21 December 2007

bags I said, oh and merry christmas!

I'm not really repeating myself with these bags, honest. It's just that when I filled them all yesterday with their goodies they looked so cute all lined up on the ironing board, especially with their groovy gift tags. I printed these off on standard A4 paper and then found some really cool patterned card stock at Spotlight (sometimes that place amazes me!) to glue them to, I showed these tags to Tara the other day and we both cracked up laughing.

I don't know if I'll get any more posts in before Christmas as we're back off to Bruny on Saturday. We have to handle the seed (little baby oysters), bring in a BIG harvest on Sunday and deliver them to the processor on Monday morning - where apparently they will be shipped straight away to Sydney. Nice......

So here's my big fat Christmas greeting to you all. Enjoy you day, enjoy the food, enjoy the plonk, laughter, family, sunshine, snow, bulging waistlines, headache the next day - you know, all that good stuff. "I'm going off now to stuff loads and loads of paper down the toilet", thanks Vivian.

18 December 2007

about being 'wrapped up'

I know I'm repeating myself and maybe I shouldn't have 2 blogs but in some ways I seem to need them. I have made some really nice friends on the APQ site and I want to keep those relationships going, however this blog lets me delve into other things/issues/experiences which I like to think is helping to shape my own business.

The whole time I've been making these bags I'm thinking "these look good, these fabrics work, I could make these to sell and feel good about that ......", and the interesting thing is that I've only used a discontinued upholstery sample on one of them (not including the first one I made entirely out of samples which isn't pictured anyway - that was the trial run!). (Shannon - what do you think of this style of fabric print for your work-mate's bag?)

So a lesson is being learned I believe. I think I'm going to achieve a lot more by using the fabrics that make me happy, instead of trying to soldier on with samples that are nice but not always me. I do feel that one day I'll be able to use them in a way that will look creative and attractive but I think that may involve a type of machine embroidery that I hope The Thug (industrial machine) will teach me. In the meantime I'll continue to let little embryos of ideas form in the back of my mind. This is good too - I need that sort of thing. We all need something to strive for.

Speaking of The Thug, Ant had a play with it last night. It's the only type of sewing machine he's used so it's not daunting for him at all. He made a cushion cover but sewed the seams envelope style, I suppose you'd call it - you know, picture a square with diagonal lines from point to point to make a X. Probably best to take a photo but I had an idea of how to fasten it as he forgot to put a zip in so I'd like to take a photo once it's done.
So here's Shannon's Christmas wrapping before I popped it in the mail last week. I thought it would be safe to show this, especially if it doesn't get to her before Christmas Day. She can have a mental image to place under the tree until it arrives. I placed the Bend the Rules Sewing book in the photo as that is the pattern I adapted to make the bag so I should credit it where it's due. I do hope the present is the one she wanted, I liked the look of it (hopefully that doesn't give too much away!!).

By the bye, I'm trying to figure out why a lot of my photos come out a bit wishy-washy. Maybe I need a tripod. The sewing room has lots of natural light but almost all the photos I take with the sewing table just don't look as good as I'd like. The top photo was taken using The Thug's bench and seems to look better, perhaps I'll just go with that in future.....

more present love

You'll have to excuse my lack of skill when it comes to arranging a photo 'presentation', but it was a quick whip up before I left for work.

The machine embroidered picture is from my oh-so-talented mother (B), which compliments the one she made for Ant when he had his birthday in July. I think I'll put them side by side on the wall and shall post a photo of them together. She (and Dad of course!) also gave me the vinegar bottle, man it's so good! She always contributes to my Cornishware collection each year, but apparently there's a rumour that T G Green will be closing down next year - that would be bad. Very bad indeed. If this is the case then I'll have to stock up, and end up with quite a valuable collection perhaps!

Dear old Tara (and Rainier) gave me the hand made soap and plant markers, both from Wychwood Nursery (love that place so much). Tara also made the gorgeous birdie/girlie purse, because every girl needs one. Then after I took the photo the Australia Post van turns up with another package, this time from brother Pete and sister-in-law Lenore - who has a great shop Just Because and therefore alway guarantees nice pressies!!

