Monday, 30 January 2012

Weight Loss Monday's - another successful Week

I am really happy that I have lost a further 1.5 lbs this week totalling 8.5lbs.

Last week I did a lot of cycling, and because I have a folding bike,this means weight lifting as well.  All the train stations I use have a large number of steps, and I have to carry my bike in one hand and the bag with my laptop, papers, purse, make-up bag etc in the other hand, which I can tell you weight quite a bit, especially when you are trying to get up and down all these stairs.

Of course with my wedding plans firmly in place, I am determined to reach my target, and this will mean a further 18-20 lbs, but I have 16 months to get there, and even if I only lose a pound a week I will get there in about 5-6 months, steady and slow.

I can already feel and see a difference, of course its the extra exercise that is helping with that.

I will disclose that I want an Art Deco themed wedding, so the long and slender look is a must, so needless to say, I need to say focused with my diet and exercise.

I am off to Hospital today (just for the day, prior to having some surgery), so have eaten my last meal (a slice of toast) for the day.   My biggest  fear is that once I have had the surgery, I will not be able to do too much lifting, and I will have a few weeks where I can do little exercise, I just hope this doesn't set me back.

Catch you later.................................................

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Embellishing Machine samples

Last year I purchased an embellishing machine, and I really do want to play with this a little more.

I subscribe to the Sew Direct magazine (the US equivalent I believe is the Vogue sewing magazine) and they had a whole article on embellishing fabrics and incorporating them into a dress.

I grabbed a couple of scraps of fabric to see what would happen:-

Do you remember my blouse I made for my birthday dinner, well I felted that with my machine and completely transformed the fabric.

The felted side is almost fluffy v the silky softness of the charmeuse.

This is a terrible photograph, but it is actually the same cotton fabric I am making my Issey tunic out of.  This gives quite a textured feel to the fabric.

Here is my last sample - the left-hand piece is actually much shinier than the photo depicts, and the felted piece has quite an unusual feel to it almost like a bouclé.

In the Sew Direct magazine they created two different fabric types from the original fabric, the first was like a sort of cross hatch, so the diamond shapes in the middle retained the original feel of the fabric, and then the 2nd piece was heavily texturised all over so the dress had three different variations in it (with the fabric in its original state) and it looked great.

This has really got my creative juices flowing, each fabric handles differently, its not too time consuming to do, and the results could create dramatic results.

Watch this space.

Catch you later...........

Issey Miyake Vogue Designer Original - Vogue 1204 - Progress -2

With all the excitement this week, I haven't had as much time as I wanted to sew, and  didn't quite manage to get my Issey Miyake tunic finished  I probably have about 1-2 hours work left but had to leave for the flat  ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh never mind.

Here is as far as I have got (sorry I haven't re-pressed the tunic).  I have attached the sleeves, all seams are flat felled seams, something I havent' done before, or as I said in my last blog, many many years ago.

Flat felled seams can be found on almost all jeans, and those garments that require a more sporty look.  The seams conceal the raw edges giving a neat finish inside and out, and because of the double stitching are quite strong.

Sewing the flat felled seams on the straight is relatively easy, but the curve of the sleeve heads were a little more difficult, as was the narrow sleeve seam.  I copied DPC's suggestion of bunching the sleeve around the foot like this to sew the sleeve seams, this was because I couldn't be bothered to remove my large sewing table.  Once I reach the side seam, I removed the sleeve from the machine, and then placed it back on the machine starting from underneath the arm.

For pressing the sleeve, I used an extra long wooden rolling pin which worked really well, this is also quite handy when I want to press the seams on trouser/pants legs too.

I just need to finish the cuffs, I have already completed the sleeve plackets, and I guess sew some buttonholes for the sleeves too.

Everything needs a really good press, and I may even give it a bit of a starch too, but not until Friday at the earliest - ho hum.

Catch you later.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Exciting news of my Marriage plans

For the past few days I have been walking around in my own little "happy bubble" because my D Mike and I are getting married next year, with a planned date of the 18th May 2013 on his birthday (its a special one).

Both of us have been divorced for quite a long time , me 18 years and him 9 years  and by the time we get married we will have been together for just under 6 years - why now I can hear you ask?

Well first and foremost I am happy to publicly say that I love him to bits, so I decided that as it was a leap year that I would use my prerogative to ask him to marry me, and I am delighted to say that I got an instant yes and he is just as excited as me about the prospect - we could hardly sleep on Wednesday night.

