Tag Archive | organisation

The best laid plans of mice and monsters….

So at the beginning of last week I began the next item in my program of boring sewing ready for winter and started a plain long sleeved Sewaholic Renfrewย in the same burgundy jersey as my last top, to use as a basic underneath things.

It started going fairly badly, I cut the neckband slightly too short, so there was a pleat on one side by the collar, and then I managed to put a couple of small holes near the neck when I was cutting the seam allowance down, all of which was fixable, but it didn’t look great (seriously that jersey is a nightmare, I had problems with it with my bloused top as well, the smallest nick to the fabric turns into a gaping hole pretty much immediately!) . So I gathered a length of the burgundy ย lace and turned it into a neck ruffle to hide it all. I got half way into sewing it on, and it was looking like I’d properly rescued it, and then disaster struck. My sewing machine broke. & by broke I mean the main shaft either snapped or popped loose so the whole thing wasn’t connected up. Not a thing that can be fixed by a bit of cleaning or greasing or using a pair of pliers.

My machine was a Janome 1550 I’ve had for 10 years, so very basic, but its always done me a good job, but as it was pretty much the cheapest model out there 10 years ago, and there is no sewing machine repair shop anywhere easily accessible to where I live, the only sensible option was to buy a new one.

So I went to John Lewis on Saturday, and have ordered a Janome 7025, which is a computerised model, which I wasn’t sure about, but the lady in the shop says they are just as robust and last as long as mechanical ones these days. It is also a student model, so I can use it as much as I need to and it won’t get tired (I got a very pained response when i said how much and for what I’ve been using my old machine, its a lightweight model for occasional repairs apparently!)it also comes with all sorts of snazzy features including an automatic button hole maker! ๐Ÿ™‚

So that arrives on Friday. So at first I was all kind of eek, I’ve lost two weeks sewing, but then I decided to use the time to cut patterns and fabric pieces out and organise what I’m going to do for the rest of the year, as my planning was getting into a bit of a panic.


What I had planned to do, in the order I was planning to do it,

Burgundy long sleeved top

Top for my friend (cowl neck Renfrew)

Orange Halloween jersey top

Red jersey blouse top

Red Renfrew top

Regency dress

Regency stays

Striped top for my friend

Skirt for my friend


So basically, as the deadline for most of this was January and even though most of those are super simple patterns at my fastest I manage an average of something every two weeks, that really wasn’t going to happen.

So having thought about it and organised stuff, this is my sewing schedule till January instead…

Burgundy top – I am half way through this and as I now have a new machine and all the features are different from my old one. I need something to practice on, as I have already buggered this one up to a certain extent I am not too worried if I muck it up completely.

Striped jersey dress – I realised as I was pre washing the fabric and getting the lace out that I wasn’t completely happy with what I had planned for my Halloween top and it wasn’t doing it for me. The jersey I’m going to be playing with instead is the black and purple stuff I got the other week, so its still slightly spooky, I also need to practice stripes before I have a go at the top for my friend, as I’ve never really tried that sort of pattern matching before, and its not fair to experiment on other people, also I intend to use the kitschycoo lady skater pattern, the last time I made it, although I followed the construction instructions to a certain extent there were a load of things (specialist jersey stitch, double rows of stitching) that I had to ignore as my machine couldn’t do them. My new machine can, so this gives me a really good opportunity to test a few of its features.

Top for my friend – this is fairly simple, and by that stage I am pretty sure I will be good enough at using my machine not to screw it up!

Regency dress – about a month ago, Jon and I started Regency Ballroom dancing lessons as after the taster at Worldcon, we found we both enjoyed it and it was something physical I can do despite my Chronic Fatigue that doesn’t put me in bed for days after. However the whole point of Regency dancing is ultimately to dress up in Regency gear and do it at balls and tea parties. The first gathering we want to go to/feel we will be good enough to cope by that time, is a few weeks after New Year, that means we need to start thinking about outfits. Unfortunately Regency costumes are either super expensive or super tacky, and while we are going to buy Jons we can’t really afford to buy one for me as well, so I am going to have to make one. I have something I can use as a chemise, so I need to sort out stays and a dress. However in the interests of saving time and because the event we are going to is an informal one put on by our local group, I am not going to bother with the stays till later and just focus on the dress. I know this is naughty, but it is better to have something to wear than try and be super authentic and end up with nothing at all.

If I have time I might slip in something lolita for xmas.- I have just acquired one of the Otome no Sewing books and it has got me all excited.

This means my friends other clothes will have to wait till February, but I have warned her of that already, and I will have to do without any red long sleeved jersey tops this winter, which is an arse, but I coped last winter. But it is a much more realistic sewing schedule and one that does not leave me going up the wall with boredom for making the same things over and over again.

I’ve already cut out everything except the regency dress, and I plan to do that this week before the machine comes as well, so it is really just a case of sewing everything up when I’ve finished.

Im actually kind of glad I had to take 2 weeks without a machine to re-evaluate what I’m doing, and I’m super looking forwards to the new one arriving. ๐Ÿ™‚



Wardrobe of treasure.

Had lovely time on holiday, nice and quiet and spacious compared to London. ๐Ÿ™‚

As I’d previously mentioned we had to start redecorating and arranging our flat pretty much out the blue because we had a bit of a mould problem.

We hadn’t intended to do anything this holiday, but staying in a two bedroom house with a livingroom that would swallow our entire flat and was beautifully decorated, made us very keen to get our place as nice as we possibly could when we got home.

So on sunday we tackled my fabric collection. When we moved here 3 years ago, my fabric stash was fairly minimal and Jon had a lot of very bulky band equipment, so my fabric lived in a chest, and then when that broke, our Ikea Expedit cube shelves in the living room and Jons band equipment was contained in a large wardrobe in our bedroom.

Over the years however, I’ve got more into sewing and my fabric has bred and multiplied and taken over the entire living room, whilst Jons band equipment has actually shrunk as more and more technologys gone digital and it no longer makes sense to keep massive bass amps lying around and stuff. Also I access my fabric frequently, but not all that often as I take what i need for a project at a time, whereas Jon does some kind of music practice or messing around with recording software on the computer pretty much every day.

So we decided to swap.

So I moved 8 Expedit cubes, plus one basket, plus a couple of bits rammed in in various places, of fabric into the wardrobe and Jon moved what turned out to be 2 Expedit cubes full of leads and pedals etc, and 3 guitars out.

We have not finished in the living room yet to post pictures of how much better it looks, but here is what the wardrobe looks like. I just about got everything in!


It is obviously bulging at the seams, but there is one glaring gap in my fabric collection at the moment, which is novelty cottons to make alternative dresses with. I think this is because they tend to be quite expensive, but it will be rectified ๐Ÿ™‚