Friday, 18 March 2016

No pledges were broken in the writing of this post

I finished placement this afternoon. It is hard to make non nurses really understand placement.  OK I think doctors might understand. Before it starts I meal prep every meal, and barely look up until the following Friday. Weekends are for cleaning the house and meal prepping for the next week.  During the week the only thing I pay attention to other then placement is how much sleep I am getting and how many days I have between bowel movements. Sorry for the over share, but nursing you know.  My first placement I didn't pay attention to that and it ended badly.  

It has been over three months since I took my "no new fabrics" oath.  I have not bought any fabric since.  It has been hard as I predicted. In February I took my Step-Dad and the Boyfriend out fabric shopping to another Phillips shirts sale.  My Step-Dad bought the fabric and I bought him lunch so that doesn't count right?  No new fabric was found but it was a lot better organised and there were a bunch of fashion people there.  I thought I would show you what they bought as well as the fabrics from my last haul from the Spotlight boxing day sale. 

Firstly the fabric my Step-Dad picked out.  He saw The Brothers shirt and wanted one for himself. It is a really soft cotton.  The event states cottons start at $5 but I was charged $8 by the sales person.  Hmmmmmm.

The Boyfriend picked out a black pinstripe for a short sleeve shirt appropriate for casual events.  Also a cotton, it was labelled "made in Japan".  

I did not buy anything for myself and I felt good about that.

So in December I went to spotlight for top stitching thread and accidentally bought 9 meters of fabric at the sale.  Sigh.  This is why I needed to do something about my fabric buying habit.  I found some more cotton/linen that I used to make The Brothers shirt. So I bought some more in another print to make him another shirt.  Lets be clear, I had just finished his first shirt the week before, my selfless sewing track record is pretty bad, and his birthday is in September.  Why did I think I would find the motivation to sew him another shirt? It is a nice print but still.  When a sign says 40% off all rationality gets thrown out the window.

Last couple of months I have seen a lot of not horrible looking denim at Spotlight.  I feel like this is a new development? I succumbed.  Instead of a pair of Ginger Jeans this stretch denim looks like it wants to be a pair of Birkin Flares.  I was worried at first that Birkin Flares wouldn't suit a curvy body type.  The back pockets are almost unflattering in a flattering way.  Then I saw Reyna Lay's pair.  She is beautiful curvy sewing blogger and looks amazing in her Birkin's. 

Last but not least.  This stretch denim is my favourite.  This is a cotton/wool/lycra blend.  The right side looks like normal denim but the underside feels like a soft brushed wool. Winter jeans! yes it is white denim.  Don't worry I am going to dye it.  I don't really mind how it comes out of the dying bath, if they look even or if they look like Foonik's gingers I can't imagine being disappointed.  My friends tell me I wear crazy pants anyway.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

A long journey/It's a cinch tote

I am writing this the weekend before classes start in my last year hopefully of undergrad study.  As a mature student this is a big deal.  My BF and I talk about this on the regular, as people who for one reason or another chose to restart our careers in our mid 20's we watch as the people in our social circle buy houses and have babies.  I am counting down the months until I can move on to hopefully bigger and better things.

The last 2 months since my last blog post have been hard.  Placement was incredibly hard. It didn't go well.  It takes a toil on you emotionally as well as physically.  I decided to get a head start on placement hours this year, so I am going out again in a week.  I started a project the weekend before placement 2 months ago and finished it last night.  My sewjo came and went in drips and drabs but the project was a bitch.  Never have I done so much hand sewing.  I see some "hand sewer's" on Instagram, people who hand sew everything instead of using a machine.  As far as I am concerned they are crazy, or just terrified of machines.  They need to get over it.

First off this is the U handbag It's A Cinch Tote I first saw this pattern on Kelli's blog True Bias

First off, Kelli has to be one of the coolest sewing bloggers around.  She is the designer of the Hudson pant's ( I may be wearing these pants at time of writing), so as a big fan of her and her style I believed her when she said this is a "great pattern".  I half thought about just using her photo's as "inspiration" and drafting it myself, but then I thought "no that isn't fair, someone worked hard to draft this pattern for people to use".

I went and bought leather, interfacing and looked around for some hardware but gave up pretty quick.  The big shops in my part of the world are lacking in quality, the smaller independent shops sell higher quality stuff but a lot of the time they don't have much in the way of options.  I found a bright orange pleather bag with the right hardware on one of those shopping trips my boyfriend drags me to.  Do any other sewers out there dislike "normal" shopping as much as I do? I don't mind window shopping somewhere inspiring, Mimco or Zara's? I am there but the BF like's to go to direct factory outlets.  Just feels like a waste of time to me. Bag was $15, I haggled the price down to $13 because the pleather had a mark.

It was around this time, when I was about to order zippers from zipperstop that I decided to buy the pattern PDF and read through it.  I went to buy it and the website kept trying to charge me for postage.  I was getting pretty frustrated with it.  They have a PDF version but you have to buy the booklet version aswell, you cannot buy them separately.  I took a deep breath and paid my $30 Australian for my pattern and postage.  I was pretty miffed.  You can only access the PDF version after you receive the booklet so I waited around for 3 weeks to read the pattern.

When it finally arrived and I opened it and sat down to read it, I realized my mistake.  Someone didn't take time to draft this pattern for people to use.  There are instructions in the pattern for you to draft it yourself.  I was very annoyed.  I am aware that it is basically made up on different rectangles but I had just paid hard earned money on a online tutorial.  If that's what you want to do fine, Mimi G sells tutorials and someone must be buying them, but I would like to know up front what I am buying. I took another deep breath and pressed on.  I still wanted a bag just like Kelli's.  And at this point I had spent about $100 on the pattern and materials.  Smoke blew out of my ears when U handbag emailed me some discount vouchers and other propaganda a couple days later.


The interfacing is some corrugated felt stuff I found in the curtain section of spotlight, the lining is some quilting cotton and is one of my favorite part's.  It looks Victorian or something, So pretty. Makes me happy.  The wool for the main body is from my stash.  I bought it at an op shop some years ago .  It is a very soft very narrow tweedy looking wool.  It was 90 cm wide and just shy of 2 meters.  I originally wanted to make a little jacket out of it, but couldn't find a pattern that the pieces would fit.  I liked the grey against the brown and was feeling that sense in the back of my neck that I had over spent on this project that was going to be a wadder, so should use something from the stash.

I widened the space between the straps like Kelli did, my faux patch pocket is a bit smaller because I was pretty sure I was going to run out of leather.  The top stitching isn't that good. I tried a couple of times with the machine, but the thickness of the felt, wool and leather was just to much for my machines to handle.  It was picking up stitches but on the wrong side it was just a loopy mess.  I perforated the leather with my machine and then hand stitched it down.

I really like the finished bag.  But as you can imagine I am not looking to start another structured bag, or work with leather anytime soon.

After using the bag for my first week of uni I can report that I love it.  I took these photo's after a week of use which is why the bag looks nice and worn in.