Posts Tagged tialys
Do people sometimes ask you why you make your own clothes? Or why you knit your own jumpers/socks/blankets? Or why you make quilts or greetings cards or paint pictures. Does there always have to be a logical answer to questions about why we want to create certain things?
Mr. Tialys cannot see the point in buying perfectly good fabric and then cutting it up into smaller pieces and joining it up again – this is a very common ‘man’ question I believe. If I were smashing plates and making mosaics, I don’t believe he would ask the same thing. Although he might look askance come dinner time.
Another question he often asks is why I have so much fabric that I would have a job using it all up in my lifetime (no matter how long that might be) yet still, occasionally, well quite often actually, buy more. This, I don’t really have an answer to except that it makes me happy and keeps me out of the casinos, pubs, betting shops and places of ill-repute that I might otherwise frequent and spend my money in. Unlikely scenarios but you get my drift.
Sometimes I make things ‘just because’ – although I do usually have some sort of vague idea why I want to make something even if it’s to try out a new skill or method to see whether I want to continue down that road or never touch it again – needle felting anyone?
(This is not to denigrate the craft of needle felting in any way because there are some awesome needle felting artists out there – just my own lack of proficiency at it. Just saying..)
Anyway, I recently got the foundation paper piecing bug which, for anybody who doesn’t know what that is, involves laying small pieces of fabric on to the reverse side of a printed paper pattern, then flipping it over and sewing each, sometimes teeny piece, onto the piece adjoining it in the order stipulated by the pattern, until you have a completed patchwork block or image. Then you have to tear all that paper off which has hopefully been thoroughly perforated by your sewing machine needle and, voila, a finished work that should be very accurately pieced. You may well ask ‘why?’. Well, I like it because I sometimes find accuracy fairly hard to achieve using other piecing methods and this appears to be my best shot.
Here is how a piece looks from the reverse side with some of the papers removed.
So, inspired by a recent project by a blogging friend Avis of OhSewTempting, and because my Dr. Who loving daughter has just moved into her post-university flat and needs a few soft furnishings in her life, I decided to make a paper pieced Tardis and then incorporate it into a cushion.
So far so good. I had a project with a purpose and could use some stash fabric to make it.
I found some ‘constellation’ fabric that had come in a ‘stash building’ bundle of ‘blues’ I’d ordered online and didn’t even realise I had. (Slight pause while we all stop laughing at the very idea I need any ‘stash building’ ). This would made a perfect background for the Doctor’s tardis hurtling through space and time.
Then, I remembered I had some ‘Police Box’ ribbon I’d bought for making quirky dog collars.
It was meant to be. My life was complete.
The first mistake I made was not checking my printer settings so the pattern printed out to finish at 9.5 inches instead of 10 inches which I didn’t realise until I’d already started piecing and, as it didn’t really need to be a specific size as it’s not going into a quilt, I let it be. This, despite the fact that, two posts ago, I wrote about this self-same thing.
The second mistake I made was believing the designer had made an error and put the outside written notice on the wrong side of the tardis – something my daughter would have immediately picked up on. So, I reversed the pieces, forgetting that because you sew the fabric on the reverse, the reverse eventually becomes the front. I expect your brain hurts now. I know mine did. Anyway, trying to be clever made joining those window and door pieces more difficult than they needed to be but I got there in the end.
It was all coming together so well. All the individual sections looked good.
Then I started to join them together.
This was the first result. I had noticed the slight overhang on the right side of the tardis wasn’t overhanging slightly or in any way at all on my version but thought it wouldn’t matter too much as the rest wasn’t bad. Then, what wasn’t that obvious in ‘real life’ became glaringly obvious in the photo – the right hand side of the tardis was in its own time warp and waving about all over the place and there was bagging in the background fabric.
It was around about that time I found myself asking the question ‘why?’ and also cursing quite a lot in a very unladylike manner.
I had to unpick many many teeny stitches and, after a couple of attempts at re-doing it through the papers, eventually took the seams apart up the sides, separated the mid section, redid the ‘police box’ line, took the papers off and then joined it all up again with 1/4 inch seams of my own devising.
Well, I am older and wiser yet again and have now tackled teeny pieces in a pattern and have ended up with a vaguely acceptable tardis.
