Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Successful Projects Since My Last Post = 3 (Part I)

I present here 2! And one of them is a t-shirt.. still a sewing success, even if it is the simplest thing around to sew. It took a lot of trial and error to get such an ordinary looking garment, and now that I'm looking at the picture I'm not so sure that I'm done yet. Please excuse the poor quality and ridiculous posing, it was necessary to get my arms out of the way but it just ended up looking pretty dork.

I decided that I wanted a tight fitting shirt that wasn't baggy in some places and tight across the chest, like everything in the shops (the original impetus to sew). So I went to good old Supre and bought a 5 dollar shirt that fit pretty much how I wanted it to. I unpicked it and traced it to use as my pattern and then made a few minor tweaks to the fit. I changed the armholes and the sleeves slightly and I'm not so sure I have that totally down yet. Looking at the picture, I think I need more ease in the sleeve cap, which is easy enough, as I have now made so many t-shirts I can do one in 20 minutes!

This is Simplicity 3750*;

When I cracked open the tissue and had a look at the very kindly provided ease measurements (why don't all patterns have this??) I decided that instead of the size 16 the envelope said I should make I would instead make a size 8, the smallest size in the envelope. I am never getting a non-multi-size pattern ever again! Having the option of going a size that small is definitely way better than probably having to go back and get another size. Which I have done twice, even with patterns with size 12 in them which I thought I'd be safe with. Another case of how handy an ease measurement would be, the 'final garment' measurement is not super accurate to go off all the time (looking at you Burda!).

This top taught me the pain of invisible zips. I think I took it out 4 times and it still sucks, and it jams because I got thread caught in it from taking it out and putting it in over and over. I'm pretty happy with it overall, however next time I might make a ten for the top but keep the bottom part an 8. It needs more decolletage, which I feel I need to show as much as possible before I get much older. My birthday is coming up and I feel oooooold.

This mega-post will be continued because I haven't posted in a while and I have one more amazing thing to talk about, plus a blouse!

One more thing. Me and Ruth did some silk screening over Christmas, and I made a shirt for myself;


But also a cool one, yo.

* Initially this was a horrifying typo that I literally recoiled from. What the hell humanity, seriously.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Sew U Home Stretch

This is my most recent acquisition and tonight I'm going to work on one of the dress variations. I'll get to use my brand new rotary cutter and mat, which I bought on the advice in both of Wendy Mullins books. Fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Today Was a Good Day

Today was the day of good things for me and Ruth. Ruth got the sewing machine she originally wanted for 300 dollars less than she went to the shops with and I found some awesome things at the op-shop. I added to my vast empire of tracksuit material (bright blue this time), found a chair upholstered with carpet and the mother of all ironing boards finally found me. I wasn't shopping for any of these things of course, and I couldn't find the thing I actually wanted but I think that is what shopping is all about.

I saw this tatty looking thing sitting behind some even tattier outrageously over-priced chairs and decided it must come home with me. Then I sat in it and discovered it was really comfy, which was a bonus really. This picture doesn't really do it justice at all.

I'm not entirely sure where it's going to go, as my two room flat is already stuffed to the gills with furniture and the two chairs already there sometimes find themselves with nothing to do. That's not even mentioning the arm chair..

A while ago I posted about an ironing board cover I'd made for the brand new board I'd found next to a skip. At the time I had been lamenting the lack of quality ironing boards and the price for even a mediocre example. I poo-pooed Ruth when she assured me that one would eventually turn up in an op-shop, mostly because when you aren't looking for ironing boards you never see them, they're a bit of background item. Funnily enough the most glorious of heavy duty ironing boards just turned up in Ruths local. And it's green. It seems semi-industrial, with a heavy duty base and a wide top. It's even got one of those little arms that holds up the cord as you iron, which I was wishing that I had just the the day.

And it's almost a full year older than me;

Sadly, I didn't find any material for the caftan that Ben personally requested (not under duress I swear).

The real star of the day, however, was the Pfaff Classic Style Fashion, courtesy of Carol at Carols of Midland. Ruth finally managed to replace the sewing machine that I purloined last year with a much better one and it was all good fun.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Unmentioned Choice Three

A while ago I was mulling over my options of what to make next and after deciding that adjusting the pattern of choice 2 was too hard and the fabric I had was crappy anyway, I decided to go with the worst option, which was to copy a top I already have. As predicted, it didn't come out to well. It doesn't resemble the original in any way; the neckline is a different shape, I couldn't the the elastic in the gathered sleeve to do its thing properly and for some reason the back was massive. I ended up taking the elastic out, shortening the sleeves and putting a huge seam up the back.

