Oh hi!

Crikey, 6 weeks since my last post! It's been such a big 6 weeks, and I've been sewing sewing sewing, just not blogging blogging blogging!

Anyhoo, this is going to be a bit of a rambling bit-of-this and bit-of-that post with some dodgy iPhone photography. I've such a backlog of things to blog, but will get there.....

So mid October my beloved headed off to Europe for a work trip, leaving me alone for 11 days! He was going to be away for my birthday, which for me is ALWAYS a big deal. I love my birthday and often it is a festival that lasts at least a week long. I highly encourage living your life this way. He delighted and surprised me with an early present - this beauty!



She's a 1947 207 with a knee treadle, and only one owner! It's so beautiful. I'm yet to get it running mostly because of time, but being electric I wanted to get that checked before hooking her up. I can't wait to have a play. She weighs a ton....

So that was lovely. I ran a bit of a late night binge sewing sweat shop while he was away because when I'm left alone I do stupid things like that. Highly productive but not the healthiest.

Then the day before my birthday my bestie had her first little bebe. Now of course I had been planning for almost 7 months The Gift. No pressure when you're crafty and your best friends are having their first kid! Fairly early on I decided to make a baby bean bag, using the Straight Grain pattern, available here for free.

Now it turned out really well, and seriously looks unreal. He's super cute in it and the parents were delighted with it, but I've only got some dodgy iPhone finished project sans-bebe pics. You have to trust me on this one.




I have to say though that the pattern wasn't a walk in the park. I really don't think it was me printing it incorrectly, because it is nested, but essentially the side pieces were way too short for the circumference of the top and bottom oval pieces. I ended up just gathering the edges of the lining and the base and sewing it slightly gathered, and trimmed a heap off the edges of the top oval on the outer piece AND then I still had to ease it in. It worked out beautifully but it may be now that as the whole thing is smaller he won't be able to use it as a seat when he's a toddler (you can remove the strapping when they are older to sit in).

I decided to make the lining with a velcro closure rather than sew it up after adding the beans. I figured babies are pretty good at expelling stuff from multiple orifices and being able to was the lining would be a practical choice. The outer has a zip.

This is a rhetorical question really but one I was thinking a lot when I was frustrated. Am I able to have a bit of a moan about the drafting of a free pattern? Especially if the designer sells other patterns? Shouldn't a free pattern be about hooking you in and being impressed and wanting to try their other designs? This thing was not cheap to make. It's no make-up-from-scraps-in-the-stash project. If I'd been a beginner making this, and particularly a post-natal, sleep-deprived beginner making the thing with some cherished Nani Iro fabric (instead of Spotlight fabric) in the hope that my kid will JUST SLEEP I think I'd have given up in tears pretty quickly. Thoughts?

I warned you - rambling....

So the day after the little guy arrived was my birthday - 37! And I shit you not my knees haven't stopped hurting since. What is WITH THAT?

Anyway with the Festival underway and bebe sewing sorted I could continue to focus on my fabulous Resort Collection. It was a resounding success and shall be blogged in the upcoming weeks as I get decent pics. As a test run for the Collection I made a double Maritime-Maritime combination for my November Stitch 56 project.


The Grainline Maritime shorts look ok but the colour really does nothing for me, and sadly the crotch curve just isn't quite right for my lady-garden.... Apart from needing some fitting tweaks they are beautifully drafted, and I adore the pocket construction. I added probably 2 inches to the length to make them decent - these are short! I used the instructions for inserting the fly and I'm not thrilled with how it came out - after asking the Instagram Hive Mind the general consensus is to used the Ginger Sewalong method, so that is what I shall do next time. They'll be good gardening shorts!


The Liesl and Co Maritime top is a gem. So many great things about this pattern (which was gifted to me by a lovely lady - thank you so much pattern fairy! xx). The best thing about this top for me is the neckline finishing. It has a facing, and I've noticed a lot of well made higher-end RTW knit tops have this finish - especially at Gorman. I made a dodgy muslin and stay stitched the neckline as instructed but found it hard to ease on the facing, so for this version I didn't stay stitch. The sleeves are drafted beautifully and I think it's even been drafted with a bit of a forward shoulder adjustment already done - lately I've started to do these on basic tops and found this one was perfect straight up.

