Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wicked Week

I haven't done much sewing this week as my mum visited for a couple of days. Yesterday was great fun, we went to the Ian potter gallery, and for lunch in fed square. Then in the evening we went to see "Wicked"; we managed to get some FANTASTIC tickets just by going to the box office during the day. Our seats were in the 9th row from the front, smack bang in the middle.

The show was amazing, the story fantastic, and the costumes stunning! While the costumes for the main characters were amazing (and can be easily googled), I found the costumes for the chorus characters much better. Particularly the students at 'Shiz University'. They had uniforms, but each of them was slightly different, with all sorts of fantastic diagonal lines and non-symmetrical parts. I can't find any example picture online, so if anyone knows of any pictures of the non-main characters, please tell me!

Anyway, when out in the city with my mum yesterday we solved the quilt backing problem (woohoo!). My parents had kindly looked in the spotlight near them (in Perth) and found the navy I'd used before, but sadly there wasn't enough left. However my mum came up with the great suggestion that I could buy a flannelette sheet set and use the flat sheet as the quilt back, and then I'd have a matching fitted sheet and pillowcases and it wouldn't be too expensive.

So, off we trooped to Target and were pleased to discover that flannelette sheet sets were 30% off! After looking at them all for a while and ruling most of them out I finally settled on a set, picture below. It also matches one of my current sets of bed sheets really well (in colour and the leafy theme) which is fortunate. I washed them yesterday, ready for me to speed through with the sewing and hopefully get it finished very soon!

Lastly, this evening was the second burdastyle sewing club, kindly hosted by Tessuti! It was much like the last one where we spent most of the time going round the circle showing what we'd made, and asking opinions and questions and troubleshooting current and future projects. Lots of fun! The things people have been making are all so stunning! So inspiring and envy inducing!

Before I left I had the chance to buy some buttons for my pyjamas I have in the works, some thread clippers, and some white fabric with black stripes (in the bargainous $10 corner!) to make the emily blouse.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spotlight Horrors and Quilt Musings.

So, in the spirit of having a quiet weekend not end up being so, I jumped on the tram in my brand spanking new coat (bought today in the sale, woohoo!) and went to Spotlight.

Visiting spotlight is somewhat of a mixed emotion type trip for me. Sometimes I love it and find everything I'm looking for exactly as I imagined it. Many of my favourite items have been made from spotlight fabrics, my butterfly and patchwork skirts being prime examples. However other times it's just hell trying to find what you want. There doesn't seem to be any real organisation behind where they have the different fabrics in the aisles (if anyone has managed to decipher any kind of system please share it with me!).

I toddled in with my shopping list, which consisted of:
- Wadding for my quilt
- Backing for my quilt (ideally flannelette as it worked out really well with that last time, but colour to be decided)
- Flannelette for some pyjamas
- Fabric to make another shirt
- Red drill for a pair of oven mits I'm intending on making for a friend but had forgotten to buy fabric to line it with
- Green thread to make the top I cut out last weekend
Wadding was easy, as was flannelette for the PJs (I quickly settled on some white with a blue and red check pattern), but the shirt and backing fabric had me stumped. Since I was last there they seem to no longer stock a decent range of plain flannelettes; they only had a few plain ones and they were all in really pale pastel colours, not what I was after at all. They didn't even have the navy I got last time. I spent a while wandering around considering alternative fabrics for backing, and spent a while looking at some of them but none of the colours really jumped out at me, so I decided to leave it for today. I completely gave up with regard to shirt fabric and am hoping that Tessuti have something when I am there for sewing club on Thursday.

Upon getting home and discussing backing fabrics with my housemate, I decided to ring my parents and ask them if they could possibly see if their local spotlight have any of the navy flannelette left. As my mum is flying over here in Tuesday anyway (en route to NZ) she could bring it with her. So please cross your fingers for me that their spotlight has it so I can work ferociously on my quilt and finish it and be warm!

Now, I have a few hours before I'm due to go out for dinner, so I think some time in front of the sewing machine is in order... I was hoping to have decided whether to sew my quilt or my top by the time I'd finished writing this, but I'm yet to decide... maybe a bit on each.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Getting there...

All the squares that I stitched the white strips onto the other day are now cut and ironed, all ready to sew together. Hopefully I'll go to Spotlight this weekend to get some wadding and backing fabric (I'm thinking flannelette again, that worked out really well last time).

No doubt while I'm there I'll get some other stuff too. I'd quite like to make another shirt; another JJ, or maybe an Emily or a Ute, I haven't decided yet. It will probably depend on what fabrics I see. I might also get some fabric to make some more pyjamas. I am absolutely in love with the last pair I made, the pattern was PERFECT, they're so comfy and exactly the right length, and maybe this time making a matching top, as so far I've only made PJ bottoms and I'm running out of old t-shirts to wear with them.

So yes, plans for the weekend are fabric shopping and then sewing, I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sleeping & Stitching

Despite spending a large amount of this weekend sleeping, it has been a productive one (not that sleeping is bad, sleeping is definitely good!). In addition to cleaning and vacuuming my bedroom, the living room and corridor I did some sewing yesterday trying to fashion a top out of the leftovers from my most recent pyjama bottoms (which was going really well, I'd managed to squeeze all the pieces I needed onto the fabric... and then I cut one of the pieces backwards, causing a slight change in plan, but more about that another time.

