Sunday, 9 July 2017

Switching sewing and bed rooms on the horizon

I originally thought I could sleep in the small room & sew in the large one, but after being here 8-9 months I've completely changed my mind. The switch hasnt happened yet, partly cos there's still some unpacked boxes of sewing "stuff". Scary boxes of a mix of notions, unfinished projects and who knows what cos I shuddered and closed them. I need to put my big girl pants on and just start going through them.

I'll need to downsize from 5 to 4 single door cupboards for the fabric, and it works out as one got damaged in the move so lowest half is unusable anyway.  How I plan to decide what to get rid of is to work in reverse. I'll pick the top 10 in each fabric category, put them in the cupboards, then pick the next ten favourite in each category. Repeating until the cupboards are full, and what is left is the less loved pieces.

 The bench top i was going to add legs to for a sewing will be too long for the smaller room, so I'll soon visit IKEA and get the kids desk Pahl as it's height adjustable and the middle height is ideal for short me. It's 128cm by 58cm, so not quite the 140cm wide that I was going to get that would then also need adjustable legs. Getting it all in one is more affordable and simpler to assemble.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Cutting out the July mermaid dress.

I would be finishing the martini print but the bodife front pieces are sewn & hiding in sewing stuff. With the pattern piece or I would simply recut & sew.

The mermaid fabric has been insisting that it should be next. Even though I need work dresses, I'm listening to the mojo and cut it out this week. The pattern is the same as the strawberry print because not only was that always the plan but I know it fits. As its a single direction print, and 5 yards is shorter than 5 metres by 20cm the skirt has to be 5cm shorter. I've little wriggle room how I place the front bodice, so I'm going to play with it to ensure there isnt an awkward placing of mermaid boob on my bust point. Not a starfish either.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Demoralising dresses that didn't fit.

I've been training my left foot on the sewing machine pedal. Both the lobster print and Lost at Sea dresses are finished, but only the lobster is wearable.

Foolishly both dresses were a size too big, and too long in the torso and didnt realize until they were finished.

The lobster: after taking out the zip and removing the skirt i was able to alter the bodice enough to wear it. I had to increase all the vertical darts & the back almost appears to be princess seamed. It also needed to be shortened 2cm across the back, and 4cm for most of the front. After reattaching the skirt + zip its wearable tho not ideal. I forgot to add a loop in the waist seam to hang my work security pass from, and fixed that after wearing it a couple times. I need to get a decent photo or two and post them.

The Lost at Sea is a sorrier case. The same bodice issues as the lobster, but similar fixes haven't helped enough. So disappointing that it is still a size too big. As the ship motif is on the back, I didnt want to incease the vertical darts as per the lobster's back as it would break up. The sleeves are too long, and I could tell there was something hinky with the collar area. A second opinion was the collar isn't too small, the neckline is too filled in by the curve and it needs to be a sharper V. Pluss a size too big.

The thought of removing the zip and skirt a second time was bad enough. I can shorten the sleeves about 4cm easily, and gritted my teeth at the idea of taking out the sleeves and recutting the sides down a size. Where my unpicking stalled was the neckline. The buttonholes are already made so I couldn't finesse the new shape to be what I need. So I uttered some profanities, tossed the dress across the room and ordered more yardage from the states from the same seller. Hopefully its a close enough dye batch cos I'm making a new bodice & collar, reusing the existing skirt & shortened sleeves. Hoping it arrives in the next week so I can wear it soon.

Edited to add that I just gave myself the horrors cos I couldnt remember if I'd changed my address on etsy, and there's just enough time for it to already be on the way back to the states from my old address. Heart attack avoided cos its heading to my new home and it may have sat in Sydney from Monday to 4:58pm on Friday doing nothing, but I should get it next week.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

So long without sewing [so another vintage pattern]

My ridiculous ankle sprain/plantar fasciitis has been looping around and around for so many weeks it started to feel perpetual. Every time it was close to going away, it didn't. I now have so many different exercises and stretches that it amuses me.

Anyway, I managed to use my left foot on the pedal and am a whisker away from finishing Lost at Sea. The buttons and overlocking the armscyes.

I'm taking it and my 3 other half made dresses to a 3 day sewing retreat this weekend. I have to remember to pack every thread and notion as the nearest sewing shop is a half hour drive away ... and I dont have my own car. I also need to patch the strawberry dress thankfully its a small tear at a button, so wont be visible once mended.

If I can quickly put my hands on my hello kitty nightie I'll finish it on Friday and sleep in it that night. Plus take some lingerie & lingerie bags to cut out and sew if I run out of dresses to complete.

Some self control helped me not shop for vintage patterns or fabric as a sewing substitute, though I bought two last week. The first arrived today and I got for the collar/neckline which will get frankenpatterned onto another vintage dress, the size 50" bust will be too big everywhere but the bust. The brand is Sew-easy.


Monday, 27 March 2017

I used to joke that sunshine rots the brain ...