16 December 2007

my turn today

It's my birthday and this is what Ant gave me. Yep, I now have my very own industrial machine! Now I can make more heavy duty bags, re-upholster the lounge suit and ...... well whatever takes my fancy!! I've said before how much I love my husband but I'll say it again, he is rather amazing at times!

And I made a softie -
This kitty (scroll down to see the pattern) is for Charlotte, the new addition for our friends Craig and Tania. We're seeing them tonight so I thought I'd better pull my finger out and make kitty. I still struggle with softies but this one wasn't too bad. Her body/dress is made from Amy Butler fabrics, which I didn't think I'd be able to buy other than through Ebay. Well, yesterday I had to make myself scarce while Ant and his co-worker Damien unloaded the sewing machine at home. It was really a case of wandering the streets aimlessly with Lucy as I had already been into town that morning and I really didn't want to go back there. Anyway I ended up in Elizabeth St and thought I'd look at the second hand book shops, as there's a lot there. However the fabrics in the window of Seworld caught my attention. The lady there is a kindred spirit, we both love Amy Butler fabrics (she's getting the new range in next year too!), Wee Wonderfuls (she's made the Pointy Kitty) and all the other blogs that are too many to name. Ah bliss, I assured her that I'll be back!!

So a happy birthday has been had. I feel very loved and very special. Thank you!!

14 December 2007

ho ho hee hee

Shannon forwarded an email to me with all those silly Christmas cartoons, you know, you get them every year. Fortunately I hadn't received this email before and I really laughed out loud (no 'LOL' for me!!!!) when I came to this one. All he needs though is a copy of the sports section from the days' newspaper - a la Rocko's Modern Life (didn't have the clip I wanted so this one will do!).

I love my one and only Japanese craft book, I must buy another one. I started these a few weeks ago but needed to get some sort of foam from Ant for the insoles. I've put leather on the actual soles and the outside and lining are all ex-Swaffer samples. I love to use these as they're always 100% cotton and are BIG samples - some 1.5m long.

Anyway, must get back to the goody bags.......

11 December 2007

grubby times were had

Did you know that if you hold an oyster up to your ear you can hear Vivaldi's Symphony for horns? Don't believe everything Tara tells you, I'm sure she made that up.
We had 4 willing helpers last weekend and a very good job they did too, made things a lot easier for us regulars. Tara, Rainier, Damien and Allison were up before the crack of dawn (hi Dawn!) on Saturday and managed to drive from Mole Creek/Wensleydale in time for the 9.30am ferry, quite a good feat that!

Ant the Grading Machine Man was in action too. Since we inherited this grader it's made our job a lot easier. It's powered by a washing machine motor hooked up to a car battery, this drives the belt that rotates the barrels. Easy peasy. Edit, it's actually a windscreen wiper motor - apparently oyster farmers would know, and be suitably upset if they knew I said it was a washing machine motor.
Our guests didn't leave empty handed either. Naturally they received oysters and on Sunday Debbie took them out to collect mussels also. Had some on Monday night for Mum's birthday tea, along with a salmon (previously caught at the lease) and scallops - yum-o-licious brought to you by Bruny Island, how good is that?!

Back home and the sewing is in full swing for Christmas. Things like finishing off the dining room and working in the back yard are on hold till after when I'm on my 2 week break from work. I also whipped up a bag for Shannon's present (instead of wrapping paper) and will post it today, unfortunately it most likely won't be there in time for Christmas - sorry Shan.

06 December 2007

birthday bags

Birthday girl Shannon finally received her bags so I can now happily post a photo from my end. I am very glad she likes it, Ant also helped choose the fabrics - he makes a great second opinion.
Another December baby is my Mum B. She requested a hedge trimmer which is fair enough as she has some beautiful topiary in her garden, but that's another story (all her children love to rave about her garden!). Must take pickies and post them some time........

I wanted to do up a goody bag so I made this semi-rigid shopping bag. Only 2 sides have cardboard inside them so in theory it can collapse for storage. It's big enough to hold a standard shopping bag but also has lots of inside pockets so it could be used as a utility bag instead.I stressed the importance to her that she needs to provide me with feedback, especially as I've never made anything like this before and any type of feedback is important. I also made her a hat and bought Turkish Delight and some yummy T2 tea.