Today I set up my sewing machine on the coffee table, put on some classic chick flicks (Love Actually, Bridget Jones' Diary and Bridget Jones' Diary 2) and approached the piecing of my quilt in a slightly different way.

The other day I reorganised my pieces to be in pinned piles separated by sheets of paper in a lunchbox, as suggested here by Aneela over at comfortstiching. I can't believe I hadn't thought to do it before, and it's made the piecing SO much easier to keep track of everything.

Anyway, I decided to stitch all of the white strips onto my pieces (see pic below), and next time I'll cut them all, then iron them all, then stitch it all together. The fact that doing it row by row was taking me almost an hour a row was getting me down, and this way doesn't feel as long as I'm doing so many strips at once! The logic might not work, but that's how it seems.

Even though my sewing was marginally interrupted by homemade pizza and then an excursion for churros by the end of the evening I have finished sewing the white stripes onto all my remaining strips, oh and re-fallen in love with Colin Firth (in all three films!). Definitely a productive time!

Below is a picture of the 8 strips I've sewn together so far, I'm still on the fence about whether I like the design I've picked or not. Not that it matters as I'm too far in to change my mind now! My favourite part of the quilt (and my last one) is that all the fabric has a memory attached to it, so it's nice to look through it and remember the different projects each one was a left over from.

In other news, I tried on my JJ with my Laura dress this weekend, and if I'm not greatly mistaken I think they go together very well. I've only actually worn the Laura once, as the fabric I picked was a bit heavy, and that combined with the shape (and possibly length) of the skirt makes me feel all frumpy. However, with the JJ it is a bit better, so while we're having this cold snap I may whip out this outfit.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Finished(?) JJ

Almost Finished JJThursday night was spent at my sewing machine finishing my JJ, which I then wore to work yesterday Overall I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out, and am intending on using the pattern to make some more shirts in the future.

there is one thing about it that I'm not sure about; the placement of the ruffles. The two centre ruffles on each side are much closer together than the second is to the third... and I'm not sure about that. However, having canvassed opinions from my friends at work I still don't know what I want to do about it, as everyone had a different opinion. The way I see it my options are:
a) Leave it as it is, a couple of people said they liked how it wasn't completely equal
b) Unstitch the middle ruffle and move it to be in the centre of the other ruffles.
c) Remove the outer ruffle from the seam and restitch it closer to the two other ruffles.
d) Remove the outer ruffle completely.
At the moment I'm leaning towards option a as then I can declare the shirt finished... but I dunno. I might wear it a few more times and then decide.

Other than the qualms I have about the ruffles I am now a complete fan of this pattern though! It was really comfy to wear all day (even under my lab coat, or rugby shirt), and I can actually move my arms around this time, unlike when I wear the first shirt I made. Best of all, the pattern is totally free!

(The photo isn't quite the finished product; incase you hadn't noticed it's missing the buttons, which it now does have)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Queens Birthday productivity

Playing with the macro setting on my camera and my housemate's mini-tripod

It was the queens birthday long weekend this weekend. I wish every weekend were a long weekend as then I'd have so much more time for sewing! Day one is for resting, day two for errands and day three for sewing!

This weekend, in addition to making an enormous mess in the l
iving room, I pottered around doing a few things, including two more strips on my quilt (8 down, 14 to go!), a fabric bag using this tutorial and everything except the buttons and sleeves for a JJ shirt (see the photos above and below) You'd think by now I'd have learnt to buy the buttons when I buy the fabric, but nooooo, I didn't, so a trip to a shop to buy some will be needed before I can finish (and wear) the shirt.

Pinning pattern pieces for cutting

It begins...

So, I've decided to jump on the blogging bandwagon and start one of my own to document my crafty progress. To start the ball rolling I've picked some pictures of past and current projects.

Above from left to right:
1- In progress picture of the skirt I made my friend Jacinta for her 21st birthday. A great present as she loves the skirt and also has the memories of us making it together.
2- Not a project, but many of the others wouldn't be there without it. My sewing machine, a 'well done on getting a scholarship' present to myself last year
3- My 'logo' in the neckband of the shirt I made New Years Day 09, I have started sewing this R onto everything I make.
4- The flower on the front of a shirt I haven't finished yet, inspired by a dress I saw in the window of a shop on Brunswick Street.
Below from left to right:
5- My copycat patchwork skirt that I made based on one my mum bought. Hers cost almost $200 and mine cost about $25 and I love it and live in it in summer!!
6- My 'couch quilt'. The first quilt I've actually finished. Designed to live on the back of our couch to keep us warm in winter, but in reality currently lives on my bed keeping me warm at night.
7- My bear's new nightshirt. I was fed up of him having a t-shirt that said 'I love you' across the front but he looked naked without anything, and when I saw this fabric in my stash I knew I had to make him an old fashioned nightshirt!
8- Laying out the fabric for my next quilt - a double bed sized one so the couch quilt can go back on the couch. Slightly more ambitious than the couch quilt and still in progress.

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