Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Help needed!

I was just about to cut out a pair of shorts from McCall's 6328, and realised I've somehow managed to lose piece 12 - the back yoke!  So I was just wondering if any of my readers happen to have this pattern and would be willing to scan that piece of the pattern and email it to me... that would be really great!
Thank you in advance, and hopefully I can either find a piece of the pattern or make one up so I can get stuck into these shorts!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Package bonanza!

Over the last two weeks, I've received the most post I think I ever have, aside from birthdays!  Here's my little collection, three packages from three lovely ladies!

From Kat over at Petticoats and Peplums, I have my Pay It Forward gift.  She's made me a crocheted (I think??) pincushion, purple on one side and green on the other, and also sent a set of adorable heart shaped buttons and a thread tin with a lovely vintage lady on the front.

Next, this amazing polkadotted knit fabric and a copy of Tiramisu from StephC at 3 Hours Past!  I won this one in a massive giveaway she was doing, and I count myself very lucky to have won.  Can't wait to sew up this dress!  I wonder if the direction of the dots will give a similar effect to the stripes in the pattern illustration... that will be interesting to experiment with, I've not sewn with anything polkadotted before!

And lastly, a treat to myself after finishing exams, from Sarah at OhhhLulu (her blog is wonderful, and I would love one of everything from her Etsy shop!!) - the Bon Voyage underwear set!  No pictures of these on me, so you'll have to take my word that they fit perfectly and feel amazing on - definitely recommended!!
All in all, I'm counting myself very lucky this week before Christmas!  And once again, I want to say a huge thankyou to Kat, Steph, and Sarah for my wonderful packages.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Sneaky preview!

Just thought I'd post a quick preview of what I've been working on since exams finished!
Here's me and my friend Kim out for breakfast this morning before she heads back to Darwin, me with a slightly dopey face on (I may switch out this photo if it turned out better on her camera!) and my new circle skirt with little anchors.
Full post about this skirt hopefully coming soon, when I can convince my sister to help me take photos!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Checking in...

Just a quick note to say yes, I am still alive!  Just heading into exams now - 12 more sleeps until it's over and I can STOP STUDYING for 2 months!!

I have big plans for what I want to do in terms of sewing for this holidays, and possibly a big exciting project lined up - though not as big and exciting as Natalie's!  (Side note: even though it's been like six months, I still go to type in splatastic into my URL bar to find your blog, and then wonder where all of the new posts have gone - super smart right here!)

In a related topic - does anybody know where I can buy sequinned fabric with the sequins sewn on, online?  Preferably gold or bluey but I'm not going to be too picky, because at the moment I can't find any anywhere!  And do you have any tips for sewing with said fabric?  What I've gathered so far is to keep the sequins away from the seamlines, get a denim needle just in case and prepare to break a few, and pick something with as few seamlines and darts as possible - but any other information you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Hundreds of Apples dress

Here it is, my first project all semester!  Sorry about the lateness, I know in my next post I said I'd post this the next day.  I've been waiting for a day when this horrible forehead acne breakout I've been having settles down, but it doesn't look like it's going to, so I'll just go with it!
I'd been eyeballing this material at Spotlight for a while, but for months and months and months it was on the $15 a metre table, and I decided that even though I love it, I don't love it quite that much!!  These last holidays, when I was doing A Christmas Carol, we were actually there for another reason entirely and I spotted my apple material on sale for $5 a metre - so of course, I just HAD to have it!

I also had McCall's M6503 sitting around in my pattern stash, and I have been itching for another dress in this style, so it was a match made in heaven.  Interesting story: I was going to time how long this dress took me, but I realised when it took me three hours to cut out the pattern and the material and mark it all that the figure was going to be ridiculously huge!!
I made view D, with the standup collar, pleated skirt, and sleeves.  I also added piping along the lines of the collar and the waistband, which was an adventure - I've never done that before, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!  I got little wooden buttons to close the front of the dress, but I'm not entirely sold on them - what do you think?  I've been considering switching them out for some self-cover buttons with red satin, to go with the piping, but I think that might be a bit TOO matchy.
I even did some tricky stuff at the junction of the collar - though I tried to be all artsy with my photo and it didn't turn out properly...

I'm really proud of how the inside turned out, although it is a bit of a mish-mash of seam finishing techniques - both proper ones and ones I sort of made up as I went along!  The right side is all french seamed, including the pocket - I tried this tutorial that I found on Pinterest, and it worked wonderfully!  The pocket pattern was borrowed from Butterick B5317, which I've used three times to make (as yet unblogged) dresses for myself and my sisters.  The pocket is only on the right hand side, because I only usually use the right pocket in my dresses/skirts - though it would be good to have it on the other side too!  Does anybody know how to add a pocket to a seam with an invisible zipper in it?

