Monday, November 24, 2014

One block wonder - FINALLY finished!

I have been on a finishing off mission ever since we moved to Sydney.  The now rather high visibility of all the WIPs is one reason, sheer guilt at transporting all these half-made things is another.

Of all the finishing off, I think I am most pleased at myself for finishing this one:



I have had this cut out since my son was young enough to sleep in the Phil & Teds Cocoon. That means he was less than six months old.  He is now 5!

In my defence, I liked the idea and then decided I had chosen totally the wrong fabric.  These quilts work by you cutting out 6 identical triangles, then sewing them together to form the kaleidoscope effect.  The ones I like best have very distinct areas of colour in them - whereas the fabric I chose (which has cranes all over it) made the end result very "wingy".  You can see this more clearly in the picture below (pre-assembly)

The  colours are so terrible in this picture - see the ones below for the actual colours!

I got all disheartened when I had only sewn about half of the cut out pieces together and just put away for another time.

Fast forward to moving here and I realised I had to ditch it or sew it up and give it away.  I also realised I liked it more than I remembered especially once all sewn into threes and I could lay it out like this and play with clustering the greens and blues and darker and lighter patches.



I used up all the triangles I had already cut and decided that was the size it would be.  I backed it with the remaining uncut fabric and then also bound it in that fabric.  I would have preferred to bind in a solid but I just wanted to be finished and the recipient didn't mind at all (see below).  I machine quilted it myself by going around each hexagon in the ditch.  It took a bit longer than just doing the rows but it made the hexagons stand out more I think.

All up am so proud of myself for gritting my teeth and finishing this.  Even bigger bonus - Thing One decided she really likes it and has claimed it!  So worth it after all :)





Friday, November 21, 2014

Chambray Bluegingerdoll Betsy Skirt

I recently (ish) won a blog giveaway (on Sew Mama Sew) for the Bluegingerdoll Betsy skirt.

Here is the lovely picture from the site itself:

http://bluegingerdoll.com/collections/all-products/products/the-betsy-pencil-skirt-paper-pattern

I won the paper pattern which was exciting for me as I have been mainly buying PDFs recently (instant gratification...).  The patterns are in a lovely envelope with the little string closure and there is a good amount of room in the envelope for my traced pattern pieces (important details!).

I made View A, as those button belt-loops look great.



I love it!  I think the shape is flattering and I (mostly) love how it looks in the chambray.  Being able to add a belt really helps with a smarter look and feel.  My one issue is how little recovery this fabric has - the creases you can see here are just from me sitting down in the skirt to put on my shoes to go outside and take these pictures.  I had literally just put this on and it's already pretty creased!  I haven't done a whole day in it yet but I suspect it won't be a super smart effect.  I guess I should make another in something less creasey! :)

All up this was pretty simple to make.  I had one stumble where the cutting instructions specified two waistband pieces and interfacing when in fact they meant one.  I spent a while puzzling how I missed the step to put them together!  Luckily Abby from Bluegingerdoll is amazingly responsive - I sent a message asking where I was going wrong and she set me straight!  Awesome service :)

Not so keen on my posture in this one!
Definitely looks better with a belt...

I wanted this to sit a little below my natural waist (which is insanely high, not that you can see it in these pictures) as I am playing around with which silhouette is most flattering.  I think this is actually quite flattering for me, though the above picture doesn't really do it justice!  Look at the top one instead!  If you look at where it sits on the pattern picture at the top, this is a fair bit lower.  That meant I had to adjust things a bit to make the waist area come in less sharply (it's a pattern designed to highlight the curves).  I then of course cocked up the waistband and had to add a bit on each side to make it fit (argh!).  Totally my bad in redrafting rather anything to do with the pattern.



Speaking of the pattern, I felt the instructions were spot on - the right level of detail without being too verbose.  I liked that she links off to a web tutorial on the invisible zip instead of reproducing it in place also.  My only annoyance (aside from the incorrect cutting instruction) is the "finish the seam however you prefer".  It's a small thing but I feel like pattern makers should always say how they prefer to do it, or link to a discussion of why to use particular finishes in particular places.  I have a feeling this annoys me more than most people, who know they want to always serge or french particular seams anyway.  I just think there is always a good reason to use seam A rather than B (reducing bulk, additional strength in a high wear area etc) and I want them to guide me on achieving the best finish.


I used a turned and stitched (also called a clean finish) seam on the side seams of this skirt.  I like how the finish looks, and while the chambray is lightweight enough to deal with the additional bulk of the seam, it was also quite prone to fraying (I was surprised) so this worked well.  It also gave two lines of stitching on either side of the seam which adds a kind of jeans-y look which goes nicely with the chambray.

All up this is a great pattern and I plan to make several more - so glad I won it!