Ballet Dancer in Training

Ballet Dancer in Training

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dancing On Shaky Ground and Costume Making

At the Botanic Gardens oblivious to the

Yesterday, Friday, we decided to catch the train into Wellington to have a bit of a break from dance practice and to by some fabric and look for some patterns to make some more costumes for all the new dances that Salem is choreographing.

First we went to the St James for lunch and a pot of tea.  Then it was off on the bus to Spotlight to look at all the fabrics.  We couldn't find what we wanted there, well there was some nice stretchy fabric but I was not going to spend $40 a metre for what we wanted.  Spotlight is supposed to be reasonably, if not cheaply priced.  But the cheaper stuff (not by much) was see-through when stretched.  So we didn't buy any fabric there, but we did by two Burda patterns there that were half price.  Not exactly what I wanted but I can adjust the patterns.

It is really hard to find patterns to make dance costumes for boys, especially a very skinny boy.  I find that I can lengthen patterns if buying children's ones, but with men's I have to shorten and take in them.  Also the designs are not exactly what I want so I have to alter the designs.  for jackets, the arm hole length has to come up higher under the arm so that it doesn't pull when the dancer lifts up their arms.  I bought a men's Butterick pattern very cheaply on-line as well this week.

So after leaving Spotlight very disappointed, we caught another bus back into the city and went to Arthur Toyes Fabrics in the Grand Arcade and had much better luck fabric-wise and bought some red and some purple stretch fabric.  I'm going to make some leggings (tights), leotards and body suits (long legged unitards).  The fabrics were on sale, I love sales!!!!!!!!

The patterns and material we bought

So happy with our purchases, we caught the very crowded bus up to the Botanic Gardens to chill out a bit and breathe some fresh air.  Salem ran about and went exploring while I found myself a nice spot to sit near the fountain in the shade.  It was so lovely after the bustle of the city.

While sitting enjoying the gardens I felt the earth move a bit under me and thought "ha, a small earthquake" and shouted out to Salem that I thought I had felt a small earthquake, he said he didn't feel anything, but he was running around.  I then forgot about it.

Soon after lots of people started walking through the gardens and I noticed that the traffic had got very heavy and I just dismissed it as people heading home for the weekend.  Not long after we notice fire-engine sirens and the engines coming past, but still thought nothing of it.

Then it was time to head off on our walk back into the city to get to the railway station to go home.  So off we went via a dairy (convenience store) and bought ourselves some ice creams to eat on our walk.  So much traffic and more fire engines going by, we thought there must have been a fire in the city.

As we walked we couldn't believe how much traffic there was and there were so may people waiting for buses and walking home.  It shows you how long it has been since we have lived in the city, we just thought it was normal.  When we got to the subway to get to the station, it was quite deserted even though on street level it was hard to move because of people everywhere.  Then we saw that the doors to the station were closed. which I have never seen before, and were cordoned off with emergency tape.  We went up to the security guards and asked why the station was shut.  They said the trains were not going.  We asked why.  They said because of the earthquakes.  We must have been the only two people in the city oblivious to what had happened.

Salem was upset as there were not going to be any trains at all and there were no replacement buses and that he was going to miss his dance class in Waikanae.  Well, we had nowhere to stay overnight in Wellington, no transport so there was only one thing for it.....get to the main road and hitch-hike.  So off we went through hundreds of people, there were hundreds at the side of the road waiting for people to pick them up and we stuck our thumbs out and had a ride in a couple of minutes.  A lovely lady was going out to Waikanae said jump in and we did along with a man who was going to Paraparaumu.  Fantastic!!!!

It was a long ride as the traffic was grid-locked at times but once out of the city and up the gorge, the traffic was quite steady.  I had phoned home to see if the grumpy teenager was okay and he said that the earthquake had really rocked the house but nothing was damaged.  The electricity had been off for a while but was back on again.  I felt better knowing that he was alright and he said the cats didn't even bothre moving when it had happened.  Typical.

When we had stopped in traffic between Paraparaumu and Waikanae, we felt an earthquake, the car was rocking.  Then this lovely lady took us all the way up to Salem's dance class which he was ten minutes early for.  He had a great class and got to show off one of his own new dances "Ameno" which everyone though was really good.  Next week he gets to show off another.  While I was waiting I felt a few of the aftershocks.

Afterwards were lucky to have the bus driver take us all the way back to Paraparaumu, as there were no trains, he was going back to the depot as he had finished his shift and then he gave us a ride home in his car. People are so great in an emergency!!!!!!!

Well, that was our exciting day out.  We are still experiencing a lot of aftershocks, some quite big.  Check out this site at and to see how many are happening, there's been hundreds!!!!


  1. You're blog is awesome. Hope you keep it up.

  2. The way you working is great, and your costumes are very impressive.

    1. Thank you. I am busy working on more costumes for Salem's new dances. Have been hand sewing most of the night.