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Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

PR Red Dress Contest

I planned to sew blue cushions, so of course I fancy a red dress! Something simple I can wear with a jacket to work I think.
Maybe this will help me get back into taking photos of myself wearing the clothes, something I have been rather remiss about recently.
I already have 2 dresses in the SWAP, so don't need it for that, but I shall sew it anyway.
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I think I shall go with New Look 6751 View B in plain red ponte, do my normal forward head alterations.I think I'll cut the sleeve and neck bands with the main pieces, and then do a simple facing for the neckline. I'll omit the back zipper too, change the darts into gathers and add a belt.
Other than that it'll be JUST like the pattern!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Aprons for craft fayre

I took a bit of a break from sewing clothing whilst I finished of my old assignment at work. I start the new assignment on Monday morning, and am straight into going to site to meet the customer. I think the learning curve at the start will be quite steep, so am not going to sew anything complicated for a bit.
I've had various meals out etc to say goodbye to colleagues I won't be working with anymore, though I did manage to make some time on Saturday to finish off the 2 adult sized plain black aprons, and the 6 green checked aprons (3 adult, 3 children). The child's apron is the only one you can see properly in the picture. The striped bag was previously made, but not pictured before.
With these items and some cream cushions not shown I now have a bagful of stuff for the show. I still have another 2 weeks or so, so can produce a few more items. I have a range of blue velvet backed cushions planned, though not yet cut out, and these should be simple pieces I can sew when my brain is busy with learning the new job.
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I've taken a short break from the Artist's Way for a few weeks as I was getting overload.
I'm also taking a break from SWAP until early March probably, but as I have already made 7 pieces I feel that'll be OK, and I can still finish (though probably not be in for a chance to win, but hey that's how these things go, its not advisable to change jobs, move house or get divorced mid SWAP!)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Black 'Heart' Cushions

Having finished the black dress I could carry on with more SWAP pieces, but I think actually I need to make some pieces for the Craft Fayre, even though I can't be there in person. Since the machines are threaded in black, I am going to take a piece of black upholstery fabric I bought as a remnant at some point. I think in being black I thought to make it into clothing when I bought it, but it really is going to be better as aprons, bags, cushions and other such things. It sometimes surprises me how many such things can be got out of yardage, compared to clothing.

I think I will start with a classic adult sized apron, and then a simple cushion and see what is left over after that point. Pictures before bed time :-)

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I loved the black cushions with naif cream stitched hearts, so made 8 of them. They need a press and perhaps a creamy button on the points (especially where my stitching is a bit wonky).
The hearts are drawn freehand with chalk (one half) and folded together and rechalked. This gives each heart a different shape, some fat and happy others pointy and elegant.
I also have 2 black aprons half made, 6 green check aprons half made, 4 cream cushions which need pressing and one green striped shopping bag finished.
Another couple of sessions and I will have half a table worth. Let's hope people will want to buy them.

Snow Day Black Dress

I took a snow day today and sewed up the black knit dress. This is New Look 6071 with the skirt lengthened by 9" and flared out slightly more. On this version the sleeves are the full length on the pattern.
The fabric is a stretchy black jersey from the stash. Not sure on the content but I think viscose, polyester and elastane from the hand, but we'll have to see what it is like to wear and launder. I'm hoping this will be a classic black dress. Black is not great for me around the face, so I will fill the deep neckline with a bold necklace, scarf or cami in good colours. This is my 7th piece of the SWAP, and the second using this dress pattern.
No excuses now I shall have to go outside and clear the snow off my drive. :-)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Banana Muffins

I've not done any baking for a very long time. More than a year I think. However in one of the exercises in the Artist's Way, I had put down baking cakes as something I've enjoyed in the past but not done for ages, somehow this percolated through into me actually making something. :-)
And so today I did a version of the Banana Muffins from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

I've been very good and only tested one! I'll keep a few for home and take the rest in to work to share on Monday.


Friday, 3 February 2012

Plans and progress

Well frankly there isn't any progress. At least not on the sewing front. I need to sew the black dress next and I think I've OD'd on black and can't be doing with it.

I had a day off work today, but I did some household jobs and then went off to the nearest big city (Sheffield) to visit a discount outdoor shop. I got some specialist clothing for my hill walking activities, so I was OK with that in that largely my goal for the trip was achieved.
But the whole experience of driving in an unfamiliar large city, having trouble parking, having difficulty finding the things I wanted in an oddly laid out shop, and then getting out of a semi-blocked-in parking space and driving home again left me rather shaky. To the point that I'm not sure I'd go back.

I've had a few over-reactions to things recently though so maybe I need just try and chill a bit and see why I react like that so I can avoid the reaction when a situation occurs I don't like.
The city claustrophobia seems more apparent these days than in the past, though its a long standing issue/personality trait. I realised that I deliberately choose a slightly longer commute (distance wise) to work that involves lanes and countryside (instead of the main congested road) to get my morning 'tree fix', so perhaps the space thing is more of an issue than I have admitted to myself. I am aware I will take stairs to avoid lifts (elevators), choose to sit on the end of rows of seats in crowded place (church, cinemas etc), and walk out of small rooms if there are (what I consider) too many people there. The house I chose to rent is in a large village on the edge of a small town, with garden etc. I could not bear to rent a terraced house because of the closeness of the other houses.

However this afternoon, I was pleased that having got upset being unable to get the car out of the partially blocked space, I was able to calm down again, look carefully at the car, the space, the angle etc, and after about 20 minutes actually extricate the car from the space. (A long vehicle had parked across the back whilst I was in the shop). No vehicles were scraped and I made it home without any great issues. So I guess I triumphed.

I'm planning to go on another group walk tomorrow, and the fresh air and open spaces is infintely more appealing than driving in a big city :-)

Normal updates on sewing related stuff will resume shortly.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Picture Links Requests

In response to Ginger's request for the little wardrobe pics on the left to link to something, I have found some of the original larger pictures and made them link from the thumbnail. If they are linked I have edited the description to say so. Some of them I can't find the original matching picture in a blog post at the moment, but if I come across them I shall add. I've now added the year as well, so if you really want more info on the patterns used etc, you can go to the Blog Archive (at the very bottom left) and find the year and month and the posts should be there.

I realised I'd not added thumbnails for the most recent wardrobe collections so I had a little trawl through and added all the newer collections, including some I had forgotten (Newspaper Collection anyone!)

The very oldest ones were my early attempts at collections and my style and ability to create collections has evolved quite a bit since then.
So unless anyone speaks up for 2006-2007 collections they are history. I was plus size then so all the clothes are gone now, and I wasn't blogging then, so details of patterns etc are probably lost in the mists of time.

Hope this proves useful.

Interestingly in a normalish year I seem to do
SWAP (which is a double collection really) and is Spring clothes
which you can then wear in the UK Summer
then an Autumn Collection
then a Christmas Collection
and then start all over again with the next SWAP