Friday, June 16, 2017

Making all the things... and a city surprise!

Well after working out I had nothing to wear and making stuff for my niece, I've found a real sewing mojo I haven't had for a while. This is just a teaser post really, as I haven't any photos of most of the stuff I've made. 

So first up is this Vogue basic design pattern I made last Saturday (as well as a skirt). It's a boxy, 2 piece pattern... I made D - in the cow pattern and headless red one. I made it out of a remnant piece of wool knit stuff that is in a mushroom colour. I have been trying to use this piece of fabric for about 5 years but it was not enough for anything. I'd played tetris with this pattern before but this time I made it work. If you can see, the pattern starts at a 14... I have the tiniest shoulders and this looks like I have my big sister's top on. It's comfy and warm though... I've worn it twice already. Goes so well with the skirt I made. No photo of the skirt yet though. 

The other thing I've nearly finished is a bodysuit! I can't believe I found this pattern at a sewing shop for $1. Three styles too... I used to wear a bodysuit in the 90's. I remember travelling on a motorcycle in the UK in 1992 wearing beautiful dark grey one. No tucking in and it kept your back warm. This was the trip where I started saying "the coldest winter I ever spent was summer in Scotland"! I've got style 3 together. I just need to put the snaps on, elastic around the legs and some binding. That's made out of a scrap of fabric bought for .50c from the fabric sale I go to.

These are the snaps. They are from the '80s when I did a short course on sewing lingerie. I'll find the unfinished (see snaps above) teddy thing to show you.... funny that's all I need to do on it... why didn't I ever finish it?? They need a wash but they've they've been kicking around for years :)

I also made another merino scarf for my niece. I got this gorgeous teal merino remnant from aforementioned fabric sale for $1 people!! It is really lovely but just not my colour. Nothing too complex here - cut it the width she wanted and then french seam the ends for an infinity scarf.  I think there is enough to make her another singlet top when I find the pattern I've made for it. I've also finished the dress I was finishing for her - just needs hemming but I dropped the pin that marked where she wanted it so I have to wait for her to come over. I'll finish that when she's here.

 I made an ivory coloured top from this pattern. Round neck version as the V neck isn't in the pattern envelope. It's a great simple pattern that fits me really well around the shoulders. This will go with a lot of things but I wore it with the polka dot (see previous post) New Look  6459 culottes. They fit perfectly after finally getting the waistband on, and I really love them but they have a sad story that I'll tell you next time. I've also made two Style Arc Halle Skirts and a skirt from some really special ruffle fabric (fabric sale again) that was a very quick make but no photos yet. It's rained all week and I've been home 4 days... most of that time not well enough to sew, but some was snuck in.

I've not only making fabric things, but food things too!

These are my corn fritters on a bed of rocket. I make these for breakfast and then we have them for lunch boxes.. if they last. I use corn meal instead of any flour (we aren't gluten intolerant, I just like it).

Then made some fantastic cinnamon buns. We love cinnamon buns. The recipe is from Minimalist Baker. I've used a few of her recipes and they are good. I haven't made these vegan as she has but everything she makes that I've tried is really good.

I also made gnocchi for the first time. It took about 10 minutes and was divine. Soft little pillows of ricotta, eggs and flour.

I made my standard tomato salsa (I use this for tomato soup base, Neapolitan sauce for pasta and added a bit of cream for this gnocchi. This is just fresh tomatoes, garlic and lots of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If I don't have all fresh tomatoes (rare), I'll use canned, or if I only have a few fresh tomatoes I'll add a big dollop of tomato paste. To make it soup, I just add stock. This is our favourite soup.. takes 20 minutes and tastes sensational.

Tossed in some fresh basil leaves and a grating of Romano cheese and delicious. So the last couple of weeks have been very productive. I'll get photos of my finished sewing soon.  Oh, I nearly forgot the city surprise....

At my bus stop in town, I have seen this plaque for years but never looked at it closely. It's hard to read but it's called "Still Life with Reclining Bus Ticket". Have a closer look... there's the bus ticket reclining on the vase. The vase is resting on a Singer treadle sewing machine! It's a real reflection of Brisbane life... the Hills Hoist  (clothes line) through the window, with the Story Bridge in the background. A real city surprise!

(Thanks for reading this long, long post.)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

So sew, sew, sew... and nothing to wear.

Yes, that's not me wearing a new Kwik Sew K3952 jacket out of black wool crepe stuff I bought in Melbourne last year as a remnant. That's my niece who popped in for a visit yesterday. I was telling her about the little jacket I made and it was just not right on me.  Too swingy, too black? I couldn't put my finger on it. She is about twice as broad in the shoulders as me (hello weights) but about the same height. (Proportion is everything when you are short). I got her to try it on and .. well it fits her beautifully, sits where it should and she also loves the 3/4 sleeves. She was wearing a dress yesterday that this really didn't go with but we agreed with jeans or pants it would be great. And it is. Yeah, it's black and hard to photograph, so here's the pattern.

That's not all.... The McCall's vintage wrap dress I was making is waaayyyy too big in the front bodice. I was debating putting the bodice down but hadn't done it yet. I showed my niece and of course it fits her perfectly... like it was made for her I tell you... so I'll finish it off and pass it onto her too.... so, sew, sew, sew and still nothing to wear!

It's a great pattern. So quick and it takes a smell of fabric. This was a remnant piece of a few scraps and I was go pleased to get this little jacket out of it. I think for me now I will try it in a merino as that's a bit lighter and drapey which will be better for me I think. It's supposed to have exposed seams but I didn't do this and there is an exposed seam at the back of the neck on the collar, but it's so quick. It's a wool, crepe like knit that is quite thick. It's warm but not overly hot so perfect for our Brisbane autumn days of sunny and 25 degrees celsius like it was today. It's really worth a try.

