Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Sweet Blogger Award


I have been rather slack lately. Dressesandme nominated me for Sweet Blogger Award over a week ago.  Since I’ve never been nominated for an award before I should have been on to this, but life just seemed to get in the way.  Anyway, I’ll do it now.

The Rules

1.     Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you. Thanks Penelope!

2.    Answer 5 Super Sweet questions.

3.    Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post

4.    Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.

5.    Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.

The 5 Super Sweet Questions

1.     Cookies or Cake? Cookies, preferably ones I can dunk in my coffee

2.    Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate

3.    Favorite Sweet Treat? My daughter’s really, really rich chocolate brownies.

4.    When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? After scuba diving.  I know tests have proved that it is technically possible to dive without chocolate, but why take the risk?

5.    Sweet Nickname? I don’t have one, largely because I have never wanted one.  If someone really wants to talk to me they can do me the courtesy of remembering my name. I don’t even like my name being shortened, I mean, it’s only two syllables Me and shell, not to hard at all.

Thirteen bloggers?  That’s a tough one, I follow numerous bloggers, from the US and UK ones with thousands of followers to smaller local ones who sew sun dresses for Christmas and are currently rediscovering the delights of woolen coats and polar fleece.

Curiouskiwi and Modern Vintage Cup cakes   They’ve managed to put NZ sewers on the map with their amazing sew-a-longs
Papercut not only has she produced some great patterns with a distinctive kiwi twist, (Look at that Watson Jacket) but she explains some really fun techniques on her blog.
 
Sewing for me and grt*escp because I love to read sewing blogs from exotic places

Mysewing factory because fabric talks to Heidi too

Caroline – because she does really cool embroidery BY HAND!

Jane’s sew and tell – because she as a really awesome header on her blog, and sews stuff that I would actually wear.

a charm of magpies  because she does such a range of crafty stuff, and I love the way she uses colour

in my back yard – Because she publicly opposes whaling on her blog,

On the road to sew wear - even though I’m seriously jealous of her recent sewing retreat

Ready thread sew – because I sooo agree with her BF13 posts, she's not "sweet" as such, but better for not being too sweet.
 
Calico stretch– because she is soooo determined – just look at all the work she’s putting into her skinny pants

I will get around to letting these awesome bloggers know in the next few days.

Back on track with project 33


Reviewing my 52 projects made me realise that I’ve been seduced by fabric and patterns and ideas that were not on the list, and haven’t made as much progress as I should have on the 2013 to-do-list.  On the one hand creating the list served a number of functions to do with my existing (and embarrassingly large) fabric stash and always having something to sew.  On the other hand it also addressed gaps in my wardrobe.  One of those gaps was for basic straight skirts for work, and project 33 addressed that gap.

I don’t use a pattern for simple tailored skirts as I did a pattern drafting course last year and came away with a very well fitting skirt block.  I can use the block as a straight skirt or as the base for more interesting patterns (such as project 16).  I bought a metre of this green and blue striped fabric specifically for a work skirt some time ago and the fabric, lining and zip have been sitting together in a plastic bag as a project in waiting for over a year. 

 There is no excuse for such procrastination as this skirt is soooooo quick and simple.  Even with a full lining I can sew one of these skirts in an evening and sew the hem and other bits of hand finishing the following evening in front of the TV.  I don’t need to do any fitting as that’s all been done before for my skirt block.  Although it’s not one of the more exciting and creative projects there is some satisfaction in seeing fabric making from the stash to the wardrobe so quickly.  I finished it last night and wore it today!

I wore it with a cardigan knitted out of some cheap yarn last year, which came out surprisingly well and is not a bad colour for this skirt.

The blouse was the first one that I drafted from my bodice block (pattern making classes again), so this is an entire me made outfit and although it is nothing outstanding, its smart and fits well and is really comfortable.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

52 projects half way through the year


Since I’m half way through the year, and I set myself 52 sewing projects at the beginning of the year, it seems like an appropriate time to review those projects and see just how realistic 52 projects was:

I have completed a fair number of them;

1. Small case for travelling medication

2. I Pod case    

4. Black and Yellow Bikini – done and blogged

5. Re-trimming a straw hat – done and blogged

9. Black and grey polo shirt for special person (I was the special person). It wasn't actually a polo shirt, but it used the grey and black fabric so I'm counting it as project 9

16. Black and white checked skirt with arch shaped godets and red piping - done and blogged

13. Grey and Black Jacket - done and blogged

20. Red Lycra mock wrap top – done and blogged

21. Blue, black and white Lycra dress – done, blogged and worn on numerous occasions.

8. Purple and grey dress - done, blogged and worn

51. Red ¾ Jeans - done and learnt from

25. Grey crinkle Maxi dress with embellishments – re-examined this fabric and decided that I really don’t like it, but I do have a grey speckled jersey that made a very wearable and useful dress, so I substituted that fabrics for this project

48. New York cushion for the living room - done, but probably not interesting enough for a blog post.  It's a rectangle with a zip.

10. New cover for my deck lounger -done just before the warm weather broke, so It’s been sitting under cover ever since.

 

3. Brown Print Maxi Dress - I sewed this one, and it appeared briefly in the corner of my re-branded studio. 



Unfortunately very soon after this my daughter had a rather nasty accident and was left with (hopefully) temporary scarring on both legs.  Although she’s not a maxi dress person, she was desperate for clothes that would hide her legs for the rest of the summer but found jeans uncomfortable.  With this in mind I allowed her free range on my wardrobe and I haven’t seen the dress since.

