Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Bean Bag Mission

I've deviated from my garment sewing for a short moment to fulfil a personal request.  No, not by the cat but she wasn't slow in making herself comfortable in the finished product.

My son made a plea for a bean bag for his game time - so like a good mummy I thought I'm up for that challenge!  Straight to the Internet I went looking for a pattern and without too much trouble I found what I was looking for at  Back to the Internet again to look for fabric suggestions and decided on something that wasn't mentioned at all - polar fleece.   This fabric is durable and it would create a bit of warmth as well.   There we have it - the finished product!

As always, I never get away with just making one, there has always got to be one each x 3 children.  So here is the final line-up: leopard print, lady bug and dalmatian.
I am very happy with the finished product and most definitely the selection of fabric.   But back to garment sewing now!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

First Summer Dress in the Wardrobe

I've been up to a few things in November, but have just never found time to share.  So firstly I'd like to give you a look at my summer dress.  It doesn't look much just hanging on the hanger, but self-portraits aren't looking any better.  You will need to believe me, it looks way better on!

I'm really looking forward to santa getting me a dress form for Christmas, then I can get some decent photos of my projects to share with you all.

The dress is a New Look pattern 6013 - very easy to cut and sew.  I needed to adjust the pattern to allow for wider hips and length to allow for my height (5'9").  The dress is a delight to wear, feels like a glove and makes me want to make more - however I've got far to many other patterns I want to sew before repeating the same pattern!
Originally I was going to line the dress, but decided against this, instead I did decided the the inside of my dress needed to look just a stunning as the outside.  So the seams are french seams and the hem is hand sewn.
After I finished the dress I wasn't sure whether I liked it or not because it looked more camo than animal print.  However, since wearing it a few times and receiving some very lovely comments I think it is very now!  (oh and I am into NOW).

Saturday, 3 November 2012

My Minoru Jacket is ready to wear!

I recently completed my first Minoru Jacket (a pattern by Sewaholic).  If you have read by previous post on progress with my Minoru I wasn't that taken by the fabric BUT now my jacket is finished I am in love with it.  I can already tell that it will get lots of use over the spring and autumn months or that chilly summer evening.

I can't believe how easy the pattern was and lining it was a breeze!

(Sorry not great photos, have yet to persuade me daughter to use her photography skills and help me out, so I'm limited to average photos just now).  Trust me the finished version looks much better then the photos.

I've worn it more than just a couple of times and received compliments every time.  Because of it's light colour it's already made it was back to the wash.

I love the length of the sleeves.  This is the first pattern that I haven't had to make an adjustment to the pattern to get the right lengthen for me.  It feels beautiful to wear - the only change I would make is the hip measurement, if it was just a tad narrower it would sit better, probably an inch each side would do.

I've already chosen some fabric to make my next Minoru - this one is a little brighter and will be fun to wear.  More on that later.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Quick Tip: Magic Pen for Marking Notches

While I was cutting out and marking my next garment I thought I would share with you how I prefer to mark-up notches on my sewing projects.

When I first starting sewing patterns (a wee while ago now!) the recommended thing to do was to make triangles out from the seam line, but that was fiddly cutting around the notches and depending on your cutting skills not that accurate.

Then rather than cutting around the notches, it was recommended to make snips (approx. 3mm) in the fabric to mark the notches.  Some still prefer to use this method.

However, MY best little sewing friend is my water erasable pen :-)  This is great on most fabrics except for the darker colours, which is when I swap to a tailor's white chalk pencil.  The chalk is just as effective but requires a bit more pressure to apply the mark.

All guides and marks can be transferred from the pattern to the fabric, without worrying whether it is the right or wrong side of the material, because after a wash all marks are magically gone.

When fabric is hard to tell which is the right side and wrong side, just like the Minuro Jacket I just completed (photos coming soon), I use my water erasable pen to mark-up the right-side (out-side) of the fabric.  That is, I only place markings on one side of the fabric - the side I decide will be the outside of the garment.

Actually, I do all the markings on my fabric straight after I have finished cutting it out.  This includes any gather points or centre points (as in the photo above), as well as notches.  I don't have to place the pattern on the other side of the fabric just run the tip of the pen along the other side to match the notch on the front.

I love my water erasable marker and wouldn't be without it. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Not an animal print 'Summer Dress'

Animal prints are all back in fashion now, just not for me!  The fabric for my next project is a bit of a mix between animal print and camouflage, not that I am a huge fan of either, but this print just popped out at me.

