Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top, skirt, and a blog post, all in one week!

A top and a skirt, all in one week, I am on a roll. Of course as promised, here are pics of the skirt on. And a pic of the free Hot Patterns cowl neck top available from Fabric.com for zilch! 
I changed the top a bit, added sleeves that I left "slashed". And it isn't as cowly as I had hoped, more boat neck than anything. But maybe if I'd gone to the next size up(used size 22) then I would've had more cowl.

It'll be my outfit to wear to my first day of work at the fabric store on Saturday! Can't wait!
And check out the gorgeous spring weather. So much for the forecast rain!

 Woops, bra slipping off my shoulder in this picture, giving me a  very peculiar effect.
*note to self. do not wear this bra with this top*

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's been a while! A lot of changes have happened.

Wow, well it's been over a month. Sorry everyone!
I've been away on holiday and having a bit of a "me" time as there's been a lot going on.

First of all,(the big news is at the end, so read on mcduff!) we missed out on the house with the sewing room. *heavy sigh* But one door closes, another opens right?
We move into a different place in 11 days *gulp* there's a lot of work to be done. I'm living around boxes right now.
No sewing room, but an external hobbies room will eventually be built.
Below are a few pictures.. I've coined my bedroom the "Wizard of Oz" room, for obvious reasons.
It's got a huge wardrobe. 3m long(if not a bit more, I haven't done exact measurements) but no wardrobe doors, ridiculous!!!

 Looking east. Master, lounge, kitchen and my bedroom all open out onto this area, going to be great in summer.

 The kitchen.
Wizard of Oz room. aka my room!  
New drapes are being made as I write this (I am NOT making them myself, no way, no how. But I shall make the roman blind myself, I'll rip that one apart as a pattern and use all the existing hardware) 
The walls shall also be painted, oh and the wardrobe, and the door frames, and the skirting, you name it, it's yellow!

Now for the big news..
I went to get a couple of things from a local homewares store(for the new place, of course!) and they are right beside the local fabric and sewing store, you know, my other home. Where I did my drafting etc.
It just so happened there on the window of the sewing store, was a sign for a retail assistant! In I trotted, spoke to the wonderful owners, and after a couple of days, they let me know I had the job!

I am going to be working in a sewing store, around beautiful fabrics. It's only part time, but will work in perfectly right now with everything that's going on, and my health hasn't been the best lately so it wont put too much stress on me.
The ladies in there are wonderful. I can't wait. I have training this coming tuesday, and then start next Saturday. 
Of course, I need something to wear, don't I?
So last week, I couldn't find a pattern I wanted (and let's face it, after learning to do basic drafting, I wasn't going to spend $20 on a pattern that I could make myself). So I took some time out from everything, and drafted a skirt to fit my new measurements. 
It worked. and looks beautiful!

 Skirt laid out (camera died before I got ones on me!)
It's a basic slightly flared skirt. Faced with the same ribbon as the added hem. And a side invisible zip. Will look great with tights and boots while it's still a bit chilly, and good in summer with flats.

Up close of the skirt hem.

So there is my big news post. A lot has happened, and is about to happen. It's been stressful, but I found drafting my skirt a real escape for me. And it was so quick. Only took about an hour! I can't wait to do MORE!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A sort of sewing day!

It did involve being on the machine. There's little sewing going on here due to all fabric being packed up, so the blog will be quiet over the next few weeks. (4 more days until auction day. eeekk. hopefully the house sells at auction, otherwise the offer on the house my parents are buying, will have to be extended. Stress!!!)

I've been wanting for quite a while, an upholstered headboard, made by yours truly.
Found lots of cool ideas around google and pinterest.com and today, I got it done.

The fabric is a chocolate fake leathery feel fabric, that I topstitched 4 lines on, in a cream topstitching thread. I bought several metres on my trip away last year.
(in the picture, there's a bit of a bugger up on one of the lines. I'll just flip the headboard upside down when I attach it for real, it was only placed there to get a picture and idea of height etc)

I started off with a sheet of MDF, and bought a cheap foam bed topper. Cut the MDF to the size I wanted, then the foam to the same size, and attached with a glue.
Then flipped it over, on top of some cheap polyester batting, where I wrapped this right around the edges and stapled. This was FUN!!! I used a staple gun - gotta get me one of those!!!
Then I divided the board into 3 sections, and marked a straight line on my fabric(with sticky tape!!!), to correspondence with the measurements. I then topstitched 1cm each side of the line.
From here, I lay the foam and batting covered board on the fabric, wrapped it around so all the lines were in the right spot, and stapled to my hearts content. The stapling was the fun part, I had a blast!

