Thursday, September 13, 2018

clothes to make

Never mind all the other things that I have to do:

1. Black dress (and white?) for Hockey Preso Night (22nd Sept: 1 week!) Don't have a pattern yet!

2. Dress for 28th September dinner in city? (or use the same dress from #1.) Ideally, would make a dress with that really lovely white-floral sateen that I bought a couple of years back.

3. 4th November: Croqs and Frocks: I really want to make a 1950s halterneck with boning and petticoats, but it requires me to pull my finger out and get 'er done!

4. Another pair of light trousers (or attempt at them) for spring.

Friday, August 31, 2018

100 Kona Tula Blocks | 100 Days, 100 Blocks

I joined in on the 100 Days, 100 Blocks Challenge for 2018.

So far 56 blocks and going strong!

The challenge is to make the 100 blocks of fabric designer Tula Pink's "City Sampler". I borrowed the book off a friend and have been steadily making blocks for the last two months. Every block is 6.5" square, and you can put them together straight or you can sash-and-post them. Some people colour-scheme theirs; I haven't, I'm just making it with whatever I can throw together. And at the end, there will be a quilt.

I'm a little over halfway through the book, and it's pretty slow going...







It's actually been really helpful to have the challenge on to instagram one block a day for the last two months. It's a routine - something to do, a standard to meet. I find the regularity of "one a day" also helps keep me from falling behind. Although, as we head into the second half, the pressure is going to build, both to avoid just letting it all go ("I've done so much, I can afford to relax") and to avoid feeling overwhelmed ("I've been doing this so long...").

At this point, I also need to start looking more at which colours I'm using to make sure I get a reasonable spread across the quilt.

#100konatulablocks The story so far...

And then the final questions of sashing/posting or just leave them straight...

Expect another post sometime in October!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Star Trek Discovery Shiloh Satchel

In spite of my struggles with the Shiloh Satchel, I've made four of the damn things.

1. Oh Deer! It's Gots Pockets! (#ohdearpockets)

#shilohsatchel It's Gotses Pocketses!

2. Mendocino Mermaid Satchel (#mermaidsatchel)
Finished Mermaids #shilohsatchel this afternoon before family dinner! #Saturdaynightcraftalong with @barefootcrafter

3. The Hulk Satchel (#hulksatchel)

and 4. The Disco Shiloh (#discoshiloh)

Blue Leather from Tandy Leather and Tula Pink True Colors fabric inside and out, with hardware from Pile o'Fabric and Studio Mio (or possibly Voodoo Rabbit - I'm really bad at remembering where I get specific items from).

Anyway, I have a love-hate relationship with leather; it's so pretty when you use it! But it's such a bother to sew!

The geeky side has a leather stitched logo, which I had to hand-stitch on, after pre-piercing the outline.


And the 'undercover' side has the sleeve-join detail from the Star Trek Discovery uniforms:


Although who's to say what's geeky and what's not these days, with Marvel movies in the box-office and Game of Thrones on the TV? Comic heroes, sci-fi, and fantasy are out in the open, even if they're not adopted by everyone.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

the Eva Knit dress

I have never worked with knits before, so it's always a little daunting. Zig-zag stitches? Overlocking edges? Slippery fabrics? Can't I just do it with wovens?

Well, mostly I can. Mostly. However, I have bought a lot of dress fabric in the last three years as well as quite a few patterns, and have not made halfway enough clothing from what I've bought. I mean, I tend to buy evening/dress patterns that aren't really good to wear to work, but they're just so pretty, and I do look good in an evening dress.

However, my local dressmaking/sewing group has now scheduled monthly socials on weekends, which makes it an excellent opportunity for not only being social, but also the opportunity to set myself a personal challenge/deadline to start SEWING CLOTHES instead of just CURATING FABRIC!

I started with a pattern called the Eva Knit dress. It won a design prize in 2013 or 2014 and was all over the internet for a while, but there are precious few pictures of it on instagram - apparently it doesn't suit all body shapes/styles (well, what does?), and at some point in the last few years, the pattern print-out became separate to the instructions, and the instructions became pay-only.

