Saturday, February 27, 2010

Learning to crochet

Teehee Small feat of marvel in the battle of "I don't know how to crochet". Taadaa wonky, out of shape, my tension sucks so they are all a different size, Granny squares. I'm so proud of myself. :)
I can't say I know how to crochet, but I can say, I know how to knockout a few albeit wonky Granny squares now.
I followed the best Granny Square tutorial videos and instructions over at Meet me at Mikes. I don't know if I will do a Granny square a day, but Pip's Granny Square School is awesome! Make sure when you use the you tube based tutorials, go watch them on You Tube, as there are extra written instructions on the You tube pages for each one.

While learning this and swapping between 4 colours, I was constantly battling to keep the wool near me (i swear it has legs), off the carpet and untangled. I started googling for Yarn or wool holders. I was envisioning some kind of paper towel roll holder type scenario. Instead I saw all sorts of clay contraptions. I decided I could do better. I saw the 4 Glass jars I had bought from Woolworths about 10 years ago.

I used to keep pasta and rice in them in the kitchen, but now I have fake tupperware with flip top lids (the cork lids of the glass jars didn't seal airtight like plastic does) So, they had been sitting empty for quite I while and now they are repurposed!
I drilled a hole in the top of the cork lid, cut to length a straw (4 pieces a bit deeper than the cork lid plus a little extra) The straws I used were those thicker, wider clear plastic Subway enormous drink straws, because the regular drinking straws I had here were too thin to pass the wool through. I can't remember the size drill bit I used, I just held them up the the straws to see which one was similar. The straw pokes into the hole in the cork lid to allow the wool to move smoothly through without wearing down the cork.
I put the wool in, used a crochet hook to pull through the wool into the straw and out the top. I then got my husband to jam the cork lid down hard so it couldn't slip off when I tugged the wool. They work perfectly! The glass jars are heavy and stop movement and even when I tug a bit on the wool or it jams because of tangles inside the ball of wool, (I swear this stuff tangles inside the ball more than any other wool I've ever used before do they do something different now?) the lids stay on and the jar stays put.

And now, on this rainy day weekend, back to filling my beautiful shelves and organising my sewing room.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oh yeah! Oh yeah, we have shelves!

Above is a view of 4 of the 5 rows of shelves, the 5th, (the bottom row) is not visible because I couldn't get it into the shot with the phone camera. Hehehe apparently 2 metres high is too much for it;)

Above the top photo is the left side of all 5 rows of the shelves. The other is the right side of all 5 rows of the shelves. Apparently 2 metres wide is also too much for it;)

I wish I could, but I can't get a better photo for two frustrating reasons. 1. the proper camera battery is failing to charge properly...grr! and 2. to get the shelves into their location, the whole sewing room had to be packed up into one area of the room, kinda like tetris, so I can't get far enough back in the room to get the whole shelves in properly with the phone camera.
Once I start unpacking stuff and filling the shelves I'll be able to get back far enough to take another shot.
I LOVE MY NEW SHELVES! I Love them so much I want to sit and stare at them for hours. Some of that love comes from how hard a battle it was to make them! (Isn't that the case with all projects.)

The WORST part about this whole shelf debacle was pulling it completely apart yesterday. Having made them so beautifully, and perfectly, we had to pull every bit apart to fit it into the room. Involved with that was unfortunately pulling out hundreds of nails, levering off the backing sheets of MDF (which couldn't be reused afterwards...grrr!), removing the fabric panels (most of them ripped and shredded while being removed couldn't be reused afterwards...more grrr!), unscrewing all the screws holding it together, and then pulling apart all the shelves off their dowel joins and removing the side panels and carrying everything in the room individually.

