Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year End Round Up

So - how was 2013 for you . . . sewing wise?

January: 3 Sorbettos, and another 3 and the original - I wear most of them quite often, so they were a great make. Grey aztec two piece dress and a grey skirt, the grey skirt was only worn once,   I love a flouncy hem but was not so keen on the proportions, so that was added to the donation pile.  I also made 6 little washbags that were given as presents with little treats in, during the year.  Total:  10 items of clothing and 6 washbags.

February: 2 skirts (1 grey, 1 tartan).  Total: 2 items of clothing.

March & April: Nothing completed as we moved house.  This is how my sewing room looked :(

You can see how it looks now, here.

May: Fushia cardi, 2 pairs of trousers, 2 pairs of pj trousers, 2 skirts, red flinen trousers.  Total: 8 clothing items.  

June: Tote bag, Pointer Sisters dress, 6 x placematsTotal: 1 clothing items, 7 crafty items.

July: 10 pillowcases, 2 shirts for Mr. SDSC, blue stripe shirt for me, black pants, grey pants and a pair of pj bottoms, Chartreuse dress and another Mr. SDSC shirtTotal: 7 items of clothing, 10 pillowcases.

August: 3 shirts for me.  Total: 3 items of clothing.

September: 2 linen sorbettos, 2 box bags, 21 pillowcases (wow!!), linen skirt.  OK, ok, so I am cheating a little here.  I was actually in Australia and New Zealand for the month of September, so these items would have been completed in August - I just had the posts scheduled for September!  Total: 3 clothing items, 23 crafty items.

October: 4 washbags, brown skirt and 2 tops, houndstooth skirt, and my Roksanda Dress. Total: 5 clothing items, 4 crafty items. 

November: 6 pillowcases and earbud pouch & tater sacksTotal: 9 crafty items.

December: 5 ponte cardigans, lined wool trousers, houndstooth sorbetto and 7 short skirtsTotal:
14 clothing items.

Total for the year: 53 clothing items, 59 crafty items (of which 39 were pillowcases).  Wow.  No wonder my wardrobe looks a bit full - and I am sure that there are a few pieces missing!

There are only a few items that I have not worn/have no intention of wearing - the chartreuse dress is one.  I loved the idea of this, but I wasn't too enthralled with the finished item.  I'll probably turn it into a skirt.  What do I wear a lot? Well, all the trousers, the ponte cardigans from this month, most of the sorbettos, and a good number of the skirts.  I have noticed that my skirt lengths have shortened, and my clothes are more fitted that those of last year and the year before.

All in all I am pleased with my sewing this year.  I hope to continue in the same vein next year - so watch this space!  How about you?  How has your sewing been this year?

Want to see a compilation of ALL the photos that I took for my blog this year?  Can you see your favorite?!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Napkin Rings

I have been following the blog of the lovely Rhonda for quite some time now - she is always very generous with her ideas and patterns, and following a posting in mid-December about poinsettia napkin rings, I thought that I would make some for our Christmas table.

Christmas is a very quiet affair in our house, my father, my brother and my sister-in-law come round for present giving/opening, and then we have our Christmas meal.  I like to have everything prepared on Christmas Eve so that on the day it self it is only a matter of opening the fridge and putting things in the oven.  This means that I also like to have the table laid, and when I saw the post for these napkin rings, I knew that they would be perfect.  And so I made some!

And here they are, on duty and awaiting the onslaught!  Thank-you Rhonda for the pattern, most kind!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Own Personal Heaven!

I love reading the blog posts by other sewists (and craftspersons) that show their working space - I am totally inspired by these rooms, and usually end pinching a couple of ideas from them! So I thought that it was time to share my own little piece of heaven!  To explain, I am lucky enough to have my own sewing room after years of having a corner of the dining table/room, and when Mr. SDSC and I had out current house built earlier this year, I put in for the biggest room that I could have (apparently I had to allow for other rooms. Whatever!!), but I have a west facing room in the basement. The small window looks out into the garden (which is currently under about 2ft of snow right now). It is a warm room - so great for stripping off as I check the fit of garments and the light is pretty good, although I usually have a number of lamps on for specific lighting, where I need it most.

So, having had a huge tidy up yesterday and today, I took a pile of photographs that I would like to share with yourselves. The first batch are taken as I walk into my room, and then spin round, finishing off where I started:

As you can see, I am a huge Ikea fan!  The furniture is fabulous for my sewing room - pretty well priced, versatile and lots of space for storage!

