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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Small Finishes

I'm working on the faux astrakhan collar, it should be finished tomorrow all going well.   This is how the silk looked when I finished quilting it:
quilted silk satin
I've finished the first pair of felted slippers, they felted too small but some manipulation and swearing saved the day.
Before felting on George's feet.

After felting and manipulation.
I've added a non-slip sole to them and he hasn't taken them off since I gave them to him, except for our workout this morning.

I've also made 2 namebadges for Bloggers Connecting in a fortnight
Just a teaser, really happy with the custom print fabric and my embroidery.
That's it for the moment.    I've done one slipper for Ian as well in green, second one is on the needles.   I've also cast on for his socks.   Once his slipper is finished though I'll be going back to my Central Park Hoodie, although it's been really warm I now winter is on its way and I'll need it then!

Also started prepping the eaves and gables on the house for painting, can't waterblast them as they're concrete fibre board and it won't cope, so hosed down and brushed as well.   Tomorrow I'll sand the wood bits and then get started on painting I hope.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Craftsy Wishlist

My Craftsy Wish List:
1. How To Teach It
2.Knit to Flatter
3.Custom Yoke Sweater
Check out all of the other great Craftsy Classes by clicking here.

Those are the classes I definitely want to buy, though there are tonnes of others available covering spinning, knitting, sewing, quilting, cakemaking, weaving and all sorts of other things as well!
If you're a visual learner and find YouTube good I'd suggest you give Craftsy a go.   Once you've paid for your class (which is reasonably priced) you can access any part of that class any time of the day or night, and it doesn't expire which is great.    I'm not going to tell you how many I've got, but I've learned a lot and will learn a lot more when I get more time.
Go on, give it a go, you won't regret it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The 1913 Jacket hack

The Challenge:  Stripes

Fabric: 100% wool suiting for the striped fabric, the facing is in a wool blend (rust), the collar is in cotton velvet and the lining is silk.   I didn't have enough of the main fabric to do the collar so chose to use leftovers from the skirt for the facing and I've always wanted a jacket with a velvet collar, so used that too.  I also cut out the undersleeve on the cross-grain which allowed me to get most of it in.  I think it is something that would have been done in 1913 as you wouldn't waste fabric.

Pattern: Simplicity 3688 with some adjustments to suit 1913 (changed collar shape based on photo's I found and hunting jackets).  I also dropped the bust point as I'm not the same shape as the pattern standard and redrafted the lining pattern.

Year: 1913

Notions:  7 buttons, fusible interfacing (didn't have any sew-in when I started this, have some now), thread, small shoulder pads from stash.

How historically accurate is it?  Aside from the fusible interfacing I think it's pretty good.  Main seams are machine sewn, but buttonholes, topstitching are done by hand as is the lining hems and main fabric hems too.  The different fabric choices to enable me to get the whole thing made is also period appropriate, especially for a servant's clothing.

Hours to complete:  It took me most of the week, don't know how many hours though as that's not something I count.

First worn:  for the photoshoot, but I will wear it out and about this winter.

Total cost:  Everything was from stash and I think the main fabric was picked up from a donation pile at my Weavers and Spinners Guild, cost me about $3 I think.

I'm having fun here!

The cat is not as impressed by my sewing expertise as I am apparently, lol.  

You can see some of the detail here, the contrast facing on the collar, the much less offended cat now that she's been released.... I even have period appropriate shoes!

It fits well, and the hair fits the picture too, pity about the washing.

See the undersleeve is cut on the crossgrain to save fabric?

My first hand-sewn buttonholes and you can see the top-stitching to the right.

More topstitching.   It goes from the side seam right around the collar.
I have to say again that I'm really pleased with it, it will be worn a lot this winter and I'm really glad I took up the challenge to start historical sewing.

Next historical item will be the fur collar, I'll pull out the astrakhan and silk this afternoon.

