Saturday Afternoon Stash Sharing

I am waiting for Mr Mail Man to deliver a fun sewing parcel but I am rubbish at being patient

;)

Especially when it involves exciting things! So on the weekend I did a little bit of sewing planning and had a dig through my stash and I thought maybe it was time for another stash sharing post

First up, some knits:

I got this from the remnant bin at Arthur Toye for $7.50, it’s only 0.5m and I wish I had seen it on the bolt earlier. Aren’t the little birdies super sweet? I’ll combine this with something else as a contrast to make the item I have in mind.

You’re going to LOVE this next one, because cartoon sewing machines!

This satisfies my sewing nerdyness AND my obsession with vintage machines. A cute way to show off both, no?

It’s from Spoonflower and is an organic cotton knit. It was a ridiculous USD$27.00/yard plus postage so you bet I only bought 1 yard – that’s about 0.9 meters for us metrics. I think that’s plenty, an entire item out of this would be waaaay too much, so again, I have a contrast in mind to make up the difference.

Now let’s move on to a couple of sheers:

This is also from Arthur Toye – So sad that they are closing down throughout the whole country, boo :(

I bought it at one of their regular 50% off sales for $12/meter. I’ll admit right now it is 100% polyester but has a beautiful hand – I’m no content snob, I’ll happily add a good quality poly (yes, I believe that oxymoron is possible) to my stash, especially if it’s this cute!

This however is silk!

I bought this from Potters in Perth in February of 2011 for AUD$16.95/meter (wow that makes the sewing machine fabric look crazy expensive huh?!) I miss Potters, damn they had good fabric!

This is truly beautiful, it’s like holding fairy wings or something, seriously! I didn’t take a photo but it also has a line of gold thread the length of each selvedge, so even the selvedge is pretty!

Ok last piece for this round, it’s another piece of silk:

This piece I bought from The Fabric Warehouse in Wellington while back home before our wedding (December 2010). It had been a stressful day, it was almost Christmas, the wedding was in less than 1 month and my cake guy had just fallen through – so after a mad morning of phone calls I rewarded myself with some fabric shopping.

I think this was probably my first piece of silk I ever bought – it was expensive too (ok, NZD$24.00/meter, so still cheaper than the sewing machines, ahh perspective) but I fell in love with Japanese brush style painting. The grey background is silvery but warm – I really should make this up into something soon!

That’s it! hopefully you’ll see at least two of these pieces made up soon!

Fabric: Studies prove more effective than pain killers

This is a short and apologetic post. I do not have a Burda tracing post ready to share with you.

Instead I narrowly avoided a migraine yesterday which left me sitting quietly on the couch for about 4 hours waiting for my vision to return to normal. Migraines for me are rare but I am lucky that I get an “aura”  warning. As much as partially losing my sight freaks me out (I call it “sparkly vision” but actually it’s called scintillating scotoma if you are interested) the upside is that it gives me forewarning to take whatever I need to avoid the actual migraine.

Enough depressing health stuff, don’t you worry about me, I know what to do with these things. Today I will move about slowly, drink lots of water and eat well, I’ll be back to myself by this evening.

Squinting through a receding spangled blur I still managed to buy some fabric from the internetz and I am pretty sure it helped more than the special blue pills I swallowed earlier.

I have been obsessed with Dolly Clackett’s Meta Dress since one of the WSBN girls pointed her blog out to me. I wanted that fabric baaaadly, I search a bit half-arsed for it initially before getting distracted by something else and temporarily forgetting about it.

Then yesterday afternoon Pinterest delivered. Someone pinned it from an online UK store and I jumped on that woven gold so fast I think my credit card got whiplash.

I didn’t buy exactly the same colour-way as Ms Clackett, I almost did, then I saw this one instead and decided I liked the colours more:

lrgscaleCP0192-01

It is from Minerva Crafts and you should go get some too ;)

Now, allow me to distract you with too many gratuitous pictures of Harry’s first venture into my Sewing Studio on Sunday afternoon. He moves fast, so they are all a bit blurry!