Today we reassembled the whole thing again! We had to buy all new backing sheets, this time ply instead of MDF (incase it ever needs to come apart again it can be reused) and we learnt this time to use double sided tape to hold the fabric in place to make the nailing in easy! Some of the fabric panels could not be reused from  the first incarnation and had to be replaced by different fabric colours. I now have small dots, large dots and stripes. The colours are aqua, lime green, orange, dark purple and royal blue. SQUEAL of Delight! All done with plenty of organising to do to fill it. :)

Nearly every family holiday that involved a long car trip, also involved some sort of craft. Long stitches, Cross-stitches, Knitting Nancy, Finger knitting, knotted friendship bracelets to name but a few. We'd work on them on the way there, fill in rainy days in the caravan with them, and work on them a bit on the way home in between naps. Inevitably these often caused us kids in the back of the car to develop was rare that they ever got finished, because once back home they were soon forgotten. Mum would buy us another the next school holiday trip, repeat.
This one was from the 1993 July trip to Bateman's Bay. It was found with it's unused threads attached to a piece of cardboard with holes punched in it for each of the threads and hand drawn representations of the pattern codes (I was quite organised back then apparently). Mum found it in one of her knitting bags, in the top of her wardrobe, with a packet of mints and her own UFO, a blue baby jacket and booties she was knitting for my cousin- who turned out to be a girl! - that's how we know the approximate year of the cross stitch.
Last night I finished it off and did all it's back stitching. Now all I need to do is give it an iron (once I can un-tetris the sewing room and reach the iron) and stick it in a frame. We'll call it still in progress.

UNFINISHED OBJECT tick one off the list!
While the shelf debacle has kept me out of action in the sewing room, I finished my UFO Pink Fluffy Scarf!

It was started in Winter 2004. Now I am certainly no knitter. My mum knits extremely delicate intricate patterns really fast, me, I always forget how to start it, drop stitches, break needles, loose needles, somehow add on stitches and generally spend more time pulling it back and starting again, I never learnt to finish it (until today) and I can only knit PLAIN hehehe - it drove my mum spare trying to teach me and she tried hard to teach me purl. I just have a blockage or some kind of defective knitting gene.
However, today I am proud to have finished the scarf, plain and possibly slightly defective as it is..and I "cast off" all by myself...well, with the help of this Patons How to Knit tutorial. I don't think I will ever be a great knitter, but I have conquered it's basics, maybe I'll one day find the light going off and finally know how to knit one purl one.

CROCHET - I got hooked.
This evening, I even did a few tutorials in how to crochet. I made a whole long line of chain stitch on my new Crochet hook, I've never seen in person, or touched a crochet hook before. It's one of those things I've always wanted to learn. I'm quite impressed with myself really. It's been a busy day:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Knitting to conceal the pain of I can't get to the sewing machine and we still have shelves in front of our TV.

So, I can't knit other than basic basic plain. I started a scarf...hmmm in 2004. It's pink and fluffy and makes me sneeze when I knit it. I found said scarf today in the linen cupboard (luckily not in the sewing room), to give me something to make while my lounge remains a construction/deconstruction site and the sewing room is in pieces and inaccessible..I can't even reach the sewing machine, but I can see it behind the Futon, just out of reach.
In our Lounge room sits the enormous beautiful storage shelves we made on the weekend and finished last night. If you can't see from the grainy camera phone pic, the fabric is Orange, Lilac, lime and blue with white spots and Orange, Lilac, lime and blue with white Stripes. I used two stripe panels of each colour one horizontal and one vertical and two each colour of the spots.

They looked exactly the way I wanted, just perfect! so perfect! Better than I hoped it would be.
However, how can something so perfect be so evil! They can not be encouraged into the spare room no matter what we do. After angling them five different ways from Sunday, the closest we came to actually thinking they might go in was when we  still needed an additional 1-2cm of bathroom doorway to swing the shelves around into the spare room doorway. They just wont go in! and a couple of tantrums later, we just went to bed defeated.
So, despite the fact I am typing this calmly, a moment ago I was heart breakingly pulling out nails with pliers in an attempt to deconstruct the shelves. They have to be completely pulled apart and moved into the sewing room piece by piece, then put back together again inside the room. It's a pity we did such a good job of it. The nails are really embedded and are really hard to jimmy out - and thats just the nails holding the MDF backing sheet on...the shelves are all dowel joins, once I get down to pulling those apart I believe I may cry!..Lord I just can't explain how depressing this feels to pull apart!
So here I am pulling out nails, knitting a row, pulling back a row or two to fix the knitting and silently wishing we'd just driven the 5 hrs to sydney Ikea.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Taa Daa...February sewing with Knit Challenge Completed! - and other progress.

