Monday, September 15, 2014

Sewing Bloggers Room Tour

I belong to a wonderful group of sewing bloggers, who are based in Wellington NZ (Hence the name WSBN - Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network. We are challenged by the mighty Gemma  to take picture of our sewing rooms on a day in July and post a room on our blog. Thanks to the Crafty Mermaid  for making me go next.
 My sewing room(s) tour starts here.
My sewing space

This is my sewing area in my share of our upstairs lounge. On the right is my cutting table, then my desk with my machines, my treads and a book case with my notions and material.
Bookcase of fabric
I have had periods when the bookcase held beautifully folded material in neat piles, but this isn't one of them. I used to have another book case, but decided it blocked the light so removed it from here. This means all my boxes of notions etc had no home so things got shoved around a bit.  The curtains are the last of my 12 tablecloths from our wedding. Curtains might be exaggerating a bit as they are held up with boxes, but they block the fabric hoarding from visitors.  Did I mention that I have a few more piles of fabric - damm Gemma and her demand for honesty in this post.
Curtain fabric under the couch
So this is my upholstery fabric on rolls under the couch downstairs. Its about 30 meters of curtain fabric mostly from the local plunket fabric sale and some for upholstering a bench seat should I ever be bored. I'm a sucker for sad fabric left at end of sales - they call to me and tell me to take them home.
fabric box under cutting table
This is a mix of decorating fabric and sheets for making muslins, and the box on the right is knit fabric bought before I focused on the quality of the materials I was sewing on. So a mix of polyester and merino. Mostly for making sweatshirts. Doesn't that sound like I've made more then 1 of them in my life to date? Anyway. For extra bonus you can see the train tracks that make up the obstacle course on the way to my half of space.
Bits and bobs

This is my mending pile, pictures waiting to be hung, muslin, linings, interfacing and a spare curtain that I use as reference to make sure I'm sewing curtain things on the right way around. Just above this is the cupboard waiting for repair before I can store these away. It needs a roof.

Sad empty cupboard waiting for fabric
 I have a vague recollection of Gemma saying we should write about what we are planning on sewing next. I prefer to have a range of options to choose from, depending on my mood.

WIP Pile
This is my work in progress pile. I've cut a few things out for when I get inspired to sew but can't be bothered starting anything from the beginning.The current pile consists of an Oliver & S Red Riding Hood cape and two of their bucket hats. Plus one a line summer skirt - no rush on that as Wellington summer is a while away.

Now its over to  The Dreamstress for tomorrows tour. Enjoy and Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Short Tales

I made a couple of trousers from some black fluffy material (technical I know) and had a wee bit left over.
Fluffy material and merino from the Fabric Store.
Mr F's creche have tails that they like to wear, so I thought I'd make one for him. Took about 4 minutes, and he loves it. I made a slightly shaped rectangle hemmed on the overlocker down the longest side. I then measured his waist for the elastic, hand stitched it on the tail and all done. I didn't even bother hemming the bottom as its bound to get destroyed or lost before it wear out!

A very easy tail
I wished I had a photo of Mr F trying to catch it to show me - he went round and round in circles!
Tail in action

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Gillian Merino Tunic

I recently took part in the Wellington Sewing Bloggers 'Whats in a name challenge'. The aim was to sew a pattern that had the same name as you. This then extended to your middle names, names of any women in your family, a name you would have liked to have been called etc in order to make something you'd actually want to wear. When I wore this to work for the first time and was doing a twirl (as you do) for my workmate she said that's very you. On that basis I christened this my Gillian tunic.

This is a self drafted merino tunic, made up very quickly as my workplace was freezing. I was very pleased with this when I made it as it kept me very warm. But after looking at the photos I can see that the shoulders are a bit wide and I know the back needs taken in. I self bias binding around the sleeves and neckline and managed to get the tension about right - which is a first for me after completing the Craftsy 'Ultimate Tee" course.  I'm hoping this will become a tried n true pattern in the future and have already bought some blue material to make this up in next.

Monday, September 1, 2014

French Red Scarf

One could be mistaken for thinking that after taking 7 years to finish my last scarf, I would be reluctant to start another. But no - I wanted a red scarf, and found two balls of silky, smooth French wool at the Fabric-a-Brac earlier in the year.
French merino mix wool
Unfortunately, while it seemed lovely and smooth all wound up, once knitted it turned into an itchy scratchy kind of scarf. Guessing as I did the number of stitches I would need for a scarf, the first version was a wide as a jersey.  I decided to be an adult and unpick the 5 inches I had done, and reduce the number of stitches. Version 2 is still a bit wide, especially given that I only had two balls of wool.
Under construction - Version 2
It's now a completed short fat scarf that I can wear as long as its not close to my skin. But at least it was completed within a couple of months - I'll take my successes where I can!
The final scarf

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blue knit top KWIK SEW 3741

I made this top out of a lovely blue knit. Its Kwik sew 3741 view A.  There is not too much stretch in it, so I added in some darts. This is the first time I've tried this type of neckline and it turned out quite well. Wasn't that complicated, more the thought of it that scared me.
I was quite proud of them as I drafted the pattern changes on my own but in reality they don't sit that well (slightly too pointy darts). My sewing group friends suggested that I turn them into gathers, which I think I will do next. I'll also fit it a bit better on the sides.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Trying to get fancy and failing

Some  of the really fancy sewers I know actually have ideas about the patterns and material that they own. They take photos of the pattern by the material and make a list. I thought that sounded like a good idea so I started. First I had to drag my patterns up from the floor below because they hadn't moved to the new sewing spot post move. Then I decided to sort them into piles by type of clothing - tops, bottoms, dresses etc.


 The piles toppled over so I had to start again.  I resorted the dresses into woven and knit and that helped. 

I discovered my fear of making knit tops and trousers had resulted in me trying to find the perfect pattern (all without actually making any trousers).  I think at 10 trouser patterns I should be fine.  I should point out that the excess of patterns was not helped by the recent closure of a favourite sewing shop, selling off patterns for $3.50 each. 

I also discovered I had awful lot of fabric that I had no idea what I was planning to sew from it! After a small amount of hyperventilating I took photos where I had a match already planned, and then filed everything back in its place. Actually, who am I trying to kid - that took another two sessions!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Vintage cushions from Fabric-a-brac

I know the next Fabric-a-brac would be soon, and that photos of what we had made with our stash/purchases would be needed. So that inspired me to finally make up some more cushions for our dining room bench seat.

 Cushion 1 was bought (on sale for $4.00) which I had to get as even buying the inner costs more than that normally. I hand sewed the two beautiful crochet doily that I bought at the last Fabric-a-brac. Next time I'd position the rounds with the cushion stuffed, as the doily did get a bit lost off the edge near the bottom.  
Cushion 2 was a silk green scarf from Fabric-a-brac. Nothing is ever going to go with the faded stripey bench seat covers, but we will replace them eventually. Was too impatient to wait to buy a zipper that would fit, or a bigger inner cushion, so used what we had and stitched it closed.