Star trail alpha

Dan and I are experimenting with (amateur) astrophotography. Gives me something to do with my camera when he’s out with his telescope. We wanted to try star trails and found a video on YouTube which was very helpful:


We headed down to Elwood beach last night to try it out, since there were no clouds. My Voigtlander f/0.95 has the best aperture for night sky (2.8 or bigger is recommended), so we used that. However, it is not very wide at 25mm (50mm full frame equivalent) so no foreground, but with all the lights around it would probably be overexposed. We pointed at the Southern Cross and pointers and some of the celestial pole so we’d get more stars and more circular streaks in a limited amount of time.

So here’s the results of our first experiment, using some hasty amateur post-processing and StarStax:

Elwood Beach Star Trail

We were surprised to get as many stars, given the light pollution from the city and the street lights and moonlight around. You can see the pointers (mid right) and the Southern Cross (lower right) as the bright streaks.

We used the widest aperture (0.95) and lowest ISO (200) with corresponding 8 second shutter speed to get neutral exposure. We then used a remote cable to lock the shutter and set the camera to continuous shooting. It lasted about 25mins. There were virtually no gaps between the shots. There were some coma but it doesn’t seem to matter for star trails anyway.

Needless to say, I’m eyeing off a wide angle wide aperture lens. And another trip to the country.

Belcarra Blouse

I sewed up a Sewaholic Belcarra blouse in cotton sateen. The fabric was 1.1m x 1.45m for $3.40 from the Clegs remnant table, nice and soft and crisp but needs a lot of ironing. Belcarra is a simple top with raglan sleeves, but with a few details to keep it interesting. I cut out view B which has pintucks and bands on the sleeves. I chose a different size for each of bust-waist-hip measurements to match mine and drew a curve in between. My pintucks were a bit uneven and I struggled a bit getting the sleeve bands to lay smooth as I sewed them on, but I think it’ll be easier the next time. I used a zig-zag stich and pinking to finish the seams, and turned the hem under twice. I think it turned out not bad and seems to fit how it is intended to. I found an orchid-coloured silk on the remnant table at Tessuti so I think I’ll be using that for the next one.

Outfit

Outfit

Closer

Closer

Close up

Close up

Vogue 8248, or I made a shirt!

I’ve decided to return to blogging, and integrate my two blogs here at adayintheleaf so you’ll see a range of different posts from now on.

I decided to have a crack at my first shirt (apart from Dan’s pyjama shirt, which I’ll post later). So I chose ‘Very Easy’ Vogue, thinking that would be a good place to start. It has dolman sleeves, which are sleeves that extend from the bodice without a seam. When I bought this pattern, I also bought some fabric for it from Spotlight, but I had fears that floral fabric would turn out a bit dowdy-looking like the pattern envelope cover.

Pattern front

Pattern front

Pattern back

Pattern back

Not very inspiring artwork.

Instead, I decided to chop into some Liberty cotton, because then the shirt couldn’t help but look at least half nice. For those who don’t know, Liberty is a famous (but expensive) London brand that makes well designed patterns into the softest lightest smoothest comfiest cotton, usually what is known as lawn or voile.

Well, I wouldn’t say the pattern was “Very Easy”, perhaps for someone who is experienced. I had some trouble with the collar, since the instructions don’t tell you why they want you to do something, just to do it. But several curses, and a shortish break from the project in between, resulted in something I think I can be fairly proud of. I think it fits very well. There is extra fabric at the underarm as it is a dolman sleeve, but this is quite comfy, gives lots of room for my arms to move and will be nice and breezy for summer.

Dan and I are still working on the modelling side of things, so forgive the awkward photos.

V8248 outfit

V8248 close up

I’m looking forward to making some more shirts as I wear them an awful lot. I’ve bought a book on shirtmaking so I can better understand the fundamentals and make a more traditional shirt.