For all you sceptics out there, after my divorce I never thought I would ever find someone that I would love so deeply, let alone get married again, but I have done exactly that, and feel like a teenager again - its wonderful.

So what plans - well first we need to secure our venue (we know exactly where) so we may have to do a few phone calls this weekend, I know exactly what type of engagement ring I would like - I adore the Art Deco style of rings.  As for dresses well of course I am going to make them.  I will have to plan enough to make one for me, and my bridesmaids; my daughter, my granddaughter, Mike's granddaughter Ella, my daughter-in-law and and Ella's mum.

Needless to say, I will have my work cut out for me, so I think I need to save up some holiday to spend a few weeks sewing, not to mention making the wedding cake too.

My children are delighted, my daughter said "I will have 5 brothers" she is the only girl, but we are adding to the female line with the grandchildren, I have asked my eldest son to give me away and he is quite chuffed, and all the other boys will be ushers.


Monday, 23 January 2012

Weight Loss Monday's - another loss

Yippeeee another loss again this week making a total of 7lbs now or half a stone so my first milestone reached.

Back on my bike again this week so hopefully I will lose the same again next week which will then take me into a new lower stone category.

Catch you later.................

Issey Miyake Vogue Designer Original - Vogue 1204 - Progress

As mentioned earlier, today's activities involved running the gauntlet at Ikea to purchase a lovely new glass desk for my office (I work from home a couple of days a week), a new filing cabinet and a couple of odds and ends that we needed.  I had already prepared lunch so when the family arrived it was just a case of roasting off the potatoes.  Lunch over, family gone, MD Mike driven to the railway station, I didn't get upstairs to my sewing room until after 7:30pm maybe even closer to 8pm.

I had already made a start on my tunic by sewing the pin tucks on the back and front.  I decided to complete this process by doing the sleeves so that particular process was all done.  I used Bernina foot No 10 (one of my Christmas presents) which really helped to keep close to the edge of the fabric.

Press the stitched tucks on the flat first, and then I opened the fabric out and pressed them to one side.

So pin tucks done, next job was to sew the neck edges of the fronts together, followed by sewing the shoulders seams using a flat felt seam or lapped seam.  Once again I used one of the feet I bought for Christmas and found it very useful.

I can't recall sewing flat felt seams/lapped seams in a garment before - if I did, it was long enough ago for me to forget, so this shirt is testing me on many sewing techniques.

Now here comes my favorite bit (NOT).  I hated this bit - and wanted to scream, sewed it, unpicked it, re-sewed it), and as you can see there are very few tips on the best way to get this to sit perfectly.

The best way I found of doing this was to sew the two long neck edges, and then hand sew the points using blind stitches.  Its still not a 100% but better than before. 

Here you can see the collar stand from the back.

Here is the view from the front showing those lovely pin tucks.  

The back called for a 5/8" hem to be sewn before the sides are sewn together which I have done.

I may get a chance to spend half an hour on this tomorrow, but that will probably be it so I doubt that it will get finished now until next weekend.

I said I would only sew until about 10:30pm tonight, and I am typing this before heading to bed at midnight..... gosh this always happens - do you do the same thing, just get carried away by saying, "I'll just do X, Y and before you know it you have done Z too.

Right I am off, night night, catch you later................

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Claire Jones Royal Harpist

Last night my D Mike and I were invited to Royal Hospital School in Suffolk to see Prince Charles' Official Harpist Claire Jones.

The venue was very small, so it felt like we were having a private performance oh and boy was she good.  The sound of the harp was hypnotic, and she even played one of the pieces selected by Kate from the recent Royal wedding between Kate and William (she said she was only allowed to use one particular piece, the rest to remain private).

Half way through the concert she stopped to answer questions, one of which was about the value of the harp which was an astonishing £40,000.00. She also told us little stories about her appointment, playing for the Royal family, the Welsh rugby team etc., which only endeared the audience to her even more.

We had a lovely evening, got to see the harp up close and a beautiful photograph that Kate and William sent her following the wedding which was amazing.  I am so glad we went.

Today I have to go to Ikea to purchase a new desk for my office, and I want to get on with my Issey Miyake shirt/tunic.  I have sewn all the pin tucks into the front and back pieces and they are looking great, but I have my son, daughter-in-law and darling granddaughter over for lunch today, so I guess my sewing will have to wait until later.

