Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Dashboard viewing problems ...

... is it only just little old me Down Under having issues with the Dashboard on Blogger at the moment?!? All I can see on the Dashboard page is one blog post at a time ...
When I click on 'View more' to see what's happening out in our big sewing world ... well ... nothing! So I can only see the one latest post on blogs I follow. 

Is anyone else having this problem ... I have worked through the Feedback section, but haven't heard back from them yet ... only bonus is it is freeing up a lot of my time sitting at the computer, so a little sewing is getting seen to ... J

Friday, 18 April 2014

I have crossed over ...

... to the Dark Side, during my blogging absence of late, to the side of .... wait for it .... knitting! 

It's not that I live in a cold climate and need woollies to wear ~ Brisbane is far from being considered an icy city at any time of the year. But knitting does tend to keep me busy during the nights when I can't sleep, and the family did complain about the sewing machine running at 2am in the morning (go figure that one!) So knitting needles it was to be, click clacking away under the blanket of darkness and making a cardi was a simple choice.

With not having clicked the old needles for a few years I found a simple pattern, no buttons or buttonholes and a plainish style to wake my old fingers up with. My hands seemed to have some memory of what to do and it felt like old times very quickly. This is the pattern that I 'planned' to follow ...

Creative Knitting Spring 2103
How lovely does that simple cabled front band look, worked in reverse stocking stitch ~ classic but easy! The pattern is in Creative Knitting Spring 2013 magazine and was exactly what I wanted. Instead of knitting the back and fronts separately, I worked on circular needles, eliminating the side seams. 

People often say knitting is like riding a bike, you never forget! Supposedly skills learnt many years back become part of muscle memory ~ too bad nobody clued me in that my years of knitting hiatus might be beyond the statute of limitations. Yes my friends, disaster struck.

The body is finished, joined at the shoulders (minus the sleeves) and ready for a quick test fit. The cable stitch around the neck looks great. I am loving the colour combo of this wool, and can see it fitting into the winter wardrobe easily.
Neck cable detail at shoulder

AHHHHH!!! Why is my beautiful cable edging down the front rolling under? 

Front cable band hiding under the roll!

It's not normal! The picture cardi isn't doing it ~ but if I look more closely have they actually used photo trickery to delude me? 

Have they used 'magic pins' to keep the cable from rolling ?!?

And then the brain kicked in and remembered, I really needed a ribbing type stitch to even out my stitches and create an edge ~ and the cable stitch didn't do this. Remember all the curled scarves we all have knitted ~ edge them, or even out the purl/knit rows,  and the curls disappear! 

So I am contemplating at the moment to either a) add a rib edge to this cabling, or b) undo and restart. Which doesn't worry me as I really want to end up with a wearable cardi and I do have a few more weeks up my sleeve till the winter chills hit. So I am now on the quest for the mythical non-roll stocking stitch edge

Doesn't it seem like everyone is taking up knitting again these days? Years back it was considered a necessary cost-saving way to keep the family warm, something only our Grandmother's did, keeping their hands busy between cooking and other domestic duties of the day. But now it has become quite a fashion statement ~ even a form of graffiti (have you seen 'yarnbombing' in action). 

Crazy Yarn Bombing examples from around the globe

Ralvelry is my new 'Facebook' for knitting, with Pinterest coming in a very close second. Anyone one else out there being snagged with the knitting bug ... go on, 'fess up ... J

Monday, 27 January 2014

Brisbane Meet Up - 30 March 2014 ...

Kat, from Petticoats and Peplums, along with Liz from Busy Lizzie in Brizzy, are organising a Brisbane meet-up.

All the details can be found by clicking on the very tempting cake below ...

I am not sure how many sewing bloggers there are in Brisbane, but it would be a great way to meet some very creative and talented people from our beautiful part of the world and catch up ... J

Monday, 20 January 2014

Music video made with ...

... would you believe ~ SEWING IMPLEMENTS!!!

