Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Catching Up.

Phew, it's been a while since I posted. I've been head down struggling with motivation to write an assignment on, of all things, motivation. Ironic, huh? :) I have another couple of assignments due in quick succession before a few days breather so I'll probably be a bit quiet for another week or two on the sewing front. I am really hanging out to sew something! Even a wheatbag is looking good, especially with the cold snap forecast for the weekend.

I had the shock of my life the other day when my 2 DD's brought up the possibility of them sharing a room so I could have a 'study' (hmmm.... I'm sure my sewing desk would fit in too...). I'm keen to get that done before they change their minds. I've wanted a sewing room study for a while now. I think they're a bit tired of being kicked out of the rumpus room so I can work so I'll have to make sure I need to work in there a lot until I get those rooms changed. (wicked laughs)

And just for something slightly more sewing oriented:

I saw this in the shop window of a local 'designer' the other night. (I'm guessing I looked totally ridiculous standing outside in the dark with my cellphone, trying to get the best pic. Naturally, the owner of the shop next door came out as I was taking it. Ooops. LOL.)

This is 'my' lace - the second blue one. I'm sure I could find the pattern for this if I don't already have one, although I don't know about the length. I think I'd go for longish hip or shorter.

I was interested to see she'd used the selvedges for the edges of the fronts and the sleeve cuffs, and overlocked around the hem. The neckline and tie were a velvet ribbon sewn on with a straight stitch to the raw edge of the lace and in places you could see the messy unfinished edge. I'm sure it would peek out as you wore it. I looked at it and thought "I can do better than that!" I haven't been in to see how much she's charging but knowing other prices in there, I'm guessing around the $120 - 170 plus mark? Oh, and I caught a glimpse of what looked like my purple lace hanging on a rack further back in the shop as a sleeveless dress length. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good look at that. So, that's another few ideas of what I can do with my lace(s).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Comments and Coverstitch

Well, I'm finally getting around to commenting on the comments.

Thanks Allisonc, Kat, Lindsay t, Paula, Rachelle and Alexandra for your comments about the black top. The general consensus seems to be taking in the sides. At the moment, however, it's sitting to one side awaiting some time and enthusiasm to tackle it again.

Um, to everybody who can't wait to see what I make from the laces...... neither can I! ;)

Dawn, Hubby can't believe I've reduced the stash that much either. He wanted to know how much of a percentage reduction that was for the year (slightly less than 2%, gulp).

Kat and Sherril, I had to pick and choose which items to sew. I'll be keeping an eye out for a sweatshirt or two for DD at the shops.

Paula asked about the mock-coverstitching. I'm not original. I got this tip years ago from my friend Judy (yep, the very pregnant one) and it's great for when I can't be bothered changing over the overlocker. I have seen it in a book since, but it was Judy who told me about it so I always think of it as her tip.

Basically, you overlock the seam wrong sides together, open the fabric out, fold over the overlocked seam and stitch down with a straight stitch. To keep the finished seams looking the same, you have to take care on sewing direction as the front and back of the overlocked/serged seams look different, ie - on trousers it would be serge down on one leg and up on the other, so you could fold the seams to the back and get identical stitching.

This is a very simple and quick technique. Going clockwise - the overlocked seam after the fabric has been opened flat: sewing the overlocking down with a straight stitch; the finished product on the pink pair and then the green.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Reducing the stash

I'm still here, just been snowed under with 'stuff'. On a good note, at long last the stash stats are going in the right direction! :) and I am finally in the negatives for the year.

Friday, I took the day off to get a bit of sewing done. I had planned to make myself another top, or two. Unfortunately 'mommy guilt' kicked in and the sight of my youngest in trousers that were threatening to become capris was enough to change the focus. All up, I made 3 pairs of trousers and 2 long-sleeved tees.

Trousers #1 - Burda 9867, sized up to a size 8, in purple polycotton sweatshirt fleece.

Top #1 - Kwik Sew 2893, size M (7-8), view A. This is the last of the knit that I used to line the hood of DD's jacket in January. I lettuce edged the cuffs, hems and neck binding with hot pink.

Top #2 - also Kwik Sew 2893. This time view B. I shortened the short sleeves and made a false long sleeve to attach underneath.

Trousers #2 - Burda 9867, green velour with 'mock coverstitch' (a-la Judy) on the outside leg in white. For this pair and the next I reduced the flare from the knee down.

Trousers #3 - Burda 9867, Pink ribbed velour with white mock coverstitch. I'd just like to say that ribbed velour is a pain in the proverbial to sew as the 2 layers want to slide different directions because of the pile. It was slow and involved lots of pins.

A total of 4.95 metres gone from stash. DD still needs more but it's enough to hold for a bit longer.

