Sunday, October 28, 2012

Musical Instruments Fabric Pencil Case Finished

This is the pencil case that I made for my nephew as part of his christmas present.

I lined it with a fireworks design fabric - when he opens the pencil case he will see lots of Boom!

It is a little small for big kids, but it does fit pencils in it. I have already cut out the pieces for the pencil case for my niece and just need to sew it up. Details of the book by Sue Kim that I got the pattern from are in a previous post.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Messenger Bag & Pencil Cases

This is the fabric I am using for my messenger bag. The lining fabric is on the left, and the outer fabric is on the right. While it is not wonderful quality fabric, I just fell in love with the birds in blossom fabric and could see it made up in a bag. Did I tell you I hate black lining fabric in bags? I am sure I did, and that is why this lining is not black! I don't care if it gets dirty, I just can't see anything in a bag lined with black fabric.

I have done the internal pockets and here you can see I have attached the velcro. I interfaced the outer fabric with a very light weight iron on Pelon. I hope it is not too thick as I have to be able to turn the bag through to the right side after I have attached the lining.

Below are the pieces of fabric cut out and interfaced and waiting to be sewn up into pencil cases for my niece and nephew. The hearts and the musical instrument fabric will be the outside of the pencil cases and the lining fabrics are the 'rockets and bam' fabric to the left and the pale pink fabric on the right. Very gender specific aren't they!

All of these patterns came from the book by Sue Kim called Bags : The Modern Classics. It is a lovely book and I really love her pattern for a wallet - that is one I will be trying at a later date.

Bags: The Modern Classics: Clutches, Hobos, Satchels & More [With Pattern(s)]
Photo from
So I will be working on these 2 projects over the next little while, and then I have to do some sewing for my dressmaking course.

My craft room great-clean-up is finished and I am oh so pleased, but it is not worthy or stylish enough for a photo on this blog.

Happy sewing and creating everyone!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Colour Wash Quilting

I have been having a bit of a clean out at home lately. My storage, fabric, doll supplies, ironing etc room is looking quite lovely, but still not stylish enough to show a picture of. At least I can walk around in the room and find things. I even got busy with the labelling machine so I could tell what was in all the boxes.  When I was cleaning out some old books and magazines, I came across this photo of a cushion worked in a style called colour wash. According to the instructions, you choose patterned fabrics, arrange them from dark to light and then sew them all up for this effect. I love it - it reminds me of watercolour painting, which is my painting medium (when I get to paint, that is). I am not mad about patchwork, but if I was going to do it, having a go at colour wash, crazy patchwork and applique.

Happy Sewing!

P.s. I still have to clean out my computer, sewing machine, storage, craft supplies etc room. Yikes!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dolls! Rebecca, A Homeart Store Porcelain Doll

I was out op-shopping recently and came across this porcelain doll. She was very dusty and dirty and had cobwebs and a bit of light mould on the edge of her dress. You might be able to see the dust and dirt in the photo below where she is posing with my Ruby Red Galleria Bleuette doll. The little bear is sewn on to her dress and has a matching ribbon. I washed everything she is wearing in mild soapy water except for the shoes and hat. I almost didn't buy her because I thought she was a bit too expensive and maybe a bit too 'sugar and spice' sweet, so I put her back on the shelf and walked off. When I went up to the counter to buy some sewing patterns, I took another look at her and decided to buy her.

Before her clean-up

Here is a close up of her face after I washed her. I got most of the marks off.

This photo shows her body construction. She can only sit in this one position.