Enjoy your Sunday, what ever your plans

Catch you later................

Friday, 20 January 2012

Sourdough Bread

For the past week I have been feeding a natural yeast starter made from flour and water to enable me to make my own sourdough bread.  There are lots of different You Tube clips so have a look for yourself, but this is the one I used.

I had to improvise on the cooking pot (I didn't have an ovenproof one, so used to deep baking trays using one for the lid.  I also had to adjust the baking times and temperature.

I let my loaf prove for approximately 6 hours and it did the same in the clip above, and then popped the loaf in the oven to cook while we were eating dinner tonight.  We cooked it for 20 minutes covered and I think this is what creates that wonderful crust (sort of steams itself) and then another 30 minutes with the lid off which browns it off.  We couldn't wait any longer than 15 minutes before cutting it and it was still a little warm but the crust was to die for and once it cooled down we managed to polish off almost half the loaf - delicious.

Excuse the voiceover, its my first and if I do any more, I hope to do them a little better, but just listen to that crust.   I have another loaf proving over night - this one will have around 10 or more hours so I hope it doubles in size and we get more bubbles.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Issey Miyake Vogue Designer Original - Vogue 1204


Line Art

MISSES' TUNIC AND PANTS: Very loose-fitting tunic has tuck details, large collar, full length sleeves with plackets and cuffs.  Fitted, below waist pants has front side slant pockets, back patchpockets, fly zipper closing, back yoke, waistband, carriers and topstitch trim.

For my next project I have just cut out Vogue 1204 in a nice white cotton.  There are not too many pieces to this, but I am not going to lull myself into a forced sense of security because I am sure that I will have to take the upmost care when stitching the tuck details.

I checked out PR and the only reviews for this pattern are for the jeans not the tunic top, so I am out there on my own with this one.

I like the simplicity of this Issey Miyake design with all the emphasis in the tuck details.

I would like to enter this into the SAM, however once again I feel I may be putting a bit of my own interpretation as to what is a shirt.

Done all I can for tonight, hopefully I will be able to do some more tomorrow.

Catch you later...................

BERNINA presser feet

I was very fortunate for Christmas and my birthday to receive gift vouchers for my local sewing shop.

I had recently obtained a copy of the David P Coffin shirt making book and DVD and want to use some of his methods, which require a lap seam foot, in addition to which, I have my jeans project on my "to do" list, and a straightstitch hemmer foot.

The first voucher I was given, with a £40 face value,  I purchased machine feet for my Bernina, however I managed to spend nearly £90 that day, an extra £50...........................

I received another £40 voucher for my birthday, so went back into the shop today during my lunch hour and managed to spend another £95, £55 on top of the voucher....................

I purchased 3 machine feet, a pack of Olfa blades (I am really getting into using my rotary cutter to cut out my pattern pieces) and I also used DPC's suggestion of using your large rulers and French curves etc to hold down the pattern as weights.  I did this for the pants I made recently (will post about those later) and it worked really well, especially with the length of a pant leg.  I also purchased an air erasable marker pen, an extra shelf for my machine accessory box to hold my machine feet, and a can of air spray to clean away the build up of fibres on my serger. Oh isn't so easy to spend money sob sob (so much for being thrifty) ha ha still I justify this expense by saying 1. they will last for a very long time and 2. I get my fabrics at such bargain prices.

I found the following clips on You Tube, kindly put up by Bernina, but quite useful reference points on using the new feet I have purchased.  I am going to go through my other machine feet and see if I can find some more.

Here is the clip for the narrow straightstitch hemmer foot.  This can be used for hemming shirts and sheer fabrics.

Here is the clip for the  Bernina lap seam foot typically used for sportswear, jeans or shirts.  I bought both the narrow and the larger one as I need one for jeans and a smaller one for shirts.

I hope you find these useful.  I am going to go and see if I can console my credit card..........

Catch you later................................

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Meeting up with cyber friends.

Yesterday evening I met up with the beautiful fellow blogger/sewer Rachel from the House of Pineiro and what a lovely time we had chatting.

She informed me that she had only been sewing since 2009.  She wanted to learn to sew, bought a sewing machine, read books, looked at blogs, dvd's YouTube what ever she could just finds out how to make the things that she wanted to fit an Amazonian figure to die for (I hate her) only joking.

