Saturday, August 29, 2015

Introducing my Mobius scarf collection.

After finishing lots of t-shirts, I decided that I needed something to go with them. I often can't find jewelry that I like, but do need something to brighten up my appearance.  And that is easy to wear - I can't stand things that get tangled up and need sorting out.  I like things that are neat and out of the way, so I can function without distraction.

So I purchased a few pieces of rayon knit and made a few infinity scarves - the mobius ring type, the never-ending circle scarf.  They only take about five minutes to make.  My scarves are small, as I am small, so I only used about 40 cm width and about 60 cms long, if that.  Accuracy in measurement is not needed with this sort of project, just drape and see what it looks like, and go with that.

Okay, so I made five of these in rayon - one shown above, and four below:

And I made a couple of casual scarves out of cotton rib knit - these are for cool days for when the knitted neck warmers are too much, but you still need something:

I'm really happy about having these in my wardrobe - I have felt the need for these sorts of things for a long time now.  And finally, I have made a selection.

Isn't that the great thing about sewing - you get what you actually want - so satisfying :)

Best sewing wishes to all of you,

Sarah Liz :)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back to Basics 3 - The Last of the T-Shirt Collection

So, the colour is red!  Yes, Sarah Liz wearing Red - usually I make black, white and navy, with the occasional bit of pink or purple.  I'll bet you never thought you would see me in something this bright :).  Just to show I can surprise sometimes...

And, I think everyone needs a red top, for those moments that need red.  You know, when we are feeling less than our best in spirits and need a bit of a lift.

The knit is a combed cotton jersey, once again from Spotlight.  I used 1.4 metres, purchased 1.6 at $11.99 a metre.   This was a big splurge - no trying to eek out two tops from 2 metres this time :).

I used my TNT t-shirt pattern, Kwik Sew 3766.


There is not much to say about this last t-shirt - those of you that follow my blog know I have made this up a number of times in the last couple of months.  Knowing that my narrower self fabric band works, I used that technique on this t-shirt as well. 

I'm in a rush today, so I shall just post the pictures and then go and do things that are calling to be done...

That makes up my new t-shirt collection - and a few weeks ago I was so uninspired by the thought of the daunting project of replacing all my old t-shirts.  Now I can tick this job off the list, and I won't have to do them next year :) :) :).

I can't say good bye with my back towards you, so:

Wishing you all well, and Goodbye for now...

Sarah Liz :)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Warmer Winter Necks.

 This winter has been extremely cold by Newcastle standards and my neck was complaining.  I don't like long scarves because I get tangled up in them, and find them a nuisance. So I decided to knit a few thick and chunky cowls.  Mostly because I wanted to get the job done quickly, so that I have neck warmers in the cupboard for next winter.

The red cowl shown above was knitted out of a chunky something or other found in Spotlight. I think it was Moda Vera Hudson.  It was acrylic and wool, and I fell in love with the colour.  It was knitted on large 7 mm needles, so knitted up quickly.  If you like this cowl, and can find the yarn, the pattern is on the label.

It is thick and chunky, and I am not sure whether I like it or not - it may be too bulky for me.  But next year, when the weather is chilly, I will like this, I am sure.  Anything to keep warm :)


The second cowl was made out of 12 ply Alpaca and Wool blend - Moda Vera, Tolva.  Found in Spotlight.   It's much softer and drapes nicely.  I decided to knit this on 7mm needles as well, which makes the tension fairly loose, but does result in the nice drape and softness of this scarf. I used the same pattern as the scarf above.  I like this one...

And the last little scarf is more like a collar - I love this one.  It's small and neat and looks smart - and does the job of keeping the neck warm without adding a lot of bulk under a jacket or cardigan.  Again , it's knitted in a 12 ply Alpaca and Wool blend - this one is by Patons, called Jet.  Knitted on 5.5 mm needles. The pattern was torn out of a knitting magazine a year or so ago - I think a Spotlight publication.

For years I have been trying to build a serviceable wardrobe, and these are great additions.  And they only take a few evenings to make, even if you are a slow knitter.

Bye for now,

Sarah Liz

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Back to Basics 2 - The T-Shirt Collection.

As you all know, I am in the middle of replacing all my tatty old t-shirts with nice new me-made ones, a project that was seriously daunting when first contemplated six t-shirts ago.

The navy cotton is a combed cotton jersey, purchased from Spotlight, for $11.99 per metre.  I used 2 metres of 112 wide, but did not have matching rib.  And, I have found out I really need 2.1 metres of 112 to squeeze out two t-shirts.  Luckily, wouldn't you know it, I had another piece of this in my stash (cos I stash fabrics that are hard to get in multiple quantities sometimes) and so could cut the neckband strips from that.  A slightly different dyelot but that is okay.