I like to see my fabric when I am sewing - it gets me thinking about my next project, and these shelving units are perfect for display.  Turns out that I had more fabric than I realised, and having it color co-ordinated, it will certainly help me with future fabric selections!

As you can see, I have my sewing machine on one table, and I can then just swivel round on my chair to be able to use my serger (overlocker).

The far end has a little seating area, and the window.  And yes, indeedy.  There is a leg in the window with a sock on it.

These drawers are my latest acquisitions.  I have read a few blogs that recommended these units for holding patterns.  I can fit them in standing up, four across, and lots deep!  This is the first time in a long time that I have all my patterns in one location (rather than all over the place), so expect some different designs in the near future!  For Ikea furniture, they are a little on the flimsy side, but they do have braces on the underside of the drawers and they will work well as pattern cabinets!

The boxes on top of the drawers are empty - but I am sure that will change in pretty quick order!

Whilst I love sewing, I am also partial to a number of other crafts . . . . ., I use the bureau when I am beading, and the tall skinny unit to the right houses my cross stitch threads/canvas/patterns/kits etc.,  The 2x6 unit houses yarn for my sock knitting.  I do like to keep my hobbies housed separately . . . . !

I have a little TV on top of the plastic drawer unit (that has cardmaking stuff inside!!) and watch Netflix whilst I am down here.

So, let me show you a few close ups:

You can probably just make out stickers on the drawers and boxes - I need to come up with a better labelling system.  But until then - stickers work well!  You can also see my iron which is usually on constantly when I am sewing.  So that I don't forget to switch it off, we had a separate electrical circuit put in my room, with a switch next to the light switch.  I have the iron, my overlocker and a lamp plugged into the socket, so when I leave my room, as long as all the lamps are off, nothing is plugged in.  Perfect!!

I had hoped to have a bookcase in my room, but I kind of run out of space!  I did manage to make space for a few favourites!  The notes are a couple of GBP1.00 notes from my Mum a few years ago when she was living in Scotland.  I was to use the money to buy a couple of chews for my dogs - I'm glad I used coins and kept these, as they are now out of circulation.  And they remind me of happy times with my Mum xx

This is a 'before' pic of the pattern drawers.

And this is the after view.  I have taken the patterns out of their envelopes and put them in an ordinary brown one, numbered them all, and they are in strict numerical order.  The pattern envelopes are in clear plastic sleeves in a file folder, so I can flick through the designs and when I have selected one, I can just pull it from the drawer.  Mr. SDSC thinks that this is a recipe for disaster, and that somewhere along the line I am not going to be able to match up a pattern envelope with the actual pattern, but he seems to forget how OCD I am :)

Lovely, lovely, lovely fabric!!

More labelled drawers with my button box on top.

My button box was a cheap purchase from Home Depot - I think that it is supposed to be for carpenters or electricians to keep nuts/bolts.screws etc in, but it is perfect for my buttons!

Whilst in Home Depot I also picked up this yellow sticky tape that is marked as a measuring tape.  It is great for 'on the go' measuring!

Now, you may have been looking at the floor space in my room and thinking 'why would she have carpet and not tile/laminate in a sewing room?', or 'oh my, look at all that lovely floor space, just think what you could do with that', well, here we go.  The reason for carpet and lots of space - my 'boys' Hobbes and Rocky, the greyhounds.  They do like to be close by when I am sewing!  Jess the collie is usually in my room, but I didn't get a good picture of her.

Wow.  Lots of photos there!  Whilst I really dislike tidying up, I have found LOADS of patterns and fabric that were hidden under piles of 'stuff' or hidden in boxes that had not been unpacked since we moved in in March.  Now I am very excited to start sewing again, and I can 'shop' for patterns and fabric in my own room!

As I say, this is my piece of heaven - what is yours like?  Any 'top tips' that make your space a great sewing place?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bye Bye Simplicity :(

I came across this disturbing message on the Fabricland website a few days go:

So, no local place to purchase Simplicity patterns from in the future.  I have to admit to being a bit of a pattern-aholic and whether I would like any new patterns or not, the fact that they will no longer be available locally, is rather a shame. I know that they can be purchased online (complete with extortionate postal charges) - but where is the instant gratification of that?  No scouring through the patterns books and finding a design that I 'can't live without', or rushing out to get a pattern that I had previously rejected, but having seen it on another sewing blogger, my wardrobe is incomplete without it.