My family likes to try a different style of present wrapping each Christmas. I'm thinking red and white gingham (sorry Mum) with these gift tags. The next sewing project is making Christmas goody bags for Ant's family, I like this pattern but I think I'll adapt it a bit and perhaps make it not so Christmassy. I'll fill it with Tasmanian cheeses etc etc. (oh and that APQ site is a bit of a shocker at the moment with it's bouncy screen - apparently the techies are looking into it, seems to be taking a while but....)

04 December 2007

summer sewing - ahaar!

Thought I'd get your attention.

Now that December is here I'd better get a move on I suppose, as I realised that come the 2nd of January my darling husband would like to look a bit like the chappy pictured above. This is why he's been growing out his goatee ready for beading and I have to make a pirate outfit. The reason being is that our beloved Tony Purse will be celebrating his 40th birthday on that day and the theme is 'Pirates & Wenches', so yes I have to look like a wench. At least I have the boobs for it. If I could get away with looking like Keira Knightley, I'd go as her. I'll probably buy this pattern for me and I'll do *something* up for Ant I suppose! Yeah, better get my arse in gear.....

So just another thing to do before Christmas. I have been sewing but again it's for presents so no photos to show just yet, although I have made another tunic top in the brown linen I bought in Melbourne and are in the process of making cullottes in the black linen - must post some photos when it's finished too. Therefore I think I'm about right for some long hot summer days, cool.

28 November 2007

skirt #5

After I got to work this morning I realised that I wasn't wearing any makeup, sad but true. I'm not the type to "never leave the house without her face done" as I'm happier without it, but presentation is very important to me and I don't like people to see how red my nose is - especially in summer. So I just do the basics, good bit of foundation and some eye makeup. The strange thing about this morning was how self conscious I was, and glad not very many people would see me like this. As I said - sad.....

So here's skirt #5 amid hemming the lining. Have I mentioned how much I love my trusty old Bernina?
Have I also mentioned how much I love my husband? Ant had to do a business trip up the North-West coast on Tuesday, catching up with some of his customers etc. That night when we had just sat down to tea he asked me "do you love me?". Of course I replied that I always love him. He then reached over to the seat next to him and lifted up the green toile type fabric as seen above, a whole 2.8 metres of it! Then last night he presented me with the 2 tickings - about 2 metres each. He had stopped into Ulverstone and noticed Jan's Discount Fabrics, she goes to Melbourne regularly and buys ends of rolls. Yes, I love him very much.

23 November 2007

tunic love

Here's me enjoying a posing moment on the Italian lawn (and no I haven't roller skated on it yet - too many loose stones!), resplendent in my new top . I'll be making a couple more but without that style of pocket (pregnant look). I do enjoy the convenience of a pocket so in future I'll just have one in the side seam or in a contrasting colour/pattern as a quirky patch pocket. I was also a bit lazy this time by machining the hem rather than hand sewing and was so glad I did, as you can't even notice the machine stitching anyway.

So back to reality and a return to skirt #5, I cut out the sash tie for the waist and once that's attached it will only need hemming. Must hassle the Travelling Teacosy* for some more work. In the meantime work will begin on B Mum's birthday present, so I must latch onto one of the ideas floating around my head.

Have a good weekend everyone. We'll be back to Bruny again.......

21 November 2007

the garden's still being neglected

Although Ant's just gone to the nursery (Allan's) for some vegetable seedlings which I intend to plant tonight, in amongst Ant's parents coming to tea. We might all get into the garden together and have some family bonding time, wouldn't be difficult as I've already weeded the veggie patches.So here's the tunic top mid construction and which I'm actually wearing right now (finished of course!). It was a Simplicity pattern 3744, I used shortest length dress and the little cap sleeves. One thing I really love about it is that you have 3 different choices for the front panels with regards to cup sizes - B, C or D. About time somebody did this, and it's sooo comfy! I'll get Ant to take a photo tonight.
After the scorcher on Tuesday (30 degrees c - very unseasonal for a Tasmanian spring), I opened one of the sewing room windows on Wednesday to take advantage of the cooler breeze. Gracie approved this.Here's the prototype bag I sent to Shannon. I decided to tie the straps together rather than a button, it seemed to sit better this way. Shannon has to let me know if it works well and what improvements may be needed (you hear!)

