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





Sunday, 4 September 2016

It's Actually Finished Finished!

I wish I could say this is only due to being so busy at work but I am a serial procrastinator with and without the help of working full time. But to make it even better I haven't just finished the stitching part I have finish finished the beanie too!!!

Actually I have been finishing a lot of projects recently and actually finishing them fairly quickly... I guess the motivation to wear them or share them with others actually works. Of course being me, I do put it off more than I should. I have always had a problem with procrastination and putting items off particularly when I want to do something else.



The crochet for this beanie has been done for a couple of weeks. It's been sitting in my bag waiting, waiting for me to bother to find my sewing needle. I only have one sewing needle for yarn.


Then came the hard part. Picking the right button. I had a collection sitting there and none of them were the same. You just need to try them all. Eventually she chose the purple of below.... A girl after my own heart :D  The purple is awesome.


*sigh* I learnt something with this whole project. Apparently my crochet gauge is really tight. No wonder I can't make crochet projects work quite right normally. But it does fit her beautifully and doesn't fall off which is a BIG bonus.


 It was surprisingly hard to get a good photo. She just didn't want to smile. Reluctant models are so difficult to work with. She just wanted to go back to her game.


I'm really bad about finishing projects but this one has been awesome. To make it even better it's barely left her head since I finished it which makes me even happier. I like making clothes and items for the kids as long as they like and enjoy them when they are finished. It makes it more enjoyable. 

I have other updates but that is enough for one post ... I will try and write another one but I have 2 assignments due in 2 weeks ... this whole work and study thing is harder than it seems. 

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin 


Saturday, 6 August 2016

Finished Gloves

So I finished the gloves I was talking about in my last post. They turned out really awesome.


This is a photo of me wearing them. Of course in the normal pattern of me I STILL don't have a photo of my sister wearing them OR the beanie!

I did change a major thing compared to the last time I made this pattern. I made them about 4 inches longer. Which really suits my sister and I just love the difference. Of course I have orders from mum to make a pair but to do the normal length. Also to make the finger part shorter. My sister has long fingers. Actually all of her is long... I'm kinda jealous!

This is one of those patterns I keep digging out every time I need a new pair of gloves. I think I will keep using it and using it as they are so versatile and really look nice with everything. Sometimes it's nice to work on something easy that doesn't require much thought. I will add this to my easy carry project list but it will take me a while to get to a pair for my mum. Which is alright since winter is almost over and I really should be focusing on getting my uni work done not making gloves.

I'm making a new post about my planner as I've made some changes to I will talk to you about how uni is going in that post as it's kinda hooked in with my planner stuff.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Project Planning

At the moment I have so many projects running around in my head and so LITTLE time to do them in. Thankfully I seem to crave knitting and crochet at the moment maybe because they usually are so portable. I have knitting sitting in my handbag at the moment waiting for me to start a pair of gloves I'm making my old faithful Campout Fingerless Mitts. (link to my blog post in 2014) But I want to see if I can add a bit of lace detail to make them look like the beret.

If you want to see the beret I've just finished for myself (and I started and just finished another one for my sister but forgot to take photos) I wrote about it over at AndSewWeCraft.com I'm making the gloves to match my sister's one as my mother bought me 3 balls of yarn instead of just one so I'm going to use them all!

To add to the gloves, I have requests from the girl to make her a beanie/hat/beret thingy as well. I actually wanted to but didn't really want to go and buy more yarn as I knew I had a tonne of 8 ply hanging around particularly lots of full balls from my blanket. So I went searching for patterns (actually I've had this pattern saved for a while and in my search found it again!) The moment I showed it to her she went YES!!! Then we went searching through my yarn. 

Yenni slouch hat by Little Monkey's Crochet 

She chose a lovely dark tealy green from my blanket. But in typical me fashion I have no photos of it. (can I blame the cold for my forgetfulness?) 

 Then I went searching for hooks....


My collection is decent... I have about 5 4.5mm hooks because I use them constantly. I have one 4mm but it's the fully metal handle. and I have a 5.25mm.

This pattern calls for a 5mm and a 4mm. I could just use my 4mm and 5.25mm but... The metal handle is uncomfortable and ... I like options. The only problem is spotlight doesn't carry the clover hooks which I love so I'll have to deal with getting more of the Bates hooks which are comfortable but not my favourite. They have weird necks around the hooks.

