Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

17 Apr 2017

Autumn April

As Autumn is finally here - weather wise - there’s been a few things happening around the garden and household.


propagation and planting,

harvesting - along with a little home produced craft and

the last flush of blooms.

Last Saturday we visited Murrumburrah/Harden and stopped by this place for lunch.

Some clever person made this to commemorate the cottage’s decade of trading after repair and refurbishment.

I spent much time looking at the handmade items there and even purchased one. A very nice lined and quilted sewing machine cover with a side pocket. It fits very well on my Janome Decor.

PC was very interested in the building itself and the original architecture.

Thanks for visiting!
Robyn Louise XO

26 Feb 2017

Photo blogging

As the last 4 weeks seemed to have flown by, and my mind has been on other things, the blogging has again suffered. To remedy this I decided to use captioned photos for this post. Not my ideal type of blogging but it all has relevance :).

We were both busy and I am so glad PC is handy with many things.

Some reinforcing of wobbly legs, regluing and the dining
table is serviceable again.
After repairing the aircon it needed
to be placed back at the craftroom.
This freebie, courtesy of the local Gumtree site, will be great storage in the woodwork room with all those little drawers.

Just a little light gardening renovation from here...... there, until we sell some and rearrange the remainder.

My sewing machines that were serviced and repaired. The Janome QC wasn't serviced properly last time but it's all fine now. The Decor missed the picture parade as it just needed a quick clean. A little free advertising for the serviceman Neil Bunter (0429471751) as he did a champion job fixing the machines. When I had the EzyLock serviced, years ago, another repairer  told me to use it till it was skipping stitches  too much then throw it out!   I will have approximately another 33 years use from it now :D.  It stitches like brand new again! 
Thanks Neil.

My latest acquisition: a used Yamato 5 thread industrial overlocker. Just needed a really good clean and some lubrication. Neil told me to become used to the feed with waste fabric, until I could safely manage it, before starting practice with 3 threads and building up to all 5. The running speed is so fast the parts become a smudge not a blur! Makes the Janome domestic overlocker look positively slow.

The last few days I made a different  tallow based soap and this time I included Bramble Berry Pumpkin Lager scent. Of course I had to make it a lager looking soap, with a head, for the loaf mold. These cakes will be for gifts while the scented heart and cake shapes will be for our use. It's still a little soft 4 days later but there's 200g Sweet almond oil and the same amount of Olive Oil in it, for moisturising purposes, so I expect it to harden much more as it matures. It smells divine. :)

These little beauties have been growing and ripening for weeks now and I will be seed saving so I can grow some in the future. I think I eat more when weeding and watering than I do at other times.

That's all for now folks!
RobynLouise xo

12 Jan 2015

Growing, making, earning and another new toy *cheeky grin*!

Yay, had some rain in the last week! The garden appreciated it. I'd planted some kikuyu runners in a bare patch in the back yard and they are thriving now. The fruit tree leaves have plumped up again too. The woebegotten looking strawberry plants have a new lease on life and I've put some sprouted spuds under some grass mulch near my pumpkin vines so hoping they respond well to the showers. Removed spider grass and some other self propagating plant from the front circular garden and planted dwarf corn kernels and yellow butter bean seeds. The main front garden has 3 lots of zucchini seeds in it where I cut and poisoned some self sown trees. I've pulled lots of weeds out the back while the soil is soft and the compost bin is full. Now if I can just keep the mad cat out of the pot near the front door that I've sewn mixed leafy greens in........

My sourdough mother is finished. I'm making some bread from it today.

Darn it! I had to report to Centrelink last week and unfortunately I didn't earn enough to remove me from their list because of the compulsory break over Christmas. Last week was the 9th week too so if I'd earnt above the requirements I wouldn't have to deal with them unless I registered for Newstart again. Now I need to start another 9 week above requirements earning stint....grrrrr...

OK whinge over :)

I'll blame my DD, Matilda, for this as she told me about it....hahahaha...
I'm in the process of arranging to purchase another machine that will help me destash but it may be a while till I can collect it from where it will be delivered and stored as that is about 200km away. Pics when, and if, I can.

I really must find a way to post photos again but that may have to wait until I have a new laptop. Disliking posting text only blog posts and as I'm starting to really settle in here now and restart my simple life I want to share it with my internet friends.


4 Jan 2015

Oh, Google works again and my little treats!

One of my NY aims was to try and blog more frequently but Google decided to put a spanner in that yesterday when I couldn't even log into my gmail, let alone reply to blog posts or make a new post. Looks like everything is back to normal now though.