16 November 2007

jeez I'm slack

I have quite a few photos to post but the problem is that I write these entries at work (ssh, no I don't!!) but the photos are on the computer at home, and home time is pretty full-on at the moment with virtually all weekends at Bruny. The garden wants lots and lots of attention too and I spent an afternoon in the front yard this week completely weeding it and tidying up all the straw mulch that the birds scatter everywhere. The vegie patch still hasn't been planted (ugh!) and the sprinkler system up the back needs re-mastering, especially since I went over some of it with the whipper-snipper ....... the grass was so tall I had no idea what was underneath.

So I'm still sewing of a morning don't get me wrong, otherwise I'd go mad. Shannon's bag is made and I do hope she likes it and doesn't mind that it's a simplified version of the first one I made for her (don't worry Shan, it just means that there's not the extra pockets - just one inside). I've been experimenting with a new bag design and I think I'll send her one of these to trial, so all should be in the mail on Monday.

Car dramas at the moment. After receiving my tax refund, the nicest I've had in a very long time, I decided that the best use for it is to finally have the clutch and gear box done in my little red wagon. I took it to the repairer on Tuesday and received a phone call on Wednesday morning to say that it's worse than expected and will cost about another $1,000, this means that my tax cheque won't be enough. Tas Driveline has a very good reputation and don't screw people around so I know they'll do a good job, the problem with clutches and gear boxes is that you don't know how bad it is until it's been pulled apart. It's just that I was expecting to have about $500 change from the cheque and I was going to use some of it on a new printer/scanner - you know, a treat for me?

Even bike dramas too. Riding home from work on Tuesday my peddles went clunkety clunk as the shaft between them came loose. The good news is that it only cost $25 to repair. The bad news is that Geards have a sale and they had a lovely silver coloured women's mountain bike for $380. Oh my.

Okay I'm home now so here's some photos.
I've made this 'divided skirt' or cullottes before in black. It was high waisted and I added braces to complete the look. They've been great and perfect for the bike but a bit of a pain when one needs the toilet as there's so much to undo. So I've made this version (not high waisted) in a dull beige cotton from Spotlight which is quite heavy, almost a canvas. They were christened today in more ways than one -
I need a chain guard ......

Here's the new bag I'll send to Shannon, still in progress of course -
The pointy bits will become the strap and will be joined and finished off with a button. It was inspired by this which I saw a photo of in a Japanese craft book
Bit like a papoose isn't it? This one used two square upholstery fabric samples which are 65cm (25.5") square, cut diagonally (that's why the trees are upside down on one side!) then re-pieced as you can see in the smaller one. What I've used for the smaller one is half of two samples so in theory I should get two bags. They're unlined also but could easily be lined. Another naff thing is that if I don't completely stich up the cross over sections I have an instant pocket, I'll keep you posted .......

07 November 2007

went shopping

F Mum loved her quilt and I'm so glad the bag and badge worked well, fully blogged by Lonnie Girl as most would probably realise by now.

Fabric shopping was the order of the day in Melbourne on Monday. Two metres each of a black and brown linen and some vintage cotton found at the pokey little fabric shop at the top end of Bourke St. This shop is amazing and not especially in a good way. Fabric is stacked from floor to ceiling and a lot have varying degrees of water damage, which also explains the reason why the place smells very musty. It didn't help either whilst looking through the linens I discovered a silverfish, I'm sure there's a lot more where they came from!

So I have this tunic pattern in a Japanese craft book (found on Ebay) and thought this would look lovely in a nice breezey linen, but first I would try it on some left over fabric (brown printed cotton with 5% spandex stretch) that I wouldn't be upset about if it didn't work. I finished it tonight and it's okay except that it's pretty shapeless so it does the same old thing with me where my boobs push the shape out at the front and therefore hides my waist. So yes, it needs more shaping which means more tailoring and inserting a zip. Actually, buttons on the shoulder or down the side seam would be cute. I'm also not that keen on the neck shape but I do like that little split bit, so I think I'll have to go out and find the right pattern after all. As for the dummy run, I'm thinking it will make a good summer gardening top.

