Another ‘Quick’ Project – Yeah, Right.

Whenever I see phrases  like ‘quick project‘ , ‘make it in an hour‘, ‘I made a ball gown during the ad break in Eastenders‘ (o.k., I’ve never seen that last one) I should know not to touch it with a barge pole.

If I ever say, I’m just going upstairs to run up a quick bit of gear to take on holiday or to wear for a ‘do’, my sewing machine and overlocker  (but especially the overlocker) somehow hear me and, in the time it takes me to get up there, they have conspired together to make any quick project as long and frustrating as possible.

Take the summer cardigan pattern which I saw on Girl Charlee’s blog and decided to make with a piece of jersey, dotted with cute gold fawns, that I had bought from them a few weeks before.

 Firstly, I had only bought a metre and the pattern calls for just over that so it took me (and a friend) at least an hour to try to lay the pattern out economically – although if it had been a non directional pattern it would have been a lot easier.

Secondly and most importantly, my overlocker decided to thwart my plans and chew up the seams.

 I had to wait until I saw my friend again to use her overlocker and took mine with me to see if we could work out the problem.  Her husband tutted at how ‘sale’ (French for ‘dirty’) my overlocker was and wanted to know how long was it since I’d cleaned it.  I said ‘jamais’ (French for ‘never’).  He tutted some more and swept out of the room bearing my machine aloft and did things to it with little brushes and blowers and things and I trusted him because I’ve seen under the hood of his car and the engine looks like something you could eat your dinner off.

Anyway, despite his ministrations, it still didn’t work properly so I re-threaded it for what seemed like the zillionth time and, obviously deciding it had p***ed me off enough for one week as I had started muttering darkly about buying a new one, all was well.

Anyway, I made the cardigan for Mlle. T. the younger but she’s not keen on modelling so I asked Mlle. T. the elder – who’s not keen either but she is more bribeable biddable.

dsc_0001Next time, I would make the cuffs a little looser and alter the pattern slightly so that it is slightly wider at the bottom edge.


…..and if anybody tells me the fawns on the cuffs are upside down I might get nasty.

I am determined to get my F2F blocks made into a quilt for Mr. Tialys’s London flat before  winter – although he has central heating there which we don’t have here so I don’t know why I worry.  Anyway, yesterday I took all the blocks and the squares of wadding and backing out into the garden and went crazy with the basting spray so they are now all ready to quilt.

Quilt As You Go Blocks

I think one of the cats has a more bristly tail than she should have as she may have got in the way of me and my spray at one point.  I’m sure it’ll brush out.

Cat in Antique Bowl

Here she is, giving me the stink eye, in the antique french confit pot that should be for sale in my shop but is not as she has adopted it as her own and, having raised her from a 3 week old scrap with cat formula milk and bottle, I find it hard to deny her anything at all.

I’m off to see if I can make a skirt – complete with zip – in under an hour.  (The word zip is a clue here to the likelihood of my succes).


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  1. #1 by nanacathy2 on September 17, 2016 - 15:27

    By my calculations that skirt should be ready for a photograph round about now. I too groan at supposed projects to do in an evening. Are they having a laugh ? Is time extendable in some places and the clocks stand still? Anyway nice cardigan and I love the fawns, but aren’t the ones on the cuff?? Ok I won’t say it. She is a lucky lass that’s all I can say, and I hear it is fashionable for fawns to fly these days!!

    • #2 by tialys on September 19, 2016 - 08:48

      Oops, I was the victim of a diversion and never did get round to that skirt 😉 It never fails to amaze me how they turn out items on the G.B. Sewing Bee more or less on time – especially when there are zips and buttonholes involved. It makes me much less critical of the sometimes less than perfect results.

  2. #3 by Susan on September 17, 2016 - 17:43

    I love your humor. The end result of the cardigan is lovely, as is your daughter. I would never have noticed the cuffs. Are you sure they are upside down? =)

    • #4 by tialys on September 19, 2016 - 08:49

      Pretty sure, but it is only on one arm 😉

  3. #5 by katechiconi on September 17, 2016 - 17:53

    I am my own worst enemy with ‘quick’ patterns, since I nearly always want to tinker with the layout, the style, the fitting, etc. But malevolent machines are the ultimate deterrent, and I think if you approach the project in a spirit of deep pessimism, muttering aloud about unreliable and about-to-be-jettisoned machines, they may be cowed into cooperating. The cuffs, by the way, were invisible until you pointed the spotlight at them…
    Well done on the spray basting marathon, time to get quilting before the weather turns nasty and M. Tialys starts asking where his quilt is!

    • #6 by tialys on September 19, 2016 - 08:53

      Well, you know me and my spotlight. There are so many blog posts about things turning out perfectly that I like to redress the balance in case people who don’t always get it right feel bad – they are not alone.
      BTW, I am quilting each block according to the design on it – well, more or less anyway – but the backing is fairly busy (intentionally so) and it won’t really show up too much anyway.

  4. #7 by CurlsnSkirls on September 17, 2016 - 20:16

    The garment is lovely, and if you hadn’t written anything I’d never have noticed. 😉 But as you didn’t actually *say* … Huh? Don’t know what she’s talking about – looks perfect to me. As does the model – the latest catwalk look. (Oops, no puns intended, just thinking of London’s Fashion Week.)
    Will have to try the suggestion of muttering about replacements before attempting anything similar. The icing, so to speak, is that adorable moggy!

