Friday, 12 April 2019

Holiday Hexies





I always take a handsewing project away with me, and my upcoming holiday is no exception.  Over the past few days, I have finished joining 1" hexies, removed all  paper templates, then appliqued the large hexagon shape to my cushion fabric, so it is ready for hand quilting. I've worked out what I'm going to do and quilted a little bit to see if I like it. 

Now the big question is, will any hand quilting  actually be done while I'm away?

I'll be taking a little break from the blog, while I have a lovely holiday with family.  Have a lovely Easter, I'll  be back here after then too.

***There may be the odd progress shot or holiday shot on my IG page too - link here***

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Thursday, 4 April 2019

Finished - Carolina Chain Quilt










After I finished my making my Highlands Wrap Dress, I set myself a goal to completely finish this quilt before we went on holiday, and before I was allowed to start any other sewing project.  This meant, making a scrappy backing, frankensteining some batting, basting, quilting and attaching the binding.

Well, with a couple of solid stretches at the machine, and a night home alone, I did it.  I pieced the backing from some vintage sheets and a little bit of quilting  fabric.  Batting is a wool polyester blend.

I had forgotten how hard it is to actually machine quilt,  (I'm used to lightweight garment sewing)  my shoulders really felt the effort it took to manoeuvre it through my machine.  Basically it is a giant crosshatch design, quilted through the dark and low volume diagonals.  Admittedly my walking foot was not working properly and was more of a limping foot, so my quilting is possibly not up to my usual standard.

I bound it with a beautiful bright Kaffe Fassett fabric and then proceeded to hand tie it in the intersections where I didn't machine quilt it, using an amethyst toned variegated thread.

I am so pleased to have this knocked off my"WIP to do list", this has now been folded up ready to gift to my local hospice.


Sunday, 31 March 2019

Highlands Wrap Dress


My inspiration. Image from here
My toile - made from an old worn sheet







Finished just in time to pack for my upcoming holiday, is my Highlands wrap dress.

I have had this dress (photo 2) pinned to an inspiration board on my Pinterest page for a while now.  I keep coming back to it for a number of reasons, it's a wrap style, it's long and fluid looking, smart yet casually elegant.  Wondering if I could find a pattern for something similar, I came across the Highlands Wrap Dress  pattern and decided that it was an almost identical match.  It can be made as a midi or maxi length dress with or without sleeves.

Linen was my fabric of choice for this make and I purchased a soft denim blue from The Fabric Store in Auckland.I wasn't aiming for an identical look, in fact I was wanting a green, but couldn't find a shade that was me.  The pattern and instructions (80 odd pages) were duly purchased, downloaded, printed.  A glass of chardonnay, an evening home alone and a tip to use a glue stick to assemble the pattern made that part quite an enjoyable experience.

 After making a toile of the bodice I decided to make size 4 which allowed for a little extra room across my shoulder blades. The pattern is designed for a person of 5'6" height with a B cup bust, I'm 5'8" and I have still found this to be an extremely long dress on me, in fact I cut off 3.5". and reshaped it for the mitred corners at the bottom. Next time I know to do it at the lower lengthen/shorten lines, and I would probably take off 4.5".  I would also make the side splits a little lower too. The wraps are securely fastened with a belt and hidden buttons, so no worry about it flapping open.   I got to play with a new foot that I hadn't used before on my machine - the buttonhole foot.  A few practice button holes, then I was ready to go.  Elastic is threaded through a channel at the back for extra shaping.

It's not a complicated pattern, the instructions are clearly written with good diagrams.  It is the volume of fabric that one has to manoeuvre, when sewing, pinning and pressing that makes it awkward.

Overall, this was an enjoyable make, and I'm planning to make the most of warmer sub tropical  autumn temperatures while I'm away and enjoy wearing it.

