Saturday, May 31, 2014

Adventures in sewing

I had a written challenge in my Me-Made-May pledge this year.

"I will also endeavour to make at least one new thing that challenges me and restores my faith in my sewing abilities, that is not a tried and tested pattern, even if it is just a muslin"

I also had an unwritten challenge - to try or learn a new technique, or a technique I had forgotten over the last 20-odd years of sewing my own clothes.

I am happy to say I met both my written and unwritten me-Made-May challenges. And I only missed one day of Me-Made-May itself.

First of all I learned to insert an invisible zipper. 

Invisible zipper

And secondly I got my confidence back with knits. And I made five versions of the same t-shirt in 7 days and OMG now I can't stop.

Me-Made-May 2014 Day 20

Version 1 - a cheap but very nice quality cotton stretch fabric from Canberra Sewing. Badly made even though it was my first attempt, and it has some fit issues like length and neck, but very wearable (and I did wear it on more than one day during May.

Me-made-May day 21

Version 2 - made with combed cotton (not much stretch) from Spotlight. The fit is a lot better (I took in a size at the bust and shoulders) and I raised the neckline and made the body 3 inches longer than the pattern. I loved it, but felt it too bright for winter wear, even for me. So I cut the sleeves off for a summer shirt. Perfect.

Tonic 2 tshirt

I'd been sewing everything on an old three-spool Janome overlocker for years. Boy was that machine a workhorse! I lost count of the number of bags and clothes it made. But I had been looking for a four-spool replacement for years, and a night after I made my second Tonic 2 tshirt, I found and bought it.

New overlocker

(The new one is on the right, in case you couldn't work that out from the yellowing plastic of the early 1980s model.)

From that night on, I've been unstoppable. Everything has been sewn with the overlocker.

Me-Made-May day 24
Me-Made-May day 25

Version 3 is a striped cotton from Spotlight. A little more stretch than the combed cotton. I loved this version so much I wore it two days in a row and it might be my favourite tshirt ever.

Tonic 2 tshirt

Version 4 is another combed cotton from Spotlight. Gosh they've had some nice prints this year!

Tonic 2 tshirt

And finally version 5. This is a slinky sparkly striped Gorman knit from the Clearit centre in Fitzroy. It is freaking brilliant and beautiful and I love it to death. I had fabric left over that I gave to my Spoolette buddy Myra for her birthday - knowing her she will make something sensational out of it.

I don't feel I have conquered knits by any means. I have so much to learn still, but at least now I'm not scared to try. Next on the cards is a Kirsten Kimono Tee by Maria Denmark. I have the Colette knit sewing book on my bedside table, and the Moneta pattern patiently waiting by the overlocker. I still have another three Tonics to make - two out of a merino blend which will be perfect for lounging wear (i.e will go perfectly with trackies) and which I'll probably made with an even higher neckline.

Let the adventure continue!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Amelia's Quilt

My friends had a beautiful baby girl in January, and I had promised at the preceding Crafternoonashower that I would make the baby something. Eventually. I was in the middle of house renovations, there was a severe heatwave at the time, and I was all out of time and ideas for anything, really. Let alone a baby.

Amelia's Quilt

I searched through my stash, and found a beautiful Layer Cake in the Jungle Bungle range, and thought it would be nice for a baby quilt. I loosely based this quilt on the Arithmetic pattern by in Color Order - I have made one of these quilts before, but out of yardage. I had to think about how best to use a layer cake.

I cut 6 x 3 inch squares out of each cake piece, and reserved the excess strips for a backing. I ended up making this entire quilt out of one layer cake, plus a little extra for the back and the binding.

Amelia's Quilt

I added grey strips to the back of the quilt - they look like roads and houses to me. I like the idea of Amelia one day racing her matchbox cars up the streets. (No I do not believe in gender stereotypes when it comes to kids! And neither do Amelia's parents.)

Amelia's QuiltI used cotton batting, and quilted it with straight lines using Aurifil thread in grey. After binding, I washed it and put it in the dryer on the warm setting (I would have put it on the clothesline to dry, but our blacksmithing neighbour was making fire that day and no one needs a smoky quilt (or clothes for that matter #shakesfist)). It crinkled up beautifully, as you'd expect from unshrunken cotton batting. It made for a beautiful soft and cuddly quilt.

Amelia's Quilt

I really enjoyed making this quilt. I doubt it will be the last Arithmetic quilt I make, and I already have my eye on another layer cake.

(I'm joining in (a day late) with Gemma's I Quilt linky party!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Me-Made-May 2014 - the next 11 days

Oh boy oh boy oh boy. I have SO MUCH I need to show you. Not all Me-Made-May stuff either.  I will have to break everything into multiple posts.

Heck - you might even find a post a day from me!

So the next 11 days in the Me-Made-May challenge were a bit of a doddle.  Although there are days where I wish I had more me-mades in the wardrobe.  Days where I say "I just really, really want to wear trousers" and "I am soooo sick of plaid skirts."

And as you would remember from my challenge, I wanted to learn new things and sew a new pattern.  And I did!! Just wait until you see May 20.

May 10

Me-Made-May 2014 Day 10

Me-made grey wide wale cord skirt (first wear and it's already split - must be rubbish fabric) using Simplicity 9193, and me-crocheted shawl. Taken at our Canberra Spoolettes social sewing sesh. I love my Spoolette friends. Thanks Amanda for your awesome photographic skills and model direction. Enjoy this skirt now, folks. It's on the way to the bin (I may salvage the zipper).