I'll eventually hang it up at the new house with a wall cleat (and most likely change the fabric, to match the new curtains that'll be going up.) but for now, I'll attach a couple of boards so I can stand the board up behind my bed.

Must admit, I am actually really pleased with how it turned out. For a first time, I expected a lot of pulls and puckers, so was surprised it came out so well.
A nice quick easy weekend project. (literally only took a couple of hours, and that included me having lunch LOL)

Friday, September 2, 2011

I have no travel sewing kit!

It just dawned upon me - while browsing www.pinterest.com (my new addiction!) that I do not have a travel sewing kit at all. Even people I know who do not sew, have little sewing kits with needle, threads, scissors etc.

Now it means I'm going to need to of course make myself a wee pack up to have either in my car, or in my handbag, for those times when I just need to stitch a button on, or find a stray thread (though this may be slightly awkward standing in a queue and clipping a stray thread on someone in front of me. haha)

Has anyone found a really good kit to buy, I don't just want one of those cheap ones for a couple of dollars. You get what you pay for, scissors that don't cut, thread that doesn't thread, needles that are blunt etc!
Or am I going to need to start collecting bits and bobs to make my own!

Ideas welcome!
No more updates on the house front - another 2 weeks until we know for sure. Can't come soon enough. 7 weeks of waiting is a long long time! Then another 6 weeks until possession - there's a lot of packing to be done.
The fabric closet is now fully packed though.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Giddy with excitement.

I can now finally reveal a few things that I've been keeping from everyone.

First off - the immediate family member had their cancer and the internal organ that it was in, and lymph nodes removed yesterday. All went very well, and it looks like things may just be ok!

Now the best news of all. With this recent development, my parents have decided to sell their house, and move to a smaller one (currently in a large, 4 bed, sunroom, 2 living, sleepout and massive garden, pool etc. too big for them now)
It all started with a combined family argument over moving etc, we'd all been "looking" casually over the last year or so, and after the argument I dragged them out to an open home 3 weeks ago. Well we all fell in love with it then and there.

It's a lot smaller. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and an external HOBBY ROOM! (small garden, no lawn, good size garage still. but the hobby room is the main attraction for me!!) And only a few years old, so no maintenance needed!
See that wee room in the left of the picture? 3mx3m approx. And it's perfect for sewing.
To say that we have already mentally moved everything in there would be an understatement.

 It's currently carpeted, but when we get in there, I will be laying laminate wood flooring.
My parent's dont officially own it yet, but hopefully on the 16th it'll go unconditional. And then it'll be another 6 weeks before we are in (good timing with everything else that's going on. Will hold back the stress a bit)

It's very exciting. Everyone has so many ideas. Though the house is currently full bedroom wise here at the moment, so god knows where everyone is going to fit in the new place. It is a big change though, for my brother, myself, and all the waifes and strays who've been here over the years, this has been "home". Now matter how many times my brother and I have moved out, it's always been here to come back to, for 15 years. We've grown up here, there's been weddings, deaths, new babies. A lot of memories in those 15 years.

What a long post this is! LOL. So I'll end with a couple of photos.
Packing has started, fabric closet has started to be pcked too, ugh what a job!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I've given up on drafting for now!

I've been on this healthy weight loss program for almost a couple of months now. In that time I've lost almost 8kg(17lb) and something insane like 12cm off my hips, 14cm off my bust, 13cm off my waist. I made a mock version of pants from my block I drafted to fit myself 2 months ago, they fell straight off!
Great, but at the same time, it's tricky because I don't want to have to redraft a new block every couple of weeks when I want to make something.
So for now I'll stick with my boring old Big 4 patterns!
But today (after hitting one goal, and also being able to throw on some jeans that haven't fit me in a very long time!!!) I decided I wanted a new pair. So I've got out the Jalie pattern, and am making the low rise version, so everything is smaller, (including my rise LOL)

The cutting table was used to full effect this morning, very exciting. I love it so much, being able to cut a pair of jeans all at once without having to bend, bliss!

There's also some very big developments in my life, hopefully more of which I shall be able to share in the next 48hours or so when one thing gets confirmed.
Though another development is an immediate family member has been diagnosed with Cancer. It's been a massive few weeks trying to get my head around that, and also these other exciting things happening.

Hopefully tomorrow I shall have jean pictures, and amazing news!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

This weeks project - wide leg jeans designed by ME!

so this week, I am taking a step into unknown territory and I'm excited.

I have decided I want a pair of lovely wide leg jeans, no zip in the CF but an invisible zip in the CB. I saw jeans like this and they looked stunning. They'd been top stitched to look like jeans where the zip would normally be, but there was no bulk. Fabulous.

