Thursday, December 31, 2009
I think there are various reasons:- I have some alterations that need doing, very basic ones like shortening some new t-shirts and altering a favourite skirt that is too big - but my secret is that I hate alterations! I would far rather make something from scratch than alter it. Also, I am trying to decide if I will take part in SWAP this year. I love the idea of it and it would be great to have an 11 piece wardrobe at the end of it, but I am not sure I can stay focused for so long, and although I could just go with the flow, really the whole idea is to Sew With A Plan! It doesn't finish until April so I can always join later on if I want to. I also have so many projects that I want to start (not just garment sewing) that I can't decide which one to work on first! Basically I have so much to do I can't do anything!!
So, I have to do some tidying up. Make a list, prioritise and 'just do it'! Simple, quick garments that can be easily altered as I lose weight (I am looking forward to going back to the gym after the hols, I am surprised to have missed it!) but that will make me feel good now. I have started pulling patterns/fabric out in the hope that it will help me past my mental block. Does anyone else have the same problem?
I am not going to make lots of Resolutions next year. I have already committed to improving my health and fitness in 2010 but I would dearly like to do some more 'me' sewing.
Ok, off to hem those 4 t-shirts - in reality it will probably only take me about an hour at the most!
Happy New Year to all my readers and followers (17 now! when did that happen?? Wow! :-))
eta; It is now two hours later and all 4 t-shirts have been shortened! They had all been pinned already and although it took me 2 hours, I was serving customers in between lol! I feel so much better to get them out the way! :-)
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I did get a lot of sewing done though. Despite owning a quilt shop I am ashamed to admit that it has been an age since I actually sat and made a quilt! I wanted something quick for instant gratification and I found this 'Charisma' jelly roll in my stash. I chose two very simple patterns and was raring to go on Friday afternoon. I started sewing about 4pm and actually got this completed, apart from the top and bottom borders, by the time I went to bed - about 11.30 I think?! Obviously there were lots of 'rest stops' for sustenance :-) I also spent about an hour and a half on my skirt, overlocked the edges and started putting in the zip.
This design is called Chinese Coin, great for showing off some lovely fabrics.
Robyn and I had to open up the shop on Saturday morning and then had something on in the afternoon, so it was almost 5pm by the time I got back to Isobel's on Saturday. I put the borders on the quilt above and made a start on the next one on my list, Stepping Stones. I used the teal blue fabric from the quilt borders above as my accent square, the other fabric in this one is a Loni Rossi fabric and it is quite stunning. A coral background with a metallic pink over the top - I am not usually a pink kind of girl but I love this fabric!
I had a few issues with the instructions for this quilt, I couldn't understand why they had me cut 40 strip sets for the 2 wide seminole bands and then only use 36 of them? So, I decided to use the extra strip sets and make my bands longer, I had plenty of sashing fabric so it wouldn't be a problem. It wasn't a problem until I realised that the reason for only using 36 of them was because when it came to making the 3 narrow bands, there were only enough strip sets to make each one 18 pieces long!!! I had already added in the extras on the wide bands and didn't really want to unpick them, but then I remembered that I still had two strips leftover from the jelly roll that I can use to make 4 more small strip sets so I can make the narrow bands longer. I couldn't do any more as the leftover strips were in the classroom at the shop so I decided to call it a day.
I have made a lot of quilts from the Strip Club Patterns designed by Daniela Stout and always found them full of information and easy to follow - I just wish she had explained why they had you cut 40 strips when you weren't going to use them all!
Still, after a few choice words I was very pleased with what I came away with. I have made two of the wide bands and three of the narrow ones. Once I have inserted the extra strips into the narrow bands it won't take me long to sash them together and put on borders. I am so happy with these quilts - and they are just for me! For a change :-)
Photos of the finished quilt will follow when it is done. Also the skirt which I hope to finish this week to wear at the weekend. Our local quilt guild are having one of their regional days on Saturday and we have been invited along as merchants. If the sun is shining I plan to wear my new green sandals :-)
This last photo is totally unrelated to the weekend. Sheila of Ephemera has just had her first tattoo and I commented about the matching tattoo's my Mum and I have. When my parents came over to visit us at Christmas last year I asked my Mum (sure she wont mind you all knowing she is 63 years young) if she wanted to have a tattoo done with me. We decided on a small heart on our left thumbs, somewhere we would see it all the time and think of each other. We both love them and she has said that when she comes back she wants another one! She isn't sure what or where though :-) I told Sheila they were addictive!
Phew, sorry for the long rambling post! It seems to be either feast or famine here on my blog doesn't it?? LoL, thanks for reading :-))
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I think a plain white t-shirt will be good with this outfit - and the purple ring you can just see in the pic. I just love green and purple, it makes me happy :-)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I have loved having him back home for past year or so and will miss him being around (he is my style consultant too!!) but I am so excited for him. He is more than ready to start living his life and being totally independant. As long as he is happy and doing well, then I am happy!
