Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Step Back in Time

 Are you ready for a step back into my sewing past? I was reading Shannon's Blog recently and some fabric that she was using looked familiar ....hmmm ... I was prompted to dig around the old photo albums to look for the gold and silk fabric that I used on a collar for a little tie up top - the sleeves were sheer black and it was worn over a LBD - I think it was a Burda Pattern - I probably still have it ..... anyway, it may be nothing at all like Shannon's great little skirt - but the journey back into my photo albums was fun and I thought I'd record them here ... Anyway, the above photo was for my Graduation Dinner 1992 - I distinctly recall only finishing the outfit 5 minutes before we had to go - I did that quite a lot in those days...
Jayne's Wedding, Nana Glen, NSW I made the dress plus Shaun's shirt!!  1989
3rd Year Uni - I did a B.Ed (Home Economics) - I drafted & made this dress, made the hat, the gloves and the bag!! 1989

Mick & Ann's Wedding 1989 I think?? I made the dress.
I made this jumpsuit - woo hoo!! late 80s I guess
Looking like an old Grandma - 1994 - Leonie & Mick's Wedding - I remember I had tonsillitis that day - it shows!! I made the Jacket - tailoring at Uni and the dress - and the hat - I did Millinery after Uni at Newcastle TAFE - loved it!!

1990 - My Wedding Day - it rained and rained and rained - here is the driver holding an umbrella for me. I made my dress, the bridesmaids dresses, the flower girl's dress and the groomsman's bow ties and cummerbunds - I had heaps of time - Uni holidays - 3 months!!

Sewing my little heart out on Mum's old Singer.

The overskirt had lots of crystal organza bias strips sewn on in wavy patterns - I don't know how I did it without a bias maker!

Late 80's -I didn't make the top - but I made the pants - they have a leather yoke.
For Maree's wedding -I made the dress and jacket.
And for Alison & Rory's wedding I made this cute little number - lots of weddings in those days!

!st Year Uni - 1988 - Full Circle High Waisted Skirt and Stretch Knit Top - I loved that skirt!!
Same skirt with a blouse made at Uni.

This was 1990 - Shaun and I just announced our engagement - I made his seersucker shirt, my skirt and top and my sister Georgie's Jacket and Skirt - or did Mum make that?? Can't remember...

Geraldine's Wedding - same dress as before - different hairstyle - the French Roll!!
This was a 4th Year Textile's Project - I made a child's playmat - it's difficult to see the detail here - but it was a journey of experiential learning - and many many hours of work - not sure what happened to it - it went AWOL before my kids appeared on the scene.

So there you have it - funny hairstyles - thinner physique - I had a great time in those Uni days of sewing for my course - after that my life took a different direction - I taught Nutrition for many years, had children...... and then after many years, high school teaching brought my back  into Textiles - and here I am - glad to be back!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Under Estimating

 I under estimated how long it would take to cut 126 x two and a half inch strips ....
 I under estimated how long it would take to cut 15 x13 by 21 inch panels, and lots of circles and fabric for binding....... and I under estimated how long it would take to sew all of those bits together .... so it's been pedal to the metal to get this quilt finished for Christmas - and at lunchtime Christmas Eve it was done!!! It's for my nephew - .... and yes I know a 6 year old would rather toys for Christmas but that's what everyone else could get him ... I used Monica Poole's "Sea Spray " pattern - it' a quilt as you go - so the best thing is that it's all quilted rather than sending it off or struggling with it yourself (well, that's my experience of quilting!).
 I didn't applique as many circles as the pattern suggested - my time frame was tight ...
 The reverse:

 And so with an hour or two I finished these cute little lavender bags that have been in progress for a while .... they made great little gifts

 And for me??? Well, I've been very good this year - as opposed to other years when I've been bad (ha!) ... clever Santa brought me this necklace from some clever local girls - the Strutt Sisters ....
 It's reversible!!
 And how clever is that Santa??? I also got this handy little reference card set - it was advertised on Burdastyle I think - it's a "How Much Fabric" guide (not that I'm buying fabric at the moment - or probably for quite some time yet ..... but if I was .. I know exactly how much to buy!!!)

