Saturday, 19 January 2019

Some more Belize shorts

These are my second pair of Belize shorts from Itch to Stitch.  My first pair were in a drill, this pair were made in a cotton that has a bleached look running through the pattern.



Not much more to say.  These were pretty quick to sew up, around 2 1/2 hours sewing time.  Will be good for beach walks.

block of the month and scanncut projects.

January's SweetPea Mystery garden block of the month is a glorious sun.

I had some orange/yellow tie dyed fabric in my stash.  This fabric went from bright orange to very pale yellow and was perfect for this sun.

I also made some more scanncut projects.  I made a popout birthday card.  However I've lost it!  so no photos until it turns up.  I also made a lovely card using the scanncut and using the draw feature to write Happy Birthday.
One of the Brother canvas projects was for a Love Letter luminaire.





This looks lovely at night when it is lit up in a dark room.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

2 cushions, another Southport and a new machine

I had ordered a new living room suite in a grey colour.  I wanted some new cushions to liven it up.  So another biscornu by SweetPea

I like the blues and yellows in this one against the suite.  It looks better than the other pink and cream one I made earlier.

The other was an Audrey Hepburn cushion.  The pattern is again from SweetPea and is actually for a bag.
I want to make a bag from this as well.  I have bought some black and white vinyl to make it with.  Now I just need to find time.

Here is my new suite with my me-made cushions.




Another make is another Southport dress.   This is my third.  The other 2 I wasn't very happy with my fabric choices and they will be around the house.  This one though is a casual going out in dress.  As the pattern says, suitable for the beach or out for a meal.



This is made out of chambray from Spotlight.  As in the mustard linen version, I eliminated the front button placket.  However for this one I made a false button placket as I felt the plain chambray on its own would be a bit boring.  I added some wooden buttons to the front.  I used my coverseam machine to get perfectly placed double stitching line down the front.   I also did some embroidery on one shoulder.



I love how this has turned out.   Today is a hot, sticky day and I'm going out for lunch so will wear it out.

Last week I took delivery of a Brother ScannCut SDX1200.  There was a special offer on the NZ Machine Embroidery Addicts Facebook group.  I um'd and ah'd over whether to get it as I wanted it but didn't need it.  I looked at lots and lots of Youtube videos and decided I had to get it.

It comes with a project to get you started for a cute box.
Brother have a website where you can download projects.  The second thing I made was these templates to use with coffee.  You sprinkle your drinking chocolate powder on top and get a pretty design in your coffee.
You also get access to software to design your own files.  The top right design of a cup was one I designed myself.

I've also made a couple of cards, and at the moment I'm making a luminary.  

I bought the machine mainly thinking I'd use it for cutting fabric for machine embroidery applique.  I did find it quick to do for the Audrey Hepburn cushion.  However when I tried a more complex design it was easier and quicker to just trim the fabric once stitched.  I probably won't use it much for fabric.  But there are so many other things you can make with it - add vinyl to projects, make beautiful cards, shadow boxes, etc.  So it looks as though I have another new hobby!


Saturday, 5 January 2019

A personal word on 2018 and first make of 2019

I don't normally go into personal stuff here, preferring to keep this blog for my crafting.  However 2018 was a very difficult year for me personally and I think it would be wrong to pretend otherwise.

The worst thing was in March I lost my beloved mother.
Xmas Day 2017 at The Brigham


 She had an assortment of illnesses, including an abdominal aortic anuerysm.  The aneurysm should have been operated on 2 1/2 years earlier, however with her other health issues the surgeon felt it was too risky, something we both agreed with.  He gave her anything up to 5 years, so I was lucky to have her for another 2 1/2 years.

Dealing with her loss was difficult and also at the same time I had her house to prepare for sale, which meant clearing out all of her things.  I kept a few special mementos, including my great grandmothers tea set and some of her wedding presents from 1959.  Other things were given to relatives and friends the rest went to charities and auction.  I also had the house professionally cleaned.  There were decisions to be made, such as do I rent or sell, get new carpets and decorate, etc.  However I decided to sell it and leave it as it was and see what comments came from people coming through the open home.  If not having it decorated was putting off people then would be the time to get it done.  However I had a buyer for the house after a month on the market.  This was a relief as it was for sale in winter, traditionally a slow time, plus reports in the paper said the Auckland market was the slowest it had been for 9 years.  Other neighbours had houses for sale before I put hers on the market and had been for sale for months.

Happier times.  Family event in the 70's. Dad is in foreground, Mam in background, with Grandma next to her

During this time my dear cat Maxie was continuing to fight her battle with cancer but was steadily getting worse.


 I tried changing her to a raw food diet, with advice from a vet, but of course in the end it was a losing battle.  I had to make the very hard decision to put her to sleep in August.

On top of all this, another very good friend lost her mother in April, and another very good friend ended up having a triple heart bypass in April.

Sandy has now become no. 1 cat.  He was really my Mum's cat, spending most of his time with her.  When I was selling the house I was worried if he would settle at mine as he kept going back there.  However he has settled in very well.  Particularly since Maxie went he has decided he enjoys cuddles on my knee, something he has never done before.


