Saturday, 19 October 2013

Day 18-19: Dress Hems and Early Nights

I didn't write yesterday as I was working all day, then I had the house to myself for the entire night. The rest of the family went up to my mother in laws, I didn't go as I had work at 7am today. So I made myself a nice dinner and sat down with a good book. About 20 minutes after dinner, I realised I couldn't see the page properly, as I could barely keep my eyes open. So I toddled off to bed, at 7.30, while it was still light, and went to sleep. Oh it felt so good.

I had another craftless day yesterday. But the day before saw some progress made on the baby blanket and on the hem of my teal dress.

As I'd also just worked out that the state of my worktable influences the amount of sewing I feel like doing, I cleared some of the table off. To do that I had some bits that needed stored. But the drawer that they should be stored in was a mess, overflowing with papers. So I cleared it out. A large shoebox of paper recycling later, that drawer is much tidier, has much more space, and the bits on the table have been put away in their home. I still have a scattering of papers across the table, but they'll get sorted in the next few days. I'm currently still looking at my now organised drawer and smiling.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Day 17: A Craftless Day

It's happened the past two Wednesdays, I get to the end of the day and realise that I haven't done any crafting. It's not a long work day, I'm finished by 11am. But there are groceries to get and put away. There are 4 extras to feed for dinner, so cooking takes longer, especially as there are usually two options, meat and vegetarian. I also tend to do a bunch of my housework on Wednesday. So it's more a house day than a craft day. Even though I do spend some time in my sewing room, it's normally around looking after the little one so her Daddy can run his role playing game.

While my worktable was clear, my husband used to come into my sewing room, sit down and talk to me, something he hasn't really done in the past. He'd usually stand in the doorway to talk to me. Now that there is less visual clutter, something that really doesn't work for him, he is happy to come chat. It's quite nice.

I've also noticed that over the past few days my worktable has slowly gotten itself covered. I seem to have a habit of putting things down on it, as it's a clear and available surface, well, it was, currently isn't. And thinking about it more, the amount of time I've spent working on projects seems to have decreased as my table clutter increased. Coincidence? Who knows. I think it means that I'm going to have to make more of an effort to organise my sewing room. Which really should involve some destashing, as seriously, I could go for years on what I've got in here.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Day 16: Halfway through the month.

Yesterday I was working on my teal dress. I know it's been worn out before. But I was doing the whole last minute thing, and just ironed and safety pinned up the hem. No one could tell...
But I want to wear the teal dress this weekend. We're having a cocktail party for my husband's 33 & 1/3 birthday party, and I want to wear something pretty. I have one dress in my wardrobe that would be suitable, but it doesn't fit my post baby body. I haven't yet decided that I'll never fit it again, so it's still there.

So I'm hand hemming the skirt. I don't recall the last time I did that. But I underlined the dress. If I hand hem it I can hem it onto the lining, and it won't show on the front. Which just meant I couldn't let myself machine hem it. Today in a gap between clients I sat in the car and worked on it for a bit. Then later in the afternoon I had another, slightly longer gap. I was sitting in a cafe, with a hot chocolate, and some hemming on my lap.

I even called my mum to check that I was meant to be using herringbone stitch on the hem. Really doing this properly. Definitely getting quicker as I get into the hang of it again.

It's also the halfway mark for the month, so a round up of where I'm at so far.

Progressed Projects:

Baby blanket - I always seem to make progress on this, I think because it's a simple thing to pick up and do, plus it's portable. I also don't have any other simple knitting projects on the go currently, and haven't had the inclination to cast any on.

Teal dress - The hem is now partially hand stitch. I suspect this will be my next finished project, unless I pick up and finish a simple one.

Finished Projects:

Cabled baby cocoon - Needed stitched up and buttons added
Hungry Caterpillar Dress - Only needed buttons added, can't believe it took me so long to finish.
Wetbags - I now have 4 of them for daycare, rather than 1.
Shopping bag - The one mum got me. Is more a repair, but was in UFO cupboard, so had been needing repaired for awhile, it counts.
Underbust Corset - So happy to have finished this.
PJ Pants - Technically a repair job too, but was a big rip. Plus turned out I had to redo all seams.

Halfway, and I've finished 6 projects and made progress on 2 more. I also can't recall any new projects I've started this month, so I'm definitely making inroads into that cupboard. I'm happy with that.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Day 15: FO: PJ pants

I had pulled a couple of projects out of my UFO cupboard yesterday, well, three. I was trying to decide which one I wanted to work on first. Then I decided that while I was working that out, I was going to work on yet another one, so wandered back to the cupboard and pulled out a pair of PJ pants that needed repaired. 

I made these PJ pants, along with two others, late in pregnancy, when I had sore hips, and nothing much was fitting me, so really needed some comfort clothing for around the house. So I got some pretty flannelette fabric and whipped up pj pants. These particular ones were a bright blue with butterflies. I'd take a photo, but am having camera issues, grrrr. 

I thought it was just the fabric had torn by the inner upper thigh seam. But no. Closer inspection revealed that ALL of the seams had pulled fabric around them. This is where my trusty overlocker came in. I just redid all the seams with that, trimming it back as needed with each seam. Made it such a simple fix. 15 minutes and they were ready to go again. I had to try them on to make sure they still fit. Then Guinevere had to try them on. Oh I wish I'd managed to get a photo of that, she looked hilarious holding them up. 

Sometimes it surprises me just how little time it actually takes to complete some of the projects in that UFO cupboard.  If I spent less time staring at them feeling overwhelmed and more time just working on them, they'd actually get done. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Days 10-14: It's been a long weekend, but I finished things.

I haven't blogged for several days, for a variety of reasons. Mainly because between work, home stuff, social commitments and migraines, I just haven't had the brains/time to sit down and write.

I had one craftless day. I got to the end of it and was somewhat surprised to realise I hadn't touched my craft work. Unless fondling some gorgeous blue buzzy bee flannelette than Nicola brought over for me to make nappy inners out of counts. It's making me smile while it dries on the airing rack, so I know it's going to make me smile when I see the inside of the little ones cloth pull ups.

