Saturday, January 31, 2015

Star Wars Shorts and random t-shirts

I found this shorts pattern recently at a Salvo's second hand shop... that was a great haul as I got about 20 patterns for $3! How could I leave them. I thought this was a bit more grown up style with the flat waistband at the front and the fly, as opposed to the Burda elastic waist shorts I usually make for Alex. I have always liked New Look patterns too but never made one for a boy before. The pieces were a different shape to the Burda but I though it wouldn't matter if they didn't fit really well as the time a boy wears clothes when growing isn't that long and this was an experiment in fit and pattern brand to see it this could be used in the next few years. 

Bit poufy at the front, but I might superimpose the Burda crotch shape there and make this a go to pattern. Alex was impressed that he had a fly!
You can see here that the stitching would have benefited being a bit longer... next time. Pretty good fly though!
Pocket stitching

I used red top stitching thread... it's really gorgeous stuff. I've never used it before but I definitely will again. The only thing I thought of after finishing was that I should have lengthened the stitch. The fabric is a fine shirt weight cotton that Spotlight had a couple of months ago and I bought 2 metres of it. Funnily, when I first bought it (I bought 2 other Star Wars prints at the same time) of the three this is the one Alex was ho hum about, but when I finally got ready to make shorts, he picked this one saying it was nice and light for the heat. 

The waistband is made with elastic to about the pocket line in the front. It suggests interfacing only to this line, which I did and regret as did Fadanista in a recent vintage garment. I won't do that again as if you look a couple of photos down, the button hole stretched out. That's for two reasons, one being lack of interfacing and the other being that the waistband was a bit short for some reason and I had to make a slanted end (embarrassing or design feature? Embarrassing I think!) so I made the button hole on the slant not thinking about the fabric then being on the bias.. live and learn.

The elastic I used was the button hole type you find in rtw boys shorts. I really like this as I find it extends the life of the garment. I didn't put buttons on both ends but just sewed down the elastic on the other end. I used the industrial method for the waistband and used the selvage for the finish - I didn't grade out the interfacing as you can see.. I'll fix this up later (sure). Boys tend to grow up but not out so much so these are a little long but I think will be ok for next summer too. Our winter often allows the wearing of shorts at times also.

Here's that bad button hole... next.

I made the t-shirts below a few weeks ago from fabric I bought at Darn Cheap Fabrics and some as did Lara recently. I saw this green cotton with sharks print and knew it was perfect for Alex. This is some heavy cotton... probably too thick for our summer but it will be perfect for winter and autumn. I only bought 60cms but wished I bought more as it is great weight for shorts.

I finished the sleeves and hem with one of the fancy stitches to mimic the stitches, you know like, if  that shark had bitten you!

This is the second t-shirt I made. The print is from Darn Cheap the green was leftovers from a t-shirt I made earlier for Alex and a lighter fabric, this one has some spandex (from East Coast Fabrics) but the print is just a very light weight cotton. Again I just bought 60cms of this and wished I bought more. It is the perfect weight for summer and light and cool.

I used the remnants from the printed fabric for the sleeves of the last t-shirt. The grey is from East Coast Fabrics too and leftovers from another shirt. This one still needs hemming and the neck band finished. Alex loves the t-shirts but I made them the same size as the merino ones in December, but they are a little big... that's ok often it's only a few weeks between a too big and just right fitting t-shirt when you are 10 going on 11.

I put my label on the grey one. Now that I'm getting used to making t-shirts I don't think I'll buy one again. I've said before that Alex is very particular about what he likes on his t-shirts print wise, and although I KNEW he would love the sharks, I was not so sure about the white print... he doesn't like skulls at all, but luckily he did like the randomness of the print. I would love to buy more of those printed fabrics from Darn Cheap but they aren't on their website and I emailed them to see if they could send some anyway, but I haven't heard back. Maybe I should try and ring them? That's enough boy sewing for now though, don't you think. I have bought even more fabric (wrist slap) from a designer sale that I stumbled across (luckily?) last week so I'll photograph those and my Melbourne purchases in the next post.. plus the pavlova recipe I said I would but instantly forgot!

Just an offside, when I bought the Star Wars fabric, I asked how much it was as it was on sale and the lady said it was $9.99 pm and all three were the same price so I got 2 metres of each (I mean how often have you seen Star Wars, only time in 10 years). When I got home I realised she had charged one at some phenomenal price so I went back to get it fixed up. There she realised she had charged the other two (or the computer did rather) at $4 per metre and the one I was returning at $29 pm or something ridiculous. She said she can't charge the correct price on the underpriced one as it's gone and not my fault, but she refunded the overcharge on the returned fabric. So huge score... I didn't even notice the underpriced one until she pointed it out. I don't even feel bad as currently I have some $25 pm laminated cotton fabric that runs terribly when wet I bought there a little while ago.

I'd also like it known that I am one of the few persons in the Western world that has not seen any of the Star Wars movies, even though I was the right age demographic when they were released and remember them being at the movie cinemas... no interest then and none now. Anyone else out there?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

More (plain; boring; simple) sewing for others.

This is a chair bag. In the primary school my son goes to they store their books in this bag that hangs on their chair. I am not enamoured with this principle but abide by it. I made Alex a chair bag last year... this one with a "W" is obviously not for him but the brother of Alex's best friend. They sell really ugly bottle green ones for $7 at the school but a personalised one is much better in my opinion... I mean if you have to have the ugly chair bag may as well be one that looks a little interesting, no?

