Sunday, August 13, 2017

It's been a while - lots of sewing done

Wow, it's been a while and I've been sewing up a storm. Don't even know how to start. I've done sewing for me, my son and for some gifts. Sorry about the chopping all over the place in this post. I've so much to say and made so much but not many photos of being worn and so the rotten photos I have here or else it would never get done. There will be a 2nd catch up post because this one would be too long if I did everything.

Firstly the patterns I asked my friend to bring me back from the States. I know there are some very similar but I guess I was giving the list like I take to Spotlight expecting I won't get them. I did try to get these at the sale before this one but I didn't get one of these. I've got half the pattern paper cut out already and to tell the truth with 30 degrees in winter next week I'm going to use them earlier than I thought! I'm excited to have the sports bra pattern. I'm going to make a first one in lycra and the rashie for my aqua as it's getting warmer and it's hard to reach the top of my back for sunscreen and that's a must here.  I like the short rashie too as I'm so short waisted and big hipped that normal ones ride up so I'm hoping to get a three piece made for aqua soon.

This red merino cardi is from Simplicity 2560 which is a beaut pattern. This red merino was a piece from the merino bouquet my niece made for me for my birthday this year. It was just 1 metre and the length of the skirt and the length of the sleeves were determined by the cut of fabric. It is perfect. I LOVE it and I've had a lot of positive comments about it. It's one of my favourite things I've made. I did actually go to find some more fabric from The Fabric Store as I wanted to make one of the Kwik Sew 3977 (below) but there wasn't enough and I needed 1 metre to have enough but it must have been a different roll (there was only 1/2 roll left) and the colour was just ..just off but enough for me to notice. We all know no-one else would notice but that's all that I'd see. Anyway I was pleased to get this out of 1 metre and it's just what I wanted.

I have  a Brother 3240CV coverstitch that my niece picked up for me 2nd hand in Sydney a few years ago. I've used it once. With this limited use, I still wanted to use it, but I was afraid of it... but that didn't stop me thinking seriously that I needed the Janome one. Then I thought that was an idiotic idea... if I have one I just need to buckle down and use it and if I could use it and still didn't like it, then fair enough, but I hadn't given it a chance.  So I've made a tonne of knit things the last few months and the coverstitch has made it so quick and easy to hem and finish it's not funny. Now I'm not afraid of it and I don't feel the need to immediately get another brand. Maybe I will later when I am more experienced but right now, it hems perfectly and I really appreciate it. (Just for reference it was only $250 and I was getting my niece who doesn't sew to pick it up .. she asked them to run it bless her. It was pretty well used and a few little thread guide bits missing but it works). Incidentally when I was hemming the sleeve of the little red cardi, I didn't notice the 2nd needle thread had pulled out and it sewed a single line of stitching with a chain stitch underneath. I forgot you could do that so a practice without full knowledge of doing it. So in fact you could use just 2 threads for a great finish that is so quick. I'm really glad I've 'mastered' (hardly) the coverstitch as I have used it so much the last few months and it makes a great finish and is super easy and much easier to use and thread than the overlocker. If you do a lot of sewing, it's a great machine to have and really makes hemming knits a breeze and fast!

This is the first thing I finished with the coverstitch. A lovely raglan t-shirt, perfect for work made from a remnant from the fabric sale I go to.. it was .50 cents. I have another cut of this slightly more red colour and the bodysuit featured before (still not finished) is in an oily green colour. All .50 cents. Bargain!

And pattern for the top above. I know I cut an 8 to the underarms and 10-12 going down. Fits perfectly. Quick and easy to wear.

Last year I went to the Kitty d' Amour fabric sale and bought a few things, two of which were marked "wool". I pulled it out to sew up a few things as I like the colours. One is the aqua with a green lace overlay (the colours on my monitor are pretty accurate) and the other is a bit fleecy on the back and I wanted to make an unlined jacket or coat.  They aren't long cuts, 1.5 metres each and as you can see the labels, they weren't cheap but they were interesting colours and reasonably priced if it was wool and I thought I'd just do the burn test.