I've got George's second slipper started, still hating the knitting of it but it's got to be done, and yesterday I filled the first bobbin of Gotland/English Leicester cross.   I've determined it takes 3 shoeboxes of prepped staples to fill one bobbin.   I need to do at least two more.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jacket photo's

Jacket from the front, prior to setting in of sleeves

Side view, it seems to be fitting pretty well

My first ever sleeve head being inset.   It's now been handsewn in and the shoulder pads are pinned in.
First slipper finished for my 10 year old son
The jacket shell is now complete aside from hand-sewing the shoulder pads and the lining is mostly complete aside from the sleeves being set in.   I should get those done tomorrow and will hopefully get the lining in too.

First slipper is complete, you can get an idea of the current size from the pen next to it.   One more slipper needs to be knit and then I can felt the first pair down to fit George (fingers crossed).   These should go well with his new pj's as they're both red.   I have to say though I'm hating knitting worsted with needles this big, 6.5's just feel so unweildy!

Once the jacket is finished the next challenge is accessories.   I've decided to make a furred collar based on one I found on Ebay
This one is genuine sheared lamb and mine will be faux astrakhan due to the fact that it's what I've got in my stash.   I need to go stash diving for the silk to back it and I don't have the tassles so I'll have to work out something for that but I'm sure I can manage the flowers somehow.   It has hooks to fasten it at the front.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Business Casual Socks

Business Casual Socks
I finished them the other day, despite a couple of errors in there I'm really happy with them.   I'm now working on felted slippers for George, then felted slippers for Ian.    I've been reminded of how much I hate working with big needles, but am hoping they'll be good when finished.   George chose red Cascade 220 Tweed and Ian's having Valley Yarns Huntingdon in green.

I've got the shell of my jacket finished now.  I set the sleeves today and added a sleeve-head for the first time ever.  I used a little of the leftover wool batting from George's quilt, I'll get an idea of how it looks once the shoulder pad is in and I can try it on.  Tomorrow I'll press the sleeve and get started on the lining.   The lining is silk so might be a little more temperamental than the usual polyester lining I normally use.

Some EQC news.    We've been approved for a payout, the asbestos test came back negative so we don't have to negotiate removal of that from the property and it's just a matter now of waiting for the actual money so we can get the work done, including the garage.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Apparently I couldn't manage a decent pose this morning, I'm blaming it on the cold damp grass.    I do love the look though, the shirt seems to do a good job of the pouter pigeon breast look which is definitely period appropriate!

The jacket is going well, all cut out and interfacing (fusible I'm afraid, no sew-in in the stash) is applied.  Main fabric is mostly sewn together and the body seems to fit fairly well after dropping the bust point by 5cm.   Hoping to get some more sewing done tomorrow, depends on the rest of the family and the temporary dog.

I've almost finished the Business Casual socks.   On the toe of the second one so hoping it'll be finished tonight.   Then 3 new things have popped into our queue for knitting.   Both boys need slippers and Ian desperately wants his own pair of handknit socks so those will be the next things to be cast on.

In other news I gave away a pair of socks to my mother today, they were a touch too small for me, they fit mum perfectly!   I also pulled up my big girl undies and let another motorist know their back tyre was going flat.   Luckily the traffic was going really slowly so when it was stopped and I knew it would be for a while I hopped out of my car and let them know; really hard to do simply because I don't like making waves but it was dangerous and they had a child seat in the back so I made myself do it.

Finally, Google Reader is closing on 1st July, I'm rather unhappy as I love that service, but am looking at Feedly and Bloglovin at the moment.   Neither seem to use tabs the way Reader does though :(

Friday, March 08, 2013

Lots of finishes and something really cute

Spotted this wee chap
Funnily enough this is the cute item.   He's very young still which is why I suspect he was out during the day, I've seen a few young ones out in the day before now.   I knew we had one on the property, been a few telltales on the lawn.    I love hedgies, we have a lot of snails and slugs on the property so they're a good animal to have around.
We've got signs autumn is now here, a cooler day yesterday, hot again today and tomorrow will be cooler again.
First autumnal leaves on our peach tree, the ground under the tree is littered with peaches.   These are preserving peaches.
I did a little yarn shopping online, Skeinz were having a sale and I really wanted to try their Harvest yarn which is now discontinued.  It's a mix of all sorts of different fibres.
I'm going to make a colourwork yoked cardigan with this, probably Chickadee
I will need to do one more yarn order, but not at the moment, expensive time of year with school fees, camps, car and bike service etc.   Once that's over I'll be ordering the yarn to make my colourwork vest for the Fair-Isle Vest Craftsy course.    I love Craftsy and you might notice I've joined their affiliate programme, the link is on the side of my blog if you're interested.   The only course I've taken I didn't like was Joan Wolfrem's colour for quilters, but Craftsy's customer service is fantastic as I mentioned in a previous post.

