Saturday, October 27, 2012

I have a hobby

I cut this skirt out last weekend and sewed it together yesterday and today. It's another attempt at the A-line pattern. This time though I had the advantage of owning a zipper foot for putting in the zip. It did take me ten minutes to work out how to change the foot on the machine but then the ease of sewing in the zip made it all worthwhile. I'm sure I'll get quicker. See how close I can get to the zip below.

Last weekend I made a matching black top and skirt that I had planned to wear to play in a concert tomorrow. It turned out really nicely but unfortunately the skirt was an appropriate playing the piano length but less appropriate for sitting and playing the violin. So I whipped up my basic 1 hour pattern yesterday in another black skirt that I will probably wear again and again. And then during the week I discovered that I was supposed to wear a coloured top tomorrow so I took the opportunity to venture back to Spotlight, VIP card in hand and buy MORE broderie anglaise this time in red. (I already have black and cream waiting to be turned into items).

The red turned out pretty well and in a moment of either genius or stupidity I decorated the hem with some red satin ribbon that I had impulse bought a week or so ago. I'm going with genius.

It occurred to me today that I seem to have discovered a new hobby. It's the kind I could bore people silly with in conversation if I chose to. Instead I'll just post photos all over the place.

You're welcome.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I scared myself a little bit stupid

After days of hay fever I finally managed to get to the doctor and get a prescription for my heavy duty nasal spray. Almost instant relief. Of course the doctor's visit was for something else. Two weeks ago I tripped up the stairs at work and gave myself a monster bruise on my shin. It turned a beautiful shade of purple almost immediately and grew a big lump. I dutifully treated it with ice and congratulated myself on being 1. brave 2. first aid literate (thank you Girl Guide training). It was sore to touch but I figured it was a big bruise so it would take some time to disappear. Last Thursday I was teaching at Innes Park and afterwards looked down at my foot which was significantly swollen and there was bruising where there had been no bruising before. Resisting the urge to panic (just) and pacified by my good friend ringing her husband who is a cardiologist to check if I should be worried (worry if both feet are swollen - heart or kidney problems) I went home but decided to go to the doctor the next day. Just to be on the safe side. I also scared myself a little bit stupid by googling "bruised shin swollen foot". You'd be surprised how many results pop up.

"Hmmm" she said. And then swiftly booked me in for the last ultrasound of the day at the medical imaging place. I do not have fond memories of ultrasounds given that the last one picked up the monstrous ovarian cyst. I was slightly disconcerted on arrival at the ultrasound place when the nice lady at the desk told me "Because we're looking for a DVT that's an emergency so you'll go in straight away". Long story short, I was very brave, the gooey stuff was warm, the ultrasound lady was nice and finished up by telling me to "have a good weekend". I figured if there had been something wrong she would have picked up the bat phone and whisked me into emergency. The report clarified my amateur diagnosis. All's well that ends well. I slept well on Friday night for sure.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

zips, rick rack and sleeves

Another weekend and more sewing. This weekend I cut out the A line skirt pattern I bought over the inter webs. Either I did something really wrong or the pattern was wrong because the waist pieces did not match the skirt pieces. I did some creative "adding of material" to the waist pieces so they matched. Phew. Then came the kicker....time to sew a zip for the first time since I was about 20. Yes I had a zipper foot for the sewing machine but I had no idea how to use it. I figured I would manage with the normal foot. And I did. It may not be the most beautiful zip in the world but it goes up and down and the skirt fits and stays on. It's made of some patchwork material that has been sitting in the cupboard for many years. Like I'm going to do any patchwork! Pfffft.

What's that you see? Yes indeed it's rick-rack. Rick rack is a running joke in our family. As a child my mother sewed lots of my clothes and invariably they were decorated with some kind of rick rack. I couldn't resist buying some a few weeks ago and I figured since I had mucked up the waistband on the skirt by sewing the bias binding to the wrong side and then having to turn it into a "feature" that I may as well do the same for the hem and then rick rack away. Perhaps I got a little carried away. Whatever. I sit in my office all day. I'll wear what I like.

Buoyed by my (ahem) success with the new A-line skirt pattern I decided to try a new dress pattern. This one came from spotlight this morning where I finally caved and became a VIP member after the zillionth time of them asking me. I was going to do the "no sleeves" version but then I thought, "Hey, I can sew a zip! How hard can sleeves be?". Well the answer dear friends is quite hard especially if you cut the material probably a size too big and then have to sew in the side seams meaning that the arm holes don't match the sleeve pieces any more. It's more difficult when you only realise this at the point of sewing the sleeves into the arm holes after you have hemmed them etc. At first I ended up with weird puffy sleeves where I had to gather the excess sleeve material to make it fit the arm hold. Then I decided that I was not Anne of Green Gables so I sewed the excess down, sort of like a reverse dart. I'm calling it a topstitch kind of feature. Luckily the busy pattern means you can't really see it. Anyway, although it looks like a tent on the hanger it fits pretty well after all my adjusting and I might even wear it to work tomorrow.

And that is the end of my sewing adventures for the weekend.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

the sewing frenzy continues

The sewing frenzy continues. I spent every day at work wishing I was at home sewing. That is strange isn't it? Yesterday I made two things. This top and this skirt.

I am very happy with the top. It is better than last week's effort with the same pattern where I didn't take enough notice and got the bird pattern upside down on the back. And I managed to cut the skirt material so that the little horses were the right way up on the front and the back. It's the simple things that are the achievements! My seams were also much neater yesterday than last week. I was more confident at cutting and snipping and adjusting slightly to fit me. I am the "pear shape" so most shop clothes - especially dresses - rarely fit me properly. I am going to attempt a simple shift dress today and I have material for one more top. I also bought a pattern for an A line skirt with a zip in the side. I am saving some lovely material that has been in the patchwork cupboard for many years for that. I have to trace the pattern off for my size with that one. That might be my challenge for next weekend. It's lovely to have a project going. I am using it as an incentive. If I do all my yucky house jobs then I am allowed to sew. Yucky house jobs include washing, folding, tidying, cooking, very light cleaning, remembering that it's bin day, putting all my shoes away neatly. You get the picture. I am hoping the same incentive scheme works for my last assignment for the term which is due at the end of the month. Study first....then sewing.