Exciting new for me on the house front, I've arranged to get our downlights replaced, with LED ones which means the insulation going in can go straight over top, rather than needing a gap like the existing ones do. Will make for a much warmer house. I also discovered that the current ceiling insulation stops just before my sewing room, so it's going to make hiding in here and sewing so much more pleasant.

Finished Project: shopping bag that my mum bought me, which had torn down the side.

All torn and not at all usable

 Wasn't too hard to fix, just a little fiddly, had to cut away the frayed fabric, then pin it back in to the binding. Slippery satiny fabric.
Slightly more curved at the side, but all usable now

The wording on the case is why Mum bought it for me

Finished Project: Underbust corset.
Now, this deserves an entire post on it's own. But seeing as I'm so happy to have finished it, 6 months after finishing the class on it, and it got it's first outing, I'm going to put up some pics anyway.
The first two aren't the best, the sun was quite bright, but check out the view from our balcony :)
Bright sun, yay for hat to stop glare

Different angle to try for different light

 This one gives a better view of it. I love it. So comfortable to wear. Good for the posture too, I can't slouch in it. I hadn't actually noticed how the pattern appears to have a black strip running horizontally on it.

And the back. Still got enough room in it to lose a little more weight. I was surprised how well it fit given how much I'd lost since it was made. Definitely glad that it was made a bit smaller to allow for that.

Looking at my hair from the back almost makes me think it looks medusa like.....

Definitely need to make myself another one, or ten. In all the colours..... And properly make the rest of a steampunk outfit. The skirt I'm wearing still need the waistband properly brought in, rather than the massive fold pinned on the right side in the above picture. I also want to put metallic D rings to pull up the skirt, rather than the pink ones that are currently on it, but they were all I could find when I first started refashioning it. I also need to position them further inwards. 

There has been a bunch of knitting on the baby blanket, another couple of small repairs done, and my sewing table is still mostly cleared. 

Even though I haven't managed to write every day, I'm still managing to work on my projects nearly every day. Even finishing some, yay. Now to decide what are my current priority projects. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Day 9: FO: Wetbags

I finished the final two wetbags last night. This shall be my last post on them. Yay. I'm sure you're all probably glad of that too. I had help while I was finishing them. Guinevere was standing on a chair, leaning on my table supervising me while I pinned the bottoms of the bags. Then she sat on the desk beside my sewing machine while I did all the stitching. She gets to hand me the scissors to cut the thread, then put them away again. There was one moment where she attempted to cut the wetbag she was holding rather than putting them away.... Thankfully the scissors I use for thread are blunt near the tip, deliberately chosen so the little one can 'help' with less stress to me.

The bobbin thread ran out just as I finished the final seam. So glad that it was right at the end. Sure, I always have a couple

Here they are. I finished another red one, but it's already in use.

Two finished wetbags

Having them finished means that I have enough wetbags for daycare, and won't get dirty nappies coming home in plastic bags. Better for the environment. Especially as they were made from the remnants of two shower curtains that I got given. It also means I'm finally done with that project. Can you tell I'm over it? I'm actually kinda pleased with myself, that rather than moving onto another project, I kept going with it till it was finished. I think it helped that I knew it shouldn't take too much longer.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Day 8: More Wetbags...

I'm getting a little sick of these wetbags. I just want them finished. They should be a quick project, the first one I'm pretty sure only took an evening. So spending several days making 3, especially when they were already cut out, seems a bit excessive. But that's part of being sick and lacking focus I guess.

I did finish one of them yesterday. Then overlocked the handles on the final two, and stitched the side seams up. By that point the little one was ready to go to bed. I was tired too, so I tucked myself in with her. So for today that leaves the bottoms and handles of to bags to do. Then they'll be done. All done. Never to be looked at again. I hope.

I also did a repair, another nappy insert, same as the day before. Real quick fix, but was nice to repair it between airing rack and putting it away. Especially as it's already in use again today.

Plus there were a couple of rows knitted on the baby blanket, while sitting on the couch watching the tv.

Once again, another day of small, slow progress on projects (as I'm counting the wetbags as one project even though I'm making 3 of them). But it's another day of progress.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Day 7: Wetbag

I was intending to make cloth pull ups and work on my corset this weekend, but I just haven't been able to. I'm feeling a bit better today, managed a couple of rows of simple knitting. I didn't think that starting a new project or working on one I wanted to do a really good job on was a smart idea. So, onto the wetbags it was.

After changing the thread colour in my overlocker, one thread I had to redo a couple of times as I missed one step, I was all set up to go.  I had a look at my existing wetbag, and decided that even tho the fraying isn't bad for 6 months of being washed sometimes once usually twice a week I would overlock the edges.
Fraying on existing wetbag
 Because I drafted the pattern for this directly off a supermarket plastic bag, the handles on this have a curve to them, which I really like the look of. However, my overlocker doesn't like going around the curves. I have no idea if this is a my overlocker, my skills or a general overlocker thing, but trying to work that out today, not happening.

Previous handle curves
So instead I decided to trim out the pretty curve and have a straight line, much easier to overlock. Plus the bonus of barely any effort to it. 

New handle curves
I got one bag partially constructed. But I don't think my brain is firing on all cylinders. After having to unpick seams multiple times, seriously, I didn't think it was that hard to sew the handles together the right way, I decided I might be better reading my book. 

I did complete a small repair job. When I was taking dry washing off the airing rack, I noticed that one of the nappy inserts had come away on one side, so I overlocked that back together. Just as well I'd changed the thread colour, otherwise it might not have happened.

Another day of small progress, but another day of progress. 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Day 6: Never Happened

Well, I'm wishing yesterday never happened.

I spent the entire day sick, barely able to move. And everyone else in my little family was feeling sick too, thankfully they weren't as bad, so the big one was able to look after the little one while I hid in bed. Tried to read, but could only do so in short bursts. Crafting just didn't happen.