I've finished some things, t-shirts for the boys
The boys love them!   The camo was a particular hit.
Ian also got something he's really keen on
Venus Fly Trap.   Now full of flies, we had a damp day and the flies have suddenly appeared.  Ian's over the moon over this plant.
Finished one sock:
Business Casual Sock
 Some fabric arrived from Spoonflower, I'm going to use this to make the badge for my person for the Blogger get together
Map of Christchurch, I love this!
And I've started spinning for the guild cushion, this is English Leicester/Gotland cross
Flick carded and worsted spun.

I've also finished the 1913 shirt I was working on
detail of flat felled seam being set up for sewing

My perfect collar, really pleased with it

It sits better on me, the dress form is fuzzy.
The Challenge:  #5 Peasants & Pioneers

Fabric:  I suspect this is a cotton/poly blend, but mostly cotton, the stripe is woven in.

Pattern:  Simplicity 2985 which is a menswear pattern.   I've added some width to the front for a pleat, changed all the gathers to pleats, changed the button orientation to suit a woman's shirt, used white for the inside yoke and collar to keep things clean.   I also changed the collar to use just the collar stand based on the uniform in Downton Abbey, Season 1.
Year: 1913
Notions:  Polyester thread, shell buttons
How historically accurate is it?  I think it may actually be fairly accurate.  I based it on the blouses worn in Downton Abbey, all seams are flat felled, buttons are handsewn, though buttonholes are machine sewn.   There is iron-on interfacing though which I know is horribly innacurate.
Hours to complete:  7

First worn:  Not yet worn, needs washing to remove the little blue marks, lol.
Total cost:  As usual this has been in my stash for years, buttons cost $9

I also made George a caveman outfit, can't find a photo of that though.    This week alone I've used 7 pieces of fabric from my stash!    Adding the other circa 1913 items I've used 10 pieces of stash fabric up and it's only March.  Really pleased by this.

Still working on my second sock, planning next Historical challenge item which will be another striped item, possibly another shirt using a more historical pattern.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sigh, more broken glass

Tonight at least no-one got hurt, but our dinner wasn't able to be eaten after the pyrex container it was being cooked in disintegrated on top of the stove when it was lifted out.   4 pork chops had to be binned and so did the broccoli as it had been right next to the disaster zone with no lid on it.    Not the best time to have to buy dinner with my pay the way it has been, but I'll just have to fiddle the budget somehow.   It's amazing how far that stuff goes!    It was all through the oven, into the warming drawer and all over the floor too.    There's now a large parcel in the bin, with "Broken Glass" written over it to keep the rubbish people safe.

There was some good stuff leading up the weekend though, Ian's bike chain fell off on the way to school, I put it back on, but it came straight back off again and I was trying to explain to Ian that we had to take it home for daddy to fix when a White Knight arrived!   One of the other parents was driving past, pulled over and got his spanner out and fixed it for us, he even tensioned it correctly so the chain now stays put, a wonderful random act of kindness which was greatly appreciated.   We were late to school as a result, but that was ok, just meant that the mum who wanted to talk to me had to catch up after school.
She wanted to find out if George had let me know he was invited to a birthday party the next day, he hadn't as he'd lost the invite but we had nothing on so he was able to go.   He enjoyed all the activities which included a water slide and rabbit shooting and target shooting, he's never shot a gun so that was an amazing experience for him.  I get the impression a couple of the kids spent some time teasing him which he didn't enjoy, unfortunately he's not yet developed the ducks back with these things.

In other news all my sewing is cut out except the corset.   So 5 t-shirts, a button shirt and the caveman outfit.  I'll start sewing them tomorrow.    I've almost finished the first Business Casual Sock, on the toe decreases now.

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