One day I may have all the sizes and not have to go get more tools just to start a new project.... one day!

What are you planning at the moment? Share some of your thoughts and projects with me. I always like to see more.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Moving Again

I am one of those people who grew up living in the same house as my parents have lived there for 30 years. My grandma still lives in the house that my grandpa built. That's what I grew up knowing. Since moving out of home I haven't stayed in one place longer than a couple of years. I would say that's the fault of renting but at one point in there I owned a house too.

This latest move has taken a lot out of me. I've been stressed and exhausted. The owner wanted to move back in and although we were given a 2 month time frame we really only found somewhere 2 weeks out. This put a lot of stress on all of us. Also when out entire townhouse is so tiny it's really hard to find room for the boxes which added to the mess. Honestly it was extremely hard to keep up with everything and it didn't help that I am still working full time. We had boxes stacked up around beds and everywhere.

We have now officially moved out of the old place and into the new place. It's a 4 bedroom house and we are just loving the space. The crazy thing is we will only need to get one piece of furniture for the new house and that is a dining table and chairs. That is all! How did we fit the whole house in a tiny place for 2 years?


I think the only reason we fit is because we had to! That place just never worked with our stuff. In the end this place is going to be much better. Particularly because there is one room JUST for me! I get a craft room again! Ohk the wardrobe will be general storage but the rest of the room is mine to work with and in. I'm going to be able to get away and study or work as needed.


Of course we need to get everything else away so that I can organise and tidy that room as it will be the last one I sort! Once the little man sorts his room we can stick the drum kit in there... This will also be a study for me so I'm getting a couple of desks from mum to go in front of the windows ... I will have a lot of study to do!

So that gives everyone a very good idea what has been occupying my head space and mind this last month particularly. I will be so excited to get this place set up so we can use it.

I am getting together a post on my granny stripe blanket. It was the only project I've had going while I've been moving. A needle to sew in threads and the blanket are easy to tote around. I have managed to finish finish it so I am organising a recap post and hopefully going to be able to get a good photo of the blanket this weekend. Can't have too many photos!

I have many ideas of projects I want to do and start... but how many I actually achieve at the moment is up for debate. Oh well... at least the worst of the crazy is over and we are back to our regularly scheduled program.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Granny Stripe Finish ... Kinda

I was debating whether I talked about this one in it's own post of mention as part of my retreat post but in the end it wasn't finished on the retreat I actually managed to finish the stitching part a couple of days before. It only took about an hour once I got the rest of the yarn! Story here

But it is only a kinda finish as I have  A LOT of ends to sew in. I did manage to finally get a full photo of the blanket. I must say I don't want to do another 'random' blanket like this again but it truly does look random!



I also love the way that the ruffle worked out. It makes an interesting edge. Now all I have to do is finish the ends which could take me a while! I'm about a third of the way up the side at the moment I just carefully tucked them under in this photo.

I wish I could work out how to get that pink to show up properly! Probably need to steal dad's camera with the fancy lenses. Actually just want dad to use his camera and get a photo ... I can't use his camera I manage to cause it to be blurry or silly without even trying.

So I will try and get more photos so this isn't the last time you ever see this blanket but it's pretty much in it's finished stage. I think I do want to do a wrap up post for this blanket but that may take me some time to compile the information.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

My Weekend Away

I had the privilege this past weekend of joining some LOVELY ladies for the AndSewWeCraft Retreat. It was just awesome to get away and actually get some projects done!

I took a mix of projects with me and found that I really only wanted to get the sewing projects done. But that's the beauty of a retreat I didn't need to do what I didn't want to do! I went up Friday afternoon and came home Sunday afternoon.

I managed to finish three projects by the end of the retreat and it was sooo wonderful not having to worry about anything but sewing.

1. I finished a dress and I'll be talking more about the process that went into this one over on andsewwecraft this month. But I have to show you guys the finished piece! Sorry about the gloves they make it look like I have no arms. But it didn't stop raining all weekend and it was really cold! I wore this dress home on Sunday and everyone who saw it was really happy with how it looked on me.