So what do I do? I decide to design them myself, with the changes I want. The front pockets will be straight and angular instead of curved. I'll be doing double stitching down the inner leg seam.

My first ever draft design
(I am not an artist, on paper anyway)

Next time I'll do the back on separate piece of paper as I ran out of room. Otherwise, I'm not that disappointed. They seem to look OK for a first go, but the main thing is, they seem to look how I want them to!

There's going to be a lot of trial and error in muslins, I'm sure. But this is a step for me in the right direction. 
Off I go to start drafting! Wow

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Study then career! My mind is made up!

Well it's taken a lot of soul searching, and internet searching over the years, of finally deciding what I want to do as a career. A lot of people have suggested over the years, I get into the fashion/garment industry. I always kept it in the back of my mind though, as I wasn't fully sure.

These past few weeks of doing my drafting, has helped cement my decisions.
I want to work in the fashion design, or drafting etc area of the garment industry. I have been leaning that way for a while now, but after doing the drafting, my mind was made up.

There are a few different types of opportunities within the industry that I can look at eventually(that would also work in with the possibility of children and a family in the future, unlike a previous career goal that would really put me out of the running for a family), but for now, I plan on upskilling and studying.

For several reasons right now, which I won't go into details of, due to a blog stalker, moving away from my small town is not an option. It will be in the future, but at this current stage, it's a no go. So I shall hopefully be doing one basic correspondence course shortly(should know in the next 2 weeks!) and then doing a much more advanced course that runs on the Teleista pattern technology system, via correspondence too(with the possible opportunity of a few classes in person, but it's at the other end of the country, so I'd have to travel there via plane. but that is an option if I need more help), but I won't be able to start that particular one for at least 6-9 months.

It's a rather exciting decision, and I know it'll be a lot of hard work. But everyone who knows me, knows that once I put my mind to something, I work my arse off to make sure I achieve that goal.

While I don't imagine I'll be a world renound fashion designer - I'd one day love to have my own small line of clothing, even if it was only for family or friends! But the idea of drafting for a company, and walking down the street seeing clothes that *I* have created the pattern for, that's a pretty satisfying and exciting thought.

So here endth my rambling!
Wish I had a picture to add, wordy blog posts are so boring sometimes LOL, I've changed the font so maybe that'll make it a bit more interesting than times new roman!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How did I ever survive?

You know how sometimes you look at an invention, and think "pfftt really, is it really going to be that useful?".
It's a bit like a changing table for a baby, most people scoff at them, but once they've used one, they find how useful they are.

Well this cutting table is like that.
I pulled it out this morning and lifted one leaf up, it fits perfectly in an empty space, and is the perfect size for drafting. So I pulled out my drafting tools, my sleeve cap that I needed to change, and with no bending over, no having to get help to put the trestle table up and taking up space in the lounge(!!!), I changed the cap very easily.
Then I wondered, how on earth did I cope without it. Isn't that silly? 20mins using a new table, and I'm a full convert.
No bending over, no straining, I love it. So does my back, and my head(over 2 weeks of one constant headache now, that goes boom boom boom with bending, argh!).

But truly, if anyone has ever looked at these tables and thought "nah not worth it". You're wrong. LOL

And of course no blog post is complete without a photo.
I saw this painting a few weeks ago, and fell in love. It's massive (1m x 70cm) and had to have it (for an amazing price too. It was a $1 reserve, and didn't get very high)
The photo doesnt do it justice at all.

The more you look at it, the more you see. its so deep, dark, and you kind of walk into it. I can't believe I own it actually, as I turn my head and look at it now!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Look what found its way to my house!

I found a bargain, and got this table for a 3rd of the price they are new, not too bad!

My parents were taking a couple of cars down to the same town to drop off cars and pick other ones up from my brother, so I drove one of the cars down, and had a fabulous weekend with a girlfriend and her friends, and picked the table up on the way home! It worked out perfectly.

So here is the table last night. It's HUGE! like seriously HUGE!  With a working surface of 990mm x 1880mm (39" x 74") and being 87cm high, it's perfect. No bending over on the floor, no having to get help to put up the trestle table. Will do wonders for my back.
Excuse all the stuff around it, the main aim was to get it in the door last night and all the bags etc outa the cars we bought home! lol

The handles were pretty faded and cracked and scratched, so I thought I'd head to the $3 shop and get some cheap wee ones,
here it is with one new handle on. it looks like a new table!
Now I just have to work out how to fit it in the sewing room. It'll be compacted until it's actually needed, otherwise there's no room to walk in the room, woops!

