Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Poppies and Winter Sales ...

Finally, I've got to sewing up the blouse lengths I bought some time (a long time) ago.

Here is the poppy one ... nearly finished. Just needs sleeves, hem, button & button holes! Not bad considering I cut it out last night.

I hit the sales yesterday and bought a beautiful waistcoat/trouser set in charcoal grey - which will match this blouse beautifully. I also picked up a winter dress (like a pinafore with cap sleeves). I can wear the dress as it is under a jacket, or with a skivvy underneath it ... just need to get the 'right' sort of skivvy. My work wardrobe is starting to take shape very nicely!

Mrs R

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Groovy Pants ...

HH & TBM have been drooling and dreaming about LoudMouth Golf pants ... but the cost to bring them over from US is prohibitive (about $180 after postage and exchange). So, after some discussions and sweet talking, I agreed to making the boys some pants.

Here is the first pair! I went to Spotlight, and found this fantastic fabric for $4/metre! Plus, they had a 20% off sale. So, these ones cost under $15 all up! The pattern was easy to make, but the fit was horrid. I ended up taking about 2" off the width of them on the outer and inner leg to get them to fit ... lots of muttering and stomping was involved!
Unfortunately, they have faded a bit ... but, at $4/m (less 20%) what can you expect? I have since made another pair - same colourway, but striped. Very clown like!

These are the next pair ... TBM's! He's rather proud of them!
They do look a bit like pyjama pants, but he's happy enough. After these, I made another pair out of black/white checks (about 1cm square) ... they are rather eyeboggling!

Boys are at a 2 day competition this weekend, hopefully the pants will contribute to their playing style!

Grin, Mrs R

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Back in the groove ...

Well, not really sewing much ... but have been thinking about it! I'm sure that counts. I've just started clearing up my sewing space (yes again!) ... and finding the bits and pieces that need finishing.

Popped into a new opshop on Thursday, and bought these gems!

The magazine is 1959. Think the pattern could be the same era ... it's still factory folded - just beautifully kept!

My happy husband has hung my certificates on the wall for me ... I'm so thrilled with myself! Talk about a big head. I have 3 assessments and 1 test to complete and I will have finished Cert IV Management (HR). He'll have to put another hook in the wall!

Anyways, off to have another cuppa.
Mrs R

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sunny Saturday

Well this morning, the boys went to the golf course (as always) and LMS went to an Activity Group run in our shire (she's learning cooking), so I had most of the day all to myself! I headed on down to the coast to look at the fabric shops. Got to Spotlight and was just overwhelmed, so rang my mummy and asked if she'd come and help. They don't live that far, so I drove there, had a lovely morning tea, then kidnapped mum to go shopping. We ended up back at Spotlight and it was great to go with someone that:

a) loves me
b) likes touching fabric as well
c) has a good eye for colour
d) isn't offended when you don't like their choice, and
e) is really happy when you find something you like.

I ended up with 3 lengths of fabric and a new pattern. I was really happy with our choices, and have washed and ironed the lengths, so that they are all ready to go.

Burda 2561

Here's a picture of the re-constructed men's shirt I made. It worked beautifully EXCEPT for the fact that I cut the scoop too low and it showed too much chest. Well, it was a good exercise, and I proved something to myself.

Mrs R

Friday, May 1, 2009

On the wish list ...

I found this beautiful blouse at Couture et Tricot ... I love the sleeve detail on a plain traditional classic blouse. Here is her re-creation of it. I like the shiny pink!
Here's the technical line drawing of it.

Figured that it would be fairly easy to re-create using a plain shirt pattern, and just take the sleeves straight down from the armhole. Would be low fuss for wearing, and because the ruffle detail can be smoothed down, ironing wouldn't be a problem. Next challenge is to get the right sort of fabric. I can envisage it in a crisp cotton, but then, I can see all blouses in a crisp cotton! Was thinking white (as always), maybe with a slight self pattern to it ...

Hmmmm ... will think on it for a bit, but I can see it being added into my work wardrobe!