2. A handbag to match the dress, this wasn't planned but when they were running the class I just couldn't resist doing it and learning how to put hardware onto a bag. It's not as scary as it looks! Although my fingers may disagree as that hammer hurts.... but that isn't the bags fault. This bag pattern if anyone is interested can be found Here. It's currently on special but I don't know how long for.



3. A toy elephant for my sister. This was made using a pattern from funky friends factory and if you've been around my blog long you know that I love her patterns for a reason and this one was no different. After a couple of hours sewing the really easy directions I had an elephant to take home to give to my sister. She has a baby shower to go to in a couple of weeks.



So although the weekend was cold and rainy and altogether unpleasant weather (if you guys get news about Australia's weather this past weekend you'll understand! It wasn't the best time to be out) But we were safe and warm enough and just had an absolute ball!!!

I hope you managed some time this weekend to craft!

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Friday, 27 May 2016

So close!

I was getting so close to a finish! Then this happened....


I have about 50 cms left and I've run out of yarn. I do have more yarn, another ball of this colour it's in a box at my parents house. So not something I can grab quite yet. In a couple more days yes... I'm so close to finishing this! It's soooooo frustrating!!!!!!!!!

Well ... happy stitching everyone!

Caitlin

Friday, 13 May 2016

Same old story

I have been crafting recently but really I haven't had much time to think. Part of my problem is I get home and it's dark so I sit and work on whatever project I'm working on. Which is fine. But I don't want to share a bad photo with you guys. Therefore I need to wait until the next morning to maybe find the time to photograph it. I get up the next morning and forget to photograph it ... and the cycle continues.


Also in exciting news. I got accepted into my Master's of Business (Professional Accounting) This means big changes for me. I will be doing classes twice a week AFTER work. My crafting time is about to half. Not that I had that much time to start with! Actually that brings me to this weeks task...
We move in the next month and I need to have a major destash!

With limited time I know what is becoming important to me. So I really need to limit my crafts. As always my cross stitch is important but I can't even reach most of it at the moment. That is half of the problem. I love my cross stitch. Knitting and Crochet (so my 8 ply acrylics stay) and my fabrics for sewing though those need to be sorted and gone through. I need to be realistic about what I keep around. If I won't use it in the next 6 mths I'm going to either store it or donate it and I'm going to stick to that. I'm about to move house and I want to be reasonable. I actually want to get some projects DONE. To do that I need to declutter my head and my craft space so I can find it!

But I can't just have a post with no photos. I made myself another headband because I kinda cut my hair off.



It's going into winter here and I cut all my hair off. I absolutely LOVE it! I was getting sick of looking after my hair. Not the best photos but you get the idea. I have ACTUALLY finished something!!!!  I need to make a couple of hats for the new winter season. It may happen ... may not too. We all know about the best laid plans of mice.

That is said with my granny stripe blanket sitting over my lap with the edge still unfinished. I really need to put some time into that! But right now I'm watching frozen, writing blog posts and enjoying time not doing much of anything. So hopefully I will post as much as possible but life at the moment definitely has a habit if getting in the way,


Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Friday, 22 April 2016

Q is for...

Quilting

Ohk it's two days later but it's been that sort of week at work. Honestly I now admire those that hold down a full time job and manage to do anything else! 

Anyway onto my topic. I first started quilting when I was given a class at my local quilting shop. Actually I think I was given the bag making class and got drawn in by the quilting class. It was only a beginner quilt that was lap size but it was so much fun to make! It's in purple, although I actually made two as mum loved the pattern so much she bought me a second kit and would you believe it ? It's purple! 

Right now I'm sleeping with my little single bed quilt, that I made when I lived at the boarding house, over my half of the blanket as I'm getting colder at night than James does. Part of that quilt is showing below. 



My most recent make was a quilted blanket for my friend's baby in bright blues and blacks. I maybe make one quilt every couple of years. Maybe. I just don't have the money or the time to be buying that level of fabric when I just don't want to a lot. That's the wrong words. I want to but really don't enjoy working on the big sports of quilts that I really want to make because I just don't have the sewing space! One day I will have it again but until then I think I'll stick to mainly sewing clothes and toys. 

We can all dream though.
Happy stitching,
Caitlin

 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for ...

Perfection


We all strive for it and I am noticing that more and more I'm beginning to realize that it doesn't have to be. We don't have to be perfect to make good clothes. I don't have to be perfect to enjoy this challenge. And mostly I don't have to be perfect in my life. That realisation does lift a lot of stress from my head. It makes me think about what is important and what isn't.