On another bright note, I've now lost a total of 5.5kg(12lb) in a month I think it is. Fantastic! I'm really happy.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pant block photo

Here's a photo of the front pant block traced ready to be cut out.
It is a very satisfying photo for me, because it does look how a pant pattern should look.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Success! Pattern drafting week 5

Gosh really, week 5 already, one more week to go.
So while I didn't get to class this week, the tutor emailed me the instructions, and this morning I hesitantly started drafting my pants block.
Well it took about 1.5hrs to draft the front and back, and the pattern pieces themselves look really good. Fitting of course will be another issue, but wow. It's about time I had a success moment!
They were without a doubt, the easiest thing I've drafted, bizzare eh!

I've got a couple of books coming through the librarys "interloan" system on pattern drafting, to see if they are any good, if they are, I'll buy them from Book Depository.

I feel inspired! Off to buy an old sheet now from the op shop, to make these pants, I'm out of musliny type fabric, and I don't want to use my good stuff for obvious reasons.
So exciting!

Update: It actually doesn't look too bad! There are a few wee alterations needed of course, but wow, disheartened I am not!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A scrumptious piece of fabric!

I bought this gorgeous piece of fabric before, 2.5m for $14! What a bargain.
It's a light wool (possibly a blend, not sure on that)

Isn't it just so divine. I think it'll make a wonderful skirt - out of a pattern that I have drafted myself!!!

I didn't get to class this week, have had an incredibly stressful week that I wish to never repeat and the stress has flared up my glandular fever again. I swore I was dying again last night. Though after this last week, dying probably isn't a joking matter. lol
But my tutor is emailing me through the instructions, so I can work on my pant block at home before next class.

I got up this morning and did some embroidery on the machine for someone. It was after I unhooped it, that I realised I had caught the sleeve into the bodice of the bodysuit. *sigh* It's going to be one of those days!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pattern drafting - week 3 - doing my head in!

Having a very disheartened day today. After putting on my bodice block tuesday evening at class, we sorted out the couple of adjustments that needed to be done. That's fine, I understand what needs to be done and where.
But it's HOW I get those adjustments to be finished. things like lowering the neck line and adding the dart in, I fully understand and it makes full sense. But I have to add approx 10cm to my back waist length.

Now excuse the language, but WTH! I redrafted the pattern fully on thursday afternoon, no such luck, it came out identical. What on earth am I doing wrong? Or misinterpreting.
How the hell do I add 10cm to the back block, it's going to be sloped here there and everywhere. And if it's drafted originally to my back waist length, then why the hell doesn't it fit!!!!!!!!!

I'm truthfully over this bodice block. This is the 3rd week we've all been on it, and it's starting to get very old, very quick.

Next week is pants, btu I honestly see us all having to relook again at the bodice judging by what I spoke to another woman on the class about yesterday.
I wish we could all get one to one help for this bit.
I also feel for the one woman on the class who's bodice was fine first pop. She's had to suffer through the whole thing with us, it's not really fair on her.

So bitching whinging Emma is out in full force today!
I'm just so disheartened by it all. Can't work out what I'm doing wrong! Nightmare!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pattern Drafting - my epic fail and the revisit!

I apologise in advance for the terrible out of focus pics. The camera was not willing to focus today at all. Might have something to do with the wee drop it suffered? (might?? who am I kidding LOL)

The one in the calico is the first version. Crikey. See why I was so utterly disappointed? lol

The next one, is todays version. There are a few wee changes needed here and there (the back neckline is too high, the back of the bodice needs to coem down about an inch. So if the inch went off the neckline, and to the waistline, it'd be perfect.
Finally, the bust points are in the right place. I think this is the part I am happiest about. There is still some gaping that could be eliminated in the armholes(but I do know you need some gaping in the armhole for ease of movement when sleeves are attached), and some slight gaping in the front neckline. But overall, I am 100000000 times happier.

And Fat. boy oh boy. After seeing my pic in my skirt a couple of weeks ago, I almost died. You know how you see yourself, but don't "see" yourself? That was me. Can't believe I let it get this bad. But I have joined www.myfitnesspal.com which is great. I started last monday, so here's hoping there will be a loss! I have just over 37kg to loose. *gulp* but baby steps, is the key.

Enough about that. I'm off to sew some knickers from the fabric I bought earlier this week, and also make a plastic bag holder for a friend! So here are the photos.

 See my bust points? Errr. Wrong!

 Dear, oh dear!

Not a bad fit really!

The whole back needs to be lowered quite a bit.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pattern drafting - week 3 - bodice block AGAIN.

