Friday, 19 July 2019

Finished - Needle Roll

Pockets for pens and glue pens

Pin cushion, needle book and two good sized zipper pockets

I am so pleased with how my finished needle roll has turned out.  I made a few changes to the pattern, more in design interpretation rather than anything to the measurements.  The backing fabric for the middle outside cover and binding is not linen but a scrap from this shirt.  I made a covered button to tie in with the inside lining and the fabric on the base of the vase. Mine has possibly ended up a bit puffier than the one in the pattern due to the wool blend batting I  used.

I am going to enjoy using this needle book, I love all the colours I've used and special fabrics and trims.

Finished measurements are approximately 16" x  8.5"
Pattern from Sue Spargo - published in Inspirations Magazine 94/2017

Monday, 15 July 2019

A Needle Roll in Progress

Image from Inspiration Studios

Two years ago I bought a beautiful Inspirations magazine, completely swayed by the gorgeous Sue Spargo project on it's cover.  When I visited my sister in Brisbane that year, we both bought felt and ribbons to make our own versions of the featured needle roll.  Fast forward to this year and I have finally made a start.

A grey wet day in my sewing room,  saw me pulling out felt, fabrics and ribbons, deciding what I was going to use for embellishing the needle roll, cutting out all the pieces and finally making a start.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed wool felt applique and the subsequent embroidery it requires.

I am changing my cover design slightly, my eyes can't handle stitching 1cm hexies together, and using different fabrics and trims from the original to make it my own taste.  It's going to be bright though.

Hopefully I get a chance to work on this in the evenings and get it finished this week.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Catch a "Fall"ing Star

Currently I am having an enforced break form sewing, while my machine is getting serviced, so it is a good time to try and finish some of the hand stitching wips I have.

Way back in August 2018, I started a canvas work project that my sister had sent me the pattern for.
I enjoyed working on it, though I did find it a little hard to stitch at night.  For some reason I put it aside and it got lost in the mess that was my sewing room.  Fast forward to a week or two ago, when I finished sewing my, coat and gave the sewing room a much needed tidy up.  Lo and behold I found the bag with it all in.

It hasn't actually taken to long to finish, and I am quite pleased with how it looks.  The finished size is about 7.5" square, and it is rather hard to photograph the colours accurately.

Now I just need to take it to the picture framers and let them work some magic on it.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Oslo Coat

Much as I love my Sapporo Coat which I made last year, I felt that I needed a more classic colour and style to wear too.   I searched long and hard through pattern books and online, reading blogs and looking at instagram images and eventually settled on the Oslo Coat from Tessuti Patterns.

I bought a beautiful charcoal wool/rayon blend from Centrepoint fabrics, which luckily for me me was in a closing down sale.  The pattern was bought and downloaded, then assembled over a couple of days when I was home alone - it's about 100 pages to piece together.

Preparation of the pattern pieces also took a couple of days - there is the actual coat fabric, lining and interfacing to cut out, notches and tailor tacks to be done and interfacing to be adhered.  I need to remember too that notches work well in some fabrics and I don't need to tailor tack all the markings, the wool would have been a perfect example of this.

The pattern itself is very detailed, one cannot fault Tessuti for their instructions.  My only gripe (and I have seen others comment on this too) is that it is hard to see the photos clearly because of the dark fabrics they have used. I have found Tessuti patterns to be very accurate for my size, so based on my measurements, I made the size 8 without any adjustments.  I love the length of the coat, though possibly I could have lengthened the sleeves by an inch or so. I have read that a lot of people found the pocket placement too low, but I think it's pretty good on me. For the record I am about 5'8".  Sewing the pivot points, was a wee bit tricky, and by the time all the coat was assembled, there was a wee bit of weight to manouvre through the machine.

Lining is a grey and white dotty acetate, and the sleeves a grey bemberg - guess who misread the pattern requirements and didn't buy enough dotty fabric.  I made little tether chains to hold the pockets in place and added a ribbon loop for hanging purposes if required.  Lots of button holes were practiced on scraps, before sewing the real version.  My machine has a few different styles to make and I chose the round end button hole.  A plain black button from my stash finished it off.

Judging by this  predicted weather forecast, I have finished it just in time to  enjoy wearing it and stay warm and cosy.  Miss B has also hinted that maybe next year when she's at university, a coat like this may be useful - guess it's a winning style.

Saturday, 22 June 2019


Recently I have had a few friends in the real world and on social media say they feel like they have lost their creative mojo and/or sewjo.  I know that at times it happens to everyone, (it has to me ) and sometimes life gets in the way, but it has made me wonder that if perhaps with all the social media influences that affect our lives, we are feeling compelled and pressurised to keep up with other quilters, sewers, creative people.

Are we constantly feeling the need to be making something new, producing new quilts or garments, buying the latest fabric, patterns etc,and posting about them, so that we are getting likes on social media. 

I've started working on this in the evenings again.

No, I didn't create this, but I enjoyed eating it.

Maybe when we feel that we've lost our sewjo/creativity rather than endlessly scrolling through instagram or pinterest looking for inspiration,  we actually need to remove ourselves from it for a while and find some new sources of inspiration.

Go for walks, look at beautiful gardens, visit art galleries and museums.  Tidy up your sewing space, maybe even finish some unfinished projects, often the sense of achievment from completing a project is like removing a burden, and that can free up your creativity.  Rearrange your house, wear different colours, read books that take you to a new place- fiction or non fiction, it doesn't really matter, try some new recipes.  This article has some interesting ideas too.

Creating and being creative, is something you do for yourself, something that gives you pleasure, it is not a competition.