Monday, 15 July 2019

Oakley vest and cross stitch week 1 progress

I bought some lovely fabric a couple of months ago.  It is a nylon on the outside, quilted with a fleece on the inside.  I bought it for an Oakley vest, by Love Notions, and finally got around to making it this week.

I made my own bias binding from some grey poplin that was a good match for the fabric.

I made view B, but instead of patch pockets I made in-seam pockets.

Total stitching time was 4 hours.  1 hour of that was spent making the bias binding, so a quick sew project.

I decided to start recording my weekly progress of my cross stitch on Instagram. Watching a picture come to life is a good way of staying motivated. My handle is janscrafting.  I'll put my other craft makes on here as well.  I'll continue to blog though.

Here is my first weeks progress
On the first page one colour is completed and part of the way through the second colour.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Another Style Arc Lennie shirt

When I made my winter coat I had enough of the polyester I used for the lining to make a shirt and a dress.  I chose to make another Lennie shirt.  I really like this pattern, the length is just right.  This time I managed the front button placket much better and it turned out very well.

I swear this cat is the most vain creature, Sandy manages to get into just about every photo I take!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Mystery Garden BOM, cross stitch ponderings and how things change in 2 years

The penultimate block in the Mystery Garden quilt was released on Monday and I made it the same day.

I was able to start sewing some of the blocks together.
Looking forward to next months release and being able to finish it.

I've had a few changed with my cross stitch project.  After starting Mini Minerva's Melody I was worrying the mini version would lose too much detail, plus the confetti in a mini is greater than a normal version and constantly changing colours isn't something I particularly enjoy.
So I decided to switch.  Heaven and Earth Designs had another sale for 4th July so I bought another 3 charts.

QS Old Friends 275x368 = 101,200 stitches

At the steps 450x544=244,800 stitches

QS the magic of books
250x262=65,500 stitches

I've made  (a few) starts on Old Friends.  I had thought I'd try tent stitch on 25 count.  I've never done tent stitch before but a lot of people on the HeavenandEarth Facebook are doing this and it stitches up quicker.  I also decided to try extreme cross-country stitching.  This is something new to me, after an absence of just 2 years I'm finding a lot has changed.  I've always been a cross country stitcher - which is stitching with one thread until it runs out or there is too much space to cross, then starting another colour.  However extreme cross country involves stitching with just one colour until all of that colour has been used on the page or indeed the entire project.  I will do it per page.  So you start with the colour that has the highest count which Heaven and Earth helpfully provide with their charts.  The advantage of this is you aren't constantly changing colour and don't have to go searching for which colour matches which symbol.

So first of all I tried tent stitch on 25 count fabric.  I didn't like it.  After 30 plus years of cross stitching it just felt wrong and I found it harder to count.  Plus the 25 count was just too hard to see.  So I switched to 22 count and still found it too hard to see.

So I have restarted Old Friends again, this time on 16count Aida full cross, 2 over 1 and extreme cross country.  So far this seems to be the best for me and I'm enjoying doing the extreme cross country.

I've also made a grime guard (another thing that is new to me) and bought some 11"x17" q snaps.  I'm finding these easier to hold than a hoop and the grime guard keeps the fabric out of the way (and clean).

I'm also stitching using my tablet and a programme called EZPDF reader ( again new to me).  This allows me to search for the symbol I am stitching and then highlight completed stitches.  It tells me how many stitches are highlighted so I can keep track of my progress.

And another new thing, is to pre-grid my fabric.  I gridded up a page before starting.  Previously I've gridded as I've gone, but I'm finding having it already gridded makes for faster stitching time.

Of course I'll be sure to post future updates on Old Friends here.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Summer Caye pants by Love Notions

The Summer Caye pants pattern by Love Notions is a very versatile pattern.  It can be made as palazzo pants, wide leg pants, capris and shorts.  It has different types of hems with a regular hem, split hem or tulip hem. It has optional front pockets and back patch pockets.  They are pull on pants with a flat front and elastic back.

This is my first time making them and I made a pair of wide leg pants with regular hem.

