Quilting stress!

I made a little quilt. As its a little quilt, I will keep this post short. (In the essence of honesty, it’s also trauma which is keeping this post short!!)

Panda-Quilts

One of my workmates was leaving for maternity leave. I saw the free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop for the Panda-Monium baby quilt and thought “eureka, that’s perfect!” for a leaving present. The unofficial theme for her baby presents was Panda’s and this would fit right in!

Then I started to doubt myself. I’m not experienced with quilting and the pressure of giving it to someone other than immediate family freaked me out I’ll admit. So I decided I “didn’t have the time” to make it and put it out of my mind.

Then, the weekend before my work went on leave, I found myself buying fabric to make this quilt. And I made it, quilted it, gifted it and it was well received. There was a bit of angst involved in the finishing and making the decision to actually gift it (I didn’t tell anyone I was making it in case I stuffed it all up and it looked silly). In the end, all the angst was unnecessary – why do we do this ourselves? A big thanks to Mr T who told me that keeping it “was not an option and of course she’ll like it”… thanks dude!

In the making of this quilt I learnt many things:

  • start early, not the week before its due
  • I need to work on straight lines when finishing the quilt top
  • my machine binding has improved out of sight since the first time
  • using masking tape to mark the quilting lines is easy, but has its issues
  • using the washing machine and dryer does not remove the masking tape you accidentally sewed over!
  • people love things you make them even if they’re not perfect
  • something can be great, even if its not perfect!

This was an angsty project, but if I’d not been going to give it to someone else I would have thoroughly enjoyed it. The piecing was so much fun, and as it was so little (originally approx 20″ square, though mine was a little bigger) it went fast! And now, after more words than I thought it would be, some photos!

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Have a good week! xx

Seamworks Mesa on a chilly day…

The original...

The original…

The outfit to the left has spawned four clothing pieces… so far…. it comes from episode 1 of Scream the Tv series…. (yep I’m a teenager at heart!) and I just fell in love with this skirt. Totally different from anything I’ve ever worn, let alone made, but I drooled over it. And it refused to leave my mind. The website wornontv.com informs me that this skirt comes from Topshop (can’t find it of course). But I was never going to buy it was I…

Soon after this episode, Kat, fellow Wellington sewing blogger, asked if anyone wanted to pitch in for a purchase from Fabric.com? Spoiler alert – between the group we brought A LOT of fabric.

I got this one… to make a Seamworks Mesa out of… (more of this fabric soon)

Large_0395122And this Scuba knit to make my Scream tribal skirt.. (now sold out)

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When the fabric arrived however the tribal print was much bigger than I expected. How big?

Close?Hmmm… And I had more fabric than I needed to make a skirt. And as a result I just caved and made a Mesa out of it… wearable muslin yes?

IMG_5510I’ve subscribed to Seamworks since it started. Some months are great and others are a but of a miss for me, but the Mesa I like – simple cut and knit so therefore easy right?

Confession I’ve never actually made a shift dress before. I don’t actually think I’ve ever worn one. So here we have a) a new style and b) a patterned fabric and c) fabric like nothing in my wardrobe. I guess I was feeling courageous!

I was hoping to share my fantastic pattern matching with this make. I marked the pattern pieces with the stripes and when I basted it together I got perfect lines all around my body. When I pinned and stitched however it was a fail. And as this is a thick scuba knit unpicking proved un-achievable. I did try, honest, but after stabbing myself, deeply, with my trusty quick unpick/seam ripper I gave it up as a lost cause.

Other than the line matching fail, this dress went together really easily. I added 5″ to the length before cutting out, but after trying the finished garment on it looked frumpy at that length so I took 3″ off. Now of course it’s a smidgen short but it works well with tights! And given the fabric is polyester its more of a cooler wear really.

IMG_5530I like this dress. It’s way out of my comfort zone, and I get lots of comments on it whenever I’ve worn it. The only issue I have is the neckline. It looks fine, if a little bit wide, with nothing on top, but add a jacket or cardigan and it’s too big and gapes a bit

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Not impressed….

