Monday, March 31, 2008

Murphy's Law strikes again.

I cut out 2 long sleeve tops last night. Now of course the forecast is for a warm spell. Typical. Never mind, cold is a-comin' so I'll get to wear them soon. At the rate I'm sewing, they might even be done in time for winter! Shock and horror. First up, because the overlocker is threaded in black already, is a black (how'd you guess?) version of an un-maternity-ified Ottobre 02-2007-20. After that is a mesh version of the Ottobre Rose top, without the rose... and with long sleeves that aren't puffed. (For the drawings see here.)

Talking of Ottobre, my Ottobre magazine finally arrived! Yayy!!! Considering they were sending it the Wednesday before Easter, it didn't do badly getting across the world already. I've had a read through, mused a bit and there's more in it I like than I'd originally picked from the website. It'll be delivered over for Judy to use tomorrow. After all, can't have the girl popping out of her clothes now, can we? ;-)

I'm off to see how much sewing I can get done in an hour.....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Looking at What's New

I had a bit of unexpected free time so I decided to check out the new patterns from the various companies (dunno where my brain was when I typed counties, lol). Rather masochistic of me as it'll be about 6 months before they get down under but still fun.

Simplicity 2921
I know my youngest daughter is just going to love the unicorns!

Kwik Sew 3591. This one looks like it could be very handy in the rumpus room. I don't know if I'd ever actually get around to making it but it's a good idea.

I really like the side twist on this one. A bit different.

McCalls 5644 These are cute. I can see my DD1 wanting the cat one.

Vogue 8497 Wow. I'm inspired. I want to make the green pieced look top. The purple looks interesting with the gathered (?) neckband. I can pass on the red zig-zag effect at the moment but it might grow on me.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thanks for the Comments!

Lisa aka The Domestic Diva: Good for you to resist the urge to buy more fabric...there's always tomorrow...LOL!You've been tagged:

Dawn: Thanks for the tag! :D I had a hard time thinking of seven about myself. Once I started though, yikes, there are more than just seven weird/random things about me. lol.

and Michelle: Thanks for the tag! :) I'm currently working on my response/tagging...

Thanks Lisa!(and I held out a week!) And Dawn and Michelle, you're welcome! It seemed a fun one to do. It was amazing how many things my family seemed to think were weird about me. The amount of fabric I buy (and store) was mentioned more than once. I claimed that in a community of sewers that wasn't weird!

Liz: Definitely go shopping without your DD. I hope that the fabric you 'need' is still there. I was shopping with a friend and her DD said to her "Just because it is on sale dosn't mean you have to buy it"

I did and it was, heehee. It sounds like your friend's daughter and mine have been plotting.

Aless: Good luck with Piaget...
and Don't give up on the garden,Keely.Start a cool compost heap(if you haven't already),using lawn clippings,prunings,vegie scraps, and add that result(more fibrous than what you get from compost bins) to your vegie garden.Over a couple of years,you'll find the dirt really improves.(We raised our vegie garden beds by 15-20 cms that way.)You'll get there!

Thanks. I just finished an assignment on Vygotsky. Next up Motivation and Assessment. How good's your memory? ;-)
As for the garden... I cheated and bought some compost to start it off but we've got the vegie scraps etc going nicely too. I'm currently at war with the white butterflies so I'm off to buy more netting tomorrow.

Sew4fun: IMHO you can *never* have too many Ottobre tees :) , especially if you wear them as you do. I'm the same. I wear my tees day in, day out, hence why I keep sewing them. There is something to be said about sewing wardrobe basics.
also Dawn and Nancy 2001 re my Ottobre tops

I'm working on the theory that until somebody says something they probably haven't noticed they're all the same pattern with different length sleeves, lol. But I am feeling the urge to sew something else. I'll probably get over it. :-)

And Judyr: (who now needs to do maternity alterations to her maternity patterns, lol)
I promise I'll drive over as soon as I get my Ottobre mag in the letterbox!

Oops! There go those fabric stats again.

