Archive | July 2012

Just a check list

Sorry for the boringness, (boringness, anything is possible) of this post. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with the numbers of items I’ve been doing lately so I’m making a list as a genuine record/diary.

6 tablecloths for church ladies group
6 plus another 6 gift card pouches

2 embroidered lavender potpourri bags

Finished the embroidery section for a fabric quilted carry bag
Quilted the fabric for a carry bag for grand daughter no 3
Hemmed jeans for The Boy
1 Bedding Protector

It doesn’t seem so much now but it has kept me busy in a happy sort of way, no stress just pure relaxation.

Next up is 2 more bedding protectors for a customer. Finish the quilted carry bags. Make a winter style NL5615 My undiagnosed pain in my feet & wrists is still a problem but I am feeling a bit more settled because the specialist Dr is trying everything he can think of. I feel we have moved forward in this journey.

Hope you’re all keeping busy & happy



Our Big Help

I haven’t been about much due to a chronic, yet undiagnosed health complaint. My hubby also has rheumatoid arthritis which means we don’t get much social or relaxation time lately. Our boy who is 13 has been taking on more and more jobs around the home. Yesterday we did something special to show him our sincere thanks and I want to tell the whole world how great he is.


A couple of my goals this year were to teach The Boy how to sort and wash clothes, and cook some more. It’s been working well! He’s also become proficient at a mountain of other odd jobs. It is just so, so, so wonderful to have a kid not complain about doing chores.

Well done Chum.

This is what I’ve been doing when I can’t do much else. I Absolutely. Cannot. Sit. Still.


My Sewing Attempt with NL6515

Well what a journey I have been on these past few weeks. Several weeks ago I found Karen’s blog at didyoumakethat and a wk later Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing as I read I had a growing desire to learn to sew clothes for myself properly. I have sewed for 22 yrs. I’ve made clothes for 4 girls and 1 son; Curtains for 4 houses, floor rugs, patchwork and an interesting variety of home decor items. Over the years I have tried to sew clothes for myself but it always ended it tears and frustration. I’d give up and a few years later give it another go. Sadly, no matter which brand I tried the commercial patterns just never fit me.

Three weeks ago I set off on a journey with New Look 6515. Easy! It says on the pattern envelope, honestly it was easy to sew but the fitting was not!

Last year I had made view A in a size 18 because the envelope said that was my size. I had high hopes that It would fit me, how naïve I was! View A turned out way too big for me. I do hope some one bought it from the thrift shop. I tried again in size 16 and while the sizing was closer to the mark, it didn’t fit well. I gave up. Again.

Fast forward 1 year:

June 2012: Off I went again with view B this time. Unfortunately I had previously cut the pattern to a size 16. Lesson 1 for me: do not cut multiple sized patterns! This time in mid June, I measured up and decided I would have to go with the 16 and use 0.5 cm seams instead of 1.5cm. Possibly my first mistake?

Toile Number 1:

I did not take a photo – a sad day. That band is supposed to sit just under the bust, mine sat half-way through in a very unflattering place. Definitely not a good look. Disappointment & Recovery followed; My journey to better sewing had begun.

I think where the band is makes it an Empire Line? Not having a clue what I was doing I unpicked the shoulder seams and added 1 inch to the front and back on each side to bring the band down and give more room for the bust. The center split went way down too far for my liking. I’ve seen on the internet that several others have also changed the length of the split. The underarms sat too low and the shoulder lines moved out of position. I wrote all over the toile. I was reasonably happy with the blouse style, it made my belly look not so noticeable and I like the front split. I think I’m perhaps past the age of being able to go sleeveless but come summer I’ll change my mind.

I love this fabric. I now wish I had not used it on my first toile…

Toile 2 was too big, that 1 inch on each shoulder seam had become too much. I re-sewed the shoulder seams with a slightly larger seam allowance. The armhole gaped underarm, my underwear was clearly visible although the armscye had improved a little with the larger seams on the shoulders. I took in the side seams, getting right into this toile adjustment thingy now. The armholes improved somewhat and overall it was better although not perfect. I’ve been game enough to wear it out although I’m not sure if I’ll do so again.


I noted my changes on the paper pattern and went to research via the internet for more help. I found Casey’s tutorial on an amazing blog called Elegant Musings. Casey explained how to adjust commercial patterns in a beautifully thorough style. On other pages and You tube I also saw some information about pivot adjustments. After days of reading and thinking I decided to try the cut and move method. I’d also learned about ease. I worked out how much I wanted, measured myself again and added my desired amount of ease; I then divided into four to calculate the required width of the front and back pattern pieces. It seems complicated now but one step at a time it was okay. I traced the original pattern pieces, cut and moved them apart, then redrew new pattern pieces adding 1.5 cm seam allowances. I pinned the new pattern pieces together and did a fitting.

