Monday, February 8, 2016

Making a Top

This long weekend I whipped up a Courtney Top by Style Arc, an Australian pattern company.

The upside from buying just across the Tasman is the exchange rate and reasonable postage. The downside from buying not local is having to wait a week for the pattern to arrive. In anticipation of its arrival, I visited The Fabric Store and purchased some black and 'beige' gingham style silk. It was on sale. It comes in a bigger check, but I thought I might look like a tablecloth wearing that big of a check. I sometimes wonder about that when I wear my navy checked top already!

Silk was maybe a little bit ambitious for a mere medium skilled sewer. It  frays like mad and I found it challenging to do the tiny bottom hem.

However, in saying that it was a pretty straightforward sew. I handsewed down the inside of the neck binding because I dislike fiddly machine sewing.

My favourite part, after the bias neck binding, is the little bit of gathering under the back yoke.

When I make my next one, I am going to lengthen it. I like the length of the back, but the front is maybe 5 cm shorter which I feel is too short for me.

I have spent too much of today doing school work, so I am now returning to sewing the flowers onto my Garden Party WIP.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Making a Dress

Every January I feel like making clothes. Every January I buy a pattern. Every January passes and I don't. I think this time last year I bought a 100 Acts of Sewing pattern.

I visited The Fabric Shop in Otara this morning (formerly know as Designer Textiles Outlet). I was keen for linen, but they didn't have any. I found a cotton chambray that feels and, annoyingly, wrinkles like linen. It has tiny flecks of green, red and yellow. I think it was only $8 a metre.

My favourite part of the making was the liberty bias which I hand sewed down because I hate fiddly machine sewing.

I lengthened the dress so it finishes just under my knees. I shortened the sleeves so they finish at the elbow and I added only one pocket. I thought two might make it look a bit pinaforey. I also lessened the degree of the A-line by about 1.5 inches on both sides as it was quite sticky-outty. I think because the fabric is heavier like linen.

I am keen to to make another one. This one is a bit wide on the shoulder - the shoulder seam sits a way off my actual shoulder, so I will have to google a solution to that. And I would like a slightly wider, and more sticky uppy neck binding/collar. So I will be heading back to Otara in the near future.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Unbelievably I have just one piece left to needle-turn applique. I think it's been like this for two - three months! It's a tricky tree - leaf piece which is why I have been avoiding it.

To show myself it's so close to being done, I added the two borders.

Now to get that applique done.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Garden Party Quilt is Growing

In addition to getting my part of the round robin done in the hols, I made my nephew Lucas a chair-book-bag. He starts school when school commences for the new year at the end of Jan and this was on the list of things he needed. We made a trip to Spotlight and he chose some dinosaur fabric. His sister Lucy saw the bag and thought it would make a good sleeping bag for her dolls, so I whipped up a smaller version for her dolls to sleep in. Last I saw, her toy horses (known as the 'cousin horses') were sleeping in it! No photos there, but here I did instagram a few pics of the garden party quilt.

First I worked on the background - known as the dirt, the fence and the sky. Here's a glamorous clothesline photo minus the sky.

Once I added the sky it barely fitted on the lounge floor, so I shifted it onto the lawn to trial flower placement. I have since hand stitched on seven flowers. In a way I feel a bit disappointed they cover up the background.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It's Tui O'Clock - Completed Round Robin Quilt

The tui is endemic to Aotearoa - New Zealand. There are stories of tui that have been trained to talk. That would be lots of fun! Anyway, last August for our Modern Monday I made tui o'clock using a Bubblestitch pattern I bought on etsy.

Carolyn, Megan and Robyn each added a round to it and Louise quilted and bound the little quilt.

I love the colours. I love the parts that have been added and the fabrics.

It's going to hang in the dining room as soon as I made a sleeve for it, where it will coordinate with the orange piano, orange dining chairs, orange framed Hastings tea towel and my Great Aunt's little bit orange chairs. Perfect. Thanks, ladies!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hand Quilting Robyn's Frog Quilt

Maybe about last August Laurina suggested we have a go at our own little round robin in our Monday Modern group. I started with this block -

And rejected it. At the time, I felt it was too much like my [still unquilted] circle game quilt. I went on to make tui o'clock. I love the orange and love the brown!

For the second round, I added to June's centre. Apparently, this quilt actually goes up the other way. I thought they were trees in the middle.

And then I added the vines and final border to Laurina's travelling quilt. (I did fix that badly matched right hand side border but can't find a finished photo.)

Way back in November I was allocated Robyn's masterpiece to finish - to quilt and bind. As my machine quilting skills consist of machine quilting straightish lines and I find no joy in the actual experience of machine quilting, I went back to hand quilting. So here are lots and lots of photos of the quilting -

I started back in December by cross hatching the yellow and orange section, but once I got going on the 'waves' didn't like the cross hatching so unpicked it. all. Some of my pink/magenta sewing was also unpicked - the lazy daisy didn't really fit the rest of the quilt. I really enjoyed the old-school hand quilting. It's been ages since I did any. I am sure I am not as good as I used to be when it's all I did. I could only get four stitches on my needle and I used to be able to get six or seven ... maybe I will blame the batting!

Pretty sure I haven't ever used seven different threads in a quilt before.

I used cotton batting and it shed like mad - using the thicker perle thread seemed to pull the fibres of the batting through to the front. It  might be better once it's had a wash. Anyway, it's now back with Robyn, and I got my tui o'clock back!

At our Monday Modern gathering last night we committed to our first challenge for 2016 - Liz is going shopping for 'ugly' brown fabric for us all.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Oh Deer! It's Finished

And ready for gifting. I like this one lots. Luckily I have a second one ready for quilting that I might just keep for myself!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Oh Deer! More Wedges

This fabric has been sitting on the shelf since 2012. Not sure what I was saving it for, but thought I had better use it before I decided I didn't like it any more.

Pulled out my massive 10 degree wedge ruler that I bought for myself last Christmas and made two half modern wedges aka dresden plates.

I have set them onto Spotlight shot cotton in 'pepper'. I bought the last of what was on the bolt at Mt Wellington - none at Manukau. I am really liking brown at the moment.

Now to find backing fabric.