Friday, 28 May 2010


What the term for when you have a great creative idea but it doesn't quite come out the way you envisioned?  I keep having ideas at the moment which I'm kinda keeping under my hat as I'm not sure if they are gonna work and I'm inching closer to something worthwhile but its hard work.  I have all these ideas but when I try them they aren't quite as good as they should be or I want them to be.  I'm wondering if I'm moving towards something worthwhile or wasting my time.  I guess I'll have to plough on and give it a shot and see it through.  What do you think?  I know its hard to help as I'm being delibrately vague but is it better to aim for something and miss or to admit when you are beaten?  Guess I have to think, what would I want my kids to do in this situation, quit or try it? 


Sunday, 23 May 2010


I'm not the tidiest of people and any work area I inhabit very quickly gets untidy, there are usually strata of projects anywhere I work!  I've recently commandeered the spare room for my crafty adventures and true to form its gotten really messy, there are bits of thread all over the floor (and pins!!) there are scraps all over the place and pattern pieces everywhere!  Its just not good enough and then I saw this pincushion featured on Sew, Mama, Sew and knew my life would not be complete unless I had one so I did what any respectable crafter does, ignored my family for a few hours and made one! 

I used some tea-towels I had picked up from Poundland so you know it didn't cost much!  Wotcha think?  I think it looks pretty nifty, I need to put some more weight in it, its weighed down with rice but I think I might get some gravel (maybe?) to make it heavier!   Just to show you the problem here is the before picture......

and here's the after picture......

now if I could just sort out the bed and the cupboard I'll be laughing!!!!!

any ideas to make me more organised?!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Failure and Success

Well in my last post I was debating whether to make a particular dress and whether it would suit my body type.  Well, I decided to go ahead with it, the suggested fabrics on the back stated, 'fluid fabrics, satin, silk' amongst others.  There was no way I was going to make it in silk but went to the fabric shop and looked at the kind of fabrics I don't normally look at, slippery, tactile, flimsy, glamorous(?) fabrics.  I ended up plumping for a pinky floral satin.  OMG, what a nightmare I've been having with it!  Its slippery, it frays easily, it snags easily, it puckers easily and it generally a bl**dy pain in the a**e!  The last 2 weeks have been tortuous, yes 2 weeks! (I've done a bit then got frustrated, thrown it across the room and then stomped off for a few days!)  Anyway, I've now finished the dress and it looks ok on although it clings with static (I believe fabric conditioner resolves this) but and this is a big BUT I have a problem.  Where the v-neck comes down and has a facing on the inside, I trimmed back the seam to fold over neatly but as I already said this fabric frays very easily....... this means that the bodice has started the fray leaving a hole at the seam line between bodice and the facing.  Here it is in full close up horror!

This is right in the middle of the v-neck!

So as you can see the hole is in a really obvious place, I've tried making a rosette/flower to pin over the hole but because the fabric is so blooming slippery etc its just not happening.  I've tried a flower, I've tried a ribbon, I make some bows from bias binding, ribbons everything and nothing looks good.  Even if I managed to get the hole covered the fabric is still really clingy and snags easily so I've sadly decided to cut my losses and abandon the dress.  Realistically I'm not gonna wear it (I was making it for a 90th birthday party but I have an alternative) so why am I bothering?  So what have I learnt?  Well, satin is a pig to sew, also the way it drapes is not particularly flattering to me, so I've learnt that cotton based fabrics are my friends and I should stay there! 

Well that was the failure, now for the success........

I've been wanting to try out sewing with knit fabric but hadn't been able to find it in local shops and even on-line its not a popular as woven fabric (unless I'm looking in the wrong places?  If you know anywhere let me know!) but the other day I found Vend and got some of what I though was reasonable priced knit.  I've been wanting to make a skort (skirt and shorts combined) for Miss M for ages and the other day I came across Carolines posting showing the skorts she has been making and I knew it had to be done.  I didn't have a pattern for the shorts so I made one based on a pair of leggings as I was having trouble with the shorts she has.   Following Carolines post I made................

How cool is this?

Miss M loves them and I loved making them, sewing with knit was easy-peasy and after the debacle described above a refreshing change.  The shorts I knocked up in about an hour but it would be quicker next time as I sewed the wrong leg up and had to get the seam ripper out!!!!  The skirt took a little longer but I'm so proud of it, its beautiful inside and out, the side seams are a french seam (as usual!) the raw edges where the tiers are sewn together have been finished by overcasting, there's top-stitching on the top tier and I even put a label in!

Miss M wore it today and she loved it and I think it looks really funky and I'm soooooo happy with it

I think she will be getting some more of these!  Maybe with shorts rather than longer leg lengths and a different woven. I want to wash these before I make another pair as I think the shorts should be a little tighter on the leg but the knit hasn't been pre-washed (didn't want to deal with rolling edges for my first time!) so I'm gonna wait to see what the shrinkage is and maybe adapt the shorts pattern from there.  The only thing I didn't do quite right was attaching the woven to the waistband & shorts as the woven has 10" of ease.  I realise now that the knit should have been stretched to meet the woven whereas I gathered the woven to meet the knit IYKWIM, that means I've lost the benefit of the ease going over the hips but on Miss M its not a problem.  Next time I'll know what to do. 

This might become a new obsession!  What do you think?