Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tidying up...

mentally and physically! That is what I need to do this weekend. I really want and need some new clothes and I have some gorgeous fabrics to make them with - but I am stuck! I don't know where to start.

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

Not quite a finished skirt..........

....but I did make a start on it and pin fitted it over the weekend! The problem was that I had already cut out the facings, yet when I tried it on I realised I really didn't need the front darts, they were far too long for my shape anyway. Not a problem, except that the facings were then too small as they allowed for me taking in some fabric with the darts!! This skirt seems a lot smaller than the last one, even though I have lost some weight since I made it. I think it might be partly due to the very heavy denim I have cut this one out of - the last one was a very soft (too soft) denim. I also seem to remember I didn't take the full seam allowances last time. But, never fear, I haven't lost enthusiasm for it and I will be finishing it this week.

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

Happy colours, roll on summer.

A little while ago Heather left a comment on one of my posts with a phrase she had read - 'act and then get motivated'. I used that advice on that occasion and it worked, so I am going to use it again :-)

Tonight my DH is at a meeting so I dragged my backside off the couch, where I could easily have spent the evening with my book and the tv, and cut out a Hot Patterns Metropolitan Superfly Skirt. I used some dark inky blue denim that I have a roll of - at least 15 metres!! I bought it for $9, that was the whole roll for $9, not per metre!! Anyway, back to the skirt. Very simple, four pieces, front and back darts, top stitching and a fly front zip.
One of the things I love about this pattern is that it has a contrast bias cut hem facing - I love the fact that I can have a totally different fabric that only shows in small glimpses when I sit or walk. I used this emerald and white stripe cotton that I also have a roll of - not sure how much but at least 6 metres (and this one cost me $3!!) I love emerald green but it isn't a colour I have ever worn - well that is about to change........... much do I love these sandals?? I bought them when the summer styles first came into the shops - not something I normally do because I am usually worried I will see something I like better later on, then I wait and don't find anything I like as much and, as often as not, the original ones have sold out!!! Not this time! These were coming home with me for sure. I have had them out of the box and tried them on at various times since I brought them home, but I haven't worn them yet - still too cold for me to get my toes out Lol!

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 :-)
This weekend I am away for another sewing weekend at Isobel's. I have got two strip quilts cut out, but I am very tempted to take my skirt! Lots of people there to help with fit and hem length - I might just pick up a zip tomorrow and make sure I have everything I need in case I feel the urge. There are a couple of us in our small sewing group who make garments, and it is my choice what I work on, just have to decide if I want to take my overlocker with me and all the extras I will need - doing patchwork requires less 'stuff'! Then again I would love a skirt to wear next week.
I will let you know what I decide - I may well stay up all night and do both :-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sigh,I want to sew something..........

......but my mojo has disappeared! Have you seen it?? If you have please give it a good kick back in my general direction, I will be looking out for it!

Not sure why I am having this unmotivated moment - well, more than one moment actually! I don't know what to sew or where to start. Whenever my day off rolls around I am determined to get into my sewing room at some stage during the day - but it never happens! I am getting to the stage that I am annoyed at myself for not feeling like sewing - because I really want to make some clothes!! How can I have the desire to make new clothes yet not the desire to actually sew!?!

I know I need to start off with something very simple that will go together quickly. A long term project is not what I need at the moment. I have got some lovely fabrics sitting there but I am not sure if I want to make them up yet - I have joined the gym and know my size and shape will be changing over the next few months, maybe that is at the heart of my lack of motivation to actually sew?!

Maybe the trick is to choose some of the fabrics that have been there a while already, and make up a few simple garments for early summer - I am getting desperately short of clothes for this transitional time of year, especially as we are having strange weather! I need some basics to see me through the next couple of months.

Any ideas anyone? Got any motivational tips for me - or know of where I can look to find my mojo? Is there a lost mojo department anywhere? Should I post in the 'lost and found'? I wouldn't know how to describe it, but I sure miss it right now! Lol.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Forgive me, it has been two seeks since my last post!!

Apologies, I can't quite believe it has been that long since I last posted! Time flies! There has been a lot going on lately, both at the shop and at home. On the home front, our eldest son (21) has moved down to Wellington! He has been planning it for months and he finally left on Wednesday. He has a job as a builders labourer (a first for him, he has worked in retail and as a teacher aide - tools and building materials will be a new experience :-)) that he starts very soon and then he plans to apply for uni to start in March. He will do a BA for 3 years and then a year of teacher training to be a primary teacher.

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

Mid-week murmerings!

This will be a weird Wednesday...because I am having my day off today instead of Friday! It feels strange already and it is only just past 9am!

Thank you all for putting up with my slight negativity in my last post, I feel much better now :-) I gave myself a good talking to and loved the motto Heather posted in her comment - I have decided to 'act and then get motivated'! From past experience I know that if I start to see results I will feel more encouraged so this saying has lots of truth - it is my new phrase! Who says you have to be motivated before you attempt something? Attempt it first and then motivation will follow!

