Wednesday, June 20, 2018

This and that and getting something I've wanted.


There was a little op shop having a sewing stuff sale and I went to it. Really, I do not need anything sewing, but I did buy a few things. A few patterns... why, oh  why.. I have hundreds I want to sell off. I did buy this elastic above for $1. It has a little sticker saying it's old and to be used for bunting but I used it for undies anyway. It's still in excellent condition. There was a red and a another colour too and I wish now I had bought all three.



 I made two pairs. One from a scrap of stretchy satin and the checked one was leftovers from a dress I made a few years ago and it's nice and fine but has a great stretch. It's from The Fabric Store (and I still have some left maybe enough for a top). I used some teal merino scraps for the gusset.



I used the undies from the Noelle set by Madalynne. I used the top for this pattern for some togs for my sister  for Christmas but I didn't use the undies pattern (I used a McCalls one). This is a high waisted panty b


This is a high waisted panty pattern but to fit my shortish body, I had to shorten from the top about 5 cms. This has resulted in a great pattern for me. I will change it to make it the gusset concealed seams but for these two I just wanted to test the fit.




These two $2 things above I bought at Big W. I pulled that too big bra apart for the nice coloured elastics and finding and I think I can cut the cup down to fit too. I will use the silver pleather for trim. Can't buy that much for $2... shame though as it was a cute skirt... I don't know any girls this would fit.

Other thing I've been obsessing about is making my own sourdough bread. I usually buy a great spelt sourdough bread but it's $8 and I'm sick of paying that much. It's a bit of work making the starter.. .well it's not hard but you need to 'feed' it twice a day for 10 days. I wasn't terribly diligent about it and I made 2 at the same time.  Then I mixed it up last night and left it overnight to prove - result above. Pretty good. Then you turn it over a couple of times and let it sit for 30 minutes. When that's done you turn the over on to really hot and put in your bread making vessel.


When the vessel has been in the over for 30 min, take it out and put the bread dough in, slash the top and pop the lid on and put into the hot oven for 30 min, take the lid off and cook another 15 min.


Ta da!

And cut open... nice crumb and lots of holes. It's not very sour but I think that builds up with the starter getting more mature. It is yum. What I love is no knead. You kind of turn it over a few times but it's not kneading. I'm really pleased and the flour only cost me $3 so it's a win. Onto my next win.


I bought a new to me machine. It was a bargain at $250. It looks brand new and has no fluff inside and looks like it has done minimal work. As I was happily walking out to the car, the lady selling it said "do you want an overlocker too?".  Of course I did. It's an old Janome Diff feed model and now I'm going to give my sister's to her daughter. Now I have so many machines I'm going to sell all the surplus ones. Just have two (or three maybe) and then use the funds to get a service and parts for the Bernina overlocker/coverstich I got a while ago for a better bargain even. (Elna cam sewing machine and Bernina overlocker/coverstitch for $100 - I just played with the Elna today ...sews like a dream).

What about you, get any great bargains?

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Floating with cocktails and other adventures.

Hi! Long time no see. I'm going backwards here with  unblogged items. I'm starting with a  pencil case I  made for my son at the beginning of the year. Pencil cases are pretty expensive and really *r@p. I used some zips I had in stock (ha ha , I feel like I have  "stock") and  some great 'fabric' I picked up in  Spotlight . It's kind  of net over some plastic. It was on sale for $8 per metre and then half price for $4.  There was also  a hot pink one too, but when I took them to the counter they didn't want to give me the  pink one for the half price so I left it  because they didn't say before cutting that it wasn't  on sale.  Anyway, I had to go back later for something I forgot and  it was  in the remnant bin so  in the end I got it for $2.50.  I  bought it to make some shopping bags .. still unmade min you. Anyway my  son really liked the pencil case but after 1 day it had scribble on it and the tab on the zip was missing!??  I'm going to  harvest that metal zip when the pencil case dies. 


Next up I made some togs. Same fabric as the 2 piece I made for my sister. I could not find my Speedos. I had been down the beach and though they must have dropped out of the car, so I wrote them off. I had to go to aqua so I whipped these up quickly and didn't line them. I used up the last of my rubber elastic and used some other elastic for the legs.




These photos were taken a couple of weeks after making. They are already in the bin. The fabric is really bad quality and it was very old lycra I suspect. It was on sale at Pitt Trading, but I'd expect it to last longer. They stretched out after 2 wears (and that's only 2 hours of pool work) and by 8-10 wears max they were history. It is disappointing as I still spent the same time making them.


See above.. the original colour is on the right. The green faded terribly..... it's such a shame.  Which leads me to the next pair of togs and my title... My aqua teacher is a bit of a tyrant (in a fun way) and at times says you can pick your own exercise, which leads me to say "floating with cocktails". Now she says pick your own exercise and looks at me and says "and floating isn't an option!".  When I bought the above fabric, I also bought the fabric below.


It is as vibrant as it looks and it's so fun! I LOVE the print and now I can float with cocktails!


