Sunday, September 28, 2008

McCall's 5391 Fashion shots

Brian has a new flash for his camera, so I decided he could practice using it taking some photos of me (a rare occurrence!). I wanted a new avatar photo as well as some photos of the McCall's short 5391 that I have just finished. Here in Toowoomba it is Springtime and the town celebrates with a 'Carnival of Flowers' . We went to one of the parks and took lots of photos along with all the other tourists!
Here are a few shots of the shorts. Notice I am wearing my Burda wof top from this previous post.

As we are in drought and we cannot water as much here the gardens are not as extensive as they used to be. So to make up for this the Council encourages artists to display artworks in places where gardens would have been. There is a really interesting stainless steel sculpture in this particular park. It is a cube but it gives interesting reflections. Kids love it - which you can tell by all the sticky fingerprints, but so did I - here is my reflection in the cube...
More photos and details of the shorts can be found in my review of the pattern - here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another successful shopping day

I have been wanting to make Burda wof 05-2008-105 for a while now.

I have been looking for a fabric and also checking out the fabric shops for a suitable buckle. I decided it may be better to find the buckle becuase if I find fabric but could not find a suitable buckle then the dress would not happen. I hadn't been able to find a suitable buckle in the fabric stores, so I had thought I would need to go op-shopping to get a buckle I liked. However today I dropped by Quiltfest and one of the stallholders sold vintage buttons and buckles and I found this mother-of pearl buckle.

I love it and now need to find a fabric. I am swaying toward a plain fabric (ie not a print). My local Gardams sell a beautiful jersey which comes in brown, black or red. The brown or black would work - maybe the brown to offset the colour of the mother-of-pearl. I wouldn't mind a lovely deep green, so I may have to look further yet before I decide...hhhhhhmmm...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shopping the blahs away...

I have been feeling a bit blah so asked Caity to spend a girly shopping day with me today. We had a really great day and successful too! Of course we ended up at Gardams where Caity bought the most gorgeous fabric and pattern for a 'frock-up' high tea we have been invited to. I also decided I needed a new frock so decided to use a pattern I had bought previously M5039:

And bought this silk fabric to make it with. I also bought some Jap Silk (I think that is what Nettie called it) in a beautiful green to make a slip with to go under the silk as it is a bit diaphanous.

Caity, luckily provided the slip pattern from her pattern as she doesn't need it for the version of her dress. So I am now all set! Nearly... I didn't have the pattern with me and as this pattern is not available in Australia (and therefore not in the shop) I had to phone home to find out how much fabric to buy. I have these details in a little book in which I keep a picture of my patterns along with fabric amounts. I managed to direct my youngest to find the book but he could not find the 'dress' section as I had it listed in my book as 'frocks'! That's boys for you. Anyway I didn't know what notions I needed so will have to pick up a zip and some elastic.

I do plan to make a pair of shorts also this week as I am going camping for a few days at the end of next week. I am hoping to be in sewing heaven for the next few days as I don't have to work (hopefully!) Yippee - blahs are banished for now!!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Little Summer Skirt

I made another skirt with Simplicity 4138. The previous one was made in a cream crepe-type fabric and I have been looking for a pretty floaty fabric to make another one.

I found an inexpensive fabric at Mass fabrics (oops Make it Fabrics - been in Toowoomba long enough I am hanging on to the old shop name) which I assume is a poly but very pretty. I bought a nice cream cotton for a lining and made this pretty little summer skirt.

I used the rolled hem on my overlocker for the first time and was very happy with it. this is the finished result.

The rolled hem on the cotton was easy and went on beautifully. The poly was not so simple. I had to keep the tension on the fabric being fed in and coming out to get a good hem. Otherwise this happened. It happened a few times before I caught on to what was going on. So the skirt got shorter and shorter as I tried to get the perfect rolled hem.

I thought I had it licked but saw the above boo-boo when I was wearing the skirt today. I think I will try and hand sew this glitch some how. Its a pretty little skirt but probably won't live beyond this one season.

I also realise I need to practice my rolled hem before I try it on a more expensive floaty fabric!

You can't see it well in the photo but I am wearing my new summer sandals in pink and brown - it is amazing how many things a pair of pink sandals go with!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New dog

Dog has lost his winter coat. This is him before his haircut. I think he looks like Grover off Sesame Street around his mouth. And this is him after.

He is so excited after his haircut that it is difficult to get a good photo. He is all energised and renewed after a haircut! The worst thing is that just as I was going to put his collar and leash on to take him to the groomers, I noticed a terrible smell. It was the dog. He had gone and rolled in something super gross 5 minutes before we had to go. He smelt so manky I had to put a towel underneath him in the car and drive there with the windows open! It was really embarrassing to walk in with him so fragrant! Anyway they were very nice about it and even washed his collar for me.