May 11

Me-Made-May 2014 Day 11

Me-crocheted Critron Shawl. Took me ages to finish, and took me ages to wear. Today is the first time and I'm kicking myself I haven't worn this earlier! Crocheted with Wollmeise lace in Golden Pear, and the pattern is called Critron. Warmest shawl ever. Shall have to blog. Or put it on Ravelry.

May 12

Me-Made-May 2014

Me-Made-May day 12! No repeats so far which is a minor miracle, but from tomorrow ... Repeat repeat repeat! This is my Paron Multicities Skirt, McCalls 3507. I need to blog this skirt, mainly because it's freaking awesome.

May 13

Me-Made-May 2014 - Day 13

Me-Made-May day 13. Grey plaid wool skirt (Butterick 6841), crocheted shawl. 1 degree. Having a massive issue finding somewhere to take photos that doesn't do the sun/glare/shade thing. Tomorrow I may go back to the dunny shot.

May 14

Me-Made-May 2014 Day 14

Me-Made-May day 14. Another repeat - red plaid skirt. Also worn today but not in the photo (as this office is hotter than Hades) is a red crocheted Toscane Shawl. Also DUNNY SHOT!

May 15

Me-Made-May 2014 Day 15

Me-made-May day 15!! Almost halfway through! Skirt is Simplicity 5208 using a gorgeous Ink & Spindle fabric. Crocheted shawl worn as a scarf -Toscane. My favourite shawl.

May 16

Me-Made-May 2014 Day 16

Over halfway! I'm just a little exhausted and I miss wearing trousers to work. Me-made cord skirt (Butterick 6841), me-crocheted shawl (Morning Glory pattern). Happy Friday everyone!

May 17

Me-Made-May 2014 Day 17

Saturday was spent sewing all day for the market the next day. Then we went out for tea at the local bar for schnitty. Me-appliqued store bought shirt using Yardage Design fabric, and me-crocheted Adirondack socks.

May 18

Me-Made-May 2014 Day 18

This is how an exhausted and very footsore lady looks after being on her feet since 8 this morning at the Old Bus Depot Market. Three me-mades. Would have been four if it had been cold enough for a hat. Me-made green cord skirt, me-crocheted cardi and me-crocheted shawl.

May 19

Me-Made-May 2014 Day 19

Back by popular demand by several on Instagram, here is the dunny shot. As promised to Instagram previously, I've included the royal blue dunny seat for a little extra colour pop! Me made linen/wool skirt. Whatever. I'm more impressed by the fact my cardi matches my shoes. Also feeling quite sick today so fuchsia tights for the win.

May 20

Me-Made-May 2014 Day 20

Drum roll ... I sewed a new pattern! And it's in KNITS! Now if that isn't two challenges totalled into one item of clothing, I don't know what is. A couple of weeks ago I came across an indie pattern company called Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Patterns. The patterns are great! They are designed for shorties, but I'm a tallie and all I did was add 2 inches on this tee (and the pattern is marked for where to insert length for tallies.) And this Tonic 2 tee is also free if you order the print-at-home option! Thank you Betsy for making patterns for those of us in the X range of clothing sizes. I'm definitely going to make it again (and again), although I will go down a couple of sizes in the bust area so I don't get that whole drapey chest effect.

So that's your lot for the week/fortnight. I'm so happy I sewed something new. I'm ultra happy that I am downloading all the patterns and being inspired by others doing Me-Made-May, and also my lovely Spoolettes.  The sewjo is back! Maybe next time I post what I wore, it will be something new again.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Me-Made-May 2014 - the first 9 days

I wondered whether I would blogument each day I participated in Me-Made-May this year - I am instagramming each day, and also using the Flickr group (which is truly awful. Not the group. Flickr. Gosh I hate that redesign so much and it has totally sucked the life out of the party for me by way of building communities).

So because Flickr is awful, I will also present here on my less-awful blog.

Also something exciting happened last week. While I was working out something new I should make this month (as part of my challenge this May) I realised that I also wanted to hone some sewing techniques. So I did half of a zipper class on Craftsy and oh my golly goodness I learned some shiz! I really did!

Let me present my new invisible zipper foot.

Invisible zipper foot

And thanks to the most splendid class ever, here is my invisible zip! Can you see it?  THOUGHT NOT!

Invisible zipper

So more on that skirt shortly.

May 1

May 1

Skirt - Butterick 6841

May 3 (yes I missed a day - I was home sick and couldn't be bothered)

May 3

Skirt - McCalls 3507
(The side story for this skirt is that I wanted to make it for FashFest on April 30, but ran out of time to finish it so finished it in time for a special birthday party in Melbourne that weekend)

May 4

May 4
Skirt - self drafted knit thing.

May 5

May 5

Skirt - Butterick 6841

May 6

May 6

Skirt - Butterick 6841

May 7

May 7

Skirt: Simplicity 5208
Shawl: Toscane (crocheted)

May 8

May 8

Scarf: Dorothy's Tail (crocheted)
Socks:Key Lime Socks (crocheted)

May 9

May 9

Skirt: Simplicity 9193
Cardigan: Chevron Lace Cardi (crocheted)

The skirt in the above photo is one from the last post, and I thought it was horrible (loved the colour though). However having worn it for the day, I absolutely love it. It's comfortable, has pockets and is warm.  Bring on the grey cord beast for May 10 ...

I am still working on which new pattern to challenge myself with.  Stay tuned!