    • #8 by tialys on September 19, 2016 - 08:56

      Thank you. I suppose it can’t be too obvious as I only noticed when I put the photograph up on the screen. I think it was because I had to squeeze the pattern out of too little fabric. I was so pleased to find a spot for the cuff – pieces – with the stretch going in the right direction too – that I probably didn’t check properly that the fawns all had their hooves on the ground.

      • #9 by CurlsnSkirls on September 19, 2016 - 21:36

        Know what you mean about squeezing pieces out of the fabric. Don’t give it another thought!

  5. #10 by anne54 on September 18, 2016 - 09:04

    Well, you might not have been able to do it in the required hour, but you have achieved a great deal, including getting your overlocker cleaned! Don’t cats just know the perfect spot to be, and it is often where you don’t want them to be 🙂

    • #11 by tialys on September 19, 2016 - 08:57

      I am bad with my sewing machines and overlocker. At least I remember to change the needles regularly now which is something I also used to forget about. I should note on the calendar ‘machine cleaning day’ and make sure I give them a bit of TLC every couple of months or so.

  6. #12 by Chez Shea on September 18, 2016 - 23:27

    Am just in awe- love the cardi and the cat.

    • #13 by tialys on September 19, 2016 - 09:02

      Thank you. She had a hard start in life – she got trapped behind a wall in my neighbour’s barn for several days when she was just 3 weeks old until somebody heard her fading cries. I took her in (plus her 3 brothers) and bottle fed them all until they were ready to be re-homed – 2 of them by me. She is now a bit of a diva but has no miaow – probably damaged her voice box crying for help for so long.

      • #14 by Chez Shea on September 19, 2016 - 10:46

        Oh my- she deserves to be a diva after that trauma! Poor little thing.

  7. #15 by Kim Hood on September 19, 2016 - 08:11

    I spend most of my day sewing for clients and my heart sinks if someone (usually a new client) brings one of these patterns. Even if you power straight through (no fittings) you would be hard pressed to make it in the time specified. Madness.
    The cardigan looks great, kitty does indeed look hacked off (great bowl btw), and Mr T is a lucky man to be getting that lovely quilt.

    • #16 by tialys on September 19, 2016 - 09:08

      I suppose such projects are good if you really are pressed to get something made in time for an unexpected event and you’re not too worried about it being finished perfectly but, just knowing that some other clever clogs has made it in an hour immediately puts me in a bad mood and sets me up for failure.

  8. #17 by sew2pro on September 19, 2016 - 10:08

    Ah, how great to see Yuki again. Hasn’t she grown, though not so much so as not to fit in the cool bowl. Can she purr despite having no voice?

    The cardie is lovely; it’s not very often that I see gold fawns, upside down or otherwise, on clothing. I will look up the pattern and see if I can make it myself (timed) and compare notes.

    • #18 by tialys on September 19, 2016 - 10:34

      An occasional purr erupts but not often. The most noise she makes is when she ‘suckles’ off her brother’s tummy fur – it’s a bit gross but considering she didn’t had a proper mum in her formative years, understandable I suppose and he doesn’t seem to mind getting a bit soggy.
      I might give the cardie another go now my machine is cooperating again as it’s quite a useful wardrobe addition when you don’t want a jacket or warmer knitted thingy. This time I won’t stint on the fabric and see what I can do, time-wise. If I use plain fabric and set my sewing machine up ready with the twin needle, that should shave some time off too. I do think I’ll extend the width just a bit – especially at the bottom – although that might just have been wonky cutting on my part and it will depend on the amount of stretch in the fabric as to whether I make the cuffs slightly bigger – the fawns were not particularly stretchy.

  9. #19 by PendleStitches on September 19, 2016 - 11:31

    It might not have been a quick project but its awfully cute. I’m adding that pattern to my collection! It’s adorable. And great for my wee girl too.

    Although nothing tops a small cat in a vintage bowl. So sweet!

    • #20 by tialys on September 19, 2016 - 12:03

      Yes! It will be perfect for Miss Button.

  10. #21 by jendavismiller on September 19, 2016 - 16:42

    Lovely model is your girl. And it’s my understanding that happy fawns are known to do somersaults! The very thought of a timeline sends me into apoplexy…it takes me for flipping ever to make the most simple things. Sigh. One day….. So nice to see how your rescue kitty has come along. She is still adorable.

    • #22 by tialys on September 21, 2016 - 17:44

      Thanks Jen. I did pass on your compliments to my daughter but, although she follows the blog, I’m not sure she actually ever reads it and certainly never comments. Bloomin’ kids :/

      • #23 by jendavismiller on September 21, 2016 - 21:12

        Haha! My girls follow me, too, and haven’t commented once! They’re a funny bunch aren’t they.

  11. #24 by wendy on September 21, 2016 - 17:35

    oh dear! the finished cardigan looks fab though! This is one of the reasons I’m afraid of dressmaking… my Husqvarna conspires against me all the time. My new Janome doesn’t, but probably would if I tried to whip up some clothes!

    • #25 by tialys on September 21, 2016 - 17:49

      Thanks Wendy. I have a Janome but not an overly fancy one – less to go wrong 🙂 I tried to look at your blog but couldn’t click through so I’ll have another try when I can get back on my desktop again. The iPad drives me crazy.

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