Thursday, August 30, 2012

Christmas in July Swap & Etsy Adventure

My pals Elyte and Merilyn  and I have an agreement for a swap or two every year.  As you can see from the title, the swap was late and should have been christened Christmas in August! 

It's always a delight conjuring things I want to make for these two very talented people.  This time around the theme was zakka.  So I got my grey cells cracking.  This is what I made for Elyte.

 I stitched a small tea bag pouch for her quilty travels.  One must have their favourite tea for nourishment.  The design is a freebie from The Little Stitcher.  I personalised it by stitching Elyte's initials.  Also included a weaved wallet that I bought at the cultural market.  And a draw string pouch to put it all in.

Love the zippered pouch that Elyte made for me in return.  I've admired it from far on her blog.  And all the accompanying goodies.  Thanks so much!

My similar picks for Merilyn also with her initials.  Merilyn teaches in her quilt group and sometimes bring along her lunch bag, so I figured a tea bag pouch should accompany it.  And a matching draw-string bag to put it all in.

And look at the lovely tote bag and hand towel I received in return.  Quite perfect indeed.  The tote bag was actually folded into the small pocket and opened to reveal a wonderful tote bag.  Genius.   Thanks Merilyn.

Now for my new Etsy adventure, I have opened up a shop to offer my Made to Order blouses.  These blouses will be customized and a custom listing will be created.  If you'd like to take a look and even patronize ;)  please click here and it'll take you to my shop.  I have also added a widget to the right column of my blog to make it easier for you to drop by the next time!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quilting begins

It's a long weekend here due the the Eid al-Fitr holidays.  So I got off my butt and thread basted Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilt.  I use my sewing table to baste and was standing all the time with many breaks.  Pretty tiring.  I am using flannel for the batting.  I basted from the top to the bottom.  Ensuring the layers stay flat as I go.  My fingers are a little sore now :(

The quilting starts from the centre out.  Outline quilting it with Perle Cotton No. 8 using big stitch. My plan is to quilt one block a week.  Still unsure how I'll quilt the sashing. 

I made an A-Line skirt and a blouse for my sis.  Will wait for her fitting before I proceed with more sewing.

I've tied up the remnant garment fabrics.  Some are enough to make a sleeveless blouse.  Maybe I could use them as trims in the future.

And lastly my progress of LHN's Love Your Neighbour.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

The month that was ...

So many not too happy things have been going on lately.  I treasure my precious time spent sewing ... my escape from life's harsh realities?  It will all boil over ... in time.  I have lived long enough to know at least that!

I bought a plain XXL sized jersey from the Reject Shop so as to give the Alabama Chanin T-Shirt construction method a try.  I had to redraft the T-Shirt pattern to make it wider at the waist area ... ahem ...
The fit turned out well.  I could only manage a sleeveless T-Shirt because there was not enough fabric to cut the sleeve.  I added a stay tape at the shoulder seams although it was not mentioned in the book.  During my short stint in sewing knits, I have learnt that stay tape is necessary to strengthen the shoulder seam..

I am not using the recommended button craft thread but a Coats & Clarke quilting thread instead.  I've used cretan stitch for the arm holes and neck line and regular running stitch for the side seams.  I think overall it turned out pretty well.

 Completed a shirt for my dad.  This shirt does not have a collar stand. It fits him well but he needs to where it often and give me his comments.


The Danielle Dress (Burda) for my sis.  Cotton / Linen blend shell fabric with cotton voile lining.  The cotton voile has a nice soft feel to it but as these fabrics go it was difficult to sew with.  I need to explore other types of lining fabric to see what works.

I get a kick with details, the bias tape hem is now my staple hemming method for the shell fabric.  It gives just a touch of satin luxury.  Hand sewing the lining to the zipper needed meticulous stitching.  The complain from the previous dress that I made was the lining was getting stuck to the zipper.  So this time round it's nicely spaced away.

Halter top dress, but it needs major changes to shorten the length of elastic under the bust and the back.  Will make the alterations when I get back the dress from my sis.  Incorporated some pretty lace for the lining skirt and as usual bias binding tape for the hem.

 I am doing some cross stitch during the nights while catching up on the Olympics.  I have progressed more than the picture above but I am just not bothered to take another pic :p  It's a lovely piece by Little House Needleworks.  Diane has so generously given this chart away so that we stitchers donate to UNICEF directly for the famine relief works in Africa.  I've even bought a frame for this piece.  Talk about being optimistic!