Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No excuses!

So a few weeks ago I took up running again, after about a twenty year lay off. I'd given up because it became inconvenient, rather than due to injury or hating it! Hugely inspired by my fabulous friend J, who has dedicated herself this year to her health and getting fit. Running a half marathon fit. I go to the gym regularly, but don't do a lot of cardiovascular exercise, so decided to start running. Which of course required appropriate kit. After buying good shoes I only needed a sweatshirt/jacket for the days I walk the twins to kindy and then run from there, or when it's cooler. (I live in Dunedin. Cooler is always a distinct possibility.) So I made this. I call it the No Excuses jacket because it's function is to prevent me from having an excuse not to go! It's Jalie 2795, made from cotton sweatshirting.

It's perfect - nice long sleeves to keep my wrists warm, a hood that sits nice and flat, close fit through the body so I don't have excess fabric bunching around the place, room through the chest/shoulders for a complete range of motion swinging my arms. The only change I made to the pattern was to add a zip to one pocket so I can take my phone and house key without worrying about losing them. I've worn it twice, and it works really really well.

Progress on the latest Alabama Chanin corset top is slow, as expected, but steady. I've got this far so far.

And I've still got an increasingly worried eye on Christmas. Mostly because a so-called friend helpfully reminded me that I needed the advent calendar by December 1. Which is not that far away! And Cayden (for whom I'm making a doll of himself) has only a couple of weeks left of school, after which it'll be harder to work on anything I don't want him to see. So today I made a trial version, using one of the failed photo printing efforts. To very simply transfer my sewing line to the fabric I just pinned a paper copy of it to two layers of fabric, lining up the face, and sewed through the paper. Afterwards I just had to tear it out - easy!
Trimmed and turned through he looks like this:
I'm pretty satisfied with that, so now I can make the real one and stuff him. Which I'm going to enjoy. Then make him some clothes.

And the advent calendar now has pockets. Some finished, some still needing fused appliques to be stitched down.

So yeah, been doing stuff.

Friday, October 7, 2011

In the meantime....

So far the first (of eight) pieces looks like this:

So in complete contrast to a very very long slow project is this - cut out a week or two ago, but sewn together last night and this afternoon.

Front, collar and sleeves: Jalie 2919. (And my assistant. Can't do much without his input.)

Back: Vogue 1061.
Nothing wrong with either pattern as they stood, but I never wore my Vogue one - turns out I don't like cardigans which can only be worn closed. I gave it to a friend, who looks a lot better in it than I did anyway, so we're both happy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It came to me in a dream

Almost literally. At craft night last night I got the typical hard time for scarcity of posting, and I cited my typical queue of projects awaiting thread, interfacing or something. One of the projects was this one - awaiting inspiration. My third Alabama Chanin corset top. I found some cotton T shirts on sale in Kmart for $2 each a few weeks ago and got a couple to use as the basis for the top. The thought of white on white has been percolating for a while, and I had a rose stencil chosen, but I wasn't sure how to proceed. I didn't really want to follow the freezer paper and paint route because I didn't want to introduce another colour. One idea I'd had was this - draw on the roses with a water soluble pen which I could subsequently wash out.

And last night I dreamed vividly that this is exactly what I did, and stitched in white. Oh, and in my dream there were some beads too. So of course this morning as soon as I could I got to work. Another eighty hour top. I really like the idea of some beading. I still have some of the beads from my wedding dress left over....

Ok girls - can you guess what'll be coming to the next few craft nights with me? (As long as I get more thread)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Modern Pattern Design PDF

They say it's not what you know, but who you know, and that is so true! Keely sent me a text alerting me to Pam's blog, which had a link to Michou's blog, in which she has made available a downloadable pdf of Harriet Pepin's highly regarded 1942 book "Modern Pattern Design". Since I'd spent a bit of time enjoying it on Vintage Sewing Info before that site sadly vanished, I was delighted, and raced off to acquire my copy. (THANK YOU MICHOU!)

Sadly for me the chapter on childrens wear was not included, but somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered seeing a link on a blog somewhere at some point in the past in which the author had found the Vintage Sewing Info site using a search engine which finds pages as they appeared at some point in the past. (It's called Wayback but that didn't pop back into the memory, as I had never heard of it previously). A minute or two with google popped up Magdamagda Design Studio and her post on the subject. And here is the whole book. Et Voila - I had all the information again!

I am incredibly grateful to all the people who have pointed to these resources, which are fantastic. I love the internet.

And because I prefer posts with photos I'll end with this extremely blurry shot of Nicholas. He had gone into the kitchen and was suspiciously quiet. Upon investigation I found this - he had got the bowl from the cupboard, milk from the fridge, poured it and put the bottle back (lid on and everything) and got a couple of biscuits which he was happily stirring with a spoon. Apparently he was making a pikelet sandwich.