The left side has this strange sort of seam finish that I sort of made up myself - it's kind of like Hong Kong seaming I think, except it's done with double fold bias tape that I just folded over the edge and stitched once.  Anyway, all of the edges are tucked in, so that's nice.
The shoulder seams are done in a similar way, and then stitched down pointing towards the back.

I used the same technique for the sleeve/armhole edges as I did for my Style Print dress, flat felled around a curve.  This time I had a bit of trouble making the edges sit properly, so I basted the seam twice - once straight after I had trimmed the inside (bodice) edge to half its size, I folded the sleeve edge over to the seam line, and once basting it into its final position.  I then sewed the seam on the machine as usual, and removed the basting, and it worked perfectly!

The only change I made to the pattern was to make an 8 at the shoulders/bust tapering out to a 10 at the waistline and skirt, which seemed to work perfectly!  Anyway, that's about all of note for this dress, so have a lovely day and thank you for visiting!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Quick update...

Just stopping in really quickly to say, no, I haven't dropped off the face of the planet!  My plans for sewing during the semester fell over because I am nowhere near organised enough to do that!
But now that it's lecture recess, I've been working on a new dress - it's about 90% done, and tomorrow I just have to put in the zipper, hem it, sew down the waistband facing, and put the buttons on then I'm done!  So I'll be back with some pretty pictures of that soon :)

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Back again... sort of!

So, it has come to my attention that it's been two months since I last posted!  And I haven't been doing nothing over these uni holidays.
In the last six weeks I have...
  • Had my wisdom teeth out
  • Taught myself to knit in the round and finished a beret while sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself after having my teeth out
  • FINALLY cut and sewn my choir dress - still needs hemming because the horsehair braid didn't work out with my material
  • Sat and looked at my petticoat material, read the tutorial about ten times, and yet have not cut or sewn it
  • Was in a production of A Christmas Carol put on by one of my friends from uni - I was the stage manager and an actor, as well as getting a battlefield promotion to lighting designer and rehearsal lighting operator when the guy who was going to do it was unable to do the show
  • For the production, made two skirts, one overskirt, two tops, and little arm ruffly things - hopefully pictures to come soon!
  • Am half-way through knitting a beanie for my sister
So I've been busy, and posting completely slipped my mind!  I've been reading everyone's blogs though, and just sort of lurking in the background without commenting, haha!
However, I was a bit sad when uni went back... because this is the list of things I wanted to make over the holidays, written at the beginning:
  • Choir dress + petticoat
  • Nautical mini-wardrobe
  • Fix zippers on owl dress and tulip skirt
  • Start on pay it forward presents
  • More tops - clinical and some casual
  • Fix hem on green skirt
I have all the material for my mini-wardrobe, the zippers will take about five minutes each, and I'm going to try something different this semester - splitting things into ten-minute jobs, so I can sew lots of little bits in my study breaks instead of sewing for a whole day every now and then!  So we shall see how it works out.

And just to conclude with a picture, so this isn't just a big block of text, here's a photo from the production!  You can see me on the far right.
This photo was taken by my friend Nim's parents, on the Friday night performance.

For anybody who is familiar with the story (or interesed), I was Fred's Wife (yes, that was my actual character's name!  We later re-named her Margaret so people could stop calling her Mrs Fred :P).  This scene is at a Christmas party Fred and Margaret are throwing, during the scenes with the Ghost of Christmas Present.  From left to right we have Fred (Scrooge's nephew), three party guests (one of whom is behind the pole), the Ghost of Christmas Present, Topper (who is one of the Charity Gentlemen, and Fred's friend), and me, Margaret/Mrs Fred!

I'll have to ask around the cast to see if there are any other pictures of me from on the night, because I can't find a single other one of me!  In any case, I had some adventures with the tops, so I'll definitely be posting about them at some point!

Monday, 21 May 2012

A challenge - 11 things

Kat over at Petticoats & Peplums tagged me in this ages ago, and I'm finally posting it!
The rules:  

1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people

Random facts:
1. When I tried to copy and paste the instructions, this appeared instead - apparently I'm much better at ctrl + v than I am at ctrl + c!  I was writing about antimicrobial treatment for tuberculosis about an hour ago and these are some of my notes.

Rifampicin: resistance can occur.  Other unwanted effects are relatively infrequent – skin eruptions, fever, GI disturbances.  Liver damage with jaundice has been reported and has proved fatal in a very small proportion of patients.  Induction of hepatic metabolising enzymes, resulting in an increase in the degradation of Warfarin, glucocorticoids, narcotic analgesics, oral antidiabetic drugs, dapsone and oestrogens (failure of oral contraceptives)

2. I am very easily distracted from things, so I allow myself one distraction while I'm trying to work - most of the time it's music playing - so that I can avoid the 'unplanned' distractions

3. I have a lot of contradictory habits - for example, I hate ironing and yet about 60% of my favourite clothes need ironing after washing, I love the feeling of new sheets but really dislike making my bed, I own a lot of jewellery but hardly ever wear any, and so on!

