Thursday, 30 January 2014

The early bird gets the worm

The kids here went back to school on Tuesday (well the youngest two anyway, the other two have completed their schooling) and after I dropped little man at school this morning I decided that, as I was already out, I would drive up to the local Spotlight (similar to JoAnn's in the USA) and get lightweight interfacing for tracing off patterns. I had to sit there for a little while waiting for them to open but never mind I always have a book with me in the car for just these occasions.

While I was there I spotted two fabrics that would be suitable for tops or a lightweight jacket for the little man. The aqua fabric has a ribbed texture and the red one has a textured reverse. Both are knits that are heavier than interlock but not as heavy as double knit, perfect for 'Summer into Autumn' wear.
I only wish, now that I am home and realise that the already discounted fabrics were marked down even further for club discount, that I had purchased another metre or so of each. Oh well, the store is not far away so once I get these washed & dried and get patterns laid out I can always go back if I need more. The only problem there is I might see something else I want :)

Monday, 27 January 2014

Progress, such as it is ...

The auto-immune disease has not been playing nice the last few weeks, but what's new, so there has not been a lot done on little mans clothes. I have managed to wash, dry and iron three of the fabrics I will be using as they were all black and of similar content so they could be done together. I have a piece of white fabric for a shirt that may or may not be dealt with later today.

Leaning over a table and cutting out is a bit difficult when your neck, shoulders and arms are aching but I have pushed through it and have cut out the first pair of shorts this morning (Simplicity 2318) and have laid out the pattern ready to cut the striped fabric for the first shirt (Simplicity 5581). Tasks like this need to be broken down into little pieces so I can cope with them, which is better than not doing it at all, so it could the best part of the day but I hope it will be done before dinner.

The plan was to break the whole process into blocks and do each block one by one, by that I mean pre-treat all fabrics, trace off or cut out all patterns, cut out all fabrics and then when that is done sit and sew all garments. All blocks of tasks then need to be broken down into small steps so it is manageable. I do not have a sewing space (as you can see from the pic of the cutting out being done on the dining table) so I can not set up a machine and leave it so breaking the process down into blocks like this also means I don't need to keep dragging the machine out, sewing one thing, clearing it away so I can cut out etc. and doing it all again when the next item is ready to sew.

I have not yet purchased the other fabrics required for his t-shirts or tank tops, the long pants (should I make them), and perhaps a hoodie or other outer wear piece. He has not decided what colour he wants so until that happens I am a little stuck on moving much further forward but also have more patterns to cut so all is good.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Beautiful bamboo

I have never sewn with it myself, nor owned a garment made from it, but I hear bamboo is a wonderful fabric for clothing, feels great against the skin and is cool to wear in warm climates.

I stumbled across a listing for a store that sells fabrics and goods made from bamboo and while it looked very interesting I understood it was an online only store which was not ideal.

I don't know about you but I am hesitant to purchase fabrics unfamiliar to me without actually feeling them to see how soft, heavy etc. they are. A quick question left on their Facebook page corrected my misconception and affirmed that they did indeed have a store where in-person shopping was welcomed.

The best news? The store is literally a few kilometres from home.

I am looking forward to, once the kids are back at school and I can browse in peace, spending a little time browsing the shelves and taking the opportunity to feel the fabrics and get an understanding of what the choices are and what they are best suited to. I am hoping to find a soft fabric suitable for t-shirts for my youngest and possibly also for myself but who knows what treasures I will find.

The pics are from the store and show some of their hemp fabric, bamboo linen and knits.

It's here

The parcel of sewing goodies I ordered a few weeks back has finally arrived. It took a lot longer than I anticipated for delivery but apparently there was a reason ...

There was a post-Christmas back log that took a while to clear but there was no indication of this on the website. It is a shame they didn't notify customers of this delay before the checkout process and not later when the customer goes searching for answers. Never mind, I have learned my lesson and I won't make that mistake again.

These fabrics are nothing fancy nor expensive but they are perfect for an 8 year old boy who likes comfortable clothing, with drills for the pants and cottons for the shirts.

