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Monthly Archives: January 2012

My secret shame

Like a lot of crafters (I can’t be the only one, surely?) I knew I had a few unfinished objects (UFOs) around the house, but until we packed up our last house in order to move, I didn’t realise just how many I actually had…

This is just one box…I have a few more stashed in another box because they wouldn’t all fit in this one, so there’re quite a few sad looking half (or not even) finished garments just waiting to be either put out of their misery or brought back to life.  The UFOs became that way for a variety of reasons: fit issues, loss of interest, shunted aside in favour of a new, more exciting project and possibly some other small reasons as well.  I am determined to get my pile of UFOs under control and have pledged to assess and either toss impossible, awful, unfixable garments (recycling the fabric into another project, of course!) or fix, re-fit and finish those that I can salvage.  For each new project I begin, I have to eliminate at least one UFO from my pile.

In the interest of beginning on the right foot I decided to tackle an UFO before beginning anything new.  This is my first:

As you can see (or perhaps not?) it’s miles too big.  I’m not sure how this happened…I don’t strictly remember because it was so long ago, but I’m sure I would have measured, double checked everything, and I certainly haven’t lost any weight since I started this.  Because the fabric came from my trip to India last year, and is so, so lovely, I would have been extra sure that everything would have been okay…something – obviously – went very, very wrong.  Alright I’m over my little rant.  This is what it’s supposed to look like:

Butterick 4623

In addition to the huge (no pun intended) sizing issues, I also had not finished sewing the sleeves…

…taking the tacking out of the zipper…

…or started hemming the little blighter (no photograph required)…

The major issues with getting this into the wardrobe clearly begin with sorting out what the heck went wrong with the sizing and how the heck to fix it without hacking the gorgeous fabric to pieces.

Ugh!  Wish me luck!

New (sort of) Chairs

Just some quick pics of some dining chairs I recently updated to go with our brand-spanking new house.

The fabric was bought on our most recent trip to Ikea, and the dining set was one we inherited from my parents quite a few years ago.  I forgot to take a ‘before’ photo, but picture these chairs with red wine and food stained white fabric (we’re the grots – not Mum), and you get the idea.  They were nice, but a bit mumsy…and dirty.

The chairs were really easy to recover – and no sewing required!  A sturdy staple gun, a screw driver and scissors were the only tools required.

The orange fabric’s my favourite.  In fact, even though I’m not usually fond of orange, I could easily cover all the chairs with this fabric and live quite happily.

I also made a couch cushion from this awesome vintage-styled fabric, and an off-cut from a curtain I had to hem.  I also – shockingly – did my first buttonhole with my new machine.  Until I actually attached the buttonhole foot, I hadn’t realised I hadn’t used its buttonholing function yet.  I am in love – it was so, so easy and check out the buttonhole below (if you can actually see it – photo isn’t the best)!  It is perfect!

The cushion really brightens up the black chair, and every time I look at it I can pretend I’m camping on a gorgeous river somewhere in a retro caravan!

I’m back!

Hey-ho!  I’m back – after a reallllly long break.  I’ve had a lot going on since I last posted – moved house, overseas trip, Christmas, New Year….it doesn’t seem like that much writing it like that, but it’s all felt massive.

First things first – we’ve finally moved into our newly purchased, brand new house.  It’s lovely to be in our own space and to be able to knock holes in walls if the desire to do so overcomes us.  We’ve been busy bees decorating and arranging and rearranging bits and pieces (posts on some of this to follow in the near future).

Next – onto some sewing relating news.  The only new things I’ve created with fabric and thread recently were Christmas gifts for loved ones.  The first one was a felt grocery set for my gorgeous niece.

Felty yumminess

If you’re clever, you will have noticed that the red bag looks like it’s upside down…it is.  After sewing the white recycling arrows onto the red felt, I stitched the red parts of the bag together without really paying attention to direction…by the time I realised I really didn’t want to unpick the stitching to put it the right way up.  I tried to convince myself it was more unique (and thus more valuable) if it remained upside down.  I still photographed it with the arrows the right way up, though…

The eggs started out to be a bit of a disaster…following the pattern instructions (bought, by the way, from this Etsy store), they looked more like onions than eggs (I vox popped random visitors to our home to gauge their opinion and they agreed).  This, I’m willing to admit, might be because of my dodgy sewing, or due to the fact they’re made from brown felt).  Anyway, not completely happy with them, I played with the construction a little until they looked more like eggs in my eyes (white eggs).

Next up on the gift-list was this awesome (if I do say so sew myself) piece of embroidery for my lovely.  He is a DJ in his spare time, and years ago he designed a logo for himself that I decided to embroider for his Christmas gift.

DJ Dajarra in da house, y'all!

I managed to make this masterpiece by printing off the logo, placing it on a lightbox (which I luckily have access to through work, though a sunny window would work just as well) and tracing the lines with nothing more than a simple grey-lead pencil onto the fabric.  I then spent a stupid amount of time sneaking around trying to finish it without the DJ himself discovering me.  I actually ended up doing most of the embroidery on the tram on the way to work in the mornings, and in the process started up an accidental craft circle.  After being given some strange looks by some tram passengers for a couple of mornings, a lovely older lady approached me one morning and asked if she could join my “travelling craft group”.  I, of course, welcomed the company, and as she knitted and I embroidered, we had a lovely time crafting our way to work.  Hello, knitting lady from the 86!  (I never did ask her name…)

I’m quite proud of this piece as, though I’ve done a little, I’ve never really applied myself to any serious embroidery before.  If you’re in the Melbourne (Australia) area, and in want/need of an awesome DJ who spins amazing old-school tracks, and is very handsome to boot, you should definitely check out DJ Dajarra.  He is guaranteed to get everyone boogying!

Glow in the dark! Whoo!

The caption above might clue you into the fact that I used some glow in the dark thread.  The white line of embroidery next to the thread actually glows in the dark!  I read about this thread somewhere on the ‘net, and knew I had to somehow incorporate it into Dajarra’s piece as our dinner parties often devolve into dance parties in the dark around the DJ decks.  The camera batteries are dead at the minute, so I can’t show you a pic, but I’ll update in the next day or two, just to prove it to you.

Happy new year everyone! xox