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Monday, October 03, 2016

Tania Culottes Review

Ok, I chose this pattern since I had some rayon I wanted to sew up to get it out of the stash and culottes seemed like a good idea.  I love the look of them, but I had some issues with the pattern.

First up the instructions seem to be missing some important tips such as clipping curves on the crotch area, if you don't do this it will pucker, a lot!  Also no mention of finishing the raw edges on the back crotch seam, it's mentioned on the front crotch seam though which may be a trap for young players.

The drafting is a bit off too, normally the front is wider than the back so the side seams fall at the right place.  In this the front is narrower than the back and the waistband is too narrow by 1.5" in my size and too wide by 5/8" in the back.  Luckily I had enough fabric to re-cut the waistband, but for a new sewer this could be enough to stop them sewing again.

The zipper is an invisible one which is fine, but no mention made of pressing the zipper to make it easier to sew close to the coil and also no mention of using interfacing on the seam allowance to stabilize it.   The fabrics suggested are in general not particularly stable and tend to stretch and bubble if not interfaced.  I did this and it made a huge difference!

Finally no mention is made of hanging the finished item before hemming, the instructions simply say to do a narrow hem (broken down into steps) once the rest of the sewing is complete.  If you do this though you'll have a pair of culottes that have a hem you won't want anyone else to see, ever!  I hung mine for 2 days, my hem is now perfectly even thanks to my beloved husband, but I cut off between 1/4" and 2.5" to get it that way.

In conclusion it's a good looking pair of culottes, but the instructions could do with some serious work and the waistband at the very least needs re-drafting to actually fit the waist of the shorts.

Great for jumping on the tramp!
See, even hem!

and you can see how full they are here.  Excuse the wet hair.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Still stuck at home

Youngest might go to school tomorrow, he had another attack on Tuesday and eldest came down with it on Monday.  Dh and I have to go to school tomorrow anyway to meet the dean about concerns with eldest, not looking forward to that.  What can you do about electronics addiction when school insists a BYOD is necessary?  Oh, and social issues, but that's how his mild ASD presents and we've never been able to source any support for that that's affordable.
I haven't rung EQC yet, but will be hearing from the company that did the original repairs on Monday so I'm going to try to ring EQC today or tomorrow to find out where to send any further information. 
One good thing though, the reinforcing mesh in our garage isn't part of the affected lot, it's locally manufactured.

I've gone back to doing jigsaw puzzles and spinning over the last couple of days to help maintain sanity.
1st half of Heavenly Wools Haunui, colour is Doubtful on oatmeal and it's gorgeous!  I'll be spinning a 3-ply with the third ply being an undyed perendale from stash to make a marled yarn.

Can't spin this the right way around for some reason, but you get the idea.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Stuck at home

It's been a week now and barely left the house, it's like the school holidays but so much less fun!  Dh was in Auckland for half the week, youngest was at home with gastro.  Finally had 48 hours clear and sent him to school and got a call to pick him up again while I was nursing the car home from Ohoka.
This bug takes 72 hours to come back and haunt you it seems, he won't be going back to school till Tuesday.
The car had to be taken to the mechanic, lost a cylinder.  My mechanic is wonderful though, 6 hours after I dropped it in he had it running again.  She needed a new cable to a spark plug and it was really lucky it got fixed cos then Dh had to do an emergency job for judo.
I really, really hope this coming week is better.  I do have a few things to do though, got to contact someone about the shower's failed EQC repair and I need to find out if our garage is affected by the reinforcing mesh issue.  I also need to deconstruct this computer and remove dust, the fan is struggling again.

I have got some sewing done, no photos yet though as it's a birthday present so I can't post till the birthday boy has received them.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Busy busy!

I've been sewing again, decided to join the Pattern Review's Sewing Bee Contest.

I cut out and sewed yesterday afternoon a pair of shorts that met the criteria (shorts with a fastening in woven fabric), this morning I finished the handsewing and this is the result.
The fabric is from my stash and I love how they fit

The pattern is McCalls 2157 which is now discontinued unfortunately.  I will be using it again.

I've also got more done on my knitting
2 more inches till I start decreasing for this hat, it has a very deep turn up.
I've also been playing with the macro lens again.   Downside with that is by the time you get it focused on an insect it moves.
Unfortunately a couple of minutes later this wee guy got caught by Star who shot off too fast for me to rescue it.

The honey bees are busy on my plum tree, I have to spray this for aphids unfortunately but I'm being very careful not to use one that will hurt bees once it dries and I only spray in the evening once the bees have headed to bed.

The berries on my asparagus from last summer

This is one of those plants that look like a moss mound from further away

Apricot pansy

a more traditional purple pansy

Signs of spring, unfortunately the insects have apparently been busy on this one.  Freesias are almost out too.

I do love lavender.

I love this effect, a small section in focus makes the rest look so soft and fuzzy.

That wee bird is a silvereye, this was definitely the wrong lens for this shot though.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Whoops, forgot about the blog!