Rachel has attended sewing classes here and in Brazil, where her mum bought her a little sewing machine so she could continue sewing when she went home to visit.  If that wasn't enough, she and her friend even formed a sewing club where approximately eight ladies meet up once a month - what enthusiasm.

Take a peek at her blog its a joy - she loves anything to do with crafting be it sewing, cooking, making garments out of old socks - and she is studying full-time too trying to complete a very complicated MBA - its must be exhausting keeping up with her!!! - Rach I can't wait to meet up with you at the sewing show on the 4th Feb.

I took the liberty of stealing the photo below from Rachel's blog.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Weight Loss Monday - hmmmmmmmm

Well I guess that my weight loss wasn't going to be huge following last weeks birthday treats, but I am glad to report that there is a loss of half a pound - better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick as some people say.

I was really hoping for more, but I can't expect too much.

This week I am at the cottage and my D Mike is travelling so I will be able to have a perfect diet like I did the week before last, lots of good low fat foods like my porridge with fruit, veg soups, cut out my bread and potatoes, but fill up on salads and more veg.

Still it adds up to a total of 5.5lbs so only 1.5lbs for my half a stone which will be my mile stones.  I want to start doing my weights again to help burn the fat, so will add some weights to my cycling.

Ann on Everything Sewing and Shannon from the Hungry Zombie blogs are also putting themselves through the trials and tribulations of dieting so hopefully they have done better than me last week.

Catch you later............................

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Birthday Part2 OOP Simplicity 9581

Ok, so my birthday treat from my D Mike was split into two.  Part 1 was going to the Royal Albert Hall to see the Cirque Du Soleil and Part 2 was going to our favourite restaurant in Suffolk and staying at their sister hotel.

As mentioned yesterday morning, of course I didn't have anything wear and set myself the challenge of making something Saturday before we left for Suffolk at 5pm in the afternoon, however I didn't start until around 11:30-12pm.

I saw a girl in the theatre in a tie-neck blouse which looked lovely, and I decided on making my OOP Simplicty 9581 again.  Last time I changed the neck from a high neck to a V-neck, but this time I wanted to do the high neck, and this is what I did using a lovely mixed fibre charmeuse which feels like silk to the touch:-

The fabric was purchased at Dalston Market for £1.50 per metre, and used around 1.5 metres.  I had already adjusted the pattern for a FBA, but I did lengthen the blouse by 2" buy just cutting through the "lengthen or shorten here" lines and inserted a 2" strip of paper.  I also reduced the width of the bow by about 2" taking  1" of each side, and I wanted a slightly narrower bow.

I don't wear skirts and dresses as often as I should, so struggled to find a skirt to go with the top, so had to use one of my work skirts (mental note to self, must make a nice black evening skirt) but shoes were not going to be a problem - I love shoes and bags (you just can't have too many) so chose this pair purchased in Macys in Houston about 5 years ago - check out those heels they are just lovely, I also have a pair in burgundy too.

So that was my outfit - I actually wore my lace cardigan I made a few weeks back because the restaurant is lovely, but really old and doesn't have double glazed windows so if our table was close to a window I knew I would feel chilly.

We had a lovely meal, and then went back to the hotel to relax.  Thanks Mike I had a lovely time, and love you loads xx

Catch you later.................................

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Saturday Morning - nothing to wear tonight!!!

OK.  Its Saturday morning, cold frost outside and my D Mike is taking me to our favourite hotel and restaurant today for the last part of my birthday treats, and I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!!!!

I know you may be thinking I have seen everything you have been making on your blog, but I want something new and special.  My red satin shirt felt so lovely to wear on Wednesday night, I am thinking perhaps using one of the silks that my sister bought in Vietnam, or the ones I bought in Dubai.  I also have the silk organza fabric I bought in Leather Lane (the one in black) and I also have that lovely black and silver print sandwiched between the white and silk organza, or this lovely red and melon silk I bought in KL. decisions decisions I will go up to my sewing room and select the pattern and then the fabric, but I am think scarf neck blouse.

Catch you later.........................

Friday, 13 January 2012

Bread Making

Tonight I needed a loaf of bread for breakfast in the morning. I have been making my own bread for quite a while now, but I was watching one of the many cooking programs that my D Mike and I watch and one of the Baker brothers used the following recipe.

500g of strong white flour
300ml of tepid water which has
1 pkt of dried yeast dissolved into it
pinch of salt
and a little olive oil.

