Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Book and Old Quilt

I had to search through my messy studio this weekend for a fabric to alter a client's dress. In searching, I came across a quilt top I had begun for my son long before we were even hopeful for Maisie. He has been using a pieced quilt top with dinosaurs on it for about six years. Bad mum that I am, I didn't even quilt it. Instead I made it into a duvet cover. Well, at eleven he is a bit old for dinos anymore. He had seen this one in progress and claimed he didn't like it, but that was years ago. To be tricky, I shook it out today and pretended to be folding it when he came in from school. Immediately he asked "What is that?"
" A quilt top" I replied.
"Who is it for?"
"I don't know yet, probably Maisie." (who gets everything, in his opinion) "Why? You don't like it, do you?"
"Yeah, yeah yeah!" jumping up and down, with his hands in front like a little bunny.
Had I asked him if he liked it, the reply would have been "Not really."
This works out well for me and for the little guy in line for the dino blankie, who has almost outgrown dinos himself already!

Also, below if a GORGEOUS book that came in the mail today. I love William Morris designs and this is filled with beautifully interpreted applique versions.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spring Flowers

Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic had a post yesterday that brought home some feelings I have been having. She discusses using books to get better at sewing. I LOVE books. I love magazine, I love tchniques and am curious about many things. I realised years ago that I was reading rather than doing, so I tried to change that. Then came marriage and babies and other obligations. I stopped sewing for myself for a while. I sewed for work, but not for pleasure.
In the last few years I discovered Stitcher's Guild, Pattern Review and blogs. So many blogs! But again, I used them as I had previously used books. I read them rather than doing. With my husband's illness and inability to work, I have had to add more hours to my work week. I feel like I never leave my basement studio. I need to change that somehow, even if it means part of the time I am down here I am doing something for me.
So I have decided that I will try to do something for fun, for skill development and not for profit, everyday if I can.
Here is the most recent attempt: fabric flowers. I can't get outside to enjoy them much so this will be my replacement for now.
Ribbon Roses
Using a technique from Threads , number 64, article by Camela Nitschke.
Bias Roses
Top left has satin back shantung flower and leaf is silk dupioni, on right is metallic silk with ribbon leaves.
Bottom flowers are satin, acetate on left and polyester on right.
I am sure my skills need imrovement, but they are fairly quick and the results are cute from the start. Just what I need right now.

This is for KBenco. Here is the box from the ruffler foot that fit my Janome MemoryCraft 4000

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Great Haul!

Today was a perfect day for yard sales. We took the kids out and just wandered the neighbourhood. This is what we bought at the first place we stopped, about 1/2 block from our house.
A woman was selling her mother's goods. Her mum had moved and this stuff was stored in a basement and/or garage for the winter. I first asked a bout these rulers and some crochet hooks. The hooks she decided to keep, but asked $10 for the patterns, rulers and the sewing machine. I need another machine like I need a hole in my head, but for $10 I had to take it. It is on my porch right now as it isn't terribly clean.
Doll clothes patterns, embroidery transfers, needlework booklets and rulers (and a cat, but she wasn't included in the sale).

The machine is in a nicely shaped wood cabinet. It is motorised, you can see the pedal and cord in the first picture.
Does anyone know what exactly I have here? Could it be valuable?
It only does straight stitch. I am going to try it out tomorrow and see if it works. I figured the cabinet was worth more than $10 even with the finish so roughed up.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My kids got my camera again

The many faces of Maisie.

Trying to look mad
You can't see me or the popsicle stain on my chin!
We also have an elbow series.
I miss my waist. I went to the dietician today with a food diary. I have been trying to control the insulin resistance with diet and it isn't working. I might need to go back on medication. I miss my waist enough to consider it, although I would prefer not to.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oh, my aching feet!