I have not yet decided on the colour to go with these and make up the third set. I will need to buy more fabric for that set of shorts and shirt, as well as for the three t-shirts to go with these, but I can do that later when little man has decided what colour he wants.

For now I hope to get these fabrics pre-treated today so I can get started in earnest tomorrow. The weather forecasters are not being nice and have forecast an anticipated high of 37c (with a feel of 40c). If it gets that warm we can expect a slight delay!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Just do it ...

I have finally decided that I am going to dust off the sewing machine and join in the SWAP on Stitchers Guild. At this point in time I am aiming for at least one finished 3 piece set and will see where it goes from there, hopefully I will get them all done but if not that'll be ok.

I will be sewing for EJ however I am not deciding now which patterns I will use right now. I have the Topkids magazines and some basic patterns but don't have the fabrics yet (some of them are ordered and on their way) so a final decision will depend on what they feel like when they get here.

The fabrics I intend to use will be mainly drills and cottons as they are the most practical for an 8yo boy. I may do a lightweight linen (or similar) shirt but will need to find suitable fabric.

Keeping fingers crossed I can get this done as it might give me enough confidence to try a swap for myself next time round.

Update: I have taken over the dining table and have made a start. I have cut out the patterns I need for a shirt, a t-shirt and shorts although they will need some adjustments before I begin cutting the fabric as EJ needs a L for his height but only a S-M for his width.

I am stopping now however as the pain in my shoulders is making it impossible to do any more today. It has become apparent that I will need to break down the tasks into manageable chunks or the auto-immune disease will get the better of me and I don't want that to happen.

So that's all for today ...

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

They are here

The Topkids magazines arrived in the post today and considering they came from WA (the other side of the country) that was quite a surprise.

There are no stunning patterns that have immediately attracted my attention but there are quite a few that have definite possibilities. It looks like we have shorts, shirts, pants and even pyjamas covered for youngest son, which is great, but there are no t-shirt patterns. I might have to resurrect one of my old Knitwit patterns to cover that.

All in all I am happy with the few dollars spent and am now on the lookout for some tracing paper/interfacing so I can get started.

Monday, 6 January 2014


Does anyone remember Topkids magazines?

They were an Aussie publication (similar to Burda or Ottobre) for kids and usually had 30 or more patterns per issue.

I had a lot of these magazines when my three older kids were small and made a lot of their clothes from them. Once they grew (and before I had ds#4) I thought I would no longer need them and gave most of them away, very foolish I know. Somewhere I have a few of my favourites stored away but at the moment their exact location is unknown.

Yesterday I was trawling through ebay looking for something else and low and behold I came across a listing for some issues that I never had. $20 later and three magazines are heading in my direction from the other side of the country.

Youngest son is 8 this week and is still in the "I love what you make me" phase so I can't wait to get my hands on these and see what possibilities they hold.

Hopefully they will not only have basic patterns but if I could find something a little unusual as well that would be great. Sometimes the big 4 patterns for boys are just a tad boring!

To SWAP or not to SWAP

I would love to participate in this years SWAP over at the Stitchers Guild Forum but I doubt I will have the time with the kids on summer holidays for the rest of the month and me starting back at university shortly after that and having a bit of pre-reading to do.
However, should I somehow find the time, I would probably do a swap for EJ who is turning 8 next week and growing like a weed. It would take him through the rest of summer, into autumn (which is still very mild here) and even winter with the addition of another pair of pants and a lightweight hoodie and it would look something like this ...

Set 1 - black shorts, red t-shirt or tank, black & white check s/sleeve shirt
Set 2 - red shorts, white t-shirt or tank, black & white striped s/sleeve shirt
Set 3 - back & white check shorts, black t-shirt or tank, white s/sleeve shirt
Wild card 1 - pair of jeans (probably purchased) or long pants
Wild card 2 - lightweight jacket or l/sleeve shirt

Not sure about the red (he already has a lot) but I could swap that out for almost any other colour and it would still work.