Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Why I'm broke

Just when I was sadly facing weeks without my machine, the Spotlight catalogue arrived with half-price sewing machines. And I have been thinking about getting another machine for up in Canberra that can do zig zag and buttonholes, in case I want to do any garment sewing up here .... and some of the machines were really cheap ... and I don't need anything fancy ... so I went down to Spotlight and test drove a few. Of course the really cheap ones were very cheap and nasty, so I had to go up a little bit, but half price!!! Such a bargain.

Not the fanciest machine in the world but it sews nicely, has a needle up/down and all the bells and whistles that I will ever need. It's actually very similar to the machine I have down the coast which was three times the price when I bought it in 2005 .... things that were super fancy then are pretty much standard now. I'm starting with an old favourite quilt block -  scrappy trip around the world. Lovely.  I had a very enjoyable weekend avoiding the cold and sleety outdoors and sewing. This is taking the dog for a brief walk - that's a snow cloud hustling in from the south. Brrrrrr.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Why I can't have nice things

The night before last, I finally got the urge to do some quilting again. It had been building for a while, but I was never in the mood to tidy up the sewing room to get to my quilting stuff, so I ignored it ... until I decided just to do it.

I put the wool back where it belonged, dusted off the sewing table, unhooked the ball winder and the fringe twister, cleared off a couple of shelves (threw a heap of crap out) and uncovered my sewing machine.  I found some fabric, did some ironing, did some cutting ... then walked back into the sewing room, barged at full speed into the sewing table, and my sewing machine flew off the newly-dusted table at a hundred miles an hour and smacked into the wall. With a very nasty smashing sound. The thread mast snapped off and the wheel refused to turn at all and the presser foot wouldn't go down.

I've taken it to the repair shop and it is fixable, although it will take a while and cost several hundred dollars. Still cheaper than a new machine, but I was so cross with myself. The table has been in the exact same spot for thirteen years! And I have a massive bruise on my leg. Anyway this is a picture of some pretty pink clouds while I was walking the dog yesterday. Everything is very cold and wintry but the clouds caught a little bit of sun.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Tartan trousers

Back in the 1980s I wanted tartan trousers DESPERATELY - we had a student teacher who had the coolest pair that she wore with a yellow jumper and I thought it was the best thing ever. But I never got my tartan trousers ... until now. I saw some in the trendy shops and thought, why not, they must be fashionable again! I know you're never supposed to wear anything you wore the first time round, but I couldn't resist. I couldn't find any pair that fitted my fatness though, so I had to make myself some.

I just went for elastic waist because of fatness (and comfort, and ease of sewing) but even so they took me forever to do! I think I unpicked and re-sewed every seam. Luckily elastic-waisted trousers don't have many seams.

And pockets of course, they had to have pockets! And a backside shot. In a hurry, between getting number one and number two son from school. I like them, they are super comfy and TARTAN.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Purple scarf

I've worn this scarf a couple of times this week because it is lovely and soft and matches my purple jacket.
The warp is the very soft and silky merino (I may have ordered some more, oh well, it was on special) dyed in various shades of purple and a bit of green, and the weft is more of the red alpaca blend. Of which I still have three balls - it lasts forever!!!

When you look at them just as balls they don't go at all, but once it's woven up they look fine. I am still surprised by this, I wouldn't normally put together a bunch of bluey purples and green with a reddish brown.

We all survived the first parliamentary sitting week. The first time the bells went off I nearly jumped out of my chair but you get used to it pretty quickly. Back to the grind...

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The second new skirt

Here are some very bad photos of the skirt I was wearing on Monday that I'd made at the same time as the other one (the wool checked one) using a variant on the same pattern. But flouncier, and with flowers.

Not a great photo. There is only so much you can do before school, in the kitchen, with a six foot two photographer who doesn't realise he is quite so tall. This is the same McCalls pattern as before, but view F, which is basically a full circle attached to the yoke. Because I had the yoke sizing down pat, it was an easy sew, despite the sheer quantity of hand hemming.

I wore it because the new Governor General was getting sworn it at work ... not of course that I was invited to the swearing in, or following events. I am really the parliamentary equivalent of a scullery maid, so I got to peek over the stairs at the festivities before scurrying back downstairs. To scrub something.

This is from the back, you can see the fullness a bit better. It looks like the hem is doing something weird on the left, but it's actually super even. Trust me...

And here is the swooshy shot! There were a number of swooshy shots, and this is the least blurry. He's doing a media unit this year, but they clearly haven't covered fashion photography.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Beach again

It was rainy and miserable in Canberra this weekend so I had a couple of days down the beach instead! The rest of the family had things on - it's the last week of term this week and the boys are getting a bit weary - so I sewed and made a mess on my own. Saturday afternoon I went round to see a friend who has bought an on-site van at a caravan park about twenty minutes down the coast. It's very cute and has an annex with a full proper bathroom ... but still decorated with the classic early 1980s green and brown caravan look! He is loving having a base down the coast, and how it changes your mindset to have a little bolthole.... preaching to the choir I said.

 We went for a walk on the beach (he was testing the water, I chose not to) but it was a bit blustery and cold. Saturday I also made a muslin for a jacket which was pretty ugly, so I chose not to go any further. Irritating, but that's what muslins are for. Sunday I made some pants which took a ridiculous amount of time for something very simple, but they turned out wearable in the end and I'll take a photo when I wear them. 

Today I have on a skirt that I made last time I was at the beach so I will take photos and do a re-cap. I am thoroughly enjoying making clothes again. I'd forgotten the frustration of the failures (funnily enough I only remembered the clothes that I'd loved to wear, and blanked out the others) but the process itself is great. I don't aim very high, and only do easy things, but that's OK. Why change the habit of a lifetime?

Sunday was a beautiful day, so I went for a long walk. In a t-shirt. How crazy is that! When I dropped number one son at school at 8.30 this morning it was still minus 1. And an inch of frost on the ground.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

It's a dog's life

We hosted drop-in drinks on Saturday evening for friends who are going off on posting - a chance for them to say goodbye away from the chaos of a half-packed-up house and long long lists. It was lovely - we have some friends in common but not entirely, so we met some new people which is not to be sneezed at in my boring middle-aged life. My circles are pretty fixed by now.... Anyway the dog LOVED it. She had been groomed, and was clearly feeling super cute, and got plenty of adoration, which she lives for. And then people dropped food! All her christmasses had come at once.

This is her being adored by my  husband. She even smells quite nice after a thorough going-over by Shampooch.

This is her being adored by my son. I was backing the car out to go somewhere as he was taking her for a walk. Speaking of cars, he just has one more competency to be ticked off and then he is a probationary driver! And can go places on his on, in my car. That is soooooo scary both for me and the car, but I know it has to happen, and it will be great to not have to drive him everywhere all the time.