This is the entrance to a block of flats a couple of doors down from Ant's auntie's apartment in Melbourne where we always stay (bless you Jane!). I'm so loving that wrought iron design, very 1920's art deco. I dunno it just does something to me and makes me want to find more - for what, who knows ....... yet! I've been promising myself for some time now to go around Launceston with my camera as there's so much wrought iron still in it's original condition, however it's more Victorian. We'll see what we can come up with!

"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it". I love that quote from Anne of Green Gables, and the way Marilla puts a "yet" on the end of it. Skirt #5 for Tara is in full swing so I must get that finished as well as Shannon's bag for her birthday. I realised that I didn't get a photo of skirt #4, as I finished it whilst out at Exton and didn't think to take one even though I had my camera with me (another blonde moment..). Anyways, must go to bed, sleep is calling and I like that.

01 November 2007

book review

The book I ended up having to buy through American Ebay finally came yesterday (I'm sorry that it was faster and cheaper than ordering it through Fullers). Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. Yes I know I've been harping on about the angry chicken blog but it was the breath of fresh air I needed and I just wanted to share some chicken love with everyone else. So I'm also sorry to those who thought of buying this for my birthday/Christmas, I couldn't wait till then. But if you want other ideas then send Ant a line, as he's started to build a little list, bless him.

Back to the review. This book is aimed at the beginner but also to the more experienced who want to approach our sewing from a different perspective, you might call it lateral sewing but I suppose we can all get bogged down with our sewing routines no matter what creative gems we can come up with. Does that make sense? Amy tries to encourage beginners not to give up just because what you made wasn't what you envisaged, whether by multiple mistakes or it just didn't work. This doesn't mean it's crap and if you're prepared to take the time to either make corrections or adapt the piece then you can come away with something usable.

There's lots of things to make too. From totes and aprons to tea cozies and coasters, even a lap quilt. I love the apron made from a groovy tea towel, so simple and it looks great. Amy also has a flikr group where anyone can contribute photos of what they've made from the book, brilliant idea.

Basic instructions and patterns at the back with the % you need to enlarge them on the photocopier also makes this a very user friendly book. Now, let's see what I can come up with .....

Oh and here's the quilt for F Mum. I posted it on my APQ blog but I want to record it on this one also.

29 October 2007

new week, jobs to start & finish

It was a rough weekend on Bruny Island. As anticipated we had tea at the smokehouse (forgot to take photo) after getting off the 7.30pm ferry and the Duck Pond pizza was sublime - smoked duck with sweet potato, cheese and herbs (I'm still drooling). So glad we spoiled ourselves as Saturday and Sunday were not easy. North west winds are the only ones that create havoc at Great Bay and pulling a barge between the rails was hard work, my legs are still aching.This photo is from a north-westerly last summer so you can get the general idea. Quite often on Sunday arvo's when we're on our way home we'll stop in on friends and family to catch up, but not yesterday. Any energy left was spent getting home safely, so an early night was had by all.

Melbourne/Geelong this weekend and F Mum's 70th. I've been making a wall hanging, or table runner (still deciding) as a present in between other sewing jobs and this morning I started machine quilting it, I should be able to take it to the stitching group tomorrow night to hand stitch the binding. The job to start next the skirt #5, another wrap around so I'm looking forward to that one.

Unrelated. Came across this on the Selvedge site the other day (thanks to Tara for another good link!) -
For the love of linen I want to make this! It's an apron that I'd wear all day, and those big baggy linen pants as well ....... sigh. Linen seems to be the recurring theme for this spring/summer. Pity it's not cheap, I am keeping an eye on Ebay too but there's not much there. I need to see what's available on the on-line shops in America seeings how the exchange rate is so good at the moment. Here's to good sewing times ahead.

