FAMILY - Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another and reside usually in the same dwelling place.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Last minute .... again.

My niece came back from Japan yesterday and leaves tomorrow for New Zealand. She came past this afternoon to say goodbye in between seeing friends in town and going out for dinner with her parents and brother. After we had some afternoon tea and she showed me a couple of things she bought for the weather in New Zealand (which will be a lot colder than Japan and here where currently it is about 26-28 deg in the day time). She showed me some togs (bathers; swimsuit) she bought and mentioned that she wanted some swim shorts to go with them to wear under the wetsuit she'll have to wear when she goes caving (yikes!). So like the yoga bag I made a few short weeks ago, I made her a pair of swim shorts at the last minute...again!

She chose the colours from my small stash of lycra. The hot pink was a remnant from Spotlight a couple of years ago and the navy was an Op shop find - I've made a few pairs of togs for Alex with this (another one nearly finished) and it's old but good quality.  I used the Lincraft pattern I used for some tights I made with some merino/nylon a few weeks ago (not blogged) and just measured the length for where she wanted them.

I put a buttonhole on the inside of the front waistband to thread the nylon tie. This is the elastic I spoke of before - it's got a channel with nylon cord through it - perfect for togs and other beachwear. I also put bands on the legs in the opposite colours (that was Zoe's request).  She couldn't wait (I had about 15 minutes to finish but they had a dinner reservation) so I said to pick them up on the way home.

It isn't my best work but probably took an hour and a half including cutting out and sewing up. I used a wooly thread on one of the loopers and in the bobbin for the twin needle.  I also put a navy and an pink thread in the twin needle The bands were actually nearly double that width but because the overlocker was being obstinate I put one on badly and wobbly and then just decided it was neater and cleaner to just make them narrower. I had to rethread the overlocker twice and in the end left it with one needle as I just couldn't fight it anymore.

Zoe was thrilled when she saw them (they didn't look good when she left for dinner) and even asked me if I'd remembered to get a photo for the blog... which I didn't so took two quick (blurry) photos. She also mentioned that many of the performers on the show she works for want some of the yoga mat bags so if I get to NZ (Auckland probably) I'll make some and take along as gifts. And just a reminder of the show she works for....

The tights I made from the same pattern but not blogged about yet, were made from a fabric from The Fabric Store which was a merino wool with nylon. The merino was the wrong (inside) of the fabric and the nylon was the outside. The merino was also woven like a terry towelling so it is so soft and warm and comfy inside against the skin but the nylon makes it really durable and able to dry quickly. (It was the bargain price of $8 pm and I also bought some lime green).  I had made the medium size but they were too big and long but so comfy I didn't care, but when Zoe tried them for fit, they fit her perfectly so I gave them to her. They are so lightweight but the fabric is thick so no bumps or lumps show and they look fantastic in a great gun metal grey colour. No  photos sorry.

I have been a bit unwell... not unwell but not well either. I also made some things for the market my friend had at her place so that wore me out too (I didn't sell anything tho :( but she's booked a little hall for a market  a bit before Christmas so I'll make a little stall there and try again. I made some really nice things and I'll post those photos next post. It's school holidays as of today, for two weeks,  and we are going on a drive holiday. Can't wait. Till the next time.... happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Whoa! Crazy Man!

Yes that is original '70's towelling. My Mum bought it in the early '70's to cover one of those click drop back couches that were covered in vinyl that was hot, hot, hot in the summer in Brisbane. However, as a mother of 5, she never got the chance so I grabbed it a few years ago. Looking for something else in my fabric bins, I found this again and gave it a wash.  It is a very good quality one - thick and soft. I love the psychedelic waves. I found perfectly matching bobbles  and some fantastic elastic that has cording running though the middle. (I put a label on the front left after I took the photos and it looks really cool).

I should have taken a photo of the elastic - it's about 3cm wide and has the nylon cording throughout it evenly, but when you cut it and pull it out, there's plenty to tie up. I just made some button holes inside the 'waistband'. Basically this is just a rectangle with this elastic put on with the overlocker and then folded over and sewn down. I think this one is about the right size for a 10 year old (as it fits my other 'son'). I'm going to make a few and sell at my a handmade market night  (note that this flyer link says June but I can't find the September one - it's on 13 September if anyone wants to go) that my friend holds at her house, along with some other things I've made.

I also made my son some togs (swimmers) out of scraps. I used a Kwik Sew pattern but I cut these last summer and found them again, made them up and they are too small so they'll be given away to someone with a boy. I have some others I am making up for him now too. The fabric for the waistband is a remnant from The Fabric Store and I've half made a pair of racer back togs for me but a) they are too small   b) I need practice putting the elastic on to make it look ok and c) I have a few pairs already so not being desperate for them, I've put them at the back of the line. I'm making some rashies for the market too.

