Sunday, January 31, 2010

..... a myriad of uses

... and sew it seams that the old plastic bag scrap catcher system isn't working (either that or I'm too lazy to change it before it breaks) ....
At some of the Guild workshops I'd been to, I had seen little mat things under the overlockers with a piece of fabric to act as the bag to catch the scraps ..... thought I'd have a go .... Here is the underneath part -MAGIC GRIPPER .... it has a myriad of uses .. I like that!

So, I cut a length to cover the base plus an overhang, and I cut a piece of fabric for the "bag". At the top of the bag I made a casing and inserted some plastic strapping from cardboard packages, this hopefully allows the bag to stay "open" ready for the scraps.I used a Teflon Foot to sew over the rubbery stuff.
Then I attached some binding strips using the walking foot.
and here they are .... for the one on the left, I cut it a little larger then I put in couple of pleats in the base seam to allow the top to open a little more, the one on the right is a flat piece of fabric - no pleats. Let's hope they work!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

and the winner is .....

Image: Hudson Valley Wine Goddess

Thankyou to those who entered my giveaway,
There can only be one winner
I used to determine the winner
I don't know how to insert the image of the actual little random widget
But anyway
With further ado

Congratulations to entry No. 9

beck said...

Hi again, I've just noticed all your amazing labels on the've been a busy girl! Please count me in for your giveaway, fingers crossed! x

I will be in contact Beck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wiksten-made Tulip Skirt

Inspiration! This time from Nikkishell. I was so glad that I had this magazine, time to make a tulip skirt for Sweet Pea.
There are a few pattern corrections to be aware of - go to Wiksten-made.
I had some lovely Cotton Sateen given to me by the lovely Miss Alice - she made a very cute Retro 50s dress from this ..... and there was enough for the tulip ....
It's a very easy pattern to sew - great for beginners - the front tie belt aids to pull it in if the waist isn't exactly snug. Sweet Pea is 12 - I cut a Small - the waist is being pulled in by the ties.
I am tempted to make one for myself, except I have legs like a front row forward - but I'll give it a go, and make it a little longer - though I expect I'll lose the Tulip effect .... we'll see....
Now, would you like to win a $80 voucher for some lighting of your choice from Buyster? Then get thee to my previous post and leave a comment ...... go on ...... now!

Speaking of Tulips, Nikki is making a kiddies Tulip Dress Pattern - and she's having a giveaway - go there and enter ..... after you've entered mine of course .....

Help for Haiti - The Selfish Seamstress has a very funny range of Sewing Products for sale - read her post about how she is helping the people of Haiti. While you're there check out her sewing - she's very talented and super stylish!

And one more ..... there's alot of generosity around - Grosgrain has an interesting piece of jewellery to giveaway - got to be in it win it!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Joint Effort

Inspired by the recent sewing efforts of Colette's daughters, I decided to get my daughter into a little project .... it ended up a joint effort - we made a sweet little drawstring dress to wear over swimmers up to the beach .... I drafted the pattern - front and back the same - and just traced a similar style dress she already had .....
I really like this Bernina clear foot - #34 - it's great for beginners to see exactly where they are sewing and they can use the middle red line to line up where to stitch - in this case I wanted her to sew along the top part of the overlocking ...
I attached some Satin Bias Binding around the armhole edges ....
We used some Cotton Herringbone Ribbon / Tape to thread through the casing at the top which then becomes the ties at the shoulders.
Fabric from the stash - Spotlight I think. Cool and happy - she was really impressed with how quickly this came together - about an hour all up - yes, a joint effort! Thanks Colette for the inspiration!
Now, recently my own motivation was definitely waning. I don't know why .... I'm on holidays .... nowhere to be .... nothing awaiting a deadline .... all the time in the world and a thousand projects just waiting to get off the ground. Yet I slumped into a pathetic and miserable nothingness - I was even watching Dr Phil and Judge Judy ...... eek!

Anyway, hopefully I've turned the corner and having done some sewing with Sweet Pea, I whipped up a little dress for moi! Firstly, as I was using a knit fabric, I wound some woolly nylon onto my bobbin. I learnt about this doing a workshop with Pam Kerr as part of the Australian Sewing Guild - are you a member? It's really worth looking into - the Guild is a treasure trove of knowledge and skills .... Anyway, the woolly nylon needs a little help to ensure that you don't wind it too tightly - you simply hold it in between the tension guides - you just manually adjust the tension - not really loose just not super tight ....
This is woolly nylon ....
Another thing I recently learnt about at the Palmer Pletsch Workshop I did was an overlocking thread by Mettler called Metrolene - it's super fine - just lovely - not bulky - you can hardly see it on your seam edges - but is still easy enough to thread and handle.