 And as quick as a wink - and inspired by these sweet girls .... I finished these key fob things on Christmas night .... bit late for pressies - but ready in the wings ...
Merry Christmas to you all!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Secret Santa

 Last Friday was our last day of school before our glorious long summer break. Our staff do a "Secret Santa" and my gift recipient was Richard ... who just happened to be my Faculty Coordinator and who just happened to be taking 12 months of leave to live in Mildura ..... so, he was a likely candidate for the "Handmade" cogs to start turning .....
 I made some boxer shorts and plastered some photographic images all over them .... pics of Newcastle, pics of various Faculty Social things, school excursions etc.
 I made them from Homespun fabric and I used a transfer paper designed for T Shirts - the images do come out a bit plasticy, but I haven't had great results with other alternatives - and I was doubting that he would actually ever wear them until he immediately ran to the little boys room and put them on and then joyfully pranced through the staff room in a manner I had not witnessed before! I used BigHugeLabs to do some fun stuff with the images - one of my favourite sites to play on. I passed them around at our luncheon for everyone to sign - I think he was pretty pleased with them........ So what did I wear?

Well firstly observe the venue .... the picturesque Lake MacQuarie Yacht Club - it was a very hot day, very overcast - but there would be no place better to wrap up 2010 ....
 I made a Tunic Top and some 3/4 elastic waist pants.
 I used a Moonshine pattern by Monica Poole called "Artisan Tunic" - and I was very happy with it - my only niggly problem was that when tracing pattern you had to add on the extension for the side splits and I think extra for the hem - why not just include them when the pattern was printed? But other than that the instructions were good and the fit was great - I cut a size 14. The top has magyar sleeves which I thought would look ill fitted - but I think it all fits quite well. It's a lovely quick top to make. 

My main issue with this combo are the proportions - I think the top is a tad too long - even though it looked OK when I tried it on before hemming - maybe it's just the 3/4 pants - anyway - it may be better with jeans. I also foolishly cut the sleeves too short and had to sew on an extension - I omitted the 3 pockets and the cuff on the sleeves.

 The top fabric is a detailed sequinned cotton from Chic Fabrique - I had to used a walking foot to four wheel drive over this terrain .....
 And the pants are a lovely light and cool fabric called "Summer Crush" from Martin & Savage - 80% Polyester and 20% cotton - you can't iron it - it's one of those twist and dry things. I have a feeling these will get heaps of wear this summer.
Well, the end of busy weekend ... two parties on Friday ... two on Saturday .... no more on the radar - so I'm thinking of diving into some sewing before the craziness really begins.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Party, Bag and Dress

It's that time of year again and I recently had a little Christmas get together with my students at a local and very great little restaurant, Cozzies Cafe at Swansea. I set the table with discarded pattern tissue and presented a little sewing gift for each of my guests ..... thanks girls!!! We had a lovely night!

Back in the studio, and here is a bag finished by Nicole. It is a Wrap Bag and Nicole used old denim jeans spliced with some upholstery weight fabric and she also used brown piping to divide each section.
This is a very big bag - heaps of room - perfect for those who carry EVERYTHING them ...that is, new mothers and maybe students or a great beach bag. The recycled jeans are an absolute winner for bag projects - so much character and strength!
And for me ... I've had this dress cut out and waiting patiently for about 6 months, so it's great to finally make it up and wear it .... it's also great to get some location shots .... can anyone guess where I am???? A no- brainer really ...
Back to the dress ... the Selfish Seamstress alerted her readers to this one ... BWOF 05/2008 Dress 125. Take note of how the styled photograph from the magazine is quite deceiving - but the line drawing is interesting (you'll have to go to the SS's link above).
I used a Martin & Savage fabric called PR Pinstripes - Cotton, Polyester and some Lycra.
The dress is fully lined - I used a Cotton/Silk from Tessuti's.
This dress has great potential - it is comfortable - and will transfer to many seasons - just throw on a jacket and you're set! Construction was straight forward - well, as straight forward as Burda can be!
Do you like my beads? A 10 minute project using resin beads from Empire Beads - sort of makes you think twice about one's hobby???  And the final shot - here is my Shaun - my patient and loyal photographer in our only self timer shot - I bent my legs cause I had no idea if we made it into the frame.