I had the pattern, but couldn't find the instructions. So I coughed up the money hoping that the design would be good enough for me to make decently.

Eva Knit Dress

It's a cowl neck dress with a front yoke draping design , bodice-sleeves (not separate pieces), and a dart in the back. 7 pieces, classed by the designer as 'easy'.

I'm not sure I'd say it was 'easy', but it wasn't 'difficult', just 'fiddly'.

There were some definite issues along the way. I either cut the bodice the wrong way, or the front yoke and the skirt. I think it was the bodice, but by the time I realised it, the top was already sewn together.

Eva Knit Dress

That angle is supposed to sweep down to the opposite side of the body. (The back top is square and joins to the back skirt square.) And it wasn't until I was fitting pieces together that I realised I'd cut the front yoke and front skirt the wrong way! Luckily I had excess fabric - it was about 3m of a fabric I've had for ten years, out of which I made a Number Six Cylon dress to wear to DragonCon 2009.

I got everything together, sewed it up and wasn't impressed. I hadn't put the back 'pinch' in yet - at least one sewing blogger who'd made the dress before didn't seem too impressed by the pinch (two folds of fabric sewn into the centre, but on the outside, so you could still see them), so I was wondering if I should do the fold or some more standard dress darts.

Eva Knit Dress

It looked okay?

And then I put the darts in.

Somehow, putting the darts in made the dress for me. It just...looked right. It looked good. I had a waist!

And there was much rejoicing!

This is the finished result, worn out in town on a wintry Friday night (layered with a shrug, a scarf, and a nice thick coat), and I really like it.

Eva Knit Dress

Definitely will make this pattern again, perhaps in a heavier fabric for autumn/spring wear. It would also work really well with something that had a slight shimmer or light-variance to it when it folds - the draping would look quite spectacular!

Eva Knit Dress
complexity: low - the instructions are pretty straightforward.
sewing skill level: moderate - you need to know how to sew knit fabrics and not just wovens
result: excellent - I like it!

links to other people who've made it
What I Sew
Crafty Little Secret
Burda Style project
Lazy Linchen

Monday, July 16, 2018

FINISHED: Plain Jane Passacaglia

Plain Jane Passacaglia

Four years of piecing and sewing and piecing and giving up and piecing and oh dear heavens WHY did I choose this quilt and what was I thinking?

There was sewing and planning and much planning and sewing...

Plain Jane Passacaglia

And which there was more sewing...

Plain Jane Passacaglia

But I gotta say, the top looked quite stunning when finished:

Plain Jane Passacaglia

And the cats were really fond of it!

Plain Jane Passacaglia

Plain Jane Passacaglia

Plain Jane Passacaglia

Certainly the quilting on it is terribly amateur - my plans to use a friend's quilting frame with my domestic machine were stymied by the limitations of the throatspace on my domestic:

Plain Jane Passacaglia

So I just did the edges on the frame, and resolved to do the rest of the quilting in FMQ, off-frame, on my domestic.

Plain Jane Passacaglia

That didn't go as well as I might have liked. First time FMQ a full quilt on my domestic, even with rulers? Yeah, nope.

Plain Jane Passacaglia

Ah well, it's done - and after so very very long! 4 years to make it! Oy.

The next handsewing project is another quilt from Hammerstein's Millefiori Quilts book: Made By Restless Hands. I hope to get a start on that in Q3 2018. But more on that later...

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Q3 Finish Along

Very simple this quarter:

1. Four Bindings
- The Seaweed Is Always Greener
- French Farmhouse
- Sisters Quilt 1
- Sisters Quilt 2

Quilts April 2018

2. Four Backings
* Jeremy's Quilt
* birthday star
* friendship supernova
* 3:10 to Yuma

Quilts April 2018

3. Two flimsies
- scrappy Round The World

Quilts April 2018

4. Two wearable items
- no description on what just yet, because I haven't decided

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Finish-Along: Q2 Finishes

Sadly, only one as per my Q2 Goals post - but what a doozy!

