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Monday, April 29, 2013

A touch of summer

I finally got some sewing done. Just an Ottobre tee to get my hand back in. I laughingly call this my Hawaiian tee. I'm meh about it, especially going into winter. That's what I get for letting it sit cut out for so long before sewing it up. It's one of those fabrics I now look at and wonder what I was thinking when I bought it. I presume it was the colour that got me.
However, come summer I think this could look better over my white 3/4 pants with my purple slip-ons.

A blurry photo from the cellphone, crooked necklace and all.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Almost forgotten what free time is

Much excitement this last week as my thesis is finally finished and off to the examiners. I submitted on Monday and every day since has seen me out and about catching up with people and having celebratory coffees. Luckily the BFF's see me occasionally at crafty nights so I didn't quite need a nametag. Now I'm enjoying a thesis-free Easter - boy does it feel strange not to be thinking that I should be in at work! Next up is an article by end of April. 5000 words after the 'book' that is my thesis? - no problem, lol.

I have all these lists of 'Things to do once I finish my thesis', including of course some sewing if my machines haven't drowned under the dust of neglect.  - Painting the lounge, bedroom and bathroom; cleaning the oven (groan); cleaning the fridge (groan again); finding the garden under the weeds; sew myself some new tops; consider making the dress from the new Ottobre; destash some fabric to empty the cupboards, etc. You get the idea. I don't know if the three months I have off over winter is going to be long enough.

In other exciting news, I found a post on how to wrestle underwires into submission, meaning I can now wear my new fancy schmancy underwire b ras for more than ten minutes without sustaining bruises on my arms, or having to buy new smaller wires which was suggested by the lingerie fitter. Ok, so maybe most people won't find that exciting.....

Right I'm off to find that dining table so I can trace out a pattern. I know it's there somewhere underneath all that crap......


Monday, January 7, 2013

A new year, still alive...

Hope you're all sitting down, because I actually did something sewing-related! I know! I could barely believe it too.

The warm temps have encouraged me to pull out fabrics and patterns and debate sewing summer tops. Of course, I didn't go down without a fight. I dragged myself off to the nice cheaper outlets to get some instant satisfaction without scaring the wallet too much - and was promptly reminded why I sew my own tops! Since when does 'Now with better fit' mean 'we added several inches to the center front seam so this top won't look good on anyone'?! Honestly, yes I'm a plus size in tops, but my shoulders are not as wide as a door frame! Sadly, even pricier stores are not immune from this strangely shaped 'model'. The only way I can think to make tops like these fit is to buy some little shoulder pads. 

Like these ones:


 Or perhaps these ones: 


A little skimming in the side seams and I could have a waist!

I did buy a couple of tops, but they're both sleeveless and, because the same patternmaker has been at them, determined to show my undergarments to the world.Nevermind, I just bought a few tees in the more-clingy-than-I'd-ever-be-seen-in category to wear underneath.

Still, this hasn't fully solved the clothing issue. So I took a day away from the thesis, pulled out my Ottobres, traced a new copy of my favourite tee and a copy of a A-line tanktop, pulled out fabric and cut away. Two tops at once. (So that's two more UFOs for the pile....) My poor lonely sewing machine even had a terrible shock when I coaxed it from its hiding place under the dust and stitched the shoulder seams and applied the neckband on the A-line sleeveless top.

And that's as far as the tops have got. Instead of finishing my clothes, I've been finishing a chapter for my thesis. The end is in sight, all going well, and then I shall have to sew to distract myself from worrying about examiners.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Helllooo? Is there anyone out there still?

I wouldn't be surprised if everyone has packed up and gone home, figuratively.

Crafting (or is that crafty-ness?) is in short supply at my house. There's no sewing to report. All I've managed is to hem some jeans and sew some buttons on. The crocheting of granny squares is proceeding slowly- around 200 more black squares to do. I've done about a third of all the squares (colour and black) that I need for this afghan, and in typical fashion I already have the yarn for the next project sorted out. Despite not getting any sewing etc done myself I am still reading blogs, but not really commenting. I'm living vicariously through everyone else out there. :)

Work, on the other hand, is ongoing as always. The thesis is slowly being chipped away which is a relief.

In the meantime I've diverted my 'creative' urges into another blog called thoughtstopia where I'm dumping all my thoughts, or the 'thinky' stuff as one friend called it. Sometimes it's just hard to switch the brain off at night and thoughtstopia is where I'm doing all my rambling, thinking-out-loud so to speak. So if you're interested, pop on over and see what you think and maybe leave a comment or two.

Don't worry - I'll keep this blog up too cos I've gotta get time to sew again one day don't I?




Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Random ramblings

  1. Nothing like a dedicated sewing and study room to stir the mojo.
  2. I feel like I should make something. 
  3. Although I have a large pile of alterations and repairs sitting on my new desk.
  4. Glad today is over.
  5. I must remember to speak more slowly when presenting. 
  6. Hopefully I won't have to worry for a while though.
  7. Crocheting black at night is tricky.
  8. Actually crocheting black in anything but direct sunlight is tricky.
  9. I have about 240 more black granny squares to go.
  10. I better hope for some sunny days.
  11. I might wear a skirt next week to work.
  12. I only said might.
  13. Thoroughly enjoying the Game of Thrones books.
  14. Reading on the ereader is much easier than heavy books in bed.
  15. And easier than crocheting the black granny squares.
  16. Haven't mentioned that hubby has a job back home.
  17. He's in the same building as me.
  18. Which is nice :)
  19. I've become quite fond of cider.
  20. I found Feijoa cider
  21. Yummm.
  22. Whittaker's now make Peanut Butter Chocolate blocks.
  23. Also yummmm!
  24. As is their Hokey Pokey block.
  25. No I don't work for Whittakers.
  26. I'd be happy to be their taste tester if they needed one. 
  27. DD1 cooked tea tonight.
  28. And then baked dessert.
  29. Gotta love school holidays and bored children.
  30. It's easier to love school holidays when you still go to work.
  31. I really do love my children.
  32. Especially when they make brownies for dessert.
  33. And even when they don't.
  34. The brownies don't hurt.
  35. hmmmm, that's a lot of posts about food.
  36. maybe I should go crochet?
  37. Or I could unpick the sleeves of the top I bought
  38. because the armscye is very low
  39. I'm going to take a tuck in the shoulders
  40. perhaps pleat the top of the sleeves?
  41. or recut them completely?
  42. decisions decisions
  43. I could do with a new top soon
  44. I've got that bright fabric downstairs calling to me.
  45. All of my fabric is still downstairs.
  46. Although my new sewing area is upstairs.
  47.  I still have a lot of fabric.
  48. Perhaps I could make an A-line tunic
  49. I really do need some new tops 
  50. I actually mentioned sewing! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

EReader Cover

Last weekend I got a new toy a new gadget for work - a Sony ereader.


I have to say this is a very cool toy helpful device for work. Unfortunately, for the $229 you pay, you do not get a cover. There is also a stylus included, but no way of attaching it to the device. I umm-ed and aah-ed over the cases available, before deciding that I might be able to do something at home to keep my reader safe in the depths of my handbag.

So, cos I have to have something to blog, I took photos of the way I made my ereader cover.


Step 1: Find an old book that is bigger than your ereader. I started with an old diary I'd found the day before in my decluttering. I have no idea why we had an unused 2004 diary on the bookshelf.



2. Carefully cut out the pages by slicing through the inner cover paper with a craft knife -


3. Lay the book cover on your chosen fabric (or decorative paper) and cut around, leaving enough to fold over. My allowances were 5cm on each side and 2.5cm on top and bottom edges because I was working with a remnant.  Make small marks to make it easier to line your cover up on later.



4. Spread glue over the front cover and line up on fabric. Flatten the fabric out carefully - because my fabric was a heavy woven, it didn't need much smoothing.
Then I used a double-sided tape on the spine, rolled the book over to make sure there was enough ease in the fabric, and glued the back cover on the same way as the front.
My cover flattened out well, so I moved onto the inside. Otherwise I would have moved to the weighting down stage until the glue dried on the cover.


5. Glue the overlaps up to the inside (the same way you have to cover all those schoolbooks every year). As you can see, I was still considering leaving the ribbon bookmark as a quirky feature, but I later changed my mind.
I used a bit of fraystop on the corners.




Then I left my cover to flatten overnight under some heavy books. I offer no excuses for the fact that the closest books to hand were mainly chocolate cookbooks. :) These were removed the next morning to let it dry better.




6. Once the cover had dried, I taped the spine for reinforcement. Then I cut a strip of fabric to cover the inside of the spine and glued this strip into place.


7. Before I glued the strip in, I used one of the cut pages and folded up edges until I'd decided on the size to cut the foam for the inside padding.



I cut out 2 pieces of craft foam and a piece of backing cardboard for the inside back cover. My thinking was that the cardboard would provide just a little extra strength to the piece supporting the reader with the elastic.


8. I covered one piece of foam with fabric for the inside front cover


and glued into place inside the front cover


Sorry, in my excitement to finish I forgot to take any photos for the next bit, but it's fairly self-explanatory.

9. I glued the card and foam together and covered it with fabric for the inside back cover block. Then I played around with elastic placement to hold the reader in place. When I was happy with it, I glued the elastic to the back of the 'block'. I added some stitching (yes, Judy, some sewing!!) to stop the reader sliding down too far.
My elastic placement is actually a bit lopsided because I wanted to have some room to one side for the stylus to be held. I stitched the elastic on the side to make it tighter for the stylus.

Then I glued the block into the inside back cover and weighted it down for an hour.




And ta-dah - my ereader cover





Unlike my friend J, who is the Glue Queen, my technique lacked a bit of finesse, but it worked and I saved myself quite a bit of money.

Word of warning though if you decide to try to make one too - let the glue dry on the back block for a day before you try the reader out or the glue pulls up a bit.
You can guess how I found that one out. :)

So, I made something and it even involved a teeny bit of sewing, lol.

Now to get back to those granny squares...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A random thought...

Wouldn't it be great if Murphy's Law kicked in as soon as you throw out all those clothes that are a bit tight?