As you may have gathered, my dear friend Judy is expecting twins. To make sure she stays off her feet it was necessary to load her up with books for entertainment. Then, just for good measure, I gave her the 'nursery knits' and other baby themed fabrics that were hibernating in my stash. She is a much better and faster sewer than I, so I am sure it won't be long before it turns into a pile of cot sheets and baby clothes. That was another 33.35 metres from stash. Total for the weekend: 38.30 metres. Woohoo! Now I have a half-empty box in the cupboard......

Today I met up with Judy and my two other dear friends for a day of shopping, lunch and gossip in town. Very enjoyable. I actually managed to go through two fabric stores and come home with.......... NOTHING! I know! Shocking. Those stats (and the half-empty box) might even have a chance of lasting for a while.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ssshhh... don't tell anyone

I, *ahem* bought more fabric (the other lace). I know, I know. You're all saying 'big surprise'. Admittedly, it'd be a bigger surprise if I sewed some.....

The blecch black top is still just sitting waiting. I'm torn between the thought that sewing time is precious and do I want to spend it fixing things, or the other spin -that sewing time is precious so I don't want the time I've already invested to have been a waste so it is worth fixing. If I do have a another go at it then the general consensus seems to be to take in the side seams. Thank you all for the suggestions.

Dawn asked So is Ottobre like Burda? The patterns and directions are in it already?
Ottobre is a magazine like Burda, complete with the scary patternsheets that you trace the patterns from and brief, but adequate, instructions. It may look scary but it's really not that hard. Just trace off the pattern pieces you want in the size you want.

Some actual sewing next week, I promise. Although don't expect too much. :) It'll be, as Sew-4-fun terms it, McSewing for quantity.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Life is good

Yesterday morning we woke to this -

Quite aside from the portent of bad weather, there is something that just fills you with awe at such a sky. Everything was glowing pink. This photo was taken about halfway thru as it started fading. Of course, hubby was carrying on about a red dawn meaning blood would be spilt this day. Men!

Following on from my last post, I had a think about my "wardrobe plan" (snort, such as it is). It still needs work i.e. I still need to do an actual plan, but I've started thinking about it which is, at least, a start. :) So far I've come up with brown and teal/blues for the new pieces.

I've also let myself be persuaded by Aless who thought I should go get the lace. It didn't take much arm-twisting. Today I went to Fabric Barn to see if it was still there. If it was, I planned to buy 2 - 2.5 metres. There was a much-depleted roll and when I nervously took it to the counter, heart pounding, palms sweating, there was just over 2 metres. It must be fate!

For the photo I laid it over black (left of the ruler) and a purple knit (right of the ruler). The different colours give quite different effects. I'm still leaning towards the Burda top for this, in which case I could make several shells for underneath. I'm thinking this would be nice for our next AGM dinner later this year.

While I was at the shop I saw another colourway in the same fabric, (blues for the backgound, with the Peacock swirls in green, cream, a bit of brown and a touch of purple)...... Can you see where I'm going with this? ;-)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

No sewing, but some buying

I had to pop into the fabric store the other day and of course something had to keep me company on the way home. (Obviously my DD wasn't with me, lol)

Looking at these I realise that I need to look at doing a SWAP. Or at least go through and plan my wardrobe a bit better. I haven't narrowed down colours or made a plan. Unless you count 'black' with other colour. At Uni I tend to wear jeans or black trousers and a top -one of my Ottobre tees or one of the few RTW shirts I have. The most obvious gap is in the top layer - cardies, jacket etc. They're all black. Yep, I have a uniform. I think I will have to take some time and work out what I have and what I need and maybe introduce a bit of variation.

On that note, I still haven't been back to get that lace. I like it. I really do like it. But I slept on it and have decided that it could wait a week or so. I only had a vague idea what I could do with it and I'd have been buying it for the lifestyle I want rather than the lifestyle I have. Of course, now I've found this Burda Plus top from Burda Plus E956 Autumn/Winter

I might be tempted to go back for that lace fabric after all. :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Black Clouds and Black Top

Well I spoke too soon. Warm spell, hah! Cold, rain and there's hail supposedly on the way. Still, I guess they had a 50% chance of being right (snort!).

I worked on the black top last night but it needs more. The fabric grew a bit and it seems I was a bit over-enthusiastic in adding extra for the 'girls'.

You can see, there's just too much fabric in the bodice piece, especially around the sides. It's the whole batwing thing. I could do a flying squirrel impersonation with this! And it's very low cut!

As I see it, there are several options available to me:

1) I can throw this on the wadder pile,

2) I could have plastic surgery to fill up the bodice but that seems a bit extreme and then I'd have to learn to make even bigger FBA's. I don't think so!

3) I could take it apart (including that overlocked bodice seam, sob) and cut it down or cut new bodice pieces

4) I could leave the nicely finished seam and just put in a horizontal bust dart to take up the excess droop

or 5) I could take in the whole side seam and make the top fit more snugly widthwise. This might work? Do you think? There is certainly room to take out a bit of width.

So what do you think? Wadder, or worth fixing?

For the moment it's going to be dumped on the desk while I bury myself in writing yet more assignments. Roll on holidays!