WalMart used to sell fabric and patterns, but there was a big clear out a few years ago, and they only sell limited supplies and a few pre-cut home-dec and quilting fabrics.  So that was the only other avenue open.  I wonder - is Canada such a backward nation of sewists and seamstresses that no-one wants to stock sewing patterns?

Oh well, it is what it is . . . . . the only upside is that the current patterns are being sold off very cheaply, and I picked up these 6 at the weekend:

I really enjoy making little shell tops and have made a number of Sorbetto's.  I thought that the first two patterns, (1886 & 1806) would give me some great alternative options.  1616 has a great selection of summer skirts in both knit and woven fabrics.  I rather like the hip yoke - very cute.

Now I know that you are looking at 2482 and wondering if I have lost my senses, but let me tell you, I live in a place where the temperatures drop to -30c with great regularity during the winter, and snuggling up in a dressing gown/house-coat (I've got some great animal print fleece!  Ha!) would be glorious.  I also like the shorter version as a quick jacket to wear on warmer days.

1918 & 1653 are part of my master plan for the New Year - details to follow on January 1st!!

So there we go, unless I am holidaying in the US, or Simplicity has a great sale on with reduced postage (and I can wait 4-6 weeks for delivery), there will not be any Simplicity pattern for me for some time . . . . unless anyone has any suggestions????

Sunday, December 8, 2013

And Three Makes Five!

When I like a pattern, I like to make multiple garments out if it. Cases in point?

1. Sorbetto
2. Butterick 4877
3. Kwik Sew 3752

etc., etc., etc.,

When I mentioned in the last couple of posts about McCalls 6168, and showed you a magenta one and a winter white one - I knew that there would be some more.  So without further ado - please welcome black, chartreuse and brick red versions.

Cough, cough.  Headless shot due to face expression that does not need to be shared with the world!

I put some buttons on this cardigan, and they were an absolute pain.  I used my Singer Featherweight, and the fabric kept wanting to move and stretch.  Grrr.  I needed more stabilizer (didn't have any) so used the paper I have for pattern making.  It is a roll of medical examination paper and it worked a treat!  This fabric is ponte knit (same as the magenta and winter white versions).  I can pick it up quite cheaply in my Canadian big box fabric store, and it feels very soft and lovely.

Next up is the chartreuse one - it is a bit of a dirty green, but the color is surprisingly flattering (not too sure what that says about my coloring!)  This is also a ponte, exactly the same as above.

You may have noticed that the photos are clearer.  I took your advice - and am now standing in direct light.  I'm actually in the en-suite, so had to move towels and in some of the photos you can see the thermostat for the underfloor heating.  Sigh.  I will work on a better locations!  But the most important step was to select a higher resolution picture - turns out I was using a really low resolution for the other photos.  Oh well, you live and learn!

And finally - the brick red version.  This is made from a 100% cotton jersey fabric that has a thick/thin ribbed pattern.  As it does not have any spandex/lycra, it is not super-stretchy, but more stable, like the ponte knits.

You can just see the ribbing in this last picture.  The trousers (pants) are my first pair of lined wool, and they are heavenly to wear!  I will have a post on these during the week.

Want to see the five cardigans together?

And how about a few ensemble ideas?

Brick red cardigan, houndstooth Sorbetto, white corduroy skirt.

Black cardigan, white corduroy skirt.

Black cardigan, target skirt.

Chartreuse cardigan, target skirt.

I love this cardigan pattern (McCalls 6168) and although I will probably not need another one in my wardrobe - never say never.  Oh, who am I kidding, they are great and I will be making more!!!!!

My review of McCalls 6168 can be found here.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

More, More, More and a Target?!

Whilst I was hunting through my closet for the clothes for the last two posts, I came across a skirt that I hadn't blogged about as well as my houndstooth skirt and matching Sorbetto that I had not photographed together.  In fact, I don't think I blogged about the Sorbetto.  So, I have now :)

The next skirt I would like to show you is from a metre cut that I bought from the craft section in Wal Mart.  It is duck cotton, so a slightly heavier fabric, and the colors are just fabulous:

The centre of the flowers is a lovely chartreuse colour - the colour of another McCalls 6168, - it is cut out and just needs sewing.  But what is that I see on the rear view?

Yep, target practice :)  Oh well, I can live with this, but I will crtainly be a bit more careful with pattern placement in the future!

Ooh.  I think I have resolved the photo clarity issue - I think that my new camera has the resolution set pretty low.  I'll take some more with a higher resolution, as well as looking for better lighting, and we should be good to go!