It did make me glad that I'd drafted most of yesterday's post the previous night.

Fingers crossed today is a better day.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Day 5: FO: Hungry Caterpillar Dress

Yay, another finished object. That's two, and I'm only 5 days into my 31.

The Hungry Caterpillar dress just needed buttons sewn onto it. It's been around for awhile, I cut it way back in April. It's only been ready for buttons for about 2 months tho. Gah, 'only', especially when sewing two buttons on is about a 5 minute job. And that was while doing it with a small one snuggled up in my lap.

Hungry Caterpillar Dress

I need to get a photo of her wearing it at some point, but preferably when we're not both sick.

I am aware that both of the projects that I've finished so far have been small ones. But it's still progress. Then there is the fact that completing something motivates you to work on something else, meaning that gets done. Rinse and repeat several times, and I might even make a dent in my UFO cupboard.

I did discover something interesting about myself. It was less than a week ago that I cleared my sewing room worktable. I dumped my new fabrics and work stuff onto it on Thursday evening, and headed to bed. Yesterday between clients I went to work on my projects and I just couldn't. I couldn't face working on a table that was no way near as cluttered as it used to be. So I cleared my table, just in time to go back to work, so that I could work on projects when I got back home. Gynn just laughed at me when I told him this.

I also completed two repair jobs. One was a nappy cover that a small section of stitching on the binding had come off. I'm still not sure how it ended up on my worktable. As it wasn't there when I cleared my table last weekend, Gynn says he didn't put it there, and I don't recall putting it there. Either way, it made it onto my worktable, I had the right colour thread already on my machine, so it got stitched up and put away. The other was a pair of underwear that had ripped down the side seam. I wanted to change my overlocker thread, to work on a different project, but it was currently the right colour, so I fixed them and put them away.

I also had a box of fabric arrive from Green Beans, 7 different colours of PUL, a bunch of elastic and two different bamboo fabrics. Guess what I'll be doing over the weekend....? Starting on making cloth pull ups.

It seems a bit silly, writing and putting out there in public all these little things that I got done today. I mean seriously, each project took less than 5 min. But for me it's important. I haven't had motivation in ages to get things done, except for a spurt of 'oh god I need these things made before I go on holiday'. The 'I want to get these things done' is a different kind of motivation to 'I have to get these things done'. It's nice to be enjoying the latter.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Day 4: Fabric Shopping

I didn't actually work on any UFO's yesterday. I had them with me, but I didn't touch them. Actually, that's not quite true, I did take the Hungry Caterpillar Dress out of my bag to show it to Lily, who I spent the day visiting.

Before visiting Lily, I went fabric shopping. Fabric Warehouse has their pop up shop open at the moment, with nothing over $5pm. Too good an opportunity to pass up.
I found:
A gorgeous blue satin, which I currently don't have a photo of as I gave it to Lily for her birthday. Apparently it's likely to become her wedding dress, which makes me happy :)

Knit fabrics, cotton and cotton blends
 The grey cotton is destined to become a t-shirt muslin and a bunch of underwear. The blue and black stripe are intended for tops. As I've realised I need some tops, especially short sleeved tops, that aren't baggy t's and that don't have writing on them.

Black wool, it's darker than the picture shows
 $5pm for lightweight black wool. (Yet another) panel skirt I think, this one for next winter.

Black on black
 Gynn mentioned ages ago that he wants me to make him a waistcoat, with a black on black damask type pattern. I've always had a look around for it, but never seem to find it. So when I found this for $5pm, I was stoked. Showed it to him, and he likes it, apparently it's just want he had in mind. It's really lightweight, so I'm going to have to underline it. (I think that's the one where you cut another piece the same then sew them as if they were one piece in the pattern).  Just what I needed, a new project to start.... But given I've been keeping my eye out for the right fabric, I wasn't going to not get it.

Between finding a black on black for Gynn and finding perfect blue fabric for Lily, it was totally worth the trip to check out the sale.

 I also visited Asia Gallery, where I'd never been before. But after seeing the photos from The Great Wellington Craft Crawl that Leimomi, The Dreamstress organised, I really wanted to take a look.
Pretty blue and black. 
The blue and black is going to become a jacket, something I've always wanted to make myself. Still not sure on the pattern yet, but something about hip length I'm thinking.

I got a couple of other fabrics, but they really didn't photograph well. I have a suspicion my mum might want one of them when she comes up next month too. They had so many pretties in there. The racks of kimono's were amazing. There is also a massive bin of $5 kimono. I had a bit of a rummage, while wishing I could tip it out and get to all of them. Came home with a couple more than intended, but I now have a black kimono to be used as a spring/summer weight dressing gown, one for Lily, one for Gynn, plus a couple of others that I loved the fabric on.

So rather than working on UFO's, I got the materials for a couple of projects I want to do. It almost seems the reverse for this months intention. But you know what, my crafting is about enjoyment. There is often an element of money saving, as I tend to buy fabrics on sale. There is definitely an element of having things that I like and that suit/fit me. But primarily, I craft because I enjoy the process of creating as well as the satisfaction of the finished project. I don't ever want to lose that enjoyment in my crafting.

Day 3: FO: Cabled Baby Cocoon

This post is a day late, due to a migraine that had no consideration for things I wanted to get done. However, it's still getting written.

Wednesday was a good day. I worked away the morning. The afternoon was spent in the kitchen, two lasagna's and a dish of spinach and ricotta cannelloni later, I had dinner for 7 people, leftovers for a meal on Thursday and a lasagna in the freezer ready for another night.

The evening was spent working on my Cabled Baby Cocoon, using this pattern. Which I finished!!! The story being me making this, was a few months ago, I decided to cut my hair. I went from hair down past my waist, to hair just past my shoulder. Before getting it cut, I decided I needed photos of just how long my hair was. Unfortunately, I can't find the disc, so I can't share any of the before photos that Jackie of J-Photography took, but here is her Facebook page and Flickr if you want to check out her work. I've looked in all the obvious places, but I must have put it somewhere very safe when I cleared my computer desk prior to going away. In return for her taking the photos, I was going to make a newborn prop for her, being this baby cocoon that she'd seen and loved.

