Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sasha the Travelling Stash

What seems like forever ago I put my name down for a travelling stash, it was organised by the lovely Cass. Well she arrived in my mail box this week and I was a bit knackered so I left her for 2 days before opening her, I just didn't have the brain space to deal with making decisions!

 She was a hefty lass and I was ever so very careful opening her, I didn't want to cut into anything inside her!
 Lots of 'stuff' in a very small bag! Whoever thought to pop everything into the carry bag was brilliant, it made it much easier to pull her in and out of the satchel.
 What to choose, what to choose.... I had several piles of things and Miss Amelia got involved as well, our tastes were clearly not the same...
 I settled on the pre-cuts, a guage, some self covering buttons and some more pins, I seem to eat pins...
I put in a quilters panel which is quite funny, a funny number plate cover, 2 jacket zips that are now too short for anything I would make my lanky lass and some elastic and a reel of cotton.

I hope I have done the right thing! I did a bit of research for the cost of some of the things I took out and as everything I have purchased is brand new I know how much it cost (the zips are about 8 months old). Weighing in at a respectable 2.95kg off she goes to the next recipient - Joelle!

This is also  my 100th blog post, pretty amazing in itself really. Most people have giveaway's and the like but with 2 followers (or maybe I am up to 5 now!) I have no idea who actually reads or enjoys my ramblings coz no one comments. Who knows, if I get a flurry of comments and activity I might just do a winner of something, well, random! Make sure you leave your email address 'just in case'!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sewing finishes

We have had a change of 'attitude' this week. Trying so hard to find the groove we need to make me going back to work and Stef back on shift... we only watched telly twice, once on Tuesday when I did the ironing during Winners and Loosers and Friday when Amelia needed some calming down during a storm.

The other nights I got a bee in my bonnet and did some sewing!

 The third hot water bottle cover - which was given as a 21st gift on Friday night! I have one more of these to make and Hobby Sew were out of the blue satin bias, a little frustrating buuut, we will try Spotlight and if not, then 2 weeks will come around quick enough and hopefully Hobby Sew will have a delivery in.
 A hoodie for my 'dotty about sausage dogs' Gen (remember Daisy Dog?). I used the pattern for my purple hoodie and took 2 inches out of the middle of each pattern bit. A funny moment with the hood which turned out to be the pockets. It all came together really quickly and fits perfectly as if it was made by a pattern. And the best bit, Gen loves it!

 This doesn't look like much but satin bias on double folded muslin. I overlocked the muslin to begin with then spent the best part of an hour attaching the binding! I hope Ingrid likes it!!!
Now I am working on a travel wallet for myself and I also finished 4 fabric napkins at sewing yesterday. Happy something else can be crossed off my to do list!

Sew Craft Retreat

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to snaffle the last ticket to a Craft Retreat. It was held at the Sebel in Kiama and was a fantastic day away from the phone and computer and the nagging housework that usually consume a Saturday morning... Lisa had actually told me about this months ago but at the time I was not working and we had the doom of Stef's redundancy hanging over our heads, I had to decline. But, things change and I am working now so I didn't feel quite so guilty about choofing off for the day!

Amelia was safely installed at a friends house for a sleepover after a dinner invitation and cards night, which JUST so happened to be perfectly timed! I drove to Lisa's place in Carringbah and we went down to Kiama together... I left home at 6.45am and arrived at Lisa's about an hour later. I was amazed at just how much traffic was on the roads at that time of a Saturday morning. How lovely it was to escape without children together for the first time ever! 

Kirsten Doran and Mel from Paperklip were the forces behind the day and it really was a terrific day out.

The day was broken up into 2 parts and a whole lot of eating! The activies were embroidery and paper craft. When we arrived we got to select an embroidery design (I chose a hot air balloon), some tissue paper for the paper craft (I chose hot pink) and some paper for a cut out bunting (I chose pink/green). We were also given a goodie bag on our chairs which was full of lots of little treasures, some of which I haven't had a preoper indulge just yet.

We had a welcome from some inspirational businesswoman and then broke for morning tea. Straight into it after being fed and watered. We had hand sewing to start. Kirsten was terrific and taught us (or more reminded me how to) back stitch, chain stitch and satin stitch. I didn't get as much done and I would have liked to but I am pleased with my progress and I did enjoy it enough to buy a second print to do as a gift for someone for Xmas. I don't have a picture of this as yet...

After a break for a fabulous lunch which included a jug of lemon lime and bitters, no one touched the coke and orange juice jugs! (the only thing I will say is there was no carbohydrate option that was gluten free so while there was lots to eat I wasn't full - oh and don't get me started on the lady with the yellow scarf...) we were back into paper craft...

I do like paper craft, I do like scrapbooking, I am not a fan of fussy. But. This was okay. I perhaps was in a hurry to move on and get back to stitching!

We made this birdie cut out garland... pretty enough... hanging in my kitchen... couldn't think of another place to hang it!

Subtle enough to not 'take the stage' but we know they are there...

 Then we moved on to making the tissue paper pom poms that are all the rage. Not 'simple' to make but not difficult either, more time consuming than anything.
Hanging on Amelia's light fitting. We don't use the main light often and coming into summer her room is suprisingly light so it should be fine.

I was offered a second kit of tissue paper and I made another pointy ended one for Miss Maggie as a thank you for having her last night. It too is hanging from her light!

