Tuesday 18 December 2007

Serger problems

I can't use it as an excuse for not sewing, but my serger is playing up at the moment - I simply cannot do anything with the tension, I get skipped stitches and my left needle keeps breaking. It's probably around 5 years old now and I've been toying with the idea of upgrading it. I have a guy coming to take a look at fixing it tonight. He doesn't speak any English and my Cantonese is absolutely terrible so I have arranged for a friend to come over and help translate. She doesn't even know what a serger is though so it will be interesting. I must admit part of me is secretly hoping he says it's a write off so I can justify a new one for Christmas.

Edited to add - it's fixed! Not sure if I'm pleased or not........!

Monday 17 December 2007

Meet the Mogs....sort of

It's heading towards winter in Hong Kong and temperatures have plummeted down to about, oh 18 celcius. My poor (fur covered) mogs are feeling the cold. That bulge on the left is Piglet and the one on the right is Barney.

Butterick 4789 Maggy London dress finished!

I finished this early on Friday evening so plenty of time to spare before the wedding at 11am on Saturday. I'm pleased with how it turned out overall, but it was not what I originally had in mind, nor does it look anything like the pattern.

I have made this twist top dress twice before and the top once so I thought it would be super easy to whip up a new dress quickly. I wanted to use a wildly printed jersey with holographic dots, but tone it down with plain black jersey. I decided to make the top part of the bodice, above the twist, in the print and simply added a seam to the pattern front and back pieces and started cutting away. It then dawned on me that you see some of the reverse side of the fabric when you twist it so I self lined the bodice pieces. Now, anyone can see that means a lot of bulk right where the twist is but I had an image of the finished dress in my head and just ignored the little nagging doubts that were starting to creep in. Of course after much basting, ironing, swearing and fighting I had to accept that it just wasn't going to work and needed a rethink. In the end I decided to forget the twist and simply gather up the extra fabric and form a crossover bodice. There was still the same amount of fabric, but it was much less bulky this way. Also the addition of a piece of velvet ribbon over the join helped flatten everything down. Once I figured this out it only took a couple of hours to finish up. There are many patterns available to get this same look in a much easier way, but it was an interesting (if slightly panicked) process to see how far a pattern can be changed. Here's a closer look at the bodice (I'm no photographer and certainly no model, but you can get the general idea!)

Next I am going to finish the 2 tops shown in the previous post. Realistically that's probably all I am going to get done before Christmas and then we'll be away in New Zealand till the 6th of January when I can plan my first project for 2008.

Thursday 13 December 2007

First Post!

Welcome to my new, first and only blog. This is going to be a learning experience for me so bear with me if things go a bit wrong now and again!

I love reading other people's sewing blogs and they have inspired me to start my own. In addition to sharing my sewing projects with you this will also be my own sewing diary, with thoughts on new pattern/fabric purchases, projects I plan to do ,details of work in progress and hopefully at the end of it all even some finished garments to share. I hope that by documenting my plans I'll be inspired to create more (and finish them!) and challenge myself to try new things. This is a new adventure for me so let's see how it goes and how regularly I have something to post......

To kick things off this is what I have in progress at the moment ;

1) Black/cream jersey dress based on Butterick 4789 by Maggy London
I'm making this to wear to a wedding on Saturday (it's now Thursday night) so I really need to get moving! The dress code was "glamorous" and I have some new shoes I'm dying to wear which called for a new dress. It started off as a simple project from a pattern I have made several times before and has turned into a bit of a pattern drafting project. I'll post more details of that saga when it's done. I admit I'm starting to panic a little bit and feel in need of Tim Gunn popping into my sewing room looking worried and saying "Make it Work!". Not too much to show you in a photo yet, but the main body of the dress is in black jersey and the bodice is in this printed, blingy jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics.

2) Burda 09/2007_110 Blouse/Jacket
This is just about finished, all I need to do is securely sew on the hook and eye fastenings on the front, they are just loosely held in place at the moment. It has been in this state for 2 weeks, I am really bad at getting around to finishing off the final details like buttons and hems, it's like all the excitement of the project evaporates at that stage and I want to move onto something new. I'm really liking this top though and it's cranberry colour feels very Christmassy so I will finish this off as soon as the dress above is complete.

3) Burda 08/2007_117 Tie front blouse
This is also just about finished, guess what - it just needs buttons and buttonholes. Can you see a pattern developing here? Due to fabric shortage I have used a contrast satin fabric for the placket, ties, and sleeve bands and as you can see I modified the sleeves to 3/4 length.

That's it for the moment , progress report due in a few days!