I treated myself yesterday as I went for a look through Spotlight and Lincraft. Very disappointed in Lincraft as the shop looked scruffy with fabrics etc not put back, boxes of half unpacked items in the aisles and only a couple of staff that I could see, but spied a pair of pinking scissors in Spotlight that were 30% off, and I've wanted a pair for years since mine were lost but cringed at paying about $25-30 for them. These only cost me $13 so I'm very pleased. Spotlight had plenty of helpful staff too and the shop was very tidy considering the amount of shoppers there.

I also bought myself a 200gm Christmas box of Lindt chocolates for $5 at Woolies when I grocery shopped. Doesn't hurt to have a little treat every now and then :).

Slightly overcast day today and I'm hoping it will rain as after two 41C days I think the area needs a cool wet break.

Robyn xo

27 Jul 2013

My First Tutorial - A Denim Tote

I'm a moderator on the DTE forums and as part of the Skills Challenge 2013 I volunteered to do a sewing thread on Reusing/Recycling/Remaking clothing. Thinking a bag was a handy thing to have, and a denim tote bag would be doing the 3R's on an unwearable pair of jeans, I scoured the net for a written tutorial on the type of bag I wanted to showcase and the tute also had to be beginner friendly.

No such luck unless it was a video. Now what beginner with not a lot of machine sewing experience wants to try and watch a video, some of which assumed the viewer knew sewing terms and a lot of basic skills, and sew something they've never made before at the same time? Add to that I have satellite internet and know quite a few others who share this "affliction" so 10 minute plus videos that don't have all the steps clearly layed out are a waste of precious expensive download.

That left me with one course of action - make my own tutorial. 

So here it is for those of you who aren't already members of the DTE forums.

A Simple Denim Jeans Tote Bag 

Basic Requirements 
An old pair of jeans – whatever size you want your bag
An old fabric belt 
Quick unpick – also known as seam ripper....just in case!
Scissors or rotary cutter and cutting board
Pins and pin cushion
Ruler, tape measure or sewing/quilting rulers /squares
Pencil or marking chalk 
Sewing machine 
Thread for machine.
Machine needles for denim size 90/14 or 100/16 depending how thick/heavy the denim is.
Iron – this can be made without the use of an iron but I find it easier to do so and a place to iron (ironing board, blanketed table etc)

Note: All side seams and hems are 1/2'” wide and I backstitch at beginning and end of each row of stitching to secure it.

 Here we go!

Hoping you’ve already set up your machine to sew denim re stitch length etc 

First cut the jeans. You choose how big you want the bag to be but keep in mind that this will be a bag with boxed corners so allow extra for that. Mine are 18” square fabric pieces which will make a bag around 15”x 15” x 3” deep. I used size 16 (Australian measurement) ladies jeans . Cut one bottom section out of each jeans leg, leaving the inside leg seam intact. The thick outside seams are removed as they will be difficult to sew over. I unpicked the hand sewn leg hem as I needed that inch or so to do my new top seam.

Place the pieces right sides together and square them up, or you can make your own “ruler” from a big cereal box and use it.

Once they are squared clip a 1” long strip of fabric from the edge next to the existing seam. This will reduce fabric bulk when hemming.

Next is to press or fold down ½” doubled hems on this top edge of your bag. This is why I use the iron with denim or other heavy fabrics as it gives a better edge to sew along. Pin your hems and stitch close to the bottom edge, making sure you remove the pins before sewing over them or you could break your needle and damage your machine.

Now place the outsides of your bag facing each other, pin them together, then sew. I like to sew each side from top to bottom first, then sew the bottom seam together. I find there’s less fabric movement that way than going down one side across the bottom and up the other side. As the denim tends to fray you may want to stabilise it by overlocking (serging), using zig-zag or edging stitch like I did, or clipping with pinking shears if you own a pair. I also clip the corners on a diagonal before the stabilising stitch to make the corners neater when they are turned right way out.

Ready to make a box bottom? Ok, your bag should still be inside out so align the bottom seam and the side seam and finger or iron press. There should be a point formed. Measure 3” up from this point where the stitches meet, and mark a line. Pin to secure then sew along the line. Do the same thing to the other corner. It’s optional whether you clip off these points about ½” from the seam or fold them to the inside as support and hold them in place with a few stitches like I do. This is where it’s handy to have a free arm on your machine.