I found some time to finish my top for My Favourite's 12 month's 12 sewing Challenges, February Sewing with Knit Fabric Challenge. I'm still not happy with it entirely, especially the missed stitching of the double needle that is continuing, but it is finished! I still love the colour of it, although it looks like Pyjamas (Thanks for saying that Husband...hehehe).
I loved the cuff in the pattern picture, but now I'm not so seems awfully large. If I were to make it again  I would certainly make these smaller.
I stitched on some buttons just above the split in the cuff. I found them in a button jar that came from my mum's house. They are clear plastic, but swirly, and they seem to pick up and dance with the colours of the top underneath...hard to see in photos though.

Progress on the March FOSAL Ornament - Pattern chosen :)
I've decided to stitch up a bauble using this free pattern from Better Homes and Gardens.
I have also decided to stitch it up in purples rather than the blue they are using in theirs. I am not starting it until March, but it is kitted up waiting until then. Forgive the photo, I took it with my phone camera, because the proper cameras battery is charging.

Progress on the Shelves and Sewing Room :)
Sewing room looks like a bomb hit it. (meh!) Lot's of sorting and shifting and moving going on.
The whiter than White brighter than Bright shelves are all painted blindingly reflective white and were at any minute going to be constructed. I came in for some air-con and water...not blogging hehehe...and as I was typing, Husband (out in the hot hot outdoors) let out some cursing...and now he is off to go buy or do something...I'm not sure I should ask what went wrong. I snuck out there to take a photo of the progress, only to have the warning, Battery Exhausted (that makes two, three of us!) come up. It is certainly a very large project. Progress Halted...albeit Temporarily.
OK It's now 9pm on a Sunday night and the construction phase got moved into our lounge room. I'm not too hopeful this project will have a conclusion tonight but I do not believe that we will be putting up with  construction in the lounge room for too long. 
Here are some phone camera pics of the construction phase.

Yes, we know theres a Christmas garland and Christmas Lights still up..they somehow got missed when we packed up everything else, and are now jokingly are being referred to as the Easter lights...(they'll be gone soon I promise.
It's so very very Large!

So that's as far as we got tonight. It's a giant white skeleton. Weekend is over and Husband is back to work tomorrow... At least it is at a stage where I can cut out the material for the back and attach it, if I don't get called into work tomorrow, and Husband can attach the backing sheets of MDF tomorrow evening. God knows how we are going to angle it into the tiny hallway and then into the Spare room! - I'm expecting tears...husband says it will be fine, but it's so very big!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I can't work in these conditions - and other tales I tell myself