So, back to the dress. I made up another BWOF 04/08 116 Dress - this time I decreased the length of the front V neckline, as shown below - the red asterisk is where the new point is for end of the CF gathering, you can see the old asterisk in pencil. I also took out a small dart since I was gathering up a much larger piece.
I used this lovely fabric from Marting & Savage 94% Poly 6% Spandex.
And here it is, pictured at Bondi Beach (well, at the front car park). We went to Sydney to see Circus Oz - it was excellent - highly recommend it! As well, did you know CityRail has a Sunday special for families? Each member can travel all day for $2.50 each - bus, train and ferry - I think the area allowed is from Wollongong to the Hunter Valley - bargain!

I'm happy with the neckline alteration - this is a great dress. The last time I made this dress I forgot about the armhole binding piece and simply attached the sleeve and then did the underarm seam and side seam as one ... this time I made a point of putting in the sleeve as instructed - but no way! The sleeve was too large - a mystery to me - so I did the same as before and it's fine.
Psst .... have you entered my giveaway? Entries close this SUNDAY 24th January.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bleaching Denim and a GIVEAWAY

Do this

Dip it in this
Get some of this ready to neutralise
take a little nap, and you get this

Bleached denim all ready for some more cushion backs.

What about the giveaway? I hear you ask ....... Well .......... you could win ......
a voucher for $80 to spend on lighting of your choice at Buyster. Whether you sew by hand or machine we all know that good lighting can make all the difference. The Buyster people have a fabulous range of lighting for all sorts of needs. Could you use $80 to spend on a new light?
Here's the deal:
  1. Competition is open to Australian residents only - sorry!
  2. To be eligible to win you must be a Follower of this blog, if you're not already one go to the right hand side bar and become one.
  3. Then just leave a comment - anything you like really. Edited to add: Anonymous comments probably not a good idea - I won't be able to track you down if you win!
  4. If you also have a blog, you can get an extra entry if you post about this giveaway on your blog - just leave a 2nd comment to say that you've linked me.
  5. Easy! A random entry will be deemed the winner on Sunday 24th January, 2010.
  6. Good Luck!
Finally, how cute is this little vinyl sticker from etsy! - Lindsey T put me on to it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Catching Up

Happy New Year! I'm back and my computer is fresh and clean .... now to catch up on happenings here .... firstly I'm in love with my new dress... it's Burda World of Fashion 4/08 Dress 116, I've made one for myself and one (shorter and sleeveless) for my little sweet pea (age twelve) ...
Both of these fabrics came from my sewing week at Martin and Savage - they are 94% Polyester and 6% Spandex, and while I normally favour natural fibres, this fabric is something else ... just lovely to wear ....
The sleeves are a bit tight as I failed to read the instructions properly - I was meant to put an armhole facing and just insert a sort of 3/4 sleeve - but anyway, it still works ....

The centre front has a cute little drapey piece that tucks into bottom of the V - which I had to adjust to show less cleavage. This one's a winner - I love it!
Next up, we've had some birthdays here and I made some cushions for a nephew and neice ... they are 70cm square, and I used images manipulated by Big Huge Labs and then printed them onto fabric with my inkjet printer ....

I borrowed a Janome Embroidery Machine from school to practise using it .... my sweet pea has taken a shine to it and she's been creating lots of cool stuff .... of course eventually we'll have to make something with all this - but WOW - it has certainly captured her attention and sewing motivation ......

Here is a dress I made from prepared Shirred Fabric - this is so easy and lovely to wear - fabric is called READY TO WEAR from Martin and Savage
I rolled hem the top edge and the hems and the strips for the straps ...

This is the whole piece with two panels on it - here is where I cut it ...
Christmas is hydrangea time ....
And Baguette time ..... featuring some Kaffe Fassett .....

Very cute bag!
Now, some pics from my students .... here is Paul wearing PJs hemmed by Annalise - great work!
He looks pretty happy with them!
And here is Nicole's lovely beach bag and hat ...... the colours and fabrics of these two look fab!
She's on board her lovely boat on beautiful Lake MacQuarie (I assume?) .....

Note the contrasting under brim side - perfect!

And thats AHOY from me! If you live in the Newcastle / Central Coast area and would like to come along to learn hat / bag making I have classes coming up on Saturdays - 30th Jan, 6th Feb and 13th Feb - contact me for more info.