I’m going to put a border round it to make a bigger cushion and do an envelope back edged with more ‘Public Telephone’ ribbon. Any ideas for the border colour? I’m thinking of the navy I used on the box itself or maybe some navy with little white stars but other suggestions welcome.
O.K., there are still a few areas I could improve on and, if I made it again, I would stitch those little window frames as Avis did as it looks a lot neater (as does her whole project but I have aspirations), and the good thing is that the pattern – printed free from Craftsy here – says ‘intermediate level’ so perhaps I can now feel I’ve graduated from ‘beginner’.
Trying to get back into ‘dressmaking mode’ after an excess of quilt block making and knitting, I bought a metre of dark blue ponte roma and traced off the pattern for the ‘Easy Knit Pencil Skirt’ from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book I bought Mlle Tialys the elder for Christmas.
Firstly I had to perform the dreaded task of changing the thread on the overlocker but the signs were good as I managed it first go.
Then, it all started to go pear shaped. I forgot the sizes are probably American (that or I’m skinnier than I think) so cut the skirt out at least two sizes too big. However I did realise this before it was too late because I actually followed the instructions which tell you to baste the side seams and try it on before overlocking them. You should apparently do this each time you make the skirt as all jersey and knit fabrics differ in stretchiness, which is a very good point. However, once I had cut it down to my size, the edges weren’t quite as neat and I had also managed to slice through my fingertip with the rotary cutter for good measure.
Then I cut the elastic for the waistband a little too generously as I didn’t want to feel it digging in so instead of stretching the elastic slightly to fit the waistband, I found myself stretching the waistband slightly to fit the elastic. Which is probably why one of the needles in my overlocker broke and also why the waistband doesn’t lie quite as perfectly flat as it’s supposed to. I replaced the needle, adjusted the tension and broke another one. I finished off using the 3-thread overlocking stitch as I find that getting into a tizz with my machine puts me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. That and having to do housework.
I don’t play the guitar and neither do I usually stand as if I’ve put my hip out but there were no photographers available and the only decent light and big mirror were in eldest daughter’s room so a selfie it had to be.
On the plus side, I did the neatest twin needle hem I think I’ve ever done. Nice and straight with no tunneling. As my overlocker is on the right hand side of my sewing machine I used the thread from the extreme left spool as my second twin needle thread so there was no wobbling going on, a technique I might employ in the future as it seemed to work so well.
That was, however, after I broke the first twin needle on the sewing machine probably because I started off at a side seam and going through an overlocked seam and hem thickness all at the same time might have been a bit of a stretch – no pun intended but it works so I’ll leave it in.
So £ 6.99 for a metre of ponte roma – 3 broken needles, one of which was a twin – and several items of bloodstained clothing before I realised my finger had been sliced with the rotary cutter meant it wasn’t quite as quick or cheap as I had originally planned. In my experience, it rarely is.
However! With one pattern piece only – which you cut out twice on the fold – and around 0.8m of fabric – this really is a comfy yet quite smart skirt and I will be making it again hopefully without breaking any more needles or attempting to slice the top of my finger off. Where I will wear it is a different matter. Will it go with wellies do you think?
Sometimes Often I go into my workroom for one reason and end up doing something completely different. Something I hadn’t even planned to do. Yesterday was one of those times. I have a pair of trousers – half done – which I keep seeing out of the corner of my eye and I know they need finishing but, because they need altering and faffing with, I just can’t get my head round messing with them at the moment. So an unplanned project got done instead.
Some might call it procrastination.
I made a Sewaholic Renfrew top. Are you thinking that fabric is a bit ‘urgent’? It is quite busy for me but I bought the fabric on Etsy a few months ago and thought I would move it on from my stash – I need the space.
This is me in my customary ‘bring on the firing squad’ pose with the fabric appearing a bit pinker than in reality as I had to mess with the lighting a bit. It is actually more of a salmon pink as in the other two pics. I couldn’t go any further up or down as I was still in my early morning dog walking leggings and my dog walking hair and face, none of which is a pretty sight. There’s no need for you to suffer and anyway it’s the top you are interested in if you are interested in anything at all here.