Well, 8 days to go until I need to have my top finished and displayed, and my sewing room is in a shambles! Ridiculously (and excitedly) we've decided to re-organise and build shelves for the sewing room in the middle of a million different other things we both should be doing instead! But, I was soooo excited last night I could not sleep!
Basically the sewing room was intended to be a spare room for our friends to stay when they come visit and a place for me to sew in my spare time. However, I've spent a heck of a lot more time in there of late and I've noticed it becoming a disorganised, depressing place to be...hmm the junk room, tidy up later room, cables everywhere, can't see the TV comfortably at any angle, can't find a place for it put it in the spare room room. It's very hard to feel creative sitting up next to the vacuum cleaner and the boxes that came with every computer and appliance that is still in warranty (and some that aren't).
When I was at uni studying a Visual Art degree I wandered into a second hand furniture store and bought this big ol' dining table that I used to paint, pastel and draw on. Candle wax dripped on it, an iron fell over on it,  an old metal cased PC got scrapped across it, I stood on it to put up posters, ink spilt on it, it's legs wiggled out of their really well made dowel barely survived uni in far worse shape than I did! I've dragged this table with me across 3 different states and many different house and flat moves, It's been a computer desk, a dining table, an art desk, a place to study, a writing desk, a platform for a clothes dryer, A place to create wedding invitations, cards, cut out fabric, put piles of fabric on, a book shelf. It's done everything! I couldn't bare to part with it, because it's my table and we have history! This time it is going into my dad's shed, it just takes up too much space in the sewing room. We live in a rented 2 bedroom unit where every wall is a dirty cream coloured (renting so I can't paint it), we sleep in the smaller room (because it doesn't get as hot in summer or as noisy because it's at the back) and the other bigger, hotter room is my sewing room. I've attempted to organise it many many times, but there's just a severe lack of wardrobes, cupboards and shelves, everything ends back out on the table top, on the horn cabinet on the chair, in fact everywhere! I wish I were neater, I wish I were one of those people with a place for everything, but seriously, most of my stuff has never had a place. It entered the home on a whim shopping expedition and ended up somewhere until it got shifted, and shifted and shifted each time I needed to do something where it was. It comes down to, do I have time to tidy everything or do I have time to sew, this weekend I force myself to tidy because, this is the plan we want to make:

So, to make this happen, this weekend/week's agenda...

  1. Build shelves and Paint shelves a nice fresh white
  2. line the back of shelves with bright colours of fabric
  3. Sort everything to free up space and see what we actually need
  4. throw, cull, giveaway to charity, de-clutter, sell.
  5. Fold & sort fabric then drawer it.
  6. Sort, container, jar and box all the lace, ribbon, buttons and bits and pieces.
  7. Scan in anything worth keeping from the years at uni and ditch the dodgy filing cabinets.
  8. Move all the furniture around so that the sewing room is a nice place to be.
  9. Put up/make some art and photos to make the sewing room a nice place to be.
  10. Make some cushions for the futon that match the fabric on the back of the shelves.
  11. Hook up the iron, camera charger, fan, sewing machine, overlocker, TV, the stereo and the old laptop in permanent non-cable across the room ways. 
  12. Do some sewing of my February item in a nice place!
This is our lunch on the first day progress:
Painting Painting and more painting..white paint makes you blind!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Progress - February Knit Challenge and eating

Why didn't I just make a T-shirt! So, lately I've been sewing (and unpicking) and sewing my top for the 2010 12 months 12 sewing challenges February Sewing with Knit challenge organised over there on My Favourite. I've also been checking out everyones entries for February on their blogs and on the Flickr group and they all look fantastic! I am totally frustrated with the pattern. Their explanations are just vague and the images didn't really help at all. It has some very weird "neck extension" and two facing pieces that made the whole back of the neck look like some kind of a crunkled down hoody. Surely that can't be right! I unpicked and pulled the the facing off and instead folded over and double stitched the neckline. Now it at least sits flat and nice on the back of the neck. However, my fairly new stretch twin needle started doing some odd things. It stitched along perfectly for a good while, then started missing a stitch here or there, until it got to here (see photo below) where it skipped a whole heap in a row and then kept going as normal...hmm what is wrong with you you cursed object!

Thinking it may be that one of the twin needles is blunt, (I don't know why one would go blunt while the other didn't) I purchased a new one yesterday. It was going along fabulously, until it too skipped a stitch! I decided to live with it...theres a couple of places it skipped a stitch then went on it's merry way.
Maybe there's another, real explanation about why it's skipping the stitches. If anyone has any ideas..please let me know!