Isn't the year going fast? Already we've had Easter, and now the kids are counting down the last few weeks of the first term at school.

Easter passed in a blur. We spent Good Friday putting the first coat of paint on the extension. (Never, ever listen to your builder when he suggests a roughcast finish will match - unless he promises to pick up a paintbrush as well.) Even with the recommended roller sleeve it's a nightmare. We painted happily then turned around to find the drying paint doing this -

Loads of little pits showing up without any paint. Aaaagh! At about that point I luckily had to head off to the library to do my assignment. It took hubby a day and a half to go back and stab paint into all the patches like this.

To reward myself for my industriousness over the weekend I went back to visit that fabric I liked.
Surprise, surprise, 2 metres managed to come home with me. ;-)

Each of those turquoisey dots is about 1.5cm diameter (about 9/16ths of an inch I think). The fabric is being preshrunk but I'm still not sure what this is going to be. There's always the fallback Ottobre gathered-neck tee with long sleeves (for winter) but..... maybe I should go for something new.... but then I'd have to spend valuable sewing time wrestling another pattern.... But then again, it would only be my second long-sleeved Ottobre tee, so..... The jury is out. I'll sleep on it. Gee, I'm feeling so decisive today (snort!).

While I was at Fabric Barn another lacy knit was desperately begging to come home as well. I promised I'd go back and adopt it tomorrow morning. I have to decide if I want the blue/green or the purpley (yes, I know, highly technical jargon) toned version. I'm leaning towards the purpley as it's more the colour I wear. Unfortunately there was only so much I could get into the car while the party-pooper 11yo was sitting muttering about wants, needs, doing as I preached... Heehee.

What can I say? I haven't bought fabric since the 2nd of March! Ahem, we'll just ignore the fact that I haven't actually sewn in a couple of weeks either. Oh well, if I can't sew, I can still buy. :-)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

7 Random Things About Me

I've been tagged by Lisa.

The rules:

* Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
* Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
* Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
* Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. My DH never lets me forget that when I watched Mad Max2 I cried when the dog was shot.

2. I hate my food being mixed on my plate. I don't even like the different items touching. However, I love one-pot meals. Weird, huh.

3. I love horror movies and being scared. So you'd think I'd enjoy being scared by the spiders that have been coming into the house lately.

4. When I was a kid I used to climb trees and jump off the garage roof. Now I'm scared of heights.

5. When my hubby has read the newspaper before me, I have to get it tidy again before I read it.
6. I'm the oldest of 11 children. I have 6 brothers and 4 sisters.

7. I love Absolutely Fabulous (YouTube clip). Secretly, I really like some of the wacky OTT colourful outfits Eddie wears.

Now to tag 7 others...
LindsayT. You're tagged. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Humming along

Just a quick post before I go off to learn all about Piaget's stage theory. I will say, it's very handy having children when you're studying development and learning. :)

I was so strong yesterday. I popped into Fabric Barn (as you do when you're passing i.e. only parked a block away) and saw a knit that I really really want need. But, I don't know exactly what top it would want to be so, I resisted adding to the stash. Would you believe I left without buying anything?! I was helped by my 11yo DD constantly repeating "want is not a need, mum". I keep thinking about it though so I think some will have to come home with me after Easter, if it's still there. And this time I won't take DD with me to the shop.

I wore my red top on Tuesday and got lots of compliments which was so cool (pathetic aren't I, lol). I never thought of myself as a red person but I guess this one works. It's just opened up a whole raft of new wardrobe possibilities. I might even have to go looking for more red fabric..... ;-)
On Tuesday I also got to meet up with 2 of my friends for lunch. Good company, donuts and gossip, what more can you ask? Well, ok, I suppose we could have done something productive.... nah! It was more fun to just unwind. I don't normally get to see Judy a lot since I finished work so it was good to catch up in person instead of by text. Those twins are certainly getting noticeable now!

