A little better maybe

Monday, 25 June 2012

Singing and sewing

On Saturday I was invited to sing during afternoon tea

for a lovely, lively group of ladies and gentlemen in their 80's.  They were entertained with a program of  songs made popular by Streisand, Fitzgerald, King Cole, father and daughter as well as some standards.  What got them up  and dancing though was the Bob Marley album we played afterwards.

This has absolutely nothing to do with sewing better except,  I came away with this fabric

 that is the spare from this button up wrap someone has asked me to make for them.
I have no idea of the fabrics composition so when I remember I'll do a burn test on a few strands.

Fabric strand  burn test

I pull a few threads of fabric away from the main body of the fabrics edge, hold them in some large tweezers and hold it over a candle.Have some water in a bowl nearby and ready for putting out the flames should they spread.  Only use very few threads of the fabric and make sure your hair is tied back and sleeves/ loose clothing is out of harms reach.
If it bubbles and melts and turns hard like plastic, it's probably synthetic and if it turns to ashes or smells like burning human hair or wool, it's probably natural fibre. It could be a mixture of both.

Anyhoo, this is what I've done so far.....

Fold longways and stitch long edge

fabric has been turned through and pressed.

I folded and stitched the short sides together to enclose all raw edges then put a covered snap on the corner

other half of covered snap

snaps ready to be closed

sorry about the shaky photo

The short end with the snaps closed

The idea is that it stays on the shoulders when you're eating,  reading talking...... because the snaps closed, form a sleeve like tube.
I'll take more photo's another day when I've finished hand sewing.

I am also making little canvas lunch totes for a fare the school is going to have. I need to do 25 before next Friday.

It is ON!

Friday, 22 June 2012

A very quick make

I made this skirt

 yesterday after I discovered a length of jersey type fabric and some waist elastic in my stash.

I measured my waist to floor and then my hip and more.
I joined the long sides together with a 1cm seam

I joined some of the elastic using triple zig-zag stitch for strength, based on a measurement that is 4" (10cm) shorter than my waist.  I has to be comfortable when it goes over the hips as you pull the skirt on. I divided the elastic into 4 equal (ish) parts.
Dividing the tube into 4 equally equal parts.

 The two are sewn together using the elastic/stretch stitch
It's not so pretty inside but it works and I will wear it out as I wear it out.

I've been playing with my new webcam.
I don't see well without my specs :)

Blue wig worn during school Jubilee celibration

Patient: Doctor Doctor, I've swallowed my pen!
Doctor: How are you coping so far?
Patient: OK, I'm using a pencil?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

I started off OK.  Pleats, check, side  back seams, check. Iron on interfacing, check! 

Something wrong with my measurements, the pleated panel is too short. I have to rip it out and start again!

It was all going so well in my head
Facings cut and interfaced I used the measurements from the black skirt

A black skirt I remade 2 years ago.
I showed the 17-Y-O and she told me the skirt was too long anyway and I should cut it all the same length at the hem and don't worry.....

I ended up after machining and doing a little of this,

with this


and she likes it a lot but I cant get her to model it even though she looks ab fab!

I got a tip from Joy (of course you don't know who that is but she gave me a tip OK!) who went to Posh Junk in Mitcham.  I went  and got these

I think I could rock this look

This is for the posh in me

I got 3 of these

Pattern is intact and in my size

Something for experimentation purposes one day

all for £2.50

I know!

Q: What do you get when you cross a computer and a life guard?
A: A screensaver!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

I'm making the 17-year-old a skirt. I made her a pattern according to her measurements using the Glenda Sparling system. The first skirt, a plain, black, knee length wardrobe essential fitted very well considering I had to measure her over her clothes as she can never be bothered to strip to her undies when being measured.  So the ease was very ease!  I had to put the tape over her jeans and t-shirt. And 2 camisoles.  She wears 2, OK? It looks great and fits amazingly well considering I made it!
I took the final black skirt in 2cm on the needle plate on both side seam, 8cm.  She's US size 0-2  at her waist.
I'll do photos one day.

