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I made a hat!

It's really a beanie and there's not much to say about it.



I used this pattern on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simply-spirals-hat

If you want to find me on there, my profile is auxetically.

This was fairly easy to crochet, except I made it narrower and longer than the pattern said. It needed to be narrower because my hook was a 6mm one rather than the 3.5 the pattern suggests.

Other than that, this was mostly a learning experience. I had to undo a lot but after finishing it I made another beanie - this time for a 2 year old- very quickly.

I'm getting the hang of crochet. The blanket is finished too, though I have to admit that Mr T was right, it's waaaaaay too small. Bigger than baby sized but not by much. Good to warm up one's legs and feet when sitting in front of the TV.

I'll come back with a review of the Craftsy course a bit later.

PS Grumble Grumble blogger android app for always failing to post this
PPS this is my 200th post!!!

Sewing machine museum... in our very own London!

Sometimes I love the stuff that comes out of Google+. I happened upon this article today: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2013/12/04/a-marvellous-museum-of-mechanical-material-manufactory/

Basically, there's an amazing sewing machine museum that is only open once a month in London. They have loads of vintage sewing machines, including one of the very first ones.

Aaaand... turns out 2014 is the 200 year anniversary of the first sold sewing machine. Isn't that neat?

Direct quote from the website above:

"The museum is only open on day a month, and only between 2pm-5pm. This Saturday (7th Dec) happens to be its next open day [map link]."

Click through to the link above for pictures!

Learning to crochet.... One stitch at a time

I've been at this for a couple of weeks now, and I'm slowly getting there.
I have decided to practice single and double crochet from the Craftsy class by making a blanket! I didn't have a pattern, just 5 balls of yarn I impulse-bought last time I was in Zürich... 3 of them are purple and have 150m/50g ball, two are multicolored and have 190m/50g ball. I'm still coming to turns with what that means now.
What I'm doing right now is purple-multicolor-purple-mc-purple, with the center purple in double crochet and the 4 outer ones(purple/mc x 2) in single crochet. I don't have a pattern, I just did a chain that looked long enough.
Mr T is saying this with be too small even for a single blanket... And I think that by now (on second mc, 60% done) I agree. I'm going to get some more yarn (maybe a gray or something) to make an outer edge, but as it looks now it might be too short. We will see. I have no way to source the exact yarn I am using until January so I mig…

And it has happened

The past 4 months have been a crazy roller coaster, but it finally happened - I changed teams. I'm not yet in Switzerland (mid Jan for that!) but I did have the leaving drinks with my old team.

The best thing of all was the present they got me, some Liberty tana lawn:



Thanks guys! You sure know me well :)

The only question is - what to make with it? I have a few months to decide, the weather isn't quite ready for something that thin yet. I promised to post loads of pictures when it's done :)

Weird

I have a few makes to show, but I want to lead off the week with a question: is it weird that I find the biggest compliment of my self-made clothes to be when people don't ask whether I made such and such item?

The big news!

Oh my it seems like it took me forever to bring myself to write this. The contract was signed more than a month ago after all! But none of it really seems real yet. :-)My big news is that I'm leaving London and moving to Switzerland! I'm not leaving Google but this is a completely new direction in what I'll do. I'll still be a software engineer though!Exciting stuff. I expect to be sans-sewing machine for a while depending how quickly we'll find a place to rent in Zürich. :-) I was thinking to take up knitting in the meanwhile. Or crochet.

The giant bib alteration

Has anyone seen the need for such an alteration before?  Basically a dart the shape of a giant bib was taken out starting with the waist and tapering to nothing at the sides.My questions:
1. How to transfer this one to the pattern?
2. How to fix this dress?Pictures taken with the phone of course :-)I also notice in these pictures that there is a bit of a rudder at the back - I'll bet that's because I didn't true up the pattern after making the sway back adjustment. Live and learn...