My Ottobre Magazine is on it's way. I emailed Ottobre because I hadn't received it yet. Apparently there was a hiccup with my sub being put under the wrong number and not being put on the automatic list. Anyway, a magazine is being sent so all is well. I checked back and my first Ottobre magazine took 17 days to arrive. Then I was spoilt and my second order took only 8 days. It will be interesting to see how long it takes this time. (I can hear Judy chanting 8 days, 8 days...)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Still waiting....

.... for my Ottobre Woman magazine, although not quite as eagerly as Judy is waiting for my Ottobre magazine and all those maternity patterns. ;-)

.... for some sewing time. To quote Carolyn I got the "Wanna Sews" bad! I have spent the last week working on assignments in my spare time. They're coming thick and fast for the next 8 weeks or so, which means it leaves the way free for my DD at the sewing machine. She is sewing a bag for sewing class at school and complains because they don't get enough time (there are 3 to a machine). Knowing she can use my machine at home, she has been letting her friends use the school machines first. I think there's an ulterior motive - she claims my machine is easier to use.

.... to win Lotto - aren't we all?! It might help if I actually bought tickets though.

.... for someone to free the housework elves that I just know want to come to my house.

One thing that has been accomplished is the start of the um, 'vege garden' (that's being extremely polite about our attempts). DD#2 and I dug over the clay and added compost liberally and have optimistically planted Spinach and Silverbeet to start with. We also have Brussel Sprouts (NOT the kids pick), Broccoli and Broccoflower waiting to go in. I am not expecting great results because the "dirt" is pretty poor but you never know. I think we'll get better results in another couple of years. DD, however, really wants it to work. She's only 7, so I can see a few items from my DSis' wonderful garden being transplanted if the results are disastrous. We're also going to do some bean sprouts for a really quick result. Yum.

A big Thank You for all the nice comments on my red top. And apparently there are quite a few who would have my report card too. It's nice to know I'm not the only person who's easily distracted and sews like a turtle at times. ;-)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I had a sudden realisation. Not counting weekends, I have worn an Ottobre (or Ottobre based) top for 14 out of the last 15 days. The one day I didn't was because it was a cold day, so I wore a long sleeve shirt instead. Yet, I'm still thinking I NEED more Ottobre tees.
Hmmm, when can you have too many gathered neck or scoop neck tees? Perhaps I should make the rose top tee next. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

I see red, I see red, I see red...


I have finished my red Ottobre tee. At last! It only took me 4 days. Although in my defence, after I cut it out, it just sat on my desk for 3 of those. Out of curiosity I started a stopwatch when I started sewing. Lets just say I'm never going to hold the record for sewing speed. One tee took just over 2 1/2 hours (blush) or in reality, it took an episode each of Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy and Men in Trees without the advertisements but with stops to go "Oh No!" (Jack's boat sunk!). Gotta love that multitasking. ;-)

I can just imagine what a sewing class report card for me would look like:

Planning a project: 8/10; (Dreaming about said project 10/10);
Completion: 9/10;
Productivity: 2/10.
Comments: Keely generally has no trouble in planning a number of projects to work on. However she lacks decisiveness and finds it difficult to limit herself to one project and see it through to completion in a timely manner. She often has trouble concentrating and has been observed many times watching television, stopping to "just check" the computer, helping children with homework, making Milo's, playing music and generally wasting time whilst attempting to sew a garment. Keely needs to work on implementing a lineal task management model. If she can master this and remove as many distractions as possible we should see her productivity increase.

Hehee. Good thing there's no sewing teachers near my house.

(oh - and the title is from an old Split Enz song, which my kids are now all singing. )

Friday, March 7, 2008

Just playing around

(Well, that's annoying. The photos originally posted fine but now they've disappeared. Okay, I've got them back. Everybody keep your fingers and toes crossed....)

I'm playing around with Blogger and seeing if I can change how I put photos in. These two are my 7yo sewing and then modelling the result.

This is the top she sewed (with a bit of help) that I posted about on Jan 25th here. It is Butterick 4970 sized down to a 8 because I had only bought the 12-16 sizing. This photo was taken before the extra was added onto the inset.

