Monday, September 30, 2013

Dearest Sewing Machines - Oh How I Have Missed Thee!!

Phew, I am just back following a most fabulous trip to Australia and New Zealand.  Almost a month away from home and my machines (OK, and Mr. SDSC and the houndies!!) and I can't wait to get back sewing!

I have some sewing related incidents - not as many as I would have liked, so let's press on and talk about it!

First off, 'me made' clothes.  The majority of the clothes that I took were ones made by me, and I blogged about it here.  I did not get to wear them as much as I thought as some of the days were cooler than anticipated and I had to wear a pair of (badly fitting) RTW jeans.  Here are a few combinations though:


And yes, I do have toes on my left foot!  Most of the photos show me wearing Sorbetto tops, summer skirts, and some shapely blouses.  And yes, I know.  The photos were taken to show off the scenery rather than my clothes . . . . but at least you get to see that the 'wardrobe' worked really well!

Interestingly, the very first photo (or two) shows a skirt that I love.  And now seeing it in the print makes me realize that the lovely polite comments that I have received from you all are actually quite correct.  I should be wearing shorter skirts . . . . I foresee some time taking up hems in my future!!  Thank-you!

So, purchases.  Of course, as I was flying, weight was an issue.  But do you know how lightweight silk is?

These two lengths will make some lovely shells (oh, who am I kidding?  I will make Sorbetto's with them!) to wear under jackets.  And look at the gorgeous bags they come in:


They were from a lovely shop in Adelaide called Eastern Silk.  Look what I could have bought:

I also visited a quilt shop called Country Bliss in Alice Springs to purchase some fabrics in traditional (and some not so traditional!!) aboriginal prints.  They will be used to make box bags.  Perfect!


And from the lovely ladies from A Quilters Odyssey I got a couple of fun patterns and some gorgeous variegated thread that I will have fun using!


Phew, that was a longer post than anticipated.  I now have lots of other blogs to read and comment on - unfortunately a lot of the hotels we stayed in had minimal internet connectivity - a massive hardship for this 'intertubes' junkie!  I also need to plan for Fall.  Exciting times!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Box Bags

I love bags - handbags, shopping bags, wash bags - they all hold some inexplicable excitement for me, so I thought that I would make up a couple for my travels.  I find them so useful - they hold my knitting (I am a sockoholic), wash kit, electronics etc., etc.,!

First up I thought that I would use one of the fat 1/4's that I received from the lovely Phillipa of Gloria & Me as part of the Spring Swap this year.  I couldn't resist this gorgeous seaside fabric:

And this is what it became!  

A lovely little 'box bag' with iron-on batting for structure, 

And fully lined in a great, co-ordinating Amy Bulter fabric.

As you can see I bound the inside seams - I have seen (and made) some of these bags with overlocked/serged seams, and that seems such a shame - if you are going to line the bag - let's make it look good inside too!

And then I made another one.  From some more Amy Butler fabric

Love it!

I showed these to Mr. SDSC and he laughed.  Somewhat perturbed, I asked him what the problem was, and he said that he found it funny (and endearing) that I never make just one item - I make multiple versions of the same items.  Now then, let's think . . . . Sorbettos, 4-gore skirts, Singer Shapely Blouses.  OK, he may have a point!!  Oh, and I have since made another 4 of these cute bags - two I have given away, and two more are tucked away in my suitcase . . . . .

How about you - are you a 'multiple maker'?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pillowcase Madness

OK,I admit it.  I can be a bit obsessive.  And once I start on something . . . I just can't stop.  Well, that is what has happened with pillowcases.  Here are my most recent makes:


I have a matching set of four here, and they will probably be auctioned off in support of Galgos del Sol, a charity in Spain that rescues the gorgeous Galgos dogs that are so badly treated and get abandoned on the streets.

And then I went Crazy!!

First up are pillowcases made from some leftover Laurel Burch fabric - I love her bright, saturated colors.

The above two photos are of some more Christmas fabrics from both mine and my Mum's collections.  These will hopefully end up at the Children's Hospital in Calgary - I plan on contacting them on my return from my holidays in Australia (what, I didn't tell you I was going to Australia?!!)

The two photos above are of a gorgeous mermaid fabric I bought from Fabricland, and matched it up with some batik that I had in my collection.  I made them for the two young daughters of friends.  They really are too cute for words (both the pillowcases as well as the recipients - Charlotte and Libby)

And these have ended up on our bed - they are a little loud, but I wanted to try them out for size as we have a king size bed and so the measurements are slightly different.  I am very pleased with these, and will be making some more (surprise!!!)

