Showing posts from January, 2008

Where are the earplugs?

Today I braved the shops.

With my kids.

For school supplies.

Now when you put together kids, shopping, heat and boredom it has the potential to be less than pleasant. Then add in the crowds of similarly stressed mums with children in tow and it really becomes interesting. To put it mildly. But we made it out alive although my wallet was considerably lighter. Oh well, I'll console myself that next week they'll all be back at school. ;-)
I was saying this to my hubby and he thinks that I don't like having him and the kids at home. That's not entirely true. But how do you explain to a man who likes music on (preferably loudly) every waking moment that it can be nice to come home to a quiet house. No music, no tv, no squabbles discussions. Just a nice quiet house all to yourself. I mean, not all the time, just occasionally. After 6 weeks, I'm ready for a few occasions.

Right - off to add to the noise level and bang in some snaps!

I've created another UFO!

I thought I really better get onto my nieces' (rather belated) birthday present. Originally, I had been thinking of a wee jacket and trousers from a pink embroidered drill. But, Em has grown lately and there was no way I could fit the size she needed onto the fabric I had, no matter which way I turned my head and held my tongue. Hmmm, what to do?

I thought a pinafore might be nice, so I went hunting through my patterns and my collection of old Topkids and Burda Kids magazines. It was an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon I admit, but at the end I had it down to two patterns, neither of which seemed right for the drill.

I was in a dilemma. I consulted my hubby - he diagnosed procrastination. No help there. I umm-ed a bit longer. (As I told hubby, this was creative development NOT procrastination. If I was procrastinating I'd have been cleaning the pantry. ;-) ) Then, as I leafed through one of my fabric folders, I found the inspiration I needed. Back to the cupboard went the pi…


The end of another working week - well, ok, I only work 2 days a week, but the kids are still home on holidays so it's felt like 5 days work and then a working weekend. ;-) Still, only one more week before school. I think. (I should probably check that. )

The top/dress has been worn. It has been ooh-ed and aah-ed over and now it is sitting back on my sewing desk. Not because of any problem with E's (DD2) sewing I'll hasten to add. Nope, yet again, this is a bit low. I could unpick and replace the entire front inset, but that would involve remaking about half the top (shudder!). I know E was keen to sew but I don't think she's quite ready for frog-stitching, and neither am I. After talking it over with E, a solution has been reached. I'm going to add a band of the same fabric across the top. When that's all done I'll add a photo.

Also awaiting a photo op is the fluoro orange tee. S (DD1) came back from her friends house badly sunburned. Parental nagging an…

Passing on the sewing bug

Today I spent the afternoon helping my 7 yo daughter sew. She has been begging all week to sew herself a top and when I came home with the Butterick pattern (4970) she was ecstatic.

Unfortunately, I'd bought the 12-16 sizing for DD1. When we went back to Spotlight this morning they were all out of the smaller size. Sigh, no being lazy. So, I sized the 12 down to an 8 while my daughter shopped my stash folder. Then came the adventure of extricating the chosen fabrics from the depths of the stash cupboard. (All my stash is boxed with the box number and a sample of fabric in a ringbinder. Plus, I have a map of where each box is in the cupboard. My bestfriend laughed at me for that (yes, Judy, you) but it sure does make it easier. )

DD2 chose a pink rayon/spandex knit for the top with a white mystery knit for the inset. She did really well. She pinned, help cut and did all the straight sewing herself. While she helped with the overlocking, I retained control. ;-) I was very surprised at…

Another one down...

Phew, I finished the last outstanding UFO last night.

This is the same pattern as the hot pink hoody (KS3101) but I made a few changes. I made this one from "Cheesecake" 100% unbrushed sweatshirting in the shade of "Lipstick" and matching ribbing. It was another bargain buy from the Spotlight sale tables at $2m. When the sales assistant went to cut, there was a mysterious hole in the centre (the fabric equivalent of crop circles?) so I actually got 2 metres for $2. :-)
Changes I made: DD wanted a sporty look so, on the jacket, I cut 5cm off the sleeve length and added a ribbing cuff. I also added a ribbing band on the pocket openings. I finally tried using the flatlocking stitch on my Brother 1034D. I flatlocked in white down the centre of the sleeves, on the pocket opening and down the centre back seam of the hood. On the pants, I cut 5cm off the top of the waistline and added an 8cm deep ribbing band - 3cm for the elastic casing and a 5cm foldover. (Next time I wo…

More fabric, oops...

Well, another day at work and yet again I came home with fabric. I'm just not going to look at the stats in the sidebar. :-)

Today's purchases were....
a printed mesh fabric that I've liked for awhile. It's now 50% off so I had to have it didn't I? I think this will become an Ottobre Tee.

a polycotton knit for DD1. We're thinking a tank top.

and another pattern for DD1, Butterick 4970. She wants the centre top (the blue) in red with the insert from the skulls knit above. This is to wear over her new black skinny jeans. Yikes! I better get sewing!

Yet another pattern...

I have over 400 patterns. Okay, okay, todays purchase puts me at 494. Plus magazines. Sheesh, you'd think I'd sew more than I do wouldn't ya?

