A Tribute To Fang

A Tribute To Fang

With a broken heart that I tell you that Fang, Mummy Ask’s constant companion, left us last night. Let me tell you the story of Fang, the little rescue dog that danced into our lives.

Fang was a stray little dog, skittering along the street towards the giant wheels of a concrete truck. Mummy Ask snatched her up and saw a timid, flea bitten, tiny slip of a dog. Visits to local vets and and calls to the council found no owner and when the council explained that the dog would be impounded Mummy Ask adopted her on the spot.

Fang was in such poor condition that she had no fur on her ears at all, was dangerously under weight and had little fur on hide from a major flea infestation. The vet said they couldn’t desex her for at least 6 months because of her condition. They estimated her age at about 1 year old. Mum and Fang just bonded like crazy. They nurtured each other’s spirits back to health. Fangs ear fur grew back, her coat became glossy, her weight went from 2kgs to a healthy 6kg. Fang learned about inside and that windows weren’t doors and about soft human beds. Together, Mum and Fang explored the world, were bolstered by each other and shared a quiet, gentle kindness. They were as close as any two could be.

Four years of snuggles, walkies and car rides went by and then things got scary in April this year. Fang needed cruciate ligament surgery and we were all scared that things would go terribly wrong but after a few days Fang was bright as a button. In a few weeks she was leaping about and moving like nothing ever happened. Then a couple of months later, Fang was off her game and Mum took her to the vet. The vet thought she was arthritic/had back pain and sent us home with anti inflammatories. After a few hours Fang was brighter and her life of dog treats, meandering walks and car rides continued on.

Then another case of the blahs came over Fang and Mum took her to the vet in the early afternoon. As before, pain was suspected and anti inflammatories were dispensed. Mum rang me at 6pm, worried. Because she felt like something was wrong and Mum lives alone, she wanted me to be on standby. Mum rang me, begging me to come, at 11pm. Mr Ask and I were in the car like a shot. The mood was already sombre, the last time the three of us did a late night vet run we had to say goodbye to Spike, our dog that left just after Fang arrived.

The vet rushed to X-ray Fang and get her on a drip. Gok babbling on TV, a waiting woman trying to shield her child from our tears and then the awful news. Fang had an abdominal bleed and cancer that had metastasized. Screw the late night vets! For us it always goodbye.

So, here’s to Fang and her furry soul. I can only thank you for coming Fang. You will be sorely missed for a long time to come. I know you trusted when it was hard and loved without restraint. I believe in rainbow bridge and I hope you are in a place of joy.

Losing a pet is the worst because some people just don’t get how it matters so much. But it does, it very much does. Oh Mumma your grief, sorrow and loss feels overwhelming. I am so sorry you had to lose your friend. You know Mr Ask & I are ripped to shreds too. I’ve never seen Mr Ask cry so much, only the loss of our furry ones can do that to him. And if you, dear reader, have lost a friend, I am so sorry.

Thank you for reading and allowing me to express my feelings of loss. Sometimes, when your world is broken, you need to tell the story. Thank you.
A Tribute To Fang
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Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A Vintage/Retro or 50′s Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}

Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A Vintage/Retro or 50′s Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}
I thought I googled like a pro. But when I tried to find out how to do this I found…..nothing. Surely people add this detail to dresses. Well I asked around various sewing communities and this is what I came up with. If you know of a better way or have seen a great tutorial for this, let me know, okay?
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}
I started out with a sweetheart bodice I’d made before, Simplicity 4070. It’s designed to have boning, which I didn’t do because I need straps for my big girl bra. This bodice is fully lined but would work fine with a pattern that uses facings.
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}First I made up the bodice front but didn’t attach the bodice back. I should have stay stitched the neckline but didn’t. You should! Then I measured the approximate distance from centre front to the side seam. I added a few extra inches to that measurement to give me some extra collar to play with. Let’s call this collar length.
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}Then I cut four strips of collar fabric 3″ wide (or how wide you want the collar plus seam allowances) by the collar length. That’s two collar pieces for the right side and two for the left collar. I applied iron on medium weight interfacing to the back of each piece.
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}With right sides together, sew along one side of each collar section. I wanted the collar to angle in the centre so I marked and sewed the front of each collar section. I trimmed the seam allowances, turned the collar pieces out the right way and pressed.
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}I aligned the angled end of the collar piece to the right side of the bodice at centre front. I over lapped the collar pieces slightly at centre front because I didn’t want too big a gap between them. I aligned the raw edges, all the way along the top. Don’t trim the collar overhang at the side seam just yet! Baste the collar to the bodice, inside the seam allowance.
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}I pinned the bodice to the dressform and adjusted the free edge of the collar at the side seam until things were sitting nicely. You could get a helper to do this on your body. I pinned it in place and trimmed accordingly. I then sewed the bodice back to the bodice front, trapping the collar edge in the side seam.
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}
I was adding straps so I basted them in place at the front before sewing the bodice lining to the bodice along the top edge. If yours has a facing instead of a lining, sew that instead. I notched and trimmed the seam allowance, making sure to trim away most of the collar to avoid bulk, especially trimming the centre ‘V”. Then I gave it a good press and under stitched along the bodice lining.
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}
That’s it for the collar tutorial! If you’re curious about the rest of the dress, the main fabric is vintage and I picked up on eBay. The white collar and bodice lining fabric was picked up in an op shop somewhere. The skirt was a self drafted half circle skirt. I think that half circle skirts can be more flattering than full circle skirts and they use far less fabric, especially at my size. My fabric was only 1m wide and I was able to cut my skirt in one piece by folding lengthwise. If you want to draft a half circle skirt to fit an existing woven bodice, I just did a tutorial for that. I used my fave curved hem finish, bias binding. I love bias tape, I have whole post on the many ways to use bias tape.
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}
I knew I wanted to tweak the bodice at little. I searched high and low for the other dress I made with pattern but it had disappeared. With no comparison garment I had to wait for Mummy Asks fitting help. So I only attached the bodice lining along the neckline. I attached the skirt, sewing it to the orange fabric only and pressed the seam up towards the bodice. I hemmed the skirt and inserted the zipper to the zipper in the orange fabric only. I made my tweaks to both fabric and lining and then hand sewed the lining to the zipper tape and to the seam allowance around the waist. And TADA!!! I hope you found this tutorial useful. You can now add a decollete collar to all your strapless style bodices, I know I will!!!
Sew: Décolleté Collar Tutorial {Add A 50's Style Bust Collar To A Sweetheart Bodice}
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Second Look Sunday 28 September 14

Second Look SundaySecond Look Sunday 28 September 14

Spring is definitely here! Warm days, sun showers and the first mosquitoes. The weekends are full of the sounds gardening. Except yesterday was full of the cheers & beers of AFL grand final. Well it was for some people. We went for a nice drive and had a bite to eat in the sunshine. I deducing that a football thing must be happening, because other tables were chatting about escaping it! This clip immediately came to mind….

  • I made a dress this week! Two tutorials came out of it, the first one ‘How to draft a half circle skirt for any bodice’ is already up. If I can get some good pics, the second tutorial will go up next week. I’m petty excited about both the dress and the tutorials. Taking all the pics and notating what I’m doing does take much longer but it’s not just a tutorial for you guys, it’s a reference for me next time I do it!
  • In other sewing related news, my copy of Gertie’s new book ‘Gertie Sews Vintage Casual’ arrived. I love it! I think casual wear is the cause for much debate among those who wear retro/vintage. Gertie offers historical inspiration with modern day convenience. I think it could be a handy reference but it’s definitely sewing room eye candy too.
  • If you’ve ever watched the Duggers or other deeply Christian families with a ridiculous number of kids on TV and thought – what the?? Then you’ll want to read this article called Breaking up with Jesus. Vyckie Garrison explains her reasons for leaving the Quiverfull movement. It is a rarely seen glimpse into the power, control and fear at the heart of these beliefs.
  • Colour theory. So easy in theory but sometimes hard to work out in practice. I’m okay applying it to decor or dress. I tend to prefer triadic schemes; as evidenced in my lounge room and my power of three. But triadic makeup? If you need a hand figuring out which lippie to wear with your eyeshadow, you need this video.
  • You may have heard of Humans of New York but have you heard of Humans of Adelaide?
  • Do you get your nails done? My natural nails are curvy, hard and grow long but that curviness means polish chips like crazy. I’ve been doing the salon shellac thing for a year or two now. I almost always get red (because red is awesome) but went for teal with some nail art this week. I love the super quick, no appointments style of the Vietnamese nail place I go to but I’m not the only one who wonders what they’re saying about me…..

I’ve spent my weekend chilling out, driving in the sunshine, hand sewing, doing the never ending laundry, visiting my awesome in laws and squeezing the human and furry inhabitants of the house. Have a wonderful weekend and do some hugging xxxx
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