But its PINK!!

“But its pink” Said Mr T.

“Yep” I replied

“Bright pink” Said Mr T.

“It is” I confirmed.

“And you’re going to make a hoodie. A hoodie” Confirmed Mr T.

“I am” I nodded.

“Mpmhf”

 ******************

Mr T has this (slightly irrational) hatred of hoodies. Much to his frustration if I get a sweatshirt it almost always has a hood. I am the source of much frustration for the poor guy!

I had seen the Jamie Christina Sol hoodie a while back and when I saw this pink sweat shirting it called to me. Which was weird as I don’t like pink… I have no pink in my wardrobe but once upon a time someone said that I look good in pink and I figured this might work. After all its not completely pink…

Mr T did not approve. Oh well!

I figured that, with the sol hoodie having bands down the zip, I could use a solid pink to tone the end product down. Writing that dIMG_3663own it was an assumption that make s no sense, but it was totally logical in my head!

I used matching quilting cotton for the bands (and the ones  around the hood) and pink rib for the inside of the hood. I wanted a metal zip for this, but couldn’t find one long enough so white it was.

I was a bit nervous to make this us up. It was a stretch. It was thick fabric. It had thumbs holes in the sleeves! Eep… But in the end it was really easy. The instructions were really clear (and I mostly followed them) and it came together pretty fast. The only bit I struggled with was sewing the zip through the thickness.

its... pink...

This hoodie has been in regular rotation since I finished it up and I really like it. The only difference I will make next time I make is make the sleeves  a smidge longer. And as for Mr T, he decreed that the end result “wasn’t as bad” as he thought it would be. I even get to be seen in public with him when I wear it!

The Great WSBN sewing room tour – my turn

A wee while ago Gemma from Sixty Six Stitches challenged the rest of the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network (WSBN) to a Jump into Spring type challenge. Yes it is spring here in Wellington and I want to make lots and lots of dresses (which will be handy next month for The Monthly Stitch’s Frocktober!). The challenge was to get those of us who had been hibernating out of the rut, and to get things up and firing. With nearly 30 members in the Network each day in September one of us would show off their sewing room, our WIP, whats next and some views of Wellington and why we love it. Holly went yesterday and now, on the 10th Day its my turn!

There has been a bit of chat on our Facebook page about how we all needed to tidy our sewing spaces, countered by maybe we didn’t have to – its good to see reality and know we’re not the only messy creative type! To be completely frank my sewing room has been a complete bomb site with a whole pile of things from other rooms being stored there. So I decided to show a bit of both. Some pics before I tidied (sorry Mum!)

Just a peek through the door...

Just a peek through the door…

eek!!

eek!!

And then after I tidied! Which will form the actual sewing room tour. Course this isn’t the first time I’ve had a before and after tour, I tell it like it is!

So lets start againno mess….I am lucky enough to have a room all to myself. Mr T has a tiny little cupboard for his man cave and I have AAALLL this space. Mind you its also my study and my music room! 

This is one side of the room. From the right we have the cupboard of “stuff”. The only interesting thing in this cupboard is in the bottom cupboard. It contains programmes from all the shows I’ve seen the last 15 years. I can’t stop myself buying them!

The blue box under the desk has all my sheet music – there’s lots and lots in there!

On the desk is Albert my trusty grey mouse, and my sewing machine (which has been behaving itself lately). The ugly plastic drawers have patterns (3 drawers worth) and cross stitch supplies. The computer screen is a recent upgrade (thanks Mr T) so I can watch telly while I work – current programme of choice is Masterchef.

The cupboard on the left has Burda magazines on the top shelf (I can’t stop buying them either) and sewing and cross stitch patterns on the second shelf (at least I’ve reduced the amount of those I buy!) The rest of this cupboard has mending, “stuff” and patterns that don’t fit in the drawers (I think I am developing a problem).

The other side of IMG_3595the room. On the wall are posters of the shows I’ve been in – including my pride and joy the big white poster – I’m actually on that one! 

My dress makers dummy has never actually been used. Oops. I need to alter it to my size, but that’s on my “to do” list. One day. My cutting table is the old coffee table my preciousfrom the living room and though low works perfectly with a grey storage box I use for a stool (can you spot it in the other photos?). The lamp is one of my prized possessions. It belonged to my grandmother, and is intricately carved. The lamp shade is made of silk and is very dirty, delicate and slightly damaged. I haven’t really tried to clean it, but I might one day. Check out the detail of this thing – so beautiful. 

