Sunday, 24 August 2014

progress on the blue UFO shirt

I didn't get as much done yesterday (at the sewing guild group) because I hadn't bothered to change the overlocker thread & neaten the edges that I was going to need (sleeve hem, CB seam etc). I got the darts onto the correct side of the front right piece, and the other front darts sewn, along with the shoulder seams. The irons were busy so I didnt' move onto fusing the interfacing on the collar pieces/facing.

Today I started feeling twitchy - coming down from family drama stress levels mixed with the unusual situation of not dementedly sewing a new costume for the ACG annual ball next Saturday. I'm going to it, but re-wearing my Disney Cinder's Fairy Godmother.

It's a little odd to be honest - the lack of inspiration for a new costume. But that's how life works. I had ideas, but needed time to make all the right underwear. And they will need fitting help.

So today I got myself organised enough to change to blue thread, and did every edge I possibly could to make the next stage easier for me.


Not the first time I've used this fabric and pattern together. The first shirt was such a favourite of mine that I bought more fabric while it was available.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

the paisley no-longer-UFO shirt, and more robot

Last night I whined far too much about hand sewing buttons onto this shirt, but it was worth it as today I got 2 compliments on my new blouse.

I realised why the facing was too short - the facing is the original length of the shirt I drafted this from, but I cut the blouse longer. Silly me!

Something that maybe not everyone does is sew a spare button to a side seam or bustdart.

The reason I sew it into the seam is so that it has the same laundering processes and wear as the other buttons. I've always bought at least 1 spare button, and one time when I got it out of the button box to use I was shocked by the contrast to the other washed & worn buttons. Considering I can have a shirt or blouse last 4-7 years or more that can be multiple washes that affect non-shell buttons.

The other finished item in this post is a hot water bottle cover - a gift for a friend. It's 3 layers of cotton flannelette (2 inner layers of stash!), bound with grey satin binding (stash!) and then folded into an envelope and stitched next to the binding. The elastic is there to hold the cover in place - I've never used that on my previous covers but this is a gift and I had matching elastic, so it doesn't need to be stretched, just able to stretch up over the top section.

I self drafted this by drawing around a hot water bottle and guestimating how much ease I'd need once there was water in it. Snug but not tight. And I got it right first go. :D so I simply copy it each time.

As a sidepoint to why I was confused at losing the buttons for the paisley blouse, I usually keep all parts of a project in a ziplock bag. cut out pieces, pattern, thread, zip/buttons etc.

Thanks to the missing buttons (which turned out to be in the drawer on my sewing table {hits forehead}) I decided to put the thread/bobbin/buttons in to a micro ziplock bag, inside the bigger bag.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

pattern giveaway

had to come home from work before lunchtime - gastro is going through work & myself! Slept a chunk of the afternoon and then spent a small amount of time in the storeroom, found some more things to donate to a charity shop, and some fabric & patterns for the fabric cave.

Does anyone in Australia want Butterick 5331 in multisize 14-16-18-20... not sure why I got it (think it was at my first sewing retreat) though I suspect it was for the collar. But I don't wear vests, not even pretty ones! If I hear by the end of August it's yours, otherwise the first Sunday in September, it goes to the Fabric Cave.

Also found the cut out regency bodice+sleeves - it was in the cascade, which I wasn't expecting. The cascade is back on top of the table ... and I'm sorting through culling things and putting them away. Grit my teeth & salvaged the zip from a dress I made and wore once. I kept kidding myself I could salvage the dress ... but can't. The rayon georgette just kept stretching, and the first time I wore it (to a wedding) what started out 1940s inspired ended up 1920s fugly with dropped waist and ankle length.

So put away, give away (craft vs ordinary charity shop), plus today's grocery bag of rubbish.


no buttonholes, distracted by a fabric cull

Foolishly last night I forgot to do the buttonholes / dart alteration before I headed to my storage room to cull some of my fabrics. I've got a small pile separated out to donate to the Fabric Cave (a charity craft shop), and I found my missing Laughing Moon regency stays pattern. I knew that would only happen after I replaced it. I'd piled fabric & patterns on my cutting table and some had cascaded off. The patterns are from when the drawer base fell out and I'm working my way through culling some, and the fabric is from trying to decide what to sew at a retreat. Inspiration strikes on seeing plenty of opportunities, but the habit of putting it back straight away never got developed.

So by the time I came back upstairs it was just that bit too late for me to start sewing - the building I live in has poor noise abatement, and I don't want neighbours complianing to my landlord about noise.

Tonight, buttonholes and I can wear the shirt tomorrow!

