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.