Saturday, 26 June 2010

A (not-so) simple skirt

I was randomly surfing the net the other day in the hopes of getting some sort of inspiration when I came across this little DIY gem on how to make a simple skirt with an elasticised waist.

The tutorial looked simple enough and was pretty much perfect for a speedy feel-good project so after a quick trip to the shops I found myself armed with a lovely length of miscellaneous grey knit (suspected flannel stretch of some kind but the tag was missing) and some black elastic.

The fabric looks perfect for winter

I figured the skirt would take me an hour or two seeing as I haven't really worked with knits before. This was factoring in the measuring, cutting and sewing. What I hadn't anticipated though was having to redo the stitching of the skirt. After gathering the skirt and pinning it to the elastic, I straight stitched the two parts together. All seemed well until I went to try the skirt on and I heard a big riiiip! Stretching the elastic had busted the seams!

When I thought about it later it did make sense as the seams weren't going to be stretching along with the elastic but as nothing was said in the tutorial I just went along with my standard stitch. Probably a silly newbie mistake on my part, so I made sure that when I was sewing the band to the skirt a second time around I used a straight stitch and then reinforced it with a zig-zag stitch, both of which were sewn on while I stretched out the elastic band.

Looking oh-so-innocent on the hanger

Other than my newbie mistake though, I had a terrible time with this one. My machine decided to suddenly act like an item possessed. My needle broke, my bobbin jammed a bunch and my thread snapped 6 times. I was close to just calling it quits but there is a stubborn streak in me that kept persevering. No machine shall best me *shakes fist*.

Anyhoo after all of that, I worked out that the thread I was using was a cheap and nasty spool that had been lurking in my thread box for a long time. Annoying.

Unfinished 'chic' (at least I'm hoping it is)

I didn't bother hemming the bottom of the skirt. I had made it a point when cutting to use the selvedge for the base of the skirt since it was such a simple *cough* skirt and I wanted to stay with that simplicity. Or I could just have been being lazy. Either way you can see the ends here look unfinished but I have had confirmation from workmates that it looks like it was styled that way on purpose, so I'm not doing any more work on it!

Moral of the story? Chuck out all of your cheap thread! It is EVIL.

Oh and if I do decide to make another one of these - the elastic band needs to be a lot wider. I thought it was fairly wide when I purchased it but now that the skirt is made up, I'd prefer it to be at least 2 times the width.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Celebrating being injury free

I hurt myself playing netball about 2 months ago now. As I'm not a particularly active person I found this quite annoying - my (perhaps flawed) logic is that if you exercise lots then you're more likely to injure yourself but obviously that is not the case since netball only happened once a week and I managed to get hurt plenty.

After the first couple of days where I had a bit of trouble walking, I was going about my business with no visible limp but with a permanent ache in my knee joint and a pinching sensation in my back at times. A visit to the local GP wasn't much help but I was advised by my workmates to see a physio, and see one I did. Turns out the problem was some bruised cartilage in my left knee joint (I'm sure there is a long technical name for his but I would have no idea) and that then affected the muscle going from my knee to my hip. The back pain was most likely caused by my walking funny to compensate for the dodgy knee. I guess it's like the song goes - 'the hip bone's connected to the thigh bone' etc etc.

After weekly sessions of rather painful manipulation of my knee and doing physio-recommended exercises to help my body recover, I'm excited to report that I now have the all clear *YAY*

Part of my recovery meant staying away from heels and uncomfortable shoes so I'm now rejoicing in wearing them again (heels that is - uncomfortable shoes I'm still trying to steer clear from) and decided to splurge on a new pair of winter boots!

Wittner 'Montage' boots

Somehow I think I may have gotten carried away since I also ended up with some other footwear...

Nine West 'Tabba' heels (patent)

Nine West 'Nodin' ankle boots

My excitement at no longer being in pain when walking, coupled with fantastic sales, also resulted in a couple of other footwear purchases that shall not be spoken about but I sure am a happy SuBoo. My feet are practically beaming :D

Oh and erm no more netball for me - the mixed league I play in is just a bit too rough for my liking. Instead the plan is to go hard at the gym - and they're starting Zumba classes next week *excitement*

Wish me luck in staying injury free for the next few months - I don't think my wallet will be able to afford the recovery celebrations otherwise ;)

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Still not quite back into it... but for good reasons!

A glorious 4-day weekend away to celebrate my birthday in sunshine has not helped the sewing mojo at all. I just want to go back! Unfortunately a girl needs to be cashed up enough to buy fabric (and shoes!) so I'm back at work. In the cold. *sob*

I've also been a little sleep-deprived due to a little event called the World Cup (Go Socceroos!) with matches occuring when I am generally supposed to be sleeping so I'm actually amazed I finished up some bibs today. They are pretty much the same as the first lot I made but this time around I used Velcro mini dots instead of snap buttons. I was told that this would make it a lot easier to get the bibs on and off, and I have to say that not having to use a hammer and deal with spiky metal bits is always a good thing.

Also I received this pic of Princess S wearing the ruffled skirt that I made. I have to say I was quite surprised she was wearing it since it's winter over here and it's a summer skirt but check out her layering skills ;)

Seeing her wearing it is a good reminder that I need to get off my behind and start some serious sewing - I've promised her a dress and matching bag.

But in the meantime - the Australia vs Ghana match starts in 20 minutes and friends have arrived with a belated birthday cake and wine so I'm off!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Fleecy leggings to the rescue?

Today I felt like my ankles were going to drop off due to frostbite. Melbourne is getting ridiculously cold. It's also affecting my creative mojo since all I want to do when I get home from work is shower, eat, and then jump into my bed and watch the idiot box. I've only gotten as far as cutting out the fabric for the final version of my Macaron trial and even that took a lot out of me.

In an effort to preserve my ankles (they come in useful when attempting to use feet) and keep myself generally warm I decided to take advantage of the stocktake sales (yay for 30% off!) and invested in a pair of these:

They sure do seem plush as per their name - check out the lovely fleecy insides:

I think I'll give them a go tomorrow - hopefully I'll be warm and toasty all day.

Thursday, 3 June 2010