Friday, 6 January 2017

Newsboy Hat

So I wanted a new hat and a simple project one evening and I was very excited to finish this hat by the second day. It is the free pattern by Whitney Sews. It came with a video explaining what to do and I used that and other information I found around and made myself a hat.

 I used the remnants of a purple fat quarter to get the inside of this hat. I made the brim and band in the calico and the lining in purple. If I make this again I will make it fully reversible that way it can be a little more versatile.

That said I haven't stopped wearing this hat when I need one so I think it's been the perfect project. Since cutting my hair short hats suit me again. Actually I think it's more than that I think that my hair suits hats. It doesn't try to fizz up under the hat or unable to fit with a braid or ponytail.

This was such a fun little project and I do look forward to a couple more quick finishes in the next year.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Saturday, 31 December 2016

What LEARN meant for me.

So this year I decided to do the one word for the year and make it my mantra.  I aptly choose the word learn I think not realising juat how important and big that word would be for me.

Last year in November I started a new job and it has been the biggest learning curve for me. I have held a full time job for over a year now with two kids, and an hour commute.  It has all been a lesson in what works for us.  It's also been a lesson in not letting myself go just because I now have all these responsibilities.  I have had to learn to take the time for myself.

I've also taken a huge step.  In taking this job I took the first step to a new career as an accountant and this year I took the next step and started my masters.  I'm now one semester down and I've already learnt so much. I've realised that I can balance full time work and study and a family it just takes effort.  I've also learnt how much easier it is when you do love the study you're doing.  It's amazing how easy it is to achieve high marks. I've also realised that I am actually smart despite talking myself out of many things I know what I'm talking about and find learning fun and exciting.

I've learnt so many little things I could tell you that I learnt that I love to plan but very rarely do I follow through with those plans exactly as I want. BUT another big achievement that sticks out for me is I've learnt to ride a motorbike.  This was a big big challenge and something I've wanted to do.  It will save money but it's more than that.... I've watched my partner love his bike and I wanted to know what he was talking about and found a level of that love.  It's great fun and a really great way to get around. My confidence lifts everytime I ride.



Now of course this is a craft blog though I ramble about everything here.  And one of my largest achievements this year has been the clothes I have made for myself. I have stepped out of my comfort zone again and again to create the next outfit that users techniques that I didn't know before.  I've added plackets and cuffs... and two kinds of zippers. I am learning how to adjust a pattern to suit my body and how to make it for me. I've gone from the simple to the complicated and I've got so much more to achieve.






 

I'm looking forward to the challenges that next year will bring but if nothing else this year had been an enormous learning curve and I'm so glad that I took it and ran.  I need to think about my word for next year still but we shall see what happens.

Happy stitching and happy new year
Caitlin

Thursday, 22 December 2016

One Finished Skirt

I am proud to announce that I have actually finished one of my goals in what I term to be a very reasonable time frame! I started with the blue and orange fabrics and I drafted my own dirndl skirt on a fixed waistband with a zipper and a lined skirt. I never thought I would find myself writing a sentence like the one before and actually mean it. Me who until a couple of months ago hadn't even considered putting a zipper into an item of clothing has not only put it in but it's a LINED skirt!



Between Saturday morning a couple of weekends ago and Sunday night I managed to cut out and sew together my whole skirt. I cut two rectangle panels out of the blue and two out of the orange. They're cut from selvage to selvage so I wouldn't have to finish the edges inside the skirt and because with the gathered skirt why waste fabric? For those that don't know anything about a dirndl style skirt it's basically a rectangle sewn in a circle and gathered at the top.

Now the first step I made after cutting out the rectangles was to put 2 rows of basting stitches along the top of all the pieces. I did this before I sewed them together figuring it would be easier to gather the halves rather than the whole 2 metres of fabric!



 I then worked out how to insert the zipper.... I had bought a class ages ago on craftsy and if I can fi d the link I'll share it but I used that information to put the zipper in. Basically I made a lapped zipper and then I hand stitched the lining to the back.


I then added the waist band on making sure to leave a flap for the button. I don't know why exactly but the waist band has puckered a bit. I think it's to do with the amount of fabric being held in it.

I have now worn it a couple of times for work and have used a bright pink shirt and a white button up one and both times I think it looked cute as. I may also have visited spotlight to pick up a little bit more of the blue fabric as I bought a pattern by Lekala the blouse #4109 and I'm going to use the orange and blue fabrics to make a top. This will hopefully make it look like a dress when worn together and give me the separates as well. I love variety with a limited wardrobe as I get bored of the same clothes again and again.


Everytime I've worn it the orange lining just makes me smile :D

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin




Friday, 25 November 2016

Lynn Dress



Now this is one project that I'm really proud of myself for actually finishing! This is the Lynn Dress from The Seamwork Magazine. I'm finally sharing this I finished it a couple of months ago but I managed to get photos yesterday when I wore this to work. I've worn it a number of times now and I'm really happy with how it's gone. I have a whole pile of projects to share with you now.