Because of my abysmal attempt at matching one of my side seams on my Reglisse dress (see post), I wanted to show you that I can actually do it if the stars are aligned correctly and I concentrate. Sorry it’s on a mannequin – her neck is even scraggier than mine but she is probably more than 100 years older than me so I’m not judging – but I couldn’t really model the side seams and operate the remote gizmo of the camera at the same time.
I was in two minds whether to put the cuffs on the sleeves and round the bottom – more matching hell – but, in the end, I decided to go for it because I think the cuffs make it look more like a ‘top’ and less like a t-shirt which is what this fabric called for. I won’t go on about the Sewaholic pattern because everybody has made it and, suffice it to say, it is fast, easy and gives good results and you can’t ask for more than that 😉
I just finished another Coco dress. I bought this coral coloured jersey which was the perfect weight for this dress but I felt was a little bright to make the whole dress in. So I decided to pair it with this grey jersey and have a go at making a colour block version. I love it but, unfortunately, forgot to lengthen it this time so I will get a consensus of opinion from family and
blunt honest friends and, if they think it’s too short for me, I’ll have to hand it over to one of the Madamoiselles. I think you can usually get away with things a little shorter in the summer with bare legs and flats but we’ll see.
(The ombré effect here is due to bad lighting rather than the fabric and my paintwork morphing into different shades)
Only a couple of days to go until the Lladybird and Tangled Threads’ Outfit Along starts so I wanted to finish up some projects I had on the go and start with a clean (ish) slate.
As I explained here this Outfit Along comprises a dress (or skirt) and a cardigan to go with it. The suggested pattern for the dress is Simplicity 1803 which I already have and had bought the fabric for some time ago and the cardigan is the new one from Andi Satterlund called Myrna.
I’m going to make the one in the bottom right hand corner with the short sleeves and button embellishments.
Here’s the cardi I’m going to make.
There are lots of gorgeous fabric and yarn choices going on and I’ve been watching the Ravelry thread to see what people are choosing. However, much as I like the bright, patterned fabrics, I’m taking into consideration my lifestyle, location, age, wearing opportunities and going with something a bit more ‘sensible’ or let’s use the word ‘classic’ as it sounds slightly less boring.
So, these are my fabric and yarn choices. What do you think? Be quick and tell me if you don’t think they’d work as I start the day after tomorrow!
I’m sure I will have time to do plenty of other things at the the same time – we have until the end of July after all – and the dress shouldn’t take me long but I only knit in the evenings so the cardigan is likely to be the thing in danger of not being finished so no more knitting projects until afterward.
I just had time to finish off this cute baby jacket which will, eventually, be in my shop as I have lots of plans for more hand knit baby wear but I’ve got to complete a few more yet before I put them in the shop.
I’m frantically sewing up a knitted jacket for myself – don’t you just hate the sewing up part of knitting? – then that will be out of the way and I can cut out and cast on.
I sort of knew that violets have a strong scent because there’s those sweeties – parma violets is it? – and also some incredibly strong (and cheap) perfume which I vaguely remember they used to sell in our dear departed Woolworths when I was a tot but I don’t think I had ever encountered the smell ‘in the wild’ as it were. We have tons in our garden and they have been bursting out all over for the past week but I still don’t recall smelling them. Then, yesterday, I went to my friend’s house, parked the car, opened the gate to her garden and I was met by a wonderful waft. It was a hot day (for March) and maybe it was very still but the air was definitely full of scented violets.
Talking of going round to Sandra’s, who is my sewing friend, sometimes when we are trying to think of a project to do next, we mess around with little bits of fabric and some tried and tested patterns and this little owl was the result of that session. I remembered that I had some vintage(ish) folding scissors at home so I left sewing his bottom on until I got home and attached the scissors by a black ribbon, stuck in a decorative pin et voila!
I like that, in french, one of the words for ‘owl’ is ‘chouette’ which also means ‘nice’ or ‘cool’.
