Sunday, 29 April 2012


My little helper.
The skirt is finally taking shape. After several false starts I finally have pockets that are in place and look good! I was about to attach them when I realised that I'd put one together back to front, so I had two left-hand-side pockets and no right one.

I've also made the yoke and once I attach it to the skirt then all that is left to do is add the zip and hem it. I feel confident that it won't take me too long... which probably means it will take me another few weeks. I also need to figure out how to attach it as I can't make head nor tail of the instructions. I'll put it down for a day or so and see if the break helps me understand the next step.

I think the skirt might be too loose, too. I'll try it on again tomorrow and see if I need to take in the skirt a little bit more - which means unpicking and sewing all the seams yet again. I tidied the seams on the inside a bit but I still feel like they are super messy. I hope to become neater, once I figure out how.

I tell you what, though, with all the unpicking that I've had to do, it's a good thing we bought a super awesome new vacuum cleaner the other week...I made a huge mess with threads everywhere!

Friday, 27 April 2012

The skirt

It occurs to me that I haven't actually shown you what skirt that I'm making. Let me rectify this. I'm making this simple skirt from Simplicity. The one I'm making is made out of grey and black gabardine, so it should look pretty similar to the skirt shown. I plan on making a couple of the skirts in different fabrics, and will probably make view D, too.

I've been looking for a simple grey skirt to wear to work and this one is exactly the kind of thing that I was looking for.

I've got people around for dinner tonight and The Chef has the day off tomorrow too, so it won't be until Sunday that I'll get another chance to play with it. I'm hopeful that it will start to come together now that I've figured the pockets out.

I also went to my local library and borrowed a couple of books on sewing. I've been reading it through and am excited about trying some of the different seams that they describe in the book. I generally love being meticulous about sewing, although I've been a bit slapdash in making this skirt so far, so I'd love to learn how to finish the seams perfectly. I think, of the techniques that I've looked at so far, the French Seam is my favourite.

I've been so impatient to get into the project that I didn't sit down and do any planning and research before I started. Then again, I'm sure I'll learn as much from the mistakes that I've made as I would if I had a perfect project first try, and probably even more.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

And we're off!

I got my sewing machine last night, but due to family obligations and bad traffic I didn't get much time to play with it until today. I played with the different stitch features, which was fun, and sewed a pin cushion, which is pretty boring looking, until I had a chance to pick up my skirt from mum's.

I really should organise myself some sewing lessons, but instead I started sewing it up again and cut out some of the details that I couldn't do earlier - I hadn't bought enough black for the trimmings and I needed to get some interfacing. Armed with my new supplies, I could finally start the pockets - which I was meant to do first, but had ignored. I figured this was ok, as I hadn't been generous enough with my seam allowances and the pinned up skirt was hanging from me anyway, so I needed to unpick all the seams that I'd done regardless.

I made some progress, but still it feels like two steps forward and one step backwards! This skirt is going to take me forever - and it's a really simple skirt!! I've got the two pockets about ready to tack on, but I'm SURE there are some steps missing in the instructions. Sigh. Oh well...I guess I'll figure it out eventually, but I'm sure that by the time the skirt is actually finished, it will fall apart because of all the holes I've made in it sewing and unpicking every seam 50 times!

The machine itself - a Janome DC2050 (I think it's known as a 1050 in the US) is a dream to use—it sews pretty straight and is easy to figure out. I had no trouble threading it or putting the bobbin in at all, which is good. I can use it without a foot pedal, which is handy as our place is pretty tight for space at the moment.

Anyway, even though it was a frustrating day in many ways, I still had a lot of fun and am pleased that I'm persevering with adding the pockets, as they are one of my favourite features of the skirt in the end anyway.

Hmm... think I just had a brainwave and think I've figured out my pocket dilemma. I'll have to try it out tomorrow!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Sewing box treasures

I can pick up my sewing machine tomorrow! I'm so excited! So I thought since The Obsession is about to hit in full, I should clear out my sewing chest to make room for some new projects.

There are LOTS of embroidery kits and patterns in various states of completion, like a table runner, and several cross stitch kits I'd forgotten that I had. There is also some wool and half crocheted hats, in a oh-so-lovely bruise-colored wool. I also found this gem of a book about smocking (as seen in the photo). I knew I had this and was thinking about it today—I've decided one of my first projects will be a smocked dress. I doubt it will suit me, but I want to give it a try, I've been meaning to do it for years but doing the hand gathering and sewing took a lot of effort and I was never neat enough to be satisfied with the result. I managed to capture the cat looking deceptively sweet and innocent. She was attacking my box two seconds earlier, so let me assure you that isn't her usual demeanor!

I also found some quilting cotton, and some lace trimming, so I think I will make myself a pin cushion as my First Official Project on my new machine. My skirt-in-process is all at my mum's place where I've been working on it, so I'll have to get it soon to finish it. The Chef says I'm not allowed to start any new projects before finishing the skirt, but what he doesn't know won't kill him. He also doesn't need to know about the three Collette patterns that I bought today!! Shhhhh!


I've decided to start sewing. I've put my first ever sewing machine on layby - and it's a beauty - and I pick it up in 11 days - not that I'm counting. I'm halfway through my first ever project, too - a skirt that I've been sewing on my mum's trusty old Husqvarna from the 70's. My head is whirling with all the projects that I want to do and all the things that need altering in my own wardrobe already. So many skirts that I love, but most of them at least need to be hemmed and about half need to be drastically taken in.

So I thought I'd start a blog to track my progress. I got inspired last night, and I stumbled on Tilly and the Buttons, and the next thing I knew I'd read her entire site. It was pretty exciting to see how she'd improved and how quickly she mastered sewing.

I haven't really done any sewing before, but I'm an old hand with a needle - I've been doing extensive embroidery for years, and have tried as many types of embroidery as I could, so I'm hopeful that this will be a challenge, but still achievable for me.

Anyway, I'm bursting with excitement and can't wait to get my hands on my Janome!