Years ago when I worked in a call centre (which I'll never do again), I used to joke that sunshine rots the brain (the way it does curtains). We've had almost a month of rain (one sunny Sunday in the middle) and I'm sure it's not just my feet that are about to become webbed.

Yesterday I headed off to my friend's place to sew, and it was a gloriously sunny day. I was zoned out on the bus from the station to her place and suddenly realised that I'd gone past her place (we'd pulled up in front of a train station that's about 10 minutes after her home). So I leapt out of the bus thinking "where am I, what am I doing" and as the bus pulled away realised that my sewing machine tote with machine, 4-5 vintage patterns and the Lost at Sea dress was still on the bus. I had the lobster print in another small bag, so I waited for the bus back to my friend's and asked the driver where the bus depot was for lost property.

Thankfully, this morning when I called the wheelie bag was there and the driver & office couldn't understand how anyone could forget such a heavy bag.  She hadn't looked inside it yet, and I could hear her saying "yes, it's a sewing machine!" and laughing. Luckily they hold it for 3 months, so I have plenty of time to collect it. Naturally, it'll be collected this week.

So, perhaps yes sunshine does rot the brain, though I'd claim that lack of it for a month was the real issue or I wouldn't be like a bunny in the headlights at it's mere appearance.

I worked on the lobster dress, and it's getting much closer to finished. I need to turn & press the collar, interface the back neck facing and assemble the facing.  The sleeve seams need finishing but are otherwise complete, and ready to insert. The skirt seams are sewn and need finishing. So thankfully I can get back to working on Lost at Sea so that I don't have to change the overlocker thread to dark and then back to light again.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Sewing on Sunday, regardless

My foot is slowly improving - it's getting another torture treatment tonight and again on Monday.

I've planned to go sewing again this Sunday anyway and this time I shall make sure I stick with using my left foot on the pedal. I'd love to get at least one of these dresses finished. The Lost at sea is close, and the Lobster is also nearish enough. I won't take the oldest dress so that I can focus on these two.

I gave away a Morris chair that I'd bought about 20 years ago intending to restore. It was Queensland maple, with dreadful 1970s orange and brown plaid upholstery (and with solid sides).  It physically didn't fit in my new home, and I no longer have a storage space so it needed a new home. I wanted it to go to someone who at least wanted it, and as a freebie. One of my friends noticed it and asked what it was (I had it standing on the front so it took the least space). She loved it, so I gave it to her ASAP.  She even has leather in her stash that would look superb instead of the plaid.

I'm instantly going to use the space in my lounge to put up my dining table. The table top's permanent home will be on top of back to back drawers in the sewing room, as a cutting table. The legs are easily stored.

With the table set up in the lounge while I binge watch some TV shows I can fold fabric to store it more neatly in the cupboards, The fabrics will take less space so I can move some of the pile off the floor and into a cupboard.  I'll also use the table to open boxes of sewing "stuff" and spread it out to cull/organise it.

Once more of the existing "too much sewing stuff" is in a useful state (or donated) then I can set up the sewing bench for my machines. The previous sewing Sunday was productive and I came home with a 170cm x 60cm x 4cm bench from a kitchen refit.  My friend had collected an entire cupboard/bench set to use in her craft room and took this last bench "just in case". In one of our many conversations I'd mentioned a trip to Ikea with another friend (to escape driving in a bad storm) in which I'd looked at long narrow benches for my sewing room. It was one of those meant-to-be things, as the bench top she didn't want or need is exactly the size I need. I still need to buy 5 or possibly legs for it, so there is at least one along the back edge. My vintage sewing tables can fold down, and be kept for sewing days with friends. I plan to have a few of them once the sewing room is visitor friendly.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Return of the manky foot

It feels like the achilles tendonitis and the subsequent plantar fasciitis will never completely go away. Two weekends ago the ankle gave a small whinge, and the pf might not have been more than a whisper, but I saw Kasabian at the Opera House the Wednesday after & had to stand if I wanted to see anything ( because the rest of the audience stood).

My sewing day was probably the final straw as by Wednesday it was very painful. I saw my foot person on Friday and it's strapped up and improving. Treatment is agonising, as I said to her this hurts more than my wallet. I'm going to have to use my left foot on the pedal, and set up my vintage Bernina Record 730 (aka Baby) with the knee lever  instead of foot pedal. I bought that when I first had pf, as even a single seam would set off days of pain.

My mantra of "bodies are weird" continues to be true.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Rounding up my dress-a-month fabrics

So that I don't have the same "oops where's this month's fabric choice" I've started putting all the dress-a-month fabrics that I spot in one single place - at the moment the end of my chaise lounge.

I have the chocolate with mint, mermaids and blue flower sprays on black. If I can't find the vintage fabric I could switch to the blue flowers on black and 9030 (with extra skirt width by pleats/darts). Way way back when I made a rough plan it was my April choice so this would be early. Also, it would push me towards switching the overlocker to dark. Incentive to finish the February and the poor sadly unfinished March 2016 dress so that I can stay with dark on the overlocker (martini, lobster, blueflowers, mermaid).