We had a good day, it was very long and I was knackered when I got home but it was refreshing and to get back into embroidery was good. My hands were a little sore a few days afterwards but it could also be the additional computer work I have been doing.

Lisa has some photos on her blog and I am almost in one of them!

So thanks Lisa for the invite, thanks Kristen and Mel for a great day out and thank you to the Sebel in Kiama for looking after us so well.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

School costumes...

Shakespeare festival, the highlight of our school calendar year, is upon us once more.

There are 4 class parents across the 2 classes in our year, 3 of us are sewers and the 4th is so enthusiastic and willing to give anything a go it's so lovely! We all get on so well too, always a bonus. Last year I was fortunate to be 'educated' in the costume department by one of the long standing teachers aids which has set us up with a headstart for this year. There was very little that needed sewing, just a few things...

We needed some sashes and some collars - the collars are worn with a plain white t-shirt, a purple skirt (or it could be pants) with an apron over the top. As an ensemble it looks fantastic and I am so proud it was all my design! Collars and aprons!!

 Some aprons - there were 5 other ones with a purple band on them but I can't seem to find a picture of them (and I know I took one!)

And 3 brown tunics (which turned out more like dresses but will suit many a play for many a year to come!)

Roll on August 20th when we get to see it all come together!

Not very exciting but it is sewing and are finishes!

Quilt top in under an hour...

I belong to a few groups on Facebook which are sewing related. Someone posted somewhere about something and someone commented with a link which took me through to this...

Let's back track... A friend and I went to the Stitches and Craft show at Rosehill Racecourse a few months ago. We were both bitterly disappointed and managed to be in and out in 2 hours which left us with an hour and a half before we had to be back at school. We called into Hobbysew at Top Ryde and I spotted these on the counter marked down from $39.95 to $20. I really liked the colours and knew I wanted them for a quilt top but wasn't sure of a pattern.

I knew I didn't want to spend a lot of time on this quilt top as the sole purpose of this quilt is for having breakfast outside mid season where it's too cold to not have a blanket but too nice to sit inside. It had to be big and had to be quick. Jelly Roll Race, perfect!

The instructions say to leave the fabric as it comes off the roll, in hindsight, perhaps I should have put the fabric back into the 2 rolls it came out of but I put all the colours together. The strips are also wider than a traditional jelly roll but meh, it's okay!

It is certainly big enough!

Stef got some batting almost the perfect size off Freecycle and I bought a back from CA Boyle Textiles ($11 /m not $24.95/m!!)  when I was down there a few weeks ago so all up this quilt will cost me about $60 and some time. It's pinned, just needs to be sandwiched now and then bound. I am going to give quilting it a go and if it's no good will take it down to the lady who quilted the boys quilts for me... just in time for spring.

Rain Jacket

Feast or famine around here with sewing... Working has really put a dent in my sewing time but at least when I sew I sew with purpose...

First up is my most recent finish, I finished it about an hour ago, Amelia finally has a new raincoat! I started this about 6 weeks ago at my sewing class. I decided to do it there as my teacher knows all there is to know about making coats. She's also recently become a Grandma to a little girl... I am glad I didn't go it alone as I think it could have had a very different outcome.

This is the Amy Butler Little Splash Abouts Hooded Raincoat and Runabout Jacket Pattern.. I bought it when Quilthome had a sale on Amy Butler. In fact I bought all the things for this project from Quilthome when they were on sale! The fabric is Queen Street Laminate by Jennifer Paganelli. It is a beautiful fabric, both colour and feeling, it isn't plastic at all, well it is but it isn't a thick fabric. The lining is a Michel Miller Gypsy Bandana in pink.

 The front
The back
Pretty proud of my pockets!

So, this pattern, I feel like I need to do 'the good, the bad and the ugly' about it because it was a little frustrating... 

Firstly, it told me I needed WAY too much fabric, which at $20 a yard is a costly expense, especially when it was 2 yards too much purchased. But, from what I have been reading Amy Butler is a bit notorious for generous estimating of fabric requirements.

The back piece in the pattern said to 'cut 2' when all you were going to do was sew a seam up the back, not really necessary in a raincoat so we cut one on the fold.

The markings on the pattern pieces were really confusing, the standard 'cut on the fold' marking from paper patterns like Simplicity and McCalls, was used pretty much everywhere on the pattern for size markings. 

The instructions were OVER complicated, really over complicated! Thank goodness for teacher Chris and also my own jacket making experience. We ended up ditching the instructions altogether and doing our own thing.

The belt... the belt would have to be the hardest part of this garment. It was 4 bits, sew 2 halves together then sew the long bits together, right sides facing leaving a turning gap then turn right sides out. Problem is, it's laminate, it sticks, to itself. Took me HALF an HOUR to turn it right side out and when I did it was so creased it looked like a dogs breakfast! Can't iron laminate easily! Grrr... I would have cut it in one bit, double sided, hemmed the short ends then folded in half then in half again and stitched it. Not to worry, next time...

If you are going to sew laminate I thoroughly recommend investing in a teflon foot, makes easy work of the sticky material and you will need clips not pins. I bought clips but to be honest they look just like girls hairclips so if you have a dozen or so snap clips laying around, pop them in your sewing box.

The good... well, it's a lovely jacket! We made a size 10 (Amelia is 6) and I don't think we will get more than 2 years out of it. If she gets taller not broader we might get 3!

We are both thrilled with the result. Now, not that I want to have bad weather, but we need some rain to road test it properly.