Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

This will be my last post before Christmas, so I want to wish you a very merry Christmas, with lots of love, fun, and family togetherness!!!

I have one more post to make about Christmas pressies. This one I made for Sofie to hold the make up brushes she had hinted at for a Christmas present.

I have to thank Summerset for her wonderful instructions on how to put this together. I can highly recommend making these - so easy (easier than aprons lol).

I used denim (so omitted the interfacing), cotton and ribbon. All from the stash. The funny thing is that the cotton print was a remnant I bought with the intention of making an apron. (Can't get away from those aprons.....). And because the project uses so little fabric I still CAN make the apron!

Merry Christmas!!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

PJ's for Ellen

Today Sofie and I made some PJ's for Ellen. It has taken us a year! We purchased the fabric from Spotlight last Christmas.

We used McCall's 2606 - an old pattern that has straight leg tie waisted pants. I hadn't used it before but it is perfect for PJ's. We used elastic and ribbon for the waist (which we lowered by about 9cms). We also added ribbon and bows to the bottom of the legs.

I purchased a cheap top to use as the PJ top. We unpicked the label and added our own out of the PJ fabric and embroidered Ellen's name on it. We also added a bow.

Here is Sofie modeling. They should be a little bit looser and shorter on Ellen. Hope she likes them! PJ bottoms are so quick to make on an overlocker and you can do such fun things with ribbons and the like. A fun project.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One for us!

When making the apron gifts I accidentally cut the width of one piece of fabric too narrow, so I could not use it to make ruffles, so I thought why not make a Chrissy apron for us?

This was a combined effort apron. Sofie sewed, I ironed, pinned and made the bias tape and Ellen helped with the design.

Originally Sofie and I had made the apron with the main fabric and used remnants to make the binding and pockets. Here is a picture of the first draft...

I felt that there was something missing and that the pockets (yes they are on an angle) looked like they did not belong. I said that maybe we need the pocket fabric somewhere else on the apron. And that is where Ellen came in - she suggested the second ruffle to bring more fabric in.

And then just to finish off we put some bows and buttons on the pockets!

Now to some sewing that is NOT aprons......

Monday, December 17, 2007

Male apron

This is Adam's apron. A very quick project after 6 frilly aprons!

I used 3 Christmas themed cottons from Lincraft - the main one for the body, a second one for the binding and a third one for the top of the pocket and the ties.

I traced the basic shape of the apron from on old bought one floating around the house. I added a pocket by cutting a large triangle, binding the top and then stitching it onto the front of the apron. It was also stitched down the middle to form 2 sections.

I made bias tape to edge the sides and bound the top. I made ties and used a D ring set for the neck.

More photos, including showing more of the binding and the rings can be seen here.

Thank goodness the work gifts are done in plenty of time for our Christmas lunch on Friday!

Gathering using the overlocker/serger

I remembered while I should have been sleeping that I forgot to mention how I had gathered the ruffles on the aprons. I used the overlocker to quicken up the process.

This is a great way to gather large amounts of fabric using your overlocker. The picture above shows what happens after it goes through the needle.

Use these settings (or fiddle around to get what works best, or check your manual)

Stitch length 5
Needle thread tension 6 to 9
Upper looper tension 3 to 4
Lower looper tension 3 to 4

then serge away! Just keep a reasonable lengths (tails) of chain at the beginning and the end so that if you need to reduce the gathers you have enough thread so it does not unravel. Much faster than stitching 2 rows of basting stitches and pulling up.

In fact the gathering for all 6 aprons would not have taken more than 5 minutes! Got to love that!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas sewing!

I have just spent the weekend (in between shopping, cooking, sleeping) making aprons. Each year I make gifts for staff at work. I usually make the same thing for everyone. Luckily there are only about 10 of us. And this year it is easier as one in on maternity leave, and the boss in in Thailand.

So for the girls....

I made ruffle aprons. This is a tutorial by Morgan that was featured on Sew,Mama,Sew! Aprons seem to be a very popular gift this year as there have been quite a few appearing in blogland. I pretty much followed Morgan's tutorial but made a couple of changes. I overlocked the ruffles rather than hemming- quicker when you are making 6! Also I accidentally cut the ruffles an inch too narrow. Not sure what came over me but these things happen I suppose and not hemming helped out!

