I haven't posted in ages.... I spent the last year doing a course in fashion technology - learning pattern making etc. so have been too busy to post
So this is my own design and pattern - yay! This is my favourite of the things I've made this year. It's summer here now (in NZ) so I've only had one opportunity to wear it. I'm looking forward to winter .
So the top is a rib knit, the bottom is jersey knit. I managed to squeeze the dress out of a little under 2 metres of fabric. The front is sewn shut - buttons are decorative only.
I absolutely love dresses, but don't tend to wear them. I either need to get realistic and start making trousers, or I need to just commit to wearing dresses!
So this is not the most exciting project, but I think the fabric is gorgeous and thought some fellow craftsters might love it too.
I got this office chair for my sewing room, height adjustable and the wheels work - yay It was only $30 second hand so I was chuffed. Down side was it was a boring blue colour. I bought this gorgeous fabric a while back and had been waiting to find a use for it. So the covers are removable - elastic inside a channel round the edge of the fabric. They're lined so the blue of the chair doesn't show through, and I had to make them removable because we have four cats, and seeing as the fabric is cream I figure it would need washing fairly regularly! I just tucked the edges of the covers under the black plastic to make it look a bit neater.
I hope you can see the fabric reasonably clearly - there are pattern pieces and technical drawings between the ladies.
I just made these for my brother, using Kwik Sew 3267. They were a dream to put together - I thought the Kwik Sew construction and instructions were terrific, and they allowed just the right amount of ease. I did the small (size 28-30). They are being modelled by my kind husband who happens to be just the same height and size as my brother - what luck
So this was the photo to grab your attention!
I did the pocket facings in black satin. The trouser fabric is a cotton and synthetic blend that doesn't crease much, has a nice weight and is reasonably thick.
The naked torso is because it was a VERY warm day. Thanks very much for looking.
Comments/questions and criticism are much appreciated.
This is a bag I made for my stepmum to hold all her knitting. The cat fabric was a present from a friend a couple of years ago - isn't it gorgeous? The pink and the green are both poor quality cottons I had in my stash. I used HeartofMary's messenger bag tutorial as the basis for constructing it but didn't bother with a flap, and the bag is quite large, about 16 by 15 inches. The front, back, side pockets and inside pockets are all quilted.
The cat panel on the side is actually a pocket to hold her knitting needles - there's one each side.
Close-up of applique and quilting on back.
Inside of bag. There's a pink quilted pocket each side of the inside and on one of the pockets I put little patch pockets made of the cat fabric. She can keep row counters and her mobile in these.
I wanted to make the handle length adjustable, and would you believe, I found buttons with the same cats on! How lucky was that?
I made a messenger bag for a friend of mine (didn't take pics I'm afraid) and when she saw this long wallet I made http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=320223.0 she fancied one to match her bag. So here it is - same fabric as the bag, and using HeartofMary's pattern (which I highly recommend - for sale at her Etsy shop). I prefer the fabric in the one I made earlier, but I like the snap fastener on this one and I bought a 7" zip instead of fudging a longer one, and it made for a much tidier job.
It's a great practical design with plenty of pockets. I made an asymmetrical flap - didn't get the shape of that quite right but I just need to alter the shape slightly next time. I also made mine slightly smaller - 3.25" x 7.25" instead of 4" x 7.5".
I was really lucky and got my hands on a second-hand Bernette 334D overlocker - yay!!! It was a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new one and it does everything I need. I had great fun getting to know it and getting acquainted with the differential feed. I'm in love
So the first thing I made on it was this wrap cardigan for my lovely mum. I bought the fabric with her in mind and when I saw Simplicity pattern 2603 it was just what I had in mind.
My terrific mum modelling for me
I just overlocked all the edges. It went together very easily. And the pattern, well, the usual story with sizing - Mum was a medium according to the pattern, so I cut the small I had to make quite a few adjustments - Mum has a very small frame so I had to reduce the shoulder width from 10cm to 8cm, I shortened the body and sleeves considerably, and widened the upper sleeve and the armhole. I made all those changes to the paper pattern and it produced a perfect fit - I was so chuffed.