This ordeal got me down a little so I didn't post it until now, 5 weeks later. I've sewn several things since then, but had no successes. I don't think I have any sort of natural flair or talent for it, I haven't made anything that I would consider even remotely acceptable and it is generally an upsetting chore. Like golf for some people I suppose. Except for Steve. He has natural flair and talent for everything, the bastard.

Here is it is anyway;

Here are two most excellent things I purchased on the internet recently that are on their way to me now.

A coin purse in the shape of an owl;

A pattern that I will probably never make, but for some reason the illustration makes me happy;

Who knew caftans could look so suave? It has an extra great dimension as I just sent it to my mum for giggles and apparently she had this pattern in the 70's and made a few for her dad. He probably didn't look very suave though. He probably just looked like a man in a dress.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Birthday Fun

usAlthough my birthday was a month ago, my inveterate laziness has prevented me from posting anything about it. Which is a good thing, as I only just cashed in a present credit last night. Irons have been weighing heavily on my mind since I went to Target and spent a whole 10 bucks on one two months ago (featured in the previous post). It was a good little iron, for $10 at least, but I needed something with a bit of oomph. I chose one that cost 10 times the amount of my original one, although I would have been ok spending 15 times that if not for a few cash flow complications. And now, because I love material possessions so much, I present to you my new iron;

Isn't it beautiful? It's got buttons instead of a dial to control the heat setting, and it beeps when it's hot enough to be used. It also has an auto shut off thing, where it just turns off after 8 minutes of doing nothing! Amazing! Aaaaahhh, things. How I love them..

Defiantly the late highlight to my birthday. The other highlights include this incredible birthday cake made by my sister in the shape of Soundwave;

And this video captured by my friend of the main event;

Friday, 29 February 2008

I Lied..

Now I'm really, actually back. After my last post I sloped around for a couple of days feeling demoralised by the string of failures. I wasn't even cheered up by my fitting books, which only illustrated how hard it all was. I decided I needed to successfully complete something and not worry about fit, just make it so that it looks good. With this in mind, I dug out the hooded jumper that I had already discarded as a complete failure, as it was cut up and I had all the stuff to make it. I made it out of some cheap track suit material I found at the op-shop, so the fabirc cost less than the zip and the thread combined, even if it does look like a wet-suit. Here is the final product;

The seams are all straight (for the most part..) and the zip looks alright, so it fulfulled its purpose and made me feel better about sewing. Onwards and upwards maybe? I have two choices now, I think. Choice one, make the shorts again but this time make adjustments so that they actually fit. Choice two, make Simplicity 4111 out of a stretch knit that I bought a few weeks ago. The unmentioned choice three is to just make a t-shirt out of it, but I'm not sure I'm ready to run the t-shirt-with-no-pattern gauntlet again. That episode went totally unreported with good reason, as there are 4 red t-shirts stuffed at the very bottom of my supplies box.

I also really want to make this. After finding myself without a bag, I took to carrying all of my things in a calico shopping bag and I think it has finally convinced me that off the shoulder bags are the greatest thing ever. I refuse to call it a handbag though, because it's a watermelon. Very un-handbag like I think..

I also somehow managed to accomplish this;

I had a 10 dollar chipboard ironing board courtesy of K-mart for a few weeks (they wanted 50 for a real one!!) until I spotted one next to the skip at my brothers house. It turned out to be in excellent condition, with no rust and it doesn't scream when it's opened. The cover was pretty scummy though, so I needed a new one. Ruth did too, so we decided to make our own. Finding a print that we liked turned out to be a trek and a half but we found the right one in the end and had fun making them. It was pretty easy and now we have ironing board covers that fit perfectly and look awesome and only cost 6 dollars (excluding the ten dollar felt mat to go under it).

I love my free ironing board!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Back from the slump

As promised in my last entry, I abandoned the shirt projects in favour of some much easier ones. But as with any beginner, the inevitable complete and catastrophic failure caught up with me and I managed to ruin both a skirt and a loosely fitting jumper. That technically made 4 failures in a row (I counted the abandoned projects as failures) and I got a little sad and didn't want to think about sewing for a bit.

A couple of purchases buoyed my spirits though and I have a book on fitting techniques winging its way to me right now, courtesy of 5 dollars and ebay. Op-shopping is always good for the soul and yesterday was pretty successful. I got some ugly corduroy and flannel and Ruth got the most amazing purchase in the history of the universe; a knitting machine for 20 bucks. I didn't think my score of 7.5 metres of black drill for 3 dollars would be topped for some time..

This all ads up to a renewed sense of sewing-purpose and hopefully I will report back soon with some successfully completed projects!