Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Getting Back to Normal

So the sleepy-headed teenager went home at the weekend and Andy managed to persuade my sewing machine that it really does want to sew normal stitches again.  All the fancy stitches that my machine can do seem to be a little bit dicey now, so I'm going to stick to the basics - straight stitch, zig zag and buttonholes. Frankly this is no big hardship and I really, really didn't want to have to get used to a new machine.

I quickly sewed up the skirt that I had already and waiting to go whilst the teenager played violent computer games in the background!!  Photos will follow at some point soon.  And the jersey top that I made that started all the sewing machine problems will also make an appearance when I get round to the photos.

In the meantime I'm lining up some more projects. A little bag above from a book I've had on the shelf for a while and never before used in a terracotta upholstery fabric (it's taken a lot of steam to get the interfacing to stick to that one!).  I'm still debating which lining fabric to use, but I'm leaning towards the polka dots even though I know it's a slippy, horrid fabric to work with!

And I've got a production line going for iPhone cases ... they're proving very popular gifts!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Sewing Machine Woes

I believe this is my 100th post on this blog, but somehow I don't feel like celebrating!

Sewing time has been limited of late what with a jumper that I need to finish knitting (I'm still deliberating whether to unravel about 15 rows to rectify a mistake in the lace pattern that I've just discovered or to leave it as proof that it really is handmade!) and - shock horror - a teenager in the house (the 15-year-old son of my former pen friend, here to improve his English).

Last week I was experimenting with jersey and had a few problems getting my 25-year-old machine (everything I write is making me feel old today!) to change into straight stretch stitch.  But it did it in the end with a bit of help from my engineer husband.

Now I have a great skirt pattern cut out and ready to go, the teenager is still in bed and probably will be for a few more hours and all my lessons for the next week are prepped - time to sneak in a bit of sewing!!! Hooray!!

Or not.

The machine just refuses to sew anything like a normal stitch.  In fact it seems to be stuck in stretch stitch mode (when it doesn't want to just go backwards that is).


If Andy can't work some magic this weekend and persuade my sewing machine that it really does like sewing in a straight line and (preferably) forwards, then I'll be researching sewing machine repairers ... or new machines.  I'm having trouble enough finding a sewing machine shop round here (I wanted to look at overlockers), let alone someone to repair a very old, obsolete machine (Riccar went out of business more than a decade ago, I think)

And there ends my tale of woe for the moment!

Now, seriously, any suggestions on how to crowbar a teenager out of bed before midday - or should I give that one up as a lost cause too?!!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

My Creative Space

Some iPhone pouches I made earlier this week.

It's been quite a productive week - the pouches above plus a small curtain to disguise the area under the stairs in the basement where my vacuum cleaner and a host of other stuff resides.  There's also a very unphotogenic pile of lime green jersey fabric on my workbench ... it just looks quite unprepossessing right now, but it have been transformed into a cowl top by the end of the day!

And I managed to check out the local fabric warehouse (not so exciting unfortunately) and started attacking the hedges in the the garden (why do people plant really fast-growing shrubs as hedging material .... it's just not cricket!).

To see what everyone else is making this week, take a peek at Our Creative Spaces.

Saturday, 6 August 2011


One completed toiletry bag!

The pattern is my second project from Nicole Mallalieu's book "You Sew, Girl!".  I opted to put the binding on the inside given my track record with binding bulky seams - and it was definitely the right decision.  The only bit that I had any problems with was - predictably - the binding. 

I'm rapidly re-thinking the idea of trying my hand at quilting as that would also entail binding the bulky edging and this appears not to be my forté!  But ... I had the same problems with crochet originally and I seem to have got over those after a lesson.  Maybe all I need is to find someone who can bind quilts to help me ... 

Thursday, 4 August 2011

My Creative Space ...Finally!

....getting back to some sewing
This will be a toiletry bag from Nikki's "You Sew Girl"
The dotty fabric is the lining!

I seem to have had a long break (trip to the UK, food poisoning, lots of visitors.... work, life!!)

I managed to start some knitting too:

The nearly completed back of a cap-sleeved summer top.
I may not be completely in love with the colour, but I'll finish it and see.  Maybe if I get it done the sun might come out ...?
Please ... it is supposed to be summer after all!

I added to my stash while in the UK after a spot of fabric shopping in Birmingham with a friend I haven't seen in about 16 years!  Ady and I were at uni together and she took me to some of her favourite fabric shops.  So, expect to see some skirts and tops appearing soonish!

I've also found a small fabric shop locally and have driven past what looks like a fabric warehouse (I was going to the tip at the time to get rid of all the hedge clippings - not the best time to go shopping) - I'll be investigating that one soon.  And there's a tiny wool shop in town - very limited selection, but still nice to find one!

Lots more creativity over here.