Thursday, 11 October 2018

Sewing Small & Scrappy

Lately I've been working on some small pick up and put down pieces.

  • Now that it's nearing Christmas, it's time for my sister and I to make our latest decorations from mmmcrafts, 12 Days of Christmas series.  We have been doing this for the last three years, and make one of each for ourselves and each other. I'm doing the odd numbers and my sister does the even numbers.  This means I get  miniature people to make this round -  drummers drumming and ladies dancing.  They're a little fiddly, and face painting is definitely not my forte, but the finished result is pretty cool.
  • I've also been making 1" hexis.  My sister and I have sent each other lots of 2.5" scraps of fabrics we have used throughout the years on our own quilts.  I keep a pile of fabrics and templates at work, which I make in my lunch break on the Saturdays I'm working, and I have some in a project bag at home for when I want some mindless stitching to do.  No glue basting on these ones.  I'm not sure what they will all end up as, maybe lots of scrappy hexi pillows, or perhaps I'll save them for that scrappy hexi quilt, I contemplated making two years ago.  It's quite interesting to see the similar but differing tastes we have in colour and designers.

What small projects are you making at present?

Friday, 5 October 2018

Kimono Jacket

Well the Kimono Jacket is finished.

After yesterday's little hissy fit, I sat down today and sewed the neckband on,  pressed it well, then after much measuring, I carefully trimmed the bottom of the kimono to even it up.  To make it the correct finished length,  I made a band the same width as the neck band and attached it to the bottom of the jacket.  It is definitely not perfect, but it is infinitely wearable and will be a perfect layering piece for my summer work wardrobe.

The Kimono Jacket Pattern  is from Sew Over It (I was by the time I had finished it), and is easy to follow and to make,  other versions I have seen on Instagram and blogs look as though they have turned out well, so I'll put this one down to a maker's mistake somewhere.  I may make this pattern again one day, and Sew Over It have lots of other blouse patterns I'd like to try one day also. I might need an overlocker first though.

Anyway I'm off to celebrate the arrival of the weekend and the fact I finished another garment with a glass of wine now.

Happy weekend to you all.

**Photos taken by Miss B on a slightly breezy afternoon**

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Things Here Lately

  • A new sewing project 
Yes, I'm obviously a sucker for punishment, cos I am sewing with rayon again. The sewing hasn't been too bad actually, I find cutting out out harder because it seems to slip and slide.  I'm at the point though, where I'm not sure whether to continue or try and turn it into something else.  For some reason, once I attached the neckband,  the bottom of the sides and back, aren't really hanging evenly  I've tried trimming it, but if I take any more off, I think it will end up too short.  I don't really want to throw it out, cos I love the fabric.  Anyway, I'll persevere for a little longer, luckily the fabric wasn't expensive.

  • Recent good reads.
The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah is set predominantly in modern day France, but takes you back to life in German occupied Vichy during WWII.

A Month of Sundays by Liz Byrski is set in the Blue Mountains of Australia, about 4 woman from an online book club that meet for the first time, sharing a love of books and their life and histories.

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland.  I think this might be one of my favourite reads for 2018.  Set in Australia, it is a hard read at times describing abusive relationships, combined with family dynamics and histories, and strong female characters.  It's not all bad though, with lovely descriptions of Australian native flowers and their meanings.  In a way I found this a similar read to another favourite novel The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

  • Spring in my Garden
No spring bulbs or blossoms in my garden, but my Manuka shrubs are flowering, and I love the splash of colour they bring at this time of year.

Kalanchoe pumilla - this lovely potted succulent was a cutting I purloined one day while walking - luckily it seems to thrive on neglect.

Chinese Ground orchid (Bletilla) for a bright splash of mauve.  This seems to survive light frosts, lots of rain and summer drought.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Solstice Dream - Finished

Yes it is finished.  The fabulous custom quilting was done by my friend Leeanne of Quiltmekiwi.  She has done a wonderful job, and I hope she had fun creating all the swoops and swirls and feathery flourishes.  She also quilted my sister's version and that will be winging it's way to Brisbane this week with our Mum, ready for her to finish.

After much deliberation I chose  a Brandon Mably print, called Victoria Stripe Hot for the binding.   I was besieged by doubt about my fabric choice as I started hand stitching it down, thinking it too bright, but I am happy with it now it is finished.

Well the binding has been put on, the hanging rods in place and Solstice Dream has now replaced Bird Dance on the wall in my Family room.

Solstice Dream pattern from Kerry Stitch Designs

Edited:  To see pictures of the one made by my sister, check out Leeanne's blog post here,

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Carey Top

I fell in love with this beautiful printed rayon on my first trip to The Fabric Shop in Otara.  On my last visit,  I finally decided to buy some, not really having a pattern in mind, I figured I could always revert to the tried and tested Bellbird Top, of which I have made a couple.

However when I was  downloading the Uvita Top pattern from Itch to Stitch, I came across the Carey top pattern and thought that this looked like something I'd wear. It can  be made in either a woven or a knit fabric.

Itch to Stitch patterns always give very clear detailed instructions, and illustrations which make them it easy to follow.  (actually I have found this with a lot of indie patterns, they assume you are not a sewing expert, so explain things really well) .This pattern also gave different options for hemming the shirt, depending on what type of machine you were using.

This was the first time I have sewn with rayon, and it has been a bit of a learning curve for me.  I have learnt that spray starch and the iron are my friends, as are lots of pins. I over edged all the pattern pieces before I started sewing them.  For the contrast panel in the sleeve, I used remnants of chambray voile leftover from my Sorbetto Top.  Sewing this top has taken me a little longer than usual, however I figured that  slowly working away on this, sewing a couple of seams at a time,  carefully pressing after each one, then pinning the next seams well, would give me a top I enjoyed wearing.

Making the ties was probably the fiddliest part (the hem was a close second),  you can use ready made cording, but I couldn't be bothered driving to Spotlight to find any. I like the look of ties that match the shirt not the contrast panel too.

Overall, I am really pleased with how it turned out. It is possibly a little more snug over the hips than I thought it would be, so I may need to try grading my pattern next time. ( I made this in a size 2).  Despite knowing that this shirt  will need to be ironed everytime I wear it, I know it will be worn a lot over summer.

**Photos of me taken by The Scout**