Saturday, January 24, 2015

More (plain; boring; simple) sewing for others.

This is a chair bag. In the primary school my son goes to they store their books in this bag that hangs on their chair. I am not enamoured with this principle but abide by it. I made Alex a chair bag last year... this one with a "W" is obviously not for him but the brother of Alex's best friend. They sell really ugly bottle green ones for $7 at the school but a personalised one is much better in my opinion... I mean if you have to have the ugly chair bag may as well be one that looks a little interesting, no?

My friend gave me the fabric last Thursday. She was clearing a storage shed where she has been storing her and her husband's stuff for the last 10 years while working overseas, came across this and decided she's not getting the opportunity to use it any time soon and so she offered it to me. It's a very good quality, heavy Indian cotton ribbed fabric for upholstery use and perfect for a chair bag for a boy.

I have some Star Wars fabric bought recently to make shorts for Alex and I thought William would like his initial on his bag with this fabric. A quick appliqué job; sew up the sides with a double row of  triple stitch after overlocking and bam, it's done. I sent a photo to my friend to show William and "he is impressed!" Very pleasing as we all know how fussy 8 year old boys can be. Another happy customer.

I have been sewing - some Star Wars shorts for Alex (with a different Star Wars fabric) and three t-shirts; two of which are finished and one just waiting for the neck binding and the hemming of the sleeves. Hopefully that will be finished up today or tomorrow. See you then.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A not very well thought out baby quilt.

Baby quilt... not two words I thought I'd be writing on my blog. Friends who I have known since school days (I finished senior in 1978!) are to be grandparents hopefully by the end of this month. The baby's parents are the indie band members from The Grates. They have a little café called Southside Tearooms conveniently up the road... and we meet up there often. I have yet to have a bad coffee there... 

Anyway, the baby shower was yesterday and I had some gifts;  a new one and three preloved ones that were a great hit 10 years ago... they asked for used things especially. I also decided to make a quilt out of a remnant piece of quilting cotton I bought a few months ago.... it is so soft and the pictures are so cute. So here's the not very well thought out part.... I bought some cotton batting from Trad's. I left it doubled up and then pinned the backing fabric, batting and the quilting cotton together. I sewed white thread on the dotted lines on the quilting cotton (still classed as quilting right? right??). Very simple.. if I had more time (i.e. more thought put into it) I would have like to sew around the trucks. After a row or stitching that was difficult to push through I changed the length of the stitch to 3mm and then it was much quicker.

I didn't think about binding it... I've never thought about quilting at all as I think the little pieces
would drive me crazy but I do appreciate the thought put into them and the time obviously. Thoughts however do not bind a quilt.

This was the selvage cut off the edge of the quilting fabric.. I used this to make some non bias binding and put it on the short edge. This was tricky as half of it was white and the other half was blue but cut roughly as I didn't know I was going to need it (the not well thought out part again) and so on some bits I only had about 2mm to sew down. I went slowly and did it. 

 The next part was the long edge. I didn't have enough fabric to cut binding (nor the time) but I decided to roll the extra width from the back to the front and make it self binded (new word/term?). As you can see above, it is also the selvage but had a nice rib pattern on it so a little different. This fabric was $2 per metre stretch cotton sateen from East Coast Fabrics from my stash. I really like it but realised it would probably be a bit much in a dress and now I have just enough for a straight skirt, I think.

The photo above shows the blue binding (the white stitching is deliberate and goes with the white stitching of the 'quilting'). It also shows how I didn't really think about how the corners get finished till too late so they are not mitred just raw!

This is the underside with more poorly executed corners, but the blue looks a nice contrast with the pink, green and yellow. All in all I am pretty happy with it. Patience was thrilled with it and at first didn't believe I had made it and asked to see the label as a joke, but I did put a label on the underside and showed her.. then she believed me.

When I was half way through making the quilt I also made a pavlova, my new go to dessert. I have always been a bit shy of making pavlovas but I found a great recipe and they work out perfectly every time. I'll put that in the next post. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

I wasn't going to do a 2014 review because I don't think I make enough items, good quality sewing or offer very much to the sewing community. That's ok, I sew for my enjoyment and I do love it. So I'll do an overview of my sewing. (A few photos of some favourites)

I made a total of 49 items... this includes 14 tops, 9 dresses, 6 pants, and 9 items for Alex which includes tops shirts (4), swimmers (2), a cloak, and some shorts. On top of these 'real' items I made school shorts and trousers, 1 dress for a friend, a tunic for my Mum, 2 other cloaks, a yoga carry bag, 2 shower caps, 5 pairs of undies and a bevy of clothes for little girls out of some leftovers I couldn't throw out and gave to a friend's daughter and I made 4 large cushions for gifts. Also about 15 beach skirts that have nearly all been given away now. I also made jeans but made an error in sizing so I'll be making these come cooler weather in the next size and I think they'll be great.

I bought labels this year, I organised my stash (although that's gone a little to the dogs), I got some new/old machines, got nearly all my machines serviced. I really tried not to buy fabric this year but I went to Sydney once and Melbourne twice and couldn't resist some. I've got 3 things not finished because they have no hope of fitting at the moment but I think I'll finish them and get them out of the way.

The favourite thing I made is the Burda Batwing Dress. I have had many positive comments about this dress and I LOVE it. It is really easy to wear, is easy to make and has such nice drama about it. I have another one planned ... maybe next week.  I made some duds too... but I'm not too worried.. all adds to the knowledge bank so I

In 2015, loose plans would be to make some work appropriate clothing (office attire) in anticipation of getting work, I'd like to try bra making and getting fit worked out a bit better. I would like to use my coverstitch (now that it is serviced) and make some togs for myself.

I want to say thanks for all those who read my little blog, a big, gigantic thanks for those who make the effort to comment as I really love reading them. I want to say thanks to all this who write blogs too as I really enjoy reading all the different styles of blogs. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

This is my Christmas stollen... it's German Christmas sweet bread. I don't like Christmas cake and many, many years ago I had a German neighbour and she gave me the recipe. My German friend makes it and loves it too. These are the ones wrapped for the neighbours tomorrow. My niece also loves it... she sent me a one sentence email, saying she'd bought some in New Zealand and was disappointed. I picked her up this afternoon... a surprise for the family at our Christmas day celebrations tomorrow. I made some this morning ... nice and fresh. I made two pavlovas too...

I hope you all have a great Christmas ... full of family and friends. I hope it is a nice and safe one also.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jean Paul Gaultier - Part 2

I took a lot of photos at the exhibition and I won't go on too much but let the photos speak for themselves. I just used an iPhone having left my camera at my friend's place about 3 weeks ago and forgetting to get it when I went last week, so excuse the no so sharp or perfect snaps!

This outfit is made from ribbon.. I took this close up to show the netting creating a frame for the ribbon.

The rushing is done by channels of elastic. The velvet was quite worn.

Yes... a corset with a pregnant belly!

There was so much to see in this exhibition. One more set of photos to show.