Homeart stores used to be called Copperart and sold a wide range of porcelain dolls which were made in China. There is a really good write up about the stores on Wikipedia. I don't think they sell the porcelain dolls anymore. They must have sold loads of them so I don't think their re-sale price is very high at all. I do think Rebecca is quite a good quality and well made example of a Homeart doll and now that I have cleaned her up, I really like her.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mystery Fabric from Japanese Fabric Pack - "Tabigi 1960"

This is a close-up of a fabric remnant that I got in a Japanese Fabric Pack from a Made in Japan store. Who or what is Tabigi?? I looked it up on the internet, and found it is a Japanese manufacturer, a species of tree or plant and a place in America! You can see on the front of the train the date 1960. To further add to the mystery, this fabric is printed right way up on one panel, and then upside down:

The fabric from these packs is from vintage Kimonos and Obis and can include a range of fabric types and dying techniques such as Shibori, Kasuri and Yuzen. Don't expect pristine pieces of fabric all the same size from these packs. Some of them have yellowish age marks on them and most of them have been cut straight from a garment, so you will get some with original hems still intact. I actually love this because I can see some of the construction techniques. One of the pieces had gorgeous small hand stitching running along the cuff hem. These fabric packs are a fabric-aholic's dream.

This looks like a picture of Mount Fuji:

The children on this Tabigi fabric look like they are hiking. The little boy in the middle of this picture looks like he is wearing a traditional Japanese hat.

Even the bag the fabric came in is cute, with very Westernised paintings of Japanese ladies:

And here is the fabric pack in all it's packaged-up glory:

Finally, here is a picture of the whole "Tabigi" panel. I am thinking I could make a cushion from this fabric so that I preserve the whole panel, or it would be wonderful made into a vintage doll's outfit. I could just keep the fabric intact and not use it, but then I will never see it if it is shut up in a drawer, and I am not a museum so I should not feel obliged to act as a curator. What do you think I should make out of it?

I am working on my messenger style bag this weekend, and hope to have it finished soon as my current "black-hole" bag is driving me nuts.

My other news is that I have started a distance course in basic dressmaking and pattern drafting. It looks like there is a bit of work to do in the course, but I am still going to try and fit in some garments that I want to make for summer. There are some set garments that need to be made for the course, but I am not sure what they are yet as I have not received my course materials yet. I have never taken a sewing course and thought it was time to learn a bit more and get a certificate in the process.

Happy sewing everyone!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Finished - Vogue 8597 Cowl Neck Stretch Top

Here is my finished top Vogue 8597. This fabric and I fought our way through the overlocker just about every step of the way.

 I begun by trying to sew it using the cutter blade, but the cut fabric bunched up over the seam marker, so I couldn't tell what seam width I was sewing. Then the fabric jumped at the start of one of the shoulder seams, and cut a small hole in the fabric. I had to make the seam allowance a bit wider on that shoulder, but you can't really notice it because the fabric is so busy. I ditched the seam cutter and changed over to just a regular 5/8 seam allowance. This time, the three thread seam was not enough to catch both seams as they moved about when I was sewing, so I switched to a four thread seam.

Once I sorted that out, the top sewed up quite well, and I think it is a fairly good result for my third go at sewing a stretch garment and only the second one sewn up completely on an overlocker.

This is a close up of the cowl collar. I agree with all the reviews of this pattern on that mentioned the cowl does not sit very well. If I made this again, I would extend the cowl facing by at least 2 inches so that you cannot see the wrong side of your fabric. To re-cap, this is the pattern cover, and I made view B, which is the red top. I also have this fabric in the blue colour-way, and I am considering making up top C in this pattern.

And here is the back of the collar. It is high at the back, so it can keep all the winter breezes away from you neck.

I don't have a cover stitch machine, so I just sewed the hems using stabilising tape and a double needle in my regular sewing machine. That worked for the lower hem, but the sleeve hems are a bit puckered. I remember reading somewhere that you should loosen the tension, and when I did that, it sewed up quite nicely on the hem. When I showed the finished top to my sewing club ladies recently, one of them asked if I had done the hems on a cover stitch machine, and then we got to talking about whether we had one and if not, would be consider buying one. I guess I would if I did a lot of stretch sewing, but at the moment I am not.

I am pleased with this project and would certainly consider sewing this pattern again, but I will be putting it away in the closet for next winter as it is starting to warm up here. Next up on the sewing list is a messenger style fabric bag, which I hope to start on today.

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