23 October 2007

the ford quilt

Photo taken amid tacking of the 'sandwich'. It's nice when a quilt top is dated before it's quilted, I know that this was assembled in October 2003. Just a small lap quilt which I found the pattern for in the October 2003 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, made pre-Anthony and when all I seemed to do was sew. I don't know what inspired me but it ended up being a Ford family signature quilt, with a little note or picture and signed by each family member on the blank blocks - plus date of course. So here I am back again and was in need of a new hand quilting project, and something to take to my stitching group on Tuesday nights as I needed a change from the hexagon stars.

Received my Anthropologie e-newsletter today, I want this dress!! Shirt dresses really seem to suit me and that skivvy underneath, just makes a skivvy girl so happy. Perfect for early Tasmanian spring/summers and then when it gets hotter I can wear the dress on it's own - too easy!

The next stage in the plan is to find a pattern close enough and adapt if necessary. Don't know it I'll do the belt though, they've never really been my thing even though I'd love to wear them. I find that it can emphasize my short waist and make my boobs look bigger, men might not see a problem with that but i do!! The other problem that I've discovered is that Spotlight doesn't have any linen. They have 'Shantung Linen', which is 100% synthetic - and doesn't crease. Made me want to vomit over the entire range. This is one of the beauties of linen! It gets that lovely crumple feel to it which makes it hang so nicely and feel so good. Melbourne in a couple of weeks, Clegs here I come!

Bruny Island tomorrow night. We'll try for the last ferry at 7.30pm and treat ourselves to a pizza at the Smokehouse (tried to find some photo links but to no avail - I'll have to take some myself). The place is perched on the hillside about 1.5km from the ferry terminal and Matt makes a great pizza. I think they're the only place that sells Bruny Island stout, one even I can drink, they also have a bottle shop licence so Ant usually takes a 6 pack away with him. Yum-o times ahead.... This makes up for getting down and dirty on the oyster farm over the weekend.

spring jacket

I didn't have a light weight jacket for when the warm days still turn into coolish evenings, and all the ones I see in town are cropped shorter or are just plain boring. I already had this New Look pattern but to jazz it up a bit I made the panel around the bottom into pleats, also doing this with the cuffs. I hate un-lined jackets, so I made a lining using a cotton patchwork fabric with Japanese type flowers in a dusky pink on black background. I only finished it a couple of weeks ago but I've already worn it heaps, should of made it ages ago ....
I'm working on the dark dark kahki pants at the moment, which are coming along swimmingly. I still have one more skirt for Tara so that's next on the list, then back to the F Mum's 70th birthday present, then Shannon's birthday bag - I'm looking forward to that one. I find if I get back into one thing, like dress making, I then miss the quilting or the bag making and vice versa. I want more hours in the day!!!

22 October 2007

on the home front ..... & back

The other night Ant got out his air chisel (it's attached to an air compressor) and decided to attack the fire place in the dining room. It originally had a combustion stove however 20 years ago it was going to be turned into a Victorian cast iron grate the same as the other rooms. We agreed that we'd rather have a combustion stove in there again as the thought of cooking meals on/in it was just too damn tempting. He finished stage one on Saturday -
Not long ago we found a second-hand mantel which once stripped of it's lovely shades of brown will fit perfectly. This will also be stained the same colour as the beautiful dado surrounding the room. I'm going to treat myself to a Porters Paint shade on the chimney, colour to be confirmed. The rest of the walls will be the same Antique White USA as the other rooms.
I love this stove, made at the IXL factory in Geelong. I figure that once there's a snug kitty basket underneath we'll never see Gracie in winter again.
My Saturday was spent once again on the roof, scrubbing and converting a large section of rust at the front of the house. I woke up the next morning with a lovely crick in my neck - I'm soooo glad I'm going to the chiropractor on Wednesday. Especially too as Sunday was spent in the back yard, weeding madly in preparation for planting of the pumpkins and zucchinis. The shipping container arrived today, here's yay to extra storage! It's mostly for Ant's parents' but we're allowed a small portion too, this means I can chuck most of the lounge room in there whilst I paint it - only 2 rooms to go!

