Monday, November 30, 2009

Finally - a sewing weekend!

My moyo was truly back this weekend! Lots of productiveness coming from my sewing room, although not that many projects were actually finished.

First up, my first attempt at a pattern from the lovely This is the Phoebe Bag and what a lovely pattern it is! I bought this fabric on Saturday at Arthur Bales in Linden after coveting it for a while. It is 100% cotton produced locally by The Gama and I believe it is some kind of African traditional fabric. I thought it was so funky, and pink of course!

Can you see all the African people dancing on it? The lining is a pink polka dot from the same line of fabric. The fabric is really thick, even after pre-washing so my poor sewing machine really worked. LOVE the pattern. I have never put darts in my bags before, so this was a nice new thing. I really like the shape. She has just finished designing a new bag I want to try, so hopefully that one will be available soon.

More bag goodness coming soon! I cut out a Hobo Bag that is available free on I have made some of her bags before and loved all of them. This one I cut from the blue flower fabric and used the blue polka dot on the top of the pile for lining. It is a large bag with a gusset and the large blue flower print fits perfectly.
Just in time for the last day of Build Your Wardrobe, I finally made my grey jersey dress! Just love the way it came out. I had some trouble with the neckline though. The pattern has a strip that gets worked on to the neckline but made it pucker up in the front and hang losely at the back. I had to undo and eventually I decided to go without it. I often battle with necklines on jersey clothing. Any advice will be welcome!

I also finally made this pink jersey top. This lovely fabric I bought at Hobby Lobby in Chicago earlier this year and have been saving it for I don't know what. I was loathe to cut it! Excuse the rumpled look, I actually wore it yesterday and forgot to take a picture. This neckline also gave problems but I managed to fix it. The fabric only stretches one way and is lovely and thick.

A sneek peek at what I am busy with at the moment, apart from lots of fabric bags and skirts cut out and ready to sew, that is! More about this later this week. Hope you all had a great weekend and have a lovely week ahead.

Oh, before I forget again, the pattern I used for the bright blue and red top from my previous post is New Look 6901.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in South Africa, but Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends who do celebrate it! I think the closest we get to Thanksgiving is Family Day, the day after Xmas. Sadly, we normally are forced to spend time with family on that day as we are unable to move after over-eating on Xmas day!
I know I have not been blogging regularly lately, but things are rather crazy at work and I have been too tired to make anything the last two weeks. I tend to just lie around and read and rest on weekends. I hope that is over now as I have many projects waiting!

Like this dress I want to make. Not a great picture, but it is a plain, semi-fitted, jersey dress in a light grey. I have bought the jersey fabric, hunted down the perfect pattern, and now just have to DO it! I have fabulous grey shoes that will go perfectly with it. Then I need to make the perfect felted bag to match it.

There is a stunning light and dark grey felted bag pattern in this book that will go perfectly and I have all the yarn needed to make it. Of course, there are many other projects I am keen to do, such as more jersey tops, skirts, fabric bags and more felted bags. Let's hope my moyo remains around this weekend! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Build Your Wardrobe sewing

I had another weekend of just pottering around doing this and that, but nothing creative really. On Sunday afternoon I realized the weekend is almost finished again and I NEED to make something. Now.

The question was: do I make a bag, or clothing? I decided to sew something from the pile I cut out the previous weekend. Love this jersey fabric and might still have enough left for a skirt. I now forget the pattern name. I will update this post soon with that detail.

What a lovely pattern! Recently, I made a similar cross-over dress from another pattern and at the first fitting, I was horrified! It was HUGE! This pattern is stunning. The top fits perfectly.

I bribed my son to take the picture, so it is obvious there was no interest really...I used a plain black jersey for the neck trim and normally I suck at the neck trim. It always come out too lose or puckered. This time it worked perfectly. I think you have guessed it! More of this style to come! If I find a nice pattern that fits me well, I make several!

I also received several parcels last Monday. All stuff I ordered a while back. It felt like Xmas will all three parcels arriving on the same day!

First up, two parcels with yummy new yarn, all for felting bags! I ordered some from and some from Little knits had great prices on Cascade 220, although limited colours and also the book I have been wanting for ages! had a great price on the Shepherd wool in delicious colours.

