Monday, January 28, 2013

Quick Update with Pics

Linen Dress Update

I know it's not very impressive, but at least there's been some progress. I had to give up yesterday. The lack of sunlight made it way too hard to see what I was doing.

I still feel like I'm all thumbs when I'm embroidering, but I don't think it looks terrible. I started at the back so I would have had more practice by the time I got to the front designs. I just have to remember it's at the bottom of the skirt. No-one's going to be peering at it up close.


As I mentioned yesterday, one of the stash areas I would dearly love to downsize is my collection of lingerie fabrics & laces and knit remnants. I'm posting a picture here of the piles as they currently are, so I can look back in 12 months and marvel at how far I've come (or not).

Lingerie fabrics and laces are on the top shelf and knits leftover from other projects are on the bottom shelf.

Stretch lace collection.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

First FO for 2013!

I normally slow down over the summer holidays, but this year it's taken me longer than usual to get back into my groove.

So, I wanted something easy for my first project. Combine that need with a pile of knit remnants and stretch laces, and I settled on sewing Ottobre's "Simply Basic" panties (5-2009-02).

I made a pair from chocolate jersey, leftover from my Sunshine Top. Luckily, I had some matching chocolate brown stretch lace in my stash. The fit was really good. I just needed to lower the front curve of the leg openings a little for subsequent pairs. To mimic that adjustment for this pair, I filled in that section with the lace.

To accomodate the lace insert, I didn't stitch elastic all the way around the leg openings, only the portion where there was no lace. This worked well for a seat-of-the-pants fix.

I've been wearing them all day and they are super comfortable - the ultimate test of underwear. I can see that pile of knit remants being put to good use this year. And, no, I won't be modelling any of them. You're welcome.

In related news, I've joined Cation Design's Stashbusting Sewalong to give me a little push in completing my 50 Stash Projects goal. I've committed to using 12 pieces of fabric from my stash. I really think I'll be able to do much better than that, but I thought it better to under-promise and over-deliver, than beat myself up over not meeting a goal.

The theme for January is "Itty Bits" - sewing up pieces of fabric which are less than one yard. Well, I can tick that off my list now, but I have many more smallish pieces that need to be used up. I can see myself happily sticking with this theme for the whole year!

Now I'm off to continue working on the embroidery for my linen dress! Wish me luck - this is a new venture for me, but I'm finding it quite fun so far.

(I'll add a more current photo when it's looking more impressive!)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

News from a (neglected) Sewing Room

I'm back from my extended holiday (meant to be 19 days, but ended up being 24 due to car trouble), cleaned up my sewing room and am raring to get started with the creating for 2013. I've got a few creations from last year which remain unblogged (I'll get to them, eventually) and a list a mile long of the things, both knitted and sewn, that I want to make this year.

For our Christmas trip, to help me cope with being away from my machines for the better part of 4 weeks, I packed a couple of knitting projects. I'm still very much a learner, but I want to improve my skills this year. My favourite husband ever thoughtfully gave me some KnitPro circular needles and some gorgeous Noro silk yarn. I'm loving the needles right now, but need a bit of experience before I feel comfortable tackling the yarn.

Still, I've started off 2013 the way I mean to continue...

Projects currently underway include:
(1) Super Simple Cowl (from Tossing the Stash)  - knitted while on holidays and just need to weave in the ends and block.

(2) Tiny Tea Leaves Cardigan (from Madelinetosh) - am making good progress on this one (This is an older photo, I've ripped that sleeve out and re-knit it three times, but I'm still a bit further on than this stage).

I didn't take this one away with me because I was up to a tricky spot and I just wanted some easy projects to work on in the car. It's at the very edge of my knitting skills and I'm learning heaps. Just today, I picked up stitches and knitted my first buttonband, ever. It's not great, but it'll do for this time round. I originally started knitting this cardigan for my DH's goddaughter, but apparently she's a bit bigger than I thought. I'm knitting a size 2 and she's just over a year old but is already wearing size 2 clothes. I think I'll have to get her actual measurements and compare them to the finished garment or find another baby to give this to. I'm loving this pattern, though, and I want to knit a bigger version for my daughter later this year.

(3) DROPS cardigan (in a colourful wool/silk blend yarn) for DD - this was the second of the projects I worked on while away. I made really good headway, but have put this one on the backburner while I concentrate on finishing the Tiny Tea Leaves cardi. I've got time. Winter won't be here in Queensland for a long time yet.

(4) My brown linen dress (aka the 'Nun' dress) - have finished all the machine stitching and have marked in the embroidery designs. Now I just need to do all the hand embroidery and stitch the hems. I am in love with the inside of this dress. I used an aqua polka dot polycotton to finish all the seams. I love this look so much, I've ordered a binder foot for my sewing machine. I anticipate using this finish a lot more this year. It's way more fiddly than a serged seam, but way cuter!

Embroidery designs are marked on...

...and will hopefully end up looking something like this. This is a fabulous book, BTW, and I plan to use it a lot this year. ETA: The book is called "New Crewel: The Motif Collection" by Katherine Shaughnessy.

The inside of the dress in all its Hong Kong finish glory. I love this view and am contemplating wearing it inside out.

(5) Another Hot Patterns Sunshine Dress - I have 3 of these in my wardrobe in constant rotation, but they're all prints. This time I wanted a simple black dress. Seeing as though all my other projects are portable, I needed a project that got me in front of my machines.

Well, that's the round up of current happenings in MY sewing room. What projects have you currently got on the table?