Well last night was week 3. We all had to put on our bodice blocks.
It became fairly apparent, that our measuring SUCKED. We think it was because we are all amatures at this drafting thing, that we weren't exactly sure where to measure. Sure we had a diagram, but with none of us ever having measured anyone else before, we really weren't sure. So we unanimously agreed that our tutor should measure us, and she did. Some of our measurements were wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy out!
We all felt very happy that we were measured correctly, by someone who knew what they were doing.
I think this is all part of learning and personally feel very happy that it happened how it did.
We then redrew our blocks, this time starting with the front, as we all seemed to get very stuck on the front (maybe because we did the back first last week, and attempted the front ourselves?) Mine looks rather good, but the test will be when it's made up in calico or similar this weekend.

And while everyone was getting measured (we all stayed for the first couple)we started to loose people out to the fabric part of the store. LOL. It was so much fun all of us wandering around looking at fabrics, some times they choose something that you'd never normally look at.
So today, I bought enough fabric to make a few pairs of knickers. It's beautiful fabric and as the store owners are due to have a baby over the next few weeks, they've started a sale, that is running until baby is born! Great idea.

This weeks lesson?
Measure twice - cut once

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pattern Drafting - week 2 - My Block

Right, so I finished drafting my block this morning for front and back bodice. It doesn't look too bad on paper.

 Here you can see what I mean about using pencils only ;)


Back curve and front curve before I cut the pattern out.

So, once this was all cut out, I got it sewn up in calico (muslin)
Put an invisible zip in the CB seam, beautiful first time round *takes a bow*. 
Got everything all stitched together, put it on and oh dear!
The pics will come when the light is a bit better, another dreary rainy day but lets see if I can remember what was wrong with it. 
The bust points were too high, and too close to my CF.
The armholes gaped like crazy. 
The neckline was all gapey. 
I didn't even look at the location of the back darts, I was too disheartened.
Would make a cool bodice for a dress though when it fits right. It's just a block, but I'd like a nice dress like that.

So to end on a high note - 
How do you catch a unique bird??
*scroll down*

You-neek up on it..
courtesy of my mother - I couldn't come up with something that lame!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pattern Drafting - week 2

Right, so week two of pattern drafting has been and gone. I've just got home and had some tea (10pm argh) and now it's my wind down time. I hate night courses, I'm so past my bed time.

We all tried our skirts on. The only thing I need to do is alter my dart placement, and take about 1/2 the SA off, so it's a bit looser. Otherwise it's not too bad. I'm rather happy with that.
Then we got to tonights drafting - the bodice. Cue a happy Emma moment!

I was so excited. Got everything going well, and then I hit the shoulders. Cue Emma so utterly confused moment. It really started to get me so confused, add X here "but I've already added X there so do I need to add more to X" ARGH! LOL.  In the end, I think I got it, but I guess the real test, will be when I put it on. But we all had a wee bit of trouble with the same thing, so I didn't feel totally out in the cold.

We only had enough time to draft the back, so have been given notes to draft the front. How is that for scary! I hopefully will understand it more having the notes and images in front of me, and not havign others saying their measurements out loud while I'm trying to think of mine. I can't wait though, and then will hopefully get it made in time for next weeks class - the sleeves!

My french curve hasn't arrived yet - hopefully it's not too far away, because I could really use it.
I bought one from www.sewessentials.co.uk for a great price.

Biggest lesson learnt this week? 
Pens don't erase when you make a serious screw up!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A fabulous invention!

How great is this wee tool!

It snaps (magnetically) onto the side of your scissor blades, so you can cut however far aside from your pattern for a SA! No need to painstakingly go around and mark the SA.
Great for Burda patterns, and SELF DRAFTED! I neeeeed these!
Only $15AUD ($20NZD, $15.80USD)
Fantastic idea.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Block made up

Right. So here is my first skirt block made up. In calico. Excuse the terribly lit pictures, it's shocking weather here today so there was lots of fluorescent lighting goin on!

Overall, it's not too bad. The hips need a wee bit of work as you can see.

 Side YIKES!
WW here I come

Back.. sigh

Next week I'm assuming we will learn how to make those slight adjustments needed here and there.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My skirt block.

So here are some basic pics so far, I haven't got around to cutting out the pattern pieces yet as you can see, but it's interesting to see it like this, as you can see it's all been drawn as one, and it all started from a rectangle.

The pictures aren't that good, the pen color vs paper color isn't crash hot for photographing. The Back is on the left, front on the right.
You can also see the back curves down slightly at the CB, to accomodate the lift of the skirt from the bum. I've overexposed one of the pics so you can see this shape in full.

