Stef's adventures in craftiness

I miss Hamilton Island

Oops! Just realised it’s a few weeks since my last post.

But I’ve been busy paddling, report writing and currently working on a secret project extraordinaire. You’ll have to wait until after the 23rd for that one.

We went up again this year for the Hamilton Island Cup, the biggest race on the Australian outrigging calendar that we’ve been training the last 6 months for. We came 5th in the 42km changeover which was I think our best result ever. Us girls came round the top ten in the 16km, and 1000m and 500m sprints. The start and finish of the 16km was quite tricky with large swell which made it all the more exciting/nerve-wracking. You can see us in a series of photos in the following link, click next above the photo to follow the action sequence. I’m the slightly concerned one in seat 5.

We just missed out on the finals for the sprints, but we weren’t really disappointed because it meant more time sitting on the couch or by the water sipping a tropical cocktail (though unfortunately the water wasn’t very warm). Three days of racing was fun but exhausting: took me a full week to recover!

Anyway, given that I was going to much warmer climes, I thought I’d rustle up a sundress. Exploring the cheap fabric shops in Brunswick, I found a light printed cotton for $8 all up, and I still have enough left for a skirt, bag and headscarf.

I decided to make a basic A-line dress, with drawstring top and a sash for a belt. So I cut two triangles with the tops chopped off, sewed them up the sides to the armpit, then folded over and sewed the top to make a casing, sewed up a long fabric strip from the offcuts, threaded it through the casing and sewed it together. Then from the remaining offcuts I sewed together another strip and attached it to the waist to make a belt. All the while doing careful hemming and inside out turning to minimise the edge fraying.

Measuring and drawing the pieces to cut out

Pinning and sewing those side seams

Well almost. After cutting out the triangles, I realised I had underestimated the size of my hips. After some grumbling and cursing, I unpicked the thing and  came up with a solution. I attached two rectangles on the sides under the arms to widen the girth. I think this may have made it a better shape too, but significantly increased the time taken.

In the end it worked out not bad for a first dress, (it covered up and stayed together!) and I managed to wear it to watch the one and two man races, and later to lounge by the pool for post race recovery. The dress is now packed away for the rest of the year until it warms up enough again.

Voila, on Catseye Beach

There was a fair bit of stormy weather

What I learned:

  • Brunswick has some cheap fabric
  • Measure twice before sewing
  • Lightweight cotton frays. A lot. Try covering exposed seams with binding or a different stitch for longevity
  • Hamilton Island has much better weather in winter

One response

  1. Ryan

    The 23rd? I get the significance of that date!
    You’re making me a present.

    July 17, 2010 at 00:10

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