Like all cats I have ever known when he sees a camera he runs straight at it.

So many good hiding places to practise our new favourite thing: Jumping out at the unsuspecting humans! Also my cat photography skills need upgrading, bear with…

No lace was harmed during this adventure.

Forewarning for all who are interested: On Friday Harry goes to the vet for 1st vaccinations, micro-chipping and a “special” operation (you know what I mean). After said visit you may notice I refer to Harry as Harri (short for Harriet) because if the YouTube video I watched on the weekend has any truth to it, he is more likely a she. The vet will obviously have the final say, stay tuned…

footer_machine zigzag love

Requested Nerdy Husband Sewing

Black is such a hard colour to photograph which is a shame because I am so proud of this top.

Front

I am afraid you’ll have to put up with Scarlett wearing this man-sized and man-shaped top. I refer to my hubby by many names: Nerdy Hubby, Geologist Hubby, Once-again-in-the-good-books Hubby…but he refuses to be Model Hubby – even with a promise of cutting off his head (in the photo frame I mean!) but I don’t blame him really, this top is pretty much skin tight. Comfortable, but very fitted.

Back

Let’s rewind a bit:

Sometimes in Wellington it gets a little windy (hah!) and polypropylene is an essential staple in any Wellingtonian’s wardrobe. Ridiculous coloured stripey arms sticking out from under tee-shirts are very trendy. Or at least they used to be, I’m not exactly up with the current trends.

About 3 months ago Mountain Biking Hubby decided he wanted another polypropylene to wear under his riding clothes. His favourite one (both fit and colour) was black, its tag long lost after far too many washes.

He went out shopping for another rtw one and was so disgusted at both the price and quality of polypropylene and wool versions that he gave up.

Fast forward to another tag-along fabric shopping trip where merino and merino-blends were heavily discounted at an end-of-season sale. While my back was turned checking out the new spring-cottons nerdy husband was quietly digging through the merino bolts with gears quickly turning inside his head.

This is becoming a common occurrence isn’t it?

1.5m of black merino-nylon blend came home with us ($9.95/meter), as well as some marbled grey and dark grey merino for me. We chose the 80/20 merino-nylon blend in the hopes of slightly better durability and it also seemed to have better recovery than the straight merino.

I began by printing off the Pete T-shirt from BurdayStyle but after a quick comparison to the original black polypropylene it wasn’t going to work at all. Picky Hubby was quite adamant that the new merino top should be the same IN EVERY WAY as the original.

Free pattern alert!

Sigh. The Pete pattern was too short, too slim, too high-necked. The original also had a long raglan sleeve and the T-Shirt pattern did not. So I pushed it aside and decided to try this new thing everyone is talking about, a rub-off.

(*snigger)

I’m not going to show you my method because the true pattern drafters amongst you would be truly appalled. I don’t have a big enough pinning surface so I prodded and stretched and sketched and fudged.

The important thing is that it worked! Better yet, Nerdy Hubby loves it, and has already requested another. It’s a good thing then, that it only took me a couple of hours to put together, almost 100% on the trusty 4-threads-of-amazingness-overlocker.

Some details

Fashionable Hubby requested coverstitch detail on the sleeve attachment:

“I don’t have a coverstitch machine honey”

“But you have so many machines, one of them must do this” * pointing at cover stitch

“Umm, I only have two machines (that go)…and no”

“…but that big white one with all the extra threads..?”

“No”

silence

“I might be able to fake it”

“Hmm, ok, but only if it looks like this” * more pointing at cover stitch

“I’ll see what I can do”

I know I can do a kind of faux coverstitch on the overlocker, the Bernina lady showed me at my free lesson…that was almost 2 years ago!

But this was not the time for random experimentation, so the Elna got threaded up black, dial up stitch number 18 please!

I created my faux coverstitch by first overlocking the sleeve seam, pressing the overlocking to one side and stitching it down using the faux overlock stitch on my Elna. It’s a slow stitch but it looks pretty good I think.

