Thursday, 14 May 2015

Quick update and small tip

I start my new job on Wednesday but dropped in yesterday to do some paperwork and to have lunch with everyone. The company puts on a lunch every Wednesday for staff and students. Yesterday we had BBQ chicken and chips - delicious.

Anyhow, I got the skinny on the uniform and my assumptions were correct. It is just a blouse that comes in different formations. My new colleague said "and I make up the rest". I am still assuming there will be no prints and must stick to blues, blacks and browns from what I have seen, but at least it will give me some things to sew.

Now my dilemma is what to sew. I need to re-invent myself as a sewist. Otherwise I will go crazy sewing navy StyleArc Linda pants and StyleArc Abby cardigans. Lindas and Abbys are what I know and what I am comfortable with.

I am not a weekend wear sewist. I tend to wear trackie dacks and hoodies around the house in winter and house dresses in summer. Both I have plenty of. I don't go out much, mainly to sewing events.... I know I am a bit of a hermit. I even grocery shop online. I have as much weekend clothes as I want and I know some people love sewing casual but that is not me. I like to sew work wear because that is where I am seen the most. And who doesn't like to show off their newly sewn clothes.

So - a good deal of thinking will be needed. I have plenty of slacks so it is really skirts I need to think about. There is a great selection of different skirt patterns available - however - skirts don't seem to suit me much. I need to find "the magic formula" like I did with my TNT dress. Something that will look okay with the company blouse.

And........ I may even have to try my hand at a jacket. I have had many false starts with jackets. I really do want to make one but I am somewhat scared of the jacket. I will have to try to overcome my fear and sew one up. I have fabric and patterns but not the backbone!

And now on to my tip. A non sewing one I must admit. But sort of related.

I am not an ironer. I do admit to enjoying pressing as I sew but not ironing after the item is worn and washed. So when I wash I hang all of my clothes on coat hangers and then hang them on the clothesline. When dry I just take them off the line and hang straight in the wardrobe. The one thing I don't like is the poke bits on the shoulders from the coat hangers - especially in the heavy waterfall cardis.

So this is my tip. Make your own padded hangers to protect the shoulders of your knits.

Now when you first buy the insulation it will stink of rubber but that will go if you leave it out for a week or so.

I then use the clothesline pegs purchased from Maid of Shade in Australia to hang them on the line. I leave these pegs on the line ready for the next load.

Hope this tip helps you. Do you have any tips to share?

Monday, 11 May 2015

Serengeti Sabertooth Save and changes of plans.

Well I managed a save on the Sabertooth Swap fabric that the lovely Barbara Jane gave me as part of the Sabretooth Swap that Anne from Pretty Grievances hosted. You might remember my dismal neckline. As I mentioned in my last post I was able to purchase the last metre from Addicted to Fabric and then recut the front.

I love this fabric. The feel of it is fabulous.. So good that I asked ATF to send me some swatches of similar knits they had available - but alas - none of it was like this fabric.

Check out what Barbara Jane did with the Sabertooth swap fabric I gave her. Love it. I purchased some of the same fabric for myself and will maybe make a dress. Maybe - my clothing plans have changed recently as I will explain.

I entered the Artisan Square SWAP and also the Pattern Review Wardrobe contest. I had planned and was sewing my way through a new work wardrobe.

My self employed work has wound down quite significantly and I trained my last group on Tuesday 21st April. I have only had about 4 days work a month this year due to huge changes and cuts in Government funding.

So - I knew I had to look for a JOB.... Yes - actually working for someone else - gulp - and 5 days per week - gulp gulp. And hence I have been sewing my way through (and also purchasing some RTW) work gear.  I had a navy wardrobe planned and commenced.....

I have also been motivated and inspired by the book "Looking Good Every Day" that the very generous Sarah Liz of Sarah Liz Sew Style gifted me. It is a wonderful book  and I am really enjoying reading it.

It has a lot on wardrobe making and has really inspired me. The book features the gorgeous Cenetta in a feature on colour analysis. It also has some great styling advice. My fav part though is the wardrobe article.

Thanks Sarah Liz.

You can see my planned SWAP wardrobe here.

I had planned to sew the dresses from my SWAP at the weekend sewing retreat at Stanwell Tops organised by the phenomenal (you try organising a weekend for 30 demanding women) Sharon at Petite and Sewing. It has become an annual event (and here's hoping it continues to be) and is such a hoot.

Anyhow - like the best laid plans of mice and men - my plans went hugely awry.

I got a job.... yes my job search was fast and brief. Trained my last group on Tuesday 21st and received a phone call on Wednesday 22nd from a contact I have that owes a recruitment agency. After a brief discussion she put me forward for an interview and I was successful. And she rang me! Go figure - the universe surely works in a strange and wonderful way. After much toing and froing from the company as to where I will be based, I have landed in their campus in Merrylands.

BUT.... and it is a big but (pardon the pun)..... the job entails wearing a UNIFORM!!!!! And not a very pleasant one at that. I haven't worn a uniform since the not so very chic blue check of high school...  So.... all of my newly sewn and purchased items may now be redundant. As are my wardrobe plans. I haven't started the job yet so don't have the low down on what exactly the uniform consists of eg.. blouse only or the whole shebang. If it is the blouse only then I can utilise my colour appropriate sewn / purchased pants and skirts but all of my lovely dresses will be gathering dust (I guess my bright orange or red StyleArc Barbs are out - as is any animal print sob sob). From what I saw during my interview and the subsequent presentation I had to give, the uniform is blue so the navy slacks and skirt from my SWAP will fit in if I can wear my own bottoms...

So this also made all of the sewing plans for my weekend away no longer valid so I had to do some quick thinking as to what I could cut and take with me to Stanwell Tops to sew. I ended up taking some projects that I wasn't completely happy with or familiar with so consequently I didn't finish one  item. I still had a fabulously fun time.

1720's sewing circle

1952 sewing circle

2015 sewing circle

The morning after the sewing circle - where is everyone??? Must have been all that .... sewing ...... that exhausted all.

There was a lot of productive sewing at other times.

My area - seated next to Kristy from Lower Your Pressure Foot who is busy cutting out (and made some great items including a stunning skirt).

The naughty corner.

Anyway - wish me luck with my new job.