Thursday, September 30, 2010
Life has pretty much run me over with a steamroller this year. Who'd have thought that a fuller than fulltime post-grad study year, and a family of kids requiring a taxi-driver would be a lot to handle? Well, ok, everyone but me obviously. I seem to have an entirely unfounded sense of optimism of what I can achieve at times. Still, reality always has a way of making itself known. I'm pretty sure I've managed to become acquainted every flu and cold virus circulating this year!
I've discovered this year that stress can make people do funny things - like wearing skirts regularly when they've always been a jeans-type; wearing make-up and even painting my nails!!! Athough that one has a reasonable explanation in that it stops me chewing my nails. Oh, and then there's the crying on my supervisor's shoulder, tho I'm assured that's quite standard.
Sooo, even with my new attempts to regain some balance in my life by attending the fortnightly girly days with friends, I'll hopefully be finished writing by the end of November, which will mean I can start tackling the long list of sewing I've been planning. There may even be a few skirts on there... Tho I think a bit of excavating of the sewing desk may be in order first. :(
And a blurry shot of my new nail colour...
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
No prizes for guessing where this post is going... :) Yep, I succumbed to the Patternreview 25% off sale. Joining the other patterns unlikely to be sewn in a hurry are 3 Jalies -
and 2 Kwik Sews.
The last one is for DD1 - Yes, I gave in and just bought the darned pattern at her request. I don't have time to fuffle around getting the girl to stand still for pattern adjusting. I don't know about you guys, but personally I'd be pretty polite to the person holding the pins and fitting me...
As for me...
Getting behind on the writing, but not quite at panic stage yet. Which is good, cos panic probably wouldn't be the best cure for the case of writer's block I seem to have.
And I desperately need some tidier clothes (what's new), especially if I'm going to be seen around the department more. Having said that, really the most likely pattern to be sewn will be the Jalie polar fleece socks. They've got to be relatively quick don't you think? I can't remember where I saw it, but 'someone' had used rubber shelf liner as a non-slip sole on slippers and I'm thinking I might add some to these for wearing around the house, especially if it stops me breaking my neck on the wooden stairs.
Sigh, if only I could get away with a wardrobe of tatty clothes, but snazzy fleece socks....
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Yesterday I just couldn't concentrate on work and felt lousy. Rather than just lie on the couch and veg out, I thought I could probably handle tracing out. I briefly contemplated tracing the Ottobre coat, but the thought of all those lines on the paper and big pattern pieces... I couldn't face it. So I dragged out two Jalie patterns because DD1 has been claiming "nothing" to wear.Even though we're going into winter she's wanting camisoles and tanktops. Go figure. (rolling eyes) Then I faced the problem of trying to work out what size to trace, without current measurements and with a
Eventually I guessed a size (which luckily was confirmed after school by her measurements) and pulled out a few fabrics that were easy to reach. She vetoed the teeshirt from Jalie 2605 and chose the tanktop/camisole from Jalie 965.
It's a simple top, but I still took longer to make it than I would normally - with the brain operating at half speed, I'm lucky it's even wearable. I think it's a size or two too big, but she wanted a loose fit. I also think it's too long in the upper chest, so maybe a smaller size with an FBA (cos she's a C-cup). Still, it's another 0.80m from the stash. I'd say that next time I'd bind the armholes and neck with a wrap over binding which will narrow the straps, but at the moment I'm refusing to waste any sewing time on DD1 after the argument about how low the neckline could go. Sigh. She grew into women's sizes a few years ago and got used to having necklines lower than I like. While I accept that the straps could go in a fraction and the neckline could go down a smidgeon, there's a limit as to how much underwear I'll let her show! If only I could persuade her to sew for herself instead of complaining because she doesn't have an unlimited clothing budget. :(
Monday, April 19, 2010
Where does the time go? And with no sewing for me. :( Although I have spent some time at the sewing machine. Wow, those things can really gather dust when you don't use them.
First up, I scared the machines one evening when, in a fit of enthusiasm, I finally pulled the living room curtains down and replaced the rufflette tape. Is that what you call it? You know, the stuff you put the hooks in that stretches all out if the ready-mades have cheap tape on them and then the curtains hang droopily and ugly. Well, my curtains now hang all prettily again, and it has only taken 3 years to get them done.
Then on Sunday my sister turned up with 4 pairs of jeans for me to hem. Sigh. Not exactly inspiring stuff.
And I want to sew! Which is not unexpected when I'm busy, lol. My kids have learnt to procrastinate from a master. My mojo positively ran amok the other day trying to tempt me and I had to walk away. I did however sketch down a few ideas and notes. :)
A friend asked me the other day why I was studying when I do have other things I want to do (like some sewing). It's simple really. I'm really enjoying it. True it's long hours - about 50 hours a week - but I've spent the last two weeks immersed in reading literature on my research topic and I've loved it. I guess that's the joy of finding something you're excited about doing. I'm honest enough to know that, much as I enjoy sewing, most of the time it doesn't give me the same thrill. That's why I'm in awe of those who tackle detailed and complicated projects or teach themselves to draft their own. Let alone those who sew regularly! Plus, lets be honest, my mojo tends to pack a sad if I actually get time to pay attention to it.