I tried on the red skirt from my last post - and guess what? It is too BIG! I remember feeling awful in this when I made it, apart from being cheesed off that the zip wasn't right and the yoke seam wasn't in the most flattering place - but when I tried it on yesterday it is at least 2" too big round my waist! So...obviously that has given me a big boost and I intend to finish it today to wear over the weekend when we have our local Quilt Show (we will be there with the shop). I really love the applique on this skirt - it was an idea I saw on a RTW skirt - which is probably why I wanted to save the skirt rather than just toss it in the bin!
I will post photos later :-)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What's next.....?

I keep asking myself that question and have been since I finished the silver trench. I really can't decide. I think that it is partly because I have so many things I want to do and just don't know where to start - and partly bacause I really want to lose some weight and don't want to spend a lot of time and effort on making things that won't fit in a few months time.

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.

This muslin for trousers has been cut out and pinned for weeks. All I have to do is stitch 4 seams together and try them on to give me an idea of whether I am going to have any major fitting issues.

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

Not much to show...

...for my day off! I have had a very lazy day today, although I had very good intentions Lol! I had to go to the Post Office this morning, then I whizzed in to Starbucks for my Friday treat (Caramel Machiato, venti size!) which also included a muffin - yum!! I sat with my coffee and read my book for a while, and before I knew it, it was lunch time!

Oh well, sometimes it doesn't hurt to do absolutely nothing on your day off. I did spend a little time in my sewing room playing around with the new stamp set my Mum and Dad sent out for me, that was after spending a good half an hour - ok, maybe an hour!?!, on Splitcoaststampers looking for ideas.

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??
Oh well, looks like it's time for an afternoon cuppa..............

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New fabric!

I was very restrained when I went to Global Fabrics in Wellington - I had limited time before we had to get back to the meeting point and was trying hard not to make any rushed purchases that I might regret know the ones I mean!

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 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.

Here is a close up of the line through the middle. If I have any fabric leftover I think it will make a great bag for a Christmas gift.

The second piece I bought is this cotton/lycra fabric, I will use it to make a shirt. I like shirts but rarely make or wear them, this summer I plan to make a few shirts and short sleeved jackets to wear. No idea of a pattern for this one yet.

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.

This is my 'will it/won't it be a maxi dress' fabric! It is a lovely knit that I think has rayon in it - I am annoyed at myself for not taking down the content. It has a lovely hand and drapes beautifully. I love the colours in it and the hem design. If I decide not to make a maxi dress I may make a wrap dress or even a t-shirt and skirt that I can also wear as seperates. I will probably change my mind many times before I make it up! I thought it would be lovely for our holiday to Oz in February but I don't want to make something that I will only wear on holiday - I don't have that many Lol!

Here you can see the scale of the design and, if you look closely, the fruit in the centre of the ovals. The dark colour in the background is actually quite a bright purple! I have a purple knit that will go perfectly with this for bands etc.

A close up of the hem design.

Lastly, a pic of me wearing my silver trench tied. It is still a little crumpled from being in my bag after the weekend. On reflection, I don't think it is as flattering as my RTW trench coat (it doesn't have a belt) but I don't really care - I love it anyway! I forgot to look for buckles when I was away, I probably wouldn't have had time anyway so may look online. In the meantime I have put a temporary button on the sleeve tabs and will tie the belt.
On Friday I plan to have a tidy up in my sewing room and plan a few new projects. I also want to finish off my two skirts from the August Wardrobe in a Week! I am embarassed to say that one just needs a hem! The second one is cut out and should only take a few hours to put together!!
I also need to make a start on making my Xmas cards, I have two new stamp sets to use so have no excuse!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sound the Siren for the Silver Trench!!!

I. Have. Finished!!! Woohoo! I have loved making this trench..... I want to make another one!!

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 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.

Belt loops and belt finished....but I think the belt needs another row of topstitching.

Second row of topstitching on the belt - I realised when I did the second row that I had not used the topstitching thread for the first row! It isn't vastly different but the topstitching thread gives more definition. I used Gutermann Sulky 30 - mainly because we stock it in the shop Lol! Actually it is a great topstitching thread, not as heavy as Gutermann's actual topstitching thread and it has a great shine, it also comes in great colours.

Nearly there, stitching in shoulder pads.

Ta Daaaa!
Sorry for the creases - I have just finished hand stitching the lining, I will give it a final press later but wanted to post it before the weekend.
Early tomorrow morning - 7am - we are leaving for Wellington to see the World of Wearable Arts, I will wear my trench and get some photos.
Now.............whats next??
P.S. just wanted to add that I am hoping to get to Global Fabrics in Wellington this weekend - so I may have some eye candy to show you on Monday :-)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Slow & Steady on the Silver trench

Progress hasn't been exactly speedy on my trenchcoat this week - but that's ok. I have managed to fit in small bouts of sewing and have put the lining together, stitched it to the facing, made the collar and pressed the hems up on the sleeves and coat. I am on track for finishing next week in time to wear it away to Wellington for my trip to the World of Wearable Arts. I am very pleased with it so far, fingers crossed it all goes together without a hitch. The only thing I am not sure about is what to do with the sleeve tabs. They are supposed to have a buckle on them but I can't find any locally. I may have to do a temporary job of securing them and look for a couple of buckles when I am in Wellington. I don't think I am going to put a buckle on the belt but I may do if I see one I like.
.......lining attached to the facings.