A sneak-peek at my first refashioning project

I got this shirt for my dad but it didn't fit him. I'm slowly working at it in the evenings.I've got the armholes traced, and on one side a French seam and a 40s style tuck.

Vogue 1357 Lace Skirt

I just want to start by saying how much I LOVE this skirt. Possibly because I can't find any of my other summer skirts :)

This is Vogue Patterns V1357, which is a skirt + blouse combo. I was convinced I only had 1m of the red lace, but now I think it must have been more like 1.5m. I didn't manage to squeeze the waist band out of the fabric so I had to improvise. I will do another post with construction details.

I didn't make any alterations - I suspect the lace for the skirt is a little less stiff than whatever they used, but I really like it like this. I thought that the line of topstitching was actually dipping at the top of the pleat but looking at these pictures it looks fine.


The lining is a burgundy habutai I picked up during John Lewis sales.


The pleat at the front is a lot more wavy than you would expect (that fabric stiffness!), and in general the skirt has a very girly air to it. I decided to leave it unhemmed, because I really like the see-through bits that you …

Sewing madness?

I just read the post in this picture over on Google+. I read all the way up to the third line before I realised the post was not about sewing but about actual sewers.Second language blip or sewing madness?
PS I'm currently holidaying in Romania, making the rounds and visiting ALL the family. Some fabric buying will happen soon, maybe tomorrow!PPS Also some exciting news that's not quite ready for broadcasting yet.

Craftsy Series: Janet Pray's Sewing Faster (1)

This first post in intended to give an overview of this class, so is quite wordy as a result.

As with most of the other classes I watched on Etsy, I took some things away from this one as well. Here, it was mostly around sewing without pins. It also gave me the idea for the sleeves I mentioned in the previous post:



I guess you could say it's two extremes, right?

The class is packed with skills and techniques, which I will go through in future installments of reviewing this class. The correct use of clappers is one of the things I would mention. It also covers sewing without pins, when pins are needed, as well as which seam allowances won't be possible to press open.

Her style is a bit bossy at times, and I prefer the style of the tutors in some of the other classes more, but I didn't have a major issue with it. I also wasn't really watching this to make the jacket (I have too many of those) so I skimmed over most of the "do this then press this" bits.

The cla…

So I had this idea...

... on inserting sleeves.

It went quite well, but it wasn't perfect so I won't post about it until I have a proper technique developed.

Here's a sneak peak:



Craftsy classes!

I decided to do a series of reviews of Craftsy classes. This isn't because I have no new stuff to show (quick count 5 unblogged things!), but because I just feel like it.

All classes I ever took were paid for myself so that should be fine. I actually liked most of them, although to various degrees.

The disclaimer I do have is that I no longer have access to any new classes. As much as I like their classes (and that bag class looks awesome!), I no longer have access to new ones out of personal choice.

Without further ado, the classes I do have access to are:
Lynda Maynard's Sew The Perfect Fit
Katrina Walker's Decorative Seams
Janet Pray's Sew Better, Sew Faster Susan Khalje's The Couture Dress
Vickie Howell's Crochet Lab
I watched the first four in their entirety, I kind of just gave up on the last one. I'm not really sure how I'll get around to doing all of this, but I guess something like, general overview and specific posts would be a good way to start.

Vogue 1250 top

I made this way-back-when sometime in March. It was an easy project while I was making the cape. It is not much but I figured I should post it anyway.

This is the second 1250 I ended up wearning and I actually wear it more than the black dress I made last year. The fabric is a fairly solid, non drapey knit I got from Sew Over It when I was doing fitting in February.
I find the cowl a bit exaggerated - it's not shown in this picture but I usually wear it with a brooch where I gather most of the cowl to one side and it becomes asymmetrical. I guess it never bothered me with the dress because that is a bit fancier overall.
All in all it's a quick easy make. If I manage to alter the pattern I think there will be more of these coming. Of course, I would just use the Day to Night top by Maria Denmark.

