Monday, March 26, 2012

Six Foot Track

On the weekend my husband and I decided to take a stroll in the Blue Mountains. Destination Six Foot Track in particular Cox's River and the Swing Bridge.
It was breathtaking to be down in the valley.

A local farm on the walk in

Looking back at Narrowneck Plateau 


Sections of the track cover private property, cool steps are provided to gain access over barbed wire fences. We even had to dodge some cattle on the way.

Cox's River

Swing Bridge
This was a great walk even though we only covered a small section of it. The Swing Bridge was not for the faint hearted as it does live up to its name.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sorbetto in Green

I know I said that I usually don't work on my sewing class projects at home but this is an exception to that rule. For some reason I had a really big urge to make my first Sorbetto, and make it now. The weather here in Sydney is extremely changeable at the moment and I felt like I needed a new Summer top, while I am also planning my first Winter top.  I had originally downloaded the free PDF pattern, from Colette Patterns way back when I started my sewing class in October last year. I just never got around to sticking it all together, I have no idea why.

I spent most of the remainder of last class (after completing Jasmine) sticky taping, cutting and learning how to make the bias binding, I whipped up the top during the week at home (incredibly fast and easy top to make) and waited for my class early this week to finish sewing the binding pieces together then binding the armholes and neckline. My teacher had me sew the binding to the wrong side first, then fold over to the right side and hand baste down. I am actually glad that I did this step as it mean't that I had the placement perfect before sewing and it certainly was easier to sew without my usual 100 pins holding everything in place. I finished off machine sewing the binding down and finishing the hem at home.

Front View
I have mostly quilting weight cotton in my stash because I made bags and gifts for the first year of my sewing life. This is a Heather Bailey Pop Garden according to the fabric selvedge.

Shoulder Detail
 Normally I do not like yellow but there is something about this fabric that I have always loved.

Back View
I am definitely planning on making another one of these, as with Jasmine, in a lighter weight fabric.
I am as yet (having not worn it out) undecided on the length of Sorbetto, I will see how it is out and about, but I may yet add an inch or two if it feels to short.

If you are checking out the blog for Colette Patterns type Sorbetto in the search bar, Sarai has a few tutorials on variations for this pattern. Scalloped hem anyone?


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Linen Sailor Jasmine

I attend a sewing class 1 night a week. It is really less like a class and more like a sewing night with help as we do not work to a schedule but rather just take in whatever pattern we wish to work on. We have a teacher who makes sure we are doing everything correctly and is there for help when we have questions. I like to separate my sewing class projects from my at home projects, generally not working on the class items at all during the week at home.

Term 1 is almost over and I only managed to finish 1 project so far. I did take an entire class to cut out my pattern pieces because I talk to much! I made a Jasmine 1018 from Colette Patterns having picked up the Colette Sewing Book and pattern package shortly after Christmas.
My Jasmine was made out of red linen with a tiny houndstooth pattern, the collar/tie and sleeve cuffs were made from the same fabric in a navy which I joked would either look great or make me look like a 5 year old boy. I made version 2, with the shorter tie.

I made a size 6 without making a muslin for fit. It was the first project I have ever made on the bias. I was quite concerned about cutting everything correctly but had no problems at all thanks to my teachers explaination. I had read horror stories about pulling fabric on the bias and ending up with an out of shape Jasmine but thanks to prior warning I was extra gentle and avoided any such problems.

This is the outcome......
Not keen on having my photo taken :(

I am not entirely sure if I love it or not. Perhaps a second opinion would help? The ladies at my class quite like it, I am sure I would be sold if I had made it in something recommended fabric wise, but alas I never listen. I had never used linen before and just wanted to own something made of it. The tie sits somewhat stiffly because of the drape of the fabric. Looking at other Jasmines out there, mine is pretty big, maybe comically so? I am sure I could go down a size no problem.

I have picked up a lovely cotton lawn to make this again but perhaps Version 1 with the longer ties and gathering at the sleeves? Yes, I think so.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Minoru Completed! A labour of Love.

Yahooo, finally I have completed my Minoru Jacket. It was a tough day in the sewing room today but we made it.

Today I started from step 15 alternative to slipstitching cuffs to completion. Step 15 nearly killed me, death by pins in the tips of my fingers, that is until I came to my senses and basted the sleeve lining. Then life became a little easier.