After four years of painstaking toil, the Plain Jane Passacaglia is DONE!

Plain Jane Passacaglia

Full picture of it hanging in the show, this weekend just past:

Plain Jane Passacaglia

Lovely as it is, I'm so glad it's done...well, mostly. I might do some more quilting on it. Or cut it up and remake it, just for fun. We'll see how I feel about it shortly...


I did get Break Free Or Build Upon to the flimsy stage - even to the basting stage!

Plain Jane Passacaglia

And then, once again, my machine failed me in the final week, and I had to withdraw my entry in the Sydney Quilt Show.

To be honest, it doesn't do quite what I'd hoped it might. It's also overly-large and I don't know what I was thinking making it like that...


The other goals are being rolled over to Q3:

-2x Scrappy Round The World
-4x backings

List of hopefuls for the second half of 2018

While it’s good to have goals per quarter, I’m trying to draw up goals for the entirety of 2018. This should cut down a little on the chop-and-change nature of my quilting.

1. Get 4 more backings done and send off. FIND A NEW (LOCAL) QUILTER. (Love the one I've been using all this time, but she's in another city and not an easy one for me to reach.)
2. Bind 4 quilts returned from quilter.
3. Make 2 round the world flimsies from 2.5” strips.
4. #100blocks100days Challenge (Tula Pink 100 Blocks): make in Tula and Kona solids.
5. Snowflake block – publish (get pattern tested by the ModSquad ladies?
6. Swarm quilt – draw up pattern - publish in Make Modern?
7. Make 4 cousin quilts.

7. Design this – one side block, one corner block, one centre block

Saturday, April 14, 2018

2018 Finish Along Q2

Four things - just four! This will take us to the end of June, right?

Plain Jane Passacaglia
- needs completion of piecing
- quilting and binding


It's going in the Sydney Quilt Show (if they accept it).

Break Free? Or Build Upon?
- needs completion of piecing
- quilting and binding

Break Free Or Build Upon

Again, Sydney Quilt Show (if accepted).

2x Scrappy Round The World

I have a load of 2.5" strips which need using. Need to go hunt up some nice, swift patterns on pinterest, etc.

Jelly roll strips.

4x backings

Backings for:
* Jeremy's Quilt
* birthday star
* friendship supernova
* 3:10 to Yuma


So that's me for the next 3 months.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Plain Jane [WIP Wednesday]

It truly feels like I've been doing this forever.

Like, seriously, FOREVER. I'm so tired of sewing teeny tiny seams and feeling like I never get anywhere!

Little pieces, little pieces, little pieces...



So much planning...

This goes with that...

And pieceing...

Sewing, sewing, never stopping...

And laying out...

This fits just there...

It's enough to drive one batty!

And yet...progress is being made.

The shape of it is starting to fill out. It feels like it's moving towards being quilt-shaped...

Even if there's still a lot to do.

As in, a LOT to do.

But we persevere.

It's slow progress, but progress nevertheless!

And when I get a chance to stand back and look...

Yeah, that's kind of what I imagined it would be like.



Do you have a WIP Wednesday that you've been working on? Would you like to link to it in the comments?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

the Plain Jane Passacaglia: 100 days of seams

One of my goals for this year is to get the Plain Jane Passcaglia finished. Towards this end, I'm doing a "100 days of seams" with the quilt - where I sew at least one seam per day.

It started from the 20th January, at the Sydney Mod Squad meetup:

And then progressed very slowly over the next few days


Sometimes it was literally one seam:

And then there's the issue of laying things out to work out the edges:

Planning the bits to fill in the gaps

Making the bits to fill in the gaps

And sewing them in:

On the upside, I've definitely made progress around the edges. It's getting there. Not as fast as I'd like, but when does it ever?