..........collar stands stitched to the main collar - thankfully these came out well as I substituted a different stand from another BWOF pattern, the original one had a full stand and I didn't really like the look. this melon shaped one was suggested by a member of Stitchers Guild and it is perfect.
.........I top stitched very close to the seam on both sides.

........this is the finished collar. I left it pinned to my tailors ham for a while to shape it - the wrinkles around the back neck don't show up so much 'in real life'!
so, next step is to attach sleeves to main coat, attach lining and collar and then sort out lining hems etc. I have left a seam open in the lining in the hope that I can bag line it. I plan to turn the sleeves inside themselves and machine the lining to the hem and then catch stitch the hem to the seam allowances. Hopefully it will work. I can't hand stitch on this fabric and I dont' really want a machine stitched hem - if it doesn't work I will machine stitch the hems. I mustn't forget to make the belt and belt carriers - and indeed attach the belt carriers before I put the lining in Lol!

I am still enjoying the process of making this trench - I hope I enjoy wearing it as much!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On tenterhooks ?

Do you ever wonder where certain phrases originated? I do - often! So I was delighted to find out where the phrase 'being on tenterhooks' comes from. You may already know this....but if not I will explain in due course - first of all I need to tell you about something I re-discovered in my sewing library. I have owned this for years and have looked at it on and off over th3 years, but I have never really read it seriously. With all the Chanel style jackets on the scene at the moment I already knew I would make myself a tailored jacket at some stage which has made me think more about this item.

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.

Yesterday afternoon I wanted to research different methods of inserting a lining in a coat/jacket (for my silver trench, I am using a BWOF pattern and their instructions for lining are very basic!!) and so I started reading through the folder...........several hours later, I am about half way through and am already planning a jacket in the not too distant future :-)
So.........this very long winded explanation brings me to how I discovered the meaning of the phrase 'being on tenterhooks' - get this, it comes from fabric!! On page 10, Terry talks about 'Preparation of Fabric' and starts off with how to determine the right side of your fabric. She explains that some fabrics have tiny holes running along the selvedge edge, the smooth side of the holes denotes the right side of the fabric (this was in my memory banks somewhere but I was never sure which side of the holes was the right side!). She goes on to explain that the holes are caused by the tenterhook pulling the fabric smoothly into shape - hence the expression 'being on tenterhooks' !!! :-) Well, I never knew that!
Just thought some of you might like to know that useless piece of information as much as I did Lol!
I am 'home alone' this morning so am making the most of it in the sewing room. I am working on the lining for my silver trench and hope to make some good progress today. I will update you during the week - a whole week off, yippee!! Can't remember the last time that happened, that's what comes from being self employed I guess, but I love my work and wouldn't want to do anything else!

Friday, September 18, 2009

We interrupt our regular programme....

...of work on the Silver trench, to show you what is on and off my knitting needles! I have been desperate to start some summer knitting - the new summer yarns were delivered to the shop about 3 weeks ago and I have been itching to start something with them! I made myself wait until I had finished what was on my needles, once it was finished I started on a new project! Which is why nothing was done on my silver trench coat today!

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

Sunday Sewing on the Silver Trench!

** Warning, picture heavy and long post!**

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.

Made tabs for sleeves. Whenever I have to stitch a point like this (also at the tip of a collar) I always take one stitch across the tip of the point. when it is turned through it is far less bulky and, surprisingly, still a perfect point! It was a tip I read years ago and have used ever since - my points are never as good if I forget! You can just make it out in the photo above.

The tabs were turned through and top stitched very close to the edge. They are then stitched in the outer seam of the sleeve.

Both sleeves done!

Here you can see the tab stitched into the outer sleeve seam...

.....and this is how it will look when it is finished. I will have to get some buckles. The tab goes through the loop which is attached to the inner seam.

Darts and side front seams stitched.

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.

Front and back pocket bags, the welt is underneath the lining piece. (It's all coming back to me now!!)

Not bad............of course the second one was so much better!

The burda instructions tell you to hand stitch the welt down from the inside. I decided to top stitch the ends from the outside but I didn't want any reverse stitching to show. In the end I left very long thread tails at the start and finish of my seam, pulled both threads through to the back and then back stitched the welt right next to the machine stitching. It should be plenty strong enough now!

All in all I am happy with what I have achieved. I am a fairly impatient sewist and am quite proud of myself that I have taken my time, thought everything through and loved every minute of it! I am keen to get the trench finished but not so desperate that I want to rush it. I will continue to work on it during the week and continue to take progress photos.
I am also very glad that I made the decision to line it - I would not have been at all happy to have all the pocket 'stuff' showing, I would probably have had to leave the pockets off or do an inseam pocket to keep it neater.
More later :-)