An “Alexander” Week

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Dress: Crossroads

Shoes: Chie Mihara

I’ve had an “Alexander” week. You know? Terrible, Horrible, No Good and Very Bad. Probably the worst I’ve had since landing back in Australia.

By and large I’ve been doing pretty well. I love my new home. It’s costing me more than I can realistically afford, but it’s the most lovely space to come home to. I’m writing this in my sunroom, curled up on my big armchair, and squinting a little in the dappled sunlight that’s pouring in through the open windows. But this week I’ve felt myself rattling around inside this beautiful apartment like a dried pea. I still don’t have a full component of furniture so it’s partly the fact that the rooms are half empty, but mostly I think it’s that I haven’t lived alone before and it feels a bit unnatural. No Suki, no Sophisticate, I can go an entire weekend without speaking to anyone.

I locked myself out of the house this week. Twice. There’s nothing like realising that you’ve locked your keys inside, and there’s absolutely no-one you can call to make you feel really alone. (Incidentally; Future career: Locksmith. I’m sure it’s a lot harder than it looks, but $130 for three minutes work. Pays better than publishing, that’s for damn sure.)

On top of that some lovely person caved in the side of my car at some point while it was parked overnight, then drove off without leaving a note, leaving me with a $600 excess to pay, no car for a week, and insurance premiums that will more than double next time I renew. THANKS for that, stranger. When I came out and saw it I had to ring my Mum and swear at her for a bit, because I was so angry. Then I had a bit of a cry. Again.

I’ve been trying to keep myself busy. Nesting, reading, working. But going to bed alone is hard, and waking up alone is harder. I’ve been doing it for the better part of a year now, and it hasn’t got any easier.

But you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, don’t you? I have friends coming over for dinner tonight, and I’m braving the terrifying 1950′s gas deathtrap that passes as an oven in my new kitchen. We’ll be eating off our laps, because I don’t have a dining table, but I’m sure there’ll be laughing, and good conversation, and excellent company, and cider (because I just found a new one that’s Elderflower & Lime flavoured), and at the end of the night I’ll hug them goodbye, and put myself to bed underneath the gorgeous quilt that I bought myself as a housewarming present. And tomorrow I’ll wake up, and it’ll be a new week.

Hope you’re all doing well.

Remix: Shhhhirt

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Shirt: Princess Highway

Cardigan: Crossroads

Skirt: Portmans

Shoes: Chie Mihara

Today’s remix project is my little secret when it comes to button-up-blouses.

Princess Highway and my all-time-favourite cardigan suppliers Friends of Couture are sister companies, and both have an aesthetic that appeals the the preppy, vintage-loving square that I really am. Cardigans and buttons and peter pan collars and polkadots. Yum!

I live just near Brunswick Street at the moment, and almost every day I walk past the Princess Highway flagship store, which can be agony. The skirts and dresses are little too short for my personal taste, but the blouses and cardigans often leaving me yearning.

But yearning’s all I ever do, because the top size at Princess Highway is a 14, and there’s no way a size 14 will encompass the Rack Of Doom. Open cardigans & stretchy t-shirts, maybe. Blouses and shirts? No.

I saw this, most gorgeous, cream blouse in the window a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t resist. I figured as long as the 14 would fit my shoulders, I might be able to perform my favourite remix, the “gapectomy”, and then it could be mine!

What’s the gapectomy? It’s a necessary alteration that I do to 99% of my button-up wardrobe. AKA, the sew-the-front-trick that anyone with a big bust should embrace.

See, this is the Princess Highway blouse BEFORE the Gapectomy:

DSCF0980_2Boo to you, boobs! Why won’t you let me have nice things?

And this is the same blouse, a quick five minute remix project later:

DSCF0987_2Yay! Buxom, but modest.

It’s pretty self explanatory, but here’s what you do:

1. Button your blouse up and make sure you can actually pull it on and off without undoing it. There’s no point in sewing up the front of something if it makes it unwearable! If you’re working with a narrow neckline unbutton it until the point where you can fit your head through the hole, then make a note of how many buttons need to stay functional.

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2. Set your sewing machine up with thread that closely matches the fabric, and adjust the needle so that it’s closest to the side that the buttons are on. For instance – I buttoned the right side of the blouse over the left, so I had to move the needle as far to the left of the foot as I could.

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3. Take your time, sew smoothly and straight down from the collar (or the highest button that you can keep fastened up and still put the shirt over your head) to the bottom of the shirt. Try and sew as closely to edge as you can.

DSCF09844. And you’re done! No more gapeage!