Front pockets are a good size

The measurements for size 14 fit me almost exactly so I made a straight size 14.  Love Notions patterns are designed for 5'5", so at 5'9" I decided to add an extra 2 inches to the length.  However this wasn't needed as I ended up turning up the hem 3/8", then another 3".

They took me 5 hours to sew, but about an hour was spent on fitting - testing the elastic length (ended up using the 17" inches recommended in the pattern and the leg cuff length.

These were an easy sew and make for a great pair of comfortable every day pants.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Winter pjs

I bought some wincyette at the end of last winter at an end of season sale. I bought it to  make another set of Carolyn  pyjama by Closet Case Patterns.  The last few nights have been getting cold, down to around 6C, which is as cold as it gets in Auckland.  We won't have too many of these cold nights left and if I'm going to get any wear out of the pjs  this year I  needed to get busy.

If you are paying attention to the top  photo  you'll  notice  the front of the jacket is in a different  fabric. When I was sewing the pants,  I grabbed what I thought was the front pant legs and sewed the groin seam together and served it. When I came to join it to the back pants piece it was too short. Puzzled I looked closer and realised I'd seen the front jacket pieces together at the armscye. As I'd overlocked it I couldn't unpick it. I'd bought 5.3m at 112cm which was just enough. So I had to rush out to Morelands Fabric to get some more  wincyette. Of course I couldn't get the same pattern. Oh well it's a good job it's just for wearing  around the house.

The details
1. This is the 4th time I've  made this, no alterations needed
2. Size 14
3. 5.3m x 112cm wincyette, plus 1mx112cm for front jacket
4. Sewing time 6 hours. 2 hours for pants, 4 hours for  jacket
5. Buttons from stash
6. Total cost $32

Saturday, 22 June 2019

New cross stitch start

As a teenager my next door neighbor got me interested in stitching  tapestries. In my 20s I discovered cross stitch and switched allegiances.  So since my teens I've  always had a project  on the go, doing some almost every  day. I even started this  blog in 2011 as a way of keeping track  of my progress.

However the last 3 years one thing after another has happened and I lost motivation.  While  I really liked the picture  I was working on, after some reflection I realised why I had lost my mojo. One, the picture was huge,even doing some every day would take around 7 years to finish. Two, at nearly  200 hundred colors I was spending too much time trying to find the thread that matched  the chart symbol.  Three, at 22 count it was just too fine for my deteriorating eyesight,  I now need glasses for reading which  I didn't  when I started the project.

So I decided to start over, taking those above 3 issues into account.
I've  chosen a Heaven and Earth  design, mini Minervas melody by artist  Josephine Wall.It has 88 colors,will probably  take around 18 months to complete and I'm  stitching on  16 count Aida.
And guess what! My sewing  mojo  is back.

This is progress after the first week,  starting in the top left corner.
And I bought myself a few cute things to celebrate. See the cute needle  keeper in photo above.
 A little tin, keeping cut threads in.

A new sewing basket. My other sewing basket  I've  had since a teenager  and one handle has broken off and the front  clasp is broken.

I also  treated myself to a TV for my sewing  room. I have been watching  TV on my laptop but the volume  doesn't go very loud and when machines are running I can't hear it.

I'm  looking forward to  sharing more  progress  photos.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Kiwi coasters and block 8 of the Mystery Garden

I've been busy the last few days with machine embroidery.
First up was to make a set of Kiwi coasters, a free set from Kreative Kiwi

These are made of  denim and gold lycra.  The denim was bought with the intention of making a jacket, however when I got it home I realised it has a plasticy sheen to it, not what I wanted in a jacket.  I made the curtain tie-backs, posted earlier, from the same denim.  The plasticy surface means they can wipe clean easily. 

This month saw the release of Block 8 of the Mystery Garden from SweetPea.  Another pretty block

The block consists of 4 smaller blocks that are then sewn together.  I ended up remaking the block with the flowers in a basket.  My first fabric choices weren't good. The background fabric I had was too loud and busy and the leaves, vines and flowers got lost in it.