It is directed, filmed, and produced by Christophe Thockler, and the clip itself uses 10 000 photographs of needles, thread, cloth and embroidery, mixed with clever lighting techniques to produce a fun video for Favourite Place, the latest track by US pop rock band Black Books.

Click here to go to the clip ...

So sit back, crank the old computer volume up, and explore the world of sewing in the modern arena in a 4 minute array of fun ...

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Could it be made into a ...

... shirt, a dress, maybe a skirt, or quite easily a pair of PJ's! 
If it is to be a shirt, would it become a tunic, more of a blouse, or have the trendy kaftan look happening ?!? 

Or it this was to be made into a dress, would it be an A-lined, vintage, maxi, baby-doll or a muumuu style ?!?

As for pants, the very 'in' harem style, or a more classic tailored look ?!? 

Or, dare I even suggest, the new-look onesies style for this fabric ?!?

So many choices, but at least I could rule out using this fabric for a summer bikini !?!

Why am I actually asking all these questions ??? 

Well, it appears that I have over 12 metres (around 40 feet) of this fabric living in my stash! And at 145cm (60 inches) wide, I could make make whatever my heart desires ...

I could even go into crazy-sewer-mode and whip up some matching family outfits with this amount of fabric ... 

And still have enough left over for new curtains or a doona cover! 

The possibilities are mind-blowing ...

But seriously, I think starting with Vogue 8876 will probably put a dent in this fabric ~ it chews up a good 2.6 metres of fabric ...

Has anyone else ever made up multiple garments from a favourite piece of fabric, or been in a 'one fabric, many looks' challenge?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

I'm off to the 'Big-Smoke' ...

... yes siree! I am heading south to the fashion capital of Australia ... Melbourne, with it's European lifestyle and unusual climate, it does give the impression around this little country of ours as being more fashion forward and quirky than the other cities. My holiday is only a fleeting 4 day weekend, with poor hubby in tow, but I am sure I will be able to do some damage to the credit card in a few of the fabric stores.
Coming from Brisbane way, I am excited to be able to visit a few different fabric stores. Yes, I know, there is always online shopping, but we all must admit, there is nothing equal to just being in the store, with all the bolts of beautiful fabrics lined up and being able to actually touch each (and every) one.

The lovely Suzy from Suzy Bee Sews has given the addresses of 3 shops she recommends -
* Rathdowne Fabrics
* GJ Discount Fabrics
* Clear It
So let me warn you, by early next week there may not be much left in these shops. And my main aim is to stock up on knit/stretch fabrics. Up this way there isn't a great range of stretch fabrics around. Plenty of cheap poly-blend with poor recovery is readily available, but I am after the good high-quality knit fabrics in a range of types ... jersey, ponte etc. 

In my pattern stash I discovered that there already are a few (what an understatement) stretch patterns that I have collected over the years - 
Hopefully I will come back fully laden with fabric to keep me busy for the rest of my holidays ... 
... and are there any other recommended stores that you feel need my attention whilst I'm in the Melbourne neighbourhood???

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Outside my comfort zone ...

... I've joined a GYMWithout turning this into a lifestyle post, basically when I was younger I could eat whatever I wanted and my weight stayed in the healthy range. Fast forward to now, after having 2 kids and being right at the end of my 49 years I have some extra kilos (or fluff) hanging onto my bones ... literally! Why can't extreme all night sewing, hardcore blogging or marathon knitting be enough for me to stay in reasonable shape?
So I have realised that this wiggly weight isn't going to disappear without a little bit of help. After seeing a few pictures on my blog last year I realised that all those wiggly bits can actually be seen ... by all! It was like WOW ~ is that my stomach or the fabric doing that (and I can't always blame the pattern?!?) In 2014 I turn 50 ~ and time is going by way too fast. So I pulled on my Big Girl Panties, and walked out of my comfort zone. That's where the gym comes in ...

