I should be sewing….

I should be sewing (maybe I should buy one of Erin’s T shirts?). Instead I thought I would come in here for a quiet chat. As no-one has ever made a comment on one of these posts yet, I’m obviously safe to waffle on in peace!

Having got down to just 2 PhD (Projects half Done) items in my basket I have just thrown another “I’ll alter that” item in.  You know how it is, I wanted another pair of Linen, knee-length, loose and comfy pants in blue.  What I actually found were some white ones that are too long. So, not to be beaten, I will crop and then dye them blue.  Do you do that sort of thing?  I’m just psyching myself up to re-threading my overlocker in white. 

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Speaking of which, I’ve just found the new book “The Overlocker Technique Manual: The Complete Guide to Serging and Decorative Stitching” by Julia Hincks.  I got it from my library but having read it I think I will have to buy it, especially as the machine she is using is my Janome 9300DX! It’s very thorough, well written and very well illustrated.  I can see me working my way through it as a sort of Home Study Course.  

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Do you like my Sewing Quote in the title?  I love that picture of Rowan Atkinson, and I am sure Lady Blackadder would have said something like that!  I may have to add it to my Embroidered Words collection. I like this one above by Rachael of imaginegnats too; you can get the free pdf and tutorial here on sewmamasew.com.

I will be sewing next week as I have been asked to make another Stow-It-All, but scale it down about 15% for my rather petite niece! I’ve printed the pattern off at 85%  and checked the measurements.  We will go shopping for fabric Monday, and I have already got the hardware and interfacing, so I have that to look forward to.

Kingfisher for Embroidery

In the meantime I have one more project to do to complete my Craftsy Course “Design it, Stitch it” with Jessica Marquez. It’s the “Design it” bit. Jessica uses her own photographs for this.  I have been looking at my photograph collection, and I have a couple I could use.   Like this Kingfisher. He flew into our window and knocked himself silly, so he sat on our verandah until his head stopped spinning.  I could see him as an embroidery design.  Just not sure about it.  No “Aha” feeling.  What do you think?  Could I put him on the front pocket of a bag?

Field mouse

I also have one of a field mouse who sat eating berries in the bush outside my window, and a grass snake sunning itself in the garden.  They both have design possibilities, but….. really? Don’t you take pictures of things like that?  How about a bee swarm? No?  All my other pictures are of our dogs, or my truck! I don’t suppose my field mouse would look anything like as good as this one by my idol Marmalade Rose 

It took me a long time to complete the previous lesson, “Embroidering on Knit”.  First I had to wait to get my hands on some Solvy, then I had to choose a knit item I thought would benefit from some embroidery. Nothing came to mind, so nothing happened.

Plain Denim Blue

I had been given a lot of unwanted clothes last year, and have been sorting them between Charity Shop, Wardrobe, and  Alter.  When I say “alter” I have mainly been changing the colours (I looooove to tie-dye things!). One of the items was the little knit tunic which I eventually decided to dye denim blue.  I thought I’d spoilt it,  it looked so dull, even with those cute pintucks, so I just hung it back in the cupboard and tried to forget about it. 

Embroidered neckline

Until I had the brainwave (that “Aha!” moment!) of adding embroidery around the neckline, and then it all came together beautifully.  Now I love it!

Torekellberget Windmill, Sodertalje, Sweden 1976

So, as I was saying, to complete the course my last task is to create a piece of embroidery from my own design.   I’m just not sure that I want any of the designs I have come up with! Being able to create one and wanting it on anything are two different things.  So I am waiting until the right idea comes along (and says “Aha”).  This may take some time.  I even made a trip to the attic to get out my old photograph albums.  This was a nice shot of a windmill in Sweden. Hmm.  Still no “Aha!”.  Just as well there is no time limit on completeing a Craftsy Course! 

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Meanwhile I got around to re-threading my overlocker and got on with altering my new linen trousers.  I started by measuring and cutting off 12″ from the legs.  I opened up the side seams and made vents, then overlocked all the raw edges and turned up a narrow hem.

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Then I cut a strip from the spare fabric and added it to the back waistband, (not big enough for my derriere) and trimmed a similar amount off the front of the waistband (too baggy despite my tummy).   All neatly finished off with the overlocker. You can see the curving join here, but it is hidden inside the waistband. 

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Now they hang properly.  I just need to wash them and get my dye bucket out.  Not slimming, but comfy in this heat, like that top.  I have an old pattern to make a top like that.  McCalls 5881, Misses’ Trapeze Blouse in two lengths.  It’s dated 1992 and is one of of McCall’s “Learn To Sew For fun” patterns so it gives lots of extra help and tips. Love it, especially the contrasting fabrics version (View E).

McCalls 5881Another item for my TO DO list!