This post for instance wasn't that important today. Posting at the same time and making sure it's all perfect isn't important. Yes I want to complete the challenge for me but it can be done in my way to my rules. I don't have to follow anyone's rules but mine.

When I sewed that dress on the weekend I first put it on and realised just how far off it was. It wasn't perfect but I couldn't leave it as it was. Here is where I could have stressed and worried and measured. But I eyeballed it as I wanted a loose dress just shaped loose! I made the sides even. And just stuck them under the over locker. Then when I had those looking fine I just used my eyes again and worked out how much roughly to cut off the back.

It was a wonderful way of working I wasn't stressed I was in fact enjoying just putting it together. I'm beginning to realize that for a stress head like me the best way to work is with a bit of structure and to see how it works out. I know enough to not make silly mistakes tooooo often and to learn from them. Good things come from it.

So it's late here and I'm already in bed. It's not perfection but it's fun.

Happy stitching,
Caitlin


Monday, 18 April 2016

O is for...

Out of Ideas

I'm up to O and although I missed one day I'm currently out of ideas. I couldn't even think of a title for this post. So instead of being fancy I'm going to disappear into pictures. ... I'm dreaming of ideas and thoughts today...

My work is apparently really really cold in winter and honestly I can see it already. SO I know my ideas are well out of my ability to do before I need it this winter. But I love, love, love all these ideas :D


Oh I love this radiating dragonfly blanket. By Charmed by Ewe. You can find the free pattern here.  I could have so much fun with this. 

This owl blanket is beautiful and I actually have part of the pattern. I have the pattern for the tote but I could turn it into a blanket really easily. 


The pattern from The hat and I would be awesome! 

Sooooo many dreams :D I could make it simple I could do complicated but it would be lots of fun. In many different ways. 

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin


N is for...

Nothing

Sorry I forgot to post up on Saturday. I could say I wasn't near a computer but that would be a lie. I was home most of the afternoon but honestly I was spending it piecing together pattern pieces so that on Sunday I might actually get something achieved.

I had all thoughts of posting something but it just didn't happen. Of course the result of all sorts of nothing was a finished dress on Sunday :D I am really happy with my nothing. Sorry about the bad selfies though. I will have to get a photo when I'm all dressed up for work. I'm excited to add this to my work wardrobe. More colour and pretty :D


Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for ...

Magazines

I used to buy a lot of cross stitch magazines and I had a couple of subscriptions. That was great until I realised I couldn't sew all the patterns if I tried. So I went through ALL my cross stitch magazines and cut them up. I then sorted them out into patterns I wanted to keep, which I put into binders, and patterns I didn't want. I then proceeded to hand the patterns onto friends and family so that I wasn't keeping them in the house. I went from a full shelf of patterns to half a shelf of organised patterns that I can actually use.

But cross stitch magazines aren't my only weakness. A couple of years ago I bought a subscription to the Art of Crochet. I actually really liked the magazine and I've made some of the items I just found that the yarn that came with it was poor quality and eventually you run out of drive to work on the projects. Also when it's 40 degrees outside in our summer and the British magazine is going on about the perfect summer cardigan I kinda started laughing. We don't do cardigans in summer. We don't do a lot of clothes in summer. It's too bloody hot. So I cancelled that subscription. (This was after something like 35 magazines so I have a decent amount of patterns to work from)

My latest obsession is an online magazine for sewing. Actually it's two online sewing magazines.

One called One Thimble is an Australian magazine with a lot of kids sewing patterns but also some adult ones (quilting and handbags) Tutorials about sewing and all sorts of fun projects. I became an affiliate when I realised I was buying the magazine and loving the patterns ... I just had to share.

The other magazine that I'm quickly becoming obsessed with is called seamwork. Oh gosh this magazine is full of all sorts of fun information and tutorials but what I love the most is for just $6 each month I get to download two new patterns for sewing clothes. I find that most of the patterns are really easy to use for work clothes! I made two tops from the Akita so far and I have plans to make a pair of leggings this weekend and possibly a dress as well. (refer to my post yesterday). I have a day on the overlocker booked for Sunday and I'm going to get all the prep work done before hand!