I've been busy dealing with Scout fundraising, exercising, trying to get my diet under control (was doing well till a week ago when I fell off the wagon), dealing with a crook back and doing some sewing and knitting.

On the weaving front I've got the 8-shaft ready to do the final tie up, just have to get a warp on her.  The warp is ready to go, my back isn't.   The back issue is I think due to cutting out fabric and possibly my adhesion issues as well.
I'm doing my exercises to help it and seeing a Bowen therapist as well as planning on going to a myofacial release massage therapist (not the physio I'd been seeing) and probably an accupuncturist as well, but not all at once, have to do what I can afford.

On the sewing side of things I have cut out 2 pairs of waterproof trousers (both for Dh, but one was too small, so they're mine now), 1 pair of culottes for me, a shirt for me, sweatshirt for Dh, a zip up sweatshirt for G and jeans for me.  I've finished the 2 pairs of waterproof pants and started the sweatshirt for Dh.

The multi ones are Dh's, the black are now mine.
I've also got plans to make a 1745 outfit based on the Simplicity Outlander pattern.  I've not got a plaid as I couldn't find any I liked this winter, but I do have a pinstripe wool for the skirt (don't know if it's HA or not, but it looks good) and I'm going to use the green velvet I was gifted for the jacket and the stomacher.

On the knitting front I've finished a jersey, a pair of socks, cast on a hat, planned for a cardigan and won enough yarn to make a jersey in some alpaca/finn blend which is coming from the US, can't wait for that to arrive.  It was part of a KAL called the Fall Sweater Challenge.
The colours are naturals and it should look wonderful when finished, I'll either make another Strokkur or this pattern:
this one depends on whether I can get gauge.  If I can the main colour will be a dark brown and the contrasts will be cream and a lovely oatmeal.
I finished these socks for Dh, Ribby Socks

Wound 970g of yarn into two enormous cakes for a future project

Chose the yarn and pattern for the Fall Sweater Challenge, this was chosen before I won the yarn and will get started first, as soon as I finish the hat

And this is the hat which I'm knitting in the leftover yarn from the next project

This is my wonderful (and now well worn)  Eased jersey.   All in handspun on different bases (merino and Haunui from Heavenly Wools)
My other project is this lot.  I'm going to grow some sprouts for my summer sandwiches and I've got pea and sweet pea seeds to plant as well as a mesclun mix.
I might also have spent more time than ideal on the Xbox, but I enjoy it and I offer no apologies for this, except possibly to my knitting.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tour de Fleece pile

I spun just over a kilo of fibre and just over 2km of yarn from that fibre.

Clockwise from top left:  Haunui in Daniels on Dk Grey, Barrier Reef long colour run on Haunui Grey, Rainbow gradient on merino, Inky Mix long colour run on merino, Blue Gum merino and angora which I drum carded and then plied with lurex thread, pom pom using Barrier Reef on dark grey Haunui, Bollywood on merino plied with Rose on merino, Bollywood spun as thick n thin (this needs work), Twilight silk hankies plied Twilight merino/silk, Alpaca long draw 2-ply.  Everything except the alpaca is by Heavenly Wools.
Top down:  Gotland plied with a Corriedale batt by Doe Arnott, Gotland plied with leftovers and Merino/linen from Vintage Purls.
I spun all the fibre in my last blog post bar one thing of silk hankies and that was because I still wanted to be able to use my hands afterwards.  One silk hankie bundle is enough for a start.  
I had to add a few extra items to fill in the time and as a result my boxes of next spin are now able to take the overflow from my overflow bin (blush, I have too much fibre)

Now that TdF is done for the year it's time to do some other things, so today I cleaned the oven (ick), tidied the lounge and cleaned that too (still a wee bit to do) and picked up the stitches for the neck on my current jersey.  Once that's finished I need to concentrate on Dh's socks and tying up the new loom properly.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Tour de Fleece and FO's

Tour de Fleece starts tomorrow and I'm starting with some fibre I was gifted from Heavenly Wools as part of the 6 month ambassador role I've been offered.  I'm going to spin it as a fractal gradient.  I've already prepped one bump.
My planned spin pile, all Heavenly Wools

and this is my ambassador fibre, it's the colourway Daniels on Dark Grey Haunui.  I can't wait to get started on this!
I've also finished some weaving, my tea towels are off the loom and all hemmed and washed.
cotton, not perfect but I'm pretty happy.
I've also finished a pair of jeans and a sewn cardigan, but there will be no photos of that until I've taken them and posted them on the Monthly Stitch blog which I can't do for almost a fortnight.  There's a dress too, but it's been too cold to take photos of that, it's more of an autumn or spring weight.  I will try to get photos this weekend of that.

I've also got a lot done on my handspun jersey, down on the ribbing hem at the moment which then leaves the sleeves and the collar to go.  I'll take photo's of that once the ointment on my hands has properly sunk in, the chilblains are not a happy thing right now.
They're actually worse now, this was yesterday, now they're properly red and like little sausages stuffed too firmly.  Hate the itch so much!

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