**Photos courtesy of Mr J using Iphone6**



Friday, 29 March 2019

Out and About



 
 



 

The last couple of morning have seen Miss B, Mr J and I have early starts. Seeing a beautiful sunrise is one of the perks.  Both have been competing in the South of the Bridge regatta at Okahu Bay, Auckland.  Mr J has participated in both days racing, while Miss B in only her fourth time sailing participated yesterday only.  Thankfully there was good wind today, so races progressed well.

I haven't watched all the racing, apart from being too far out so that one cannot recognise their children, 4-5 hours of it is too much.  I have had lots of waterfront walks and today went to Parnell, where I rediscovered St Stephens Church, which was built in 1856, so the Constitution of the Anglican Church, could be signed there in 1857.  This church also holds a special memory for me, I attended my uncle's wedding here when I was 14.

It will be an early night tonight for us all, then work for me tomorrow.  Hopefully I'll finish some sewing this weekend too.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Things Here Lately









  • Piecing together of the hexies has started, I have decided to make some bright funky cushions for my family room sofa.  
  • A self sown Cosmos is bringing some much needed colour to my garden as well as much enjoyment for the bumble bees.
  • I'm currently midway through sewing a dress for myself.  This one has required me to hunt out the sewing machine instruction booklet and my button hole foot.  These were my practice ones.
  • From my never decreasing reading pile.  I have just finished A Well Behaved Woman, the story of Alva Vanderbilt and have now just started American Duchess, the story of her daughter Consuelo Vanderbilt.  It is quite amazing reading about Alva's life, in someways they were very much restrained by society's expectations of what was proper for a female, and in other's they did a lot to further women's health and rights.  Both these are fiction, but very enjoyable reads.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Friday, 15 March 2019

An Apology



I would just like to apologise to any of my blogging friends, who have commented on recent posts, that I haven't replied to lately. I have not deliberately been ignoring you.  It appears that somehow, I switched off the email notification of comments and was not receiving them.  Thanks to a helpful post I found here,  I think I have fixed the problem.

So a big thank you to everyone for your lovely comments on my last couple of posts.  They are always very much appreciated.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend, whatever you end up doing.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

A Rayon Kyoto Tee









A little while ago, I bought 1.5m of this beautiful ochre toned  rayon from Spotlight.  I got the last of the bolt, so I was restricted  as to what I could make with it.  I felt that due to the colour and print on the fabric, something boho style was needed.  I kept seeing lots of tops with frills on the cuffs in the shops and debated making this ruffle sleeved top, a free pattern from Peppermint magazine, however I decided that a frill would probably annoy me flapping around my arms.

After perusing instagram for inspiration I came across these two Kyoto tees,  here and here, made from woven fabrics rather than the knits it requires. After messaging the two makers and finding out that they didn't adjust sizing at all to allow for using a  woven fabric,  I decided to risk it.  As a bonus,  I already had the pattern from when I made the sweatshirt version.

The rayon was pressed and starched before cutting and I very carefully cut the front and back pieces flat, by flipping the pattern pieces where the fold line would be.  I wasn't going to risk having those medallions sitting crookedly.  Mine is an XS size.  I used the same fabric as bias binding for the neckline, rather than making a facings.  I was pretty impressed with my pattern matching on the side seams.

Overall, I am really happy with how this top has turned out.  Possibly you lose the impact of the ruffle on the sleeve, due to the print, however it will be an infinitely wearable top in a rather different colour for me.

**Photos courtesy Miss B and Mr J**

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Waiheke Island









 



Today I was lucky enough to be able to spend the day on Waiheke Island, for a work team building day.  This beautiful island is located in the Hauraki Gulf and is approximately a 40 minute ferry ride away from the CBD.  A lot of people live there and commute daily to the city to work.

These are a few of the sights that caught my eye as we were on the ferry and exploring Oneroa, the little town just up from where the ferry terminal is.

It was a beautiful island, lots of lovely little boutique shops, great cafes and restaurants, vineyards and beautiful beaches.  Currently there is also a sculpture trail, which is held every two years, so it was a very busy little island today.

I definitely need to go back and explore properly, perhaps have a night or two there.