Now if you follow this link to the seamwork magazine and you decide to subscribe I will get some of my subscription for free just so you know. But if you're into sewing clothes I would highly recommend checking it out. It's not expensive for an interesting magazine!

I do find it interesting that I have two links to share and both are affiliates the reason why is both magazines I feel offer a lot and I want to keep buying them. So if it's your cup of tea, enjoy. Otherwise just talk magazines.

What magazines do you currently read? I am happy to find new ones.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for...

Lists

Does anyone else use lists to keep track of ideas and plans? I get to a point where I have so many plans and ideas going through my head that if I don't get them out of my head I start feeling like I'm going to explode. That and the ideas start getting lost in the fluff.

At the moment I have a growing sewing list that isn't being actioned. And I just worked out why I'm so reluctant to sew at the moment! I told Lana I would make her a skirt next but I just can't work out how to make it work like I want it to. So, I'm procrastinating with the whole list. The only problem is I told her it would be the next project on the list... Therefore all sewing is stalled. I think I need to talk to her and re-evaluate so I can move onto more projects.


Now the lists are starting to get out of control. I have the big overarching ones which outline the projects that I have/want to do. Then I have the lists for each project. Just to show you what one of my lists looks like...

I bought some fabric over the weekend with 2 major purposes in mind and then a couple of other ideas if I have enough fabric. 
I want to make a pair of leggings for myself and for my sister. Then we shall see what else I can do. But I can't get to the fun part of sewing as the list currently sits like this:
  1. Wash Material (Can't skip this as the fabric is a knit!)
  2. Dry in a dryer (could skip this but I want to shrink it as much as possible before cutting)
  3. Trace Pattern size for myself
  4. Cut out Pattern pieces
  5. Sew Pieces together using the overlocker at mum's
Can you see how frustrating that list is looking? I know what I want to do but can't yet as we've had a couple of wet days and I don't have a dryer so need to visit mums. Also once I finish that first pair the list continues.
  1.  Measure my sister
  2. Trace pattern size for her (adjusting for tallness)
  3. Cut out pattern pieces
  4. Sew pieces at mums.  
THEN there are the rest of the projects.
  • Use the rayon I bought last year to make another dress (no photo sorry)
  • Make a top out of the purple and green fabric
 
  • Work out what I want to make out of this gorgeous blue fabric. 
 

All of these will have many steps involved as well. Some easy, some annoying. This is of course only the projects that I have planned for myself. I have shorts planned for the munchkins and all sorts of other ideas.

Do you think I'm crazy? Can I also mention this is only my sewing clothes list. It doesn't include my knitting, crochet, cross stitch of my non clothes sewing. Those lists are growing too and there aren't enough hours in the day! Do you know how I handle this? Just one step at a time!

So I'm going to say goodbye for today and if you're looking for me I think you'll find me curled up on the floor tracing out patterns. That is the only step I can make at the moment.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for...

Kill Me



Ohk not the title you were probably expecting today. But I've been in the process of untangling an absolute mess of yarn and it kinda felt appropriate. I carry my knitting projects in a bag and the yarn keeps getting all tangled up. I REALLY need to put all my yarn in little bags. 

Unfortunately the more you move a ball of yarn around the more you have to deal with it tangling. I have worked out a method that seems to work when I remember to put the yarn in the bag. A plastic lunch bag seem to work fairly well as it stops it moving. 

I've seen so many clever ideas for yarn holders on pinterest. There are many many ideas from the simple container with a hole, to the fancy. 


This one comes with http://hubpages.com/art/How-to-Make-Your-Own-Yarn-Dispenser simple instructions... I should learn!

I really love the idea of using this teapot! It is really awesome ... I should look for a second hand one that I can use. 


I have all sorts of ideas ...  I really should use them!

HappyStitching, 
Caitlin


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for...

Just in time

Oh we've all probably done our share of these sorts of projects. It seems to be for me at Christmas time I'm running around the two days before trying to get some sewing finished in a mad rush before the due date. I do it to myself every year. I have MONTHS to decide and can't pick something until 3 days before?? 

I remember a couple of years of sewing up ornaments the night before. There was one year I had only started making 30 ornaments the week before! Then the year where on Christmas day I was sitting there sewing in the ends and sewing on buttons as I was trying to wrap the presents and get them out the door! 