This is Vogue

This is Vogue 1357, which I got mostly for the top. Yesterday however, I managed to squeeze the skirt pattern pieces out of 1m red lace I bought at Goldhawk road. I didn't manage to fit in the waistband, and the center fold is I think not on the right grain, but overall I'm pretty pleased.

Given this is lace, I cut the waistband out of silk organza - I will add petersham ribbon to the inside and applique lace cutouts from the lace leftovers on the outside. This should make the "not enough fabric" not that visible.

I did everything, including the zipper and french seams down the left side of the skirt. Then, when I wanted to start sewing the right side, I realized I sewed the back of the skirt in backwards.

So today I spent my commute unpicking french seams:


At least it was sunny. The good news is that this gives me the opportunity of actually buying the right color zipper. My mom is flying in tomorrow for the weekend but I'm hoping to get back to the skirt on Su…

Good Morning Sunshine!

I've been away. Enjoying the lovely weather. Hoping it never ends! Hence the slow-posting in the past 2 weeks or so.

I found at some point that I have too many knits. Too many T-shirts (as an aside, almost all say "Google" on them in some way or another) and altogether too much of a jeans-a T-shirt wardrobe.



So I'm fixing this. Slowly, but surely. I picked up vintage Simplicity 5513  during the Sew Grateful week this year:


The seller had a 32-bust, which is supposed to be 2 inches too small for me - I figured this would be a problem. Three weeks ago, while Mr T was on a business trip and having forced myself to have at least one night of sewing while home alone, I made a muslin. Turns out - the bust was absolutely fine! However, the hips, which according to the pattern match my measurements were waaaaay too small. I started altering the pattern: increase hip width on each side, lower the French dart a bit and make a swayback adjustment.

Then, the muslin and pattern a…

Uninterrupted sewing? Hah!

I just had what could have been 2 nights of sewing that I spent on my couch working. Why do I do these things!

I do have not one but two! projects prepared.

First, I have this very cute non-stretch red lace I picked up at Goldhawk Road. I also got some Habutai lining in a washed out Burgundy (is that even a colour?) and I'm planning to use the two to make a half circle skirt.

Second, I have some black silk chiffon which I've been thinking what to do with for a while and I have finally decided on a double-layered blouse.

I also have a picture of what will become know as THE DRESS. I'll do a separate post on  it though.



Sewing envy!

I'm mega envious about the Sew, mama, sew online sewing bee only being open to US contestants. I don't fancy being on TV enough to enter the UK TV version, but would enter an online one in a jiffy :-)http://www.sewmamasew.com/2013/07/the-super-online-sewing-bee-announcing-our-contestants/

Mini-project: the phone case

First off: I found it, my precious:


I also want to show you this phone case I made for my Nexus 4. I actually ended up making one for a colleague as well, but mine is prettier !

It's a very simple design which allows me to:

easily slide phone in and outgrab phone easily

You see it here after about one week of wear. It's already showing my phone's shape.
The leather  I bought a year and a half ago when I went shopping to celebrate my first promotion:

You will recognize the lining from the dress post from a couple of days ago. For my version, I actually zigzagged the lining before attaching it, but that was not really necessary so for my second version I left it out.


The stitch is just one of my machine's "decorative stitches", it looks like a rectangle with one of the short edges missing. I chose the scallopy design for the top for easy grabbing facilities. It also doubles up as a good time teller, as I can press the side button to turn the screen on and there …

Laurel, version 2

I'm still in a predicament with my SD card reader (hopefully it might be in my green backpack which is at work!), but I got Mr T to take these two pics of me today - I have more on the card but alas! no way to get them out. Glorious day in London, probably the only one this year!

This is version two of the Laurel pattern. I haven't blogged about any of the versions yet (2 dresses, 2 tops so far), and they almost all turned out well.



I made this as a trial for another dress which I wore to my friends wedding. The fabric I bought during Rachel's fabulous meet up in April. It's supposed to be cotton, but I wonder if it has some linen in it given how much it creases with wear.