Today was such a beautiful day in Wellington, which really inspired me to look at my next project - a new summer dress.  I've chosen a simple, slim fitting, easy to wear New Look pattern.  A little something to add to my summer work wardrobe.

The pattern only provides inner facing around the neck and sleeves, so just to make it a little more challenging I'm going to add a lining to the dress.  I really love the feel of a lined dress, and just cause I can!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Progress with my Minoru

I am so happy with how my Minoru Jacket is coming along.  I've just finished attaching the lining to the outer jacket and just have the finishing bits and pieces to do now.

My Minoru Jacket - Sewist Stitch

I wasn't exactly 'in love' with the material I had chosen, but it continues to grow on me more and more as the fabric starts to resemble a jacket.  Hmmm, maybe that is the secret to fabric selection, because in other projects I have absolutely loved the fabric and then when the garment is finally finished I'm just 'oh hum' about it.  This project is just the opposite!

I'm really loving the lining of the jacket and with two inner pockets the inside of the jacket will look just as stunning as the outer.

The inside pockets should have had a square of velcro as a closure mechanism - but I'm not a fan so I've chosen to leave it out all together.

The two features of the jacket that I think really add to the overall detail and personality of the jacket is the gathering around the collar and the cuffs.  The cuffs were super fiddly!  

Other than that I've followed the pattern all the way.  Here is what I have so far - isn't the little hanging loop so cute!

 Here is the link to the Minoru Pattern by Sewaholic.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Matching Flower Girl dresses

I just couldn't resist getting these out from the wardrobe!  These are the two flower girls dresses I made for my wedding, one for my eldest daughter (who was just 1) and her cousin. 

These were made from the same fabric as my wedding dress - I even lined the skirt of the dresses.  The disappointing thing is that I don't have any official photos of the girls in their dresses, but they did look so cute!

 The ribbon around the waist was attached by hand and I only attached the top of the ribbon so the gathering in the skirt appears to drop from the ribbon.   I used clear plastic domes for the back of the dress with rose buds sewn on the outside - this was much easier (and I think looked better) than fluffing around with button holes.
Sometimes I still can't believe that I did all this!  There are some things that weren't perfect in my eyes, but I was the only one that knew.  But every now and then I get them out of the closet and admire my handy work and still love the look.

Monday, 1 October 2012

My Minoru Jacket Begins

On Saturday I received my new Sewaholic patterns (all the way from Canada).  So excited, but unsure about which pattern I would sew up first, I decided the best way to make this decision was a trip to the fabric shop!  

The Minoru Jacket was the winner!  The fabric is a light weight cotton twill in a winter white, and I'm going to call it that because 'beige' just doesn't sound appealing at all!

The lining is a tan and white, thin strip, that will just add a touch of class to the colour of the jacket.  The picture doesn't do the fabric justice at all, but then you will just have to wait to see the finished product.

This weekend was the beginning of daylight savings and I think this colour will make a very nice addition to my spring wardrobe, which when teamed up with jeans will make a very nice casual jacket for that evening barbeque.

Because I plan to make more than one Minoru Jacket I have decided to start by making the jacket without the hood. 

For the first time ever, I have washed the material before beginning.  So with fabric washed, dried and ironed today I cut out the pattern.

What I love about this pattern is that there were separate pattern pieces for the lining.  Oh and the fact that I, for the first time in my life, I will fit into a size 8 - not that the number of the size matters, it's all about how it fits in the end.

I can't wait to start sewing! 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Introducing Me

My first sewing project was a skirt for my Barbie at the dining room table using my mother's sewing machine, trying not to interrupt her sewing me a new skirt!

The love of good clothes has always been in my blood, even from a very young age I was fussy about what clothes I wore and what fabric it was made from.  Many years later and not much has changed :-)

Quite possibly my biggest project was making my own wedding dress and two flower girl dresses - which are still hanging in my wardrobe.

I have three children which keep me on my toes and my own business specialising in business and event management.  This keeps me super busy so my sewing time is limited, usually to my annual holidays - and then I sew to relax.  My aim is to sew more often and share my love of sewing with others.

I want to inspire my kids to sew, just as my mother inspired me to sew as well as knit, cook, play sport and all the other fun things in life that brings personal satisfaction.

I am from Taranaki but in April 2011 my husband and kids uprooted our life and relocated to Wellington.  The move was a career move for my husband and an opportunity for me to expand my business, which is all going very well.   But what I have discovered is that Wellington has some great fabric shops! With such choice now at my finger tips, my question to myself is why would I not make more time to do the things I enjoy in life - sew!

So join me in my journey of discovery and inspiration with my sewing projects.