I'm really looking forward to cutting this out and getting it made up in calico.


 Full view of back.

 Front and back side by side

Close up of back

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Who needs sleep, really?

So I had my first pattern drafting class last night! 7-9pm. It was great fun! But of course by the time I get home, grab some tea etc it's late, and then my mind was buzzing buzzing buzzing with everything that happened in class. I got 6hrs sleep. Not enough for me right now, I'm suffering enough day to day on 9hours sleep, it seems the mono keeps knockign me back!

Anyway, the class.

It was great. We took all our measurements EEK. And then got straight into it. I now have a skirt block, made to my measurements.
That has to be made up before our next class. After I got home and was thinking about the pattern, I realised that given my waist is significantly smaller than my hips, there's quite a significant curve from waist to hip so the waist is a lot smaller, and I'm wondering how on earth I'm going to get this test skirt above my hips! LOL. I am thinking that I may need to add an invisible zip to the side seam so I can put it on.

It was great fun. So now I've got a good idea of what extra wee tools I need for the class, and am going to endeavour to get them before the next class.
Do you know I CANNOT draw a square. Well I can, but do you know it ends up on a huge crooked angle?
I need a tsquare, so everything comes out nice and square. Or some handy quilters ruler with grid marks so I can get it dead square.
I also noticed my sewers curve (not a french curve) is just slightly too small length wise, so I need to get a french curve as well to add to the inventory!

Now everyone realises that NZ runs on the metric system. Except as I use SO many downloaded patterns, mainly created using the Imperial system, I find that a lot easier to use. So everyone else in the class was using metric, and here's me, the youngest, using imperial.
I might try change next week, just so I can be fluid with everyone else.

So now it's 612am, and I am exhausted, with a huge day ahead. But I'm happy and excited, and can't wait for next week. Or friday when I can start on my muslin block!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One week today - so excited!

I'm so very excited. This time next week I'll just be arriving home from my first pattern drafting course. I have everything I need!
Hopefully I find it really enjoyable and get a lot of knowledge out of it so I can really make sewing my own.

On a good note, our only pattern/sewing store finally sells Vogue patterns, I did a wee scream of glee! And then was disappointed when I found out they are not sourcing Butterick or McCalls. I really thought that having Vogue would mean all BMV! 

Bought Burda 3-11 the other day too, some great plus sized tee and long sleeved basic top, which I love for layering in winter, that will be my project over the next weekend. It's getting really chilly here, we had our first frost of the year, beautiful, but brrr!
This issue has wedding dresses in it. Well, I am shocked, they are hideous. 
You can see the line drawings of them on this page.

I'm slowly getting over the Glandular Fever (mono), every so often I start to feel a bit worn out and need to rest. Today I thought I'd lie down for a wee bit, and woke 3hours later, woops! 

A bit of a boring post, I wish I had some cool photo or something to add to this. But bring on next week when I start the course, there'll be photos of something I'm sure!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A bit of fun!

I am getting really excited about my drafting course starting in a couple of weeks. So I finally added the wee finishing touches to my folio I made, to keep all my rulers, pencils etc together.
The picture isn't that crash hot, but you get the idea.

I am loving this tarty girl on the front, it was a fab design from www.embroiderydesigns.com and she is so gorgeous I just couldn't resist. The text was part of the design too, she's actually holding a needle and sitting on a thimble, how fab!

inside there's a wee zipper pocket for pins, erasers etc, anything that can fall out. It looks a bit upside downish, and that's because it is really. I made a big muck up, did all the pockets beautifully, and then realised when I fold the folio closed, everything drops, woops. so I just restitched without moving the pockets (lazy as can be) but it works, and that's all that matters.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

2 days left to vote!

Voting is almost ready to close for the Lined Jacket contest.
Head over to Pattern Review and check out the incredible entries! We are a talented bunch over there, that's for sure!!

Pattern Review Lined Jacket Contest Gallery

I'm doing slightly better, the glandular fever hasn't affected me like I expected it would. I think the worst of it must've been when I was sure I was dying haha.
Just still taking it easy, I get exhausted if I do too much.

Have fun looking and voting over at PR :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm alive still - just..

No really, I swear these past few days, I've been dying. Although today is looking better, so don't get sewing for something to wear to the funeral just yet ;o)

I've been rather ill these past few weeks, and came down with a terrible cold a few days ago.
So there's been no sewing going on in these parts at all. I can't even think of something I'd like to make, how unlike me is that.
But I have been filling my resting time, with a book, and I just thought I had to write about it.