Using my Kenwood Chef I measured the flour and salt into the mixing bowl, then using the dough hook, set the mixer on a medium speed and then stirred in the liquid, just before the ingredients were fully mixed I drizzled some olive oil into the dough mix.

I kneaded the dough with the machine for approximately 5 minutes, then shaped it into a ball and popped it into a greased bowl, covered it with a plastic bag and put it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

Knock the dough back, shape into a flat rectangle, then roll the dough into a sausage shape and place in the loaf tin seam side down.

Allow the loaf to prove for about 40 minutes, brush with beaten egg, cover with seeds of your choice (mine are sesame seeds, using a sharp knife cut a few slits into top of the loaf  and then place in a hot oven 200f - just before you close the oven door, poor some cold water into a baking tray at the bottom of the oven - this will steam up and intensify the heat and give a crusty loaf.  Cook for 25-35 minutes.

All being well you should get a loaf like this

This has to be one of the best looking loafs I have made, the top feels really crunchy, so we couldn't wait to try it for breakfast in the morning and we just had to cut it to have with good quality olive oil and the best balsamic vinegar that we bought at a food show.  OMG the crust was really crusty and the taste was wonderful.


Normally, other recipes I use call for salt, sugar and milk powder, but this recipe didn't have sugar or milk and it was much much better.

We both love sour dough bread, and I just need to get my starter made and fermenting..........................  The problem when you make things like this that turn out well, you don't like buying shop bought bread.

Roll on breakfast in the morning, however I can't make one of these if Mike isn't here - I will eat the lot and it will be no good for my diet......the diet gods will not be kind to me and I will see my weight creep up again.....................catch you later........................................

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Lots of cycling and new windows

This week I have already done quite a bit of cycling, Tuesday approx 5 miles, Wednesday 6 miles and today, I think I clocked up approximately 10 miles - from the flat to the office, back to the flat then from the flat to the railway station to get the train back to my cottage so I hope the diet gods are kind to me and take this extra exercise into consideration when I step onto those dreaded scales on Monday.

I confess that normally I would make my way back to my cottage on a Friday morning, but my DS x 2 have been removing my old windows and replacing them with double glazed windows, and I haven't seen any of their work since they started yesterday, so I wanted to see the progress.

I have to say I am delighted with the work so far.  They have just one big bay window left to replace, and then there is some tidying up to be done, but I hope we should be finished by Saturday and I should be ready for any bad weather that may come our way.  An added advantage of these new windows is that I don't have lots and lots of tiny Georgian style window frames to paint inside and out this year.  Catch you later....................

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Cirque Du Soleil & my black and red outfit

I promised to post a photo of my red blouse and here it is.  I am wearing it with my black TNT trousers made last year together with my red satin shoes purchased the same time as the red fabric.

Here is the ensemble with my jacket and of course we must not forget the shoes. The blouse was just lovely to wear and I am really tempted to make another soon as it was so comfortable.  I saw a lady walk into the theatre with a satin blouse in a lovely flesh pink colour, it had a tie bow and buttons down the front - looked very pretty.

If I was being really critical, the jacket would look better with long gloves or with just bare arms showing, but I am still pleased with it.

I have to report on my evening.  The show was just fantastic, if you ever get the chance to see these guys then you must go - incredible I spent most of the time with my mouth open, just totally amazed at what they were doing.

Last but not least we had half an hour to spare so what better way to kill the time than by enjoying a lovely glass of champagne before the show started.

I have had a wonderful birthday - thanks Mike xxxx


Its my birthday today and I was woken with a lovely cup of tea and birthday presents from my D Mike.

We are both fans of all the cooking programs you see on the TV, and we both love to cook.  I had mentioned that I wanted a special chopping knife and the first gift I opened was the very knife I wanted.  My 2nd gift is what I am typing this post on.  I am now the lucky owner of a brand new Mac Book Air.

We have looked at them a few times when we go into the Apple shop but I never dreamt that I would be the proud owner of one.  It is very slim and light weight, weighing just over 2lbs in weight.

Tonight we are going to the Albert Hall to see the Cirque du soleil , another thing I have wanted to do for a very long time.  As promised, I will post a photograph later wearing my red shirt and quilted jacket, which I intend wearing tonight.

Thanks Mike, I love you loads xxxx

Need to get up for work now, catch you later......................

