Saturday, December 31, 2011

Outside table cloth

For a while now I have been quite frustrated with my outside table - needed to cover it.

Waterproof fabric

Bought this waterproof fabric so decided it was perfect for the job.  Needed to secure the tablecloth when it gets windy, so decided to try to somehow secure it like an ironing board.  Bought 7 metres of elastic and was now on my way.

Reversed the tablecloth and looked at the corners.  Hmm - decided to mould the shape of the corner and pin them into place.  As I pinned I marked along the line of the pins, either side - this way it gave me a sewing line.  I only decided to do this when I saw the shape of the corner and sewing was going to be the nicest finish.

Marked the pin line with a graphic pencil

Also pinned and marked the other side

I matched the drawn lines with a couple of pins and then sewed the corners.  I forgot and didn't leave one of the corners free - found out the hard way, the stitches came undone - not a problem, just secured with a safety pin (no one looks under there, except for Tiffany - the cat).

Sewed corner - great fit

This is the result after having sewn the corner - I'm absolutely stoked - it worked!!  Next to secure the length of the table cover - since I didn't use the elastic I decided to velcro it to the table.


Adding velcro under the table

This is the finished result - it didn't really take me that long - mind you I've had this waterproof fabric for just over a year.

The velcro keeps the fabric tucked under nicely and can be taken off easily.

Tiff likes it too

Now the table is complete and with the ornamental grape fully grown, it's a lovely place to sit even on a 35 celsuis degree day.   Party time!!!   Happy New Year!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Light-bulb moment

I wonder what is the trigger when you look at something and all of a sudden it hits you - "Why didn't I think of that before?"

It's called "a light-bulb moment".

When I purchased my overlocker over a year ago, I also purchased a base on which the overlocker sits and has a slot with a disposable bag underneath to drop your fabric and overlocking threads. I decided to use Glad Snap Lock, as the original bag was too small.  I think I was in a rush (will use this as the excuse, or else I'll look stupid) - and inserted the bag with the zipper at the top - I thought I was clever at the time...hmm, yes still thinking about that one!!

Babylock Imagine
Just the other day I needed to empty it as it was getting quite full - I looked at the bag and thought - hey, if I took that plastic bag and turned it upside down, all I would need to do is unzip the bag and the rubbish would fall out - this was my 'light bulb moment'!!!

Glad sandwich size bag with the bottom cut out

Inserted in the overlocker base

So this is the result - when I need to empty the bag, I just unzip it!!  How simple is that - don't know why it took me over a year to figure this out - okay, I'll admit - I "do now" and "think later" - better late than never, I say!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jess' 21st Dress

Now I must admit that I made this dress, oh nearly 2 years ago coming up in April 2012 - birthday of my daughter Jessica but I really wanted to do this post as part of my sewing archive.

Jess fell in love with this fabric, you guessed it, from Tessuti, so it was destined for her 21st party dress.  I think it was called Siren sequin but alas it no longer exists.

Sequin has grey marking

Found this old pattern I had from when my mum was sewing for me - Style 2033 and modified it to fit Jess.  No need for darts etc - thought easy.  Made a sample in some stretch fabric in my stash and it fitted well (she still wears it today).   However, this was not to be the final design - it was only to be a guide.

When I looked at the sample dress I thought that the front was too low cut, so I used the 'back' also as the "front" (wanted a boat neck look) - I know this is not the proper thing to do but this fabric was so forgiving because of its stretch factor, that it worked - didn't need darts and was basically fit to shape i.e. her body.  I did need Jess to try it on a few times as I needed to take it in on the sides to get a really good fit so I really ended up making the dress in situ and the initial paper pattern became the shell from which I just used the shape.

Jess wanted "Balmain" shoulder pads - the amount of testing for this was educational.  Using existing shoulder pads, I traced out the shape and layered bigger to smaller shapes of cotton/wool batting (used for quilting) to give me the effect -  I was thrilled with the result - it worked.

Boat neck and Balmain shoulder pads

In case you're wondering, I actually took out all the sequins before I machine sewed the dress and then hand sewed them back - did this for all seams and zipper - yes it took a while to put them back.  I must have OCD as I then found myself looking for areas that needed filling - days of hand sewing sequins - but worth it.  I didn't line the dress - Jess just wore a slip underneath - the sleeves were a little itchy but not that uncomfortable, according to Jess.

The finished dress
Jess had a wonderful time at her party and she was thrilled with the dress.  Actually, she got a lot of comments - said "My mother made it"  I was so proud because it really looked great and I couldn't believe that I had made it myself.

Jess' brother -  Cameron

Here are my two most special people in the world - love them to bits!!!