And here it is


Cocoon with a doll of Guinevere's in it

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Day 2: Bits and Bobs

Yesterday was a busy day, I spent most of it working, then the evening I was trying to get things done with a daughter who wanted attention and didn't want to sleep. I went to bed when she did, and was asleep about 15 minutes after her.

In the middle of all my busyness, I managed to get things done.
My UFO progress was small. While I had a few minutes between clients, I sat in my car and did some knitting on a baby blanket. It's been on the needles for awhile, and looks pretty much the same as this one that I finished last October. Actually, this one might have been started then, as it got started not too long after I finished the first one.

I spent time cutting out and taping together a cloth pull up pattern, I'm trying out this one, the Trimsie Trainer pattern. So I had managed to measure Guinevere to work out what size I need (the largest! Eeep, she really got her mama's thighs, good for walking long distances) so I could work out how much fabric I needed. Then it was picking out the colours I wanted. Which Guinevere helped with. She was pointing to all the bright colours (and black) on my computer monitor, saying 'red' to most of them. Still trying to decide exactly how many I'm going to make. And what I'm going to use for the inner layer. I'm thinking flannelette, so she knows when she's wet.

I know working on cloth pull ups isn't working on a UFO, but it's working on something that's needed. Plus I've found when I start new projects with a UFO completion mindset, I'm more likely to finish my new project, meaning no new UFO's filling the cupboard.

I was hoping I'd get as far as working on my wetbags, but that might have to wait.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Day 1: Corset and Wetbags

So technically today is the first day of my 31 day series, but I'm not writing about today. As I decided after doing this last year, I'm going to write about the previous day. With the little one I'm never quite sure when I'm going to get free time to write. Especially as she's a night owl. She goes to bed late and gets up late. I have tried to change it, but it's never worked, she takes after her dad.  I also have to find time around the job I started a week ago. Anyways, back to what I was saying.... So my plan is to write about the previous day, regardless of what time of day I get a chance to blog.

But I did work on UFO's yesterday. Two of them even.

I spent some time unpicking binding I'd stitched onto my underbust corset. I'd sewn it on as a single layer, not doubled. Whoops. I'm not going to say much about my corset until I have it all finished, which I'm planning on doing within the next two weeks.

Ages ago, like about 6 months ago, I made a wetbag. I cut another out at the same time. Even though it was such a simple project, and it worked well, I just never got around to making the second one. Yesterday I cut out the other two. Meaning I now have 3 cut wetbags sitting on my worktable ready to go. Cutting out the other two wetbags does count as working on a UFO, as they were planned and the fabric was sitting with the cut one in my UFO cupboard. I plan to work on them maybe later today, more likely tomorrow.
3 cut wetbags, patiently waiting stitching. 
I have discovered that even with being washed once or twice a week, the old wetbag has barely frayed around the cut edges of the handle. So I haven't decided if I'm going to overlock what will be the exposed edges of these ones. I know I should, as it's better workmanship, but really it'll probably depend on what time of day I start working on them. And if I feel like switching my overlocker from black to white thread.

Oh, and I'm also not going to be blogging every day this month. I go away at Labour Weekend to the Wellington Folk Festival. I don't even have cellphone reception out there. So it's a technology free weekend. It's such an amazing weekend too. Camping with friends. My mother in law is usually down the other end of the camp, and will probably take Guinevere for a night, which means a night with no child climbing into our bed in the early morning hours wanting cuddles. There is a ceilidh (dance) on the Saturday night, with a caller, so that even if you don't know the dances beforehand, you will after. Then of course there is the homebrew and singing later that night. The Sunday night is the main concert. It's just a weekend full of family, friends, fun, music, dancing and relaxing. There is a good chance I'm not even going to work on UFO's that weekend. Well, not a UFO from the cupboard. I could count my daughter as a UFO, she's totally a work in progress. And is the most amazing thing I've 'made'. 

I'm rambling.... Time to go play with fabrics I think. 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Cleared Worktable

On Friday night I started pottering at my worktable, slowly picking bits up and working out where they should go. Nothing too serious. Just as I went past each time, which admittedly is pretty frequently, as I walk past it to get to my computer, I'd pick something up and sort it.
Yesterday I did a little bit more. I was even able to start seeing the table top. You can see how covered it is in this photo (yes, same photo as in my last blog post)
Worktable used as dumping ground
And that photo is after I'd spent some time sorting things on it. Previous there wasn't space for the black and white bag at the front. 

This is what it now looks like:

Tidied worktable
All that is on it is my overlocker, a basket of craft bits that need new homes (most have new homes, they just need to get there), and a tray with my priority UFO's. I think there are 4 in there. 

I don't think my worktable has ever looked this clear, apart from the day it got moved into my sewing room. It's definitely going to make it easier to work on my UFO's for the next month as I do my '31 Days of Unfinished Projects.'

Saturday, 28 September 2013

31 Days of Unfinished Projects, Take Two

Last year I participated in Nesters 31 days blog challenge. Here is where I started talking about it last year. I've decided that I'm going to do the same again this year. Partly to once again give me some motivation to work on my UFO's. The other part is I've been pretty slack in the blogging department for the past few months, I keep saying to myself, 'I'll do it tomorrow', and then don't. This means I have to do it today, and will hopefully get me back into the habit.

I still have a cupboard full of UFO's. Plus a box of cross stitch ones in another cupboard. Plus a few on the (very cluttered) worktable. I'd like to say I have less UFO's than last year, but looking at my list from last year, too many of them are still UFO's. But that's okay right? They say that good things take time.

I have a quote on the wall behind my computer, no idea where it came from, but I really think I need to embrace it a bit more, 'Let go of projects that feel like obligations not opportunities.'
I know I finished a bunch of last years UFO's, as I wrote about here, but not as many as I would have liked. I was tempted to challenge myself to finish more UFO's this year, but I've just started a new job this week, and am still getting my head around that. I think it will be enough challenge to work on UFO's and blog about it daily.
On a side note, I'm glad I've gone back and read that, it's reminded me of something I wanted to do differently this time, writing in the morning about the progress I made the previous day.