How about you - do you get obsessed with your sewing?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Travel Wardrobes - and Plus-Sized Pattern Pyramid Update

It seems as though I have been sewing lots of items, very few of which actually work with each other, and I am really not sure why.  Faced with having to choose clothes to take with me on my month long trip to Australia, I was a little worried about how much I would need to take with me.  I was also a little disappointed in myself for not having planned this out more carefully - after all, the tickets were bought a few months ago and I have had plenty of time to plan.  Having said that, I have spent some most enjoyable time reading the Vivienne files, which discusses wardrobe planning as well as Design Seeds for color inspiration and with the principle of making my clothes 'work', with that in mind, I tackled my wardrobe and selected some garments . . . . . 18 in total of which 7 are bottoms (6 skirts, one pair of cut off trousers), the rest are tops such as shirts, cardis and vest tops (shells).  In order to decide how well these clothes would work together, I had fun drawing rough diagrams on the back of an old 'page a day' calendar - and this is what I ended up with:

I am calling this my 'green/blue/orange' collection (above), from which I can make 7 'looks' - and that does not include doubling up by adding the cardi as an extra layer.  There are 3 RTW garments here - the blue sleeveless top, the orange sleeveless top and the blue cardi.  I have already blogged about the chartreuse shirt and Sorbetto, as well as the cabbage skirt.  The blue/green skirt is a simple 4-gore skirt made out of summery cotton, with a white cotton lining.  I was really pleased when these all came together - maybe this packing malarky may work out!


Next up is the 'pink and natural' collection'.  Again, 3 RTW items (pink cardi, pink sleeveless top, brown cardi) and from these 7 items, I will get 10 looks - also, not including adding the cardi's as extra layers.  The pink striped skirt was worn during Me Made May, and the natural shirt and Sorbetto are the same links in the first collection.

By now I was feeling pretty good, so I threw in two more skirts (brown RTW - 10 additional looks, white RTW - 10 additional looks) and a pair of cut off trousers in navy (RTW, 8 additional looks) - see below.

I now have more 'looks' that days, I really can't believe this!  I have thrown in 4 RTW white t-shirts/vests, my undies, a cream canvas jacket and a few lightweight scarves and I am WELL under my luggage limit!  Woohoo!!!  You know what that means . . . . . I can bring home lots of fabric :)

So, contrary to what I thought, my clothes have been co-ordinating rather well with each other.  What is very interesting is that this exercise highlighted the gaps in my wardrobe which I have filled with RTW clothes - I will focus on those items (cardis, skirts, cut-offs) in Spring next year as these collections are ostensibly Spring/Summer wardrobes.

Due to the nature of being on holiday - I hope to get lots of photos of these garments 'in action' . . and I hope to goodness that the weather holds otherwise I will be wearing all these tops with the jeans I am traveling in!!!

I am intrigued to know how you all co-ordinate your wardrobes - travel/work/play wardrobes - whichever ones are applicable to you?

A quick housekeeping update about the Plus-Sized Pattern Pyramid that I was lucky enough to win in May.  Unfortunately, I mislaid the winners address, and have been unable to make contact with her (Laura, if you read this, I have LOTS of patterns and will get another pyramid sent off to you!) and so I have been in contact with the runner up - the lovely Anne of  Pretty Grievances, and the patterns are on their way to her - so make sure you stalk her blog for a chance to win!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer Sorbettos

When I buy fabric, I often get a little more than I need.  Either that or I buy an amount that I think I will get a skirt and top, or trousers and jacket etc., etc., and it usually means that I have a half or full metre left over that ends up in a pile of 'not sure what to do with this but I don't want to throw away' fabric - do you have one?!  Well, after making these shirts, I found myself in the same predicament.

But this time . . . it actually worked and I had enough to make some more Sorbettos.  Yay!!

What do you think of the daisies at the bottom that form the hem?  They are actually one of the built in stitches on my Pfaff - it does not have very many, but it certainly makes up for it with this one,  Although you can't quite see it in these photos, the centres of the daisies actually form a small hole, so they look like eyelets.  Love them!

Here are a couple of photos of the chartreuse top.


I also have a charcoal grey shirt and Sorbetto cut out and had hoped to have them finished before my Australia trip . . . . unfortunately that was not the case - but it does mean that I will have some sewing ready for me when I return!!