Time for bed ...
Mrs R

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hmmmm ... not too sure

Here is me, playing around with the shirt. I pinned darts in the front to bring it in, it's obviously huge in the arms/shoulder area, but fits ok around the hips. Tried tucking the collar in to see what a mandarin would look like, not convinced.

Darts ...

Collar ... (scar is healing nicely)

Pretend Mandarin collar ...

Am up to seeing if it fits my Happy Husband and whether he'd like it for winter. Not sure if that's a cop-out or not. Maybe I'm a 'from scratch' type of sewer and not a re-fashionista ...

Mrs R

Post Shower: Got it! Scoop neck (get rid of the collar completely) and add small stand up ruffle, maybe 1.5cm high. This can be from the excess length at the bottom of the shirt. Will cut the armholes out properly (using a current blouse pattern) and modify the sleeve head to fit. Thinking will do an inverted pleat at the hem of the sleeve to bring it neater at the bottom. Basically, thinking it 'out loud'.

Out and About!

Popped into my favourite op-shop (Treasures on Railway Pde, Kelmscott) and had a hunt around. I found 2 metres of nice soft shirt fabric which was marked down to $1. Bargain! Will put that away for the 'right' project.

Found some beautiful patent leather mary-jane shoes, but after I got over the joy of mary-janes, realised that they weren't 'quite' right for me. Settled for this beautiful pair of Spanish leather loafers. Will look perfect with trousers, easy to wear and comfortable.

I have been wanting to let my inner creative beast out, and so bought a men's shirt to hack into. Have had delusions of getting a crisp white cotton shirt for work that fits, this way, it might happen. Here is the 'before' picture. I need to hack about 3 inches off the shoulder line, do some tricky stuff with darts to make the bodice fit, and then ... well, that's when I get creative! Have some thoughts of adding ruffles to the bodice and sleeves, but may not have enough 'scraps ... will have to see. Could get tricky and do something fun with rik-rak. The possibilities are endless.

Dropped some of LMS' bedroom off to our local op-shop and picked up this lovely pattern. I think it has alot of potential. The front variations are different - roloux loops & buttons/zip or absolutely nothing (stitched). Will make up a test run first.

I remember reading an editorial recently (Stitches magazine I think) and the gist of it was that sewers need to stock up and do some stash building for the economic downturn. The theory is that a) it will put money into the fabric shops, and b) when times are tough, you will have fabric on hand that you can sew with. Not totally convinced about the theory, but it's food for thought.

Mrs R

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jeans - and making them fit!

I finally bit the bullet and bought myself some new jeans (new new - from a real shop - with a real price-tag - and with real money!!). They 'almost' fit me. Length was too long, waist was too big at the back. Gotta love Big W jeans - they have a great range, and they cost under $30.

Came home and did some research on the 'net and found this fantastic tutorial. Took a few minutes to actually process the information, but once I had - it made perfect sense.

So, this morning, took them up - and they are perfect! Basically, it's a tuck on the inside of the jeans, but the stitching is so very close to the original top-stitching, that you can barely tell! I ironed the tuck up into the leg, and used a little fusible webbing to hold it flat on the centre front & back. Just for my own peace of mind.

With the waist size, I make a slit in the inside of the waistband near the sideseams and thread elastic through until it gathers to fit. I handstitch this closed and you can hardly tell I've ripped!
Here's the back view - the elastic isn't that noticeable once they are on because they fit so well, and I wear my shirts over!

Now it's time to get out of my jarmies and into the morning!
Smiles, Mrs R

Friday, April 10, 2009


Last night, my church held a Tenebrae (or Service of Shadows). Here’s an explanation of what happens:

The service of worship is taken from an early Christian service called Tenebrae. The name Tenebrae is the Latin word for "darkness" or "shadows." Tonight we will experience only a small portion of Christ’s pain and suffering the day of His crucifixion. One of the most conspicuous features of the service is the gradual extinguishing of candles until only a single candle, considered a symbol of our Lord, remains. As it gets darker and darker we can reflect on the great emotional and physical pain that was very real for Jesus that evening. Toward the end of the service, the Christ candle is hidden, typifying the apparent victory of the forces of evil over good. At the very end, a loud noise is made, symbolizing the earthquake at the time of his death (Matthew 27) and his resurrection (Matthew 28:2). At the moment of the earthquake, the temple veil was torn apart, making the Holy of Holies exposed to public view. This is understood to represent God's change toward us with direct access to him, no longer requiring the ceremonial acts of the priests for our forgiveness of sin. The hidden candle is then restored to its place, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. By this single light we all depart this service in silence.