Edit to add: I might not have explained that very well – the real 4-thread overlocked seam is on the inside, the faux overlock stitch (#18) is on the outside which you can see here.

Nerdy Hubby couldn’t tell the difference, “It looks so professional! You should do this on my rugby jersey too”

In all seriousness trusty #18 is a “super stretch” stitch and perfect for this application.

Here is another close up, you can see the wide cuff on the sleeve too:

I gave myself 3cm hem allowance at the bottom which I turned under twice and stitched down with the faux-overlock stitch too.

I don’t know what is going on with my hand in this pic, it looks so wrinkly!

The only hiccup was that I got a bit confused when I was attaching the neck band and put it on backwards. When Nerdy Hubby tried it on he asked why the join was at the front. Try as I might I couldn’t convince him that it was a design feature ;) He’s a smart cookie that one. So I had to carefully unpick a 4-thread overlock stitch and then re-attach. Lucky merino doesn’t really fray so it went back on without a hitch.

So, great success! Except that now Nerdy Hubby is asking about his rugby jersey! ;)

When husbands come fabric shopping…

On Saturday there was an unplanned day trip to Palmerston North. Due to an apparent miscommunication (which was not in my opinion but that’s another story) there was required 3 hours of time killing after we arrived. This involved lunch, a trip to a botanic garden, browsing at a bicycle store (Nerdy Husband’s choice) and finally, of course, a fabric store, because that would only be fair.

By then we were both bored and distracted and wanting to get on with the reason for our day-trip. After a 2-hour drive that he does at least once a week for work anyway, Nerdy Husband didn’t feel like sitting in the car as per usual. He dutifully followed me through the forest of fabric bolts at Moreland’s occasionally commenting helpfully on the items I draped over myself.

Despite the bright pink “sale” signs I didn’t really see anything worth buying, the mood just wasn’t there.

Down the back of the shop are more bolts stacked flat in shelving, they require a bit more digging and effort so I passed them by.

Then, from over my shoulder, I heard Nerdy Husband decisively announce, “You should make me a rugby jersey!”

I turned around to find him enthusiastically digging through a pile of stripey bolts labelled “Rugby Jersey” Knit.

I wandered back to help and here is his final selection:

100% Cotton “Rugby Jersey” Knit – NZD$12.99/m

There were quite a few colour & stripe options to choose from, mostly North Island colour combos, and the astute Kiwi readers will note that his choice is not very “Wellington”.

No, it is not.

Nerdy Husband partly grew up in Auckland and that’s where he played rugby as a boy. Therefore he still possesses some affiliation for the Blue & White (usually when the Hurricanes or Lions are playing poorly), but I love him and therefore I forgive him the occasional rugby loyalty indiscretion.

Nerdy husband rarely asks for something so directly (including finding his own fabric) so I usually push his projects up the queue. His last request is currently drying after being pre-washed, some black merino, to become a warm light-weight pullover for wearing under his riding clothes. Have you seen how much those things cost in the shops? Ridiculous! And that’s if you can find them in your size! So I grabbed a couple of meters from Global Fabrics during their last sale. I should be able to get a long sleeved version out of about $15 worth of high quality NZ merino. It’ll be a quick project, slotted in between my own sewing, and then I can consider how to tackle a “rugby jersey”

See what I did there? ;)

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Fabric shopping > cleaning

Just a quick post to say I’m still here, I’ve just been recovering because last weekend was MOVE DAY! Yay! Finally!

Originally it took just the two of us 5 truck loads and two days to move everything into storage but with the help of some awesome family members (Mechanical Bother-in-Law and Father-Who-Didn’t-Lift-Anything-Heavy-If-His-Wife-Asks) we managed to move everything out on Saturday in just 3 truck loads, phew!

Nerdy Husband and Mechanical Brother-in-Law seemed dismayed at the number of boxes labelled “Mel’s Room (Sewing)” or “Fabric” but Father-Who-Didn’t-Lift-Anything-Heavy-If-His-Wife-Asks knows his daughter well and just smiled.