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Gape gape gape…

I’ve had this on a couple of makes lately. I’m not sure if I need to cut smaller at the neckline, or I could be stretching the neck band too much,but its also happened on woven fabrics. Others have talked about the neckline being a smidge too big so maybe its not me. Next time I make this one I will add 1″ to each shoulder and see what that does!

But I do really like this dress. I love the pattern – not so sure with the scuba knit, I noticed a slight pilling across the front today which is annoying. Maybe it doesn’t like flying foxes?

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Add a jacket and its great for work. Here’s to more work dresses in the future…

So the fabric I brought for the skirt off the tv? I made a dress. Pretty good compromise I think.

Have a great week all!

A Stripey (kinda) Sophie

hi all,

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The other week I was asked by the lovely Kat if I wanted to test her latest pattern, a comfy cardigan. I was as keen as a bean! I’ve long drooled over the multiple versions of her Jenna cardie and was excited to see what she’s come up with this time.

Pattern testing is fun, you get to try out patterns without being “biased” with other peoples versions. Sophie comes with heaps of variations – round neck, v-neck, zip, buttons and with and without pockets. V-neck is always my preference, and my preferred fabric was really light so pockets seemed out of the question.

I had this blue fabric in my stash, brought for making a muslin for another pattern (which didn’t work out) and had some left over. You can’t see it in the pics but there’s a very fine white stripe running through the fabric. It only cost me $3 at a Levana sale earlier in the year – even better….

I cut a size 40 reducing to a 38 at the hip. Which was really dumb as there is no way I’m a 40″ bust…. it meant I cut it 2-3 sizes too big in the chest.I have no idea what I was thinking but we all make mistakes sometimes!

I added a darker blue for neck and button band, which I’m really pleased with – it looks a little bit preppy, but not too much if you know what I mean!

Other than choosing the wrong size (which worked out ok in the end) this testing went as easily as my last Muse pattern. Kat’s made a few changes for the final pattern which is out now, but I’m pleased with this one. With the fabric being really really thin its not really a layering piece, but I’m sure it’ll get lots of wear.

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Squinty eyes!

Searching for a great sweatshirt…

I am on a sewing roll at the moment. None of these things that I am making are on the list of makes for my wedding – must get onto that…

In the meantime if I’m sewing, I need to photo and blog. Did I mention its winter? Aah well, see the things I put myself through. Today wasn’t too bad, but I had a lazy start so by the time I got out of the house to get some photos, rain was on the way and it was COLD! How cold? This cold…

swear words might have been said!So while todays post may not include the most exciting photos, they were gathered in an atmosphere of dire threat of hypothermia, so that adds excitement value surely?

And todays post is on my first attempt at a Linden sweatshirt from Grainline studios. This is my second Grainline pattern with my Moss Mini sadly in the mending basket as its waay too big – not that I know what I’ll do with it, but nonetheless! When this pattern came out it didn’t grab my attention. It was just a sweatshirt and that’s not really interesting is it? But I’ve got a few pieces of knit fabric that would work for sweatshirts so I started looking for patterns. Initially the Linden still didn’t call me, as it had a high-ish neck on it, and I like mine slightly lower (the neck band for this seems tiny when cut it out). But as more bloggers made this up I figured I could maybe lower the neckline myself. Not listening to myself, and arguing that with all the patterns I already own I surely could cobble up something, in the end I used a BurdaStyle pattern for the lovely red knit I had. The less said about that make the better I say. After taking in approx 10 inches from each side and playing surgeon on the neckline I ended up with something wearable – but the only pic I have of it on is this one from Me-Made-May. Weirdly enough wearing the same jeans as today!

MeMadeMayAnyway I was still on the hunt for a good sweatshirt pattern, Linden was popular so I grabbed the PDF and gave it a go. And am really glad I did. The hardest part was choosing a size to cut out – I knew I didn’t want too much ease, and there’s about 6″ ease in this one in the bust, but that goes down to 2″ at the hips. I’m smaller in the bust and hips, but with only 4″ between waist and hips on a good day my measurements are usually 2-4 sizes apart. In the end I went with a straight size 10, and it wpretty greenas a pretty good fit.

My fabric is one I got from a fabric sale the other week, meant to trial Seamworks Astoria but I’ve already made two of those and this fabric now called for something else! Its a mottle green and black and I think it has a bit of cotton in it. It was easy to sew, with the only issue being that the edges curled, but otherwise was a pleasure.

