Monday, September 30, 2013

Selfish sewing: Tulip Washi Dress

I am half minded to call this post "struggle with a self timer" as there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between the camera perched on the top of the boys' plastic garden slide and attempting to pose against my garden fence and get a decent shot with decent was not easy.  Plus it was windy, that dress was blowing in all directions while waiting for the camera shutter to click!

I've called this dress my tulip dress, tiny little pink and yellow tulips and daisies pattern this fabric from Spotlight. I bought the last off the bolt and it was a bit less than I actually intended to buy, I think there was only 2.3m left and I really wanted 2.5m.  I thought I would do some pale pink facings to the exterior around the neckline but I managed to squeeze all the pattern pieces onto the fabric I had so I didn't bother with the contrasting facing.  I think in hind sight if I had had more time to spend on making this dress that I should have persisted with that idea.

This is my third Washi dress so I'm feeling quite confident with the pattern now.  The elastic shirring still makes me a bit nervous and I feel like its a miracle every time it works out, I should stop being so surprised shouldn't I?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Selfish sewing: Dandelion top (New Look 6705)

Here's my first post to fully show you the wrap up of the three garments I made during Selfish Sewing Week. The week was perfectly timed to give me that little push I needed to make some summer clothes for my own wardrobe.

This weekend I finished a new top in this lovely dandelion fabric.  The pattern is New Look 6705 - view E on the packet.  I have made one of this style with the rounded neckline before and I had always intended to do another, so here it is.  I even have quite a bit of fabric left over so I might manage to make something else from this material some time down the track.

I popped in this little bit of white trim around the front neckline.  This trim was the last piece of something that I got out of a box of old sewing items and notions that I bought many years ago now.  I've never seen anything like it in the shops - a cotton tape that is open at one side so I presume you could sandwich some fabric between it if you wanted, and a little loopy trim on the other side.  I just sewed it in between the front piece and the yoke - a little bit on a wing and a prayer because I couldn't fully see it as I was sewing the seam, so of course it has a certain amount of wonk factor.  The pain of trying to re-sew it in was above my perfection threshold so wonky it will stay.

Yay!  A new top to grab from my wardrobe to go with my much loved three quarter jeans.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sewing for me, some progress

I've been squeezing in some time for sewing this week (just).  School holidays, a 7th birthday, head colds for two, chronic rhinitis for one - time for my own pursuits is certainly at a premium this week.  Here's a super quick update to show you what I've been up to for Selfish Sewing Week.

I've made two new Washi dresses for the summer.  Boy, it's been hot already this year and I'm well into dress wearing mode.

The first dress I made in this cute cloud fabric...

...and the second in a small pink and yellow flower print.

Today's contribution to selfish sewing has been a lunch time race to cut out a sleeveless top.  It's pretty windy today, I needed some weights to hold things in place so I just used what came to hand next to me down on the floor...

I've gone back to my New Look 6705 pattern - it's easy to fit, it's breezy and easy to wear, easy to iron, what's not to love?

Two dresses and a top would be a good result for the week, just a few days to go so I'll have to keep my head down in those precious spare moments!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Selfish sewing? Yes please!

I'm so glad to have found out about Selfish Sewing Week from Imagine Gnats and Made wtih Moxie.  Right now I'm hauling my summer dresses out of the wardrobe and either throwing away, re-modelling and making some new.  The only catch is that while in the northern hemisphere the kids are going back to the new school year in September, here in Brisbane the 23rd to 29th September is the first week of school holidays - eek!  Even though I'm ready and willing to sew after an extended break from the machine, will I be able to find the time?

I've been getting a head start of sorts this week by making myself a washi dress - loving this cloud fabric.  I'll be posting my progress in the Flickr group, maybe see you there!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spring sale at Maika

Spring is here, time to spring clean, blow out the cobwebs and all that.  To celebrate the return of my favourite season and the fact that I dusted off my sewing machine yesterday AND actually used it - I'm having a 10% off sale in my shop.

As it says, enter 'spring' as the coupon code at checkout, only through until next Tuesday.  There's a couple of cute spring dresses that could be snapped up...just saying.

Happy spring cleaning!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Granny square blanket, meet my couch

It's high time I shared with you my finished granny square blanket.  I think this project took me a good 18 months to complete and in doing so it completely missed its intended purpose of being used in little boy's cot this winter.  In various stages of completion it has sat in a lump in the lounge room or hung in a bag from my wardrobe handle, I even faithfully dragged it around to a weekly knitting group I was attending last year (which was mostly some toddler chasing, lots of chatting and a little bit of crochet), it just would. not. end.  But now it is done and gracing my couch, albeit a little small to be anything more than a lap blanket.  C'est la vie, blanket, c'est la vie.

It's made from the relatively cheap Moda Vera wool from Spotlight, blue and white only, 20 squares all up. The squares themselves are nine rows each, either six rows of white, two of blue and one of white, or five of blue, two white, one blue and another white (sorry for the non-technical crochet speak there, I'm sure there's a more elegant way of describing that somehow). I sewed the squares together in five rows of four to make the blanket.

But oh no, it couldn't stop there, could it?  It needed a border, where to start?  I had been methodically making treble stitches around and around to make the blanket squares without being able to understand any other crochet stitch but then I looked up some online tutorials for making borders on blankets and a curious thing happened to me - I started to understand crochet. It just clicked and I fast made a 'flat border cluster' row from a tutorial at Handmade Wardrobe, then did a row of blue treble stitches, another of white and finally made a scalloped edge following instructions from Attic 24.  Ta-da!

After all the time it took me and the moments of hating how slow my progress was on this blanket in the end I was almost sad I had finished it.  Nothing like finishing on a high.

And nothing like getting snuggly with little person toes.

I think my days of playing around with wool are numbered for the rest of the year.  Spring just sprung here in Brisbane and for the first time in ages I went fabric shopping and came away with enough goodness to make three new garments for myself - almost time for 'hello sewing machine'.


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