Anyway, enough of 2018 and on to 2019 which can only be better.
Apropos of absolutely nothing, just cause it's pretty.  Pohutukawa in blossom at local park


I've already finished my first make.  Another True Bias Southport dress.  This time I:

  • Raised the back neck
  • Made facings
  • Lowered the dart 1"
  • Eliminated the front buttonholes and cut front piece as one on the fold.  There is plenty of room for getting on and off so buttons aren't needed.


This is made from linen from SmartDress fabrics.  It is quite sheer, so needs a slip underneath it - you can see the outline of my slip here.  Because of this, I think it will be around the house only.  It's very hot here today, so is getting worn around the house today.





Sunday, 30 December 2018

Year in Review Part 3: The stats and goals

For the final of the yearly review series I want to look at what I made, did I achieve my goals and what do I want to achieve in 2019.

In total I made 39 garments and 26 lingerie items.  Lingerie includes bras/pants/slips/camis/nightwear.

This compares to 36 garments made in 2017.

Of those 39 garments:
2018                                2017
5 jumpers                        2 jeans
2 vests                             2 jackets
1 sweatshirt                     2 cardigans
1 cardigan                        16 tops
15 tops                             9 dresses
10 dresses                         4 : pants
4 pants                               1 skirt
1 skirt


And lingerie:
4 PJ sets
11 bras
8 pants
3 slips

All items were from Indie designers, the most used were:
Itch to Stitch  17 items
Jennifer Lauren Handmade 6 items
Love Notions 6 items
StyleArc 6 items
Cloth Habit 4 items
Sew Over It 4 items

Garments made multiple times were
Jennifer Lauren Handmade Nixie pants 5
Cloth Habit Watson bra 4
Itch to Stitch Visby top 4
Love Notions Laundry Day T  4
StyleArc Winnie Jumper 3
StyleArc Airlie pants 2
Itch To Stitch Anza dress 2
Sew Over It Heather dress 2
Sew Over It Vintage shirtdress 2
Chalk and Notch Fringe top 2
Itch to stitch Lago tank 2
Itch to stitch Vienna top 2
Itch to Stitch Uvita 2
Love Notions Oakley vest 2


total spent on fabric was $750.  $627 was spent on garments and $123 on lingerie.  However I haven't included the extras in this, such as bra clasps, special elastic, foam, etc.  This meant my average spend was $16.10for a garment and $4.60 per lingerie item.

Last year my total spend was $525 making an average of $14.50 per garment.

Interesting that this year I didn't make any jeans or jackets, even though all year I wanted to make some more jeans and a denim jacket.  At the time I just couldn't find any of the right sort of denim I wanted.  I really wanted the pale blue/washed look.  I have got some black denim in my stash so if I can't find any that I want then I will use that.

So what were my goals and did I achieve them.  Last year I wrote 
"Finish my daffodil quilt
I'd like another pair of jeans - in light denim
Another denim jacket - this time in light denim
Make leggings, and get more into tunic type tops that I can wear with leggings.
I really want to try bra making, reading lots of tutorials at the moment
Possibly an anorak - possible the Closet Case Kelly.  

So out of 6 items I only accomplished 2.  I finished my daffodil quilt and got into bra making and lingerie in general.  I did make a couple of tunics to wear with leggings with mixed results.

2019 goals


So for 2019  I still want to


  • I'd like another pair of jeans - in light denim
  • Another denim jacket - this time in light denim
  • Make leggings, and get more into tunic type tops that I can wear with leggings.


  • Possibly an anorak - possible the Closet Case Kelly.  

I have got black denim that I can make into jeans and a denim jacket if I can't find the light blue denim.  I'd still like to make some leggings. I now have the pattern and the fabric for the Closet Case Kelly anorak and it is in my sewing diary to make around March

In addition to still wanting to do last years goals, I want to:


  • Make a winter coat.  I've bought some wool in the end of winter sales and the Style Arc Stella pattern.
  • Make a rain coat.  I've seen some waterproof polyester on line and thinking of making Tessuti's Melbourne coat.
  • Eliminate my stash.  I have 12 pieces of fabric in my stash and I want to use all of it.  I've made a list to use 2 pieces each month, so that should be gone by the end of June.  I've realised that having stash on hand is stressing me and limiting me.  It stresses me because I've got it, usually on sale, with the idea of making a specific garment with it, but as time goes on I no longer want to make that garment but want to make something else that I don't have the fabric for.  This means I'm limited as I can't make the garment I want to make as I need to use up what I already have.  With this plan to use 2 pieces a month I can get rid of my stash and at the same time buy fabric only as I need it to make the garment I really want to make at the time.

So I have 7 goals, lets see if I can achieve more than 2 next year.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Last finish of the year - Pauline Alice Bailen dress

I previously made this as a slip, but found it also made a great nightdress.  So using up fabric from the stash I made another one.

This is a quick sew and used up some fabric I've had for about 3 years and didn't know what to do with. Its a polyester so not great for daytime wear but should be fine for a nightdress.  Time to sew was only around 2 hours which included time for making my own bias binding.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Fringe Top

I had enough of the rayon/linen blend left over from the Southport dress to make a Chalk and Notch Fringe top.


This is the second Fringe top I've made.  In a rayon fabric it is a lovely smart/casual summer top.