Monday, August 31, 2009

Sewing Room

My sewing room is also our guest bedroom and gets used for this purpose around twice a year and has a double bed taking up a large amount of room in a small area. I have been discussing this with DH for a while and he designed a way for the bed to be raised against one wall.

This made my day on Sunday when he finally installed it (Roscoe just had to check out the extra space). I have soooo much more room to move around and I am still playing around with the poistioning of things but am rather restricted by doors, windows, French doors and the buit-in wardrobe but I am still smiling from ear to ear when I walk in the door.

Here is how it is set up at present.

This is where I think the cutting table will live and the slats on the bed base could be used for hanging my rulers from and I can also see it would be useful for draping fabric from for picture taking.

Now in the corner are my sewing machines on a Horn Cabinet. This is the next thing I want to find a solution for. I have a Janome Memory Craft 3500, Janome CP 1000 and my old faithful Singer 14u 34B basic overlocker. In the wardrobe is my old Janome JD1818 which is a great back-up machines. Now the Horn Cabinet worked very well when I only had two machines, but now when I want to sew knits I use the three machines for various sections and I am finding it very frustrating rearranging the three machines so I can sew. I would dearly love a corner type desk that will hold the 3 machines and then get some moveable drawers for underneath for storage that can be hidden when guests come and move out into the room when I want to sew.

On the opposite wall is the built-in-wardrobe. Half of this has my fabrics, magazines and books in and the other half is the linen cupboard (can't find anywhere else to put this). I have even started putting some fabrics in boxes on the top of the wardrobe.

Now one thing I will miss is that the double bed provided a very large flat area that I could lay out all my bits and pieces on, however I don't think this will cause me too much grief.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Look what the Postie delivered

JoAnns in the US regularly have Simplicity Patterns $5 for $5 which is just unbelievable. Even with our exchange rate and postage I received 5 patterns for $20 Australian Dollars, you can’t get patterns that cheap here even with the sales on.

One of the main reasons I was keen to get my hands on these patterns was that at Pattern Review they were having a Simplicity 2603 Cardi sew-along and after watching the video and seeing it made up by all sorts of shapes and sizes and looking good on all, I felt this would be a good top layer for someone who is always cold.

Luckily for me one of the lovely ladies on Pattern Review offered to purchase the patterns on my behalf and post them to me.

So I ordered 2 of 2603, one for me and one for DS; DS wanted 2648 and I liked the look of this so ordered I ordered one myself as well and then Amanda from Amanda's Adventures in Sewing made 3775 in a cute floral so thought I would add this to my pattern stash.

On Saturday I had to go to Spotlight to get some stretch sewing needles to sew my knit garments for the WiaW.

Of course I had just collected the patterns from the post office, so you never let an opportunity go buy to purchase fabric so I just had to check out what knit fabrics I could find and trying to keep away from brown I chose this turquoise "Dry Knit" Polyester/Spandex at $10.95m.

It does have a nice drape, but after purchasing it I did think that it may be a bit thick for the knot tying that goes with the various wearable variations of the cardigan. I did see a very nice patterned knit with the pattern on both sides that would be wonderful, just not sure if it would be too much in this style.

First of all I need to hem those pants.

Not quite finished

With all the good intentions, my plans didn't work out for WiaW.

DH came home with a cold last week and by Friday I was thanking my lucky stars that I had't managed to get it, unfortunately I came down with the sore throat and stuffy head that night.

I had managed to sew the Black and Burgundy Wool pants during the week after some major frog stitching and letting the seams out, and these are up to the hemming stage for both the pants and their linings.

The Mauve cross over top was next on the list. This is the first time I have sewn mesh and I have learnt a few things maybe about this mesh in particular e.g. when I sewed the Seams Great around the neckline I usually pull this reasonably tight to prevent gaposis, however after I had coverstitched the tape under, the side seams didn't line up, so frog stitching again, the coverstitch is quick to unpick once you find the looper thread but the zig zag I used for the Seams Great took forever. Second attempt was much more successful until this afternoon.

I have learnt a very large lesson - do not to touch the overlocker when I'm not feeling 100%.

When I first did the coverstitch hem on the neckline of the cross over top it just wasn't working so I logged onto Pattern Review - Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers Message Boards and I found under Vonnevo's Tips to use the Bostik BluStik to glue down the hems and once dry this gives the mesh enough body for the coverstitch and it washes out in the wash. It worked brilliantly.

The plan is to finish the pants and make up the mauve cowl neck top and take my mesh top to the next ASG day to see if any of the ladies there can show me a creative way to fix this.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Giraffe Toile

I thought I had better toile the cowl neck pattern that I drafted this week to make sure it works before I cut out the mauve merino wool. The base pattern is V8151 and I have used the tutorial by Pamela Kerr in the Australian Stitches Magazine Vol 14, No.3 page 30 to draft the pattern changes and construct the cowl pattern.

This has been a quick put together and the hems still need to be done, but I am quite happy with the cowl drape and look of the pattern and will finish it.

This is a knit fabric that velowsewer gave me a little while back and it has an elongation ease of 80% (using Christine Jonson's "Perfect Sewing" Worksheet) and the Merino Wool has 100% elongation so I may need to reduce the length of the cowl.

Friday is nearly here, but I will have to wait until I get home from work to start sewing.

(Sorry about the grainy photo, not sure what I did wrong)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WiaW - Prep Week

I'm almost ready!

