Tuesday, April 23, 2013

KCW Day 1 :: Battles With Knits

image from here

I decided to kick off KCW by attempting a new {for me} pattern, Made By Rae's Flashback Skinny Tee.  Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm much more comfortable working with cottons, all those stretchy fabrics scare me, their endless rolling up, the puckering, the stretchiness of it all! But this year has been about improving technique and conquering sewing fears, so it was a great pattern to do just that!

I'd cut out the pieces before my cold hit over the weekend, the plans were to make two for the eldest (he needs more, and they'll be handed down), one for the middle and one for the baby. Ambitious much? With a pattern I hadn't tried before?  I had every confidence in the pattern, after my experience with the Geranium Dress, but my skills were another issue!  

Work in progress

The fabrics were a couple I had lying around the stash, you know the ones you buy when they're on the clearance table and there's a 40% off marked price sale, and you think you'll face your knit fears and make something, but then they sit in the stash for TWO years because you keep putting off using them... Or is that just me!!  I also cut up a couple of my knit dresses that make me still look six months pregnant, because I really don't need strangers asking when I'm due.  Green stripe was leftover from the lining of an Urban Hoodie, black & white stripe was a maternity dress and the navy with birds was not a maternity dress but the cut of it doesn't work with my body right now!

Unfortunately I didn't get to the sewing machine till about 8:30 last night, and then spent ages trying to work out the right stitch to use on the sewing machine so all I have to show for the 1.5hrs devoted to KCW is four shirt fronts sewn to backs, and five out of eight sleeves set.  Note to self: 9 is the Super Stretchy stitch on my machine and #17 is the stretch overlock stitch!

Sleeve 6 of 8 to set today. Eleventy billion pins have been used in an attempt to hold it all together!  Hoping for a more productive day today, would love to get something finished and on a child!   How are you going? Did you achieve what you set out to on Day 1??

Monday, April 22, 2013

KCW is about to begin...

And I've picked up a horrid cold! I was preparing for it really well, with lists written, patterns traced, fabrics washed & ironed, and some even cut... This cold has me wishing I could take some decent cold and flu meds, but breastfeeding means I'm relying on ginger tea to soothe the throat (an old friend suggested apple cider vinegar in warm water, but I struggled to get that down!!), hot showers to clear the sinuses and more than one box of extra soft tissues for the drippy nose.

I snatched half an hour yesterday to sit in my favourite spot on a sunny autumn day, with my pot of tea and the first Geranium, to hand stitch the lining to the bodice. I also managed to sew on a few buttons that had fallen off the boy's pyjamas too. It was a relaxing way to ease into KCW, but now I'm hoping to find enough clear headedness and motivation to sew up the items planned for the week.
Are you taking part in KCW? Let me know in the comments and I'd love to follow along with what you're making too!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

School Holidays & Sewing.

We are in the middle of school holidays here, and it's wonderful to have a break from getting out the door each day, washing and ironing uniforms and making lunches. Not loving so much the occasional arguments between the kids, but I guess you take the good with the bad!

This week has also seen me sewing a couple of things for myself! Photos to come at another time, but I was the fortunate winner of a giveaway being run by Toni Coward at Make It Perfect, and I made myself a Waterfall Blouse. I already owned the pattern but having it all right there spurred me on to finish the top I'd cut out!

My prize... image from here

Next week, apart from being the second week of school holidays, is also Kids Clothes Week. Formerly known as Kids Clothes Week Challenge, the aim is for participants to spend an hour each day sewing for their kids. The KCW site has heaps more info about it, I love the motivation that comes from knowing that literally hundreds of other sewists around the world are also spending part of their day sewing, as well as seeing all the photos of finished items.

I'm already cutting up fabric ready to spend next week sewing. As always the list of what I'd like to get done is probably longer than what time will permit, though I'm looking forward to a break from IndigoElephant sewing to focus on things for our kids. Now I just have to get the balance right, or those who can count won't be happy if one gets more than the other!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Another Geranium, Another Lesson Learned.

Yes there has been another Geranium Dress made! This time round it was for a little friend who just turned 3, so I took the opportunity to make her something I hope she'll like. It's now in her possession so I feel okay with sharing here {not that I have many 3yo readers} but I'm hoping it was a pleasant surprise for her Mum!

This time it's the cut out neckline and, obviously, a contrast fabric for the bodice and skirt (with pockets), and bodice lined with the same skirt fabric. Also used some white piping between the bodice and skirt for definition and love the difference it makes.  Using piping also made me complete the alterations to the first Geranium so I could practice piping before using it on the gift. The lining is hand stitched this time around, which was not what I'd call fun, but it does provide a much neater finish as the piping made things a bit tricky with machine stitching it all together.

And so what was the lesson learned with this project? Well, the piping was definitely a great lesson but the reminder to not select fabrics at night was an even greater lesson! It's difficult to spot in the photos but the darkest flower, which looked to match the pink cotton perfectly at night, in daylight is actually red. Oops!

 Apologies for the dull photos, but we've had a miserably rainy week here!  

Pattern :: Geranium Dress
Fabric  :: From the stash!