Sunday, February 27, 2011

For Linda

My old school mate from way back, Linda, was in need of some light and easy little dresses. She had a ready to wear one that she liked and I traced a pattern from it.
The ready to wear one was made up in chiffon - which she liked - so I got her some samples from Block N Roll at Belmont (NSW) for her approval. Linda isn't traveling very well at the moment so she can't get to shops etc. She likes to wear the little dress as a nightie - so why not have some nice fabrics and pretty colours to cheer up one's day??
I made her 5 little dresses - they are all lined - and relatively easy to sew up. The have a shoestring tie going through a casing for the shoulder straps. I had mixed success with a rolled hem foot - maybe the lightness of the chiffon was too finicky - it worked and then it didn't work - I need more fine tuning with this one, so most hems were turned once and stitched and turned again and stitched - which was super easy - not pressing or pinning - I guess I was just hoping that the rolled hem foot would do it once - anyway - will work on that one.

Rolled Hem Foot - Bernina
Now, this little Fasturn gadget was an absolute GODSEND!! It made all those spaghetti straps quickly and without fuss - I purchased mine on an Australian Auction Site - so look out for them - just wonderful!

Piggy tail wire hook that grabs the end of the tube and it is then pulled through the larger metal tube and voila!!
I just delivered them to Linda and she loved them! She made me a lovely bracelet - thanks Linda!!

Summer Fresh

Whilst traveling north recently we stopped at Murwillumbah where Shaun had spent a great deal of time as a child visiting relatives. His cousin's wife is a keen sewist and so suggested a fabric shop to me ... in a rather impressive building that once served other purposes I found this little gem .....
I purchased a shirred fabric panel - for a skirt - I am totally amazed at how these pieces of fabric are manufactured - there is a shirred section for the waist - or it could be at the bust if you wanted a little dress, then there are sections of (I'm guessing) jacquard woven detail, then plain white, then some more woven detail - that has a "tension" to it - not shirred but some tighter woven rows .... the piece I purchased had the shirred section mistakedly already cut off so they sold it to me for half price - so I just overlocked it back on.

One centre back seam - hem the bottom and finish the top edge and all done!!
I also made a top from a lovely light cotton double gauze, Martin & Savage fabric using Simplicity 2365 (View B).
I made a straight 12, and the only "issue" was instead of 5 buttons I only did 3 - the buttons aren't functional as the top slips over your head - but 5 would have been too high and probably not able to be easily slipped over my head. I really like this pattern - the little madarine style collar and the sleeve cuffs and the pintucks ... will make this one up again. The skirt's fullness is limited towards the hem by the tighter tension I mentioned previously - so you can't take giant big strides - which is OK - must remember "lady like steps" in this one!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

School Based Projects

And sew it seams that I must apologise for the break in transmission - not exactly sure what happened - but here I am with more pics about stuff I make ...... Revisiting some projects from the past, from things done at school (me as teacher not me as student).

 Mixed Media Wall Hanging - a seascape that we did at St Philip's Christian College, Waratah, taught to me by Jan Cummings.This was a great project. It started with a rectangle of calico to which the students added overlapping leaf shaped pieces of fabric graduating from dark to light colours - representing the ocean. Then they added some "glitz" tiny snippets of sparkly fabric and allsorts of other fancy yarns, then a layer of black tulle was added and then they stitched by machine over the whole lot in wavy lines - many many rows of stitching - excellent for building up machine confidence without the fear of making a mistake.

 After that the piece was embellished with seaweed made using Solvy and machine embroidery, and organza leaves curled and heat set, and hand stitching more seaweed, maybe even an octopus.  We also made sea creatures using Polymer Clay and they were hand-stitched on. Add some borders, backing and binding and there you have it!!
 Later, I took some of these techniques to a group project at St Paul's High School, Booragul. This was a quick little project at the end of our unit - using the same idea of overlapping materials with tulle and then the students machined it all together in a postcard sized piece. I then bound them altogether for a wall hanging. Each student's name is attached to their piece of art. Individually they look pretty ordinary, but collectively they look impressive. And here it is outside the Principal's office.

Finally, I'd like to introduce to you my new little friend, Big Louis. British Shorthair 4 months old, currently quarrantined from Miss Maggie (very jealous Border Collie), we're hoping for a happy union in the coming weeks.