I. Joined. Up.  What a learning curve! Did you know that wearing elastic waisted shorts and a tee-shirt doesn't cut it in the gym fashion stakes?!? Who would have thought it ~ I was sadly underdressed and looked like a tourist (minus the camera and bum bag!) The only pair of workoutie-type clothing I had was a little on the 'dated' side .. So how am I feeling ... not just fat and nearly fifty, but frumpy just joined the list.

Now that my confidence is rising, I have donned a pair of 'modern' workout leggings and a very comfortable singlet top (both made out of crazy new-age airwicked technology) and just love it. And I can see me making a few of these myself next year ~ bonus! Bright and fun ~ and motivating.

But all is not as bad as it seems. As I was plodding along on the treadmill for what seemed like minutes the other day I glanced out the window, my eyes stinging from big salty beads of dripping sweat, my sweatstache in full glistening mode.  I actually thought I had heat stroke, as there before my eyes was the most incredible mirage. "Yippeeeeeeeee", I shouted. But ... it wasn't tall icy completely dripping, condesaton-covered, fall in the pool cold water that I was imagining  ~ it was the realisation of what was across the road from me, right in front of my eyes every time I work out ... the perfect motivation ...

So I guess this gym, and me, are meant to be (for now.) The perfect cooldown routine ~ a wander through the aisles of Spottie, stretching my poor worked out hamstrings, loosening up my triceps by reaching for another spool of thread, releasing my punished hip flexor muscles with a gentle bend to select a few bolts of fabric ~ suddenly I realise, I have been living outside my comfort zone all along ... J

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Just made in time ...

... to wear tomorrow for Christmas Day! All this little dress needed was hemming ~ ho, hum, I kept putting it off for a few days for some reason. Anyway, nothing like the thought of sewing on Christmas Eve to get the mojo in full gear. So here is the unveiling of Vogue 8766 ... 
This is the front, simple, but well fitting. It is the sleeveless version ~ yes, it is the middle of summer here and sleeves just are not going to be an accessory at this time of year. What a great dress to sew. It was fairly straight forward from the start, simple lines, a few darts and voila! A new dress emerged. 
I love the spottiness of this fabric, it is a Japanese cotton that has just the most gorgeous cool feel to it ~ but I did interline each piece as the white was a bit see-through for my liking. 
And because of the interlining, I deleted all the neck and armhole facings and just used plain white bias binding to finish the edges ~ sooooo easy! 
Just look at that invisible zipper ~ I am proud of it. Downside, or learning curve for the future, would be to consider the pattern placement next time when working with an obvious printy fabric like this. But in all honesty, I don't think this fabric actually had a regular pattern to the print that could have been matched up ... not sure if it really matters or not...!?! This dress is my December contribution to Make a Garment a Month ~ just in time...

All in all this was a quick and easy dress to whip up, very cool and comfortable and will be super for Christmas Day. Hope you all have a very enjoyable day wherever you are in the world ... and I do hope Santa is good to you all .... J

*Updated to show the dress at the end of a very long and hot Christmas Day! After several dips in the pool, the champagne popping and way too much Christmas food the dress is just the most comfortable ever ... J

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Haaaaaa ...

... LOL!!! Says it all ... J

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Un~adorne with fabric ...

... it really is a sad, sad view! My poor little body double has not even a skeric of fabric to cover herself up with. It is a NO~SEWING weekend, and possibly even longer (gasp!), thanks to end of year school reports which 'have-to' be written up and submitted by next Friday.  So sadly my little body double has been relegated to the spot of shame, she just stands and waits patiently for me to do what I have to ... 

... because she knows all too well that there is always something coming to cover and excite her! My next dress plan for the Make-A-Garment-A-Month Challenge involves this beautiful Japanese cotton fabric, and the ever popular Vogue 8766 ... 

My plan is to sew up View D ~ the short sleeved straight version (purple dress on packet). The fabric is washed, ready to go, but there is not a chance it will be cut into before December, which is only ONE WEEK AWAY!!! So this will be my December make. Fingers crossed that this week just flies by, and my scissors can cut into this fabric next weekend. Hope everyone enjoys the last week of Spring, or Fall if you live across the pond ... J