I lined these with lining fabric I bought at Pitt Trading and it's quite nice... soft and very comfy. The other fabric... gorgeous but NOT lycra although it was marked as lycra and suitable for swimwear.  It's very thin. It's not 4 way stretch but only 2 way and it is NOT lycra. I'm pretty annoyed about that. Unfortunately I made some changes to the pattern like shortening the straps and narrowing the upper bust area by a smidge. These changes along with the lack of stretch, makes me a contortionist getting into and out of them. I'm disappointed. I won't be buying any more fabric from Pitt Trading or lycra online.  I have a little left (I only bought 1 metre) so I may make another pair or a rashie. I've got plenty of other lycra in plain colours so I'll make something else but I have so many things to make it's a shame togs have to come to the top again.

I have two dresses I haven't had time to photograph and another 2 dresses I'm half done with. Plus I have a ripstop basic rain jacket I'm cutting out. Anyone got any tips for sewing with ripstop? I'm thinking of getting some seam sealer but not sure what. I'm not making a serious rain jacket but like a spray jacket that's light to keep in the backpack I use when I walk to the ferry to get to work in the morning. Back soon with more dresses and a few photos from the Brisbane Spoolette's High Tea. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Gingham skirt

Well I have finally got a chance to take a photo of the gingham skirt that I first talked of making 10 December  2017. I did make it but since, life has been a whirlwind! We had Christmas and all that it entails, my son's Dad went to the UK for 7 weeks where he had to help his elderly parents and just got back on Tuesday. This has curtailed any of everything other than the rat wheel of work, wash, iron, cook, make lunch, some exercise and then wake up and do it all again. I'm tired.

Anyway, this isn't a pity party blog, onto the sewing.


This is the pattern and the fabric again. Cotton 1.5cm check gingham bought at the second hand shop a few years ago for a few bucks. It's a polished cotton and it has a lovely hand... like a rayon but without that slipperiness or that swishyness but does have good drape. 


This is my inspiration skirt. Pretty simple and it cost originally about US$500 and I think when I saw it it was US$300 reduced. What a bargain!




Here's my skirt. I love the colour and size of the gingham so much more. It's not as long looking on me because: short and dumpy but it is what it is. Mine is all cut on the bias. It nearly ruined me getting it on that 1.5m square piece of wonky fabric. New Look recommend 2.2 mt so I did well but it took some piecing - the back piece is full and the front piece has a tiny piece up near the waistband and side seam but the front piece under the top layer is pieced with 2 pieces but no one can see it because I did a great job piecing! Great little top my sister gave me from the op shop... cute little flowers on the front.

Yes great work bathroom photos. If I go into the shower room it has a full length mirror with good lighting. Plus it's private... I've tried getting photos in the lift but that is so difficult with so many people in and out, plus I'm on a lower floor so even if I'm in the lift alone, I can't get a good photo quickly enough.

I've also made new togs because I thought I'd lost my speedos and of course I found them the day I finished my new togs. I've also made another really easy swing dress, a Burda dress that I love and I haven't got photos of the Burda dress I made for Christmas. Maybe other things?? I can't remember. Plus all this no time for anything I will spend this first free weekend in 8 weeks clearing up the house and finding the floorboards again. I have two leather purses I have to make for birthday gifts too. Fun!

Oh I also just want to note, I cannot write comments on a lot of blogs ... seems like it's a google thing, but I can make comments on some but not other blogs so I'm trying but I can't work it out and it was low on the list of things to fix. But know I'm thinking about what you are sewing and doing too.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Lekala S4006

I saw Thornberry's S4006 ages ago and really liked it. A simple shift dress but with enough little features to make it interesting, plus it was free and I thought a great test of the Lekala. Lara has the details about Lekala in her post if you are not familiar with them.

I used a fabric that is a ramie or cotton or linen mix. It is years old and was just green and white but a pretty ordinary green so I dyed it with an aqua that isn't very visible here due to such bad photos but it didn't turn out as vibrant as I thought so it was a good fabric to test the pattern as I could still wear it as a house dress. You can't see it here but the hem is a faced curved hem and I lined it with a tiny orange gingham and I used the orange theme to topstitch around the sleeve hems and around the neckline.


What I like: it was perfectly drafted and the pieces fit really well together. The sleeve is a great shape and the bust darts were in the right position.

What I don't like: it is way too big. I ordered it with seam allowances and maybe I'll try again eliminating the seam allowances and see for fit. It is too long. This below the knee length is matronly. I don't like it on anyone... it throws the proportions off and makes you look dumpy and short. It's too wide in the hips - I was hoping I could use this draft as a kind of block but no, won't work as is.
Obviously my measuring is out. Lara got a really great fit so it's got to be me... it's hard measuring yourself for some parts. I have very small shoulders and back (probably a size 6) so it's hard to accurately measure my shoulders at the back.


