Thursday, February 26, 2015

Another Mabel

Another Colette Mabel (other Mabel makes here).  Such a fun, easy pattern.  I didn't manage to pattern match so well on the front (oophs!)

But the back rocks!

Following WendyNZ - sewbiased's advice, I did the waistband facing in a stretch elastane to ensure that the fabric recovery would work well as a waistband.  

And here's it on with my new shoes :)

Put a map on it

A quick make using map fabric!

An A Line skirt - another Butterick B4710 See & Sew (previous make here).  I amended it slightly to better fit.  A quick make but I didn't quite get it done in time for the event I'd planned on wearing it to.  But its come in useful since then!

Used up some of my lining fabric and an invisible zip from stash.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Marlborough Wedding

I had a quick jaunt to Marlborough with BM in Jan for a friend's wedding.

We stopped off in a vineyard first for lunch - yum!

Then on to the venue - another vineyard,  The theme was rainbow and my friend had such lovely pops of colour!

Loved the lego toppers on the cake!

The table decorations were cute.

And we each got a placecard.  

There were even activities at dinner for the younger guests.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

mini balls of yarn

Made Marion has these cutest balls of yarn for $1.40 a ball.  

I've been using them to make up some holly leaves for a well overdue Christmas wreath.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cat adventures and new cat bedding

We've had a pretty strange month on the cat front.  Ryu, one of our two cats, went on a little adventure.  He's a rescue cat and about 11.  To put that into 'vet' terms, anything over 8 is geriatric!  He's incredibly friendly and such a personality.  Unfortunately that friendliness has gotten him into trouble!

He went missing for 10 days earlier this month.  We missed him so much.  We flyered the neighbourhood and posted anywhere online we could think of.  Thankfully the flyers worked and we found out what had happened to him.

A house on the street behind us has two cats and the home owners were away - the house sitters weren't able to put both cats into the cattery so they had a friend come around to feed their missing cat.  Ryu decided that a second breakfast sounded great and took a little trip over there.  The homeowner's friend then packaged up our cat and brought him to the cattery mistaking him for the homeowner's cat.  He was on his 'holiday' for 10 days.  Although when he got back, he was rather pissed with us as 'we' had locked him up and wouldn't let him out.

We're so pleased to have him back.  All the more so because we had started to get used to the idea that we might never know what happened him.

With Ryu missing, it got me to think about our cat baskets.  They really are hideous!  Absolutely covered in cat hair and unable to be cleaned.  So when we collected our erstwhile beast from the cattery after his vacation, I purchased a cat basket plastic shell and made a cushion to go in it.

Et Voila...

Ikea fabric - so a heavy duty cotton.

Unfortunately this is as close to the basket the cat has gotten since.  Which is really annoying as when I had the fabric sitting in there before I sewed it up, he was happy to sleep in it!  Any suggestions to get him to reacquaint himself?

Patched ikea fabric underneath too with plastic snaps keeping it closed.

I used another heavy cotton for the inside cushion - this way the outside can be removed and washed separately.  The stuffing is from two pillows I got on special.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


I've been playing with underwear.  To be honest, my first few attempts haven't gone well!  

But I have used up my stash of elastane cottons!

This is my first failed attempt with different types of elastics.  Its a Gertie pattern. Not a recommend for the underwear but the slip is lovely and I'll blog that later and review that part of the pattern then.

This is the foldover elastic.  I really misjudged the amount of elastic needed - and there's a lot of wobble.  Two really annoying things about the pattern.  Gertie didn't give any indication of how much elastic to cut.  And the crotch lining isn't sewn in at either end just at the sides.  Its unfortunate.

I'm sure a lot of the issues are me but the pattern has a lot to answer for too.

I tried a second free online pattern.  Rosy Lady Shorts by Cloth Habit.  Much nicer pattern and more instruction on how much elastic to cut.  Still having the wavy problem!  So these two were destined for cutting up and using as rags!  

On to lady shorts round 2.  I signed up for the Dreamstress' sewing course on knit tee shirts to help get my head around working with stretch fabric.  I've still some of the elastic wobbles but these are so much better constructed.  I've worn them a few times (after taking the photo obviously!).  And the elastic is fine but the bum is too large (I've a very small rear but not hips) and I might need to size down for a better fit.  

I also redid Gerties panties and got a better handle on the waist elastic sizing from experiementation.  Same issue as above - still a bit wobbly on the elastic on the leg seams and my bum is far too small.  I'll have to size down and resize the crotch curve although I won't be making this pattern again unless I significantly alter it to fix the crotch construction.

Fabrics - yellow elastane cotton was from a remnant bin at Levana.  Black and grey cottons were left over from other projects and the pink was left over from a PJ top and acquired at a Fabric Hoarders swap.

Refreshing the house

One of the things I love about New Zealand Christmas is that work kicks me out for two weeks and can coincide with some serious DIY weather.

This year I painted the deck at the front of our house.

Started off with water blasting the deck - beginning to look great already!

And then after two coats of stain. 

And the view from inside with our new foxy addition!

We went with a stain similar in colour to the inside floor boards.

Then to tackle the interior!

I really never liked this colour.  More dining womb than room.

So undercoat first...

Then the first coat

Then the second (and final!)

Our floorboards really ping in the sun!  I really love the colour.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

More fabric purchases

One of my Christmas presents this year was a Spotlight voucher.  I got 3 meters of this soft comfy fleece.  I have visions of fleece backed quilts.

0.5m of this purple cord to finish a long term WIP.

And these two knits are going to be a Colette Mabel very soon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sweet Sorbetto

Prior to my Brazil trip I made two Colette Sorbetto tops.  Sorbetto is a free pattern with two darts and a front fold. I really like the pattern but had to add quite a bit to the bust.  I really want to get my head around pattern alterations this year (as well as knits!).

I amended the pattern to fit a larger bust but the darts aren't quite in the right place for my still wearable muslin.

I also had to take it in under the armholes.

My second attempt was a definite improvement.  

The darts are in a much better place.  Fabric was a left over from an earlier dress which I can't seem to find on my blog.  

I messed up the binding a bit and it dragged the fabric out at the hem and armholes.

All in all - very useful for the warmer Brazilian weather but not the greatest fit when it was on.  The neckline doesn't sit right.  I think I may have overfit on the bust but it may also be a poor fit on the shoulders.  I've got quite narrow shoulders.  I've signed up for another craftsy class to help figure it out.  On my too long list of sewing things to do this year!