This is the third messenger bag I've made and this one is by far the best (I haven't actually posted pictures of the others - just through laziness!) This one was for a friend's sister and she picked out the fabric (from Grandmothers Garden in NZ) which I think is gorgeous. I just happened to have the perfect matching pink for the lining in my stash.
The zip opening...
I'm so happy with the zip - I enclosed the zipper tape in fabric which I think looks so tidy, and the zip is just the perfect colour too.
Quilted front pocket... I'm in love with magnetic clasps.
Ooh yay, I made a coat! This was my first coat, first fully lined garment, and I felt like it was a bit of a milestone - proving to myself how I'm improving in my dressmaking skills. I used Simplicity 2812 and it was pretty straight-forward, apart from the way they advised you to attach the lining to the coat at the end. I ignored those instructions and followed the advice of a very experienced friend instead.
Also, according to the pattern measurements I'm a size 12 - I made the coat in a size 6 (after doing a calico mock-up!) and it fits perfectly. The only part of the pattern sizing I changed was to increase the width of the sleeves - I want to be able to wear bulky jumpers under this!. Good ol' Simplicity sizing. Oh, and I had to shorten the sleeves a bit.
One addition I made was I added inside pockets. The pockets on the outside of the coat are pretty shallow - If I was doing it again I'd make them deeper. I also increased the length of the pleat on the sleeve cuff - I like the way it makes the cuff narrower, but I preferred the look of it when it went further up the forearm (check out the pattern drawing on the Simplicity site if you're interested).
I know the photos make the fabric look quite pink in colour but in reality it's red. The lining is black satin. I got brave and used a multi-coloured thread for the machine embroidery on the collar, pocket welts and sleeves. I used that thread for the buttonholes as well.
The inside pockets will have little buttons eventually. I'm trying to get mini versions of the ones I've used on the outside. I believe the buttons are made of shell - aren't they stunning?!
Oh, and I made the mini-coat length. I'm 5' so it comes to my knees instead of to mid-thigh .
Comments and criticism very much appreciated... Thanks for looking!
I made this quilt for a competition we have in New Zealand called the Hoffman Challenge - I think there┤s a similar one in the US. The rules are that you have to use a ┤recognisable amount┤of the selected Hoffman fabric (this year it was the one I used in the mermaid's tail), the quilt must be under 1m square in size and it must not be square or rectangular.
Detail of tail
I started doing patchwork a couple of years ago after being really inspired by the picture quilts I saw in a local exhibition. So I wanted to try a picture quilt and I wanted to try creating a human figure using shading - I've been very interested in this. So when I saw this year's Hoffman fabric it immediately suggested to me a mermaid tail and I thought this was a great opportunity to try those things out.
I machine pieced the sea with 1 inch squares, paper pieced the rock and then slip-stitched that to the sea, created the mermaid using fusible-web applique (product called Vilesofix in NZ), machine-stitched her to the background using a close zig-zag, used a whole piece of fabric for the sky and needle-turned the hills. Then it was machine-quilted. This was my first time quilting and while I'm in love with patchwork I'll say that I didn't hugely enjoy the quilting. I think that was just cos it was my first time though. Also, I do think the quilt might have looked better if I hadn't quilted it so densely, but I guess that's all part of the learning curve. Hopefully quilting will become more enjoyable! Putting together all the little pieces for the mermaid's skin was easier than I thought it would be - courtesy of patience and a pair of tweezers!
I'm definitely keen to do another portrait type quilt - not sure what the subject will be but I loved figuring out the shading for the body and seeing that come to life. I didn't sketch the figure by the way - I'm okay at sketching but not that good. My very kind and patient husband took some photos of me and I traced one.