30 April 2014

Stashbusting Sewalong: April theme "Colour": A Lego Friends Birthday Party

I have been working on a few things for my daughter's birthday party for a while, and realised quite by accident that it fit in with the April Stashbusting Sewalong theme of colour. I don't often manage to match my sewing to the theme of the month!

The theme of the birthday party was Lego Friends, and after coming up with all sorts of Lego themes for party favours, games and prizes, I thought that maybe we should tone it down a bit on the Lego, and pick a few key colours to stick with for everything else. I chose hot pink, cobalt blue, lime and purple. The hubby bought plastic plates, cups, tablecloths and napkins in these colours, and I set to work on some sewing.

My first idea was bunting! And lots of it. I made far too much to re-use it all in her room (but watch me try), but there was plenty to decorate the party. I actually only used two of the three lengths that I made (10 triangles each of three colours on each length). I kind of overestimated how much I would need!

24 April 2014

1937 Model 66K Singer Treadle Sewing Machine

When / How Acquired

This machine was the second pickup on a day in December, from an eBay purchase. I'd already sent the husband out to the Hills District to pick up another machine, and he was out when the auction for this machine ended. I paid for it straight away and shot a message off to the seller. She answered within minutes, so I rang her and asked if my husband could pick it up while he was in the area. Thankfully she was home, and hubby came home with not one, but two new treadle machines for my ever growing collection. They both had to live at the bottom of the stairs for a few days, but this one now lives in our main living area under our bedroom stairs, while the other one (the 201K), managed to score a new home in my studio.

It came with a few spare bobbins, but is in need of a new rubber ring for bobbin winding. Included were both the original and a new leather belt (which I still haven't tried to attach).

18 April 2014

The Fabric that Keeps on Giving

Is it just me, or does anyone else have a piece of fabric that they just keep using up for random things, and it never seems to run out? I have one such piece of fabric, and there's actually a reason that this particular piece of fabric keeps on going. We bought about 10 metres of the stuff. Why you might ask? We had a sofa bed that needed a new lease on life, so I was going to make a slip cover to go over it and new cushion covers. Before I had a chance to sew it up though, we changed our minds and spent a small fortune having it re-upholstered, so instead of looking like an awkward brown lumpy chair (let's face it, that's what it would have looked like with a slip cover), we basically got a brand new sofa bed.

And I was left with the world's largest piece of upholstery weight brown drill fabric to add to the stash. We're talking something like 9 years now, and I still have over 5 metres left.

15 April 2014

"Alabama Chanin" style shorts

I love the inspiration that I get from reading other sewing blogs. Last year I was reading a post by Carolyn on some experimenting that she was doing from a book on Alabama Chanin techniques. I fell in love with the style instantly, and started plotting how to incorporate the look into a project without having to spend too much time on handsewing.

10 April 2014

1953 Model 201K Singer Treadle Sewing Machine

When / How Acquired

This machine is an eBay purchase from December 2013. My husband's new hobby seems to be trawling through eBay, Gumtree and any other site he can find, looking for machines to add to our (MY) collection. Within the same week we came across two machines that were going cheaply, and picked them both up on the same day.

I had to rearrange my studio to fit this one in, and the other pick up of the day lives at the end of our hallway at the front of our house.

We purchased this from a young guy on eBay, who was selling it on behalf of his mother. It had belonged to his grandmother (his mother's mother), and was obviously a much loved family machine. I am honoured to have given it a new home.

4 April 2014

Lingerie: My First Bra

Earlier this week I posted about my adventures with making my own bra pattern from scratch. Here's my first effort at making a real wearable bra. The fabric that I used is a recent addition to my stash that I was gifted. I've gone with a polyester floral print, very lightweight and floaty.

After my little freak out over the ill fitting bra toile (let's just call it the ugliest toile in the world, shall we?), I did a little more research into using woven fabrics on bras, and came across this post from Madalynne which addresses just this issue.

This post advises that as a general rule of thumb, when making a bra band from a woven fabric, the band should be cut on the bias, (as should the lower part of the cups) to maximise the available stretch. Everything else in the bra should be cut with the grain for maximum stability.

I decided to make the first bra straight from the block, as I did with my toile, to test out what happens. This means a one piece bra cup, with three curved darts sewn into it. Of course this time the adjustments to fit have been made, and I added the seam allowances to the pattern before I cut it, to ensure accuracy. For the next one I'll be brave and start to play around with it. I'm thinking a three piece bra cup (princess seam along the bust point), then maybe a two piece cup pattern.

2 April 2014

Lingerie: Making a bra block

I was going to leave a post about making a bra until I had a finished bra to show, but my journey to get to a finished bra is half the fun (or agony as the case may be)!

I have been wanting to make my own bras for years, but for one reason or another have kept putting it off. As I mentioned a week or so ago, I have been accumulating supplies since late last year, and thought I was pretty much ready to go. I had a plan. I was going to unpick an existing bra, and use molded bra cups (I already had some for putting in dresses) and stretch fabric and whip up a few bras. I haven't gotten around to buying a book on bra making yet, but thought I'd have a look around the internet first to see if the book I had chosen was the most appropriate for my needs.