I also made one long tie for the top of the apron. Morgan has you add a band and then attach the ties to that. Again I was after speed and this seemed simpler to me.

One long tie made with the centre left open to insert the apron.
You need to be careful when topstitching to also catch the back of the tie.
Close up of the band (a different apron) sewn at the top to secure.
And here are 3 pretty maids all in a row. The other 3 that I made are similar. Now onto the one male apron that I need to make - will post about that one tomorrow!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Latest Ottobre tshirt

Thank you all so much for your very kind comments and congratulations. We really do appreciated tham all. Ellen has been lurking and reading your comments and it really has added to her excitement!
She will need to do a short film next year for her final year at high school and she is still considering what it should be about. I have tried to convince her a story of the process of turning a flat piece of fabric into a finished garment would be interesting (and nobody else would do that) but she is not convinced! lol!

Anyway, on a more mundane topic - I finished another Ottobre 2/2007 tshirt over the weekend:
I purchased the poly onionskin type of knit from Frou Frou on our Pattern Review weekend. It was in the remnant bin - gotta love those remnant bins. It is a lovely turquoise colour.
For the trim I cut some strips from another fabric I purchased from Darn Cheap on the same weekend. I simply topstitched the strips onto the front of the tshirt.

And here you can see it with my skirt that I completed last week.

I am going to try and get a couple more tops done this week, then work on a sun frock for Christmas.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Great news!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes we have the Internet back after a week offline.......

But much, much, much better than that.......Ellen won the Shakespeare competition I posted about a while back. The competition was to interpret a line of Shakespeare anyway you liked. And my baby won the national competition. So now she is in the money and her school also wins $10,000. I think she will be popular with the principal now :) Not bad for a 16 year old...mummy is very very proud.

In case you missed the film and you would like to see it go here

Monday, November 26, 2007

McCalls 8972

I have finished my linen skirt using McCalls 8972. Sorry the photos are not very good. I took them this morning and uploaded them at work (still no Internet access at home) and can't go back and take better ones as the skirt is at home and I am not.

Overall I am pretty happy with how the skirt has turned out. It was much shorter than I anticipated - should have measured! So the hem turn up is minimal. Also I had trouble getting the hem straight. The linen wanted to "bubble" along the edge

I underlined with silk organza using Shannon's method of sewing right sides together of each piece, turning out and making up as usual. Thanks Shannon! I didn't line as I think the underlining is enough.

The belt is not perfect and I would have redone it if I had any more fabric. I found that the belt changed shape due to it being cut in a curve, so some parts stretched. I think it would have been better to cut the shape out of a very firm sew in interfacing and then use that as the sewing guide. Well I know for next time! Also the belt is a bit thin for the buckle, even though it is the right size per the pattern.

Ann asked "...I see allot of people have presses, do you recommend them?". Yes I would recommend one if you have the room and the money to buy one. It is not a must have sewing accessory but it sure does make fusing interfacing a breeze. Mine is only new and hasn't had much of a workout yet :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Off the Internet

The phone lines in our area have been down since Wednesday and as we are on ADSL we have not had Internet connection. I am typing this from my office (on a Saturday). The girls have been having withdrawal symptoms so I have brought them into the office to catch up with their MySpace etc.

The phone company is telling us it will be Tuesday before anything is fixed! So I will only be able to catch up with blogs etc in the office.

On the sewing front, I have almost finished the skirt mentioned in the previous post. I still have to do the hem and make the belt. It is looking good! Now to try and catch up on some other posts (but I don't have my feeds here!). Oh how quickly we become dependent on technology!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mini wardrobe plan

As I am on a roll with my cream suit and co-ordinates I thought I would expand it into a mini wardrobe plan a la Carolyn.

The next item I will make is an old McCalls pattern 8972. It is a really versatile pattern and I haven't make it up before. I noticed that the date on the tissue of the pattern is 1997. 10 years isn't too bad and I think the style is still current. I will be making view C - the black and white with the belt.

I will be using a $5 remnant of pure linen from Materialise of Camberwell, a belt buckle from Darn Cheap Fabric in Heidelberg and left over poly crinkle from Brunswick Fabrics in Brunswick. All of these were purchased on our Pattern Review Down Under weekend.