Feeling optimistic I cut into the fabric for Toile 3, there was heaps of fabric so I decided to lengthen it to a dress. I’m pretty pleased to say Tolie 3 came together like I always dreamed sewing ought to be. Several fittings during the process with a couple of minor adjustments. Those armholes were still too big so I took the side seam in, lesson learned with toile 2. I was just a little excited and made it in secret. When I put it on to show hubby he said

“Wow it fits perfect. Well done”. It is not perfect but it’s the closest I’ve ever come. The bust gathers are in the wrong position. However I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. A mountain load of thanks to Karen, Gertie, Casey and all the other fabulous internet users who have shared their knowledge. I am so very grateful.


I like it more now, although it will only be worn at home.

3 toiles are enough. This weekend I made my good version of N6515. I took a cm from centre front and it doesn’t flap around like the dress does.


The boy, (BB) said

“it looks great, the best ever”. That is something coming from a teen. I tend to agree.

Can you help? The bodice front seems to be floppy near the front armholes. Please can you suggest what I ought to adjust next time? And I’ve just notice the issues with the waist area? Anyone?

Onwards I march…

Psst, look at these

I stumbled across a fantastic web page and found this tutorial.


Yesterday I cut out 9, I tend to do that if it’s a really great idea. I finished one fully last night and several tonight. I’ve just got 3 for tomorrow. I love them, so cute and fine.

Perfect for gift cards or any small gift. Afterwards they could be used for a single bank ATM card on a key ring or for when you are racing into the shops with just your phone and a card, store business cards; And of course a keepsake.


Sorry about photo quality; I had to take these at night on the iPad so I could give them away next morning.


Excited to share that my ‘next’ went on to become 6 more pouches which I filled with chocolates. I had loads of trouble sewing the hair elastics in so I hand basted and then sewed them with a ball point needle. They went in easy as…


Dressed for Sewin

Here’s me dressed for sewing. Snipper scissors on rope idea complements of Karen over at didyoumakethat blog! Who got it from someone else who got it from someone else who got it from someone else. Us sewing folk love to share. Thank you everyone.


Have fun Sewin

How To Clean Your Iron

Recently I had to clean my iron – the inside! I read about a dirty iron messing a freshly made garment on Karen’s blog at didyoumakethat and decided to clean mine, photograph and put it up on my Blog, for those who have never done this before. Keeping the insides clean prevents the iron spitting all over you gorgeous garments.

I have two irons and decided to clean them both at the same time so you will see photos of both interchanged throughout this post.

Right let’s go.

You will need you iron, water to fill the iron, a metal pan like a saucepan or cake pan and an empty sink.

1. First fill your iron with water to the full mark.

2. Set the heat setting to the highest possible, which is usually cotton/linen and turn the steam off.

Iron set to Cotton/Linen.

3. Plug into your power point and switch it on. Leave it to heat for 5 mins.

4. While it is heating, go get your saucepan or metal pan and place into your sink. Leave the sink plug out.

5. When Iron has heated for 5 mins switch it off at the power point and unplug it.

6. Turn the steam setting to the fullest possible. If you have an iron with a cleaning function turn the steam switch to clean.

Iron settings and how to lay over metal pan.

7. Lie the iron down like when you are ironing, across the pan in the sink. (Photo above). You will need a metal pan so that it can cope with the hot water that will slowly drip out of the holes on the bottom of your iron. Be careful not to burn yourself and be careful to ensure the water does not drip onto you or anyone else.

8. Leave it laying there for 1/2 to 1 hr. Water will slowly drip out of the holes and with it will come all the dirt from the insides. (See picture below) Not all water will drip out, especially if it is really dirty like mine was.

It didn’t look that bad before I started; I promise! Hangs head in embarrassment.

  One of my irons was very very dirty and I had to do this cleaning process about 5 times -well actually I lost count! When it was really dirty not all of the water would drip out.

But it did come clean. This is what dripped out and lots more.

When you are happy with the iron and think it is clean enough, you will need to wipe the base of the iron with a soft moistened cleaning cloth. I forgot to get a photo but now those holes are all un-clogged.

Important notes:

(If you have a Self-Clean function the steam control button may be able to be removed. Do so after the water has finished dripping out)

(Some newer irons have a function that prevents water dripping out in certain situations. Hopefully if your iron has that function it will also have the Self-Clean function to enable the water will drip out).

If it doesn’t have the self clean function you may have trouble with cleaning in this manner but I do suggest you give it a go.

Please let me know how it works out for you.