Right backso many pretties when I started this blog I shared my guilty secret – my fabric stash was teeny weeny. Its ok, I’ve rectified that.

I now have plenty of fabric. And then some (the cupboard is bigger than it looks). This cupboard I got super cheap off an auction, and now its not big enough. You can’t really see it but to the right of the cupboard is a rack of more fabric that all needs to be washed… I think I need to start sewing things again what do you think? The wicker chair you can see at the side does NOT fit in my room at all, but I love it and I have nowhere else in the house to put it. It used to belong to my Great Aunt and makes a great storer for “stuff”.

There is so much fabric in there, and I adore almost every single piece. I think that’s why I’ve not started any of the muslin’s I need to make cause I don’t want to lose any of it… I probably need to get over that though.

Lastly there is the wardrobe. The door is covered in favourite photos and inside… you guessed it, more storage.

InsideIMG_3592 the IMG_3585 wardrobe are sewing books (not to be confused with the sewing magazines elsewhere) and most of my notions. These fit in two plastic drawer sets (which are clearly labelled. See I CAN be organised) while all my threads are colour coded in glass jars. 

 

 

 

While I was sorting my room I pulled out a couple of my favourite pieces of fabric. 

Thiscan you spot the weirdness? looks like normal blue fabric til you look closer. Is that a tardis that I spy? Is that a sonic screwdriver? And K-9? Yep this is my homage to Dr Who geekness. This one is thanks to Spoonflower.

 

 

My other piece othis will be something special one day...f featured fabric is very special. My (now late) Gran brought this fabric for me when I was in my early teens. I remember picking this out at the fabric shop with her and Mum, and how Mum thought this was far to grown up for a girl my age. We never made anything from it and it now sitting in my stash waiting for something special. Its a super fine chiffon, and it will be a lovely flowy dress. One day…

So what’s up next on my to sew? I am finally going to make my Elisalex (hopefully wearable) muslin out of this yellow daisy cotton, and then I want to tackle Victory’s Nicola from this silk icat.

next on the list IMG_3596 

Whew, I have a lot to say. I’ll leave you (for now) with a pic of home town as a love it – bright and vibrant.I love this place. Its so beautiful, compact and gives me a great lifestyle. The theatre scene here is thriving and that gives me the opportunity to do what I love. This place is awesome. 

Thanks for taking a tour with me. Don’t forget to read the other blogs (you should be able to follow through from Gemma’s post) and check out Nina’s post tomorrow.

800px-Wellington_City_Night_downtown

Easy Peasy

Phew. Its been a while huh. I am in rehearsals for my third show of the year at the moment which isn’t on til the end of October… busy busy! Its been a busy year with all the shows.

But in the midst of this I have managed to get a few things made. And photographed! (Yay its officially spring here in little New Zealand!!)

First up is my striped maxi skirt… I was at one of the (waay too many) fabric sales we’ve had in town and saw this plain grey and black striped knit. It screamed to me that it wanted to be a maxi skirt. I’ve been  eyeing up the Gabriola skirt from Sewaholic but it was a bit more complex than I needed for this one.

So instead I searched the interweb (while still in the shop) and came across this tutorial from the Do It Yourself Divas to draft your own. So after spending a massive $7 on fabric I raced straight home, washed it and put it straight in the dryer (shush, I figured that’s how this will probably be dried anyway!). After impatiently waiting to be able to cut it (where I think I looked something like this) I sat down and started this thing.

I cannot remember the last time I was so keen for something I got started on it straight away. Let alone finished it the same day I thought of it. I’m pretty passionate about the things I want to do but there are JUST SO MANY THINGS!! This is a list I jotted down the other day of things I have planned – and there’s a heap missing…

But back to the skirt. The instructions are great. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was that you cut the fabric off your waist measurement. The waistband is meant to be cut the same as your measurements and for a pattern intended for knits this seemed a bit weird. In the end I cut the waistband 1” shorter and stuck to the instructions the rest of the way.

After I cut this (which took about 10 minutes) I must have sewed it up in 30 minutes max. So easy but it looks great… After I wore this skirt for the first time I went straight back to the sewing machine and took about 6” off the waist band as it was indeed too too big. But its an easy fix so not a biggie!

