Monday, 26 September 2011

More panties using Kwik Sew 3881

Having successfully made some panties a few months back I wanted to make some more to leave at the flat in London.

I made 3 different types black cotton with lace inserts and black and white ribbon which I also used to tie my own bow.  For these panties I took the front piece and cut one in black cotton jersey and one in a nice lace I had.  I then laid both front pieces on on top of the other and cut from the leg edge to the waist edge and swapped the piece over so the black cotton has lace sides and the lace front has black cotton side.

Using the same technique above I made two pairs with some left-over brown and blue lace. I removed the blue bow seen here and replace it with a nice little white rosebud with a little pearl in the middle - looks much better.

And some broderie anglaise but for these I used the wave function on my Babylock serger with a pink woolly thread in the lower looper.

Here you can see a close up of the wave stitch and 

the pretty pink bow.

These are such a quick satisfying project to make, and I have to say the most comfortable panties to wear.  I prefer nice cotton pants and these fit the bill exactly - the little bit of lace in the front is not irritating as it most likely would be if I had the lace all over.

I have two little repairs projects to do - replacing broken zips on my last day off tomorrow and then I can perhaps cut out another quick project before I take my bike on the train off to London.

More later..........................

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Back in the UK - new Palmer Pletch DVD and sewing patterns

I arrived back in the UK yesterday and was pleased to receive my copy of the Palmer Pletsch Jeans for real People DVDI have watched the first DVD and there are some very useful tips in it, so will look forward to watching the 2nd DVD and actually getting my first pair of jeans made in due course.

My lovely friend Anita from Houston kindly dashed down to Joanns to take advantage of their recent pattern sale and purchased some patterns for me which I just can't wait to sew. Thanks Anita you're a star.

As mentioned in my previous blog I purchased 2 pieces of silk and some batik fabric, which have now been washed and are ready to either put in my stash or prepare for cutting out and sewing.  Both pieces of silk are 2.6 mtrs in length, so should be long enough to make two nice silk blouses, so I will probably cut the two out at the same time and sew them up together to save changing the threads on the serger.

Malaysia is 7 hours ahead of the UK, and despite being woken at 3am for breakfast on the flight into the UK yesterday, and staying awake until around 9:30pm last night, I still woke up at 3am again this morning, ahghrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr  the joy of long haul travel (not). 

I have booked Monday and Tuesday off work and intend to indulge in some much needed sewing.  I dedicated today to washing, and ironing to ensure that I will not be distracted by household chores on Monday and Tuesday.  I have already started cutting out some more pants to make and take to the flat with me on Tuesday night, and I also have a couple of minor repairs to do too.

more later..........

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Shopping in KL

I make a point to trying to shop for fabric now when I travel abroad and here in KL I wanted to purchase some silk and some cotton batik, a speciality out here in Maylasia. 

 I found this lovely piece of red batik in one of the local open-air markets for RM19 (around £4).
 Here are 2 beautiful pieces of silk - this was a little more expensive at RM168 (around £50) but I should have enough to make two silk tops so I am happy with that.

The street we were shopping in had lots and lots of shops all selling silk, and cotton etc.  To see the bales of fabrics all sitting on the shop floor of this shop was very amusing.

KL is an amazing vibrant country - shopping is quite an experience.  Of course I bought lots of other items such as reading glasses, some long distance glasses (now much needed) sunglasses and even had my eyes tested and ordered some tinted varifocal glasses too.

That is about all the time I have for shopping - I have to go back and collect my glasses but am really happy with all my purchases.

Best get on with some work now.  More later.......................

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Reading some blogs and other stuff in Kuala Lumpur

This morning, after a 12 hour flight, I arrived in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.  I left London Heathrow at 12 noon yesterday and arrived here at the hotel at 09:00 Saturday morning.

I spent a lot of the flight time dealing with a backlog of work e.mails, that of course wouldn't go until I was on-line again, and worked a little on a Power Point presentation that I still need to finish (more work for Sunday).

KL are 7 hours ahead of the UK so by the time I got on the flight it was already 19:00 hrs there, and if I was going to get any sleep I had to watch my time carefully.  Sadly I didn't get too much sleep on the flight - I eventually tried to sleep about midnight KL time and woke several times before the flight attendant woke me at 04:45am to serve breakfast.  No you are correct - I didn't really want breakfast at that time :-(

By the time I arrived at the hotel at 9:00am I just threw my bags into the corner and slept for 2.5 hours to try and prepare myself to interview someone later in the day.

I feel a little frustrated that I have been so busy with either work, the flat in London or the time I have spent clearing up my sewing room at the cottage, that I have had no time to look at either the PR or Stitcher's Guild sites, let alone some of the blogs I follow.  so when I took the time to look this evening I can see how far behind I am with all the threads that have been posted and I know that its impossible to catch up and read everything to make comments on some of the wonderful creations.  Of course my other frustration is the lack of sewing lately.