I was telling Ellen about the skirt and she laughed! I asked her what was so funny and she said I WAS! - I always have everything so matchy matchy. Mmm, daughters! So yes, I confess I am a matchy matchy girl....and this skirt WILL match my jacket!

Yesterday I also at long last took my steam press out of its box and pressed up the linen. Worked like a charm. In the photo I have the linen showing with what I have chosen to be the wrong side. The lighter side matches best with the jacket. I plan to underline the linen with silk organza to help reduce the crushing factor. If anyone has any better ideas please let me know. Thanks ;)

Monday, November 19, 2007

McCall's 5007 finished.

Yesterday I finished up the matching jacket to the skirt - McCalls 5007.

You may recall that I was not happy with the inside of the jacket as I had to adjust the hem to make it even on the outside. This left the inside uneven. At this stage I have decided to just live with it and work a bit more on fitting for future projects.

The jacket was made up entirely in size 6. I checked the measurements and there was enough ease to fit my size 12 hips! I should have done an adjustment to lower the bust point, but completely forgot! Oops. As it is a loose style it is not too evident.

Fabric is poly crinkle fabric purchased from Brunswick Fabrics October 2007. The jacket is underlined with poly cotton batiste. Buttons from Lincraft. The jacket is not lined.

I used silk organza as interfacing for the centre fronts and the collar. As all the materials in the jacket are washable I will be able to use the hand wash cycle on my washing machine to launder it.

This is how I wore it to work today:and this is what it looks like with the jacket undone
My resident photographers had left for school by the time I was ready so I had to use the self timer!
And of course a picture of my shoes:

More pictures etc can be seen at Pattern Review and my Flickr album - both have links on the side bar.

Now what to do next?????

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ottobre 2/2007 short sleeve T and Burda WOF 07-2007-115

This is how I wore the outfit last night to Ellen's and Sofie's dance concert. I added belt loops so that I could wear a belt. Bag, belt and earrings from Myer. Shoes are a few seasons ago. Bracelet from Diva. Here is a close up of the belt loops:
I used the triple stretch stitch again for the topstitching. Love the triple stretch stitch! And have a look at the back. I certainly am getting better with the invisible zip. I would say IMHO that it is pretty close to perfect! To reduce the poof in the back I took the centre front panel in a bit. I also had to unstitch the casing that the elastic was in. I was being clever and just stitched the underlining to the fabric rather than a separate casing. But I think that was also causing the puffiness in the length in the back. So I undid it and just zig zagged the elastic to the front fabric. I think it helped a bit.

Now to the Ottobre 2/2007 short sleeve T. I really like how this turned out! I overlocked the seams and topstitched the neckline and hems. I really love the fabric and I have enough left over to block another T in the future - maybe a long sleeve one with brown or grey sleeves and back? I will leave that one till next winter I think. The fabric for this T was all of $3!!

I placed the flower so that it came across the bust and added crystals on the flowers. Here is a close up of the crystals. They are clear crystals. The flash has changed the colour in the photo. So now I need to get back to the jacket and then I will have a complete ensemble.

And Carolyn, (re yesterday's comment) I have room for you to come and visit but you won't want to this week - 37c tomorrow! That is too much summer! So maybe I could come to New York for some shopping?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Burda skirt finished and a new T

Burda 07-2007-115 skirt and Ottobre 2/2007 short sleeve tshirt. I am still not certain about the back of the skirt but will wear it and see if anyone comments. I can always take the elastic out.
Both fabrics were purchased at Brunswick Fabrics on our PRDUW - do I win?? (being the first to make up an outfit from fabric purchased that day).
The tshirt is a poly lycra knit. I blinged the flower across the bust for a bit more interest.
I will take better photos and post tomorrow, but for now this is it. The camera has gone off with the girls to their dance concert tonight. And I have something new to wear to go and watch!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hot Patterns Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt - review

Sorry for the delay in the promised review. It has been a busy week!

I found the HP skirt to be easy to put together, it fit well (maybe a touch tight for my measurements) and the finished result was a fun skirt. I have done a more detailed review here and have taken photos with comments here. Hopefully they will be helpful for anyone who wants to make the skirt and would like a heads up.