This is the one with the lace overlay with the overlay taken off. See how the fabric has melted and the 'fibres' have stretched like when you melt plastic. NOT WOOL! but synthetic. I was (am) really angry.

This burn test above is the raspberry boiled wool that I bought for $4 per metre at the fabric sale (already cut out ages ago for a Butterick Lisette waterfall coat but put to the back burner for more urgent things - maybe this week), the next one is another wool scrap from the black Kwik Sew I recently made for my niece and knew it was wool and the last two are the blue two above marked as "wool". It is really disappointing and I am so angry and so put off this brand.. although lets face it, I won't be buying clothes but I wouldn't go to their sale again and really feel like I want to return it.

Two bad photos of the Hollyburn skirt (well the skirt from the Lonsdale dress that is the Hollyburn skirt) that I made in an hour to wear to see The Ladies in Black. I used a purple synthetic silk lining (which isn't really apparent in these poor quality photos) and a net lace overlay fabric which was also a remnant from the fabric sale and $5 for a couple of metres. It was 4 seams each for skirt and lining, unhemmed and with an elastic waist. I made the top from an Ottobre pattern with beautiful heavy black satin from the same sale (remnant again about $1) and this is also what I wore to my Dad's funeral after Mum told me he loved black and purple together. That's the Burda coat I made about 9 years ago still going strong, and still getting compliments and looks of disbelief when I say I made it. It is a gorgeous satin fabric that has either the warp or weft threads (can't remember which) that are metal, about the gauge of steel wool.

This Kwik Sew 3977 on the left, I bought because my friend who brought the patterns for me, had a cardi like this on last year and it looked so good, so when I saw this pattern it was snatched up quickly. I've made three!, but none for me.

This is the third one I made for my sister who turned 50 today. Her favourite colour is purple and I picked this merino at The Fabric Store. It has a little square pattern in it. It's a beautiful colour and my sister loves it which made me very happy. I also made her a great hazelnut cake with chocolate icing.

This is the first one I made. Black merino for Mum as she's in mourning and wearing black. I also picked this up at The Fabric Store on sale for only $10 a metre - what a bargain! It's hard to see the waterfall of the fabric in the black but it's there and just like the pattern envelope. I also made one for same friend previously mentioned as she was 50 earlier in the year and I wanted to make her something too. She tried it on and loved it and I was so happy. She told me she loved her other one but she'd tossed it because it had pilled. Hers is in a gorgeous light royal blue colour with a light pale stripe through it at about a 5cm interval. It's a gorgeous weight and it's perfect for her. I did want to get some orange that I saw there a few months ago but when I went back they had sold out, but in actual fact this one is a heavier weight and better for where they live - plus bonus.. it will never pill. It will come out of the washing machine looking like new. Merino is expensive and I'm a tight ass  thrift person, but merino is worth every cent and SO easy to sew and look after.

Incidentally, I tried them on and it's so long on me I think I have to shorten it a bit. Plus I need some merino for me. This is a fantastic pattern. It takes one hour max to make and it looks terrific. If you see this and like that waterfall look it's perfect. Another plus for merino, it cuts so cleanly the raw edge is gorgeous.

Finally for tonight, this is the current Ottobre pattern sheet. I love that funnel neck jacket and have some emerald green wool I'd like to make this from as my old red jacket has definitely seen better days. Two things with this is that you only need one wool coat for years in Brisbane, and as it's been so warm here there's a question whether I need it or not. Well, I guess you need one good wool lined coat don't you... just don't hold your breath to see it. Next up I'll show you bad photos of about another 8-10 things I've made. Thanks for reading this far if you have 😀.

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... 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mickey Dioro

My Dad liked horse racing. He got a few big wins but mostly not... like he used to say "it's a mugs game".  One day he rang me at work. This was unusual ... Dad never called me at work (this is before mobile phones were around). "What's wrong Dad" I asked a little concerned. "Sofie," he said. "I won $15 000".  He was in complete disbelief. "You did not!" was all I could come up with. "Yes, yes I did." He was incredulous. He said, "There's no one home for me to tell." So that's why he rang me.

