Sunday, 17 March 2013

St Patrick's Day fun

Our merry band is growing!

The Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network met up again today. It's now a regular thing in our diaries, organising something once a month. On a purely selfish note, I love it, we always have a great laugh, there's always lots to talk about, we even get to see new creations from pattern testers...

Today the plan originally was to have a picnic in the Botanic Gardens, but the forecast for rain (the first in nearly two months!) meant we changed our plans and at the request from one member, we went on the hunt for yum cha as we call it here in NZ, or dim sum.

So a merry throng of eight, plus our two mascots in the form of Ash and Drake, stuffed our faces with prawn dumplings, steamed pork balls, chilli beef, spring rolls, etc. Finishing with mango pudding...

From the Chinese restaurant we all decamped to Made on Marion to swap patterns, fabric and for a show and tell. Look at all these goodies...

The fabulous Joy had LOADS of patterns for us to look through

The best thing about swaps at Made on Marion means we can shop and/or finish off anything we're making. It's great and MrsC is the perfect host.

I succumbed and this is what I came away with from the swap.

Two lots of upholstery fabric which may become cushion covers.
Three patterns to add to my collection

I even bought some buttons from the shop...

And the team photo...

So from left to right on the sofas

Wendy - in a great top which she'd made.
Me - my old favourite dress made in the mid-90s! It was almost made to go with my cast :-)
FlossieFT - a dress she finished off this morning!
Curious Kiwi - in a fab Rooibos
The Girl from the Naki - just check out the colours in this latest creation
Piccolo Presents - with our latest mascot, baby Ash
The Ccrazy Gypsy - she even brought along the green jacket for us to check out
The Dreamstress - the expert on all things historical
PolyCraftual - in her latest infinity dress 

Sat on the floor are

Kat - with baby Drake looking so cute holding his toes!
Joy - the bringer of masses of patterns and fabric!
MrsC I think was busy with customers at the time and missed the photo :-(

Excuse the change of font size. Blogger is misbehaving and I've not the patience to sort it out at the moment!  

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Enforced absence...

It's about a week since my last post and it's likely to be another few weeks before the next.

Sewing around these parts is a bit non-existent at the moment. It's not for not having things to sew - I've loads, but I can't really get to do it very easily...Reason is this...

Nice colour of cast isn't it?

Mm, not really what I had in mind! I mentioned we went down to Queenstown for MrN's birthday. We had a great time. The hotel was close to the town, so it was easy to get into town for meals, etc. If you ever get the chance to go, I recommend it, yes, it's touristy, but it's fun for a weekend and there's loads to do. There is a gondola which goes up one peak, but we've done that before! So we...
Played crazy golf :-)

Had a lovely Thai meal

Went on the TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu

Where I took arty shots with the camera

Did some wine tasting...

Went to Arrowtown

And watched the PGA ProAm golf at the Hills (yes, that's Lydia Ko)

The Hills has lots of arty sculptures around the place
And that's where it ended... I slipped while walking up a hill and managed to break my ankle. Straight to the hospital we went. Since then, I've been sat at home on the sofa with my leg up and in plaster. It's likely to be like that for sometime to come... Sewing is not easy, since my leg really needs to be kept up for now and strangely, you get used to using the non-driving leg to balance somehow when sewing.

So I've not got out much the last week or two, but I do have a bloggers meet on Sunday to look forward to - yay, the WSBN (Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network) are meeting again! There's more information on Melissa's blog and if you ever feel like joining us, you'll get this cool image to add to your blog too :-)

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Burda 7767 - Pirates ahoy!

Finally I can post about this shirt.

This is my February contribution to the Stashbusting Sewalong, the creation of the lovely Cindy and Emily. February's challenge was aptly named the "Love challenge" and so I decided to make a shirt for Mr N. Which he challenged me to make last year some time.

Encouraged by the two rogues galleries from the amazing Carolyn, I used Burda 7767

In my stash, I had some dark grey cotton with a thin white stripe. The fabric has a slight stretch, which I hoped might help with the fit. I also love to sew these fabrics.

Having taken Mr N's particular measurments, checked those against the pattern as well as against a favourite RTW shirt in the wardrobe, I finally decided which size to make. I definitely measured twice, if not three or four times before cutting.

This shirt was definitely a labour of love. One of my own aims for the year was to produce clothing which was more wearable and with a better quality of finish. Consequently I decided to make this with lapped seams. No pinking or French seams, let's make it like any other men's shirt and finish it with lapped seams. I've never used these before, so it was quite a learning experience, particularly when there's a curve in the seam.

This is the underarm seam, check out those lapped seams all joining together.

I also followed MrsC's instructions and made sure the pocket lined up exactly.


I wish I'd used slightly stiffer interfacing. I had a lot of interfacing in my stash, but some of it was so old and after a panic email to local friends, I decided to cut my losses and chuck out the old stuff that wasn't sticking. This delayed the construction somewhat, as some of the main pattern pieces needed recutting.

Mr N knew I was making the shirt (it's not easy making things without him finding out!) and so we went button shopping together. As you can see we chose some plain white buttons for the front. These were going to be used for the cuffs... Until Mr N saw these...

Yep, some jolly roger pirate flags! :-) I guess I could have tried to make these with a double cuff so he could wear cufflinks, but these buttons negate the need. Aren't they fun? You like? Well even if you don't, we do and more importantly Mr N does, so...

The shirt was a double love challenge in one way, since the end of February was Mr N's birthday and I made the shirt so he could take it with us for his birthday long weekend in Queenstown. This was why the picture in the last post showed the shirt on a hanger. So for your delight and delectation, here is the man himself modelling the shirt I made...


Like me, Mr N is not of the modelling persuasion and we took these the evening he wore it for the first time, but he's happy with the shirt.

The only problem are the sleeves... They are too long. If I make the sure again I will probably shorten them, but I think what I could do for now is to move the pirate buttons across to ensure the cuffs do up more tightly. This will at least keep the sleeves off his hands. I'm not touching the buttonholes, trying to make buttonholes sized to fit those flags was not easy!

The nitty-gritty
Fabric: Grey cotton with a slight stretch, bought from Global Fabrics last November/December time (not sure if this counts as stash or not, but it certainly went in the stash pile before I considered cutting it...)
Trims: White buttons for the front and jolly roger flag buttons for the cuffs, all from Spotlight.
Pattern: Burda 7767
First worn: An evening out in Queenstown, South Island for Mr N's birthday
Worn with: Black trousers from Rodd and Gunn, Wellington.