31 May 2014

Stashbusting May Theme: "Stretch Sewing": My Stripy Stretch Dress

This month's theme for the stashbusting sewalong is stretch sewing. Well, it happens that I have just the piece of fabric to fit the bill.

On a recent trip to the Fabric Store during the last school holidays, I was looking for some 100% cotton stretch fabric in two colours to start on my Alabama Chanin dress. Alas, I couldn't find two matching fabrics in 100% cotton in a fabric weight or colours that I liked. I was so sure that they would have the perfect fabric, so now I'm still stuck with nothing!

28 May 2014

Jeans Refashion. To Cut or Not to Cut

Carolyn always manages to inspire me with her beautiful creations. She recently posted about a skirt that she made from a few pairs of old jeans. One of the inspirations that she quoted was a jeans remake by her friend Yoshimi. How awesome are they? I love the side view where you can see an old button down fly that comes up from the ankle.

When I first saw Carolyn's skirt I thought that maybe I would cut into a pile of old jeans that don't fit me anymore and make a skirt from them, but when I read Yoshimi's post on her jeans, I changed my mind and decided I wanted to make myself some "new" jeans instead.

25 May 2014

Fabric-a-brac 2014

I first heard about fabric-a-brac last year, but unfortunately couldn't make it. This year, I only found out a week before it was on, and although I already had a few things on that day, I was determined to get there.

This annual event brings together those with too much fabric in their stash, and those wanting more. I used to think I was in the former category, but since linking up with women from around the world in a bid to reduce our stash, I've realised that I don't have that much fabric at all.

Two kids in tow, fresh from their swimming lessons, I set off to Fabric-A-Brac, with just enough time before I had to get home to take the older one to a birthday party.

22 May 2014

1945 Model 221K Singer "Featherweight" Sewing Machine

When / How Acquired

I'm sure the start of this story will sound familiar. I bought this machine from eBay on February 27 this year. Funny story on this one though. My dear husband has a habit of putting machines on my Watch list that he thinks I might be interested in (should I change my password so he can't get into my eBay anymore?) I knew that there was a featherweight on my watch list that I was really interested in and wanted to try my luck at getting. So when I read an email from eBay saying that there was an auction ending soon on a featherweight, (it had one hour left when I read the email), I jumped onto eBay, and without more than 5 seconds thought, put in a bid for it. I remember thinking, "wasn't the machine I wanted in better condition than this?" Then I looked at my Watch list and found the one that I was actually wanting to buy. Ending the following day. Oopsie! I sat for the next hour hoping that someone else would bid on it. They didn't, so that's how I became the owner of a this 1945 Featherweight. I did bid on the other machine, but having just bought one featherweight, wasn't willing to spend enough to secure the second.

19 May 2014

Lingerie: My Second Bra

Since I finished my first bra, I've been itching to make another one.

First things first though, I stocked up on some more supplies in preparation for future bra making - powernet, bra wadding, and tricot. I had to use all my reserves of self control to not use all of these things in this bra - I'm trying to only use one new technique at a time to see how they turn out.

I addressed some issues with shape that I'd had with my first bra, making some alterations to the shape of the band, and changing the bra cup to three separate pieces. I cut the back band on the grain instead of on the bias, which worked out really well. I used a different strap arrangement, and moved the strap placement 2cm closer to the centre back. I had planned to put the straps on with the slider towards the back, but changed my mind at the last minute and put the sliders closer to the front. It might make it easier to adjust the straps on the run (if that were required), but I have managed for the second bra in a row, to have the ring right on the top of my shoulder - not so comfortable. For the next one, I think I'll try this same strap design, but attach them the other way around.

16 May 2014

Sewing with Stretch Fabrics. Who Me?

This month's theme for the stash busting sewalong that I'm participating in, is stretch sewing, so I thought it was a perfect time to finish up this post that I actually started writing a couple of months ago!

I am a self professed non stretch seamstress. Apart from the odd alteration, I have been known to turn clients down in the past if they even mentioned the word "stretch".

There's a few reasons that I have avoided stretch sewing. Most of these stem from the fact that the fabric stretches. Yeah, kind of obvious I know, but this presents a few issues.

Firstly, you can't really make a toile to try out a pattern. Calico won't work, as it doesn't stretch! Unless you make a toile up in the same fabric as the final garment, you don't really get an idea of what it will do, so making things for others can get tricky. And if you're going to make the toile from the same fabric, you might as well just dive in and make the actual garment. (Which is what I usually do for myself,  not always successfully).

13 May 2014

My Sewing Studio: Storage Pigeon Holes

If your sewing space is anything like mine, you never have enough storage space. When I was living in a two bedroom terrace, my husband made me a beautiful timber cupboard and drawers for all of my craft and sewing supplies (however it all fit in there I'll never know). They can sit on top of each other to take up less space. When we started breeding, we had made the decision that I would quit my full time desk job to start my own sewing business, we moved to a larger house, and built a new garage with my own sewing studio on top of it. The cupboard is too tall to fit into the studio (due to council restrictions on height we couldn't build it as tall as we would have liked), but the matching drawers are still in use in the studio (with mainly craft supplies),
Let's play "spot the drawers" behind the piles of fabric!

10 May 2014

Menswear: Shorts for the Hubby

My husband often complains that I make so much stuff for myself, and the rest of the family doesn't get that much at all. When he asked me if I could make him some shorts, he was expecting that I would say no so I could get on with some other stuff that I am working on. Much to his surprise, I actually agreed to make him something.

I let him "shop my stash" and of the fabrics that he chose I picked out two of them to use. I have only made up one pair of shorts now, and I'll get to the second ones when I have some more time to spare.