Friday, February 24, 2012

Merino gowns

I managed to snap out of my sewing funk and made some little gowns for winter baby.  The first gown is made from a grey woollen jersey that I cut down. 

I used the kwik sew 2027 pattern in small, which is about 0-3months.  Because baby will be born in the middle of winter, I wanted a couple of warm woollen gowns that I could throw over them to keep them nice and warm in those cold nights.  The pattern calls for some facings for the slit opening in the top, and a ribbing neckband.  It seemed like far too much mucking around for me, so I bound the neckline and slit opening instead.  I had a plan to create a tutorial to do this, but then I forgot, so I'm afraid it will have to wait for another time.  Needless to say, it was quick and easy and I really like the finish.

I guess it is like a faux placket?

The pattern has buttonholes in the bottom, and I thought I would do all the details in a cool orange thread (like the stuff at the neckline).  Unfortunately, the orange thread proved too weak to actually make buttonholes, and as a result I had to rip back one of the buttonholes.  Also unfortunately, woollen fabric is not easy to rip back without making holes in it.  The end result is that I had to hand bind the buttonhole to try and cover the big holes that were now in the bottom of my gown, so one of the buttonholes is decidedly ragged.  Usually this kind of thing would really bother me, but I'm still really really pleased with how my gown came out.  It helps that I have a very co operative recipient.

Its extremely rare that I make something, and then turn around and make another one.  But that's exactly what I did.  This one is in brown merino.

The only other modification I made to this gown was to put the buttonholes on the side, rather than at the front.  Partly to cover my possibly dodgy buttonholes, but mostly because I think it works better to pull the ribbon from the side of the baby rather than the front.

Of course these buttonholes came out really well (yes I know my hem runs over the top of the buttonhole, but you can't everything).  I'm always pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to buttonhole with my sewing machine, given that my machine is older than I am.

Oh, and total cost (for both gowns) $1.  Oh yeah, I love upcycling.

Also hooking up with Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The knitting returns!

 It turned out that my Mum noticed the knitting I had left behind, and took it to my sister's.  We were visiting her this weekend, and I got it back!

Its a bit hard to tell from the pictures but I have finished the hood section, and I'm now working on the body of the shrug.   It should be finished soon.

And, as I don't have a project for this week yet, I'm hoping to get a bit of sewing mojo back and make a couple of baby things.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Baby sewing

That was supposed to be my project this week, and I was so excited by it.  And then P got sick on Monday, and I got an awful 24 hour bug yesterday, and now we are going away for the weekend.  I think you can see where this is going.

I'm so gutted that I don't have the time or energy this week, because I was really looking forward to making some things for the baby.  But watch this space, because it will definitely be happening.  And I have a couple of baby hats up my sleeve already.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Plum Jam

 I had a project this week.  Lets pretend it was preserving.  My parents in law gave us a whole heap of plums off their tree, and I got stuck into making jam with them.  There is something deeply satisfying about preserving your own food, it makes me feel so good to be using (nearly) our own fruit to make something that my family will eat and enjoy.

 I used to be afraid of making jam, it seemed such a daunting task.  In fact I couldn't have been more wrong.  Jam making is super easy.  In essence, its equal parts fruit and sugar boiled until it sets.  Of course there is the science of pectin, and various kinds of things that can be added, but its really that simple.

My recipe was:
3kg plums
small amount of water
3kg sugar

Put the plums in a preserving pan, or large pot with a little water, and soften.  Skim the stones off as they come to the surface.  Once softened, add the sugar and boil until the mixture is at setting point.  Check for setting by putting a little on a cold plate, and see if it wrinkles when pushed with a finger, if it wrinkles then it is ready.  It should take around 20 - 30mins from adding the sugar.  Pot into sterilised jars.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Knitting disaster

My project last week was more knitting, and I managed to get quite a bit of P's shrug done.  But you will notice there are no pictures in this post.  No, I didn't lose my camera, I left my knitting at my parents on the other side of the island.  I'm quietly panicking about finishing it now.  My Mum could post it over to me, but there are no guarantees she will remember to do so any time soon.

I may have to commit that cardinal sin and cast another project on!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Maternity success!

I know I said I would modify my Vogue pattern, but I got out the pattern pieces, and took a really hard look at the picture, and decided it just wasn't going to work.  My aim for my project was to create something that actually fitted me, and was wearable in public, and I just didn't think that I would manage that with this pattern. Instead I remembered a skirt I had seen in my random trawling through the interwebs.

A T shirt skirt.  My Grandmother in law gifted me a whole heap of cotton knit fabric, so I thought I would follow the tutorial and make a skirt out of it.  And I love it! Because it fits me! Although it took a bit of tweaking to make that happen.

I cut and overlocked the panels for the skirt together using the instructions from the tutorial.  But when I tried it on, it was far too large.  This is a recurring theme in my sewing.  I'm guilty of generous cutting and tiny seam allowances.  So when I measured the waistband, I cut it to my measurements without adding a seam allowance.  I had to gather the panels a little, but it turned out perfectly.

Its a great fit, and I really like it.  DH suggested that a) it was too young for me, and b) it made me look like a bumblebee, but I still think its fabulous and that's the main thing.  In case you're wondering, the stripes are mismatched deliberately.

Obligatory belly shot.  P decided to be in the photos, so she ran in every time I stood at the wall.  She thought it was great fun.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pass it on Giveaway winner

And the winner is...

Natalie! Congratulations.  I'll be in touch shortly to organise postage.  Thanks to everyone who entered.
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