Even better that sewing the fabric was sewing the pattern – this is really well drafted, all the notches matched, and it came together really easily as quickly (only 45 mins to sew it all together). However I can’t comment on the instructions as I didn’t read ’em at all! What a rebel :) I suspect if I’d read the instructions it would have said some about not stretching the neck band too much, but I still haven’t read them so I’m not sure. Some of the other Linden’s I’ve seen blogged def show a much smaller neckline than mine. But actually I’m delighted with how the neckline on this worked out, it’s just right for me.

So to end, some pics of this make, on a windy, cold day. Hope those of you in winter climates are coping ok, and those of you in summer climates aren’t too hot!

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See you soon

A totally inappropriate skirt…

I didn’t intend to make another skirt. I certainly didn’t intend to buy more fabric. But I was waiting in-line to get some fabric for a sewing class I’ve just started and something was calling…
Can you see it?There on the middle shelf. The white one… can you hear it?

I tried to ignore it. I really really did. I didn’t need another skirt (for what else could it be?) I could get it another time. “But I’m on sale” it whispered.

Nope you’re cotton voile. You’re far to thin for a skirt. “I’d just need lining…” it coerced. 

For goodness sake its WINTER! “But look how pretty I am. Just think of how I’d swish and twirl…”

Needless to say my will was too weak and said fabric came home with me! And went straight into the wash and ironed and ready for cutting that night.

I knew this had to be a swishy skirt – after all it had told me it was. I didn’t want panels as I didn’t want to break up the already busy print – and I knew there was no way I was going to pattern match this sucker.

So I headed to the By Hand London circle skirt calculator. Which informed me that the fabric was too narrow for a fill circle skirt. And a half circle skirt. And for a quarter circle skirt. Hmmm….

What followed was a long period of angst trying to work out how to get this fabric to do what I wanted it to. I cursed my waist dimensions for being too long. I cursed stupid patterns for being dumb. I cursed circles for being too round. Then I realised the cursing wouldn’t change a thing.

nothing like my finished productI searched my patterns for one that would give me the swish I wanted. In the end I saw this one in Gertie’s latest book and thought “hmmm that would probably look different in a lighter fabric”. Then I realised it was a half circle skirt. And that the dimensions matched the fabric I had… we were on like donkey kong kids!

I don’t know why this pattern fit when the other circle skirt patterns didn’t. Tbh it wasn’t quite wide enough even for this pattern. I ended up missing the very point of the circle on either side and just fudging it when I sewed it up. roll that hem...

Once I got it cut out though this baby went like a dream. Easy to sew up. Facings matched (not a fan of facings me, but thems the breaks). I left it to hang for a couple of days but there wasn’t too much drop in the hem. I even managed to do rolled hem…

So, now I have a gorgeous skirt, in a see through cotton voile. In winter. Ah well! Add a jacket and a slip and we’re in business.

We managed to get out today, on a stunning winter day and get some shots – it was sunny, windy, and chilly but after the rain and storms we’ve had the last week it was glorious!

Here she is, in all her glory

Here she is, in all her glory

See... swishy-ness

See… swishy-ness

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checking out the fabric – yep its still calling…

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the print in its glory!

Despite loving this fabric, and the feel, and so many things about it, when I first put it on I was underwhelmed. I’m one for a-line and closer skirts and I wasn’t sure the looser, draping worked for me – especially round the hips. However when I tried it on again after hemming I was ok with it; sometimes I think a new style sometimes needs a second consideration.

I think this one will get a bit of wear. With a jacket other than my denim one it will carry me over for work. All in all a win methinks.

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Me-Made-May – Wrap up

hello lovelies,

Here I am, a week late, but my laptop is still in the shop and it turns out that even if I have a perfectly suitable substitute, I miss it heaps. It was only meant to be two weeks but turns out there was a problem with the cooling fan as well so it’ll take longer. (As a side note, a problem with the cooling fan could explain why my laptop often made a sound like a plane taking off!).

So we’re all done for my first time for Me-Made-May. Here’s the last of the photos then some thoughts below:

Day 25 – Monday

Work day… my unblogged leftover red fabric Mabel skirt

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Day 26 – Tuesday (Warning faces get a bit silly from here. There were sillier ones I deleted!)

