Monday, October 27, 2008

Only a few more days to go

Less than a week until I can sit at my sewing desk without somebody asking "shouldn't you be studying?". My last exam is Friday morning (woohoo!) and I've already got my Friday afternoon planned - DH is taking me out to lunch then I'm off to visit J and the babies (they're getting so big!) before the school run starts. Friday night is taken up with a school production; Saturday afternoon with a nephew's birthday party, but Sunday I plan on chaining myself to the sewing desk and woe betide anyone who disturbs me! I'm already practicing my "Do not disturb" face, lol.

Monday, October 20, 2008

15 minutes at a time...

I've managed to fit in some sewing-related activities over the past week around everything else..

I traced, and cut out a hoodie jacket for my DD1 from an original 1980s sweatshirting- white with fluoro yellow smiley faces printed on. It was a squeeze. I started off with less fabric than required for the pattern and then there was a corner cut out as well, but I got it all on in the end. It just requires me to dig out a white zip. Somehow, I don't think I'd have much luck finding a fluoro yellow zip. ;)

Today, I went on a stash dive for specific knits. It was helped by 'the map' of my stash cupboard but it still required moving 14 boxes (possibly, just possibly, I might have a bit too much stash). Naturally, one of the boxes I needed was in the very bottom back corner. Then I traced out Ottobre patterns while the fabric preshrank. I've got tops and leggings to make for 2 nieces and a set for my DD2 for summer. That was as far as I got but at least everything is pulled out, ready to get started.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"New" Machines

Last week the number of sewing machines in my house doubled.

First up, my parents gave my DD a second-hand machine for her 12th birthday. It's an old one - a Brother 803 (in fact I'm sure it's the same model I had in sewing classes when I was 10) and it doesn't have a manual, but it's simple and easy to work out. DD is very excited to have a machine of her own and has set it up in her bedroom. This did necessitate furniture reallocations and shuffling, but hey, this is encouraging another sewer/sewist and I need help getting that stash down. :)

Then came another second-hand old machine. A Husqvarna 6440 which, according to the original warranty certificate, was bought in 1977. This was on Trade-me and I got it for $26. Apparently the main cam is broken. I've phoned the repair place that looked at the machine for the previous owner (that's the advantage of a small city - there are only a few places to check) and I can expect a bill of about $90 to fix it. Even if I don't get it fixed, it was worth it for the extra stitch cams and the feet and bobbins. And parts for my machine.

My own baby (below) is a Husqvarna 6330. I love my machine - it may be old but it sews like a dream and seems to handle anything ( well ok, buttonholes may not be that great but that's operator error, lol). My mother picked this gem up at an auction for $5 (!!) when my son was born and all it's ever cost me is a couple of cleans and one repair when the thread take-up lever broke. Other than that, a dream. Even if I won the $30million Lotto this weekend I'd still keep this machine - although it would probably be joined by a few more. ;-)

So, add that to my backup Singer that sits packed away waiting for an emergency and we now have 4 sewing machines in the house. And 2 overlockers. When we do finally get a sewing room there's certainly going to be enough to put in it!

On another note, my Ottobres have arrived, woohoo! I have to say I'm impressed by how quickly Ottobre gets the magazines away and how fast they can arrive on the other side of the world. Now lets hope all the world currencies stabilise so I can dream about a few more issues.....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yes, I'm still alive

I've been terribly neglectful of my blog. Uni has been keeping me busy, but I've now handed in my (42 page!) research report. I'm slowly recovering from the effects of typing that much (RSI and, ahem, the effects of all the nibbles necessary for such an undertaking) and now I've just got a couple of exams to go this year. Then it's 8 weeks holidays, so I'll be getting some sewing done then. :)

Because I can't wait to do something sewing, I've been busy stimulating the economy.
First up, I decided to get those Ottobre magazines I've been thinking about before the dollar dropped too far. Winging their way to me are:



and 4/08

So when they arrive I'll have no excuse not to be inspired.

But it's not just magazines I've been buying. ;) Yesterday, I 'forced' myself to head along to Spotlight's 20% off sale and liberated some fabric. (There goes the stash stats!)

Brigitte brown/stars jersey knit; Sweethearts jersey Blue knit; double-sided Spots and Stripes knit; Tie-dyed viscose/rayon/elastane; white with blue stars cotton unbrushed sweatshirting; Pink fizz knit swirl, viscose/rayon/elastane

One other piece has already been made up into a tee-shirt for my DD2 using Kwik Sew 2503 again. And what a pain it was too! Not the pattern - the pattern is my TNT for my DDs. Nope. The fabric was shoddy to say the least. Once it was prewashed, the fabric reverted to it's natural shape, which involves being printed quite a bit off-grain. It didn't look like this on the bolt so it must have been seriously stretched when rolled. Plus, 0.8m shrunk to 0.7m! Serves me right for not checking the print against the grainline. DD can wear it, but it'll be a very casual/pj top. (Although she likes it... but do I really want this seen in public?)

This is how far off grain the print is - the ruler is 'on grain'. I'm expecting the side seams on this are going to twist.

Tomorrow I really should get to studying.......