I've already transferred the neckline over to my beloved Maria Denmark Kimono tee and it works a treat - here it is in some delicious mercerised cotton knit from the Cloth Shop.





So that's a brief little wrap up of life at Chez Tragic. Our holiday was fab and I shall be back soon to start sharing more of the collection. There's going to be some winners - Inaris, Mayas, jumpsuits, tropicana shorts - pure fabulousness!






Comments

  1. That machine is a piece if art! Amazing! ... crafted like jewellery. Love your double maritime combo.xx

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    1. It is beautiful! Even the box is gorgeous! I just love the metalwork - decorative for no reason other than to be beautiful.

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  2. Lucky you, what a gorgeous machine! I've been looking at an Elna Grasshopper online, but its in the South Island...I love that beanbag, its so cute! Thanks for the heads up about the pattern though. I think its ok to be miffed about free patterns, you're still trusting potentially expensive resources and time to the project, even if the pattern was free. And I love your stripey teeshirt (of course), the facing looks really nice :)

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    1. Thanks Kirsten! I knew you'd love my stripes!

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  3. I'm guilty of some blog neglect over the last month, I even have some pics taken. Looking forward to seeing more resort wear!

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    1. Oh you're well ahead of me - I've got to pull my finger out and get some photos!

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  4. LOL! The knees!! Happy belated birthday! Lots of nice pieces here, but I really can't wait for the Resort Collection post!

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    1. I just wish I'd gotten some holiday pics but awful beach hair and a reluctant husband doesn't make a photoshoot ideal I'm afraid!

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  5. Such wonderful goings-on in your life! Happy birthday! My knees have been hurting since 27, so I congratulate you on having comparatively good ones! Re: complaining about a free pattern - I think a well-phrased and specific criticism such as yours may help others considering this project, and is justified. Excited to see your resort collection :)

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    1. Thanks Morgan! One doesn't want to be churlish but one was definitely frustrated! Bloody knees

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  6. Well happy birthday!!! That sewing machine is amazing! I saw one recently in an op-shop down south for $30 and I didn't buy it!!! I could kill myself right now :( That is an awesome bean bag you made for your friend - I wish that I had one for my baby when she was little, everyone raved about them but I couldn't justify the price. Your rant about the instructions are totally justified too, it's a lot of time and money that go into these projects even if the patterns are free. Very interesting about the neckline facing, I definitely want to try it. Looking forward to seeing your resort collection!

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    1. Oh no! Next time you see one you must pounce! I hope he gets plenty of use out of the bean bag - he seemed to like it but at a week of age it's hard to know what he likes apart from his mummy!

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  7. I love a rambling catch up post and the tease of what's yet to come...

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    1. Yesssssss..... Rubs chin thoughtfully.......

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  8. Happy birthday! What a great present! I wish you to make the most beautiful clothes! :) I love your bag: such an ambitious project! I would have never got courage to make such a thing.

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    1. Thanks Inna! I'd definitely make it again, just measure the pattern pieces and redraft a little before cutting! It was easy enough to construct and stinking cute!

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  9. That machine!!! It has the same scroll plate design as my 221K, swoon. Seriously girl - get that thing checked and fired up. You will not know how you ever lived without a true straight stitch machine. Can't wait to see the rest of the resort collection if this start is anything to go by. And cute chair. I understand why the beans are sewn inside the lining BTW. Ummm... babies get into EVERYTHING, they're like freakin' Houdini or something... and beans = choke hazard. Happy Birthday you seriously old person (just joking, I'm seriously older than you)

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    1. Hmmm...... Ok once he starts to move I'll have to sew that thing up! Yes I know I must get my machine going - tiiiiiiiiime is not in my side!

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  10. Happy belated birthday! What a cute baby gift! I think you're right about the pattern. If the free ones don't match up, I would never buy another one by the same designer. Good to see you could make it work!

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  11. I've made that baby bean bag as well and I thought the pattern was fine. I used quilting cotton and managed to ease the fabric into the curves while sewing. At first I thought it was never going to fit but in the end it came together without any gathers at all. Mind you I didn't do piping so that might explain why it worked for me.

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    1. Hi Angela, thanks for letting me know. If I make it again I'll definitely be measuring to see if I made a mistake.

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