The sleeve went in perfectly and pretty easily for a set in sleeve. The fabric has some mechanical stretch due to the semi loose weave. Darts are probably a bit low now I look, but that could be the the overall dress is too big. Hate to say it but the colours are pretty accurate if not a little lighter here. Still not what I was going for.


 I made the yoke burrito style and cut the outside one on the bias for visual interest. It should have a little dart in the back centre but I forgot and I think the bias helped me stretch it to fit... oops. I still like this style but I will need a measuring partner to get my measurements accurate for future use. I really would like to try Lekala again as I hate making so many fitting changes to patterns. So a fail - but good experience and a pretty quick sew too. You keen for Lekala?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas gifts.


Merry Christmas readers! I hope the day was full of fun, family, friends and peace. This was my most organised and relaxed Christmas ever. (if we ignore the trouble with the machine for the togs - see last post). I had all the house cleaning, food prep done, gifts made, gifts wrapped and even finished a gift on Christmas morning waiting for my son to come home from his Dad's where he spends Christmas Eve and morning.

This is from a dinner I had with an aqua aerobics friend. She was skipping her husband's work Christmas party which is in the heavy machinery industry so she thought a girly catch up was fitting instead.  I wore my Simplicity off shoulder dress in Southbank with the lovely lights and fantastic weather. I've since washed this dress and it's shortened up a bit (natural fibres usually shrink up not across - of the the not so many things I remember from fabric studies in the '90's). I knew this so didn't make it any shorter. I'm hoping the green Christmas dress (unseen finished here) will also shrink a little too. It's great dress to wear - just so easy but you look so smart.


Next is the gifts I made for my sisters and niece and past step-daughter. Here's a little tassel. So fun to make. I bought all the findings (?) at Spotlight. Isn't the leather gorgeous... more on that later.


The lining was a recent remnant from Spotlight on the same trip... $2 and perfectly gorgeous for this project... a cotton slightly lighter than quilting fabric. I bought metal zips from Spotlight too.. they just did not have many in shorter sizes... I think I bought 4 and that was all they had.


Here's the work table out on the back deck. Great light and it's a huge 2 metres wide octagonal table I got from my sister. (It's so old and it's two-pac so I don't even use a big cutting mat... I just do it on the table. No table was harmed in the making of anything so far!) In the background you see the leather hide. It's garment lamb's skin... it's size small and cost about $48. I bought it from East Coast Leather (easy to remember). They had so much leather and I think it was very, very well priced. I also went to Mac's Leather but after just because it was nearby and wanted to have a look, but this is where I would go for any leather in the future.


This is the making of the tassels. A bit tedious and hurt my wrists with the cutting, but also fidgety but it got done and I was happy with the outcomes.  I used the scissors not the rotary cutter.


Finished tassels. The rotary cutter I bought years ago when Big W was getting out of all sewing supplies. I got a huge bag of elastic too with only about half gone now. The little cutting mat was from a $2 shop years ago too and just the right size to cut small bits accurately. I have a 60cm metal ruler I bought when Gardam's closed up in Adelaide Street when they were next door us when I worked at STA Travel. I bought a pile of scissors too which I still have and use.


This was the first go. This is upholstery leather. I bought this at Trad's ages ago... just a small 50x30cm piece for $3 to practice but I only got to it the last few days.
Edit: I did want to say, I used a leather needle and just ordinary polyester thread in a very light grey which was the best match I had. I didn't even think of thread when I bought the leather.


I used a zip harvested from an old zip wallet and like the orange with the cream colour and put a vintage tiny gingham lining to match.


Then I made the rose gold ones, branded one just for size reference. They aren't all photographed, as I made another two after I finished these. I made them in different sizes. Some are with 7" zips and two were with 10" zips, plus I used 2 zips I had on hand one being a plastic one.


All up I made 6 and I have another 2 I need to make but I can't find the interfacing and I have run out of zips of suitable colour.  I used mostly cream coloured zips and the plastic one is a bone colour.  I am so pleased with how they worked out. I read through this tutorial but modified it as I went on. I would cut the zip and tab about .5cm shorter each end so that when turning there wasn't so many layers to turn.

I also interfaced the lamb's skin or it would stretch. Initially I also interfaced the lining but decided it would be slightly too stiff. By interfacing you lose the super soft butteriness (to just soft butteriness)  but it will keep it more sturdy to really be used.


I was a bit hesitant but bit the bullet and dived in and I am so incredibly happy with the way they turned out. EDIT: II also wanted to say I've never made a pouch or anything like this before... straight to the leather. My step-daughter said she loved it but when I said I made it she said she loved it even more and was incredibly surprised.

Oh and my sister called and said was just talking to Mum and saying she thought I'd lost it with the size I made, but when she tried them on they togs fit perfectly. I tried to explain negative ease... in the end they fit and she loves them. I had so much joy making beautiful things for my family.

I hope to finish my gingham skirt next and make a top to wear with it. Any ideas what style of top I should make. The skirt will have a long tie to close it. I'm a bit lost. I feel like a sleeveless top but not sure. Any ideas welcome.