Monday, 18 August 2014

working my way through UFO projects

I went to another sewing guild retreat not the weekend gone but the one before, and will have some photos to post after tonight. I got one of my UFO shirts completed - though I need to adjust the bust dart length, so will do that tonight before taking a photo of it. I realised this after wearing the shirt on Saturday and thought it was too close to bust point cos I was wearing a bikini rather than bra ... all my bras were in the wash. (The bikini is to be built into my next swimwear). I couldn't take the blue UFO shirt because my brain decided not to see it right next to the pink shirt. Selective vision is way too harsh at times. I also finished a navy pinstripe wool/rayon skirt that hadn't reached UFO status and have loved having that in my work clothing rotation.

I also had to fudge the facings on my paisley UFO blouse - cut too short cos of my bodgy pattern drafting. I also lost the buttons for that in the grotto/dungeon. They're probably buried under the fabric & patterns on top of my cutting table. I bought different buttons for it on Saturday & forgot to take the thread with me to the sewing guild day, and as I already have 4 or 5 white spools of thread I wasn't going to buy yet another one to do 5 buttonholes. So I'll stitch them tonight and take a photo. Seeing as I found the blue shirt as soon as I got home, I started sewing it on Saturday. The darts are all done, but I need to unpick one side of the front, cos I did them on the incorrect side of the fabric. A woven fabric with a definite right and wrong side. {foreheaddesk} I blame sleep deprivation cos of family stresses.

I've decided my storeage room should be called Loki cos it's a place of chaos & transformation. I think my new habit for the year should have been putting things away properly instead of just dump+running. I'm also having to start my own shell game, partly inspired by the certain knowledge that I had to do it. Not just put things away properly - but cull my patterns and fabrics again. This time being a little more ruthless in passing on the fabrics that no longer suit me the best. I reviewed my stash spreadsheet and identified 9 fabrics that I've held onto but that I really don't need to keep. Nowadays a little darker suits me better than lighter and they should go to someone who can use and SUIT them. I still have plenty of fabric

I'm happy to at last having more work clothes in my wardrobe, and continuing to add to it for summer (and beyond).

Sunday, 17 August 2014

moth nibbles on stash wool yardage (and a jumper)

I'm going to order some jumbo size ziplock bags to put each piece of wool yardage into for my winter fabric cupboard, as something has nibbled at a jumper - I hadn't worn it for about 10 years and I got it out of my winter clothing tub (not kept with yardage) to cut up & remodel.  Lots of tiny little holes. :(  One piece of yardage I got at The Fabric Cave also has a few tiny holes in it but as I don't remember holding it up tot he light I don't know if that had them before or not. And a piece I gave to Sharon also had some moth holes (which I didn't realise). Once they're ziplocked I can freeze each piece - my freezer is small so I can only do 1 at a time so I need to separate out each piece to prevent any further damage while I do them all.

In other stash news I've cut up & sewn pieces of cotton or rayon lycra knits that I bought for fitted Tees, but realise the colours no longer suit me. I used them for KS2529 - prevention of thigh chafing seeing as 99.9% of the time I wear skirts or dresses.  I cut the legs longer because I find that more comfortable and don't even finish the hem .. in a knit they've never frayed or run and these wear out before the hem is ever an issue.  So underwear or underpinnings but NOT underpants!  I'm very quick to correct that idea. The last batch of yardage I bought for these was skin colour and I realised that I do not like that. A bit nanna-boring if you know what I mean (as in my-nanna not modern nannas).


Of course, I'm not immune to the lure of more fabric. I tossed out a loved but worn burgundy rayon skirt and bought a piece of burgundy pinstripe wool ... more of a flannel than a worsted but I'm looking forward to making it up next autumn.  It's a colour I love, and that suits me but is fairly hard to find. So although I'm trying to reduce the stash, a hard to find fabric made it home. It's not going downstairs until it's safely bagged up.


Editing to clarify: It's freezing that kills moth eggs, not the plastic bag. But to quarantine each piece (I have about 30) and stop it sticking to anything in the freezer I'm putting each in an individual ziplock bag.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

This Saturday - a Regency Fashion Parade at Woodford Academy

Up in the Blue Mountains, Woodford Academy is a National Trust property that dates back to the 1830s. There might be an older single building in the area but not by much as europeans didn't find a crossing over the mountains until 1813.

This Saturday afternoon I'm participating in a Regency Fashion Parade there, in 2 costumes, I'll be first on show and then do a quick change to reappear in a dress that's only 10 years older but quite a contrast in style.

I've had to write a packing list for both costumes so that I don't travel for 2 hours to get there, only to discover I've left something essential behind like stockings (once I packed white cotton ankle socks instead of knee highs).