28 January 2014

Stashbusting Sewalong: January theme Itty Bits

I haven't had much luck sewing anything during school holidays that I want to get done. Every time I try to get something done there always seems to be someone at my elbow telling me they're bored and need something to do. Number one child goes back to school tomorrow though, so I'm hoping my luck is about to change.

At the very least I thought I could do something that fits in with the January Stashbusting theme of "Itty Bits." I "pinned" a tutorial for a mannequin shaped pincushion a few months ago, printed it out, shrank it, and kept moving the printout from room to room in the hopes that it might get up and make itself. (Or something like that). I have some leftover fabric from some fat quarters that I used to do binding on the outside of these folders

that I made a few years ago, and thought that they would make great mannequins. I wanted to try out the pattern for shape and size though, so opted to use plain black fabric for my first go.

I didn't use much fabric with this one!

22 January 2014

Made to Measure Dresses, What is Involved?

I make more dresses for others than I ever make for myself. When you sew a lot for yourself, you get used to the adjustments that you generally make on a garment to fit yourself. If this describes you, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. To sew for someone else however, you have to take each body as it comes and fit and re-fit until the garment fits like a glove.

My last client for 2013, Gemma, agreed for me to share the process involved in making a made to measure bridesmaid dress for her.

18 January 2014

Eamon Sullivan's Chocolate Delice

For Christmas last year (it feels funny calling it last year when it was less than a month ago), I volunteered to make dessert for my family's Christmas lunch. It was a toss up between a Bouche de Noel and a chocolate delice, both of which I have made for Christmas once before. After careful consideration I decided that chocolate is always the answer, so I went with the chocolate delice.

16 January 2014

Chocozumbo macarons

During my recent whip around the countryside post Christmas, I stayed for a few nights with my sister. Her teenage son asked me a few weeks ago if I could help him out with a batch of macarons, so of course I had to say yes!

14 January 2014

A Dress For my Sister

Here's my first stash bust for the year. Unfortunately though, it isn't from my stash. My sister asked me late last year if I could make her a dress, copying one that she already had. She came to stay a short time later with the dress to be copied, but no fabric! At least I got to make the pattern and give the dress back before she went home again.

The Original dress

13 January 2014

Stash Busting Pledge 2014

I'm signing myself up for Stashbusting again this year. Thanks to Cindy and EmSewCrazy for running the Stashbusting Sewalong again this year. I'm really hoping that I'll have more time to do sewing for myself (and my family of course). This year I will have 5 days a week without children in the house. *Insert happy dance here.* Admittedly after I get back from school drop off, and allow myself an hour for lunch and other breaks, that still only gives me 4 hours a day before I have to go back to pick the kids up from school again, but that's 4 hours a day with no interruptions. Bliss! Last year I had 3 days a week with no children under foot, so 5 will take a bit of getting used to. I might even have time to do some regular housework.

Getting back on track however, I am planning on scheduling in one day a week (other deadlines permitting) to work on my own projects. Which brings me back to the topic of Stash Busting. Last year I didn't really make that much of a dent in the pile of fabric (especially when I was given a few bits and pieces), but at least I know what I have now. Having pledged not to buy new fabric, I found myself avoiding sales that I would normally have been going to. I love it when The Fabric Store has a sale. Like right now, but I really don't want to have to take the kids with me anyway, so I'll still probably give that a miss. It was particularly hard when I felt inspired to make something specific and then found that I didn't have a single piece of fabric that would work - like a striped dress. No stripes in the stash! How can that be?

6 January 2014

Stashbusting 2013: A year in review

When I signed up for a stashbusting challenge earlier this year, I didn't have high hopes of using up much of my stash, but thought if I was documenting it then I'd have some incentive to try. My pledge recorded on Tumbleweeds in the Wind was a bit wishy washy,
"I, Andrea, commit to using as much of my stash as possible during 2013 when other work permits me the time. I also commit to not buying new fabric for my personal use during 2013 (unless it's an absolute bargain!) AFTER my trip to Paris in March."
So how did I go? Well, as far as not buying more fabric goes, I didn't buy any for myself (technically), but was given some fabric from both my mother and my mother in law. (Okay, so the stuff from my mother I actually went through some fabric she was given and picked out quite a lot of stretch off cuts that I haven't used any of yet). I did buy some fabric which I earmarked for making a dress for my daughter (still to come), so not really part of my stash. The only other fabric I bought was for curtains. The first of these was bought in Paris for our library, and the second lot will be for our lounge room. I'm sure I'll be showing them off when they're done!

5 January 2014

Lego Sewing Machine

I recently saw a picture of a Lego sewing machine on my Facebook feed, and asked my 8 year old son if he would like to make me one. I think he was still too busy playing with all the new Lego that he and his sister had gotten for Christmas, because he wasn't interested. I'm nothing if not persistent though, and a few days later I created a Pinterest board with various Lego sewing machines that I found.

That got him hooked! He made me a machine without any guidance from me, complete with 2 reels of thread, 2 bobbins (you never know when that extra one might come in handy), and 2 presser feet (more is best apparently!)