IMG_3623

casual Sunday garb…

Despite the simplicity, this skirt isn’t perfect. I sewed the waistband on the wrong way, I didn’t stripe match and the hemming is so so so so bad I refuse to show you… but it’s a casual, laid back skirt that looks great. I get heaps of comments when I wear it. I was out with some of my friends the other day when it was commented on and immediately I started with “oh thanks, but the hem is really terrible and….” Then a friend pointed out nobody was looking at the hem (there wasn’t another sewer in the group, could you tell!). One day I might fix it, but this was a super quick project so I’ll probably leave it. And do it better next time because that is already planned and the fabric is washed and sitting there….

So to round up… some pics from a sunny Sunday…

IMG_3656

no stripe matching here… despite how it may look!

 

IMG_3636

yay stretch fabric

IMG_3633

squinting and trying to fit hand in teeny pocket all at the same time – always a good look!

My Sewing Machine is possessed.

(Warning there is no sewing or creating in this post. Its just an expression of my frustration!)

I got my sewing machine for my 21st Birthday – now I’m in my mid-30’s its no longer a new machine. It has spent large periods of its life in a closet with its cover on (I always used to think it was waaay to hard to actually get my machine set up to sew something. So I didn’t. Yay for a sewing room…)

My machine is in disgrace...

My machine is in disgrace…

Mum got her Bernina for HER 21st, which is still going strong having had its first ever service last year, and for my bithday she picked me out a pretty solid, basic but reliable Bernina. We’ve had a sometimes rocky relationship that machine and I.

About two months ago my machine had to go in for a service as it wasn’t feeding the bobbin thread through. I wasn’t particularly impressed as it had been less than a year since its last service and I thought it should last a little bit longer between services, but hey things happen. So in it went, and duly came back. I picked it up on a Saturday morning, and the (awesome) guy who services my machine made a comment that there was a slim chance that there was a serious problem with the workings of the machine. It was unlikely and he’d had a look at it and couldn’t see a sign of it but… I wasn’t too concerned as this fella likes to have a chat and I figured I’d cross that bridge if it became in issue. So I headed straight home to start on my Grainline Moss. I got through 2 and a half seams and hit a pin and the machine broke again.

Its fair to say I was not happy. Given the comment I’d had earlier and the fact that it was completely inoperable after having a hit a stupid pin I figured the worst. So, unable to do anything else on a Saturday night with no machine I had a look for replacement machines. And could not believe my eyes when I saw that to replace my very basic, and apparently not very reliable machine, would be over $2000. Its fair to say if I replace my machine, it probably won’t be with another Bernina! Jeepers.

So after some cursing, my machine (which weirdly enough I have never named) went back in for another service. The Service man said he thought it was probably the timing again, which left me grumbling as it should jolly well last better than that! I have sewn over pins in my mum’s machine dozens of times no worries. A moan to the Wellington Sewing bloggers confirmed my suspicion that most machines managed this with no worry.

BUT things happen. Wrong speed, wrong bit hits wrong bit and stuff happens huh – thems the breaks. I was too upset to even look at the stupid machine so Mr T took it in for service and picked it up again (after a free service to fix the timing, which was so grateful for). And I’d actually broken something. The whole bobbin case (which was plastic) was broken and needed replaced. I was even more grateful when Mr Service Man had a replacement (in metal – ooh!) sitting in the shop and gave it to me for free!

So the machine came home. And got a massive lecture about how it needed to behave itself,that I had another machine lined up to borrow it if decided it didn’t want to behave, I was not happy, and it was on its way out. Grrr. Suffice to say said machine was trembling in terror at the end of it.

All went well for the rest of my skirt. Then I decided to try knits. I went out and brought stretch needles, and a stretch double needle. Sat down one night to start my Mabel skirt (I will blog I promise), got the stretch needles, took out the previous needle, positioned the stretch needle and tightened up the screw. And the needle fell out.

I tried again. And the needle fell out. By this stage I thought I was starting to lose the plot. I tried three different packets of stretch needles and they all just fell out. Ball point needles – no worries. Jean needles – no worries. Universal needles – no worries. But Stretch needles? Dumb machine.

I searched the internet and found no reference to anything like it. I asked the Wellington Sewing Blogger girls (who, justifiably, may have thought I was making all this drama up). One of the more entertaining suggestions was that my machine was possessed – at which point a group exorcism was rapidly offered.