I was surprised last night to find I didn't have a pattern that fitted all DD1's requirements. Sure, I could have used a basic tee pattern and remodelled it but Spotlight had patterns at half-price so I figured why re-invent the wheel if I didn't have to. (See why I have 494 patterns? ) I went straight to the Simplicity book to look at the Lizzie McGuire and So Raven patterns. This is what I ended up with Simplicity 3811:

I have some fluoro orange striped tee-shirt knit that I acquired from my mothers stash recently. This is a genuine 1980's piece of fabric (does that qualify as retro? ;-) ) and it's been quite funny to see similar fabrics in some stores this summer. I'm going to make the shorter striped top.

Yayyy, it's Tuesday!

I love Tuesdays! Especially every second Tuesday when at least 2 other friends also have time off work and we have "girly day". Today we all got together at Bestfriend2's house for a chat and supposedly some work on craft/sewing projects. BF2 was looking after BF1's kids as well, so in the one house we had 4 adults (incl BF2's hubby) and 9 kids! Chaos was averted by the downstairs rumpus room coming into play, phew. It was great fun and even nicer getting a brief chat with BF1 when she arrived to pick up her kids.

I'd taken along a top I'd bought for the princely sum of $2.70 in a clearance sale. As a casual top it's great but (and there has to be a but) it was a little lower than I liked. I don't really think there's any need for everyone to see which bra I'm wearing underneath my clothes. I plan on unpicking the white insert in the V and cutting a higher (longer?) insert to sew back in. Needless to say it didn't get touched today. ;)

Two down....

Back in, ahem, November, I had a cutting out binge. I had this vague theory that, if I only had to pick up a project to sew, it might actually speed up my sewing (hahaha). Well, some did get sewn but I'd been left with a couple of bags sitting on the shelf and they were starting to bug me, so I decided to clear up the UFO's. Of course, the whole best laid plans etc... I really should know better by now. Last week disappeared in a whirl of work, activities with the kids and DS breaking his arm.

Finally, on the weekend, I managed to get near my sewing machine. I finished up a pink hoody jacket for DD2, did a bit of mending (blech! I hate mending!) that was sitting around and finally finished putting the elastic in the waistband of a pair of capris, also for DD2. Plus... I gave hubby a haircut and made fudge with my 11yo DD1. The haircut went well, the fudge failed to set properly. That's what happens when you try a new recipe and don't follow instructions, oops. It did ho…

The Little Red Dress

My youngest daughter (7yo) has been begging me to make her a dress for at least the last year. She is a very girly, girl and loves frills, flounces, pink, you name it. (I have no idea where she got those genes from!) Until now, I've gotten away with simple 3-tiered ruffle skirts. They only take about an hour max to whip up and they're harder to grow out of. ;) Well, before Christmas I finally caved. The stash was raided and DD chose a pattern. The first piece of fabric was abandoned because there wasn't enough and the stash was raided again. As it was the holiday season, red with white spots seemed the natural choice. I used McCalls 5089, view C which is the blue dress in the top right-hand corner.
This dress is very easy and quick to sew. There are just a few things to watch. It's short! My DD is 7. I made a size 8 (although she could have got away with a 7 in width) and lengthened it to a size 10 length. This brings it just below her knees. I also had to shorten the …


After a night's sleep I finished the jacket/cardy today.
In the end, I kept the easing in the side seam. I also left the neckline shape as drafted. The velvet tends to fold back quite softly so I think this will be fine. Instead of a 1.5cm hem, I overlocked the raw edges and decided to leave them as is. While this jacket doesn't wow me, I think it's wearable as a casual throw on cardy. Better still, it means I can wear the teal Tee I had in the wardrobe. I had made this T-shirt from a lightweight poly knit (Manhattan knit from Spotlight) and unfortunately it was just a bit clingier than I liked. This jacket hides that. :) I played around with the ribbon placement and then decided to leave it off. A waist placement was nota good look. DH did think it looked nice with ribbon under the bustline but there's a limit to how much emphasis I want to put on that area! Instead I've settled for a pin to hold it closed.

(What a terrible photo - I look like I'm falling over..…

Taking the Plunge

After debating this for awhile, I've decided to take the plunge and start a blog as a way of keeping track of my sewing. Hopefully this will also motivate me to sew a bit more as well. That, or I'll spend so much time reading about other peoples sewing on PatternReview that this blog will dry up. Really the title should probably read "Keelysews.....sometimes"

In the spirit of starting off as I mean to go on, I'll talk about my latest sewing attempt.
I have decided I really need to start tackling my own wardrobe issues. Perhaps, that should be more my lack-of-wardrobe issues. :)
Anyway, a few weeks ago I decided I needed a cardigan for throwing on over T's. After the success I've had with the Ottobre gathered-neck Tee, I thought I'd try another Ottobre pattern, the knit jacket from Ottobre 2/2006. This is shown on the cover of the magazine and had caught my eye.

There were a few obvious changes needed. Firstly, the pattern only went to a size 48. While…