Tomorrow I have a free day and really want to find some fabric or notions somewhere.  I was fine with the idea of wandering around on my own until I was waiting for the elevator to come back to my room where a lady was holding a bag of ice to her head because some guys had tried to mug her and knocked her to the floor and even dragged her along the floor.  I hope that this doesn't put me off so I may start with the shopping mall opposite the hotel.

Here is a photograph of the Petronas Twin Towers which are about 5 minutes walk from here. This is my 2nd trip here and I have visited the Towers before, so other than work, my agenda is focused fabric shopping - so wish me luck.

More later............................

Monday, 12 September 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts.

I thought I had better just pop something on my blog in case you all think I have disappeared off the face of the earth.

Last week I was in The Hague for work - and I only had a couple of days back in the cottage to clean the house and to continue working on my sewing room/office mammoth clean up, and make another trip up to the flat with all those things that we realised that we didn't have in London and are impossible to take up by bike on the train.

I took a trip to Ikea Friday night to purchase more containers for my larder and some more brilliant zip up storage bags to try and keep things in my sewing room dust free along with a long table top and adjustable height legs.

Saturday I had a Spa day purchased for me, and despite the fact I really didn't have time to go, not to mention the 154 mile round trip - I left home for my spa day.  How wonderful I can hear you all saying...............hmmmmm.

I was in such a rush to get to the venue on time, I left the voucher that we had given for myself, my D Mike's mother and his 4 sisters at home.  Mike's family were already there sipping a cup of tea while filling out their lunch choices and the usual health spa form, all very much looking forward to their treat.  I ordered a cup of tea and then went to get my form.  The first thing the lady said was "have you brought your voucher".... No I said, we gave all the voucher numbers etc. at the time we booked the day.  "oh dear said the lady, I am so sorry we MUST have the voucher so you will have to pay for all 6 again !!!!!!!!!

I was ushered to the payments counter, paid the large amount again and told to send the receipt and the voucher back if I wanted to be reimbursed the 2nd payment (note to self LOOK FOR THAT VOUCHER AS SOON AS I GET HOME).  Before I could get back to get my cup of tea, the young lady who was responsible for my back and neck massage was leading me to the treatment room while telling me that because my treatment was due to commence at 10:30 it would have to be reduced because we were now running late.

So lets get this clear, this is my lovely relaxing day so far:-

No lay-in Saturday morning because I had to drive 77 miles to be at the venue before 10:30 (arrived at 10:15am).  I never got to drink my tea, I had to pay another large amount of money before any of us could have our treatments, and my relaxing massage was going to be much shorter than expected..............  I laid on the massage table thinking this is just getting better and better, while trying to work out how I was meant to relax when I was so worked up!

I am glad to say that the remainder of the day went fairly smoothly and I left the venue with a facial, gel manicure and pedicure to meet up with my D Mike for a nice dinner.

Sunday was spent continuing with my mammoth clean-up of my sewing room which you may recall from a previous post used to be my middle son's bedroom which he painted a delightful shade of dark blue!!!!!!!!!!!.

One of my Ikea purchases Friday night was a long table to house my sewing machine, overlocker/serger and embroidery machine. I thought it would be much easier to scoot along on my office chair between machines if I was using more than the one machine.  The  existing smaller table that I used have my serger on has now been used to create a lovely L-shaped workstation which is very useful whether I am sewing or working at my desk because I can just roll my chair over to it if I just need a table to lay out papers etc., or perhaps lay out a garment I am sewing.

Here are some photos to give you an idea of my progress.

I have painted inside the alcove space white (still have a lot more painting to do), and I am in the middle of putting up roller blinds to keep the area looking more tidy.  My fabric is now in clear large containers so I can see the fabrics easily, however I want to sort them into light-weight and suiting weight etc.  My patterns fill a 3-drawer unit just under the TV (another job is to sort them by pattern company).  I have another long table the same size as the one I just bought with a cutting board on top which I use for cutting out on (not shown in this picture due to the fact I have lots of things on it while clearing up the space).

A recent sale purchase is the lovely leather relaxer chair.  I purchased this for my sewing room, but it has been residing in my lounge and has been much used by myself and anyone else who comes to the house - it is soooooooooooooo comfortable.  Still I bought it for upstairs so took up last night so that when I take a break from work to have a cup of tea, or want to read a book, magazine, work papers etc., I have something very very comfortable to do it in.

Friday I am flying to KL, so later today I will have to take my bicycle and anything else I need for my trip with me to the flat in London where I will be living until I fly on Friday.  Sadly I don't get to enjoy the nice tidy room but I will be with my D Mike in our lovely flat London.