In the end I contacted Bernina direct, who sent it off their technician (once they believed that I wasn’t making it all up) who also had never seen anything like it. He replaced the screw and that solved the problem. For now.

I got the machine back about 3 weeks ago. It remains in its cover in the middle of the sewing room floor in disgrace. Ok, not only because its in disgrace. I’m cStunners!urrently spending my nights onstage looking like this (I’m the one on the right) while I’m doing the Addams Family Musical. Fun, but time consuming!

So I get free time back in a week or so. Of course I have my next audition the end of July…!

How is your sewing going? What dramas have you had with your sewing machines, or other technology? Do share…

Where I try to “properly” make a skirt

I am very (very very) slowly doing a sewing course by correspondence. I signed up long ago before I realised the wealth of information that was available on this here interweb, and although I can get all the info I need from fellow bloggers, I am stubborn and want to get this course finished. One day.

As part of the course there are a number of garments to be made for assessment. And I have learned that sewing for me, myself and I is one thing but showing it to other people to get marked is quite terrifying! But I guess thats the point huh….

IMG_3458

Love this fabric

So I was determined to make a really really really professional skirt for assessment. I wanted to do it right and have it  look perfect. I had some amazing denim I’d brought on sale on a trip to Auckland and decided to make the Grainline Moss. Its a mini skirt but can be adapted to a knee length and that sounded about right.

So I cut it out and went to sew it up. And paused. This was being marked after all!

Then I reread the course material and realised that the Grainline Moss didn’t meet the requirements for this garment  – it needed to have darts. Oops. But it meant I could make up this skirt without worrying if it was good enough – yay!

This is a pretty popular skirt and for good reason. Its a great wardrobe staple – though I can’t see myself in the mini skirt ever! The additional band at the bottom makes it much more life appropriate for me!

I finished all the seams in this skirt with Mock flat fell seams using Colette’s tutorial – they’re super easy. I was planning to do proper flat fell seams but with the smaller seam allowances I couldn’t be bothered fiddling with them to make them work! But I am really pleased at how even the Mock flat fell seams made it look better.

Check out the mock flat fell seams. can't see them? They're there, honestly!

Check out the mock flat fell seams. can’t see them? They’re there, honestly! (Ignore the puckers at the waistband though. You can’t see those either!)

There was a lot in this pattern that was new, and as a result a lot of unpicking which led to a little bit of stretch in some places. The denim has a lot of stretch in it anyway and the cotton matched the fabric so well I couldn’t see it on the dark fabric to unpick. But in the end its turned out ok.

This pattern had me use both inset pockets and a fly zip – two new techniques I can check off the list to skills to learn (the list to perfect the technique is another one that is hidden away in a dark dark drawer somewhere!).

All done!

I am proud to say that this is the most well constructed garment I’ve made. And improvement is what I am working towards. Perfection is non-existent really and I make these things cause I like them. As long as the clothes I make are wearable, I keep making them and so keep making them better. That’s the aim!

Mr T and I got these photos over the weekend when we headed up the line. We went to an outdoor sculpture park so had a great time. I love weekends!

side view

 

The finished product

The finished product

And some pictures from the sculpture park…

At the top left of this scuplture is a Fantail, a native bird. This one was quite interested in what Mr T and I were up to and followed us around for at least 15 minutes.

this horse is made of chicken wire...

this horse is made of chicken wire…

ok, this wasn't a sculpture but was my favourite thing!

ok, this wasn’t a sculpture but was my favourite thing!

bye for now

Happy Birthday Mum!

This year, for mum’s birthday I decided to make her something… But what….

Mum is a sometimes sewer from way back and I had seen this little character as a Craftsy project, The Owl You Need sewing buddy and thought it would be perfect…

Happy Birthday Mum

(check out my Ma’s old Bernina… over 40 years old and went in for its first service last year! )

Given that this is a small-ish make, it is a little fiddly but it was made out of fabric left-overs from my first quilt which as well as being an appallingly cheap present, also made it a little bit more special.

I stuffed him with stuffing, but put popcorn in the bottom to help him stand up (not rice in the house that day). And mum loved him! (I can always tell as she tells everyone about it…)

I think this guy is super cute and not too complicated to make up. That’s two presents I’ve made this year – I’m on a roll….