Next was stitch in the ditch, and an all new nightmare begun. I will confess to doing this step 4 times before giving in and stitching over the top stitching on the hood piece, it looks okay, not as good as it should but I can live with it. My problem was my main fabric was red and the lining was ivory, if I used only red thread and the line got a bit wonky (lots of people found this happened due to layers) the red line showed on the lining. I changed to ivory thread in the bobbin and I wandered onto the red hood. Now I know I can sew a straight line but this step, I hate to say...... whipped my butt.

Finally I was at the waistband stage, now I thought this might be difficult but really the hardest part of the waistband was locating some 2 inch wide elastic!!! But I managed to find some, so I breezed through this step, I even had time for a quick cup of tea.

And finally we arrive at hemming and done. This bit was pretty easy on the central back piece but I found my jacket hem wanted to pull out of shape a touch on the side back panels. I also had to trim the bottom of my pocket as I had put it in just a touch to low, but they are still very much usable and still a good size for my hands.

End result: I love this jacket and cannot wait to be able to wear it. Bring on a cold Winter!!!
Would I make it again? Yes I think I would, but not out of denim, in fact I would like a charcoal one to wear to work.

My fringe is not really like this!!! It was windy.

Can you see my pockets?????

I was so excited to finish I begged my husband to go down to the park to take a few quick snaps. The colour seems hard to capture in a photograph and I am straight from the sewing room. It is still quite hot so I did look funny to people passing by.

Also a quick note if you head on over and visit Noile she has posted Minoru Jackets from around the world..... and I made it on her post Whooo Hooo (prior to jacket completion of course).


Monday, March 12, 2012

Renfrew Top Take 2

A few weeks ago (or there abouts) I got around to making another version of the Renfrew Top from Sewaholic Patterns (to see the first version click here).  I really like "V" neck tops, I have always thought they look nicer on me than the "rounded" neckline. I have actually made 2 versions of the "V" neck. 

The first V neck I made in size 6 (no pictures sorry as it made in the same fabric) but I must have been tired when tracing because when I was making this version and comparing pattern pieces I realized that the waistband was a size 4. Although the first V neck is wearable and fits, I prefer version 2 (pictures below).

In both versions I had some difficulty sewing the "point" of the V. I figure next time I might baste it into position first, to stop any slight shifting when sewing the band on. You can see in the close up below that they are just a bit off centre.

Although I have an overlocker I still prefer to sew the Renfrew on my sewing machine, using the overlocker to finish the seam allowances only.
I know there has been a post or two out in blogland saying that the zigzag stitch looks a little homemade but I have no objections. I used the zigzag detail on all the bands for strength and a more consistent look.

This version is a size 8 and loose enough for my liking.

I did try to take some photos of myself wearing this version, but was not keen on the results. Next time perhaps?

This fabric is just a plain Jersey knit from spotlight. I picked up a large quantity for $2.50 a metre so expect to see the next few Renfrew tops in the same fabric. As Winter is on the way I will most likely experiment with a 3 quarter sleeve and possibly the cowl neck version.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dark Point

On Friday night, after a hard day at work, my Husband and I headed North for a short get away. 
We arrived at our camp site later at night promptly set up camp and fell asleep. 
Early the next morning before even the Sun had raised it's head, we headed to Dark Point to explore the sand dunes and take advantage of the light for a spot of photography. No head torches were needed as we crossed the Dunes as the light of a Full Moon kept our feet true.

I have to confess I can be slightly difficult to deal with early in the morning and no photography was attempted until a full thermos of tea was drunk!

Once the Sun was awake we were presented with a vast array of animal tracks to admire.... including this perfectly formed snake track.

This historic Aboriginal site was a highlight.

After the cold and rainy Summer, we were stoked to have such a beautifully warm and sunny Autumn day.

After heading back to the car we stopped a short distance down the road at Hole In The Wall picnic spot. We were there in time to watch one of the group catch a fish.

We headed into town for a spot of lunch and stumbled upon a car show. Entry was a gold coin donation so, even though I am not a car fan, just this once, why not?

I actually had a good time! There were heaps of old cars I could see myself driving. Like this one ....

At the exit point a gorgeous West Australian Dwarf Gum. Divine colour.

Hope you had a great weekend too.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Due to the massive amount of rainfall in Sydney we are experiencing somewhat higher water levels in our rivers....

This is Parramatta River at about 9:40am today. Photo quality isn't the best as I only had my phone with me.