In other news we're on a healthy eating - change your lifestyle plan, I'm currently making our dinners from this wonderful book our dietician recommended. It's called The 80/20 Diet written by Teresa Cutter who is a chef and personal trainer. So far I can throughly recommend the Stir-fried garlic and chilli king prawns, Lean chilli con carne and especially the Egyptian lamb salad. (Oh how I loved this Egyptian Lamb Salad.) You can buy the book from heaps of online bookstores but heres a link to it on Dymocks.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Yesterday I was brought to tears reading about the Edwards family's mission on the Raglun Guld blog
and I was immediately kicked into action. I've stirred up all my family and friends and my husbands workplace to round up as much stuff from their list as we can to help the Edwards Family bring some everyday items to Vietnam Orphans.
Dennis emailed me back this morning to say, "We are simply suggesting that people get themselves a shoe box and between now and the 20th March if they add an item to the box each time they shop like a bottle, or a comb, maybe some tooth paste, some calamine lotion a couple of dummies. And please do not forget the older kids in all we will find about 350 Babies under 1 and around 400 children between 2 & 17. I know it’s frightening but we can make a difference. " The remainder of this post is the heart breaking story in Dennis' own words and with his own photos. Please read and kick yourself into action like I did. You can download his pdf version from here.

The Edwards family comprising myself Dennis, and my children Nathan, Liona, Sally, Milly and my daughter in-law Linda are off to Vietnam in April 2010 in an effort to try to help the Orphans to make their world just a little better. I served my tour of Vietnam in 1969/70 as a member of the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (R.A.E.M.E) as a regular Army soldier serving at Nui Dat.
I was the Specialist Welder employed to repair and maintain the Army’s equipment. During my tour at the ripe old age of 20 I found myself at the Australian Task Force base at Nui Dat where 5000 men were tasked with patrolling and taking ownership for the entire Phuoc Tuy Province.
Often unable to sleep, due to constant battle activities of the Australian task force base, combined with the intense heat and the discomfort of sleeping in tents with sand bag walls I would seek approval to work at night. I was directed to talk with the Command Welfare Officer, who was always around the base sourcing things to be repaired or made for his work in civilian aid to the war effort.
Discussions were fruitful and permission was granted that we could design and manufacture playground equipment for the local orphanages. We made swings, slippery dips, seesaws and giant slides for these kids. I think we manufactured about 12 sets, it generated so much interest that the entire General Engineering Workshop team got right behind the project and we then visited all of the orphanages in the Phuoc Tuy Province and gave them a parcel of red, yellow and blue painted playground sets. Obviously we were in an aggressive war zone so we had to request armed infantry escorts to successfully achieve this goal.
Unfortunately we found that many of these orphanages were later destroyed by the Viet Cong and we now know that the Nuns and teachers were killed and raped because of their association with the Australian Army, as we were considered their enemy. This fact has haunted me for years, so it is with great pride and pleasure that today I am able to return to this country and give some of my personal time to the Orphans of today. The motivating factor that set me on this pilgrimage is when I first returned to Vietnam in 2007, I found the current generation of Orphans still swinging on many of my swings and riding my slippery dips that I made for these orphanages 38 years ago!

Rod Trapple & Dennis Edwards installing Slippery Dip - Baria Orphanage Aug 1969

Below are a few photos from my last visit which, unfortunately, was two years ago in 2007. For the past two years I have been personally challenged struggling with Brain Cancer. I am now well enough to go back and continue my work.

So I am now appealing to you my community to HELP me to put together seven (7) packages of wares to ship over to Vietnam to be ready for my family and I to arrive mid April. We will spend two weeks visiting and working in outlying Orphanages in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Dah Lat, Nah Trang, Baria and Vung Tau.
The background of the Orphanages that I have chosen:
These Orphanages are off the beaten track, and generally not that well supported by the Communist Government. The general facilities are very primitive and the carers are usually Nuns and volunteers with little or no experience of dealing with Children, especially babies. The average child ratio at the Orphanages we will visit this time is approximately 25 to 50 babies under the age of 1 year and approximately 50 to 70 children ranging in ages from 2 to 17 years old.