My friend gave me the fabric last Thursday. She was clearing a storage shed where she has been storing her and her husband's stuff for the last 10 years while working overseas, came across this and decided she's not getting the opportunity to use it any time soon and so she offered it to me. It's a very good quality, heavy Indian cotton ribbed fabric for upholstery use and perfect for a chair bag for a boy.

I have some Star Wars fabric bought recently to make shorts for Alex and I thought William would like his initial on his bag with this fabric. A quick appliqué job; sew up the sides with a double row of  triple stitch after overlocking and bam, it's done. I sent a photo to my friend to show William and "he is impressed!" Very pleasing as we all know how fussy 8 year old boys can be. Another happy customer.

I have been sewing - some Star Wars shorts for Alex (with a different Star Wars fabric) and three t-shirts; two of which are finished and one just waiting for the neck binding and the hemming of the sleeves. Hopefully that will be finished up today or tomorrow. See you then.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A not very well thought out baby quilt.

Baby quilt... not two words I thought I'd be writing on my blog. Friends who I have known since school days (I finished senior in 1978!) are to be grandparents hopefully by the end of this month. The baby's parents are the indie band members from The Grates. They have a little café called Southside Tearooms conveniently up the road... and we meet up there often. I have yet to have a bad coffee there... 

Anyway, the baby shower was yesterday and I had some gifts;  a new one and three preloved ones that were a great hit 10 years ago... they asked for used things especially. I also decided to make a quilt out of a remnant piece of quilting cotton I bought a few months ago.... it is so soft and the pictures are so cute. So here's the not very well thought out part.... I bought some cotton batting from Trad's. I left it doubled up and then pinned the backing fabric, batting and the quilting cotton together. I sewed white thread on the dotted lines on the quilting cotton (still classed as quilting right? right??). Very simple.. if I had more time (i.e. more thought put into it) I would have like to sew around the trucks. After a row or stitching that was difficult to push through I changed the length of the stitch to 3mm and then it was much quicker.

I didn't think about binding it... I've never thought about quilting at all as I think the little pieces
would drive me crazy but I do appreciate the thought put into them and the time obviously. Thoughts however do not bind a quilt.

This was the selvage cut off the edge of the quilting fabric.. I used this to make some non bias binding and put it on the short edge. This was tricky as half of it was white and the other half was blue but cut roughly as I didn't know I was going to need it (the not well thought out part again) and so on some bits I only had about 2mm to sew down. I went slowly and did it. 

 The next part was the long edge. I didn't have enough fabric to cut binding (nor the time) but I decided to roll the extra width from the back to the front and make it self binded (new word/term?). As you can see above, it is also the selvage but had a nice rib pattern on it so a little different. This fabric was $2 per metre stretch cotton sateen from East Coast Fabrics from my stash. I really like it but realised it would probably be a bit much in a dress and now I have just enough for a straight skirt, I think.

The photo above shows the blue binding (the white stitching is deliberate and goes with the white stitching of the 'quilting'). It also shows how I didn't really think about how the corners get finished till too late so they are not mitred just raw!

This is the underside with more poorly executed corners, but the blue looks a nice contrast with the pink, green and yellow. All in all I am pretty happy with it. Patience was thrilled with it and at first didn't believe I had made it and asked to see the label as a joke, but I did put a label on the underside and showed her.. then she believed me.

When I was half way through making the quilt I also made a pavlova, my new go to dessert. I have always been a bit shy of making pavlovas but I found a great recipe and they work out perfectly every time. I'll put that in the next post. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

I wasn't going to do a 2014 review because I don't think I make enough items, good quality sewing or offer very much to the sewing community. That's ok, I sew for my enjoyment and I do love it. So I'll do an overview of my sewing. (A few photos of some favourites)

I made a total of 49 items... this includes 14 tops, 9 dresses, 6 pants, and 9 items for Alex which includes tops shirts (4), swimmers (2), a cloak, and some shorts. On top of these 'real' items I made school shorts and trousers, 1 dress for a friend, a tunic for my Mum, 2 other cloaks, a yoga carry bag, 2 shower caps, 5 pairs of undies and a bevy of clothes for little girls out of some leftovers I couldn't throw out and gave to a friend's daughter and I made 4 large cushions for gifts. Also about 15 beach skirts that have nearly all been given away now. I also made jeans but made an error in sizing so I'll be making these come cooler weather in the next size and I think they'll be great.

I bought labels this year, I organised my stash (although that's gone a little to the dogs), I got some new/old machines, got nearly all my machines serviced. I really tried not to buy fabric this year but I went to Sydney once and Melbourne twice and couldn't resist some. I've got 3 things not finished because they have no hope of fitting at the moment but I think I'll finish them and get them out of the way.

The favourite thing I made is the Burda Batwing Dress. I have had many positive comments about this dress and I LOVE it. It is really easy to wear, is easy to make and has such nice drama about it. I have another one planned ... maybe next week.  I made some duds too... but I'm not too worried.. all adds to the knowledge bank so I

In 2015, loose plans would be to make some work appropriate clothing (office attire) in anticipation of getting work, I'd like to try bra making and getting fit worked out a bit better. I would like to use my coverstitch (now that it is serviced) and make some togs for myself.

I want to say thanks for all those who read my little blog, a big, gigantic thanks for those who make the effort to comment as I really love reading them. I want to say thanks to all this who write blogs too as I really enjoy reading all the different styles of blogs.