A few weeks earlier my youngest sister announced she was getting married with her boyfriend and although my parents were terrifically pleased, Dad was worried how he would pay for it... and then suddenly he was flush!

From many, many years ago Mickey Dioro was a horse that Dad used to bet on all the time and would win for him (winning again just this week I was told). He got the nick name from people at the Kafenio he would go to daily for more than 70 years. Most people there only knew him as Mickey Dioro. (His real name was Michael but was called Mick)

When my Dad died recently, all I could think of was a purple sash with white writing and yellow/gold tassel ends. When my sister called after taking Mum to arrange and choose things for the funeral, I told her about my thoughts of this sash and asked her if it was tacky. She said Mum had just chosen the flowers for Dad and they were white roses with purple irises. When they came over I asked Mum what she thought and she thought it was a lovely tribute.

I had used this purple for the lining of a skirt that I wore when the Brisbane Spoolettes went to see "Ladies in Black" (which was fantastic) and I had some left. I showed the skirt to Mum and asked her if she thought it was too 'fluffy' to wear to Dad's funeral and she said that Dad loved purple and black.  

I made two sashes and went to ABC Embroidery at West End and they embroidered it for a very reasonable price. When I picked them up it was exactly as I envisaged them. I was so pleased my vision was realised. We used one draped over the casket and it went with Dad. The other we had on the table at the wake where the food was. It looked lovely. Mum has that one now at home. I miss my Dad a lot and it's so hard not being able to see him. 

My Dad was 83. He had a hard life being orphaned in Athens after the Second World War. For a time he and his only brother were at an orphanage just out of Athens. It was a private orphanage of a very wealthy couple who could not have children ... although there were many children left with only one parent, they decided to take only children orphaned in the true sense. My Dad very rarely spoke of this only to say once that he felt safe and happy there. Look here for some photos of how devastating and desperate it looked. The only other thing he said once was that he remembers walking to the train station in Piraeus to go to the orphanage and they were turned back by German soldiers saying the train line was bombed. He used to get cigarettes from the Allied soldiers and sell them. That's also when he started smoking at 7 years old. In 2001 he was told he had throat cancer and he would be dead in a year if he didn't stop. He stopped the moment he walked out of the doctor's office. He also gave up drinking for two years. He was 67. Obviously he survived after his one shot at chemo and radiation. He was one of the lucky ones. He was devastated (as we all were) when one of my younger sisters was nearly killed in a car accident in 1983. She had horrific injuries and a halo brace for a broken neck and she was in a coma for 4 months. My sister was in hospital for 18 months then did 5 years of outpatients at the hospital every day. A few years after he survived the cancer we found out my father had asbestosis and that it probably caused his throat cancer. Of course, like many men his age, he also had prostate cancer. A few years ago he was diagnosed with dementia. The disease that robs you of your mental life and then takes your body too. We were so lucky that, although it was a terribly difficult 2 or 3 last years, for the most part my Dad still remembered us all till the end, could eat and drink and walk around. Those who dementia has visited will know what a blessing this is. 

Thanks for indulging me in talking about my Dad for a bit. Thank you so much for all your kind words and thoughts in the comments on my last post. 

My thoughts to all of us that have lost loved one. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Is it too early to hate 2017?

I am already over 2017.

I thought it started well... we went to Maroochydore for a week on 7th January. When we got there, unpacked and went out for dinner. That's when I realised I left my wallet at home. I had taken $50 of my son's Christmas money in case he wanted to buy anything and so we used that. We also found my son had left his togs and swimming bag at home. We bit the bullet and went downstairs to the private, secure car park to drive the 2 hours back home to get my wallet... only to find the two boogie boards we left out next to our car (so it wouldn't mess up the lift and unit) STOLEN.  We drove down and back (four hours driving) to get my wallet and tried to forget. I tried to buy some new boogie boards but everywhere (of reasonable price) had sold out and tried buying some 2nd hand ones... eventually finding 2 for $10... but one died by the end of the week but it served it's purpose by then.