I also asked her to help me with my fumbling crochet attempts. I am trying to make individual roses to make a blanket but, at this rate, I’ll be lucky to end up with a coaster – although that won’t be any good as the surface is raised and the cup would keep falling over, but you get my drift. I don’t know what goes on with this crochet business. It’s supposed to be easier than knitting and I’m good at knitting. I am having trouble recognising what is a stitch, what is a loop, what is the first loop of the first round and the 3rd loop of the last round – Gaaah! Anyway, here are my attempts so far. Do you think it will matter if they are all slightly different sizes? Will it really matter when they are all joined together? Should I have used fiendishly expensive Rowan yarn when taking my first baby steps?
She looks a bit stressed doesn’t she? Not my favourite vintage mannequin but my antique ones have a pole where the sun don’t shine so I couldn’t get the knickers on any of them! I think these bloomers are cute for sleepwear and, once I’ve ironed out a few of my first timer mistakes, I am going to make some more. I am going to give these to Madamoiselle Tialys the Elder for wearing as sleepwear as, let’s face it, if you put those on under a frock you might as well be wearing a bustle! However, she did point out that her duvet cover is almost the exact same red and white polka dot pattern and she might disappear into the bed and nobody find her which as the mother of a daughter living away from home and getting up to lord knows what, doesn’t sound too unwelcome a scenario to me!
I’m always searching for vintage, quintessentially french fabric but don’t often find it so was pleased to find this the other day. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet but I’m sure I’ll think of something.
I’m still working on hand quilting the birthday quilt – only 2 weeks overdue – but did have to stop for a while as I am completely unable to function using a thimble and, as a result, vaccinated myself against something with the end of the quilting needle and had to give it a rest. It has now healed up so I will start again tomorrow. On the hand quilting front though, I did find this in a charity shop which doesn’t go with my décor, is too heavy to post so cannot be offered for sale, and is therefore totally useless to me but could not, under any circumstances, be left under a pile of polyester sheets, ignored and unloved when somebody, somewhere had gone to all the trouble of putting all those stitches in various patterns, no doubt vaccinating herself against things and using up all the plasters in the medicine cabinet, only to have it flung out with last season’s clothes in a bin bag. Don’t worry somebody, somewhere, I have rescued your hard work for posterity and will appreciate it more than the ungrateful wretches for whom it was made.
Look at all those stitches. How could you throw something like that out? I have told my daughters I will come back and haunt them if I ever see one of my quilts in a dog bed.
Have a great weekend and I hope you find lots of violets to smell. x
I know I haven’t been blogging very much lately but there has been ‘stuff’ going on and I am still adjusting to the absence of Madamoiselle Tialys the Elder at university. Still, I was thinking about doing a post soon as I have some projects coming to fruition (well, almost) and some very interesting vintage things to share but, in the meantime, a distraction.
Well, yes, this is just a bit of my balcony but I was watching and waiting to catch somebody on camera
who didn’t seem to want to show his face
but when he (finally) does, there seems to be something wrong but this is as close as I could get
Does anybody know what it could be? He’s eating from the bird feeders and the other birds don’t seem to be bothering him particularly. I wonder whether it’s an injury or a birth deformity. Of course, there won’t be anything I can do about it – apart from carrying on supplying fat balls and sunflower seeds – but I just wondered. And was distracted.
Have you entered my little competition yet? If you haven’t got any ideas for me on how to use my weird and wonderful glass thingummy, you can just leave a comment here
You stand quite a good chance of winning one of my little reindeer storage tubs as only 13 have entered so far – an unlucky number so come and add your name to the hat.
I just finished another custom étui box house which I am quite pleased with as it is so cheerful and the fabrics go so beautifully together.
I don’t know who Cindy is or what she did but I hope she’ll be pleased with her gift. Plus, I hope she doesn’t read my blog as it’s supposed to be a surprise.
I never realised, before I had an Etsy shop, how far in advance you had to think about annual events in order to prepare relevant stock. Valentines day in December, Easter in January, Halloween in July and Christmas in September – as if my mind isn’t muddled enough.
It’s quite difficult for me to go ‘festive’ as I am drawn to neutral or muted colours in fabrics as you can see from the results of my stash enhancement expedition of yesterday.
However, I do like the Scandinavian style of design and it seems to suit Christmas very well so, as last year, I will be slipping in the odd reindeer in red just to show willing.
Happy New Year. Well, it is October.