Today I helped a friend who makes rashies for women (but using beautiful colourful, floral or patterned or plain if that's what clients want) that zip up the front. She cut them and I sewed up the basic body and long sleeves, she was cutting and then putting the neckband and zips in. She has an industrial coverstitch which makes beautiful stitching and makes a very professional finish. She uses 50spf (sun protection factor) fabric that is chlorine resistant so that they last. It was nice to help her out as her husband (electrician) did not charge me to fit my new induction stove which was really nice. So from about 10.30am to 3pm I made up 6 of these and we stopped to have some lunch. Now she has some stock.  It was great fun sewing and chatting all day. I'm glad I had the time to help out.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

T-shirt - Burda 151 03/2013

I made a t-shirt for my son. It's from Burdastyle 3/2013. I meant to photograph the pattern line drawing but I forgot. I am testing out the pattern for some merino ones I want to make for when my son goes to the U.K. for Christmas holidays. I wanted to check the size.

The sleeve with the label on it. This went together in about 30 min and I'd say it's a 1 hour job to trace, cut and sew. Easier than shopping. My son has a favourite t-shirt that is raglan sleeved (white with black sleeves) that he loves so I promised I'd copy it. He only likes plain t-shirts with no prints on them and really they are quite hard to find. The fabrics are from East Coast Fabrics.

I've just finished the edges with a three thread overlock and if my son wants me to hem it I will but I like the look of just the overlock and I like the curved hemline too.

I also made a lumpy pillow out of one of his t-shirts that he loves (ha, one with a print) but got too small. He loves it but it doesn't look quite so lumpy in real life. I just stuffed it with the insides of  an old pillow I had just replaced. I'm making some togs (swimmers for him at the moment too - boy he's getting a lot of stuff at the moment - back to me I think!)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ottobre - Autumn/Winter 2014

The new Ottobre is out. It's a really great issue. I haven't made too many things (a few not yet blogged) from my magazines but I will from this one I think. I really like a lot of the patterns this time. (I think that darker red on the cover is from shadows as it isn't on the actual cover).

The pattern sheet at a glance.

Love the dress on the right with those great pockets - looks much better than the solid colour one. I see this in scuba knit (but will Spotlight have any left?).

I really like the zip up sweat shirt and perfect for some wool stuff I have in two colours, one just a remnant and not enough for anything even simple (believe me I have tried so many different  styles and I just don't have enough fabric so mixing the two colours will be perfect).

I like this top (above) too. Hope if I make it, I don't look quite so frumpy though.

I like the shape of the blue dress (above) but don't know if I can pull this off.. Also like the top in the below photo, but again don't know if I can pull off the swing part of it. I love peasant blouses though and find them pretty flattering on a larger bust.

Their pattern sheet isn't one to be afraid of (unlike Burda's of which I have many aborted attempts at tracing just because I can't see the lines). The lines are clear, coloured and not over crowded - much more eye friendly.

I'm guessing if I do get around to making anything it will be used for about 2 weeks as today is 25 deg celsius and tomorrow is going to be 26, but it still is cool in the morning and afternoon.
What do you think? Anything take your fancy here? 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Swimming rashie for the boys

Well this boy above will model it and the other boy will wear it. How fantastic that I don't have to beg ask for Alex to put it on and let me take a photo.

I got out my "Singer Sewing with an Overlocker" book that I got with my 4 thread Singer overlocker about 25 years ago (I also got a great travel carry bag for it too but I couldn't afford the differential feed which was a brand new feature then). (I also note that the book is "Sewing with an Overlocker" and not serger). I was going to scan the book about how to flat lock but basically you start with a three thread (one needle and the two loopers) overlock stitch that is balanced. Then you loosen needle thread tension 'generously' (mine was under 1 - the lowest or most loose setting), then tighten generously the lower looper thread and loosen the upper looper thread slightly. Then overlock with the knife and when you are done, just pull at the seams just sewn. I have used the 'inside' threads to show on the outside because I thought it was a bit more interesting, but the inside  looks kind of like an ordinary overlock stitch. I also used woolly thread (bought at the 2nd hand shop by chance) which goes on the lower looper. (I also used this making some togs and hemming a t-shirt the other day by threading the bobbin by hand and it made all the difference).

This photo above is a bit blurry (sorry). The sleeves have a band as does the neckline. The fabric is 50 spf (sun protection factor) lycra from Glitter and Dance in Mansfield here in Brisbane. They specialise in dance stuff and have loads of lycra and dance fabrics and also Jalie patterns and trims etc. They are very friendly and are quite a successful business that I recently read about in the Brisbane paper (I think it was?? - anyone remember?).  Anyway it was a remnant for $5 so this rashie at spf50 is a great bargain. All in all, this took me about 30 minutes to sew up and probably the same to trace and cut out the pattern. Easy!

Front on view. See how my other boy is so compliant! So many angles! So little resistance.. so pleasant!

This is the pattern. On the inside it's dated 1994. It has the adult suits as pictured above but also the children's raglan sleeve sizes as well so this was a great buy at $1 (albeit years ago). J & L Patterns are in Osborne Park, Perth, Western Australia but I'm not sure if they are still going. I couldn't find a website but did find telephone listings so maybe they are still operating. Anyone in the west in the know?

Now that this pattern and technique is proven, I will make me a rashie for summer. I hate buying them and may even try to make a zip up front one (a friend makes these for sale in beautiful fabrics and all spf rated so I may try to enlist some help. Incidentally she has an industrial coverstitch machine that sews beautifully but she'll still getting her head around it.)