19 October 2007

I'm running hot

I kept forgetting to take a photo of #2, very pleased with the results I am too and wouldn't mind making something similar for myself but in lighter weight fabric - an A-line wrap skirt with a ribbon tie, how simple is that?!

I was at Spotlight yesterday and found on their bargain pile a dark, dark kahki (the tag said 'Army') cotton drill with a stretch to it. At $2 a metre I couldn't say no and bought the 2.6 metres left on the roll. I also found a groovy floral that matches it nicely, so the result will be new wide leg pants for spring. My old ones are starting to wear, and these will be even more comfy with the stretch in it. Since falling in love with these button do-ups, instead of zips, I was thinking of using the floral for this as well - makes a nice contrast and keeps it up there in the originality scale. So, new spring pants for $12 - sounds like a plan!

18 October 2007

skirt #3

The photo really doesn't do this fabric justice. The raw silk is such a lovely biscuity colour and was so nice to put together. Tara was very pleased with the button insertion which has boosted my confidence no end.

I now have more navy raw silk and finished skirt #2 last night, yay! I got out #4 this morning, a silk organza with white silk waist band and hem. I also suggested to Tara that instead of a zip, I should put in a white silk button insertion similar to #3. Which was liked muchly. I did this before work this morning, the organza is like gossimer and the silk is soft and slinky too - not easy to work with. Thankfully Tara actually prefers her work to be a bit, how would you say, rustic? No, imperfect? I don't know, I suppose so long as it doesn't look like it came out of a sweat shop in Thaiwan then that's all the matters!

Flicking through an old copy of English Country Living, I had forgotten about this picture. The first time I saw it I fell in love, the second time I saw it I fell in love all over again. There's something about hand applique, it just gets to me and I itch to grab fabric and thread. Maybe it will be the next project for the car trips, I only have to get A's jumper knitted. And there's still birthday bags to be made...... sigh.

15 October 2007

skirt #1 finished & skirts 2 & 3 onway

Once the zip was sorted out the rest came along very nicely, and I really like the hem and waistband done in the navy raw silk. The lining is pretty special too, with I suppose you'd call it a yoke of calico and the rest is a green toile -
Toile always makes me go gooey......

Skirt #2 is a wrap-around jobby and only after I started I discovered that the navy raw silk was also needed for this. Oh dear, there was nowhere near enough left and even if I did know I don't think I'd be able to stretch the fabric that far (so to speak!). Another phone call to Tara, only to be reassured, she has plenty more and will be dropping it off in the next few days - cool.

Therefore skirt #3 has begun. It's a beautiful creamy/biscuity raw silk and this time Tara wanted a button insertion in the back. As she had already cut the slit for it there was no going back, I had to give it a try. It was alot easier than I expected, mainly because there was no zip to fiddle with and I'm quite pleased with the result -
Tara's going to do the button holes by hand and will also hand embroider a bird with foliage.

I feel a lot more confident now, and not so daunted by the knowledge that they have to be ready by this Friday. Another four skirts are cut and ready to be sewn so I suppose there's no backing out now - but as I've said, I needed the challenge and it's all a good learning experience.

09 October 2007

skirt #1

The reason why I've set up an ABN is so I can sew for Tara. Last week she delivered 4 skirts for me to sew, this gives her the ability to concentrate on the creative side of things - that is embroidering by hand some beautiful embelishments. She usually inserts the zip but as I've never done this before the thought of it scared me to death. So after a quick phone call on Friday, which included lots of "I'm sorries" from both, she's happy for me to insert it as part of the side seam. As a result though, I was so concerned about doing a good job that I think I've overworked it - yes I'm paranoid!

05 October 2007

Rufus Creations is born

I have an ABN so that means I'm in business. I'm sewing for The Travelling Teacosy and it's all legitimate and legal, so there you go.

I'd like to think that this is the start of a great learning experience for me, not just business-wise but in developing my sewing skills considerably - time will tell .......

I don't expect anyone to read this blog, it's more of a diary for myself and as a means of recording the business development. Fun times ahead!

29 August 2007

Just Testing

Only set this up so I can leave messages on other peoples blogs! Fer