Saturday, 20 June 2015
This is just propped against the bookcase but it will be hung on the wall. Here's how I did it:
First, I tacked on some wadding (UK)/batting (USA), then I machine stitched around each panel. So far, so good. Then I attached a solid colour piece as the back, but realized it would look much better if I stitched around some of the elements within the panels. Doh! Unless I took the back off, there was no way to do that. Instead I hand-stitched some of the bigger bits without catching the back. That was a little tricky and I soon decided I'd had enough of that, so not all of the panels have hand-stitching.
I'm lazy, I suppose, but it was my first attempt and now I know what to do for the next panel project. I have a Christmas panel I bought a couple of years ago that I'm going to do this year. But here's what I've learned:
1) To make the sandwich first: panel, wadding, and a plain muslin or cotton backing.
2) Once the panel sandwich is done, THEN start stitching. Machine stitch as much as possible, then hand stitch.
3) Once ALL the stitching is done, then attach the back fabric.
That way, the inside cotton/muslin holds it together better. It doesn't matter that stitching shows on this back as it will all be covered by the back fabric.
So, I've managed to get rid of a lot of magazines but still have a few boxes of scrapbooking and card making stash to go, including lots of stamps. The problem is that my local craft friends have also gone away from scrapbooking and cardmaking to sewing, so no takers there! I need to have a garage sale, I think. I'm sure that as soon as do, however, I'll decide to scrapbook again.
Meanwhile, I think I'd like to find a local quilting, applique, or patchwork class. I'm looking at the residence-type courses at Denman College (the Women's Institute college), but they're expensive. None of the local fabric shops (there are only a couple of them anyway) offer courses and I don't have the time to do the 10-week courses offered by the Kent County Council. Ah well....!
Tuesday, 2 June 2015
|View from the house where we stayed in Stockmatt.|
|Just one of several piles of magazines!|
|My just-received goodies from Weaver Dee|
Actually a bag is the last thing I need since I have about a dozen purchased and freebies, but I just wanted to make one myself. I found this gorgeous fabric -- it's heavy and bag-perfect, though it frays like crazy.
Good news: My overlocker (USA "serger") is now out of its box. I bought it at a craft show in February 2012 and just this week opened the box! After reading about the threading problems, I was scared stiff to use it.
Saturday, 9 May 2015
This is the fabric and the trims I've found. Below is the blouse I'm making with it all. Sigh.... the world moves on!
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
Once again, like the pincushion, I have a (very) little project. This one is a case for my iPod Touch. First, a little background: for some time I’ve been searching everywhere for a case that also has storage for the headphones. What good is an iPod case without headphones, after all?! But nowhere could I find anything suitable.Someone suggested I make one, so off I went in search of a pattern (first mistake). I always think I can’t do anything without a pattern….. anyway, I found a very promising project on YouTube so I followed the instructions for that, thinking it wouldn’t be too far off (second mistake). It looked easy enough also. Well, it was easy, but the finished product was too wide and not long enough to be perfect, but then perfection has never been my “thing” anyway.
So I cut it out from some fabric I’d been hoarding, bought the fusible fleece for a lining (a bit too heavyweight, but useable), and took it to our monthly craft get-together. I’ve mentioned our group many times in past posts. We used to be scrapbookers and cardmakers, but now ALL of us bring our sewing machines and have a right old-fashioned “sewing bee”. Here’s my finished case:
As you can see, I barely got my iPod into the case and it’s much too wide. I think I may attempt another one, as this WAS basically easy, but I’ll narrow it and lengthen it. I also changed the strap to close on the same side as the earphone pocket. It just makes more sense to me.
On the day of our “bee”, we all went to visit a new shop in Birchington called Daisy Buds. If you’re local, they’re well worth checking out! Most of their stock is for quilters, as it’s colourful cottons and cotton blends, but it’s such good quality that it will make fine tops for summer. If I had a little girl to sew for, I could make LOTS of pretty little cotton dresses and playsuits, too. They also carry patterns (Simplicity, McCall’s, and New Look) and lots of pretty ribbons and trims. The prices are reasonable, so I did buy a couple metres of some gorgeous red print for making a peasant top.
I now have plenty of patterns, plenty of fabric, plenty of supplies and tools, so just now need to find plenty of TIME to get it done. I’m not going to go overboard too quickly, however, as I’m still struggling with Slimming World to lose more weight.
Speaking of Slimming World, I just this morning got the newest cookbook, “Mediterranean Magic” and it looks like the best one yet:
I love the food of Italy, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, and the Middle East in general. This cookbook has ALL my favourites: spanokopita, stifado, moussaka (all from Greece); lamb stew with aubergine, baba ghanoush (aubergine dip), falafel with houmus (all from Turkey and the Middle East), as well as lots of others. I’m now all enthused about Slimming World again!
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
I've never had a dress form before but there have been more than a few occasions when I could definitely have used one! She has lots of dials so I can adjust her measurements in several ways, including around (bust, waist, hips) but also the length from back to waist, etc.
She's covered in a nice soft foam with a beautiful rose print (see photo below).