  • Feeding bottles
  • Bottle sterilization kits 
  • Bottle teats
  • Sterilization fluid
  • Milk formula 
  • Savlon cream 
  • Calamine lotion 
  • Mercurochrome
  • Baby food in jars with long use by dates 
  • Two minute noodles
  • Disposable nappies 
  • Baby singlets 
  • Clothing – summer new or secondhand
  • clean cotton or denim 
  • Hair brushes/combs/hair clips/hair ties
  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste 
  • Bassinette & cot linen - cotton 
  • Bassinettes 
  • Bouncinettes 
  • Portable cots 
  • Hanging mobiles 
  • School supplies: rulers, pencils, erasers, coloured pencils 
  • Story Books – clean second hand 
  • Exercise books for school work 
  • Aussie toys – koalas, kangaroos etc. 
  • Swing & playground equipment (small) 
  • Bikes/scooters – in working order 
  • Hand wash / disinfectant 
  • Rubber gloves – Small/Medium/Large

Dennis & Inge Edwards, 7 Park Street Lancefield Vic 3435
Lancefield Neighbourhood House, High Street Lancefield Vic 3435
They are also holding a Fundraising Supper/Dance – Saturday 20th March 7.30pm Mechanics Hall Lancefield Live Band and Fundraising Auction $25 Per head with cash bar
Bookings Essential – Click here to download the flyer pdf for contact details and information.

Thank you to the Edwards family for doing this. They are amazing people. God Bless you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FOSAL - January and February Ornaments

My Blue Star Ornament - Submission for February for the FOSAL
I'm all finished it now! I did most of the cross-stitching while watching the winter olympics on Sunday. By Monday night  I was really glad just to be finished cross-stitching and it was quick to stitch up the backing and attach the loop on the sewing machine while watching Good News Week. Mostly it got sewn up in the ads for Good News Week, because it's hard to stitch straight while laughing. I backed it using some blue poplin and used a piece of silver cording as it's loop. I was planning to stuff it with some poly fill, but I liked it flatter so pulled all the stuffing out instead. I used 4 threads of Gutermann metallic silver thread (for sewing machine embroidery) and threaded them together to stitch all the silver cross-stitches as the metallics in the twisted strand embroidery threads were dull and looked grey rather than silver. The 4 silver threads were extremely difficult to manage and tangled easily, sometimes the back looked like an explosion of silver loops but luckily none of the loopiness knotted completely and eventually unlooped and slid through the hole! I especially like how the silver glints and reflects in the light. So here it is...
While I was finishing off the cross stitch on the blue star, I noticed I had lot's of room in the top corner of my embroidery hoop so, to not waste the Aida cloth I stitched up a little snowman ornament to sneak in for late entry for January, (since I wasn't a part of the FOSAL in January) I found the free pattern at I reinforced it with some white cotton and a green poplin backing. It was really difficult to turn right-side out and really difficult to hand-stitch up the bottom after turning. The Aida cloth really frays alot (as you can see in the photo below) and induced a decent amount of cursing.
There must be a better way to do this stuff! - Yes I'm all about the easy. Eventually I turned a blind eye to it's faults and I hand stitched it and poked it's wonky backside into submission. I used some multiples of green thread to use as a loop, because I could not work out a way to attach the silver cording nicely. So here it is... JANUARY a little wonky (don't look too closely), but ALL FINISHED:

Now, for thinking about the March ornament...I think I'll go looking for a free bauble pattern and make it up in either green and silver or purple and silver.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My progress for the 12 months 12 sewing challenges & the FOSAL.

