Busy, busy, busy…

It has been so nice getting back into the stuff that I have neglected or not had the emotional energy to deal with. Gardening, blogging, cycling, sewing; these things all make me happy, but when the day-to-day was all I could deal with, they took a back seat.

It has been lovely pumping up the tyres, oiling the chain and jumping on my bike for a recreational cycle, I just love living close enough to the river to walk or cycle there plus it’s a decent workout (and I really need a lot of those!).

As mentioned in a previous post, my sewing room is set up and functional, although the Bernina is making concerning buzzing noises and is having an enforced rest, so I have been embroidering on my Janome and sewing clothes on the Pfaff. The Pfaff is easily my favourite machine, it never lets me down despite being around 25 years old (I think). It has quite a workout in the last 6 weeks, which proves how much I have missed sewing.

My first project was a Pilvi jacket using the pattern by Lotte Jansdottir.

img_2246   img_2239


I really like Lottes textile designs and her clothing patterns are unstructured and very suitable for a short person like me. This jacket turned out very nicely, but there is one problem, I always overcompensate for my size and therefore it is too big 😦 I just never trust a pattern to fit, so I am generous with my cutting and fitting (and often regret it later). The jacket is made in indigo, stretch denim and has the inside edges bound in a pleasant quilting cotton, I finished it with some contrasting braid to break up the expanse of dark blue. Unsurprisingly it is very comfortable and warm, but I need to sew in some hooks and eyes to detract from the oversized nature of it.

If anyone is interested, this pattern and the next came from this book  img_2248

My second sewn piece is an A-Line skirt, also from Lotte Jansdottir. img_2247

It is a very simple sew, especially as I made it with an elasticated waistband. The fabric is a lovely remnant from Knitwit in Nedlands, I think it may be a wool mix, but it is very light and will probably be okay to wear on a cool evening as well as right now with this changeable weather we are having here in Perth.

Finally, I wanted some colour. I do get tired of the muted tones of winter clothing; at this time of year, all the inspiration has gone from putting an outfit together, it’s more a case of co-ordinating a look and wishing for the change in season to hurry up.

I bought some textured bengaline from Knitwit. Bengaline is a lovely fabric to sew with, heavy, but drapes well and not too slippery on the sewing machine bed, it’s only drawback for me is the stretch threads looking messy without some sort of overlocking. Because I gave my overlocker away, all my raw edges are zig-zagged, which stabilises the threads, but isn’t as polished in its look.

Anyway, I originally wanted some red work pants, but the textured nature of this fabric made me rethink and I made a skirt instead.

The pattern came from this book

You may be able to see that the skirt has eight panels and I thought it was a bit interesting. Again, rather than using a zipper, the stretch of the fabric meant I just put a waistband and it pulls on. It is extremely comfortable and my work colleagues all commented in the positive about the colour and the panels. My one regret is that I listened to my daughter and shortened it.

Without thinking, I just took the length off the bottom and now my bottom panels are somewhat overwhelmed by the length of the top ones- ergh! My work mates very kindly said they thought the effect was deliberate. One thing I did do on purpose, was to topstitch in alternating directions as I thought it would make the panels a little more noticeable. I really like topstitching, it’s a little polish that says I have taken more time over the making of a garment.

Next on my list are projects for the future.

I am in the process of free-motion embroidering a cushion for my Mother, who turns 88 in October, the work is somewhat laborious, but the end result will hopefully be worth it. She shares her birthday with my little niece who turns 1 and I will be making her a patchwork elephant, similar to the ones I sell as fundraisers for the Womens and Infants Research Fund at the hospital where I work.

Plenty to do for the future and life is good 🙂



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