This photo was taken at his 21st birthday meal with our youngest son, their girlfriends and my nephew. Liam is the one with the bunny ears :-)
We have been spending a lot of time in the garden at the weekends too, my DH is enjoying growing veggies - I think he is hooked! Neither of us thought we would ever enjoy gardening but it seems we were wrong :-) I need to try to find a good balance between spending time outside and spending time in my sewing room! I want some new clothes to wear this summer as well as some home grown veggies on my plate.
On the sewing front - nothing! I am thoroughly annoyed with myself! I have got so many things I want to make but can't seem to find any motivation at all. I did cut out a cardi-wrap in this teal blue which I will make for my Mum for Xmas. I love mine and think she will enjoy wearing it. I am going to make my Dad a pair of cotton pj pants for lounging around in - I will use a Kiwiana cotton fabric which he will love!
I have got a few things planned for my day off tomorrow but I would like to get into my sewing room at some stage. I was hoarding three large bags of fabric that I knew I would never use, last week I took them to the Hospice shop and now I feel so much better! I was originally going to sell the fabric on Trademe but it was blocking my creative flow!! Every time I walked in my room it was there, mocking me, staring at me, taunting me - as fabric does!?! Now it is gone.
Work wise we have had our local quilt show which took place over Labour weekend. It is always good to see what the local guild has been working on and seeing new faces too. We sponsor a challenge and this year the theme was 'Recycle', the finished item had to contain something recycled and the winning piece was very cleverly done and was a person with a coathanger head and cardboard clothes labels for arms and legs! I forgot to take a photo though! How silly of me. The quilt show makes for a long weekend as we work there on our stand, it is fine if it is busy but the quiet times can get a bit boring!
My latest BWOF (Burda World of Fashion - now Burda Style but it will always be BWOF to me!) has just arrived so that will hopefully provide some inspiration. Unfortunately it is the September issue and we are coming into summer but I will still enjoy reading it and making 'pie in the sky' plans!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I know............I shouldn't be thinking about that because I should just dress the body I have now and worry about the rest later, and I should remember that if I feel good now at my current size and shape then I will likely feel more motivated to succeed. I am not happy with how I look and feel which is compounded with not having nice clothes to wear, so I know that if I made myself something nice I would feel better! I know all that.......but I am still stuck!!!
Also, I have a few UFO's around that make me feel guilty of starting anything else.
This red linen skirt has been in this state for months. I put in an invisible zip that I 'found' in my drawer - but it wasn't a proper invisible zip and I couldn't get close to the teeth, so I ripped it out and now have to go and get another one (not too hard, right?!). I also didn't feel that the yoke was in a very flattering place so might take a bit off the top of the skirt. I already have the lining made ready to go too.
I have also got a charcoal grey knit skirt cut out and waiting, and just need to hem the teal denim skirt I made for the August Wardrobe in a Week (which is too tight!).
So...............which one am I thinking of starting with??? Would you believe me if I said none of them? Of course you would - you saw it coming didn't you??? :-)
I have had this beautiful purple knit in my stash for a few months. I originally ordered it with one of the Hot Patterns 3 Graces t-shirts in mind, so I have got 3 metres. I haven't read very positive feedback about this pattern so have decided not to order it yet, but I do love the crossover tops and have got this Jalie pattern in my stash.
The colour didn't photograph that well, in real life it is much richer and a more red purple - very regal! If I remember rightly from what I have read, Jalie patterns run quite small so I will go to Pattern Review and see what others have said about it first.
Thank you for reading my ramblings! I hope my post didn't come across as too negative. By the way, I am not looking for comments of the 'you don't need to lose weight' kind. I am overweight - fact. I am doing something about it before it affects my health (breast cancer and heart problems in both sides of my family) but I do find it a struggle.
Rest assured this will not become a weight loss blog. On the other hand, I am using my sewing as a motivational tool and reminding myself of all the lovely patterns I own and all the fabric I have in my stash that can become a lovely wardrobe. Sometimes that thinking has the reverse effect because I feel I have to wait until I am slimmer to start making myself nice things!
To top it off I have caught my son's cold, so I am dosing myself up with home made lemon, honey and ginger - I think it's helping and if not, who cares, it tastes lovely :-)
Friday, October 9, 2009
So much for my plan to tidy up my sewing room, get some sewing done and plan some new projects :-) It is raining here again, for a change! Can I use that as an excuse for feeling lazy??
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I knew I wanted some fabric for a maxi dress (I think I want to make one, not 100% sure though!) and something for a couple of spring/summer garments. Here is what I came away with...........
First up was this lovely cotton canvas - it was the second thing that caught my eye as soon as I walked in the door (the first thing was a beautiful olive green leather skin! I have always wanted to make a leather jacket as I can never find one in a colour/style that I like....it will have to wait but at least I know where I can get leather skins from!) Anyway, back to the fabric I did buy! This is quite a wide fabric and on closer inspection I noticed that there is a line through the pattern in the very centre of the width - I am not sure if this is intentional or if the fabric is flawed.
I decided to work with it and make a skirt that shades from the navy/white at the top and have the turquoise at the bottom, using the width of fabric as the length of my skirt. It is 150cm/60" wide and so I will have plenty of width to cut my skirt from, in fact I may have to shorten it a bit as this will be for summer! I will make a very simple style with a facing - possibly a yoke but not sure yet, it might be too fussy with one.
