Did I not try this before?
So, I decided pretty early on in January that I wasn't going to go down the road of making New Years Resolutions that I couldn't keep. I was going to call them good intentions instead, and I was going to make a list of things that I either wanted to do or try for the very first time. This is what I came up with:
Make an effort to(Wow! Wrong choice of words). Have fun using my sewing machine and overlocker more.
- Make at least four sewing garments (that are wearable) that take me out of my comfort zone; technique-wise.
- Read at least twenty-four books this year; that's two a month.
- Finish all my WIP's. This includes sewing in ends, blocking and lining.
- To practise yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques on a regular basis.
- To journal and doodle more with my new stationery.
The sewing is going well. I've been making bits and pieces for a sewing swap. I took part in this swap last year, and it's called Send A Little Love Swap 2018 run by the lovely Tracy from Mad About Bags. I quite like the idea of getting my thinking cap on, and making up a parcel of goodies for someone! My someone this year is the very talented Emma. We are both designing and making for each other,but I have to admit I do feel a little anxious as her work is stunning. I do hope Emma likes what I've made. (I will post my makes on my next blog post).
Other pieces I have been making, include some pyjama bottoms. I'm a subscriber of the sewing box Sew Hayley Jane and have received six boxes so far and loved every single one of them. I haven't used all the fabric yet, but I'm sure as the year moves on I will have made a dent in them and found patterns too. Anyway, the material seen in the photographs above is from the December classic box; 'A Winter Warmer'. Each month I receive 2.5 meters of fabric, matching thread, 4 fat quarters, a sewing accessory, trims and some sweets. When I first received the box, I was going to make some pj's for Paul, but after pre-washing the fabric and ironing it, I knew I had to make them for me. The pattern (very heavily modified by moi) is Simplicity 1494, although when I cut out the pattern pieces, they looked as though they would fit a seven-foot giant (I'm not joking). I held up the pattern piece, and from the crotch, the waistband would have sat over my boobs, hahaha! So, I also used a much-loved pair of bottoms, from the brand Fat Face to ensure I was getting the fit and length just right. Once, I had cut out all the pieces (I always find that part scary) I then set up my overlocker and set about machining around all the edges. Go me! I've only used this machine once, since buying it. Then I had a brainwave (uhh ohh!) I thought, hey, I could have pockets (see the blurred photo of my attempt to make a template of one). I say attempt, the thing only worked lol! First time trying as well! I then stitched pockets in place and made them special by attaching bias material around the edge of the pocket. This won't be seen when I'm wearing them, but I know it's there, and it also reinforces the pocket seam. Next up the waistband. It looks pretty ordinary on the pattern pack, and I knew I wanted to change this pretty early on. I knew I wanted to try a shirring waistband but had never tried the technique before. My first attempt was pretty awful, the elastic must have been passed it's best, and the material did not ruche at all, cue sad face, then angry face as I had to pick out all the stitching by hand. Not wanting to be defeated, I then trawled the internet for the solution and found an excellent tutorial by Raechel Myers. It soon became apparent it wasn't due to my crappy skills, it was my in-experience; that and because I own a Brother brand of sewing machine. You need to do a few adjustments or tweaks to the bobbin housing before attempting this technique. So, with this new information under my belt and a new pack of elastic, I set about trying the method again. Second time lucky, after the first line of stitching there was a little ruching, and by the second I had an actual shirred piece-happy squirrel. The front of the waistband was far easier, just two button holes machined into the fabric side by side and then spliced open to feed the ties through. The outsides of the pockets were also trimmed with lace. So, now all that's left to do is the bottom leg hems, some other customisations and to sew the back waistband in place, and they're ready to wear.
I had a splurge just after Christmas and before the New Year. Oopps! After succumbing to the dreaded lurgy going around (it took me three weeks to get over it, I say over it, it's now February, and I'm still coughing, as the awful infection kept mutating). I decided to treat myself to a few (ahem) sewing accessories from the lovely Grace at Beyond Measure UK. I purchased some Tulip Hiroshima Needles-Embroidery, a pack of Hancock's Cloth Markers, wooden needle holder, a Sajou tin of pins (I love the Sajou range, and I collect unusual tins) and some beeswax for my hand sewing thread. I have to confess I didn't need these items, I just had to have them. Why? Just because. I think it's good to give ourselves a pick me up now and again.
I just couldn't help myself. I love the Scheepjes range of yarns, especially their Whirl range. I would love to own all the colours one day, but I don't think Paul would be thrilled. I already have a walk-in cupboard full of unused boxed yarn, so, if I add more to it, I think Paul would force me to live in the said cupboard (I'm okay with that so long as he leaves the light on so I can see all the yarn). The two Whirls on my hook at the moment are Lavenderlicious, and Tutty 'O' Fruity and the pattern I'm working on is Scheepjes CBTL (Crochet Between the Lines) by Tammy Canavan-Soldaat. Yes, I have frogged my work in the photograph above, I crocheted through 2 strands instead of one and I couldn't let it go. The mistake kept staring at me. Can you believe I sat for 4-5 hours (with cramp and in need of a toilet break) crocheting the piece back to its original place. I was too scared to move because the frogged yarn would tangle. To date, I now only have two more repeats to go, the outer edge and then blocking. Hopefully, I can wear it this year, while the weather is still cold.
I'm now going off to eat pancakes, slurp tea and to finish off my pyjama bottoms.