More later when I return from KL, if I am very lucky I will be able to purchase some fabric to bring back with me.

more later.............................

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Home study for my sewing

For some time I have been thinking how can I incorporate my sewing into my dual home lifestyle.  I keep thinking that perhaps I can cut out a garment I want to sew, take it to London with me, but then I wouldn't have my serger/overlocker; embroidery machine to hand if I wanted to use them because I will only have my old Viking sewing machine in London, and then the light bulb went off as they say.

I am going to use my sewing space in London for my own home study time.  I have a selection of books and DVD's that I have bought  showing me how to make the perfect welt pocket, or perfect bias binding or perfect top-stitching etc etc and this is an ideal time for me to do small projects and start my workbooks with my own favourite tips etc.

If you read my blog yesterday you know I have the family turning up today so why am I on here blogging.................. because my daughter Lauren and Francesca went out with all their friends last night and were meant to be coming home.............. I got a text at 4:20am to let me know she would be staying at her boyfriends tonight and then at 7:15am her alarm went off on her mobile phone she left in her room which woke me up. Oh hum.

so I have managed to put my pork in the oven, made myself a cup of tea and toast and am now going to get cleaning.

Last but not least, I am watching a re-run of of Oprah and just saw this:-


Have a shirt that plunges a little too low? Forget the dickie—get a Chickie! "You clip it on onto your bra so it allows you to wear cleavage-baring and low-cut tops during the day and makes a lot of things more appropriate," Adam says.

Chickies come in 17 different colors and cost $33 each.

Learn more at

Read more:

What a brilliant idea.

More later......................................

Friday, 2 September 2011

Another weekend and no time for sewing - and a sad tale

So Sunday should have been the wedding of my Niece, the middle daughter of my twin sister.  However 3 weeks ago her fiancée told her he didn't love her any more and didn't want to go ahead with the wedding and then proceeded to cancel all the wedding arrangements.

I found my Niece sitting on my doorstep at an hour far too early for a 24 year old, wanting to see my daughter, her cousin and best friend, to unload her sad tale. My daughter wasn't home, so Francesca  unloaded all her troubles on to me and one of her worries was that my other sister, her son and daughter-in-law were flying down from Scotland tomorrow for the wedding.  Before I could stop myself, I said "don't worry, we will have a "lucky escape" party for everyone here............................................

As mentioned in a previous post I only got back from Houston on Saturday morning, and Monday my darling Mike and I spent our first working week in the flat in London.

This means that already today I have:-

  • cycled to the main line train station early this morning, and taken the train to my home town and then cycled home which involved getting up a very very steep hill
  • put my washing on to get out on the line to dry
  • done a full day's work
  • taken my car for a MOT during the lunch period
  • Managed to lock myself out of my house so had to call my daughter to come home from work and let me back into the house
  • shopped for food for the party and extra items for the flat that we realised that we needed and didn't have
  • cooked a big pot of chilli con carne (for tomorrow to feed the troops)
  • mowed the lawn (and its now 8:30pm) 
I am taking a quick break to type this and catch my breath and debating if I should start cleaning the house now or just have a shower and put my pj's on and have an early start tomorrow.

Tomorrow I have to slow cook a belly of pork, make cakes, cook a fish stew, clean the house, collect my granddaughter and daughter-in-law (she doesn't drive and my son is working in Naples in Italy), find the gazebo and get the young men (who will have hopefully turned up by midday) and get them to put this up before everyone else turns up.

Now I can hear you all saying "where in all this is her D Mike".  Well he has to stay at the flat in London tonight to wait for the kitchen worktop fitters to arrive tomorrow morning.  We decided that we wanted a glass worktop (it looks fantastic, well the sample does), but when the company came to fit it last week, the elevator door closed on the end of the worktop and they had to take it away and make a new worktop because needless to say the end was damaged.  I just hope they are not late and don't experience any more problems because I need Mike back here as early as possible tomorrow to help me out - even if its just serving drinks to our guests.

My Sister doesn't leave until Monday and I too am off on another business trip to The Hague - so no sewing for me boo hooo and I am really behind reading the PatternReview Daily Digest and even further behind on all the posts on the Sewing Discussions at Stitcher's Guild Forum. 

The only sewing news I have is the following:-

JoAnn's is having pattern sales this month. 
Sept 2-5 ...$0.99 McCalls
Sept 2-5 ...$3.99 Vogue
Sept 8-10..$1.99 Simplicity
Sept 8-10..$2.49 Burda

I won a bid on a Horn sewing cabinet which I will pick up as soon as I can (not sure when) and put it here in my sewing room.

Have a good weekend one and all - wish me luck...........................................