We went for a swim the next day and the surf tore out one of my favourite hoop earrings.. silver with cubic zirconia  all around... a gift from a friend's mother when I hosted them when they were here from the Netherlands about 6 years ago. I am really shattered at losing one (a couple of years ago  I lost one gold hoop a of a pair I bought when I was living in Cyprus in 1984.. annoying). Then a warning light went on in the car... the same one that a part was replaced a month before.  I rang the mechanic who said to get it tested to see if I could drive home safely.. cost me more money :( but it was safe to drive home.

We went to see Matilda the musical at the end of the holidays... I park nearby at a bus station (Gabba for those living here) which is 2 stops from where the theatre is. Of course, our bus passes were at home in my wallet... so had to drive home to get the wallet... we made it but only by 5 minutes. (show was magnificent) Then my son thought he lost his phone which he got for Christmas; luckily we found it. Then my shoe broke so I had to carry my shoe around while trying to look fancy.

Next, I went to a Brisbane Spoolettes event seeing Ladies in Black (also magnificent). I made a skirt (no photos yet) on the day, put on some shoes... the heel cracked... ok other shoes... the soles split while I was running to catch the ferry... drive home get shoes that don't go... but get there and have a great night.

Then my hot water system broke... of course they don't make it anymore and I was without hot water for a week while the plumber, bless him, found a salvaged part so I didn't have to fork out $1400 minimum for a new system. I was having cold showers anyway as it was still 28-30 degrees celsius at midnight... it was the hottest summer ever here with 35 days straight of over 30 degrees ... autumn now and it's still in the 30's!

Then my Dad died.... he was 83 1/2 and had dementia. He had been in a nursing home for nearly two years and I would take him out every Sunday for a family lunch (along with other days of course). Although it is very sad for us, we are happy that he had a peaceful passing and the most important thing is that he remembered us all (for the most part) and on the last Sunday he told his grand boys he loved them and thank you for taking him out every week. We are glad he did not have to get to the stage that he would suffer through forgetting how to eat or drink.  There is some sewing that is part of it but I won't post now about that yet.

Today I get an infringement notice for $243 for leaving ("littering") items at a charity bin!!!! I put stuff IN a charity bin but did not leave anything outside.... I am flabbergasted .... I am disputing it of course. I know the laws and made sure it was inside the bin. (it is illegal to leave things outside a charity bin here).  I don't know ... do you feel for some reason the universe is against you.. I am just over it ... I consider myself very lucky and I always feel I have "enough".  I need a win.

So onto sewing... I did make a pair of New Look 6459. This is in a cotton for testing. They are a nice fit and it's a lovely pattern. I have a pair half made in a polka dot rayon that I also made a dress with... the remnant leftover.  Sorry for the bad phone photo inside at night with bad light. I can't help see these as pyjama pants but they are nice and comfy. Worn with the white cowl top that needs an FBA!

I went to the fabric sale again recently and when I've got more mental energy I'll post my new purchases. Thanks for listening to my rant... let me know if the universe has fought you lately.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


When I break a needle or bend a pin or the head of the pin pops off I put it in one of these little tins of   something... sorry are they gum or lollies? (I got this from my colleague who eats them all day) Anyway, I put them in this as I can't bear the thought of me putting them in the rubbish and someone stepping on them. No one is trying to make a living out of the rubbish tips here (I think) like they must in some places, but still,  the thought that someone would get stuck horrifies me. In the old days I used to use one of those little round flat container that needles of all sizes would come in... you know the one... it had a clear top and you'd twist it to let the needle come out of the little hole on the circumference of the container. When you start using a little sharps container, you really notice how many pins, needles and machine needles you go through. I keep  mine on the window sill just behind my machines.