A progress update on my items for the 2010 12 months 12 sewing challenges and the 2010 Festive Ornament SAL.
Between teaching days this week I've cut out my top and started cross stitching my first Festive Ornament.
This is the stretch fabric I chose for the top, it's plain as in it is 1 colour, but the colour is really pretty. I don't have anything else in my wardrobe of this colour (time for a change), but I do have a necklace that matches it perfectly. I hope it looks good once it's finished as I really want to wear it soon!
Once I had it all cut out I'd had enough of it for the one day and decided to start on my Festive Ornament instead while watching Big Bang theory repeats and ER.
I was only after a quick small ornament  to kick off, so, first I found a free pattern online at then I got cross stitching. Somewhere along the way I made some mistakes in the count but I don't seem to mind and it looks ok so far :)
It should be finished rather quickly I hope.
I did choose non traditional colours for this ornament because each Christmas we rotate between Silver and blue or Silver and purple or Silver and green ornaments on the tree. We rarely but once in a few Christmases do traditional red, gold ornaments too..just for a change. ;)
And now, Back to the stitchering.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cutting out patterns, Coffee, John Mayer and Tweeting

Have you ever had one of those days, where you start cutting out a pattern, and somewhere between 50 sheets of tissue paper you lose interest in the project completely and/or the will to live.
Mark Thursday 11th February down as such a day and move onto coffee. Delicious coffee where would I be without you. I smell you I drink you I love you, sometimes I even dream about you. So I sit here now sipping and breathing in my delicious coffee while allowing John Mayer's Battle Studies to wash away my various ills - ahhh iPod therapy. I seriously love listening to his music...I don't want to get all commenty but I have to mention I've been following his tweets for a good while now (along with most of the internet) I read a little earlier this morning about his playboy interview comments and was as equally horrified and dumbfounded ( as the vast majority of the tweeting world is), and it seems he is just as horrified at himself for using such a word. While he is often reflectful and introspective in his tweeting, today his tweets sound extremely internally tortured. I hope he finds some peace within himself so we can all just get back to the wonderful music.
I'm going back to the cutting out table now to pin and cut the fabric for the February challenge. Despite the loss of interest while cutting out the pattern, I will get this project finished, if only to say that I did not waste 3 hours cutting out and adjusting a pattern for nothing. Snippity Snip, Snip, pin, pin, ouch!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2010 - 12 Months 12 sewing challenges

So I'm kicking myself that I didn't stumble upon this 2010 12 months, 12 sewing challenges earlier! It's such a great idea, now I also have many more blogs to read and Flickr pics of everyones creations to view Yippee! and I can't wait to get started. If you are reading this, you should join it too!
I missed the January challenge :( - which was to sew something for yourself, but the February challenge comes in perfect timing! I can make something from knit fabric for myself thus making up to myself for missing the January challenge - nothing like finding a way to combine :) In September I purchased some  light blue knit fabric to make a top for myself to match a  pair of (grey with a blue pinstrip) pants that I actually finished in October - then along came Christmas and the top got forgotten!

I confess...I don't sew much with stretch knits, to be honest they scare me a little...I find them difficult to control. But it is by definition, a challenge...time to face that fear and...accept that Challenge!

Sometime last year in another random (Random as in, "dear darling husband I need to go to Spotlight" (husband eyes me suspiciously saying).."for what?"..."Just some stuff"..."what kind of stuff?".."oh you know...stuff" See...Totally Random! - The visit to Spotlight unexpectedly allowed me to come home with some Khaliah Ali patterns and other plus size patterns for $1 each...can't get better than that! This is one of the ones I picked up:
I work as a casual teacher in various schools.  My clothes need to be long enough to keep covered when I bend and while reaching for the top of the white board to write. And being plus sized, they also need to cover my wobbly arms (personal hate). One of the other Khaliah Ali patterns I picked up has Flowy, long batwing sleeves. These are nice for going out, but adds extra bulk and are impractical for school unless I want my sleeves to act as a giant white board eraser or catch on every locker and kids backpack along the corridors. No sleeves at all is too casual for working in a school, and I like to have my upper arms covered anyway. I think View E on this pattern is the one I will use, but I will lengthen it a little further over my hips and shorten the sleeves to elbow or 3/4 length perhaps. I really like the design of the large cuff on the sleeve, so even when I shorten the arms, I will leave that feature on.

So February this is my mission, to make a nice practical work-casual top in a knit fabric that has decent sleeves and covers the essentials.

Hopefully it will also look nice :)