I've cut out the black and burgundy wool pants and their lining and have pinned the darts and inner leg seams for the first sit down at the machine, also the bobbins have been wound for both and all the pieces are together in their zip lock bags with the invisible zips and threads.

The Burgundy Abstract Mesh Print Cross-over top is cut out after much fiddling to make sure there would be no bull-eye's present once finished.

Trying to follow instructions on how to adjust your knit t-shirt pattern to create a cowl collar is not the easiest thing to do at night after work, but at last I got the pattern finished last night and might try and sew up a quick toile tonight before I cut into the Mauve Merino Wool.

Chanel Fabric

I have found my fabric for my Chanel Jacket.

I visited The Fabric Store last Friday afternoon and found this wonderful tweed and it was on sale as well.

It has a cream base with mauve, aubergine, brown through it and it really lifts my aubergine wool. I'm so happy.

I am trying to find some interesting lining to use. I keep changing my mind about my trim, will I use the fringed edge or braid. I have 2 Chanel jackets and they both have braid and I think I do prefer this style.

One of my problems is that I'm having problems finding any trims here in Sydney so if anyone knows where I can look please let me know. My sister is visiting me from Brisbane this weekend, so I will give her a sample of both of my fabrics so she can visit Scakfs Fabrics (who advertise such wonderful trims in the Australian Stitches Magazine) for me when she goes home to see what they can come up with.

Last week this book found it's way to my home.

I must admit to not reading too much at this stage, I've been busy getting my prep week in order for the WiaW.

Australian Stitches - Volume 14

I'm slowly getting these done.

Here is the Index for Volume 14 please take a copy if you want.

I have also sent a copy to Lynn Cook, Editor of Australian Stitches.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wardrobe In A Week

Over on Stitchers Guild they are holding a second Wardrobe in a Week ("WiaW") contest and I had decided to join up just before we went on holidays.

WiaW's idea is to create 4 pieces that match any combination of the 4 e.g. three tops and one bottom, or three bottoms and a purse - all that matters is out of the four things if you wore two of them on the same day together you would not look out of place.

It is actually over two weeks, you have a Prep Week and A Sewing Week as follows:

Prep week: Friday August 14th from 7:00 am wherever you are to Thursday August 20th 11:00 p.m.- Cut, mark and interface, first pin, any of your garment fabrics, wind bobbins - any activity that in fact does not involve actual needle piercing fabric sewing.

Sewing week: Friday 7:00 a.m. August 21st wherever you are and ending 11:00 p.m. (really we shouldn't be sewing till midnight) August 30, which is a Sunday.

No rules on pictures or posting, but if you can put up pictures on Stitchers Guild WiaW site that would be good because everyone wants to see what you are making.

The prize is that if you complete four compatible pieces by the deadline you get to go out and buy for yourself a yard (or meter) of fabric you really want - one for each garment completed, so that means that every finisher wins four meters (or yards) of fabric that they really love. If anyone in the family asks why you are buying more fabric you can quite truthfully say that it is because you have won a contest. Personally I think this clause is bullet proof.”

These are my fabrics:

As I am desparate for pants in the cold office I work in, I have decided to make 2 pairs of pants and two tops as follows:

Vogue 9537 is my TNT Pant pattern and I am going to make up the black and burgundy wool in the first pair on the left on the pattern envelope, and will fully line both pairs.

Butterick 3344 is my TNT Cross Over top pattern which I have made here. I will be using the Abstraction Print Mesh Burgundy that I purchased from KnitWit last week.

Vogue 8151 - view B, round neck and make it up in the Mauve Merino Wool. This is the pattern I used for this top and I am tempted to add a cowl neckline as described in a few tutorials in the Australian Stitches Magazines (yeah I can search for key words in the excel indexes I have crearted and can find them so easily!!).

Today I purcahsed the lining, zips and threads and DH goes to Thredbo for 9 days tomorrow night so I can set myself up in the lounge/dining room and have fun Character Smileys

Sunday, August 9, 2009

McCall's 5464

Last October at the ASG Conference in Queensland I did a Palmer Pletsch fit workshop with Wendy McKinnon and we worked on this pattern. I ended up doing View B with C neckline mainly because this is what I had cut out and tapped around all the curves for the tissue fitting. This was the first garment that I did a FBA on and doing this on a princess dart was a lot of fun, however we did get there.

This is my toile of the pattern adjustments in this polyester green/grey tweed fabric that was in my stash. I cut out the fabric and lining the other Friday night and had finished it to hemming stage by Sunday afternoon and then it has sat around for weeks waiting for me to hem it which I managed today.

Now I was either wearing a very new bra for that class or gravity has been at work as I have a curve which isn't being filled out above the girls so I will need to adjust this for the next version.

The back looks pretty good and the final test will be wearing this to work.

I had also been reading Yorkshire Lass's post about using scrap fabrics to create bias strips so decided to try this out instead of using the facings for the neckline and armholes and I'm very happy with the result.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Go Chanel or Go Home

I've joined a Sew-Along for a Chanel jacket. I just can't get enough of them and the burgundy wool that I purchased when we went to Melbourne just needs a Chanel Jacket to go with it.

I will be using Vogue 7975 as I did for this Jacket which gets worn to all the different activities of my life. I only have a small adjustment to do at the neckline at the centre front, the edges overlap :)

One of my sewing buddies has samples of the Linton Tweed so I am keen to have another look at these.

I also really like how Lindsay T has made a Summer Version of the Jacket and this is may be another one that I will make for Summer.

There is so much inspiration on the Go Chanel or Go Home Sew-Along thread that I will change my mind a million times.