I found it very powerful and moving ...

Mrs R

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Romper Stomper

Look what I bought yesterday - aren't they just gorgeous! Always wanted a pair of Dr Martens! OK, maybe more quirky than gorgeous, but still, they'll be great with jeans. Because they are fabric, might need to scotch guard them first.

Don't see shoes like this every day!

Close-up of the fabric/colour/stitching.

Mrs R ...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Funky Shirt for Wednesday!

Here's me on the way to work today. I finished the shirt last night. Am pretty impressed with it, lots of room for movement, it all went together well. If I wanted more waist definition, I could take in the seams, but I like the feel of the fit, and I figured that as I was clean, neat and presentable, no-one will complain!

Have another blouse nearly finished - hem, sleeve hem & button/button holes go ... wonder if I'll manage it tonight ... hmmmm ... there's a challenge.

Am going to spend the day with my parents on Friday, and I think Mum & I are going fabric shopping - mum needs to make some trousers, I'm going along for the ride, plus, am going to 'see what I can see'. Now that I've got back into the mode of sewing for myself, might as well keep going!

On the way home today, I bought myself a pair of tapestry Doc Martin lace-up high tops. Will post a photo of them tomorrow ... they are really something to admire - I've never seen the like of them. They say "authentic" and Made In England, but I haven't found any pictures on the Net anything like them.

Mrs R

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hairstyles & Buttons

Well, after much saving, LMS got her hair 'done'. It's been dyed a dark dark brown (almost black) with blonde foils, and had it heavily layered. She looks quite different, and far more 'teenage'.

My blouse is just about finished. Went to the fabric shop on way home, couldn’t find a single piece of fabric to buy, although I did find a pattern I liked. Something to think on. Problem is that it is designed to use soft floaty fabric, and I don’t do see-through (at all). Might have to bite the bullet and try Spotlight again. Main reason for going was to buy buttons, but their range was less than impressive.

Sat on couch and went through my button collection and after about ½ hour of sifting through, found 5 buttons that (nearly) match. They’re close enough to get away with, and I don’t think they’ll be bad enough to trigger off any visits from the Button Police! So, can do buttonholes today and hang blouse in the wardrobe!

Well, off to get the day started.
Smiles, Mrs R

Monday, March 9, 2009

Swaps and toiles!

I participated in the Sew Mama Sew fat quarter swap, and have received 2 thus far ... they're both really pretty, and I'm looking forward to using them.

Went to the fabric shop on Friday and bought fabric for a skirt & a blouse. Haven't sewn for myself (successfully) for a long time ... hoping to break the drought.

This is the skirt - from a 1970's Enid Gilchrist pattern. I altered the panel slightly to give it a bit more 'flare'. It's nice, easy to wear and very work suitable.

The blouse fabric is linen/poly (more linen than poly) and I'm looking forward to making it up, just don't enjoy the cutting out part! Decided not to risk it, and made a toile in an old sheet first. Am very glad that I did, as I had to alter the sleeve to fit my arms. Need to tweak it a little on the shoulder and shorten the length. Other than that, a surprisingly easy make!

Check out that dreadful posture!! Oh, spot the neck scar - impressive isn't it!! It's healing, but still very red.

Mrs R

Monday, March 2, 2009

Card making & Paper Dollies

Some time ago, I bought this fantastic book/kit called Paper Fashions by Klutz. My niece (waves to Bethany) had it and her creations were so wonderful, I was hooked!! Anyways, after much hunting and searching, LMS & I got our own copy.

Been at a bit of a loose end, so got out the book, and started tracing and cutting. Is rather therapeutic (and addictive) ... so, here are the results!

Photos aren't wonderful, and colours didn't come out 'quite' right, but trust me, they're cute!

Mrs R

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pretty Basket!