Answering a few comments:
Firstly, thanks to all who do comment. It's quite cool realising there are comments. I know I'm guilty of lurking on a lot of blogs and only commenting infrequently. (hanging head in shame....) Sorry! I'll try to do better. :)

Paula - My 2 girls aged 11 and 7 still like me sewing for them. The oldest actually thinks it's cool. She likes unique but similar and I'm encouraging her to start sewing for herself. The only one who doesn't seem to want me to sew for him is the teenager and I think that's more his inability to visualise a garment. Plus, he doesn't like having to wait for me to finish it. :)
Debbie - Ummm, the tee is dragging into it's third night. Your one-hour-tee record is safe, lol. Very safe. Oh, and thanks for the tip about 500 pixels for the pics. If I resize them before I upload them it works. Thank you!
MareeAlison - Hi! I've darkened the colour of the font. I hadn't realised it wasn't the darkest black. I think it makes it a bit more contrasted? I often just assume any blurry glare is just me and my glasses so it's nice to get feedback from someone else. I do enjoy the Pern novels and I re-read them often. I also liked her Tower and Hive series and all the Ship who Sang books as well. Pretty much all her books really, although the Pern are by far and away the best IMO. Have you seen the latest ones by her son?
Sigrid - I hope the wedge works on the Jalie for you.
Judy - Yes, I'm sure hubby would like the twist cardy without anything under it as well! However for the sake of everyone else, I might stick with a top underneath, lol.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A few changes to the look of things...

Over on Patternreview there is a thread about blogs. One of the issues mentioned was that it could be difficult to read light writing on a dark background. Consequently I decided to try a change. It's going to take a bit of getting used to. :-) I feel like I should only be sewing clothes in colours complementary to the blog.

Talking of sewing.... It's turned cold and I need some warmer tops. Ottobre of course. :-) But this time with long sleeves. Of course, that jacket I've been putting off would come in handy too.... maybe at Easter. I'm taking a night off from study and I'm planning on a new top tonight. I'm nowhere near Debbie's 'one hour tee' speed but lets see what can be done.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Ottobre with a twist

I've finished my new top and I'm wearing it today.

This is actually a black top but I've lifted the brightness so that the twist is visible. Plus all those wrinkles and lines, lol. I swear they're not as visible in real life. I'll just make sure not to stand in any spotlights!

I think overall it worked out quite well. I do wonder whether the twist could come up a fraction higher? Hubby doesn't like it, then again he doesn't like any twist or wrap tops. :-/ He thinks that the twist makes it look like the fabric is straining horizontally. Hmmm. What do you think?

As to the making -

I started with the good basic Ottobre tee 02-2007-02. For the back and the front inset/underlayer I used the pattern as is. For the front overlayer I used the front piece that I'd done the small fba to for my brown top . I straightened the edge to a long V and added an extension to go on the fold for the twist.

After making one front and holding it against myself, I went back and added a wedge to the hem starting at 3.5cm at the center front and tapering to nothing at the side seam. This extra length allowed for the fabric being taken up by the twist.

I added a facing to the back neckline to make a tidier finish. Then I just followed the instructions for KS3360. :-)

Next time (and I think there will be a next time because I like it) I think I will bind the entire front edge and back neckline instead of folding in a hem. I'm also thinking of trying a version, without the inset, as a cardy over all my other Ottobre tees, or, at the very least, a contrast inset.

I looove Ottobre!

Edited to add: For a better look at the photos here's a link to the album. I'm trying to work out these photo sizing issues.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sewing at last

I've spent the past week feeling like I'm running to catch-up
as I've settled back into studying. I hadn't realised quite how bad a fug I'd settled into but at least by the end of the week I felt like my brain was starting to come back online. It's been fun and that's only a week! :-)

I have missed getting any sewing in so last night I sat down to play. I've started with the Ottobre tee pattern (what else, lol) and I'm having a go at frankenmorphing it into a twist twinset, blatantly copied from Kwik Sew 3360. For this first attempt it's from a plain black cotton interlock as I'm not sure how it'll work.

Hi-ho hi-ho, it's off to sew I go......