So, I guess I'm saying don't expect a lot of sewing from me for a while. I have several big deadlines over the next few weeks. I'm hoping to squeeze in a bit of time to trace the purple Ottobre coat. I guess I really should do a quick and dirty muslin.... And one of my deadlines did get pushed out a week, so maybe I could take another night off...
Monday, March 1, 2010
Today I was thrown back into the insanity that is full-time study (this time post-grad. Gosh I love saying that. Post-grad, , post-grad, post-grad....) so, of course, Saturday I had a "what am I going to wear" attack, which of course led to emptying out the wardrobe.... That took care of Saturday. Along the way my linen cupboard also got reorganised which had nothing to do with my wardrobe, but did desperately need doing. And I wonder why I have nothing to wear. Sheesh.
Anyway, yesterday I felt I really should do some sewing. I fell back on the trusty Ottobre gathered neck tee (Ottobre 02-2007-04) which seems to be the backbone of my wardrobe. Well, the stuff that gets worn. Because we've had hot weather lately, I made short-sleeved tees, thus guaranteeing the rain and cool temperatures today. Both came from stash and snuck in at being sewn before the fabric reached the 2 year mark.
The first tee I like and it conveniently looks good with my purple Burda cardigan. I'd like to claim that this was all part of some great wardrobe plan, but I can't.
The second tee I'm not so keen on. The fabric is a lot clingier and unless I'm standing up completely straight without breathing, it tends to find a bit of fluffiness to cling to. (Note I'm blaming the fabric, not my lack of will power, Christmas and an addiction to all things chocolate. ;) ) As I'm rather keen on breathing and completely incapable of standing up straight every minute of the day, I'm thinking I now need to sort out a cardigan to wear over the top.
At least they boosted my wardrobe a bit.
" “Scientists call songs that get stuck in your head “earworms,” after the German Ohrwurm." (The Situationist). Really? They couldn't come up with a better name than that?
Sunday, January 31, 2010
We both ordered the Pleated cardigan
and the stretch jeans.
I added the Stretch Classic trousers,
the Empire Crossover Top,
the Scarf Top
and the Cami/Tank pattern.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Unfortunately, the cost of postage combined with the exchange rate can inflict some serious damage to the wallet. It can also lead to funny looks as you rush out every day when the postie pulls up, but that's probably a whole 'nother story. After all, why would he be at all curious about the contents of large envelopes after a slightly crazed-looking woman rushes out each morning to watch him, then grabs the envelope before he even puts it in the box....? One day I should really open one and show him the Ottobre/patterns just so he knows it's all legit, lol. But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, unfortunately... scary costs etc. That leads us to the 'Fortunately'.
Fortunately, Patternreview is having a 20% off sale for FOPR members until the end of January. I knew there was a reason I renewed (apart from not losing the catalogue of all my patterns. Believe me, after the time it took to enter all of those I'm not letting that go easily!). Tonight DS got back from Australia and he hadn't spent all the money we gave him. Yayyy! Patterns. Cos I really need more, lol hysterically. Knowing this was a possibility, I had, of course, spent much time
Here's the next unfortunately - DD saw the new Kwik Sews and wants this -
What's a Mum to do when her DD really, really wants a dress and it's going to be quite a few months before it gets to NZ?
Well, fortunately she already owned a similar style RTW dress. So, I hunted out the Ottobre tank #1 from 02/2007. Then measured her existing dress and made up a pattern. I'll find out this weekend how close I've got. In the meantime, that's money that can be spent on another Jalie. }:)
Sunday, January 24, 2010
As she was leafing through it on the sofa, one page jumped out at me.
The details are hard to see from the scanned image, but apparently the "quirky accessories" now involve pins. Snigger. And you can't see it here, but they didn't even bother putting the pin on the RHS on the back of the fabric. What gets me is that they picked this as the best photo and let it go to print?
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I used a lightweight stretch denim from Spotlight and topstitched in red. I had huge problems with the topstitching tensions about halfway through the jeans. I changed needles, rethreaded, cleaned and oiled the machine but still had problems with looping and uneven tension. I assume it was the thread as the problems started with the new reel of Molnlycke Goliath thread.
And I had to put a label on the back -
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
I haven't sewn trousers for DS in a few years so the next problem was finding a pattern. I settled on Simplicity 5362. By measurements DS just made it into the adult Small, but I've been burned by the Big-4 patterns and their sizing before so I attempted to tissue fit on DS.
There are two things to learn from this experience.
1. Don't try to tissue-fit on DS. Have you ever tried getting a teenage boy to stand still for fittings, let alone trouser fitting? I think I'd have better luck doing fittings on the cats; and
2. Don't attempt to make any pattern changes based on said 'fitting' whilst suffering from a fluey-type bug.
However, even with stretching the bejeebers out of the fabric as I did the later rows, I did find the top shrinking to the point where DD can get it on and off, but I expect I'll get some mending to do. Next time I do shirring I think I'll try the zigzag over the elastic method.