And speaking of today, I wore my Simplicity 1796 made from polka dot royal blue fabric to the  Brisbane Spoolettes picnic in the park today, which was very relaxed, delicious and so fun. I bought the fabric from Janies Fabrics, an online fabric shop in Australia. It's a lovely heavy rayon so it was lovely to sew. It was also pretty cheap at $6 per metre.. it had a few little holes in it near the selvage, but nothing that caused a problem and it was a very generous cut. I paid for 3 metres but I made this dress and a pair of the New Look culottes NL 6459. They have been waiting for a waistband for about a month. But that's pretty good getting both out of that cut.

What a sour puss face! Wonder what I was thinking?
I made view C and while the dress is a good size for me I didn't do a FBA and I could have gotten away with it if I thought to just add about 3 cm to the length of the front only to accomodate bewbs. I had a huge problem with the facings on this dress. They just did not fit and I tore my hair out trying to work out if I did something or if it was the pattern. I'll try another one soon to see. Maybe add those open sleeves. Anyone made this and had a problem with the facings? I ended up making bias and it's on but not the best. I forgot to take into account of the seam allowance and cut it away so the armscye could have used a bit trimmed off for a more comfortable fit. It's not uncomfortable I'm just aware of it.

So next, I've downloaded, glued up and cut out a Lekala pattern. I need something quick that just fits. Lets see how I go.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

New Togs

I made new togs. These were a bit overdue as  pair I made in January disintegrated. Well the red did that stretch out thing and the aqua (which was at least 20 years old) was still fine, such was the quality of that remnant. I knew they wouldn't last long as the red was very thin and not good quality plus the heat and chlorine from the night aqua classes really eats into the fabric.  So onto the new pair. It is still using the same pattern cut out from a pair of Arena togs that fit well that the last pair was to test if my tracing off was ok. These are made from a remnant piece of lycra from The Fabric Store a few years ago. Really I don't know why I bought it, it's not really my colours but it has a beautiful feel. It was about a metre long and $17 so that's probably why.. it is really lovely quality. I don't know how long they'll last; when you swim in chlorine a few times a week togs don't last long.

The original togs had the bottom piece cut on the fold, but I put a seam in to round out the bottom for a better fit for my round bottom. I fully lined the togs and I used some green power net I cut out from the lining of togs I bought a while ago. I always have to thing about how to do the lining so the seams at the crotch are fully enclosed. I kind of walk my way through it to make sure... I don't want to unpick lycra.  I used some clear swimwear elastic because I couldn't (and still can't) find the new rubber elastic I bought a few weeks ago. I used my teflon foot and a microtex needle which was really good (and expensive).

Until I had most of the elastic put on .. then my machine kept jumping stitches. I thought it was the machine and pulled out the Brother I found on the street but same thing. I changed needles, broke one (damn because they are expensive) and changed thread... nope same thing. Left it for a day (I know when the universe tells me to step away from the machine) and tried again the next day. Same frustration. The only thing left was to turn the togs over and sew on the other side and no problem. Why this happened I have no idea. One minute it's going great and literally the next second it's not working and simply turning the fabric over makes it work fine?? When you sew long enough you realise it's better to not waste time trying to work it out, just go with it.

The is the dress I've been working on using a polka dot fabric from East Coast Fabrics I bought when I was up at Maroochydore at New Year. I was procrastinating doing the facings for a week and then I had the Destash to Restash market and it's still waiting. Hopefully this weekend.

Happy Easter everybody.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

There's a Bouquet and Then There's a Sewer's Bouquet and I Got Both.

The little girl next door had a birthday and a little while ago I noticed she was wearing a mint coloured t-shirt with a pineapple on the front.  I had a scrap of the pineapple rayon I made my niece pj shorts and kimono last year which was a perfect match so I whipped her up a little skirt with pom poms on. It fit perfectly and just as well as that was the last of it. I had to make a kind of tier as it wasn't quite wide enough but a bit of elastic sewn on with the overlocker and then folded and topstitched and there it was.  She loved it and put it on straight away... I love it when kids do that! 

 It was also my birthday recently and my above said niece brought me this lovely bouquet of flowers which I may add are still in good shape and it has been a couple of weeks. Lovely... but the sewer's bouquet... well that's just perfection and lasts much longer.

Ta Da! I present the sewer's bouquet...a bunch of merino pieces!!!!
Goodness what a niece.. knows the way to her Aunty's heart (and making sure she's in the good books for more merino winter goodness.. if winter ever comes).

Pretty much self explanatory isn't it.

Next up I'll show my new togs (swimmers), hopefully a wrap dress and I'll let you know how the destash went today. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Destash to Restash!

Have you heard of this Destash to Restash fair? I hadn't but some someone brought it to my attention recently and I'm pretty glad. I had been planning on taking my patterns to the suitcase rummages that go on a few times a year but they are on Sundays which were our family day with Dad and so I could never go. I have a week off this week and booked a table and have been busy getting my vintage pattern collection ready to sell. I have hundreds and I have enjoyed looking at them and dreaming but the fabric and patterns are out of control and I need to get them to homes that will let them get used and loved again. I also have some really fantastic buttons that a friend who scours garage sales presented to me about 6 months ago and some lovely fabrics that I love but know I won't wear.

Just to give you an idea, my sewing room is about 2 metres x 4 metres... with a large ikea square shelf thing, a metre long computer desk, a long two drawer table that my machines sit on and a treadle machine. Then there are 4 tubs of fabric and another tub of patterns.... there is no room to  feel relaxed and the mess is distracting.  

I hope you can come along and have a look. I hope I don't restash...