Friday, December 28, 2018

Q4 Finish: Croques and Frocks

My Q4 Finish-Along List

Two items of clothing

So I listed 'two items of clothing' and had pictures of a shirt all cut up, and the plans for a dress.

I've finished two items of clothing, just not necessarily the two I listed.

Firstly, the dress for the 'Frocks and Croques' day in early November: Croquet in fancy dress!

Pieces were all cut out in October, and the event was in November.

Finish Along 2018: Q4

But I decided to finish it a week early and wear it to a Halloween party.

Finish along Q4 2018

And after that to the Croques and Frocks day.

Finish along Q4 2018


The second dress I made was for a Christmas party and I pretty much had to get it done the day of the party because I hadn't done it beforehand.

Groove is in the heart!

It was a 70s retro party thrown by a couple at church who do this every year and have a "trash auction" to raise money for an overseas aid company.

I made it seriously short. Like SERIOUSLY short.

Groove is in the heart!

Not used to wearing dresses this short. But I think it went down okay.

Groove is in the heart!

I might still try to get done the shirt that I'd planned to do:

Something nice and light to wear. I guess we'll see!


So that's two items of clothing made!

Q4 Finish: Two Backings

My Q4 Finish-Along List

2. Two Quilt Backings

These two quilts have been finished for at least a year, but weren't sent off to the quilter until a few months ago. I'm hoping to get them back early in the new year, and then they can go off to their new homes.

2018 FAL: Q4 - two backings

The one on the left is a 'birthday block' quilt, where I joined a monthly block-along - you select a free-pattern block for your birthday month and everyone makes that block in your requested colours and posts it to you, and you make a block that they've requested in their colours for their birthday month.

WIP Wednesday

I did it for two years and didn't really enjoy either of them, and found I didn't much like the blocks I got. Also, I wanted the quilt to be bigger than 12x 12" blocks layout could make it, so I made four more to bring it to 16 and make it four by four.

The one of the right is a gift to my cousin's son. His sister got the Walkabout quilt, and I've been owing him a quilt for a couple of years now...

I was hoping to have it by Christmas but it's not yet back from the quilter's. *sigh*

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Q4 Finish: Two Sisters' quilts

My Q4 Finish-Along List

Two Bindings: Sisters Quilt 1, and Sisters Quilt 2

This has been in the work for what feels like decades. Probably only about 6 years though.

Finish along Q4 2018

It was intended as a way to use up some blocks I'd had lying around since 2012. One quilt turned into two matching quilts, and since I had refugees and asylum seekers on my mind at the time, I thought they might be good for gifting to a couple of sisters come to Australia for a new life.

Finally, having sent them to the quilter and gotten them back, I've bound them and they're ready to go to a refugee/asylum seekers centre in Newtown that should take them. Better find out about that before long.

Finish along Q4 2018

I've done several finishes this quarter, but this is the first one that got completed.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Q4 finishes!

And now the rubber hits the road!

1. Two Bindings - done!
- Sisters Quilt 1
- Sisters Quilt 2

Quilts April 2018
(Sisters Quilts)

2. Two Backings - done!
* Jeremy's Quilt
* birthday star

3. One flimsy
* 100 Days, 100 Blocks quilt - full post HERE. I need to sash and sew these together, and it's going to be a bit of a PITA.

Finish Along 2018: Q4
100 Kona Tula Blocks

4. Two wearable items - done!
A summer shirt that's actually much easier than it looks:
Finish Along 2018: Q4

A frock for the Sydney Spoolette's "croques and frocks" event at the start of November.
Finish Along 2018: Q4

5. One Star Trek pouch

I made a lovely handbag for a craft swap...and the Royal Mail ate it.

So I have to provide a replacement. Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor inclination to make it a second time, so they're getting a rather simpler pouch (or possibly a shoulderbag) with a pieced logo.

Finish Along 2018: Q4

Q3: One wearable item - the Eva Knit dress

The full post on the Eva Knit dress is here.

Eva Knit Dress

I was hoping to finish one other wearable item, but didn't quite manage it, even with the prompting of a dressmaking group monthly social. Ah well, next quarter!

My Q3 list of things to finish is HERE.

Q3 Finish: The Seaweed Is Always Greener quilt (mendocino mermaids)

Title: The Seaweed Is Always Greener

Another quilt that's taken entirely too long to finish.

Finish Along 2018: Q3

I got to Heather Ross' Mendocino Mermaids late - and only after I found a bolt each of the Gold Mermaids and Fuchsia Swimming Sisters at my LQS. From there, it became a madness: get all the collection. ALL THE COLLECTION.

Finish Along 2018: Q3

I don't want to think about how much I paid for some of these fabrics!

Finish Along 2018: Q3

But they are such lovely prints...

Finish Along 2018: Q3

In spite of the design (which I ended up rather disliking - too square, too boxy, not flow-y enough), I'm definitely keeping this one for myself!

Finish Along 2018: Q3

And, of course, it's inspectpurr approved!

Finish Along 2018: Q3

My Q3 list of things to finish is HERE.

Q3 Finish: French Farmhouse Wonky Stars

This quilt has taken me entirely too long to finish.


I started making it, oh, back in 2013? And it's been a labour of something.

Finish Along 2018: Q3

It's being sent off to a friend in Alabama. I hope she's okay. It's been a rough few days for my friends in the US.

And, because no quilt is complete without a check by the inspectpurr:

Finish Along 2018: Q3

Kitteh buttstamp of approval given!

My Q3 list of things to finish is HERE.

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...