I'm ready for my close-up

*blush*

Last month I was nominated for a Leibster Blog Award by The Sewprano. I was a bit surprised as my blog has been a bit…. well…. slack shall we say!

liebster

But check out The Sewprano’s blog – she’s an aussie, studying to be an opera singer, who makes the most amazing dresses for competitions/assessments, and costumes as well as all sorts of other crafting and even draws cartoons. She’s a hoot! Thank you so so much for the nom!

Liebster Blog Awards are designed to share the love of blogs with less than 500 followers. The instructions are:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
3. Nominate 11 other followers with less than 500 followers
4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer
5. Tag your nominees & post a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them

So my questions are:

1) Cats or dogs? (or armadillos?)

Cats – no question at all… and with these two why wouldn’t you!!

ok.. this was a while ago, they don't like each other so much now...

2)  What was the last book you read? (graphic novels count)

I always have a least 4 books on the read at a time. I’ve almost finished re-reading the second Game of Thrones book and have just finished reading the Lonely Planet Thailand guide book.

3) Who is the best Doctor?  (non-Doctor Who fans, just give this one a miss.)

David Tennant. Hands down. But they’re all awesome. Except the first Dr – hes just scary…

4) What is your favourite global cuisine?

I’m a big fan of Chinese :)

5) Which is your favourite season?

Summer… sun, beaches, long evenings and BBQ’a

6)  In the inevitable zombie apocalypse, which five people would be on your dream survival team?

The Boss: Rick from the Walking Dead

The Medic: Dr Greene from ER

The cook: Jamie Oliver

The Fighter: Booth from Bones

The comedian: Olaf from Frozen

7) Whose shoes would you like to spend a day in?

Idina Menzel or Sutton Foster…. to perform on Broadway just once would be amazing…

8) Coffee or tea?  (or neither?)

tea tea tea

9) If you could gain instant proficiency at/afford any musical instrument (that you don’t already play, musos amongst you), what would you pick?

the piano… its still on my lists of things to do :)

10) Thoughts on David Bowie? (gosh I’m getting desperate for questions now, aren’t I!)

He was awesome on Labyrinth… but those legging things???

11) What is your standby go-to meal to cook when you don’t have anything in the cupboard and feel flat as a tack?

toast and peanut butter. Or Marmite… its a hang over from uni!

For my 11 nominations, I’ve gone by the count of readers stated in the feed reader… And this is hard. I know I’ve missed some that I will kick myself for…

But, My nominated bloggers are:

Fall From Grace – she is a fellow cross stitcher who captures her makes through the process which I find fascinating!

Kim at The Fierce Journal – I’ve known Kim for a long time and this is her new blog, just switched over from her previous. This girl has some amazing insights into people and our thoughts.

Sew Biased – one of the Wellington Sewing girls she’s sewing all sorts – check out the pokemon dressing gown she made. I think I need one!

Mrs C at Sent from my Iron – one super talented lady who saved our local haby store when it was up for sale. She makes, supports and advises… she’s amazing

Treesinwelly – sewing, and travels, and life in Welly. She makes me appreciate my home town :)

Fanbloomingtastic – geeky sewing and loving every moment of it!

FlossieFT – yep, another Wellington lady, she makes the best dresses out of the coolest fabrics! And dresses her gorgeous boys

Nicki’s stitches – recently infamous for her Loud Golf pants… go on you know you want to check them out!

the Crazy Gypsy – an out of town Wellington Blogger, I am in love with her print dresses

A Charm of Magpies - another epic sewer and talented knitter (so jealous!!)

Sewist stitch – Sandra’s output is AMAZING!! If I could manage 1/3 of what she does there would be no gap in my blog!!!!

Soo…. my questions for you folks are:

1) What do you enjoy most about blogging?

2) Who would be at your ultimate dinner party ? (5 people…)

3) What are your favourite pair of shoes you’ve ever owned?

4) What is your proudest creation?

5) Would you rather have a bath of snakes or a bath of spiders?

6) What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid?

7) If you could only have one more overseas trip, where would you go?

8) What is your favourite outfit? Go on, give us a photo….

9) What sewing or music related thing do you want to have done this year?

11) Star Trek or Star Wars?

So there you are ladies… keep spreading the love!

see you soon – I promise!!!