Saturday, February 28, 2009

Seeing Spots!

I don't know how many readers will be familiar with Noel Edmonds and Mr Blobby

but you may see the resemblance......

right down to the wrinkles on the sleeve/arm, lol.

Those who are familiar with the show may understand why I'm saying "Blobby, blobby, blobby" in a funny voice lately. :) If you're not familiar with it, you'd just assume I was mad, lol.

I came across this knit fabric in my stash and seeing as it's a soft snuggly knit and it had been a cold week, I combined it with Simplicity 4327 to make a tent nightshirt . I had 6m, bought at $2m in a Spotlight clearance. I'm not sure what I was thinking of when I bought that much of a bright pink spotted knit.

I chose a size by my full-b ust measurement and it ended up a bit big. Sherril has commented that it's not too bad apart from the sleeve length. And big does = comfy, but I'm feeling very much like I could be this guy -

After I'd made my sleepwear, I decided to spread the pink around rather than put it back into the stash. Besides, I'd already put other fabric into the gap it had left.

I continued with the sleepwear theme. DD2 got a pair of PJ pants from Burda 4222 (which is OOP, but seems to be the same as 9747), with a polar fleece top made using Kwik Sew 3017. She was adamant she wanted a polar fleece top for cold nights, but I think it will get more use on wintry 'Pyjama days'. I'll make her a lighter-weight top for in bed.

After that, I still had some fabric left. DD1 thought she'd like some PJs too so I dug out Simplicity 4798 (which is also OOP btw).

I made the trousers/pants first, which left just enough fabric for the body of the top. Imagine my annoyance when I cut out the top front and back, only to find what looked like a dirty oily mark right in the front near the neckline. I washed with stain remover and it now looks like a paler spot. Ah, well. At least the oily mark is gone. I used a white interlock remnant for the sleeves and neckband. It must be a Simplicity thing because the sleeves on this top are really long too. Or maybe we just have short arms.

On the trousers I ended up lowering the waistband by 7cm and it's still not incredibly low.

As I was on a pyjama roll I decided to use a piece of Barbie wincyette/flannelette I'd found while hunting out the white interlock. I figured if I didn't use it for DD2 soon, she'd be too old for it. Again, I used the Burda pj pattern for the pants. This time I used Kwik Sew 2893 and made a raglan sleeve tee from a blue knit remnant and the white used on her sisters top. I also added a piece of the pants fabric as an applique to tie the two together. Tip - for the applique I used a washable glue stick on the back to help keep it straight whilst stitching.

Both girls wore their new pyjamas last night and have pronounced them 'awesome'. For the moment, I am a popular mummy. ;) I'm sure it won't last.

The great thing is that the pyjama sewing spree helped the stash stats quite a bit. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Tale of Two Cardies...

One wearable, one not.

First up, a big THANK YOU to everyone for their help and suggestions as to how I might save my wadd-ette from full wadder status. I tried most of the tips, from belt (yikes, not a good look) to pinning in waist darts as many suggested. That worked to some degree, but didn't seem to go with the 'style' of the cardigan and also seemed to just cause the front to sit open more. However, I think I have it to wearable status. It might never be a favourite, but it's made it to the wardrobe month-long trial that Belinda/Sew4Fun suggested.

I left the cardy to languish on my desk while I blobbed on the couch relaxed in front of the television until I had a revelation. Dang it - I am a lollipop shape (I'm thinking ChupaChup here, lol). It's my current body shape and, short of liposuction, I can't think of a way to change that overnight. That didn't mean I was going to settle for the octuplet pregnancy look though!

I grabbed the seam-ripper and started frogstitching (why, oh why did I get such a good match for thread?) until the overlocking/serging beat me for the night. Yep, I didn't just baste the cardy together to try it on. Nooooo, I beautifully finished every seam with 4-thread overlocking. Clever, no?

Overnight my subconscious kept working and in the morning I knew where I was going to start. I also knew that if I didn't start right away, it would probably never get done, 'cos that's just me. So, more frogstitching. My seam-ripper and I have become very good friends lately. Once I'd finished deconstructing, it was time to put it back together, but hopefully improved.

I started by digging out the pattern for the plain tee from Ottobre 02-2007 #2. I've done a FBA on this and know it fits so figured it was a good shape to start with. I overlaid the back pattern and used it to mark and trim a more shaped back for the cardigan. I did allow about 5mm on the side seam for a bit more ease as a cardy.

The tee-shirt pattern back on top of the cardigan pattern back, showing the difference in shaping and amount I trimmed -

Next, I did the same for the front, again using the pattern piece from the tee-shirt.

Next was removing some of the gathers, about half the extra fabric allowed for gathers was removed (2.7cm or approximately an inch)

I put all the pieces back together, reattached the satin ribbon binding on the front edges and went to mark button placements. Then I noticed the strange ripple on the front edge... :( A quick check showed one front edge had stretched out between all the unpicking and reattaching. Sigh, you'd have thought I'd notice the ribbon didn't have as much excess length when I was resewing wouldn't you? I can only offer the lateness of the hour as my defence. More frogstitching. Some steam above the fabric encouraged it back to shape and I started again. About now I was wondering whether I really wanted a brown cardy.

But I persevered, right through unpicking a crooked buttonhole (after that I decided the other three weren't that crooked ;) ) and sewing on buttons.

Here's the finished product. For comparison I've put the "before" photo on the left, followed by the "after" photo.

Before ----------/ After----------- / After worn open

Before-an octuplet look --------/ After - down to triplets, lol.