To ensure your bottom thread doesn’t become tangled underneath turn the wheel on the side of your machine to take a stitch and when the needle returns pull the bobbin thread through the material to the top, just as you’d do if you’d just rethreaded the machine. This means both threads are now on top and you can hold them when you begin stitching.

Inside of box bottom

 Outside of box bottom

I purchased a belt for 20 cents at the op-shop to be my handles as I wanted short, strong, wide handles as this will be my bag for carrying cans, bags of sugar etc in when I shop. I removed the fastening and cut the end tab off then singed the partly acrylic raw edges so they won’t fray. No, I didn’t provide protection for the table but yes, I have done this before so I knew this one wouldn’t drip. I usually do it over the empty stainless steel kitchen sink for safety reasons.

When you have cut the handles to the size you require and sealed them, or secured the ends with stitching, measure 3” in from the side seams and make a mark. Pin the outside of your handle ends here and have 1” protruding past the bottom of the top hem as this is the area you will sew in to attach them.

Sew the handles on by stitching a square to secure them firmly. If you’re not familiar with this what you do is stitch almost to the edge of the handle, parallel to the hem, stop the machine with the needle still lowered in the fabric, raise the presser foot, turn the bag until it is in position to sew down the side of the handle, lower the presser foot and repeat. 

Your finished bag should resemble this one.

Hope everyone has fun trying this!

Feel free to link or copy for your own use but don't claim it as your own because, after doing one myself, I now have great respect and admiration for those who offer written tutorials as stopping and starting to take photos, editing the photos by cropping/resizing and just writing the tute so it makes sense is quite a lot to do!!

I do think at least a mention of my blog, and possibly a link to the tute here if you feel so inclined, is not much to request :).

Robyn xo

Footnote: If anything is unclear in the tutorial, please message me. 

7 Oct 2012

Aprons and Show clothes

Lol, so much for posting every day! I thought I'd set up the post for the 5th October to automatically post  itself  but it didn't happen, so much for thinking I was becoming better at blogging :(. So here it is.....

I need to make some goodies to sell at the Annual Anglican Church markets at the end of this month and aprons will be some of the items. A lot of the pre-loved fabrics I've acquired have come from the Anglican Op-shop and the pillow slips I'm making this apron out of are Sheridan brand and are hardly used. You can see how things become a bit messy when I start sewing and I'd barely begun!

This is the pillowslip with the sides seams cut off and laid out flat. I love that it has the same pattern in  slightly different colours on each side. Sorry about photo quality as the colours are more intense than this.

Making sure I have everything on my fold out cutting table and the fabric with the adjusted pattern pinned on it.

I hope to sew this together today but it may have to wait as DD returns to school tomorrow and I will be able to work uninterrupted then.

Yesterday I had to be out all day as DD needed some new cattle showing garb and the town that had everything was 2 hours drive, each way, from home. We had difficulty finding the boots and that was the item she needed the most as her old ones are beyond repair. The hat is needed as the first Akubra was purchased in a hurry, cheaply as it is a second, and it doesn't fit quite right. A big problem when the hat is held on by stuffing newspaper under the brim and it falls out every time you take it off - especially when you need to rush to the next class. She spied the showy shirt too and had to have it as her current ones are looking a bit used now. All the new gear was paid for by DD out of the money she's saved. As it went into the hundreds of $$ it paid to travel elsewhere as it would have cost over a hundred more to buy locally and she would have had to order the boots in.

DD graciously offered to pose for a photo this morning. Ginger decided to run in and help her at the last minute but you can still see one of the cowboy boots :D. The kid looks pretty good all smartened up and she had to make sure she was wearing her belt with the cowboy buckle she bought last year. Apparently it's not the same without the belt and the buckle!

Hope all the Aussies are having a nice first day of Daylight Saving. Personally I hate it as I figure the summer days here have quite enough daylight without messing with the clocks.

Robyn xo

1 Oct 2012

Views of the Week

So, I've been a bit slack posting but I have had my camera with me and these are a few highlights of my week.

I was in a potholder swap on DTE and my first partner let me down but I'd put my name down to be a swap angel as well so I was given someone else who hadn't received their swap to make a set for. They also made a set for me.

Potholders I sent (yes the yellow dot on the edging is a pin!)

Potholders I received - front


I love the FME!

My new partner did receive the potholders from her original swap partner so she now has 2 sets :).

A colourful, cheeky orange chewer

 A bit of a size difference....

 ...but they love to play together!

 It's bad when you have to find your own dinner.....

..and even worse when others expect you to share.

Reflections on a moonlit night

 A night prowler after her day's hunting

Robyn xo