My mostly un-usable work table
 I can see 3 UFO's in that photo. In the stripy bag is a knitted baby wrap that needs sewn up and buttons added. In the black/white bag at the front is the Hungry Caterpillar dress that only needs buttons sewn on. It also contains my underbust corset that needs the binding sewn on. That bag is going with me to social sewing tomorrow, so progress will be made. I also know that at the end of the table are a couple of cut but not sewn wetbags which I really should finish.

My UFO Cupboard
 This is my UFO cupboard. Sorry for the bad photo, there is an ironing board and a worktable in front of the cupboard, so I can open it, but there isn't much space to take a photo of the whole thing. But you get the idea. There is another shelf below the three that you can see. As you can also see, it's a mess of unfinished projects. They're all just kinda crammed in there.

Cross stitch box
All my cross stitch supplies are stored in one box. Except for the thread, there are three thread boxes for those, they're on another shelf as they won't fit in the box. There are kits, pretty much all of which I think I've started. Plus a whole bunch of fabrics. Fox Collections used to do packs of 10 pieces of random aida for $25, and I might have bought two of them, back when I was doing a lot of cross stitch. And when I say back when I was doing a lot of cross stitch, I really mean about 10 years ago.... The rational part of my brain knows I don't need all that fabric, and knows I could easily replace it, but it's still hard to get rid of it, as it's aida I would use if I started another cross stitch. Which I really shouldn't do until I've finished some of the ones currently in progress.

You know, I'm a bit ashamed of just how many UFO's are in that cupboard, and how much of a mess it is. Please tell me I'm not the only one with a space like that.... Makes me realise just how much of a good idea this will be. Only 3 more days till October. But that doesn't mean I can't start work on UFO's now. Well, not now, I'm going to bed now. But tomorrow....

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Belated Cape-Along

It's been a few weeks, and not for lack of anything to write about. I spent the first four weeks after my last post making things and preparing for an overseas trip. The past three weeks have been spent overseas with my little family. The past three days have been spent home sick. Not nearly as much fun, but glad it happened as I was heading home from holiday rather than heading on holiday.

One of the things I made before I went away was a cloak for my little one. Actually, I made two cloaks, as I made one for myself, but I'm going to ramble about the little one's one first.

Over at The Monthly Stitch the August challenge was making a cape. Now, I know I made a cloak, and it's not quite the same. But with all that I had to do before going away I wasn't going to have time to make myself a pretty little cape, so I'm totally counting what I did make.

We went to Burning Man. My husband has a large cloak he wears, that keeps him warm as he wanders the nighttime playa and doubles as a blanket. Plus when you wear it on the plane it counts as a jacket and doesn't take up luggage allowance. I decided I was going to make one for myself and for our daughter.

For Guinevere, I found a neon yellow fun fur on clearance. I had some polarfleece I'd gotten in a 40% off sale, enough for the middle layer of both our cloaks, plus some rainbow swirly satin for her, just like her Daddy's cloak. I also had some calico for an additional, velcro out layer, that would have EL wire sewn to it, to provide light when wandering around at night.
Guinevere telling me how she thinks I should lay out the pattern pieces

Guinevere attempting to cut out the fabric using her little scissors

Guinevere happily snuggled up on the couch wrapped in her cloak and grinning at Daddy (who you can't see, but is wearing his cloak)
I don't actually have any photos of her wearing it at Burning Man. Two reasons, one, I didn't take very many photos. Two, the cloak turned out to be impractical for wearing, she kept taking it off, which is no good when I was using it to light her up. So I sewed EL wire onto her little jacket, and used the cloak as a blanket in the wagon we were pulling her around in. She did spend about 30 minutes one evening running around the camp in it, but as soon as we went to head out, off it came. It wasn't helped by it being quite a warm burn, usually in the evenings she was topless under her jacket. Previous years she would have needed a layer or two of merino under it. 

My cloak, which I'll share photos off when I've taken some, didn't get worn at all, it was just too warm at night. Most nights I was still in just a t-shirt by the time we made it back to our RV for the night. 

So, blogged about a bit later than August, but still made in August, so I'm totally counting it. 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Finished: Scarf for Mum

Mum taught me to knit when I was five. Unlike sewing, which neither of us remember her teaching me, we just remember me being allowed to use her machine, I remember her teaching me. I still have the scarf I knitted, somewhere. It's about twice as wide at the end as the start, is made up of multiple colours and different yarns, even has a block of a different colour in the middle of one stripe. You can totally tell it's a beginner piece. But you have to start somewhere.

So, where I'm going with this ramble down memory lane. I like making things for other people, but only people who appreciate the effort it takes to make something for them. Mum is one of those people. I don't think I've made her anything since a knitted pair of socks 6 years ago, (my first pair, still being worn) and thought it was time for something else. I know she likes scarves, so I decided to knit her one. But plain was no fun, so I designed an eyelet zigzag, which it turns out I really like. Very tempted to make myself one in the same design, different yarn of course.

In my 'Little Dresses' post I posted a photo of me working on something for my Mum. Now I can show the whole thing. Well, as much of it as I photographed as it was just over 2m long. It took ages to knit, but nothing worse than a scarf that's too short, so I'd checked how long Mum wanted it.
Mum's zigzag scarf
So here is the finished product, well, both ends of it. You'll just have to trust me that the middle section looks the same. 
Mum likes it. Says it feels nice and is warm too. I'm hoping she'll send me a photo of her wearing it. Or wear it next time I'm down. 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

My Day Friday

One of the things I'm trying to do currently is take some time to myself. I feel like I have so many projects that I should do, both unfinished and planned, plus everything around the house. It's overwhelming at times.