I'll start at the beginning. From the get go I knew when I saw this pattern that I wanted to make it but I also knew there were some changes that I had to make. The first one was fairly simple. I had to add a zipper, instead of the buttons that were at the back of the dress. As my grandma said, buttons aren't great at the back as they always get caught on stuff and are hard to do up.

The other change is widening at the hips. I always have to do this as I have very wide lower hips. the problem with being an hourglass at the top and even on my upper hips and then a pear down the bottom. 


Caiden picked out the fabrics for me. Not necessarily what I would have picked but I like how they look.

As you can see here I actually managed to line up the fabric and zipper along the back beautifully. I am so proud of what I have done.

This was a really easy sew and it took only a couple of sessions on my machine to finish. Though I did have to make some changes as I didn't do the grading for the hips right. I have to get better at that!


I do need to make myself a belt as it's a little too baggy around the waist for my liking. I need to do it eventually as the zipper only goes to my waist at the back I can't make it tight. If I made this again I would change the back piece so I can continue the zipper down the back further. I'm not sure if I will make another one. It isn't the best pattern but very comfortable to wear so we shall see what the future holds.

This is all the clothes sewing I've managed to do while I study. BUT more will be coming in the next couple of weeks as I piece together some photos, I have been crafting just not always sharing as that took time. 

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin





Tuesday, 22 November 2016

One semester down...

I'm sorry about not posting much in the last couple of months. I have felt so overwhelmed trying to get everything done that I have really struggled to keep up with this. When I decided to go back to university and start my Masters I don't know what I expected. The last time I did any dedicated study I was living at home with my parents. It's really easy to focus on study and only study when that is really the only thing you have to be responsible for. It's also very easy to do more for yourself and find time to craft and make when you don't have many responsibilities.

I do have lots of information to catch you guys up on as I have still been doing some crafting just very very very very slowly. This is because it takes a lot of effort to actually post about it. I would recommend if you want more updates than you get here follow me on Instagram. I do post at least weekly there. Often more than that though.

So now that I've got the serious stuff out of the way lets get into the important stuff.

Today I want to talk about my plans. This is a bit of a goal setting post as I have a number of plans I actually want to bring to fruition so I will now let you guys hold me accountable!

I mainly have sewing plans that I really have set goals for. I bought myself a book a couple of months ago now and it has my head spinning with ideas. It's called Sew Many Dressses: Sew Little Time. I actually bought the Amazon Kindle version and I'm really happy with it. I can read it on my computer or on my phone. Also just so you know the patterns when you buy the kindle version are downloadable instead of printed in the back of the book! I will do full review once I've sewn a dress from the patterns but for now I love it.

SEWING GOALS


I bought some fabric yesterday at spotlight and each piece has some very specific goals for what they are going to become. All outfits I can wear for work but also at other times too.

I bought this gorgeous navy cotton poplin with the idea of making a Dirndl skirt. I know that sounds very german but it's just a fancy word for a rectangle of fabric that has been gathered at the waist.


To add a bit of pizzazz to it I also bought the orange cotton lawn you can see poking out in the photo. This I'm going to use to line the garment. It is a new style of skirt (for me) and I'm looking forward to the challenge.


The next project is a little more challenging. This will be a DRESS!!! out of this browny grey fabric. It's a cotton broadcloth so fairly stiff but feels really nice. It's a bit of a tester project. I am learning how to do the parts mentioned in the book so I'm going to make a dress with a basic bodice and either an A line skirt or maybe a fuller skirt. We shall see. It's going to be an interesting challenge as I haven't made this sort of bodice before or a structured dress. Not really. The purple dress I made a couple of years ago doesn't quite count as my grandma did more than me!



The third piece of fabric that I bought is another cotton poplin. This one I will turn into a dress as well but not sure what style. I shall see how the above dress turns out and either make another one very similarly or change up the skirt/neckline or something. I do love that the pattern has all sorts of instructions on how to do that.

So those are the main sewing projects I NEED to work on. But knowing me I will find others over the next couple of months. I intend to finish the skirt in the next couple of weeks as it should be a fairly easy sew. Then I'll tackle the slightly harder projects as I go.

I also want to attempt a couple of pairs of shorts and stuff which *should* be easy projects just as something nice to wear during summer but we shall see. I have a couple of shorts patterns including the Nantucket shorts from seamwork which I like the look of so we shall see what ends up drawing me.

I must say, wearing clothes I've made and getting compliments for my outfits really does make me feel pretty and nice. It's something I want to continue.

NON SEWING GOALS

I do have some other goals. I really love cross stitch but I have been very neglectful lately. My goal is to really work on my Afternoon Tea. It has been neglected and if I want to finish that anytime in my lifetime I have to give it some love! It's not a hard goal...

None of these goals are hard but they do require putting my phone down and stopping playing the mind numbing games and just pick up the project and get started. It's that simple but we shall see how well I do! I've noticed particularly in the last couple of months just how addicted to my phone I am. It has become the way I relax which I do NOT like. I would rather relax with a sewing machine or needle than with my phone.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin





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