I made a replacement for my favorite T-shirt form the Hot Patterns T-shirt pattern.

I am not jumping with joy with this pattern. It is OK but the main issue is that it is too short. Obviously I should have measured it before I made it. I do consider this shirt a wearable muslin though so made it directly form the pattern. I used a cotton interlock from Spotlight which has a nice feel but only cost about $7/ metre. I will still use this top but when I make more I will definitely make the top about 2" longer.

Review is here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My favourite colour is chocolate.

OK another top from the chocolate Valencia.

Burda wof 06-2008-109. I really enjoyed making this top - until I got to the zip. The rest was fun - pure sewing joy - the zip , well it just didn't behave quite as it should. I used the over locker or my sewing machine with a walking foot for the rest of the sewing, but the zip foot did not play so well with this fabric. The fabric wanted to move and stretch at a different pace to the foot. I found I had to stop every few stitches and lift the foot and realign the fabric so it didn't pucker. Also the second time I stitched it I left the zip closed so I could be sure the fabric was where it was supposed to be . The first time, even though I basted it, the fabric moved and the pocket and bottom band did not line up anymore when the zip was done up. Anyway it was the only reverse sewing I did in the whole top so that is probably pretty good!

Review is here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Summer Week-end Wardrobe SWAP

After I finished the last Burda top, I realised I was sewing casual items as that is what I think I need at the moment as the weather warms up and we plan our first camping holiday. I had already purchased some blackish denim fabric and a shorts pattern thinking I needed more week-end wear so when I realised this was the direction I was going at the moment I decided to formalise my plan. So here is my week-end wear SWAP...

The top I have already made is included as is a esprit skirt I purchased while on holiday.

Whaddya think?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Successful afternoon

I have spent the afternoon making Burda wof 07-2008-118B. It went reasonable smoothly and wasn't at all hard to make, however I have one major issue with it - the shoulders are a bit wide and feel like they want to slide off. It may be that I stretched the neck edge when I sewed it (it is a stretch net on the yoke & sleeve bands and Valencia from Spotlight for the rest). I am slightly hopeful that the yoke may settle down when I wash it - I hope so anyway. I also shortened it - I don't think I am a tunic kind of person (plus it would have been too tight over the hips).

I had more success with the twin needle stitching than I have been having with some of the tops I have been making. I used a narrower twin needle and used woolly nylon in the bobbin. The woolly nylon certainly does add more stretch to the stitch. I do get some skipping of stitches though. I am using a stitch length of about 3.5 and slowing the stitch speed right down. I am wondering if I might need to get my machine serviced as I didn't have this many problems earlier with skipped stitches. There was no 'tunnelling' with this hem though. I get mixed results on the 'tunnelling' depending on how light the fabric is. I am hoping the narrower twin needle will help with this.
The 'Valencia' from Spotlight is actually quite nice to work with. The twin needle didn't 'tunnel' and the fabric has a nice silky feel. It will be interesting to see how it washes and wears.

Review is here.

Happy Fathers Day and fabric shopping...

Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's and I hope everyone is having a pleasant, relaxing day today! I cooked the father of my children a special breakfast this morning. Each egg was a double yolker - so I had to take a photo! I do buy free range eggs as I refuse to support the caged bird industry, but I don't know what happened to get four double-yolkers!

I have made some clothes lately and used some stash up but I still seem to buy more than I use. These are this week's purchases. The first one on the left is a linen I plan to make a wrap-around skirt from. The yellow jersey is intended for yet another jalie twist top and the dark fabric on the end is a black'ish denim I plan to make shorts from. Well they are getting washed now and I have to start tracing some patterns out.

Tell me how do I not get in to the viscous cycle of buying more fabric than I have time to sew? Oh well, I suppose the planning and playing with fabric is all part of the fun...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jalie Twist top

I bought some new fabric at Gardams this week for a Jalie Twist top and decided to make it up last week-end as well as make one up in some fabric I purchased earlier. These are fabulous tops - I have already worn the sleeveless version to work. The sleeveless version was made with the 'modesty panel' (that term always makes me want to giggle in a twittering kind of way) so I can use it for work. I had hoped to add the flounce, but realised the fabric had a right side and a wrong side. Oh well, I will have to find some more fabric to make up one with the flounce.
The only problem I found with this top is that the modesty panel slips down so I may have to tack it with a few stitches on the neck edge.
The fabric I bought from Gardams is what I call a "grrrrowl" fabric (or what Caity might call "footballer's wives") and so had I had to go the whole hog on this top and did not add the modesty panel. I made the three quarter sleeve version and found I needed the neck ties on the back to hold the shoulders on nicely. I didn't find I needed them for the sleeveless version so I left the ties off that one.

Hubby calls this my 'cougar' top and I had to ask him if that meant I had permission to go on the prowl for a boy toy. ... No reply

Pattern review is here but doesn't say much more than this post.