Wednesday, 28 January 2015

New look 6871 version 2 - new and improved!

After last weeks'  disastrous effort, I re drew the pattern using my tried and true method of comparing the pattern to a well used successful favourite ( in this case Collette Sorbetto). No idea why I forgot to do that the first time, duh!

Much better result second time around! I added darts at the bust line, a small dart in the front ( meant to do a pleat but forgot to!) in place of gathering. I already have another one cut out ready to sew - from the new pattern of course! Just need to get one or two more tops sewn before I go back to work ...(be nice to have something to show for the time spent relaxing over the holidays!)

There is also a gorgeous vintage apron I found at the op shop last week that I am trying to turn into a tunic top. Hope to finish it tomorrow after a quick trip to the local Janome store today for a reel of white cotton - you know that frustrating situation when there is just enough left on the reel to make up a bobbin, but then there will be nothing left on the reel to sew with!

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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Sewing, not so successfully...

New look 6871 has been sitting in my to do list for a while.

I traced off a pattern, cut out fabric, sewed it up.. And forgot to do my usual " measure pattern & compare to a trusted size pattern already made".
So it turned out a bit on the large side...

Very unflattering! Not helped by reading some on line reviews where people have been using this pattern for maternity tops! Definitely don't need one of those!
Of course, the fact that I got a bit lost with the pattern instructions and took some short cuts probably didn't help. Nor did the fact that some instructions were in Spanish! Weird! Half english half spanish sentence!

Will have to do some serious unpicking & add a couple of darts at the front. Tomorrow.

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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Plums plums plums!

We have had an abundance of plums this year on our plum tree. For the first few years you could count the number of plums on one hand, and then the birds would eat most of them before they were quite ripe! But this year we have a MEGA crop!

So buoyed by the success of the strawberry/raspberry jam we have made (about 4 batches now so far), and the apricot jam my H made recently, we decided we had enough jam really, so we*made plum sauce. After consulting "Stephanie" (The Cook's companion book of course), the CWA cookbook and the internet, my H decided that Stephanie was the way to go ( it is the cooking bible after all!). We had been saving bottles for a while ready to make tomato sauce - still planning too, but will have to find some more bottles now! 
Of course, and over ripe plums, or ones that the local birds did have a nibble of, were happily eaten by the chooks. So much so that we had to limit their intake to a few plums every other day!

The end result - about 8 bottles of plum sauce! We are supposed to wait a week now before eating it, but had to have a quick taste last night while making it, and it was YUMMO! just the right mix of sweet/tart, not too vinegary (unlike the Piccalilli we made last year which really needed the 6 weeks of sitting before eating, it was waaay too heavy on the vinegar at first taste as we made it, thankfully it is quite yummy now - still tart but not horrible like it was as first! 
Looking forward to  some delicious stir frys & burgers next week to try out the plum sauce now!

* I say "we made" but in reality my H did most of the work making the plum sauce, I just helped out - including making the emergency dash to the supermarket to buy a funnel when we realised all our funnels have ending up in the shed as they tend to disapear out there to  get used for various science experiments and I do not want them back in the kitchen again after that!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Craft books to read...

The boys wanted to go to the library the other day, so while they were checking out the CD's and graphic novels, I wandered over to the craft section and found a couple of books to borrow...

The " Prints Charming" book I love, might even consider buying a copy for myself.
"Upcylcling" has some interesting ideas ( and some quite odd ones) but not really anything I would ever try.
I really like the mini babushka dolls and the panda toy in "Sew it stuff it" but unfortunately the pull out pattern sheet has gone missing! I will let the library staff know when I return the book, maybe they can track down who borrowed it last...
"House proud" ok, nothing startling, faintly standard cushions, re painting furniture etc.
Beci Orpin's "Home" is a gorgeous looking book, and I love the step by step photos, which are lacking in quite a few of the other craft books, especially " op shop chic". A couple of Beci's ideas are cool & I might put in my ideas book.
" Lazing on a Sunday Crafternoon" is another lovely book, my friend & neighbour Holly showed my this when she borrowed it from the library, and she made a couple of project from the book. Lots of nice ideas, great for crafting with kids too.
"Recycled Chic" is a different book- lots of ideas on how to easily alter clothing/ remake into other things/ outfits. Good basic sewing tips, clear instructions and photos.
"Op shop chic" hmmm... the pattern for the t towel bag has instructions which do not match the finished product pictured at all! Nor do they match the list of materials for the project. The editor must have been asleep. Disappointing.

At least borrowing books from the library is a great way to check books out before purchasing ... Not that I have any room on my craft shelf for any more books, really...

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Thursday, 8 January 2015

School holiday sewing yesterday...