22-year-old tricked me by buying me a new camera on my own laptop while I was distracted.  I know nothing about it except it's black and at her yard, charging.  I am very excited. She popped round to eat chicken soup and advise me on a camera that she spotted in Argos but was a bit distressed when she found out I was buying a camera instead of food.
22-year-old, Thanks a LOT!  I'll be using the camera to take pictures for my blog and I'm going to learn how to make the pages visually more appealing.  (What a rubbish statement for an unseen blog)
You're thinking ' no wonder the 17-year-old is size 2', but you'd be wrong. We have lots of food in the fridge and freezer, enough for about 10 meals.  So there!

This is my plan for the skirt. I have to get the steps in my head and then try and organise something on paper.
Style she chose

forgot to draw facing pattern pieces

what I think I should cut.

This is the fabric I bought from TBM  (Tooting Broadway Market)
Polyester wool 
the wool bit

I have cut it and will begin sewing it tomorrow, if I can stay awake.

Q.What side of the bear has the most fur?
A: the outside!  

I have so many more............

Saturday, 9 June 2012

I didn't want to throw away the large scraps of jersey fabric I had in my disorganised stash so I took this T-shirt

folded it down the centre, drew around it directly onto a large fabric stash piece leaving a guesstimate of 1/2 cm and a hem of 4cm. I did this twice.

Then I did this with one of the pieces
9 cm down from neck edge, to shoulder edge
To get this

Front unfolded
I tackled the sleeve in s similar manner

a bit pointy

I stitched using Brother to get this

Back with  hem vents

Then I had late lunch!  Risotto (20p from a packet bought from Pollard Hill Community Centre Friday market.  I know!) with frozen peas and a half tin sweetcorn. And 9 shakes of black ground pepper. And a bottle of water.


I did it all over again with some other brown jersey fabric left over from another project.

cutting neck binding with help from a safety ruler from the Bay of e.

 neck binding joined at shoulder


I've seriously gone off brown!

I really like the patterned and want to know if the other was a mistake in the dye factory

Do you think I could get away with wearing it (brown) with a plain brown skirt, taupe soft knit jersey cardigan/jacket  and some loud gold jewellery?  I already have some gold-ish ballerinas.
I suppose I should model it but, have you seen me try and pose?

Guy sez to Doctor, " I accidentally swallowed loads of food colouring. What should I do"?  Doc sez, " You feel alright!?  Guy sez,  "I'm OK actually but I feel like I dyed a little inside"!

Friday, 8 June 2012

I did a lot of resting this week seeing as it's the school holiday, YAY!

Resting usually involves something sewing wise (why didn't I name my blog sewing wise?) and my sister gave me a vintage, lined dress to  shorten. We (22-year-old) and I went to her house only to be greeted by a veritable banquet.  Carrot muffins, chocolate fudge cake, honey glazed drums and wings, more veg sides than is strictly legal, coleslaw, rice and peas AND Jerk chicken! I'm naming only a few of the dishes, I had to try them all; it would have been a crime against etiquette not to!

Sister gave me Brother to keep, again, YAY!

He used to be on loan to 17-year-old

She wants to get one of these

Here's what I did on Wednesday with Brother.

  Shortened it a bit.

Neat? I took 5" off: She's only pocket sized! (Sister)


The dress has shaping pleats at the waist on fabric and lining, covered buttons and American football size shoulder pads and she looks great in it!

I also took the hand-crank from this 27k

and put it onto the 201k. 
 Then I put a plug onto the motor re-connected it to the 201k and it and the Singer light, worked.
I plugged it into one of those socket extensions that have surge protection.

These are some of the accessories that I bought over the Bay of e.
Adjustable hemmer

Some kind of binder


Narrow hemmer

5 bobbins, 1 in machine 2 to 22-year-old

and a ruffler that works perfectly, and all for 10 squid!
I'm gonna try and get a buttonholer and a zig zagger. 

A little girl goes to see the doctor. She’s got a pea in one nostril, a grape in the other, and a carrot stick stuck in her ear. Her Mum says to the doctor, “She's not feeling too good.”
Doctor says, “I see the problem. She's not eating properly!”
Bad eh?  (hee hee!)