4. I never feel like I have enough time to do everything - even if I have a day with nothing planned, I'll get to the end and feel like I haven't accomplished everything I wanted to, which is a bizarre feeling.

5. I am a bit of an introvert, and I really liked this video that one of my favourite vloggers posted - I think we're very similar in that we don't dislike being with people, but we're not very good at formulating thoughts on the spot and knowing what to say to strangers, and that sometimes we just need to have time alone.

6. I am a Nerdfighter - not fighting against nerds, fighting for nerds.  Visit the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel for a better explanation (also the How to be a Nerdfighter: Vlogbrothers FAQ video)!  Basically we're an online community who all believe in decreasing world-suck and increasing awesome, by doing fun and useful things!

7. I love Monty Python, The Goodies, The Good Life, Black Books, Blackadder - a whole bunch of British comedy that my dad introduced me to.

8. I'm a big believer in supporting independent musicians, but I'm actively trying not to be that person who says "they're pretty underground, you've probably never heard of them".

9. I'm very bad at prioritising what needs to stay and what needs to go when I am cleaning up my room - as a consequence my room is full of stuff and I have no room to put anything new, yet I can't bring myself to get rid of any of the old stuff.

10.  I have a lot of projects that are sort of half-imagined or partly completed or nearly done at the moment - so far on my list of things to finish off are my Megara costume (that I was making for a costume party that I was sick for, so I didn't end up hemming and attaching a sash) and my choir dress (it's so frustrating to have everything ready to go, only waiting on the actual sewing bit and yet not have time!), and I have grand plans for a mini-wardrobe and learning how to knit a jumper, so watch this space!

11.  I really dislike swimming in water that I can't see the bottom of - I don't mind deep water as long as I can see the bottom, but even if the water is only waist deep but I can't see my feet I get really uncomfortable.

Questions from Kat
1 - Who is your hero? I have a few people that I really admire, but my top two at the moment are my high school biology teacher, for being the best teacher I have ever had and for being so enthusiastic about what she was teaching that we couldn't help but love biology; and Dr Catherine Hamlin, who started up a fistula hospital in Ethiopia and has been part of the huge advances in womens' health in developing countries.  You can read more about Dr Hamlin here.

2 - Favourite holiday destination? I love going to the Atherton Tablelands, about 4 hours north of where I live - it's absolutely beautiful country up there, and a combination of farming areas and rainforest.  Another favourite is Bingil Bay (just outside of Mission Beach, which is also about 3-4 hours north of me), where we would always spend the Queen's Birthday long weekend with our family friends... I miss those holidays!

3 - Favourite family holiday tradition? The Bingil Bay holidays that we used to have - us kids formed a 'club' (which was obviously not very exclusive because we were in it) called DAMEC - because we were David, Angela, Megan, Emma and Caroline.  It was the one time when we could run around all day, take a lunch out in a basket, hide from the adults, and have what we saw as complete independence.  We invented so many silly games, and made so many wonderful memories :)

4 - Worst habit? Biting my nails - I'm really trying to stop, and I keep getting to about a month and then slipping up!

5 - Favourite colour? I love purple, though darkish reds and navy blue are quickly approaching for favourite colour status

6 - Have you ever broken a bone? No, I haven't!  The worst injuries I've ever had were from iceskating, when I banged the back of my head one day and may have had a very minor concussion, and another time when I fell over and ended up with a giant swollen bruise that was bigger than a chicken's egg on the inside surface of my knee.  I found it fascinating to watch it change colours and slowly decrease in size, much to the disgust of my friends!

7 - Tea or coffee? Tea - I've never really gotten to like the taste of coffee

8 - Favourite sport?  I've never really gotten into any sport, though I'd have to probably say figure skating for favourite to watch and basketball for favourite to particpate in/play

9 - Skill you would most like to learn?  I'd love to be able to speak another language, French springs to mind but that may just be because I did French in school, and I want to learn how to knit something other than scarves, which is my project for this holidays.

10 - Song of the moment? Of the moment right now?  You're Not There, by Eddplant.  I can never pick a favourite song, because it changes all the time, but the song of the moment idea is great for indecisive people like me!

11 - Favourite movie? I have quite a few - I love the Harry Potter series, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Elizabethtown, Hairspray, and many others.  I'm not very good at remembering my very favourites, it would probably be more accurate to ask "do you like ____?" then I'd be able to tell you one way or the other.

