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.