The pattern I used was my usual TNT t-shirt, Kwik Sew 3766.


The neckband in the pattern is about 6/8 inch wide folded and finished.  It is cut shorter than the neckband, and when I made this pattern in combed cotton a few weeks ago,  and used the pattern piece, this is the result I got:


All puckered and pulling.  Pressing was not going to make this look much better.  I removed the neckband, and added extra length to match the neckline  length, and got this result:

And resorted to rib, cut to pattern width and length, which worked perfectly:

As I did not have rib this time, I though I would use the same fabric, cut to much the same length as the neckline but about half an inch folded over and finished.

And it seems to work reasonably well.  Excuse the threads here, I had not finished the garment at this stage - I leave threading ends through and snipping them, until I have finished the whole garment and then I do them all at once, while enjoying a nice cup of tea.  The lace at the back is how I cover the serge off section of the overlocking.  I like things to look finished.  And the dyelot difference is okay - it tones, and is darker, so I can live with that :).

And now for the views:

And, of course, as I am filling up the t-shirt drawer, I sat and sewed my way through two of these again:

I really like this t-shirt, blue suits me.  And this navy is the brighter navy, which I think can be worn with black.

That's my opinion, anyway, and that is what counts:).  I've got one more of these t-shirts to make.  So far I have made black, teal, and navy - I wonder what colour the next one will be.   What's your guess?

See you soon,

Sarah Liz :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Thank you for your Birthday Greetings.

 Thank you everyone for your Birthday greetings recently.  I wasn't going to make too much of an announcement about it this year, but Facebook had other ideas.  But I was thrilled with your thoughts.

I was also lucky enough to be given this lovely machine.  As you know, I have been attempting to learn to sew with knits this year.  I'm now getting there, and I said to myself, when you are getting the hang of knits, then, and only then, will you buy a coverstitch machine.  It's no good buying a machine if you are not serious about using it.  I mentioned my thoughts to DH, and he decided he wanted to buy me one.  So I said it had to be a combined birthday and xmas gift, because they are not cheap.   I was presented with this a few weeks ago, because DH thought there might be a learning curve involved and that I might want to get started.  And for other reasons, which I shall share later...(mystery!!)

The machine is a little tricky to thread, but the tension settings are all shown on the right.  The machine can do 3 thread coverstitch, but I removed on needle to do a 2 thread coverstitch.  I had to learn to thread it, and to get the tension right.  Tensions are all shown on the right hand side of the machine, if you look at the picture above.

Below is a picture of the inside looper - it's really quite fascinating:

Ready top sew:

 I got skipped stitches of course - see the bottom row of these pictures.  So I re-threaded the machine,  adjusted the tension ( I could feel the skipped stitches sample was too tight) and presto, perfect coverstitching!

No doubt I will have more to learn about how to fold hems and actually work on a garment with this machine, but for now, I'm pretty pleased with the gift and my learning progress.

Bye for now,

Sarah Liz :)


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Back to Basics 1 - The T-shirt collection

Earlier this year I looked in my t-shirt drawer.  It was not an inspiring sight - they are all old and shabby.  So I knew I needed to replace them all, but really was not looking forward to such a tedious sewing job.  I mean, I would rather make something more interesting, but still, we all need those basic, every day garments that you often can't find in shops nowadays in Australia.

I used my basic TNT t-shirt pattern - Kwik Sew 3766:

I used combed cotton jersey purchased from Spotlight.  Again, I had 2 metres of 112 wide fabric ($11.99 per metre).  I also had a rib, which although not quite matching, tones in well enough.  That meant I  could squeeze out two tops.  And, as I have learnt - and have blogged about - rib is the best medium for the neckband for this pattern.

I was a little annoyed at not being able to find matching overlocker thread for the seams, because I do like to use matching thread.  I had to resort to grey instead, which I know sort of works, but still, it doesn't quite scratch my obsessive itch regarding matching thread.  Mind you, this doesn't stop me wearing things, in fact I soon forget just after making the garment. There is always the perfect garment with the perfect thread ahead...

So, here is the imperfect t-shirt :) -

And a close up of the offending overlocker thread and the neckband:

I think I can live with this level of imperfection for the lifetime of this t-shirt...

And, just for the record, I really did complete two:

Three more t-shirts to go, and then I have enough to go through a week without washing.  The next two t-shirts are going to have to have a modified neckband, as there is not a matching rib to match the fabric I am using.  It will be narrower, and about the same length as the neck - which I am hoping will work.

I'm off to find out now...

Good luck with your sewing,

Sarah Liz :)