Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekend sewing

The weather has been pretty gloomy here in Joburg this past weekend. Rain, rain and more rain. Perfect for reading (on my kindle) and sewing, of course. I decided to play around a bit more with sewing some shirred tops. I have been struggling to find the right tension on my sewing machine, but it seems I finally found it!

The pictures are not great because of the gloomy weather. This stretch knit fabric is a lovely bright yellow. I copied a pattern from one of my favorite store-bought tops. Really simple. I have been dying to try making a top with two different colour fabrics for a while, so here is my first attempt in yellow and black.
A close-up picture of the sleeve detail. I used a very fine zig-zag stitch, called an embroidery stitch on my machine, to finish the sleeve and neck edges. I decided to go for contrast detail and did it in yellow on the black fabric. Looks very nice. The original top had cropped sleeves that were shirred, but I made it longer and decided to rather go for a flair sleeve. I quite like it.
You might remember me making this bag a while back? All it needed was for me to sew in the lining. Shocking that I had cut and sewn the lining months ago, I just needed to sew it into the bag! Well, all done now. Love this bag!
My HTC cellphone decided to die on me just 3 months before my contract and free upgrade is due! I did not want to spend a fortune on a phone for just a few months and was delighted to find this cool Vodaphone for only R549! It has all the features I want and a camera too. Not that I ever use the camera on my cellphone...Best of all, it is simple to use and within hours I had my e-mail set-up on it, all my contacts in and my music saved on it.
I am officially on my summer holiday from today! 3 weeks of rest, I hope. So far, not much of a "summer" with all the rain, and not much "holiday" either as I have a few more deadlines to make this week. Lots of Xmas shopping to still do and of course, plenty of time for sewing and crocheting.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm back!

I cannot believe I have been absent from blogland for 2 months! It started with a crazy schedule at work to a trip to the UK where I picked up a nasty virus it has taken me weeks to cure. I have however got some exciting stuff to share with you!
Ta-da! A brand-new, handmade cutting table! My FIL is a whiz with making stuff and I asked him to make me a table to specifications for my new sewing room. He added a second shelf below where my overlocker and some other essentials are neatly stored. I had to go buy another large self-healing cutting mat and my long steel ruler is finally being put to good use on top of this table.

Just love it and it works wonderfully for me. No more sitting on the carpet to cut out fabric.

The latest issue (#47 Summer 2010) of the quarterly Bernina Inspiration magazine was just the inspiration I needed to christen my new cutting table.

This purple top is made from jersey stretch fabric and is super-easy to make. Just 2 pattern pieces and some elastic makes for a fast sew. I did not however like the off-the-shoulder look that much, so I played around and modified the pattern a bit.

This is the end-result. Two pattern pieces, front and back, all-in-one. I modified the neck and sleeves and it fits perfectly now. Here are a few tops I have now made with this pattern.

The first one is made from a silk-jersey. Not the easiest fabric to work with, but well worth the extra effort. Love the bright colours! I wanted to try my hand at sewing the neck with elastic thread, using the shirring method, and it was a breeze.

The second is just a standard stretch jersey fabric with lots of stretch in orange and brown. I am wearing this top today for the first time and love it. Also shirred around the neck with elastic thread.

The other reason for my absence is this - my brand-new kindle. I got this for my birthday from my DH recently and have been a frequent visitor on Amazon to purchase books. This is such a fun gadget to own!

I have loads more to share, but will be back soon for that. Right now I have a cup of tea and will be visiting your blogs to say hello and see what you have been up to the last 2 months!