Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Stash Building and Australian Rules Football.

You see when you sew all roads lead back to sewing ( at least in my narrow sewing mind ) .
This year I co-won the Footy Tipping Competition at work ( I suggested to the other winner that he could take all the glory of winning if I take all the money :) - he tactfully replied that he wanted to share the glory of winning with me ) . My family thinks it`s a scream that I won because frankly I know nothing about football and just got lucky although towards the end when I thought I was in with a chance I did use some tactics .
I would like to point out I would have won but put my tips in late a couple of times  for those Friday night games and the person running the competition wouldn`t  let me have those points ( nothing to do with the fact she was coming third ! ) Anyway hopefully you can judge by this that the Footy Tipping Competition at work is fun and we enjoy some good natured banter  about it.

I wanted to spend my lucky winnings on fabric especially some printed cotton lawn to make a tunic . I have been inspired by Camp Runamuck`s happy bright tunics she makes ( not to mention I adore her  pack  of dogs ) . Of course Murphy`s Law means I have bought everything but cotton . So here are my acquisitions.

On the left is some royal blue sweater type knit and denim look knit. Both from the Darn Cheap $2 table. I don`t often get to go to Darn Cheap and usually don`t have much luck with the famed $2 table but I was lucky when these turned up.
Then there is some patterned blue knit and not showing up very well some cream paisley embossed fleecy - both from different op shops. The cream has a couple of brown spots on it but hopefully these will come out or I can cut around them to make a simple windcheater .
On the right is some Daniela  ponte knit from Knitwit. I have read so much about ponte and seen so many great makes out of it but also read that it can pill easily . I have bought a few pieces from Knitwit in the past and generally found their fabrics to be good quality so I now have my first piece of ponte in a pattern and colours I love ( and hopefully won`t pill ).
In front is an interesting piece of fabric - a thick cream  sweater knit with black lace somehow embedded on one side . It was from Clear It . I took my mother to have her cataracts operated on and was able to walk to Clear It from the opthalmologist`s rooms . For the next surgery I took Mum to Clear It prior to her procedure and noted that that fabric was already gone so I am glad I bought it then and there.
So there I was going so well with my stash busting this year . Oh well there is always  next year .

Happy Sewing , Janine.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Stash Busting and Self Care .

Recently I attended a Girls Night Out and included were  talks from a McGrath breast care nurse and a lifeline counsellor. The take home message from the counsellor was the importance of self care.
I absolutely agree . Some women equate self care with being selfish. Self care is important at all stages of our lives whether we are students , new mothers , working women etc.
My husband and children sometimes encourage me  to buy new clothes. Like other sewers my interest in shopping has waned although I appreciate the eye candy and potential inspiration. For me though self care involves not buying new clothes but not feeling guilty in getting rid of old ones. I often keep clothes way past their best.  So with this sage self -care  advice fresh in my mind I did some stash busting and sewed up a pair of  new pajama  pants and a  singlet and promptly got rid of  the  old ones before I could change my mind.
I think as sewers we have a fair idea about self care ( unless we are constantly sewing  for others) and it is just another one of the multitude of reasons why sewing is such a lovely hobby .

 Anyway a brief note about the actual sewing. Here is a bad shot of the PJ pants a one seam pant from Vogue 7645 dated 2002 . I used a green /blue cotton plaid from my mother  stashed for several years . I added a ribbon on the front to make it easier to work out which is the front and back but this was entirely unnecessary since I mucked up matching the plaid at the front but it matched perfectly at the back ( another aspect of self-care - not berating yourself about trivia like matching plaids ) .

For the singlet or tank top I used Kwik Sew 2845 dated 1999  which uses only two pattern pieces. The fabric is a thin soft blush coloured cotton interlock also from my mother and also stashed for a long time. My sewing machine did not like this fabric whilst I was making the original  button hole ( to thread the ribbon through ) but I found by adding tear away stabilizer in both the front and the back of the fabric everything went smoothly the second time. Apart from that hiccup the rest of the sewing was easy and enjoyable.  I have never made this pattern before but it certainly will not be the last.

So here`s to daily self -care . Cheers Janine.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Burda Style Henley T - Much Ado About Nothing.

I just sewed a T -Shirt.
The pattern is from December 2009 Burda Style and why oh why does it take me so long to finally make something from my patterns .Probably because I am catching up sewing from all the other old patterns.

This should have been just  a quick simple make but it took several days and used  several different products. Lots of people would think why bother and I sometimes ponder this as well .
Well there are several reasons why I bother.
1. I have the fabric in stash anyway -  a decent quality  mid- blue cotton pique knit - an op shop find from years and years ago.
2. I  enjoy the sewing process as much as the finished garment .
3. I don't think I could buy a T shirt so well constructed and I want my clothes to last - none of this one season, throw away fashion for me.

Burda Style instructions are notorious for their brevity and this was no different. Thank goodness for my Kwik Sew patterns which I referred to for the front placket. In fact when you know what you are doing the burda instructions do  kind of make sense ( the trick is knowing what you are doing ) .

Apart from the front placket there is stabilising the shoulder seams with cotton tape, interfacing the placket bands, under stitching and stitching and top stitching the neck band and adding hem fusible tape to the sleeve and body hems which I think helps prevents those wavy stretched out hems .Also the buttons I retrieved from an old shirt so I then had to resew on different buttons on that shirt .

Yep , so lots of effort for just a Tee.  ( not to mention tracing out the pattern and adding seam allowances ) .
I made mistakes as well .The twill tape I used was really too thick for the purpose , I added a 1.5 cm allowance to the neck line but only sewed the neck binding on using a 6 mm seam and mis-spaced the buttons despite carefully measuring them. Sigh.
I do like finished  top and will likely remake this. Hopefully without the mistakes .Hopefully I'll remember to read this post .
So all these words to say I sewed a T-Shirt.
Looks like even the dog is giving me an eye roll.