The instructions were not good for a beginner, but of course we knew that. I didn't follow them as I did not like their order of construction. The instructions do say "This is just our way of doing things...if you prefer a different method, go ahead!" And that is what I did! But if you have made a skirt before and have tackled curved seams, then you will be fine.

Since finishing the skirt I have been working on McCalls 5007. I have almost finished it but have put it down as I am having trouble with the hem. Long story.....I made a sway back adjustment but that had ended up with the bottom of the jacket being crooked. So I adjusted the hem but I am not happy with how that is looking on the inside. I was not planning to line the jacket as I want to be able to machine wash and I have underlined. So I thought I would work on the skirt for a change of pace. I am making Burda WOF 07-2007-115, the one that Summerset made a while ago. Now I am having issues with the back of that! It is a bit poofy, like I have a full nappy (diaper) and it has slipped a bit. lol.
So I have partly undone the back seams and taken out some of the fullness in the centre panel. I will report back later in the week. For now I am putting costumes together with daughters for their dance concerts this weekend. The full dress rehearsal is tomorrow night so we are madly finishing up what should have been done weeks ago!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hot Patterns Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt

A few of us Aussie girls (with the help of Mel) bulk ordered some Hot Patterns to save on the high international postage. I ordered the Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt. Jeremy's email a while back on the many possibilities of this skirt really inspired me.

So without further is my version:

I had a bit of a drama as I mentioned on a previous post. I had this fabric that I really adored that I thought would look really cute made up in the skirt. But alas I did not have enough. I thought I was being clever by cutting out part of the skirt and then adjusting the remaining fabric to cut out the flounce at the back. Horrors - not enough. After letting the project sit for a while I had another look and decided to add a centre back seam in the flounce. I still had to cut out the pieces on add angles so the flounce probably does not sit quite how it should but I am happy with the outcome!
Now, what to wear on top.....searched the stash for matching purple or cream knit. Nope! Well maybe the wardrobe would have something ok just for the photo shoot. Lo and behold, not only do I have a JacquiE RTW top (several years old) an exact match, some shoes also are perfect. It sure does work to keep to a core of similar colours!

I will do a review of the pattern and show some photos of construction in my next post.

BTW, the fabric is a cotton lycra with quite a bit of body. Love, love, love it...................yippee!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

McCall's 5007

First, I want to say my sewing room is once again presentable. I would show you a photo to prove it but the camera has gone "walk about". Hopefully Ellen has it with her?

I really need some new jackets for work and lets face it, I have the fabric and the patterns! I have been quite undecided the last few days, as I thumbed through Marfy catalogues, Burda magazines and my pile of unopened patterns for inspiration. In the end I decided to try out McCall's 5007.

The fabric I will use is a crinkle poly purchased at Brunswick Fabrics (for $4 a metre) on our recent PR weekend.

As the fabric will show through on the seams I will underline it with a cotton also purchased at Brunswick Fabrics ($3 a metre).
I won't line the jacket as it will be one of those jackets you wear on hot days and then throw into the washing machine. I haven't decided yet what I will do with seam finishes. Maybe just overlock and then HK finish the hems.
I also bought some nice buttons at Lincraft today (sorry on photo) in the same cream colour. I will top stitch in cream as well so the jacket will match just about everything!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Admitting I have problems

I have been thinking for a while that I should 'fess up and Summerset's post this morning (well Aussie time) has moved me out of my computer chair, forced me to take up the camera and......admit my sewing room is a mess!!

Why is sewing so messy? You see I want to make myself a suit for work and I can't get started. Do you think my creative area has anything to do with it?
I have started to clean up by repacking fabric in my cupboard. Actually, looking at this, I think I have room for more!

See the mess next to my pressing and cutting area? I tend to dump scraps etc there as I work on a project. Maybe I could just put it all up in the roof space (attic). Lots of bits of projects past...

And the view from my desk - ick! So now I also have to admit that I still haven't taken out my steam press from the box.

And here is the pressing area. My Hot Patterns flippy skirt is cut out but oops I don't have enough fabric for the back flounce........

and my final confession.....I have put on weight and none of my jeans/ casual pants fit me...sob! No one to blame here but myself. OK I have admitted I am a mess but stay tuned.....