Monday, 9 January 2012

Weight Loss Monday's - 2.6lb's lost

 Yippee  last week's concerted effort to eat well has paid off - I had a weight loss of 2.6lbs this week, so it just shows if you make the effort it pays off.

I certainly didn't starve last week, but made a few changes, like porridge for breakfast with apple and blackberries, vegetable based meals for 3 days, avoided the dreaded bread, cakes, sweets and potatoes and included a few tried and tested  WW recipes which I enjoy, and of course it has made a difference.

Over the weekend one of my colleagues sent me some photos of a leaving party I attended, held when I was in Dubai, and OMG there are some photos in there that I would rather not see - as they say the camera doesn't lie.

So a good start to the year, I just need to keep up with it - catch you later...............................................

Sunday, 8 January 2012

David P Coffin - Shirt Making DVD & Silhouette Patterns

One of my late Christmas presents was this DVD by David Page Coffin.  I have just finished watching this and am really itching to get going on making a shirt using many of his techniques.  There are so many useful tips in there that I think we can apply to many aspects of sewing, so I would really recommend this DVD.  I also have his book, so with the two combined together I can see a shirt in the planning for my D Mike and even me - (I just need to try out his methods).

I also got some of the Threads magazine's DVD's one called "Insider techniques" which has some really useful tips too.

One of my other new finds are the web casts by Silhouette Patterns.  Diana of Sew Passionista by Diana was talking about them in her brilliant blog so I checked them out - take a look you will not be disappointed.

I have just dropped my D Mike off at the railway station and have a pile of ironing to do tonight, however having looked at some of the DVD's today when I was babysitting my DGD Alana, I feel like a kid in a sweet shop not sure which one to pick first, but I want to start trying out some of these techniques as soon as possible.

Right my ironing is not just calling now, but shouting at me now, so catch you later......................................

Saturday, 7 January 2012

My January SAM

I finished my Vogue 8606 jacket on New Year's Eve and wanted to make a blouse in the same red satin that I used for the lining to wear when I go to the theatre on Wednesday for my birthday treat.

I had a couple of ideas for the blouse, which coincidentally I am going to enter into the Stitcher's Guild Sewing Forum SAM (shirt a month) started by blue mooney.  I started looking through my pattern stash, and found a really old Vogue pattern circa 1980's, Vogue 9972 which I decided to use, never cut out before.

I selected the long sleeved version (well it is winter after all), and here is the finished article in my satin red fabric.

This isn't my favourite fabric to sew, it slips and slide all over the place, but I got there in the end.  This shirt has a hidden button placket which is really quite easy to do.

Now if at this point you are asking why did she put grey buttons on a red blouse, its quite simple.  I didn't have a set of red buttons I could put on.  I have mine and my mother's button collections (see above), but I couldn't find a set of red, so decided to put these on for now (well they don't show down the front) and then look for some red ones of a similar size to replace them later.

I followed the pattern instructions but decided that I could probably do without the shoulder pads this time round.  Here is the jacket and the shirt on Edna.  I am thinking of wearing this with black pants, and I do actually have some red satin shoes too (have to see what the weather is like on Wednesday).

So here is miss January SAM for my submission.  Time for bed now - Catch you later.............................

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Diet 1 point sewing 0

This week I am at my little cottage alone, so this has given me no excuse not to take control of my diet.  I have upped my fruit and vegetable intake and kept to good low fat food and the results speak for themselves, I have already lost the weight I put on in December and a little more..........lets hope Friday's meal for my daughter's birthday doesn't put it all back.

On the sewing front not so good - despite being here, I haven't done any sewing in the evening, just catching up on work which is really sad.  On the news this morning they quoted the following:-

"Workers gave bosses nearly 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime last year, with the 1,968 million hours of overtime is worth £29.2bn to the UK economy.  They say this averages out 7.2 hours of unpaid overtime a week last year"

Working on a normal 9-5 working day, I would think that I put in approximately 2 hours unpaid overtime per day (sometimes more) and if I didn't, I wouldn't keep up with my day to day job.  Sadly I know I am not alone in this. Many of my colleagues are doing the same thing.

I did manage to run up a pair of PJ's on Monday and experimented with some very fine ribbing fabric that I bought to make a polo-neck jumper, but that has been it for the week.
Unfortunately, I can't concentrate on sewing when I have jobs for work hanging over my head.  Talking of which...............  

Catch you later.............