On the trip up to Levana (I haven't written about it, but two of the others in the WSBN have, read about it here and here) I went up with Elisabeth of The Sewphist. There was much chatting on the drive. One of the things she mentioned was on Friday's she makes things for herself, even if it's just a cocktail, as she's blogged about here Which I thought was a fantastic idea. After a week of mulling it over in my mind, I decided that I was going to declare Friday's as My Day. This meant that I would only work on projects I wanted to, nothing that I felt I should work on. This included housework. Time for guilt free selfish sewing. Or just guilt free relaxing. And if I wanted to start a new project rather than work on an unfinished one, well that is fine too.

The first Friday I did this I ended up with Gynn home sick and a friend visiting. And you know what, I still drafted the pattern for my cloak. Then cut out two of the three layers. By then it was nearly time to go pick up the little one from daycare. I still need to cut out the lining for my cloak. It's a striped fabric, pale lavender and black, reminds me of Beetlejuice. I need to work out how I'm going to do it, mainly if I've got enough to try and pattern match the stripes, which I didn't think of when I bought the fabric, I just loved the colour/pattern. Even though it's going to mean more work and more time, I'm hoping I can pattern match, as it should look better that way. If I can't, I think I'm going to cut the panels going in two directions, so that it looks like it's not meant to match.
Cloak fabrics
The pale stripes are more lavender in real life, compared to the pale pink they look in the photo.
I can't decide if I'll work on the cloak or my Cake top tomorrow.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

And I'm Back

I just realised it's been over two months since I wrote anything on here. Life got a bit overwhelming when my depression decided to rear it's ugly head. So while I've been crafting, even completing projects, writing about them has just had to take a back seat as I've only got so much time and energy to go around. I'm slowly trying to build more balance and supports into my life, plus somehow rewire my though processes.

I thought for a while that my UFO pile was going down. Actually, it was going down, I've finished a bunch of them. But we're going to Burning Man in less than 5 weeks. There is a whole bunch of things I need to get made before then. Like some merino clothing for myself and my husband, it gets cold in the middle of the desert at night. Thankfully my wonderful mother in law has already outfitted Guinevere in merino for this winter. I've got cloaks to make for myself and Guinevere, 3 layer affairs, with a fun fur outer, a polarfleece inner and a satin lining. Nighttime warmth plus blanket for when we get back to camp. I think there are about 15 things on the list.....

I want to write about all the awesome things I've finished recently, especially the scarf that arrived with Mum today. But I think I'm going to curl up on the couch tonight instead. I'll try for more rambles tomorrow.

Friday, 17 May 2013

I'm a little plagueling....

So this past week I've been a little plagueling, something my darling husband has called me when I get really sick. Guinevere got it first, a virus with a bonus ear infection. Then after a night of me barely sleeping as she was coughing and had gunky breathing, I started coming down with it too. Just as it hit me full force, the little one was happy and healthy again, with lots of energy and wanting to do all the things. I just wanted to sleep. Gynn was down with it too, he was sleeping so he could recover and get back to work.

I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. The house didn't turn into too much of a bombsite while I was sick. I have a few hours cleaning to get it where I'd like, it's livable. Still using Guinevere's daycare days to catch up on sleep. Last night was bliss, she slept right through without waking, for the first time in I don't know how long. Part of me was wishing I hadn't set my alarm and had woken when my body felt like it and taken her to daycare late.

This has meant that Me Made May '13 has taken a backseat. I've been wearing jeans, tee and top since my last post. I kept thinking that if I repaired my handmade PJ pants, I could count those, but I just wasn't motivated to do that. So instead I made slow progress on a couple more skirts for myself. I have worn my purple panel skirt for the past two days. I had to wear it yesterday as I'd mentioned it to a friend, and she said she hadn't seen it. Turns out she had seen it, she just hadn't realised I'd made it. Got to love it when that happens :)

I have managed to spend a reasonable amount of time in my sewing room, as I can do things sitting down and in small bursts. There also seem to be lots of things in here which will distract Guinevere....
Guinevere playing on the end of my sewing desk
She's worked out how to climb onto my sewing desk and get to the bits on the windowsill. Thankfully she can climb down too. Plus she'll sit there while I sew. I think that makes it mostly good.
My main worktable is somewhat clearer. My sewing desk is clear. My computer desk is mostly clear. Two small knitted projects were finished, all they needed were the ends woven in. Progress has been made on several projects, two of which were paused due to lack of matching thread. A situation which has now been sorted.

I also sent a parcel to a friend, adding some bits of fabric I thought she might enjoy. Four more pieces that are out of the stash.
Fabric that was gifted

 I managed to make a project from start to finish one evening. Just a little drawstring bag. I was sending a birthday present to a friend and didn't like any of the wrapping paper I had. So I thought I'd wrap it in fabric. Then decided it would be prettier to make a little bag. This was the result. Also, yet another (small) piece of fabric used up.
Present bag for a friend

My favourite project that I've been working on is my Epic Purple Skirt. More about that when I finish it. I've only got the hem to go. Which I know doesn't take long, but it's something I can do with Guinevere home, so I'm working on a UFO that I can't do with her around. Best thing about the skirt, is it's made from stash fabric, so totally counts towards my stash-busting challenge.

Guinevere 'helping' me cut my Epic Purple Skirt

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Me Made May '13 Update

Unfortunately, I don't have many photos of what I've been wearing  Partly because I forget to ask someone to take them, and partly because my only full length is somewhat blocked, so I can't use it to take photos myself.

Day 1 I wore jeans. I currently have no me made tops. I really need to do something about that. 