She also has a hem measuring thing. I haven't actually used her yet but have big plans! I have the patterns, the fabric, the thread, the sewing space, etc. but now just need to find the TIME! Sewing is not something I can do in short blocks of time (10 minutes here, 20 minutes there...). I need a whole morning or whole afternoon, or better yet a whole DAY!
We're also having much longer daylight hours now, which helps my mood considerably. I have more energy and feel much more positive. I never realized before how much the deep, dark winter months affect my mood. Onwards and upwards now!
Monday, 30 March 2015
Although I mentioned in the last post that I would do a video of my craft cabin, I just haven’t had time to do it. So, I thought I’d post a couple of recent photos instead.
This is my newest corner. I’m “transitioning” it into a sewing area. This photo was taken last week and I’m still making changes.
On the top shelf are my patterns. I’ve now put them all in order by maker (Butterick, Simplicity, etc) and then pattern number. I’ve made a Pattern Record, which is a word document that lists all my patterns and the yardages required. I can take that with me when I shop for fabric and/or patterns to avoid duplication.
On the third shelf I have my fat quarters and smaller yardages. Below those I have the fabric waiting to be made into clothing.
The bottom shelf is for sewing books and magazines. I just got the newest book from the Great British Sewing Bee, called “Fashion with Fabric” and it came with two metres of beautiful fabric and all full-size patterns. Yum!
Saturday I did the most exciting thing! I ordered a dress form. Now there’s no excuse not to get cracking! I’ve got the patterns, the fabric, the machine, the overlocker, and lots of bits that I probably DON’T need, so I’m going to cut out a blouse first.
I still have a paper pattern ready to cut some fabric to make a case that I found online for my iPod touch. But because that’s a small project, I’m planning to cut it out and then take it to our next crop-turned-sewing bee.
The other side of the room is basically unchanged. It’s still my scrapbooking, card making, stamping, and die cutting areas. I am finding however, that a lot of my old stash is easily transitioned to my sewing. For example, all my buttons, ribbons, and fibres that I used for card making can also be used to make lots of fabric embellishments. Many of my dies can cut fabric, too, which makes them useful for applique. [Oh, and it drives me crazy on the Create and Craft TV channel when they say a-PLEE-kay instead of -- I looked up the correct pronunciation just to be sure -- APP-li-kay.]
So now I have to put together my dress form. It’s still in a HUGE box, so I have no idea what’s ahead! I’ll post a photo when I get her up and ready to greet the public.
Sunday, 29 March 2015
Wow.... it's Sunday afternoon and I just had a much-needed little nap in the recliner. So many thoughts are running around in my head today......... mostly about time.
First, we changed the clocks today. We're now on "British Summer Time". I spoke to my son in Texas last night and he said they'd changed already to "Daylight Savings Time". I just find this absurd... why change at all? Or just leave it as "new time" and we "save" daylight all year round?!
Anyway, the "Style" magazine in the Sunday Times today is all about bringing back the fashions of the 1970s. More time distortion, IMHO! I can't say I look back at the 70s with any fondness. Not the fashions, not the culture, not the music (well, except for the Bee Gees perhaps), and certainly not my life in that decade. I started out as a married woman and had my second child in 1972. By the end of the decade, I'd just about lost my way.... divorced, went halfway around the world to live and work, and barely knew who I was anymore. Maybe a little nostalgia is okay but I certainly wouldn't want to revisit it! Big hair, wild fashions and colors in both clothing and home decor (who would want "avocado green" and "harvest gold" kitchens and bathrooms, deep orange shag rugs, macrame plant hangers, and ugly furniture?), a winding down of a horrible chapter in history called "the Vietnam War", and a feminist movement that derailed many of us. Not me, thank you.....
Yet, if you look at the sewing patterns now available, there is a real push for nostalgia there, too, called "Vintage" fashions. How funny! I remember making some of these when I was a teen-ager. The full skirts (and teeny-tiny waists) were actually popular in the late 1960s.
One of my best friends (about 1961) in school was Evelyn Hildreth. We were just babes of course! Her mom sewed for all Evelyn’s brothers and sisters (and there were many, I seem to remember). I’m sure she made this one or one just about like it for Evelyn.
I had a white dress with a full skirt and tiny straps and I thought I was just the “bees knees” in that dress, especially as I was always nice and tan in the summer. I can tell you, however, that our waists were NEVER quite THAT tiny!
I read today that Simplicity pattern company has invested $1.2million in some machinery that reproduces and remaps these old patterns, and they’re now re-issuing them under the “Vintage” label. You can find patterns all the way back to the early 1900s.
But the prices have changed. Look at the Vintage ad below. The price has increased from 15 cents to 15 dollars, a one-hundred times increase!
I do think, however, that these 1920s dresses are among my favorites. They look so feminine. Unfortunately they didn't have the wash-and-wear fabrics we have today, so everything had to be handwashed unless it was plain cotton, with lots of ironing. No thanks to that malarkey either!
So time marches on, then. And here I am, after all these years back into sewing again.
Tomorrow I’m going to post a video of my craft room since it’s been reorganized since the last one.
Oh, and sorry about all the US spellings: organize/organise, favorite/favourite, etc. I do know better, but it’s just easier and I have visitors from both sides of the pond.