A diary of all my mad projects.

I am glad that you stopped by - welcome to my world. Its a little mad and hectic as I sew, knit, embroider and generally craft my way through life. My newest resolution is to spend more time sewing - less time dreaming about it. I love to read comments so I am looking forward to hearing from you all.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bernina Club

The amazing Robyn (left) and Lois. 

This year I made a resolution to devote some time to doing more of the things that make my life sing, and one of them is sewing.  So I joined the local Bernina Club and once a month I join a group of talented people to talk about sewing.  The wonderful Robyn from Tauranga Bernina Shop demonstrates new techniques, cute projects and amazing tools all the while motivating us all with her enthusiasm for the art of sewing. 

At times sewing seems a lonely pastime,  thank goodness for the internet where I can connect with a world-wide community of like minded souls but there is nothing like face to face contact.  The Tirau group are a bunch of talented ladies who make me look forward to the second Tuesday in the month!!! Last Tuesday we celebrated the end of the year with a show and tell and a yummy morning tea.

I wore my Donna Karan 1250 dress that I made in October and made this basket and the chocolate goodies.

Easy Chocolate Brownie and Delectable White Chocolate Laminton Morsels.
 Take a look at what Cyndi made out of an old suit, a backpack using a Bernina pattern.
Buttons from the sleeve.

Buttonholes and pockets are so easy to reuse.

No need to line!!
Lois is an extremely talented artist who is an inspiration and a great source for sewing problems.  She recently had two of her works photographed and put onto canvas.

Mary used the inspiration from a front cover NZ Quilter and made this quilt front.

Dorothy made this beautiful detailed house quilt.

Carolyn and her Christmas picture.

Inspired by all this and fueled by chocolate I went home and made another T shirt for DD1.  This comes from the Inspiration magazine that Bernina produce.

The fit of these patterns are like Burda but I had to grade it up a size and then added more to the lower side seams.  I love the look of the T-shirt with the scarf piece and the irregular neck line.  I am very happy with the slit I made using the welt technique.

The printed fabric was a bargain buy at the Fabric Barn in Hamilton on half price.  It has the writing printed both right way and upside down but next T-shirt I make I will turn it the other way.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fitting the body?

Trousers are a staple in my wardrobe when I can get a pair that fits.  I have tried a few times to sew trousers myself but the results were worse than what I can buy.  In the nineties I made a few pairs of Today's Fit that were ok but I want more than Ok for fit.  Fast forward to today and I have been reading and seeing the success people have had with Style Arc and Burda patterns, this has persuaded me to try again.

I love the look of these pants from Style Arc - Peta's Pants.  So I started with these.  Usually I copy my patterns but decided to cut these and use without copying.  

These looked okay from the front but pulled in the inner upper leg seam if I tried to move. But all the action was in the back.  The fabric dipped down to nothing in the middle of my waist and there were lots of diagonal wrinkles.  

I decided to see what the Burda 7966 pants were like in comparison.

These pants were more comfortable in the leg but had the same problem in the back as the Style Arc pants.  I consulted this book which I find very good for helping to diagnose problems.

 And it seemed as if the problem was a protruding derriere or big butt!  So following the directions I cut into the pattern like so...

and this was the result...

This alteration helped raise the waist at the centre back but did not remove that diagonal wrinkle.  At the front it looks like too much fabric has been added but when I walk it pulls from the back.  Consulting the book again suggests that I need to add a little in the front crotch curve to allow for full inside thighs.  I made another pair and also added a little more at the centre back waist as I was unsure if I had raised it enough.

Surprisingly this has made the whole pant seem more roomy around the waist, the wrinkle at the back is still there and I think I need to reduce the back crotch extension alteration I did at the beginning as adding to both the front and back has added too much fabric I think. I am going to appeal for help in solving this and try these alteration on the Style Arc pants and see if they respond a little better as regards fit.

Monday, November 5, 2012


In preparation for the influx of my inpulsive fabric buy I have been thinking on patterns.  The fabric comes from a dressmaker who used to make wedding dresses and ballgowns.  I am crossing my fingers for organza and chiffon as I have some beautiful silk in the stash that I want to make up properly.  Margy from "A fool for Fabric" made this Kwik Sew pattern K3764 and I love the look.

 While Chris and I were ooohing and ahhhing over some beautiful embriodered duponi in the stash a lightbulb moment flashed and I am now fitting the jacket for this fabric.

The fabric is similar to this from Hyena Fabrics.
More research is needed to ensure that the final product does justice to this wonderful fabric.  I am awaiting Claire Shaeffer 's book which should aid in this task.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Stashbusting and building

Like most people who sew I have a stash.  For many years it was housed in a few cardboard boxes and was mostly made up fabric that I had been given.  Then my wonderful sister decided to clean out her life and gifted me her stash.  She had a much larger fabric budget than myself and so I inherited 3 kleensaks of fabric and 2 of UFO's.  The result was a less stressful sister but now I had to find something to do with all that fabric and the UFO's.  Flash to the present and I now have 4 large cupboards of fabric, numerous plastic wheelie bins of fabric and a few kleensaks of fabric.  It was when I found myself buying underbed containers to store yet more fabric that I decided that enough was enough!  It has become difficult to navigate the stash and I have found myself prefering to buy a piece rather than take the time to search for a suitable fabric. From a few cardboxes of treasured scraps I now have a monster. But what to do ... well it wasn't what I did next???

I got caught up in auction fever and purchased this and more fabric.  What was I thinking????  Luckily my SIL is very interested in some of this and she has a business sewing.  So some will go to her - now I have to think of a plan to use this fabric.  Watch this space for some very exciting developments.

Number 1:  Join the Stashbusters over at Stitcher's Guild for support to reduce and use that stash.