My tagees:

Questions for my tagees:
  1. Favourite 'guilty pleasure' TV show (the one that's so terrible that you can't stop watching it)?
  2. Automatic or manual car?
  3. Ereader or hard copy books?
  4. Cake or icecream (or both!)?
  5. Favourite YouTube video?
  6. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  7. If you could only listen to one album for an entire month, what would it be?
  8. What is your favourite smell?
  9. What is your favourite movie genre?
  10. Who was your first celebrity crush?
  11. Can you roll your tongue?

Monday, 14 May 2012

My pattern stash

Hi, my name is Megan and I'm addicted to collecting patterns.
For somebody that has made a grand total of 11 garments (including three from a single pattern and two from an online tutorial), I sure own a lot of patterns!  At last count (which I'm pretty sure is accurate) I now have 51, and a lot of these have just been given to me by my Grandma.

So, I have decided on a new project - I will not be buying any more patterns 'just to have' until I have sewn through all of the patterns that I currently possess!  Just to be clear, this excludes patterns that I need for a specific purpose (e.g. making an outfit for a particular occasion with very specific requirements, when none of the patterns I have can be used instead!)

And another exception is this wedding dress pattern, which I have for some reason - it looks like it's from some time in the mid-80s, and I have no idea why it was in Grandma's stash!  Obviously she got married long before this, and it doesn't look anything like any of my aunts' wedding dresses - so maybe it was for a friend?  Anyway, it's just an interesting example that I shall keep for the future (in my 'just in case this comes back into fashion please don't let it come back into fashion' pile) and not add to the list of patterns I must make. 

I also have a lot of children's patterns from when dad and my aunts were younger, which will be kept aside for one day in the future!

In any case, I'm working on a new sub-page for my blog, hopefully it will be on the top bar, where I will upload my pictures of the pattern covers (some of which are better quality than others, as they were mostly taken with the pattern on my bedroom floor!) and then link the photo to each blog post as it gets written.  I am still undecided about how I should group them - by decade, by pattern company, by made vs. not yet made, or another system that I haven't worked out yet - any thoughts?  At the moment they are grouped in threes in the same order as they are in the folder on my computer, i.e. alphabetically by pattern company and then numerically by their number.

Graphical breakdown of my patterns:

I don't think these numbers particularly mean a lot (aside from being interesting), considering a lot of my patterns were given to me rather than me buying them myself.  However it's made me realise that I have a lot more modern patterns than I thought - over half of my current collection!  This is a bit unexpected for me, because I thought I'd been given far more patterns than I already have, but apparently my gradual buying of patterns 2 and 3 at a time adds up...

Anyway, I hope somebody aside from myself finds this project interesting, and I'm looking forward to sewing my way through a bunch of new-to-me patterns and hopefully filling up my wardrobe!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Pay It Forward

Hello lovely readers!  I am still here, contrary to how it may seem from the lack of posts...
I'm excited to announce something new for me and my blog - a Pay It Forward event!  I found this on Kat's blog (which you should all check out), I've never seen anything like this before and I think it will be a tonne of fun!

I will send a surprise gift to the first three commenters on this post.  The gift will be handmade by me.  It will be sent sometime in the next 365 days.  It will be a surprise.  All you need to do is:-

  1. In your comment, tell me your two favourite colours (that will help me make an appropriate gift).
  2. To sign up and receive a gift, you must play along too.  Pay It Forward on your blog, by promising to make a surprise for the first three people who comment on the post.
  3. You must have a blog (this is to help me figure out what to make for you).
  4. After commenting here, you must re-post this or something similar to your blog in 48 hours.  If not, I will chose the next person who comments...
  5. I will need a way to contact you so please leave your email address
I'm really looking forward to making gifts for people, so comment away!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Steam Powered Giraffe

This little guy is a stuffed toy that I made to send to my sister who is away at university!  About two weeks ago, I discovered an amazing band called Steam Powered Giraffe - here's one of their songs.  Watching and listening will describe the band far better than I'd be able to with words.
 Steam Powered Giraffe, Brass Goggles

She's listened to a couple of their songs, and also loves them!  And before she left for college, she said that I should make things and send them to her - however, I don't think this is quite what she meant!

The giraffe is made from this free PDF pattern that I found after a quick Google, and some quilting cotton that I found at Spotlight that looks vaguely like gears (for the steam powered bit of the name!).  His eyes are little gold beads that we have had in our sewing box forever, and his tail is made from three pieces of 6 strand embroidery cotton, each about 20cm long, then doubled over and plaited, secured with a knot.  I added a little chocolate brown bow round his neck as an afterthought, and this can be removed if she decides she doesn't like it.
 Steam Powered Giraffe, Honeybee

Anyway, this was just a quick little project for fun, and I hope she likes it!

PS: I highly recommend watching and listening to their videos, this band is seriously amazing!  Even if you are one of those people who say they're 'not into steampunk', you don't have to know or enjoy anything about the genre to like this music.