Ok, so the best laid plans and all that... but I did manage to get one top made! Kind of a mash up of the Collette Sorbetto/Maria Denmark Kimono sleeve T. Quite pleased with how it turned out, especially putting the lining in the front - simply cut out 2 front pieces and sewed them together with a short seam on the neckline & sides, then sewed the front panel as if it were one piece. In a complete fluke, I found that I had a packet of pink bias binding in the drawer already, a close enough match to work. I used the instructions for the Sorbetto to sew it  on - & managed ok even though it was not very wide bias, but sewing the inside first then the front really makes for a neat & easy finish. I will re tweak the pattern to allow a little more room for the darts, because it makes for a much nicer fit. I was a little worried that the armholes would be too tight (can't stand a tight armhole digging in & restricting movement) but they worked out ok. I think I will make another on or two of these, good to wear to work & uses up some cotton fabric from the stash.
There was some other sewing, but not clothes- more on that next time. Might try and get some t shirts at least cut out today, ready for sewing, but I should also finish off some sewing for the fete, and making a sensory quilt for work which I was going to make ages ago and just rediscovered when looking through a box of fabric. Looks like next sewing day will be finishing off some UFO's!

* First time  for a long time that I have used the actual laptop to write a post, I usually use the ipad for photos & writing, but it was easier to get a photo of my phone by bluetooth to the computer, for some reason the ipad & my sony phone just won't talk to each other, and emailed photos often end up a bit oddly shaped  - which was ok for the chair pic in my last post, but I did not want that slightly stretched effect for a picture of me!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

School holiday sewing day pt 1

Christmas and New Year were spent catching up with family and friends, including one lovely family who now live overseas, and another who lives interstate, so it was wonderful to spend time with them, catching up on life and seeing how all the children have grown (in our case, over 6' !)
So this week is our first week of school holidays with sleep ins and no set plans ( although my H started a new job on Monday, so he still has to get up early!). With the forecast of 35, today is slated as " keeping the house cool and staying indoors" - in other words, lego & TV for the boys, and SEWING for me!
A quick trip to Brunswick Fabrics yesterday for elastic and some white cotton lining resulted in some other purchases too ( because really, who can just buy elastic? That would be the equivalent of going in to a lolly shop and purchasing a single musk stick!).

Top right from cottons box- grey jersey for t shirt; red jersey for a short sleeved t shirt ( I bough & made one in green a while back, same fabric from the same shop). Next row- swirl print from Rathdown Remnants maybe, left over from a skirt made last year, to make a summer top, not sure yet. Pink floral cotton from the stash (Spotlight possibly, and the reason for the cotton lining fabric) for a Collette Sorbetto top ( I know, another one! Aiming to try a variation with kimono style sleeves); centre- new green/ black/ grey jersey for a t shirt- probably Skirt as Top scoop T; grey wool op shop off cut for a new handbag.
And the bottom piece - John Kaldor remnant, so old I think it was purchased from the fabric department in Myer Bendigo decades ago (I doubt Myer even sell fabric anymore! I certainly didn't see any in the Bendigo store on Boxing Day, although my sister & I did spend some time there, but we were mainly having fun trying out crazy nail polish colours!

Might have a closer look at some "new" patterns, found at the oppy when I found The Chair! Must go back and have another look, there was a massive pile of patterns & I only had a quick flip through. I like the New Look summer top, especially the pic on the bottom - the yellow sleeveless top. Might be the first to try. It is really about time to use something other than my standard 3 patterns ( all found free online) - Collette Sorbetto, Skirt as Top scoop tee and Peppermint Magazine Jersey tee pattern.

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Friday, 2 January 2015

Take a seat...

...and give it a makeover! Before-

And after-

Chair found at Brotherhood Store in Brunswick, paint from Bunnings, fabric a lucky find at Rathdowne Remnants $4 remnant. Christmas present for my niece, to match her vintage dressing table. My sister said they were hoping to find a chair to match it - " one of those metal chairs, gold swirly bits, curvy legs and white fluffy cushion" We have both been looking for a few months, and I could not believe it when a week out from Christmas, I found a chair!

The white fluffy seat had to go - Jedikid told me a cloud of dust came out of it when I sat down! Luckily I still had some foam left over from my hard rubbish footstool make over from last year. And under instructions to find some gold fabric, the RR remnant was just perfect. Just the right amount ( less than a metre, and it had some marks on it which thankfully came off with a wash), and the pattern matches the swirly back of the chair! AND I even managed to match the pattern at the seam in the side wall, which my H pointed out he was very impressed with - although I hadn't even noticed til he showed me, it was a complete fluke!

The most difficult part was having to pack around it when packing the car for Christmas, and then sneaking it into the house on Christmas Day!

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