I put an invisible zip in, which I unfortunately shortened too much - it ends just slightly below my waist, and that makes it a bit hard to put on/take off. I finished the seams with very lightweight fusible interfacing - this seemed like a good idea at the time, but actually the interfacing started …

Back from holiday

And some travelling I had to do for work. :)
I wanted to share something I made last week for my phone. It's a leather case that fits the Nexus 4. Then, one of my colleagues liked it so I made him one too. Then, his girlfriend liked it so I'm making her one too.


The outside is made in leather, which I bought a loooong long time ago to make Mr T a laptop case. The inside is some leftover cotton I got in Goldhawk road at the meetup in April.




Why leftover you ask? Because I've got a cool Laurel dress in this awesome fabric.


Giveaway winner(s)!

Since there were only two giveaway entries (thank you Rachel and Maryall for the wishes!) I'll send something to both of you.

I'm sending:
* the clasps and a special surprise to Evie
* the polka dot buttons and a special surprise to Melanie

Evie - please send me an email at: auxetically [[at]] gmail [[dot]] com
Melanie - you have an email address listed so I'll contact you shortly.

Caveat: I'm only going to post these mid-June.


Quick Q&A: Laurel Dress #2

Question: How much fabric does the Laurel dress take?
Answer: I got the sleeveless version in 1m of 1.40m wide fabric(1.20 if using facings).
Sneak peek of my the first dress (phone pic ugh). I do wish I remembered how much of this fabric I bought at Rachel's meet up. I think it was 1.5 or 2 m.

I'll also need to check if the hem really is uneven (I didn't think it was....)

Quick Q&A: Laurel dress

Question: are the Laurel dress and blouse pattern the same?Answer: the two are identical in the top, but the dress gets wider starting with the waist. I tried to look up this information online but could not find it. I ended up printing all of the back section to verify and the bottom three rows of the front section. I then made the dress and promptly proceeded to removing the extra ease. I took it in 1cm on each side, starting at the waist.

Anniversary Giveaway

I was going to do a giveaway last May to mark my sew-niversary but they I forgot. But no such forgetfulness this year!

I have been wearing the cape in these past weeks and I decided I like the single leafy "Legolas" clasps. Since I have 3 clasps left, I'm giving them away.

This is how they look on my Legolas cape:


And here's a better picture courtesy of  MacCulloch & Wallis. I have the silver ones.


I'm also throwing in some shirt buttons, with polkadots. These are the same as the ones I used on my yellow shirt which I never ended up blogging about:


I have them in yellow, red and blue (with white polkadots!), and the winner will get to choose which color to receive. I also have some more black ones but not as many (since I used them on the shirt!)

This will run until next Wednesday, May 22nd at 12:00 London time, which coincidentally is the same day I started sewing two years ago. I know - I have the Sainsbury's delivery note in my email still!
To enter, l…

New Vogues - and other things

I usually browse through new vogues and nothing really catches my fancy, but this time I like two things!



They're quite lovely and I'm in half a mind to order them. But perhaps when I come back from holiday!

Me Made May

I haven't bothered taking pictures or sharing with anyone, but I have been keeping up with this - on average. First week, I wore me-mades 6 out of 7 days. Second week, 1 out of 7. This week has started well with me wearing both the cape and a new top!

New Makes

I now have 3 new makes that I haven't blogged about. Booh. Need to get into gear and get pictures taken!

The Legolas Cape

It's finally done.



I pretty much balked out of the second row of closures. I still have 3 clasps I can add on but the one I did put on was so frustrating I decided to cool off first. The cape is closed with snaps on the inside. I need to redo one of them I think, the second set pulls a bit:



The top clasp - which gives this cape it's name of The Legolas Cape - I got from MacCulloch and Wallis.


All in all, I really like it. It took forever to finish, but it's remarkably easy to wear. It also has a "novelty" feel to it.

I think this will get a lot of wear, especially if the weather in London remains the way it was this weekend.



The amount of time and effort I put into it has certainly paid off!