Heart-ache that is!
I use a Husqvarna Mega Quilter for my daily sewing. It only has a straight stitch, has a longer than average bed and a really high lift. I love it. It is as close to an industrial as I need for power and but I sometimes feel a little too basic with it. I read blogs and reviews and there are a lot of discussions about various feet. I decided to try some but most of the feet I would like to try are not available for it so I will have to get feet for another machine that is not set up for daily use. It is a Pfaff 1522 and I want to get a binding foot, a ruffler and an elasticator.
I have been to two local sewing stores. The first, closest and my favourite is only a few blocks away from me. I can walk there. They suggested I bring in the machine but, since I do not drive, this isn't easy. They do not sell Pfaff machines there but they carry some feet for other machines. I purchased a ruffling/pleating snap on foot with the arrangement that I could bring it back for credit if it didn't fit. Well, it didn't fit. I will have to go back today.
They sell Pfaff at the other machine store. It is a 20 minute drive away, so we need to pack the kids in the car and have DH and both kids wait while I go in there. I told them what machines I had and asked what they suggested. After some discussion we decided to use the Pfaff and I bought a snap on elastic foot.
I didn't have a chance to set up the other machine for a week or so. Finally I had time last night. I opened my little bag and found a low shank binding foot. So now we need to trek back there for another long visit which I hope will result in a successful outcome. They are not known for their excellence in customer service at this establishment.
Wish me luck! After this I might just stick with a straight stitch and serger!
ETA- Better news! I called up and they explained that a low shank will work and that they were out of the snap on. However I don't want to use a screwdriver to remove the shank everytime I want to change the foot. They are going to try to order a snap on and we will go grom there. If worse comes to worst I can get a thumb screw for that shank.
As for the ruffler, not only does it fit on my Janome, but I was looking through some old Threads magazines that Mum gave me and the first one I picked up has an entire article on using a ruffler foot! This dreary Saturday is turning into a better day than I had thought.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wearing the Jackets

My sister and mother came for a visit today. I asked my sister Meg took some pictures of me wearing both recent jackets. The good part about this is that she is interested in flattery and not just getting it over with. She would say things like "Put your chin down" and "You need lipstick"

This is with my recent black denim trousers and the new handbag Mum and Meg brought for my birthday.

Close ups wearing both jackets. I like the tweed one better than I did before

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Vogue 1100 completed

Showing saddle stitching

The hemline shows a bit. I usually don't do anything to emphasize a horizontal, but I might add two rows of stitching to hide my pressing mistake.
The neck seam shows at CB on the hanger, but dh tells me it doesn't while being worn. I cannot see it, so I have to trust his word on that.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Teal Tweed

I haven't stopped work on this jacket, but it won't be wearable until Fall now, so I haven't been frantically trying to finish it

I put one sleeve in as per the suggestions here and love it. http://2bsewing.blogspot.com/2009/05/another-butterick-5223in-works.html
I put the other one in the usual way and will have to re-do it. Guess how I will be doing it the second time?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vogue 1100 Jacket Progress

I have cut this jacket out of a wool blend from Timmel Fabrics. I did not know how it would act, but it presses nicely. It has a nice drape, which I wanted to keep so I used PRO-TRICOT FUSIBLE~ Interfacing from Sew-Exciting. It fuses nicely and adds body without changing the hand much.
The measurements given on the envelope made it look just a little snug in the bum for me, so I added to the side seams. I cut a 16 in the shoulder and neckline, coming out to an 18 at the side seam. From there, I traced off the same shape side seam as the pattern, but swung out to just a bit past the size 20. It is plenty big in the hips now. I have found that keeping the same shape side seam in a looser style such as this gives a better result than trying to keep the waist small and swing out at the hip/bum.
I had planned to top stitch and edge stitch as desribed in the instructions, but am contemplating doing a saddle stitch in this buttonhole twist I found. I would likely wear the jacket with the charcoal jeans I just made or with black so I don't feel I am limiting my choices like this. It will be a new technique for me. You can see I have basted the edges of the CF and collar, but have machine top stitching on the pocket flaps. I changed my mind after doing the pockets.

Isn't the wooden spool cute?

I started the stitching and LOVE the look! I was going to use tiger tape, but it looks OK like this. Perfection is for robots.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New plans- Keeping it simple

While I have been turning into a pasty mushroom in my basement, Spring weather has snuck up on us. I have discovered that I have one pair of jeans as my only pants. I have a lot of winter trousers and cropped pants, but no other Spring appropriate full length pants to wear.
Today is supposed to be a work day, but I plan to think about work a lot (an important aspect of designing) while I make another pair of jeans. I have two pair cut, fused and serged and I am going to wear one of them tonight!
I am also going to cut out a jacket (Vogue 1100)and fit a t-shirt pattern this week. Big plans!

Update- the charcoal denim trousers are complete. Hook and bar, hem and everything!
The jacket shell is cut out and basted for fitting. I still need to cut the lining though.