I usually read only in bed, before going to sleep, so I never want something too heavy that will make my mind race, I like light, chic lit type stuff.
This book is called The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, by Eva Rice.

It's set in the 50s, and well it involves a girl who makes her own clothes, and a lot of parties so of course - fashion. See why I enjoy it now??
The novelist truly works wonders in transporting you back to that time, as though you are one of the characters. It's almost a blissful book to read. It takes you into Selfridges, shopping for gowns, into beautiful old medieval english houses, into the Ritz for dinner parties.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it (all 5 times over the past year lol) and just thought I'd tell you all who were interested in a light hearted chicklit read, it's a great book.

So once again, not about sewing. But it is there, slightly.
Hopefully I get my sewing mojo back in the next wee while. I'm hanging out for my pattern drafting class to start in a month!

Update: Doctors office rang today. Tests came back positive for Glandular Fever (mono..) No wonder I felt like I was dying! lol

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Home Deco Sewing Sucks.

How's that for a positive start to a blog post!

So I got the curtains done, (but not the lining). They looked fab!!! Then came the task of doing the lining. I find that stage very similar to coat making, once I've done the main fabric, I'm sick of it, and just want them to be finished.

I haven't really been in a good headspace this week, and so my darling mother picked up her needle and threat and tacked the lining on. It was originally going to be a detachable lining, but with my tracks, and location of the hooks etc, it would've been too full, and looked rather messy.

So I have 3 up, and they are lovely. The pleats need to set in a bit, I think I'll get them steam pressed properly. But for now, here's a picture. I was very surprised how well the gold print matches with my wall color.  And I'm loving the blackout lining.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Call me crazy!

Because I'm heading there rather quickly!

I've just prewashed 11m of gorgeous fabric to cut curtains! First ever home dec project, it'll be interesting for sure.

Friday involved a jaunt to another town, for Spotlight (a bit like Joanns). I got the curtain fabric, and some lovely cotton sateen drill, so made another pair of Vogue pants. unfortunately after finishing them I ended up in the after hours for a few hours, with a lot of stomach and chest pains. Fibro related apparently.

So I'm yet to get pictures of the Project Nightmare from the other day, and the pants.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The cutest sewing machine - period!

 I came across this earlier on Trademe. Has to be, without a doubt, the cutest sewing machine I've ever seen. It's so teeny tiny!

Today has been a day of sewing. 
  • A day of breaking 5 needles on one project - no, I wasn't sewing over pins.
  • A day of hemming about 4 metres of fabric
  • A day of 6mm seam allowances. Why Kwik Sew has 6mm SAs I'll never know. I couldn't even overlock them, my narrowest overlock stitch was too wide. 
Photos to come tomorrow. When my fingers have recovered from the nightmare of pinning tough fabric.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pattern Drafting - a tad daunting, or not so much.

Well, I'm rather excited in the fact I'm going to be taking a Pattern Drafting course, right here at my local store! No mail order things, I get to see it, in person, woohoo! Just to even learn the absolute basics will be fantastic.
I have 1.5 months to wait though, that's going to seem like forever!

Two nights ago, I was daunted and really pondering my ability to do this. Sure I could work out the sloper etc, but it's what comes next that had me a bit concerned.
Then last night, I did some Googling, and came across a few things.

The first two, are pattern making "rulers". But it's a ruler, where you mark all your points here and there, and just draw in the curves, making your sloper in literally a couple of minutes. No fiddling around with maths here and there etc

Easy Pattern Making - this is cool. And I emailed to ask what size they go up to (plus size by the way. 140cm bust) and she mentioned a friend of hers has just moved to NZ - the South Island even and is starting a Sewing and Pattern Making School. So I've made contact with her to see what area she is going to be in. I'd die if it was mine! LOL.

Maria Martin Designs - The Pattern Drafter - This is along similar lines to the above one. There's some great wee snippets in her Book section too.

The second was Sure-Fit Designs. This has been around since 1982! It's quite amazing, and I love the idea that there are dozens of sizes. Would be wonderful if you were sewing for other family members, or even selling your garments, just input the measurements, and connect them to make the sloper. Then you've got a block for everyone. It's pretty amazing.
I watched a couple of the videos on doing different things to your sloper to change them, and it just started to make total sense in my wee brain!

I'm totally revved up and ready to go, it's 646am, so I must be excited.
I now feel like I am going in with just a small bit of knowledge, whereas I felt like I knew nothing beforehand.

Hurry up "needs" list for my class, so I can get buying on the rulers etc!

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Dream Shoes - Wowsers

So check what Erica B just posted on her blog.

