Quote

Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Abstract Artwork

Canvasses created for my bathroom.
I particularly like the first one.


Sunday, 27 May 2012

A thought....

I'm sewing less these days, but probably living life more, so I'm broadening the remit of my blog to include things which inspire me, things I've created and places I've been. I'll also share any sewing I do actually do :-)

Today I was inspired by this (there are variations on the bird in the first section, this is the Australian version).
A man whispered, “God speak to me!”
and a kookaburra laughed. But the man didn’t hear.

So the man called out, “God speak to me!”
and thunder rolled across the sky. But the man didn’t listen.

The man looked around and said, “God let me see you!”
and a star shone brightly. But the man didn’t see.

Despairingly the man said, “God show me a miracle”
and a life was born. But the man didn’t notice.

Desperate now, the man said, “Love me God’,
and his wife smiled at him. But that was so normal, he missed it.

Feeling completely alone he whispered into the heavens,
“Touch me God and let me know you are here!”
God reached down and touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away and went sadly on his way.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

What you sew vs What you wear

Having finished SWAP, I'm reviewing my actual life and the clothes I wear over and over.

It comes down to this
- tops to wear with jeans for going out for meal/pub.
- trouser suits + knit tops or tops/trousers with jacket for work (though sometimes I do wear knit dresses with a jacket for work)
- walking/travel clothing for weekends and holidays
- PJs
seriously that's about it.
I haven't bothered with a category for posh parties/weddings etc as they are so rare. 

I'm also a bit fatter than I was so not everything fits very well, in particualr the two smartest suits.

OK, so to the categories:-
Going out
- fave altered RTW jeans about to wear out, bummer. Various self sewn ones are not that great - what to do?
- one or two knit tops that are a bit more special, could do with a little more choice. Easy enough to sew.

Work
I keep wearing two brown trouser suits, one is seriously on its last legs and needs binning really. I have two nice suits that are too tight. I have a black suit that is very boring.
I need to do a suit audit and create some whole outfits which I can just grab and wear.
These could be a dark top& trousers with bright jacket combo though.
I am wondering about actually buying a suit, but hoping the above strategy would be enough.

Travel Clothing
Now I am more into walking and want to plan some budget holidays I would like to have a proper wardrobe of fast drying tops, travel pants etc. The kind of stuff you can buy at Craghoppers.
I do have fabric for making some trousers, but might just buy some instead from a practical perspective.
Not quite sure if I can make base layer tees from fabric I have in stash or not.
Since I am not superskilled like Karen, I shall buy a waterproof coat.

PJs
I own the saddest PJs ever and could do with making some new ones.
Silk would be lovely for a luxurious feel, though I don't have any suitable yardage.
In the meantime I shall make some in a fab cream and brown cotton print with matching robe (dressing gown).

Thoughts??

Friday, 18 May 2012

Rhonda's 'Lend Me Your Shoulder' Top - Pattern now available

You may recall that I was lucky enough to be one of the testers of the 'Lend Me Your Shoulder Top' by the lovely Rhonda Buss. Fantastic news is that Rhonda is now selling this pattern and others in her Etsy Shop. So if you want to make your own you can!
This is a cool top which is the same front and back and has different sleeves and a cowl neckline to give an off the shoulder type or cowl effect depending on how you wear it.
It's great with jeans for casual evenings out, I've already worn it quite a few times, which for a test garment is a bonus. The red was a happy accident, becuase I had red on the serger already I pulled some matching fabric from the stash.
I did do a full bicep alteration and increased the body by one size (I am bigger than the Large) so watch out for this if you are not a teeny person. The alterations are easy enough though as there are only 3 pattern pieces.

SWAP Results

Slightly old news for those of you who already frequent the Stitchers Guild, but the SWAP results were announced on Monday. (I've been away on a week long residential course with limited online access).

The Grand Prize goes to: Sharon loves her new blue collection
1st Prize: ahearta's Mix and match Minoru
2nd Prize: Robin's city separates
Congratulations!

The rules for SWAP really worked well for lots of people this year. 
I must admit I am not entirely happy with my collection, the complexity of which was reduced from the original plan due to work and personal commitments. However I was pleased that I still managed to complete 11 pieces which met the rules, all sewn within the timeframe.

I'll write a post another day about the whole "What you sew vs what you actually wear" topic, though there's a discussion thread on this at SG. I'm having a bit of a think about this whole area since my sewing drive seems a little sapped at the moment - probably by the SWAP.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

SWAP Photos are up

Yaay the SWAP photos are up and you can see them here - link to SWAP photos.

The voting rules are up on Stitchers' Guild here, and if you are a member I would encourage you to view and vote.
Obviously if you like mine the best then I would love you to vote for me :-) but in all seriousness you should vote for the first, second and third places as you feel most appropriate. Happy Wardrobe viewing.
Love Ruthie!