A close-up of the buttons

Like I said, still not perfect. For instance, I can see gathers where I added a ribbon facing to the neckline because I didn't use a bias ribbon (tut tut). I could unpick that and fix it........ Maybe I will if it lasts a month in the wardrobe. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Getting close... very close to wearable. I was even up to pinning to determine button placement. Then I noticed something was awry. Sigh, somewhere between the unpicking, cutting, and resewing, one of the front edges has ended up longer than the other. Well that would explain why the front was rippled. More frogstitching to be done :(

Next post will either see it in the bin, or on me...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wadder, wad-ette, or wearable?

The sewing mojo hit yesterday. Not for the jacket that has been sitting cut out and waiting for sewing time since before Christmas. Nor for the trousers that have been waiting just as long. Nope, instead I decided to ruin start on a new piece of fabric. Without a muslin. In my defence, I thought I was safe because I had checked the pattern pieces would physically fit.... pity I didn't pause long enough to do a style check! I had to size the pattern up -hmmm, perhaps the Ottobre people were right to stop at a 46.

So, I present Ottobre 2-2008 #10.

With this view I could almost decide to wear it.... a bit baggy but maybe wearable....

then I saw this view -

I could be pregnant with octuplets in there and no-one could tell! I'd like to hope that, because the fabric is fluid, there is enough movement to show there isn't. I'd really, really like to hope that. And I do like the fabric, a chocolate Ponti knit.

I thought about shaping the side seams more but that isn't going to fix that tent effect from the side.

I've also toyed with unpicking the lower front to remove the gathers and excess fabric in front, but would that work with the style? Out of curiosity I wrapped across to try to simulate this idea -
What do you think? Fixable? Or do I just call this a day and a wadder for the donation bins? Or do I ignore the side view and go for comfort?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ottobre Woman Sneak Peeks

There are a few sneak-peek piccies up at The Wooly Thread. I'm liking that grey jacket, as is DD1. The dresses.... well, I'm not really a dress person, but DD likes the beige.

Only 2 weeks to go....

Everything Just Sew

Another blog to read. :)

My dear friend, Judy, has finally started a blog and about time too!

Fifteen years ago I met Judy at a 'New Mothers group'. I'd just had my son and had sewn the grand total of two garments for him. Imagine my surprise/horror when this other new mum leaned over and asked if I'd sewn the all-in-one DS was wearing. Of course, what went through my head was "OMG! Does it look that bad?!!!"

One thing led to another, we chatted, babies played and I borrowed an awful lot of Burda Baby magazines. In a very short time I'd been encouraged to well and truly dive into a sewing hobby. In fact, it's amazing my DH talks to Judy, lol, because I certainly didn't have any fabric stash before I met her!

Over the years, Judy has patiently weathered many phone calls asking for sewing advice and tips (and many requests for buttonholes and invisible zips). She has been my sewing teacher, mentor and friend.

Welcome to the world of blogging, Judy!

Monday, February 2, 2009

All done

Phew! I finally finished the mattress covers for my brother's caravan! I have of course procrastinated over these. First I had to get the more urgent projects out of the way and lets face it, when it comes to a 'have-to-do' project, anything is more urgent, lol. Then I had to wait for the continuous length zipper to arrive at Spotlight. (and wait....and wait....). Then, when DB rang to ask if they'd be ready for the weekend, I had to play imaginatively with the zippers that were in store, eventually coming up with an arrangement butting 2 zippers end to end (pullers in the middle) to get the length. Finally, after facing the fact that I needed to get these finished at some point, I readied myself to tackle them.

In reality these were just very large box cushion covers. They shouldn't have been difficult. However, DB and DSisIL had chosen the fabric from hell.


I mean, this fabric has knocked satin from the top of my 'hate-to-sew-with' list. It even put the 'creep' factor when sewing velour to shame. A walking foot might have helped, but I don't have one for my machine. Instead, I had to go for loosening the presser foot pressure by quite a bit. (Much looser and I'd have been darning, lol) To top off the sorry saga, I ran out of upholstery thread but another Dsis came to the rescue by buying some on her way over to visit, which meant I could get the danged things finished tonight and I can deliver them tomorrow morning.

I should acknowledge I learnt several things doing these:

- when it comes to a 'have-to-do' job, it's better to just bite the bullet and get on with it! Whilst trying to summon up the willpower to start these I sewed nothing else. I felt guilty even thinking about other projects. Think of the wardrobe I could have had! (Unless I'd procrastinated on that too, lol.)

- I need kneepads if I'm going to crawl around the floor measuring and cutting out large rectangles. My knees reminded me I was not that young anymore after the couple of hours it took to cut these out. I also need a bigger lounge, or no furniture, if I do this again.

- it is a good idea to open the zipper when you sew the second side of the cover to the boxing strip. Yes, I really did forget this one.

- it is not a good idea to sew large amounts of bulky upholstery fabrics on very hot days!

Unfortunately this fabric doesn't count as from my stash. One of my urgent projects did however.
I had to sew a wrap skirt for DD1 for school last week after the shock of what the uniform supplier wanted to charge for a simple skirt. I took a pattern off the too small version, sized it up, (realised too late that I could have got DBro, the pattern-drafter, to make a pattern for me...) cut and sewed. Luckily I had 1.8m of a perfect navy in the stash bought for this purpose last year. I was working out pockets, pleats etc as I went and I'd change a few things if I was to do it again. Hopefully I won't have to tho, as I took a tip from the suit-hire outlets and sewed the waistband in seperate pieces. If I ever need to let it out, it's a simple sideseam stitchline. :)

Now to find where that mojo is hiding so I can get onto some sewing for me tomorrow.