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

First Day back at work

Today will be my first day back at work.  I am staying at the cottage this week, which means driving into work 120 mile round trip, but I have to cross the River Thames and the big bridge that I need to cross has been shut due to 50-60 mile per hour winds.  This means that the traffic is being diverted and there are tremendous delays.

Wish me luck.  Catch you later...........................

Monday, 2 January 2012

Weight Watch Monday's 2012's first post.

The last time I stood on the scales for Weight Watch Monday's was just before I left to go to The Hague and then straight off to Dubai and I had no change from the week before.  I confess that I haven't stood on the scales since the 5th December, almost a whole month, today being the 2nd January, so you can imagine the my utter fear of standing on the scales this morning.  I haven't been in London so haven't used my bike, which means I haven't exercised either.  I could almost feel the sweat droplets falling off my forehead.

I took a deep breath, pulled the scales away from the wall, pushed the dust away from the screen, hit the memory button for my age (which will have to be adjusted in 9 days time, sadly I can't change the years passing and me getting older) and height, and waited for the 0:00 figures to appear which indicates when I can step on the scales.  Another deep breath,  I stood on the scales and then watch the figures going up and down before they settled on a final weight.............................the figures showed that I am 1.4lbs heavier than my last weigh in.

Phew what a relief, 1.4lbs I can live with, and if I am good this week could potentially lose by my next weigh in.

While I feel very smug that the damage isn't anywhere near as much as I thought it might be, it is still annoying that some of my efforts to lose weight has been undone, and I now need to clear my fridge of anything that will potentially damage my resolve.  I may even dust off my running machine later to increase the amount of exercise I need to do to win this battle because I will not be in London this week, so not doing my normal amount of cycling.

If you have experienced the same as me on this first weigh-in day of the year, my commiserations - I feel your pain, but join me and stick with it - we will all get there in the end, just keep clicking that mouse ha ha.

Catch you later......................

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Last item made in 2011 - V8606

Don't ask me why, but for some reason I decided that I needed to make something before the end of the year so I decided on Vogue 8606

MISSES' JACKET, DRESS, SKIRT AND PANTS: Semi-fitted, lined jackets A, B have yoke and dolman sleeves with contrast or self-fabric sleeve bands, raised neck, front hook and eye closure, shaped hem.  A: contrast lower front and back.

When Viv and I had our cycling, fabric shopping day in London a few weeks back, I purchased some beautiful embroidered quilted fabric.  Now Friday we had to go to my D Mike's sister's for lunch, and she happens to live close to Walthamstow market so I said I couldn't go without stocking up on supplies, which of course I did.  However I got slightly distracted by a pair of quilted, fur lined wellington boots which I bought.

So for my last sewing project for 2011, I decided to make Vogue 8606 with my quilted fabric.  Now the pattern calls for softer fabric, but requires all the pieces to be interfaced, so I thought I would give it a try.

I like the idea of the two contrasting fabrics, so chose the patterned fabric for the top and a plain black quilted cotton for the bottom half and the sleeve cuffs and here is the end result.

This is a really quick project to make - there are only a few pieces, you make up the lining exactly the same as the jacket except you leave an opening in the back lining seam so you can turn the jacket right side out after you have sewn the lining and the jacket pieces together.  I do confess that the first cuff went on perfectly and then boosted by my eagerness to finish, I managed to put the cuff on the wrong way  (i.e the wrong side of the fabric facing up) so had to unpick it and start again - I HATE UNPICKING, so word of warning double check what you are doing if you make this jacket up.

I did add a broad back adjustment and a sort of FBA because this pattern is a size 12 and I really need a 14 for my bust and hips, so I used the Palmer Pletsch pattern fitting method and then just added the extra paper for the adjustments.

The red satin fabric was one of the first purchases I made in Walthamstow market last year for the usual £1 a metre and worked perfectly with this jacket because of the red embroidery in the patterned fabric.

Mike has booked for us to go and see Cirque Du Soleil on my birthday this month.  It will be at the Albert Hall, so I am thinking this jacket will be perfect for the theatre.  I may make a blouse/top out of the red satin to wear underneath with some black pants or skirt.

I hope you all had a wonderful  New Year's Eve whatever you were doing.  We were babysitting our DGD and my daughter also came over to spend the evening with us.

I am thinking my first project of 2012 will be a little top for Alana, I will be able to fit it on her while she is here.

Catch you all later..........................................