I know you guys will understand ;)

I love our new house but unfortunately I haven’t had much time to enjoy it yet. Despite the previous owners paying a cleaner for the morning I still ended up spending most of the weekend cleaning the kitchen before I ran out of energy. So I have no future-sewing-room photos for you just yet. The problem is that my room is currently serving as wardrobe, dressing room and linen cupboard until I get a chance to thoroughly clean them too. There is only one word to describe their current state: feral.

The plan this weekend is more cleaning (sarcastic yay) so that I can get our clothing, linen and towels out of future-sewing-room. Then I can re-assemble my sewing table and shelves, which all had to be pulled apart to get them down the tiny hallway of our rental house, and then the fun really begins!

I better hurry up because my fabric shelves just got some new additions…

Excuse the wobbly cell phone photo – hands were full of fabric

50% off at Arthur Toye? Well if you insist… ;)

Green & white cotton/spandex for an experiment to recreate my favourite (and almost falling apart) workout top and 2 x 100% viscose prints

Some sort of knit with sparkly stripe, some suiting and a lace – because I really want to make a lace overlay dress! Possibly to combine with the suiting fabric beside it as a more work-appropriate version (?)

Lace detail

I am looking forward to sharing photos of my room with you as I set it up so watch this space next week when, hopefully, normal service resumes…

I’ve been bad…

I accidentally went fabric shopping yesterday:

 No…

…actually that is a shameless lie…

I went out at lunchtime yesterday specifically to check out Arthur Toye‘s 50% off everything (EVERYTHING!) fabric sale and spent a bit more than I intended to.

I would have spent even more if it weren’t for the fact that I only get 30 minutes for lunch.

But aren’t they so pretty?!

 Still, when they halve the total at the checkout you can’t complain right?

Accidental Fabric Shopping Wednesday

I had a headache all day at work yesterday, you know the kind that continues to over stay its welcome even after your second set of panadol for the morning? Yeah, one of those. So by lunchtime I was dying to get out for some fresh air and Wellington put on a beautiful day hinting at an amazing soon-to-arrive summer.

There are two things I absolutely love about the lead up to summer in Wellington. Firstly we get days like yesterday, secondly (and most importantly) all the winter fabric goes on special ;)

So I only intended to wander down to the end of Lambton Quay and back but before I knew it I was standing outside Arthur Toye and their ‘5 – 50% off sale’ sign.

Well, when you’ve made it that far you may as well go the rest of the distance and here’s what I took back to the office.

Oops

This wool stripe (80% wool/20% polyester) is warm but light weight and will be perfect for another Esther or similar to see me to the end of spring.

I’ve been thinking of making another JJ blouse and this 100% cotton will be perfect, blue and pink is such a sweet colour combination!

Curious Husband recently suggested that I take a good look at the items I’ve made that I love to wear often and recreate new versions of those. I hardly ever make more than one of any pattern, JJ, Kasia and Jenny are probably the only exceptions, yet I often think after finishing a successful item that I would like to re-make it. Sometimes you don’t know until you’ve had to live with it for a few months, do you?

So if I had to pick a top 3, items that I LOVE and wear over and over they would be:

  • My JJboth of them actually, the fit of this pattern is amazing and with or without the ruffles it’s a great blouse pattern…and it’s free, go get it!
  • My Jenny skirt – this one usually, this one less often, I think because the first one is more neutral and goes with everything, it also fits really well and I think it’s quite flattering.
  • My Stitches Asymmetrical Folds Skirt always attracts a compliment and the a-line shape makes it comfy to sit in all day long. I can wear it with boots and tights or heeled sandals in warmer weather.

So that’s a pretty good list to start with and these items that I am familiar with and can probably make pretty quickly while tackling the longer term projects.

So curious readers, tell me, what are your top three patterns that you make over and over again, why do you like them so much?

There will be a post involving sewing this weekend, promise…