I just fell in love 10 times over and have never wanted shoes so much. Wow, wow, wow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vogue 2064 - wide legged pants

I've been on the look out for decent wide legged pants for ages! In plus size even.

Then I found Vogue 2064 in my stash of all places. who would've thought I had a decent pattern in my stash all along.

Well this would have to be one of the easiest patterns I've made ever. (I seem to be gravitating towards easy quick satisfying patterns lately!)
There are 2 seams, the inner leg seam, and the crotch seam. That's it. No side seams, no adding on waistbands etc.
I used size 22, but with my ridiculous shaped stomach and hips I added on 20cm total (eeeekkk!) to the very top and slowly graduated it back to nil.

The pants have an elastic waist, but I ended up not even having to add the elastic in, they pull on perfectly, and stay on. Fantastic! They whipped up in about 1.5hrs by the time I'd handstitched the hem.

I love them. Nice and comfy, but cool

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another satisfying wee project

A friends sister recently escaped from Christchurch after the quake, pregnant with only a couple of weeks to go. Her husband, son and herself came up here to get away while she had the baby and be in a good environment with running water, sewerage systems etc. She bought lots of wee newborn girly clothes with her to be prepared.

And then finally, out came the most gorgeous 11lb 8oz baby! Far too big for newborn clothes!

So I whipped up a wee Aline dress with a pattern from Scientific Seamstress. I love her patterns, and also have her Sis Boom Carly Bubble Romper, it's a wonderful pattern, and ultra cute. It's such a quick and easy pattern, can sew it up in under an hour. Makes a great gift for baby showers etc. 

Unfortunately I didn't grab a photo of the wee dress before I took it round, but she's going to get a photo and send it to me at some stage, so hopefully I can post a photo on here for you all to see.
With it being totally reversible, I used a minky dimple dot on one side, and a wee cotton pink retro print on the other.

I've made it before though, and have a picture of a previous one. Shame about the lining being thin, didn't think of that first did I ;)

So there is another quick project from me. I'm loving them at the moment!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Slouchy Saturday Sewing

There's nothing like a quick easy project to make on a dull saturday afternoon.

Coming into winter here, and I'm sorely lacking long sleeved tops. On my trip to Auckland last year, I bought the most scrumptious Black merino blend from Designer textiles for $5/m which has been sitting uncut just taunting me. I like it more than my full merino, strange!

So here is Burda 7456.

Pattern Description:
Cowl Neck tops with waistband and differing sleeve lengths

Pattern Sizing:
I did a size 24 everywhere, except the front side seams where I used a size 26. First time I've ever morphed sizes, I've always been afraid to for some reason.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Very similar.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
EASY! This would have to be one of the easiest things I've made. Will make more just because it is so easy. You can whip it up in a couple of hours. Great if you've got nothing to wear that night!
The front and back waistband (as called on the guide sheets) were actually named "ankle band" on the pattern pieces. Thought it was rather strange, but it gave me a good laugh!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Love the cowl neck, love the raglan sleeves, love the slouchiness.
Only thing I didn't like, was after attaching the cowl, the instructions say to use a twin needle to stitch the seam allowance down. I thought it was a bit of a waste, considering you never see it, so just edge stitched.

Fabric Used:
The most scrumptious merino knit blend. Bought for $5/m, and I love it so much more than my 100% merino.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
No changes at all, aside from the size 26 instead of 24 on the side front seams. I measured across the front of the pattern, and wanted just that bit of extra room across my stomach and bust as usual, am pleased I did use that one size up.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely. It's a whip up in an afternoon pattern, very versatile. Anyone could make this, it's such an easy pattern.

I love it. I like my slouchy winter tops, and this is just perfect. Its comfortable, not restricting, and you feel like you could wear it out to dinner, as well as just blob in front of the fire with it on. Plus it's yummy merino.

Apologies for the bad hanger pic, as my father always says "it looks nothing on a coathanger"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Divine Inspiration.

You know how you just stumble across something, that you weren't even looking for, and fall in love?
That happened to me this morning.

I was looking at Colette Patterns blog, with her post about Elizabeth Hawes.
And then, all of a sudden, this dress caught my eye and it quite seriously took my breath away.

Diamond Horseshoe 1936

How utterly incredible is that. The front is quite plain, except for the few panels coming up to the front. Probably because the back is the main feature of the dress!
But it's the back that grabs me. The panelling, the way that fabric just drapes, it was a real wow moment.
Followed very quickly by an - "I have to make that" moment.
So whether it's going to one day be a wedding day dress, or just a "wow, look at that, I made it" dress, or a dress for when I finally drop all this weight, I don't know! I just have to make it.