There are some slightly bigger ones my colleague gave me too.. I use these to keep my headphones  nice, instead of tossing them around my bags. I also use one for my phone charging cord. 

How do you dispose of your sharps?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Training togs

Happy New Year. I hope 2017 proves to be a good year. I didn't have a bad 2016. I got a job that I really enjoy after looking for three years and after studying for 3 years so I'm financially on my way to some home repairs/maintenance/renovations. Not sure what I will do yet, but hopefully I'll get some stuff done to make it more comfortable for a (soon to be) teenager and grown up.  The garden needs a good sorting out too.  On the plus side, I can see the floor in my sewing room/computer room/office. No real cull yet but that's on the agenda too. I have collected patterns for a number of years when I was unemployed from secondhand shops. I love the art work, that I could afford them and they gave me lots of pleasure but I will be selling a lot of them this year as I just have too many and not a lot of room.

Although I have a sewing room it's tiny - about the size of a single bed with about 80cm extra width and maybe length as well. I have lots of fabric, most of it that I still love but some that I love but I know is not for me. It may be the colour or something but again I won't have time to sew it all up so I will sell some nice pieces.

However, the stash has come good and is being used. Just before Christmas, I made two fairy skirts to go with some wings and wands I bought for little girls I know. One was just plain in a purple and this one below is a bit more fancy. I bought this sequin elastic a couple of years ago and thought it would be perfect for a sparkly skirt. The fake sequin fabric was remnants from Spotlight about 5 years ago so I'm glad to have that gone to be honest. The recipient of this one is away at the moment but she got a photo and is excited to try it on. I think it will be too big in the waist so I'll probably have to fix that up for her. The skirt is long and she is only 5 but very tall (like about a 7 year old) and I'll cut the hem to the right length. I wanted to use most the this stuff so it have a orchid pink colour for the main skirt and then scraps of the purple as petals and then some lilac on the top for the layered look.

The next thing I just finished is a pair of togs for swimming/aqua aerobics. Again stash comes to the rescue. I needed some new togs 6 months ago when my Jalie togs died. I used to do my aqua training and swimming during the day, but now with working I do a lot in the heated indoor pool (which I hate - it's way too hot) and that accelerates the disintegration of lycra. I didn't have time to make some and bought a great pair of adidas togs for $10 from a discount warehouse place and they were great for a while but then one day a couple of weeks ago I noticed they just died. (Do you notice that... one day the togs are good, then the next time you get them they have that disintegrated bum 😬 Nowhere to go from there! ) I liked the fit and the square shape of the lower back so I cut them apart and pinned them to some small pieces of lycra I had. The red is very thin and so I self lined it. I didn't make a gusset but fully enclosed the join so it should be comfortable. I have had the aqua lycra for over 20 years, it was a remnant from somewhere and it is still in excellent condition attesting to its quality. There is a little left of that but it was a very short piece so not good for the lengthier pieces.

I'm pretty happy with them. They fit like the other ones did but maybe a bit of refining of the upper chest where I am pretty narrow. This is how the back was on the other pair. Obviously for the economy of not wasting lycra the X of the back is one piece and joins the front at the shoulders so fit my small pieces of lycra really well.

The colour scheme is a bit retro really. It reminds me of the togs that were around in the '70's and '80's. The ones the rich kids wore to Friday swim club... we couldn't afford to go to swim club and no fancy togs either.  The photo below is terrible, I know but I wanted to show the ribbed pattern in the aqua lyrca. It's white on the underside if you notice in the photo above. Oh and you may notice I used the coverstitch at the seams on the aqua. I had it threaded in red (from my jacket mid last year when I last used it) and thought it was the perfect opportunity to practice with it. I'm determined to get more use of it and better at it.

Have you made swimwear? If you haven't, you should. It is so easy and overall very forgiving and if you have kids, making them some to practice is perfect. I see more togs in my future. We are going to the beach for a week soon so my son may get some new togs too if I have time. Next up, more culottes I think.