Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ideas for making toys

Maya is making toys as part of her school technology course focusing on industrial design. She has asked me to ask the sisterhood if there are any sites that offer good ideas for designing toys from fabric and other materials.

No sewing until the weekend - I come home from the airport each night too spent to sew.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Burda jacket progress and more journeys

I haven't been idle. My sewing plan seems to focus on which piece of fabric I have a definite idea for. So rather than blouses undecided, I'm working on my BWOF 11/08 102 jacket in a beautiful wool silk blend that is a joy to work with. I bought it off the remnant table at Tessutis for just $30. Burda's patterns are very precise but their construction details are not great. I need to pay homage to the Tany's wonderful instructions for this jacket. The pattern is designed as an unlined jacket, but this doesn't seem right for tweed so I'm adding a black viscose lining. The false pocket flaps are still pinned on. I'd love to try inserting a pocket underneath but don't wont to tempt fate. Thanks to my new library and Tany's instructions, I've also discovered what a difference the right interfacing can make.
I'm not sure how much more I can do before the weekend because tomorrow I'm off to Wagga Wagga and to Armidale on Friday. These trips are strictly business, but I'll show you pictures for those who don't know Australia.
This is Wagga Wagga from the air. The town is located in the southern part of New South Wales near the Murray River.
Armidale is a University town in the New England district at the other end of the state. Its is charming but cold.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm on the road again

Just think Willie Nelson and hum I'm on the road again.

I've been to Coffs Harbour, home of the big banana,

Ballina, home of the big prawn. both embarrassing Aussie tourist icons.

This week were taking the show to Dubbo home of the Western Plains Zoo were you can see African animals "in the wild" (a bit of a contradiction here?) and Bateman's Bay, just a nice a sleepy fishing village.
Sewing? Maya traced her first Burda pattern but a burgeoning social life has prevented the sewing of one sitch. I'm cut a muslin for my first BWOF jacket which I hope to run up tonight. If not no sewing until Sunday because I'm on the road again...yeeha!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Japanese print tunic

After three days out of town on business I needed to create something. Surely this is a sign of addiction? So I whipped up this tunic from nylon mesh material that I bought at the Spotlight sale for $3 a metre. The pattern was taken from a much more expensive garment by Vixen. It is a very flattering clever design that has no side seams except under the arms. The pieces wrap around to a centre back seam. It can be worn over a slip dress, as shown in my pictures, or over black trousers. I often wear my other one with trousers and a black tailored vest. I love this garment, particularly the Japanese feel. The fit is perfect. I seem to have better results when I trace from or unpick existing garments to make my patterns. Hopefully my new Pleisch and Palmer books on fit will change this.

Also I want to make my husband a few casual shirts for winter. Can anyone suggest a pattern?

Monday, April 13, 2009


Look what just popped up in the inbox.

Thank you for placing your order with Booktopia Bookshop. We can confirm Booktopia has dispatched a parcel as described below from our Sydney warehouse today

Sewing with Sergers : The Complete Handbook for Overlock Sewing
This item was shipped to you on 09-Apr-09

Pants for Real People : Fit and Sew for Any Body
This item was shipped to you on 09-Apr-09

Jackets for Real People : Tailoring Made Easy!
This item was shipped to you on 09-Apr-09

Couture : The Art of Fine Sewing
This item was shipped to you on 09-Apr-09

Now I am excited...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tie skirt is finished

This is cute. Because it doesn't have a definite front or back you can twist it round to suit your mood. That rear view includes an invisible zip.

Not bad for a first timer. Big sister already wants to borrow it. I think she should start her own blog.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Remember the tie dress?

School holidays have arrived and Maya was quick to start her sewing. First up was the mini skirt made from recycled ties. This morning we scoured the local op shops and came home with a bounty of great silk ties, a navy glomesh shoulder bag, a black jumper, a beautiful marquisite brooch and fabulous earrings all for $25. Maya decided that she wanted a skirt rather than a dress. Three hours later it is shaping up well. Unfortunately we have to wait till Tuesday when the Easter extra long weekend finishes to buy an invisible zip for the final seam. I'm so proud of her interest in making and remaking things. Next she plans to make BWOF 09/2008 111 in bright blue t-shirting. It looks like a top in the drawing but is actually a dress. I like her quirky styling.

Meanwhile my dress is finished but I'm not too pleased with it. The fabric is just so cheap that it just wrinkles across the body.
I do like the contrast in the sleeves and will try this again. I have some great white lace and was thinking that this dress would look good in white linen for Spring. My kids suggested this belt - I don't think so... Perhaps something a little narrower?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Black and tan in progress

This dress was only ever intended to be a muslin. The drab brown jersey was bought way back when brown was ‘the new black’. Made up the shell of the dress and thought great fit, lets go with it. Went into Tessuti's looking for a notion, but was distracted by this black sheer fabric with brown embroidery on the border. My imagination was sparked. Has anybody else tried a contrast insert on BWOF 01/08 106a?
This is my first BWOF pattern – there is something to be said for German precision. I love the way every piece fits exactly the way it should. I traced four patterns on the weekend and made a list of about 30 (yes!) from my newly acquired collection of 2008 issues that I would like to make over time. When I finally get my hands on February 09 for that drawstring blouse everyone is making I think I will have every pattern that I will ever need. I’ve noticed that many of the basic shapes are the same from issue to issue – the design is in the detailing. In the interest of thrift I’ll only buy future issues if there is something really innovative or difficult. Or wait a year and the distributor will sell them for a song.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pants finished

My pants are finished and I love them. Two and a half hours of sitting down at the Sydney Theatre Company's production of Tom Stoppard's Travesties last night was a good test of how comfortable they are. If I didn't have so many other things on the list I'd rush out to buy fabric for another pair straight away.
I am very undecided about what the next project should be. I am very undecided about the blouse. This is just as well - it gives me an excuse to jump the queue with a a new dress for our Passover seder next week.
I recently found the distributers for BWOF in Sydney and bought all the 2008 issues and the January 2009 issue (which has only just hit the streets in Sydney), so I have loads of designs to choose from.
I am very keen on BWOF01/09 dress 106a. I have a nice piece of black and white screen printed jersey or may use a silk remant that I have and add a centre back seam with invisible zip.
Has anybody made this dress?