I've been wandering from one thing to the next today, without much of a plan ... and on one of my wanders, made this little basket for my laundry. The rectangle was 45 x 19cm and the corners were mitred at 8cm. Clear as mud I guess!

Felt that this was a little too tall for my liking ...

So I turned the top over to form a cuff ... much prettier.

And here it is in it's new home! That thing sticking out of the side is a bike pump attachment ... why is it in the laundry? No idea!!!

Smiles, Mrs R

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lovely Laundry Shelves

Happy Husband was wonderful enough to put up these shelves in the laundry. Really, they're his idea as he didn't like everything on the washing machine (one of the downsides of a front loader). So ... ta da ... here it is, neat, tidy and pretty!

I'm going to make a basket to replace the margarine container - it's the home for those 'lost' items - golf tees, bike bits, retic parts etc etc - stuff that comes out of pockets!

Isn't that neat and tidy?

Smiles, Mrs R

Friday, February 20, 2009

New batteries equals new pictures

Yep - took a while to figure out that the camera needed new batteries! Here's Charlie keeping me company while I update my blog! Now he's sitting at my feet hoping for biscuits!!

I've been busy doing ... well ... nothing! Can't think of overmuch that I've achieved at all. This is LMS' ds case that I made last week ... she chose the fabric and I spent a few nights getting pictures in my head to work! This isn't exactly what I imagined, however, it is still great and does the job! The front pocket is for the games carrier.

And, next onto some more bibs! Was lost for things to sew, so figured that bibs are handy, easy and I had the fabric! Plus, got to make some more bias for my stash!! I used to be able to put bias on in one go - no pinning, just fold and stitch - once and done! Now, it's a bit more effort as I'm out of practice. I did the snail bib the 'correct way' ... stitch bias to the front, fold under and topstitch from the top. The second one was done 'upside down' which is how I was taught at TAFE. It all came back to me ... much better! In reality, the bias is on both, no-one will know how it was done, but it was a dusted off skill for me!

Went to Spotlight last night on a whirl wind trip, and grabbed and paid! Phew. Got the fabric for my Sew Mama Sew swap, and some co-ordinating ribbons to 'make it pretty'. Will post them today. Got some pelmet interfacing ($2.99/m) from the curtain section - it's great stuff and cheap. Found the buckram in the sewing section - but at $30/m - I don't think it's the stuff that you stockpile! After leaving there, dashed by Sound Stationery and picked up some butcher's paper (tracing/drafting), white cardstock (always handy) and A4 & A5 cellophane envelopes - these are really nice for packing gifts/crafts in - makes them look professional and keeps the dust off!

Smiles, Mrs R

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dust Cover!

Remember the fabric I made from strips? Well, this is what it ended up as ... a sewing machine cover. Not a highly exciting use for it, but it's fun and useful! Can't ask for much more, plus, there's enough scraps to trim a cover for the overlocker.

Now, to clean up the mess!

Mrs R

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baby Presents

A friend of LMS (age 15 ... poor love) is having a baby in April, and we wanted to give her a present for the baby shower. So, I saw Tracy's beautiful creations, followed the link to Homespun Threads, and made a pair myself - I used iron on wadding for cushioning, and felt particularly keen, and diamond quilted the soles.

Today,I borrowed a bib from my friend Penny (my children are well past the bib stage) and ta da ... a funky and pretty present! The bib is quilters cotton on the front and flannelette on the back. I've been trying to make bias binding each time I cut something out ... so that eventually I'll have a nice stash of pretty bias. It's a plan ...

Mrs R

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Prickly Post

I decreed that February is my "use it up" month as far as fabric goes, so I've not bought any, but am working myway through my stash! It's fun to put things together using what I have, changing, compromising, and eventually getting things to work!

Anyhow ... here is today's making ... It's a pincushion!! Called The Wildflower Pincushion! It actually took more fabric than I thought it would, and is quite big which was a surprise!

Here is one being ready for sewing (figured it was just as quick to make 2 as one!), followed by a finished one! Side view is to show the pretty fabrics!

Off to put pedal to the metal and finish the second pin cushion.

Smiles, Mrs R