Monday, January 23, 2012

Not so "Amazing FIt"

Sorry not a great photo - using my new tripod but it doesn't make you look better!
This is one of the Simplicity Amazing Fit patterns. I am too tired to look for can't find the number but it has a nice cross over bodice but I made a 10 and went to a 12 in the waist and a 14 in the skirt but it all seems too big. I will take at least 4-6 cm off the sides of the skirt and look to see if I can take the front in.  I am pretty short at 156 cm and a bit chunky at the moment but I seem to always make stuff too big ... this is despite checking the measurements. I am very short from the shoulders to the waist but with a D bust and this makes fitting a nightmare. When I did pattern making at Tafe I made my own sloper but alas that was 18 kg ago!
This pattern has the various cup sizes but I think the D is way too big for me.  The back is a little high and could have at least 6 cm taken out... I think I should make the back a size 8 with the front a 10 and see how I go. Also after adjusting the princess seams at the front the armhole was 'out' so instead of making new armhole facings I just put some pink bias on.   I like the style but will make more adjustments to get a better fit.

The fabric was from that designer sale - a lovely heavy stretch cotton sateen.

I have a skirt cut out and two tops but until I finish painting my bedroom I don't want to distract myself with sewing.  My son goes back to school next Monday after his operation (school started today) and then I will be able to get some sewing in.

My sewing plans for my long uni break have been interrupted by my Mum going to hospital twice, my son once and then the obligatory appointments plus some car repairs, Christmas and taking my Dad to the Dr too. Life gets in the way of plans!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Freecycle Piano

I mentioned I am a member of Freecycle locale Brisbane. This is their mission statement:

"Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community."

Freecycle is active all around the world and basically you "offer" or "want" something and put it on the local site.  All members get email updates daily of stuff wanted and on offer.  Then you make arrangements for collection/drop off  via email through your local Freecycle email address.

I needed a piano for my son who has been learning piano for two years and practicing on an electric Casio keyboard. These don't actually have the complete set of keys so he was running out and that limited his learning.  His keyboard was doing strange things and we were getting desperate. (He had his tonsils and adenoids out last week so he hasn't played it yet but was overwhelmed at how wonderful it is)

Anyway, with not much hope I put up a wanted: piano with good guts (insides!) as I didn't want to have to pay to move and tune a piano I couldn't afford to restore. Well I had offers of not one, but two pianos.  The first one is the one I accepted as the insides were done about 10 years ago but it was never played after this.

And here is my Freecycle piano...

The yellow on the left is the keyboard with the cover and music pouch. 

It is just over 100 years old with real ivory keys ... beautiful, no? I was gobsmacked when I saw it and because I know nothing about pianos, I asked the piano teacher to go and have a look for me.  She couldn't believe someone was giving it away! It needs a few keys tweaked and after settling a few weeks, a tune also.  I could not just accept this beautiful piano so I have a voucher for the lady who passed it on to us. I am so grateful! The mover/tuner/restorer valued it quite highly - what a treasure.

I love the concept of Freecycle ... I hate waste and therefore tend no to throw things away if they are still viable but no longer useful for me. This allows the gifting of stuff to someone who needs and it takes it off your hands .. WIN/WIN!!!  I love it.

Do you Freecycle?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I bought a ruffler a few years ago and it's quite a scary contraption but does an excellent job. Recently I made a friend's little girl a dress from some scraps from Kindy sheet sets I used to make and sell.

I always used 100% cotton so these scraps were perfect for a dress for our hot climate. I used this old Style pattern (what happened to Style?) for the bodice only as each scrap I had was too narrow for the skirt which is slightly A-line on the pattern.  I just joined 3 panels that I had and gathered at the top.  I then made a bias ruffle from some scrap gingham another girlfriend gave me and used the extra ruffle to cover the straps.

Ruffler contraption

Makes a nice gather 
Recipient of dress

All small scraps - straps not attached yet

 The bodice I lined with the gingham fabric as the print on the front is a rubbery texture and would stick to you on a hot day. 
Cross over straps

I used the ruffler for gathering of the skirt too but at a different setting it makes tiny pleats up to (I think) 6cm deep pleats.  Quite a useful tool. 

I'm quite pleased with this little dress made while watching a French movie on SBS one night last week. I had forgotten how satisfying it is to make little dresses - quick, easy, use of scraps and best of all - no fitting issues.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Useful gift from the auto shop????

My girlfriend was dragged to the auto shop with her husband - funny I don't think he goes to the fabric shop with her, but that's another story..

Anyway as she is bored in this shop, she was looking at the funny things around and she bought me a Christmas gift there of all places.

Yes, a magnetic parts tray... it has a rubber base (stops it slipping) and it is magnetic so it keeps all the pins in place!  I always use a small tray to throw my pins in as I am sewing along but how useful is this when you knock the tray over! I love it!
And it was all of $10 ... who would have thought!

Have you had any "tools" from unusual sources?