...and a number that are in progress

6. Patchwork quilts – following a Craftsy course plus a few made up blocks – I’ve made good progress on this one, having put together 25 blocks, sashed them and started quilting.


45. Pale Green laptop bag - started, but sort of ground to a halt

11. Barrel shaped saddle bag for my bike I’ve started this using the left over fabric from project 10.

52. Grape coloured Jeans - wearable muslin completed

22. Grape “Couture” dress - I’ve started on a calico muslin for this dress, as per Susan Khalje’s instructions

...and some I’ve had second thoughts about;

47. ‘Purple seahorse appliqu├ęd cushion for my bedroom – sort of lost all enthusiasm for this idea after deciding that it was time I had a “grown-up bedroom, although I’ll probably create some sort of cushion for my bed.

49. Pink and silver blouse - I have revisited this fabric and can’t imagine what possessed me to think I would ever use it.  I’ll write this one off as abandoned

26. Candy Striped dress – jury’s out on this one.  It is possible that I was having some kind of pre-menopausal hallucination when I really thought that I would be able to wear candy stripes at my age.  It’s on the back burner until the spring when I will re-visit the idea.

30. Green Peplum Dress – I’ve tried a few RTW peplum dresses on, so I’ll have to re-think this one.  I’ve mentioned before how fabric talks to me – well this dress talked to everyone else!  “Look at these HIPS!  Look at that BUM!”.  I’d still like to do a green dress, but I think I need to avoid the peplum trend.

44. Chambray short/culottes – I managed to spill coffee all over this fabric, and washing didn’t improve it a great deal.  Not wanting to buy more fabric I’ll probably abandon this project, although I’m really keen on trying the Tania culottes’ pattern, so I may substitute the chambray for something more “girly” and floaty and just consider this project re-branded as XXXXX shorts.

Of course, the vast majority are still sitting in my studio patiently waiting to get sewn:

37. Black and Blue striped dress – I’d probably like to make this up in the same fabric as the grape dress that I’m doing for the couture dress class, but I’ll re-visit that idea after I’ve finished project 22.

50. White Flowered jeans

35. Red white and blue striped shirt

38. Black and white Corset dress

39. Graduated dyed dress (originally white)

12. Bucket bag to fit into my bike basket

46. Quilted dust cover for my overlocker

17. Pink and black hounds tooth bias cut skirt – I’ve not made any progress on the skirt, but I have made a jacket to go with it.

36. Blue and white striped shirt (for undetermined male) – probably for me now as I’ve reviewing my career and am hoping that I’ll need a couple more corporate looking shirts in the near future

7. Tote bag for pattern making classes

23. Olive Green Short sleeved Jacket

24. Olive green tailored skirt

15. Pink and brown tweed skirt

27. Blue Lacy cardi/wrap

28. Black Merino Cardigan

29. Black Merino T shirt

31. Green and cream silk skirt

32. Brown Tencel Shirt

33. Blue and Green Striped skirt

14. White Leather Hat

18. Short sleeved black and white checked jacket

19. Red Silk Shirt

40. White flowered sleeveless blouse

41. Bottle Green Tailored Pants

42. White slashed shoulder blouse

43. Teal Crinkle dress

34. Blue, black and white dress 

When I put the add up it doesn’t look too impressive... out of the 52 I’ve sewn a rather pathetic 15 with another 5 in progress.  There are 5 that I’ve had second thoughts about but there are still 27 projects that are in the waiting pile.  That’s over half not done. I need to focus on these, as they are all projects that I am still keen to sew.

I have also completed a few bits and pieces that were not on the list, like the kitchen accessories for the gift stash the gecko T shirt that I made to wear with project 16, and the pink and black hounds tooth jacket that I did for the Burda Sew-a-long. 

I was on Skype with my Mum in Australia and she admired the kitchen accessories, although she did say that they wouldn't go with her royal blue kitchen.  Since the set uses both the embroidery machine and the bias tape machine (both gifts from her) I made her a Royal blue set:
I actually enjoyed making these for Mum.  I'm just about getting used to giving handmade gifts and immediately clicked with Caroline's post on making gifts as I was making these oven mitts.  It was an opportunity to think positively about our relationship.

A friend popped over with a bottle of wine recently and challenged me to a game of chess.  I discovered that, although I had ended up with the chess pieces when my ex and I separated, he got the chess board.  I know I could have bought one, but I had black and white calico in my stash so I decided to sew a chess board because... well because I can.  It's a simple checked pattern with a very thin woollen batting so the quilt is quite flat and the pieces don't fall over.

I also made a flag.  I am currently babysitting a boat for a friend who is overseas.  He lived in a rural area close to the beach so never bothered with a flag since he didn't drive very far while towing the boat.  He was quite happy for me to use the boat, but for driving through the city I was told I needed a flag to attach to the motor because it protrudes more than a metre behind the main chassis of the trailer.  I did a little research on this flag and it appears that there are no specific rules about it.  In fact, I've seen people tying an old rag onto the back to meet this requirement.  Needless to say, I figured I could do a lot better than that!

The yellow linen was a small piece from from my $1 stash, as was the print that I used for the appliqued letter and the binding.
The result is a flag that is visible and noticeable, but it also is very "me". I have had a few amused comments about the flag from other divers and boaters, but to those who know me it is a signature piece, advertising me and my tendency to sew anything that I can.  As I say, I don't do ready-to-wear so why should the boat!
Do all sewers become known as sewers, or are other people more discrete about there craftiness?