Friday, 28 February 2014

Bookclub! The Pearl Jacket and Other Stories: Flash Fiction from Contemporary China ed. Shouhua Qi

   So good news my internet has been working all through the week, so the pinning and cutting post on my skirt is scheduled for Sunday, and I am able to post about this month's bookclub here.

   This month I chose The Pearl Jacket and Other Stories: Flash Fiction from Contemporary China ed. Shouhua Qi. I enjoyed some parts a lot more than others, I liked I think Society and the Truth and Art sections the most.

   It is difficult to decide whether this short story collection is something that I liked or not, as all of the stories are so different, and how they employ the shortness of the form, is really varied. I also found it difficult to follow some of them, but this is a collection that is not in the original language.

   I think with short story collections I have to realise that I am going to like some more that others, it was certainly the case with this.

   I think overall it is an interesting collection that made me think about how fiction is told. I am also really intrigued by Flash Fiction in general.

   Next month: Saris and the City by Rekha Waheed. I am really looking forward to reading this.  

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Internet Freak Outs

   This is a very short post to let you know, I am going to the pinning and cutting out post on my skirt, but not until I think next weekend. My internet has decided to play hide and seek with me. Until it's not freaking out on me every day, I think I'll wait to upload any pictures from my camera, which makes my internet access have a hissy fit.  

   So sorry about the delay, and hope that my internet behaves itself for the oncoming week. Meanwhile just for the hell of it here is a picture of the British Library, it makes me smile:

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Making my skirt part 1

   So it's taken me quite a while today to get my act together and show you what I'm making.

   So I have taken photos of the pattern, and the fabric that I am using.

   This is the front of the packet.


   I wanted to show the skirt that I am making. Now I have checked the measurements again, which is a very good thing as I have now realised that this isn't actually as too small as I thought. The waist has options from 20-28. The 28's waist is 57 inches (yay!) which is my waist size, I am still going to tack the seams (which means I am going to do it by hand before sewing it on the machine, it makes adjustments a lot easier), but this means the only thing I need to adjust when cutting out the fabric is the length.

   Thee are the paper patterns that I am using. The pictures aren't that great as I had to stand on a chair but it gives you an idea.

   So I am cutting out two pieces of this pattern with the fabric. There are 6 pieces all together and this is the front of the skirt. Another four pieces on the sides make it a skirt. Once I start to cut out the pieces it'll look at less complicated.
   This is the other paper pattern.

   I am going to be cutting out four pieces to make the whole thing.
   I have chosen to do this with two fabrics, they are patterned (I really love prints), and using two alternatively means I don't have to match it. These are the ones that I have decided to use:
   I really like the geometric shapes.
   I don't know whether you can see the print very well, but it's of scissors and thread, which I bought over a year ago and still haven't used.
   So the next step which will be next week, is pinning it on the fabric, and the cutting it out. It's kind of the most hand wringing part because once you cut it out you can't rectify the mistake. I think though you just have to trust in yourself, and if you have pinned it on correctly there is not reason why it can't work out well and I will have a lovely skirt to show for it!
   Explaining the process hasn't been too bad actually as I have tried to make it before and have an idea of what I am doing, which makes this easier, so next week, pinning and cutting!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Making your own

   I have been thinking about this for a while but I am really into the idea of making my own clothes. I have also been thinking about blogging while I do it. I wasn't sure about this as I am adapting a pattern so it's not straight from scratch. I am, however going to give this a go, and blog while I do it.

   So to start I am going to talk about the pattern that I have, it's for a skirt. It is the only thing that I have tried to make for myself. I made the seams too big on my first try so it doesn't look right. The thing that I have found and I think this applies to all patterns no one is a perfect size, it's the thing that drives me crazy when shopping for women's clothes a size 22 on one shop may be too big but in another a size 26 will be too small. There is also no way of knowing. This applies to patterns as well.

   The way I found less stressful in buying the patterns is that you can adjust it to fit you. This does mean knowing how to look at the pattern for waist size. So the reason I am adjusting this particular skirt is the waist is 44 inches and my waist is 57 inches. Another reason this is less stressful is you are dealing with your own body my measurements are just that measurements, and it's easier to look at cms (and inches) rather than trying to figure out what a size 26 means to waists.

   So this particular pattern is 6 pieces sewn together to make a skirt, I am also taking 10 inches from the hem as I want to change it from a full length to knee length. I have already picked the fabric I am making it from so I am going to have go at showing everyone how I am going to make a skirt. Hopefully it's actually going to look good when I finish it!

   Here is to making your own stuff!

    I have no idea what that picture means but I love her clothes as well as how cool that sewing machine looks. Mine is a bit more modern promise!


Monday, 10 February 2014

Hooked by audio books

   So I have not been posting recently as it's because I recently got hooked by audio books. I really enjoy listening to the books that I love and I also recently found out that ITunes did this as a service so I have been really into them for a good couple of weeks. They have a good selection, plenty of romances (yay!), but they do have a lot of other stuff. I also wanted to give a quick shout out to libraries as they have a good selection of all sorts of audiobooks. 

    I wanted to share my obsession and it's been great to rediscover books in another form. It's really got me hooked this past month.
   I am going to get back into the habit of posting so I think I'll probably do three this week and get back to writing about things again. I also want to share some of my favourites that I have been listening to.
  So I am going to recommend three books that I got really obsessed by and the voices that gave me such pleasure.
   First up Duchess by Night by Eloisa James read by Karen Cass. I think I originally got this out of the library and then bought it because I loved it so much. I think this is my favourite book that James has done by far. It helps that the trope of a heroine dressing as a man is something I always like in historical romances and this is done beautifully. I also love how Cass voices the hero and heroine, that delicious tension as well as the camaraderie is done really well.  
   Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise read by Deanna Hurst. There is no surprise that I have put a Crusie novel on here, and it's one of my favourites of hers. I bought this from Amazon. There is a freshness to this story that I have read and re-read. I also love all the secondary characters especially Diana in this. It's a great recording and my hat is off to Hurst for pulling it off. 
   The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt read by Moira Quirke. I bought this from ITunes but can't see it on there anymore maybe you have to be quick! It's definitely on Amazon though to my knowledge. This is one of my all time historical romances and the humour as well as the darkness of this book comes through in this telling. I love listening to this over and over, it definitely got me hooked.  
   So audio books go forth and listen they are pretty amazing.