In the close up you can see that the print is quite large and the colours quite bright but the white makes it fresh and clean looking. I have a pair of emerald green patent wedge sandals on lay-by that will go beautifully with this fabric, I think it would look great with denim.
Friday, October 2, 2009
It took me the best part of the day to do the finishing touches - belt loops, belt, stitch shoulder pads in, stitch belt loops on, put in lining - actually, not so much finishing touches as a good third of the project Lol! I hadn't really thought about just how long it would take me to finish.
I hadn't felt like sewing in the evenings this week and kept telling myself I would have most of Friday and that I didn't have that much left to do - after all, I had the main coat together and the collar made and ready to go, facings done and lining attached to them....how much longer could it take?? Haha - I had a hair appointment booked for 10.30am, I spent the morning doing some housework and by the time I got back from the hairdressers it was almost lunchtime! In between washing and drying the mountain of washing that had built up during the (very wet!) week, I worked my way through. I finished at 9.30pm!! Phew. I have always been an optimist - but realise I should have done a little bit during the week! Still, it's done - and did I tell you, I love it??
Belt in progress.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I am still enjoying the process of making this trench - I hope I enjoy wearing it as much!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I am talking about the 'Terry Fox Speed Tailoring Workshop'. It consists of a box which contains a ring binder of information and a plastic storage box for all your samples you make, allowing you to store them for future reference. Sadly I discovered that Terry Fox isn't involved in teaching/writing about sewing any longer, although her company 'The English Couture Company' is still being run by others and her books and dvd's are still available on their website.
In addition to the folder (which has 131 pages of instruction and information!!) is a pattern for a classic jacket...........
.......and the neccessary fusible interfacings, tapes, shoulder pads, hair canvas etc to enable you to complete a jacket using her methods. She also includes a length of calico (muslin) to make a test jacket out of, although I don't think I would make a test jacket using all the interfacings etc as that would seem a waste, I would use it to make a basic fitting muslin and then use a wearable fabric for my first one.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Yes, I spent almost my entire day off knitting!!! I feel slightly guilty about it - but hey, it doesn't happen very often - and I did wash and hang out 4 loads of washing in between :-) One of the reasons I feel guilty is because I have got a sewing job to do for good friends of ours and I am putting it off - I have to make 5 curtain tie-backs! I will make it my mission to finish them next week - promise!!!
This wrap/scarf is knitted in Cleckheaton Bamboo 4 ply. It is a delicious silky yarn and has a lot of weight to it! I have to confess I started this last summer *hangs head in shame*! But, I have been very focused on getting it finished and promised myself (and my friends!) that I wouldn't start anything else (knitting that is) until I had finished it. All I have to do is sew the buttons on :-)
It isn't that easy to photograph but the long edges button up so far to become sleeves - in the photo I have shaped it slightly to show how it will be when I am wearing it.
The buttonholes are quite small and there are 7 on each side, these are the buttons I have chosen, beautiful paua shell buttons!
Now, you may be fooled into thinking that this new project is the same colour - but let me assure it isn't. Well, it may be a similar colour, but the shade is quite different! This one is much more intense and strong than the 4 ply. I Love This Yarn!! It is beautiful to knit with!! I haven't got a picture of the garment but it is a Sirdar Sublime Soya Cotton DK yarn and I am making a sleeveless garment with a twist at waist level that holds the two fronts together. I will try and scan the picture and post it later.
I keep forgetting that I am only working Thursday and Saturday morning next week! We have a young friend coming to stay for a week, the last time I saw her she was about 5 - now she is in her early twenties!!! She has decided to come and live and work in New Zealand for a while and is staying with us for her first week to find her feet. I will spend some time with her, help her open a bank account etc and generally help her acclimatise to a new country. Although the culture in NZ isn't a million miles away from the culture in UK, it will still be pretty daunting for her. Hopefully we can help her settle in and show her the ropes - and let her know that in NZ a pack of crisps becomes a pack of chips/chippies, a portion of chips becomes a scoop of hot chips,
sweets are called lollies and ice lollies are called ice blocks!! All the important things .... of course!
I hope to get some time to do a bit of sewing on my trench as I would like to finish it soon.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Ok, so this is not going to be a weekend project !! :-) But then, you probably all knew that long before I did - right??
I don't mind, I haven't sewn as much this weekend as I thought I would, but I have had a really relaxing time, done a bit of reading, a bit of knitting and watched a bit of tv. I didn't really get stuck in to the sewing until this morning - maybe I was putting it off a bit as it has been a very long time since I had a challenging project. I had totally forgotten just how much I love the process! How can that have happened? Anyway, I took some progress shots as I went along....
Stitched inner sleeve seam, made loops and stitched them in place.
Here you can see the tab stitched into the outer sleeve seam...
Pocket welts made. I read a couple of my reference books for a bit more info on a welt pocket as it has been sooooo long since I last made one! One thing suggested was to cut the welt on the same grainline as the angle of the pocket. I am not sure of the exact angle but this is approx 45 deg across the side front seam, so I cut the welt on the bias along with the interfacing.
Not bad............of course the second one was so much better!