Last year I thought would be different as I wasn't making presents for everyone but there I was Christmas eve sewing on my machine trying to finish a pillow case for the little boy. Part of the issue is they are now old enough to notice and pay attention to what I'm doing at the machine. That and they are smart enough to put two and two together. 

But when will I learn to make a decision months in advance and actually stick to it? How hard is it to just decide to make something and do it? Apparently very hard because I do it to myself EVERY year! 

Can I make a vow not to do it to myself again? But then again you all know how much I will stick by that vow.... It will be me next year on Christmas eve sitting at my sewing machine trying to finish it in time. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one? If I'm not can someone give me a hint of how to stop myself? 

Oh well ... maybe one day :D

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for...

Inches vs Centimetres



Just to make this clear if you didn't already know. I live in Australia. Which means we learn to measure distance in metric measurements. Unlike the kids now though my parents learnt inches and cm so we were taught both at school so we had a basic understanding. My school rulers had both on them but until I started to quilt the only thing I measured in inches was my height and that is only because I measure myself off my mother. 

When I started learning how to quilt it took me by surprise that everyone uses inches. It didn't make sense until you think about the fact that quilting (in it's current form) originated from America. That was the driving force behind it. All the supplies and rulers were coming out of there. So it was better just to turn around and say in quilting we use inches. It makes life easier, no changing up from pattern to pattern or trying to remember what you're doing. 

The crazy thing is that this has gone into other areas of my sewing. I use a 1/4" seam all the time or a 5/8" I couldn't tell you how many centimetres that is! It also helps that my grandma still measures and does everything in inches as she didn't have centimetres when she started. So she speaks in inches, my mum also sews in inches so it wasn't a hard transition. 

This came to light over the weekend. I had to go buy some fabric. Now although we quilt in inches and need a certain amount in inches you can only buy fabric in metres here. So I'm standing there at the counter trying to work out how many metres roughly would a yard and a half be. In the end I got WAY more than I needed as I want a couple of pairs of pants out of it.  But it was interesting how ingrained it is to just work in imperial measurements and not bother with centimetres. I even got annoyed the other day that the kids ruler doesn't have inches marked when I needed something quickly. (That's their ruler and my quilting one in the picture above)

I do find it funny how something that we are meant to have fazed out and not using is becoming more prevalent for me as time goes on? 

I do measure some stuff in metric:
  • road distances
  • lengths of most objects
  • houses
But I will always measure these items in inches:

  • my height
  • any sort of fabric
  • Anything for sewing!
  • babies (well at least convert them to pounds so I can understand compared to my mother) 
It's a weird world. 
Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for ...

Hairspray!

This isn't anything to do with crafting but it was too good a timing to miss! Last night I went to see the Arena Spectacular of Hairspray! It was such a lucky night. The tickets were a Christmas gift from my sister and we had such a wonderful time. 

I've been a fan of hairspray since the movie came out. I loved Zac Efron he was awesome and John Travolta was amazing. Not that these were the actors we saw last night but they started my love. I just loved having the chance to see it in a musical. 


I was the arena spectacular so they had a cast of 800 people. They filled the stage area! The singers were great and the atmosphere was great. It was pretty awesome that I ran into my friend while I was there too. It was great to catch up and talk musicals. 

I'm glad that I got the chance to go so thank  you Bec if you're here. 

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for...

Granny stripe

I've mentioned this a lot over the last little while as it's getting so close to a finish. But I just have to mention it again. A couple of years ago I started making a granny stripe blanket using the pattern by attic 24. It isn't as big as I wanted it to be but that's what happens when you just get sick of working on it. It's big enough to curl up under on the couch and that's what I care about. 

I'm just two rows from a finished border. Or I like to say two corners as I'm working the two rows simultaneously. But this blanket hasn't been easy. I found I started off by casting on too tight so had to undo it.  Then I spent two years working on it because I put it away over the summers... Way too hot to sit under a blanket in 35 degree heat! 

Then I got to the border but quickly realised that I'd miscounted the links from one line to the next and putting the border on just made it go a bit wonky. I used that as a chance to try out a ruffly edge. 

It's been a fun experience so far but I'm not looking forward to sewing in those ends. It hasn't been all straight forward but for my first big crocheted blanket I'm really proud of it. 


Happy stitching, 
Caitlin

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