This book. You might remember a few posts back this book was on my wishlist? The bags are all knitted, then felted, and all awesome. I cannot decide which one to make first. Littleknits also has Book 11 with more felted bags on sale now, so I might order that soon.

I also received the three books I ordered from, our local "Amazon". I'll share more on these books in my next post. Hope you all have a great Friday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sewing weekend...

I am rather mad at myself because my progress was so slow this weekend! Why do weekends go so fast? Saturday I went out to meet my friend for tea and then, totally unplanned and not wise, decided to visit Arthur Bales, my favorite local fabric and yarn store.

I found this lovely Rowan booklet with 17 felted accessory patterns in and a copy of Designer Knitting. The Rowan book has some amazing knitted, felted bags in it!

Like this one...

And this one. But the bag on the cover of the book remains my favorite. Of course, I spent hours poring over the new books..Back to my sewing weekend then...

Did I leave the LYS empty-handed? Of course not. What a silly question. I bought this lovely light grey jersey fabric for a dress I want to make. The pink polka-dot fabric (a great weakness of mine, I cannot walk away from pink polka-dot fabric!) is for some fabric bags I want to make. I also bought 2 balls of creme coloured Peruvian wool yarn (very expensive yarn!) as I want to make a felted bag in brown and creme to go with a new skirt I want to make.

So what did I accomplish this weekend? Not much! I never even opened my sewing machine! I spent HOURS poring over patterns, doing more tracing and cutting out of patterns, and finally did some cutting of fabric. On Sunday afternoon! Above is a picture that shows my (un)productive weekend! I have cut out 2 jersey tops (on the right) and two skirts. The one consolation is that I am ready to sew at any time. Should I have time this week, I can just whip the machine open and start sewing!

I did manage to finish my sister's Pinktulip Puff Bag last night! Just because I HAD to. The parcel is ready to go off today. I ran out of the lovely denim blue yarn and had to find yarn that sort of matched to sew on the handles. I decided not to add lining to the bag as it came out lovely and thick. Hope she likes it!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Getting ready for the weekend...

Last night I started getting things ready for my planned "sewing weekend". I selected fabrics, looked for suitable patterns and then traced off some of the patterns I plan to use from my Burda magazines. Tonight I will start cutting out and maybe even sew a bit. I might even finally use my serger!

The threading on my serger scares me spitless. Since I bought an older second-hand model, I do not have the user manual. Searching on the internet has not been successful either. Must get over this now.

I hope to show some nice creations on Monday. Maybe even a fabric bag or two as well. Lova's bag looks awesome...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

More felted bags!

No matter what I do, I cannot stop making more knitted/crocheted felted bags! This bug has truly bitten me. I am itching to sew some more clothes for the Build Your Wardrobe challenge hosted by Kate, so I am trying to get as many bags finished this week as I can. This weekend is SEWING time! I just received my copies of the latest Burda Fashion magazine and Sew magazine from the UK, and there are some fabulous stuff in. I have even sorted through my dress fabric last night and plan to sew a few skirts this weekend. First the felted bags though.

I promised my sister I will make her a Puff Bag with pink and blue yarn. Tuesday night I dumped my pink bag I am busy knitting and started on her bag. This bag goes so quickly, I love it! I finished itr last night and dumped it in the washing machine at 9pm because I just could not wait to see the result. I regretted this as I was still waiting for the machine to finish at 11pm! It was however worth every minute. It is drying at the moment and I will share pics of the completed bag when I have sewed on the handles and done the lining.

My first bag with Cascade 220 yarn I bought in the UK. What a shock it was! This yarn is a lot thinner than the local Elle Merino Solids I am used to, so I will use double yarn next time. The most shocking part was the shrinkage! I used the entire hank on one bag and the bag shrunk about 50% in height! It is so small now. It felted nicely though but did crease a bit in the spin cycle. Love the colour and will for sure make more cerise pink bags!

My friend from work, Joyce, made me this fabulous black and cerise pink bag! It is big and roomy and my favorite colours! Joyce is really amazing as she has never been formally taught how to crochet and she makes the most amazing bags, mittens, hats and blankets without any patterns! I think it is a cultural thing. African ladies are just so talented! She will soon be teaching me how to make the traditional African beaded necklaces I love so much.

Now I am determined that some clothes and fabric bags will be sewn this weekend. My fabric is ready and I have selected patterns, mostly skirts and tops for work. Watch this space!