Day 2 I wore my purple panel skirt. I love this skirt so much. The fabric, the drape, the fit, the comfort. Mum bought me this fabric back from overseas, it was a big tube. It hung in my wardrobe till I finally decided to make this skirt. I've worn it so often since. I don't think a week goes by that I don't wear it. Sneakers are because I need new shoes and I was walking around Fielding with my daughter and mother in law that day. Top is from the Warehouse, and I think it's starting to get a bit big now. Scarf is my MIL's, as I forgot any of mine. 
Me Made May '13 - Day 2
Day 3 I only left the house to pick up the little one from daycare, I threw on my knitted gloves. I knitted these while I was still studying, so about 5-6 years ago. Knitted them during class actually. The class was called 'Occupation', it was totally appropriate. The multi-coloured wool was my first attempt at dying. A friend was going to do some rainbow dying and invited me to join her. This is what I ended up with. The gloves always make me smile as they remind me of all the fun we had that summer.
My fingerless gloves
Day 4, home all day, not sick, just exhausted. So it was a jeans and t-shirt day. 

Day 5 I wore my infinity dress to a two year olds birthday party. I wore it differently to how it is in my blog post, I put a twist in the strap as they went past the top edge of the bandeau  to change the neckline. Silly me, had my camera (well, phone) out to take photo's of Guinevere, but didn't get any of me. I did get some compliments, which was really nice. 

Day 6 was another jeans and t-shirt day. Guinevere's now sick, so I spent the day looking after her. 

Day 7 (today) I'm wearing my infinity dress again. This time I put a long sleeved tee under it, and wrapped the straps so it was topless. I was getting frustrated, as the first wrap kept falling down. So I'm now wearing it as a skirt with the straps wrapped around my waist and the bandeau folded down. 

This means that after the first week of May, I've worn me made items 4 times. If not for the challenge, I don't think I would have worn my infinity dress twice. So it's good to try out different ways to wear it. 

I was working on another panel skirt over the weekend, made with a $5 remnant of pinstripe from The Fabric Warehouse. It's not a good photo, the seams really need pressing, but a friend wanted to see the fabric. It's now on hold until I can go get some matching thread to do the waist and hem. The black I did panel seams with is fine as they can't be seen, but is slightly too dark for visible seams. I popped into one store this morning, but they didn't have a suitable colour. I'll have to wait till the little one is better to make another mission out to get the right colour. 

Pinstripe panel skirt, partially made, seams unpressed. 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Me Made May '13

Ever since I read about Me Made May '13 aka MMM'13 over on Zoe's blog I've been debating if I do it or not. That's three weeks of debating. The thing I'm loving about the challenge, is that you set your own level. Which really is the bit I'm having trouble with. I want to do it, no doubt about that, but I'm not quite sure at what level. I don't have a lot of things I've made myself. I have lots I've partially made or that I'm planning to make myself. But most of my finished garmets are my SCA garb, finished because I had an event deadline. Sorry, I couldn't find a better link quickly, and I'm still watching little one but have to get this post done tonight. I guess I I could wear them, but as they're not my everyday wear.... Altho, I did see this fantastic post, about Nessa, who made a period dress to wear while she was on holiday. Seriously made me wonder about pottering around the house in my dresses, as I do love wearing them.

Anyways, back to MMM'13.

 'I, Holly of PolyCraftual, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear me made garments at least 4 days of 7 for the duration of May 2013'.
This can't always be the panel skirt made from the fabric Mum brought me back from somewhere overseas (I can't remember as it took me several years to work out what to do with it), even though I tend to be wearing that or jeans. 

I'm also plan to work on sewing for myself this month, I've always tended to sew for other people, so I really need to to learn to do it for myself. I'm currently, as in, I stopped sewing it to write this post, sewing myself a panel skirt in a subtle pinstripe fabric. Yay for $5 remnants from Fabric Warehouse. Doesn't count as stash busting tho, I bought the fabric earlier this year. But it does count towards using up 2/3 of my new fabric purchases.

Back to sewing something for me, should be able to wear it in a couple of days :)

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Little Dresses

I showed you the orange floral dress the other day, and two that I've cut out ready to sew. I finished one of them today. So happy. I was hoping to finish both of them, but with child and husband home sick, I'm just glad I've been able to spend as much time in my sewing room as I have. Mainly because I either tucked them into bed together or on the couch together with a movie.  Little one alternates between lots of energy and running around, then crashing and snuggling up to one of us.

Here is the orange star dress. I didn't manage to get a good photo. She was in my sewing room as I finished it. When I showed it to her she immediately wanted to put it on. Then she didn't stop moving. I could wait till later, but I have time on my computer now, and I'm taking advantage of it.

Orange star dress while playing with my sewing desk
Shuffling backwards as I try to take a photo
 I managed to finish all the inside seams too, only zig zag, but still done. I need to work out how to thread up my overlocker. I'm thinking I might do French seams on the Hungry Caterpillar fabric, I quite like French seams. Plus it will give a nice finish to what I'm hoping will be a pretty dress.

I'm glad I've done one I'm not worried about first, loving wearable muslins. I'm definitely getting better at buttonholes. Oh, buttonholes, something I've been avoiding. I tried them on my Singer, so simple, loving them. Still need to work on placement however. On this one I need to shift the buttons so that the straps are longer, I'll make the buttonhole higher on the next one. It will mean a slightly larger arm hole. I'm also not liking the front piece with buttonhole going over the back strap with button, even though that is how the original dress is done. So I'm going to switch that around for next time.

Haven't finished the purple one yet, still working on what I'm going to do as embellishment on it. But here is Guinevere helping me sew it up.

Guinevere helping me sew her dress

I also managed to get some knitting done today. Some while watching episode three of the Great British Sewing Bee on YouTube, and some while a little one snuggled into me. 

Knitting around snuggled toddler
Yes Mum, the knitting I'm working on in this picture is for you. The colour is actually a little lighter than it appears. I  think I've even managed to have it scrunched up enough on the needles while knitting it that you can't see the pattern :)

I think I need to learn how to take better photos. But that can wait for another day. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Restlessness and Startitis

Warning, this post ended up photo heavy. It wasn't my intention, it just kinda happened. I started rambling, and those words needed illustrations. So here goes....

I've had lots of ideas floating around in my head for posts to write, I've even recorded some of them on my phone, but I just haven't sat down at my computer and written them.
I've also been feeling really restless lately, which means lacking the motivation to actually sit down and complete projects. Maybe if I actually made myself sit down and work on one project it might help, but when a little one keeps pulling me away from projects, it is hard to do. Does anyone else get this way?