Striped maxi skirt for work

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Day 27 – Wednesday

Brand new Delphine skirt – love this colour!

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Day 28 – Thursday

Off to see another show. Wearing my watson jacket

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Day 29 – Friday

Work day. Today I did wear Me-Made, but I looked at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and hated my outfit so much that I didn’t take a pic. Said Me-Made is now back in the sewing stash to be remade into something pretty. Or a muslin.

Day 30 – Saturday!

Woo hoo! Saturday. Hudson pants for housework. Boo housework.

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Day 31 – Sunday

So apparently I failed getting a pic cause I can’t find one. Weird. But I can assure you I wore something Me-Made. Something.

Thoughts:

  • so wearing Me Made wasn’t that hard. Most days it was pretty easy.
  • taking photos daily sucks, but is interesting to go back and look at them and see if you can see a theme.
  • my theme, both in sewing and wearing is simple – I’ve lots of skirts, but none of them are very complicated. Several of them are literally two seams, elastic and a hem. I’ve stuck to mainly simple stuff this year so far. I’m unlikely to change that but should aim to include challenging (though I am making three bridesmaids dresses for three very different bodies so that should challenge!)
  • this has been great to be a part of. There were only 2 items in my wardrobe I didn’t wear – one cause its too fancy, the other cause it needs ironing and I hate ironing. One item was hideous and shall not be worn again. Thats a pretty good effort I think!

Hope June hasn’t come too much of a shock for you all (halfway through the year already and winter has come with a bang here, though its pretty today). Have a good un…

Me Made May – Update 2

hey world

So I missed last weeks progress post… I had a good reason… my laptop is in the shop (luckily Mr T works in IT and has a spare… or two…) And Mr T and I threw a party last weekend for our engagement… yep we’re engaged! There will be lots of wedding related makes in the lead up to the big date next March I assure you, so I’ll keep it light on wedding words for now!

There are a couple of missing photos… sorry… and many doubles ups in this post but here you go….

Day 9 – Sunday

Wearing my Hudson pants while starting the Groom’s suit shopping… very early… like months early… (spoiler alert.. we’re still looking!)

IMG_20150509_134528 (2)Day 10 – Monday

Monday was cold… though I look prepared for work I have sneakily outfitted myself in… polyprop leggings, boots, a wool skirt and a wool top. I made the top and the skirt. But I’ve blogged neither.

IMG_20150511_083940[1]Day 11- Tuesday

My BHL Victoria Blazer… this was made just before I stopped regularly blogging and never made it to the blog. I wear it a fair bit though….

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Day 12 – Wednesday

Work again… My lace knit skirt… which I love and will be blogged here as soon as I get some good photos of it I promise!

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Day 13, 14 and 15 no photos…

but I did wear me made, I promise… and its all clothes worn elsewhere this post…

Day 16 – Sunday

The day after The Party. Not hungover, but def tired. Spent the day at the bridal expo with my awesome Matron of Honor who was in from out of town and then the museum (Te Papa) with some friends who were flying home that afternoon. Wore my wool Seamwork Oslo.

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Day 18 – Monday

Work day. Purple knit skirt. This one was a muslin for the to-be-blogged red lace skirt pattern. Worked out well me thinks. (The black wool above is the same pattern!)

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Day  19 – Tuesday

My Watson jacket. Love love. Though I fear its a wee bit too big these days. Sad panda. That must be the reason for my sad face. That or the fact I was off to work.

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Day 20 – Wednesday… no photo. Sigh.

Day 21 – Thursday

Off to see a show. Wearing my Papercut Rigel bomber

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Day 22 – Friday.

This was a fail day. I had casual Friday at work but a meeting at lunchtime that casual Friday wouldn’t work for, then went to the gym after work. So three outfits went to work with me and nothing was home made!!!

Day 23 – Saturday

Action shot. Played chauffeur for my brother and got a shot of my original orange skirt

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Day 24 – Sunday (today! phew)

My burdastyle red sweatshirt covered me for brunching, gardening and napping!

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And we are up to date. Hope you’re having a great month xx