SWAP Seven #2 Knit Top

The second of my seven garments is a simple scoop necked knit top.
This is a great pattern with two sleeve lengths.
I made a forward head alteration by shaping the back seam and shortening the neckband accordingly.
The short sleeved top was cut from the same fabric as the dress, and the 3/4 sleeve top from the same fabric as the cardigan. To make best use of the fabric in both cases I cut both garments out at the same time from each fabric. The print knit stretches up as well as across so I think I cut the sleeves out at right angles due to fabric shortage.
This is a great pattern I have used a lot!


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

SWAP Seven #1 Cardigan Jacket

First up find yourself a pattern for a cardigan which consists of a front, back, sleeves and neckband as a starting point. Confirm the basic finished length you want (not including the hem points) and mark the hem and waist positions on your pattern. When you come to cut out the cardigan use theexisting pattern pieces for the sleeve and neck band, plus the front and back as far as the waist marker. Then cut a new piece for the lower body. This should run in the opposite direction for interest. The width is equivalent to the waist to hem length plus seam allowances. The length is equivalent to the waist length plus the waist to hem length twice. When you sew it together, pivot the peplum part at the centre front waist and sew it to the front band, this creates additional triangles at the side front giving the dipped hem. Easy but very effective.

The cardigan is based on New Look 6735 View A, the cardigan jacket. I had already altered this to deal with my forward head and shortened it for a previous cardigan. For this version I made a new pattern piece for the lower front and back (which I'm calling a peplum) as described above - basically a rectangle the length of the hip circumference and the depth of the original waist to hip length, with squares added each end for the drapes. Then when cutting out I stopped the cardigan front and back at the waistline.
Construction order was as follows:-
- shoulder seams
- insert sleeves (flat)
- sew up sleeve and upper side seams
- sew 2 sections of peplum together.
- sew peplum to lower edge of cardigan
- sew 2 sections of neckband together.
- sew neckband to front of cardigan.
For the 2012 SWAP I made this twice, one in a black and white striped sweater knit and then again in a plain black ponte.

The SWAP 7.

The SWAP rules this year had you choose seven garments from a list and then choose four of those to make twice total of 11 garments that will work together.  

The seven garments I have chosen to make are

Cardigan Jacket - made twice in black and white sweater knit and in plain black ponte, variation with angled hem peplum based on New Look 6735 View A.
Knit top - made twice in black and white sweater knit and in print viscose jersey, New Look 6735 View B.
Skirt - made twice in black and red ponte, variations on Rhonda’s All Points Skirt.
Dress - made twice in black and white sweater knit and in print viscose jersey, New Look 6071.
Pants - made once in black ponte, Burda 12/2007 #127
Jeans - made once in black stretch denim, Burda 9/2004 #106
Blouse - made once in red crinkle viscose, Prima June 2010

I'll do a series of seven posts covering each garment in turn over this coming week.

Monday, 7 May 2012

SWAP 2012: Angled Poise

Well I've got some (indoor) photos and am about to send them off to Ann Rowley for inclusion on the overall SWAP page.
Here's my original mood board
and here's me wearing the final pieces (won't be on the SWAP pages, but I love these combination type shots).
As ever a SWAP morphs a bit as it gets sewn up and as the time ticks away, with the deadline loomed ever closer!

Slightly hard to see in my tiny pictures but the pieces are
1.    Drape Front Cardigan, black and white sweater knit, based on New Look 6735 View A with draped peplum. (CARDIGAN 1)
2.    Scoop neck knit top,  black and white sweater knit, New Look 6735 View B (KNIT TOP 1)
3.    Multi length skirt, black ponte, Rhonda’s All Points Skirt (SKIRT 1)
4.    Scoop neck knit top, viscose print jersey, New Look 6735 View C (KNIT TOP 1)
5.    Drape front cardigan, black ponte, based on New Look 6735 View A with draped peplum. (CARDIGAN 2)
6.    Knot front dress, viscose print jersey, New Look 6071 (DRESS 1)
7.    Knot front dress, black ponte, New Look 6071 (DRESS 2)
8.    Pull on pants, black ponte, Burda 12/2007 #127 (PANTS 1)
9.    Curved seam jeans, black stretch denim, Burda 9/2004 #106 (JEANS 1)
10.    Scoop neck blouse, red crinkle viscose woven, Prima June 2010 (BLOUSE 1)
11.    Multi length skirt, red ponte, Rhonda’s All Points Skirt. (SKIRT 2)

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Summer Collection - Tangerine Tango Safari

I will be taking my SWAP photos this weekend and sending them to Ann Rowley at Stitchers Guild. Certain composite pictures are not allowed under the rules, so I'll post other pictures here. In particular, my favourite way of showing multiple little Ruthies each wearing a different outfit on a single powerpoint slide so you can see the whole wardrobe isn't one of the approved ways, but its how I like to summarise a wardrobe so will share it here.

Of course as soon as I have finished one collection I start to think about the next one. The lovely Elizabeth is suggested a cream/brown summer 6PAC for me which seems quite Safari like.

And as I am Ruthie I need some colour as well, and thought I would go for Pantone's Color of the year - Tangerine Tango, and add that to the Cream and Brown to get Tangerine Tango Safari! Lol we shall have to see if it works.