I did finish one project recently, the knitted socks for my husband's aunty. I've only been working on the second sock since before Christmas, and it was nearly at the heel then. I finished knitting them, then a week later wove the ends in. Took me a week to get around to weaving in two ends. I'm sure I only wove them in as my mother in law was leaving the next morning and would be able to deliver them. They're now known as the 'Tiger Socks', as that is my my husband's uncle called them.
The Tiger Socks

In the past month I've started an 8 panel skirt, from a Fabric Warehouse $5 remnant. It's a really lightweight fabric, and will be good for my trip to the States later this year, especially while we're out at Burning Man.

I unpicked some sleeves from mens shirts that a friend gave me. They're getting turned into a skirt. Still working out exactly how I'm going to do it. I was hoping to be able to split if up the gap in the cuff, but it turns out that isn't where the seam on a shirt sleeve is. I thought about splitting it anyway, but I'm planning to leave the curve on the hem on the skirt, so it's kinda scalloped, and having the colour change occur part way through it rather than at the shortest point would just bug me aesthetically. So I had to remove the cuffs as well. Still not entirely sure how I'm putting it together yet. But I'm playing with ideas in my head. I haven't drawn them down yet, I was driving to daycare at the time I thought of them. I really should so I don't forget. It also means I've added a bunch of buttons to my stash. Not many, as I've only taken off the cuff buttons. I'm leaving the front buttons on until I know what I'm doing with the rest of the fabric. I've come to the conclusion that I like pinstripe. Have bought a bunch of pinstripe fabric this year. It's also why when my mate said he was clearing out his wardrobe, I asked if I could have any shirts he didn't want.
Showing where side seam and cuff gap are

My pile of cuffs and sleeves

I've drafted a pattern off a gorgeous orange floral dress that my mother in law bought for my daughter. Guinevere loves it, and if she sees it she usually wants to wear it.
Guinevere playing under the table with some recycling and my keys in the dress my mother in law bought her

Guinevere helped with the drafting. Often reaching over from her side of the table and paper to draw a scribble on my pattern.
Excitedly wielding her crayon
Pausing to make sure she drew it correctly

I've cut out and constructed one dress from this pattern, using a purple polycotton blend from my stash. It was intended as a wearable muslin, so that I know I got the pattern right. I still need to hem it, but I haven't decided exactly how I'm going to do that, as I want to embellish it somehow, to lighten up the dark purple. I also need to work out how to do buttonholes on my machine. I'm not very confident with buttonholes and really need to practice them. The colour is darker than the picture shows.
Purple partially made dress. 

I've also cut out two more dresses from this same pattern with fabrics that I bought in Spotlight's 40% off fabric sale over Easter. The first is a bright orange with white starts, using a green spot stash fabric for the facings.
Orange star dress with pale green facings
The second is using the spot fabric from the Hungry Caterpillar range, which I love, with a red stash fabric for the facing.
Hungry Caterpillar spots. I love this fabric

I got a bundle of new patterns, I really can't decide which one I want to make first. I did pull out one pattern (M6504) to draft it onto interfacing, but realised I was going to have to lengthen it. While this isn't hard to do, I didn't have time to do it before I had to go pick up Guinevere, so it got put away.

I have decided what top I am going to knit myself with my bottle green, 10 ply, possum merino yarn that I've had for about 6 years. I did start a jersey with it, then decided the style wouldn't flatter me at all, so I frogged it. That was 4 years ago. I'm going to knit myself the Fannie Fouche by Ellen Mason. I'm hoping I won't lose the detailing by knitting it in a darker colour.

I also need to knit up a pair of mittens for my 3 year old niece. It was her birthday last week. When I called to wish her happy birthday I asked my sister what she needed for her. They live in a caravan, so I don't just buy random presents for her children, as there just isn't the space, I always check what they need. Apparently mittens will be good in a Queenstown winter. My niece picked the colour, pink. Which is quite good, as I got a ball of a pink angora/wool blend from a craft swap the other day. So I can use that along with the remaining bit of 8 ply I have left in pink. Yay for using up stash and swap materials. I'm thinking about doing 3 mittens, in case she loses one. Will depend how long it takes me and how much wool I have left after knitting the first two.

I've also planned what I'm going to do for a couple of my 'handmade pay it forward items'. Basically, I commented on someone's post on Facebook, with the deal being they'd handmake me something, anything, I then had to post it on my wall, then I would handmake something for the first five people to comment on my post. One of them is definitely going to use up a pretty piece of stash fabric, a 0.25m remnant piece of teal silk dupion.

I also started a document to write down all my stash changes this year. As I posted here, I've committed to using up 12 pieces of stash fabric and 2/3 of all fabrics I buy this year.  Looking at how much I've bought, this won't decrease my stash any..... That said, I've de-stashed a reasonable amount in two stash swaps recently. I think I removed at least an extra 15 pieces from my stash for the last one. Some were small, but they're still gone (mostly to a school up the coast to help them with their World of Wearable Arts project, which makes me happy).
Some of my most recently de-stashed fabrics. 
Most of what I have bought so far has been for specific projects. I'm not keeping up with my one a month mission on the stash fabrics. I made cushion covers for my sister, which I'm unsure if I should count as I started them last year. I made the purple dress mentioned above for Guinevere. Plus I used some butterfly stash fabric to line the underbust corset I recently learnt how to make during a course that The Dreamstress did at Made on Marion. I'm not sure if I should count that, as while I lined it with stash fabric, I did buy the outer fabric. So in 3.5 months I've either used one, two or three pieces. I suspect how I count it will depend on where I'm at by the end of the year. So really, I'm just making myself a buffer here. And that's what I'll keep telling myself.
Edit: I've remembered I made a skirt for a friend out of stash fabric. It was made in February I think, so totally counts. Which means I've used at least 2 pieces of stash fabric :)

So one project finished, several more started and even more planned. So many projects, so little time.