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!