree never quite recovered. Only a few more days 'till boxing day, then we'll plant it. I love having a real-life tree that then gets planted. It's like a Christmas present to the Earth. Yes, I am a hippy.

In other, equally exciting news, I have finally acquired an adjustable dressmaker's mannequin. Mum got her for me, after placing a wanted ad in the trusty ol' Illawarra Mercury (who says it's a mockery!?), and, after I finally got the hang of making the adjustments (she's an old-fashioned lady, with wing-nut adjustments, none of this new-fangled twisty-knob business) I was off and away. Thanks Mummy!

Her name is Florence, and I used her for the first time today. She's amazing! My dressmaking experience was totally revolutionised!

The dress is question was a custom frock for a woman I know who has probs, like so many women, finding dresses that fit her perfectly. Pearl & Elspeth & Florence to the rescue!

The black fabric is a lovely heavyweight cotton/lycra jersey, and the neck (yay square neck!) and belt are from yep, you guessed it, a vintage tablecloth. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but I have to say I'm interested to see how Florence performed, given that the woman I made it for has never actually tried it on. Eek! If it fits her, and if she lets me, I think I will have to post a picture to commemorate Florence's first success.

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