Video Podcast Episode 26 – Flat as a Tack

Housekeeping

Finished Objects

Works in Progress

  • Goomy Socks my project page
  • Bergère de France Goomy 50 in Imprim Azur (purchased from Love Knitting here)

Spinning

Sewing

  • Pyjama Eaters by Sew Fearless for my niece and nephew in Sydney
  • Knit kit for my niece
  • Custom bag that was a bit of an oops

Polymer Clay

  • Various progress keepers that will be available in the shop soon

Dyeing/Shop Update

  • MyMuddlings Etsy Store
  • 2 x ‘Pink Grapefruit’ on Bamboo Sock
  • 2 x ‘Prismarine’ on Fine Merino Sock
  • ‘3 O’Clock in the Afternoon’ on Fingering – SOLD

Sewing Room Tour

I know I touched on this last post but I thought I would give a bit more of an in depth tour of my sewing room. 🙂

Here’s the room overall from the last post. The room is technically half study, half craft room.


My husband and I each have desks with 21″ iMacs. That’s where I mostly blog from, that’s my desk in the far corner surrounded by stationery, which (I’m not exaggerating) was my first true love. 😉 Stationery, not the desk. 😂

Anyway, on to the sewing stuff.

Here’s my sewing table. It was a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law. It’s a Horn sewing table that folds out and has a lot of little hidey-holes and drawers for storing all my bits n’ bobs. It’s also got a platform to raise and lower my machine.

I just use a chair from our dining table to sit on. I might post a piccie to Instagram with it open later on so you can see inside. 🙂

This cupboard holds most of my yarn stash, my personal project fabric (MyMuddlings fabric is in the drawers of our IKEA Expedit wall unit in the lounge), my fibre stash and some cross stitch, dyeing, sewing patterns and spinning paraphernalia. It’s lovely to have a built in cupboard for it all. 🙂


Here’s the remainder of my yarn stash that’s kept in the study:


The rest of my yarn stash (mostly handyed and handspun skeins) also hang out in our Expedit. Maybe I’ll IG a piccie of that too!

So there you go. I hope you enjoyed my little tour. 🙂 We don’t have a lot of decoration up as we’re renting but I’d love to sew some bunting to string up. Another project for another time. But for now, I’ll sign off. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Getting back in the swing

Hi everyone. Wow, was that an unintentional blogging break. Where on earth as April, May, June and half of July gone?!!

I feel like I have a black hole of lost time. What have I been doing? Mostly trying to get well. I’m unsure as to how much I have touched on my mental health in this blog, but it got really bad a few months ago. So much so I had to go on medication. But this blog isn’t strictly about my health so I’ll leave it by saying that I’m feeling much better and am coming back with renewed energy. 🙂

I thought I’d mention, I have posted two new pages to this blog. One is about my Etsy store and why I started it (including added info regarding my mental health if you’re interested) and the other is some pictures and short notes about my spinning wheels.

Anyway, onto today’s post.


Recently my husband and I set about rearranging our study (and my sewing room) so that it would be easier for me to get some sewing done. Here’s the before:

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Yup. I was trying to sew in that. Yeah, it wasn’t happening. I had to move a ton of stuff just to fold out my sewing table. This of course wasn’t helping with stocking my Etsy store with new items or even helping my handmade wardrobe.

After a day of rearranging, and a few weeks of tidying up errant pieces of paper and shredding old personal documents, we now have this:

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There, that’s much better. I have clear floor for cutting out fabric, only have to move one box to fold out my sewing table, and space to store my two vintage spinning wheels. I’m feeling much happier and freer in this cleared out space and raring to start sewing again.

You see that basket (aka that pile of ‘clothes’ to the left)? This one (see there’s a basket under there):

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Well, these are UFO’s and mending/alterations. I want to work away at getting this basket emptied. THEN I’m gonna sew a lining for the basket. This is a pretty good place to start I think. Watch this space! 🙂

 

Motivation

Motivation. It’s a slippery little sucker. One minute it’s there and you’re bouncing through the world on a mission, the next it’s gone and you’re slumped on the couch stuffing your face with dark chocolate, unable to even pick up your knitting needles.

This is pretty much i.e. an accurate description of, what my life has been like lately. I have barely the energy to get myself out of bed, let alone jump into all those goals I set myself at the start of the year.

My eating has gone down the tubes despite my taking the plunge and signing up for a 6-month contract with Weight Watchers. I now weigh more now than my weigh-in at my first meeting.

My knit from stash and not purchase new yarn goal has gone by the wayside also, although not to the same extent as my poor eating habits.

I have not done any gardening since my last post on it. I have not planted any food even though I have some seeds waiting and some potting mix that has not even been put into the planter boxes.

My house is a pig-sty. With probably more stuff in it than when I wrote the post on a simplified household.

Cross stitch? Sewing? What even are these?

I have decided though, that despite all the above negatives I will be positive. Instead of focusing on what I have not done, I am looking towards what I want to achieve and how I can get there. Here’s to future posts about my accomplishments rather than my failures.

How do you keep motivation flowing?

Goal Progress

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I thought I’d take today to have a bit of a think about how things are going with the goals I set for myself at the start of the year.

Knitting Goals

So far so good. For some of it. 😉

I have failed in my “do not buy yarn unless I am ready to cast on straight away” goal. On my most recent podcast (here), I discussed another little exception to my knit from stash goals. And this was that if I can get it, I’m allowed to purchase the limited edition Madelinetosh colourways from Eat.Sleep.Knit (ESK). These colourways are available for the first week of the month only and are inspired by places around Georgia, which is where ESK is located. They disappear pretty quickly as there is only 10-20 skeins of the colourway on about six yarn bases.

I have also failed on my “only two WIPs” at a time goal. I have had a bit of cast-on-itis lately and have started a couple of Memory Blankets. These are mitred square blankets where each square is knit onto the last. However, this does help with the stash down as it is getting rid of little odds and ends of yarn that have been hanging around for a while. I’ve started one in sock yarn (4 ply) and another in worsted/aran (10 ply) yarn. I have been putting in a lot of work to finish my WIPs so I’m still moving forward in respect to this goal. I have knit 1356 yards for my Clean Slate Challenge so I nearly have an entry into the prize draw (at 1500 yards)! 🙂

Sewing Goals

I have yet to sew anything but I have it on my agenda for this week. I have joined a beta test of a new productivity website for craft businesses and I am using it to organise my time so that I can work on the MyMuddlings brand and also schedule some personal sewing in. If you’re interested to see the new products I am working on, head over to my Facebook page.

I have yet to set up my husband’s old desk for my cutting table, we’ll need to get rid of some stuff to make room first. I have begun working on the Wardrobe Architect exercises and I’m intending to write about my progress later in the week.

Cross Stitch

Again, no progress here as yet.

Healthy Lifestyle Goals.

Hmmm… this has been a bit so-so. I still have the good intention but I have been lacking the motivation and energy as I have been struggling with a set back to my mental health progress. Sometimes it’s all just too hard to make a juice or a salad or carrot and celery sticks when you’re feeling down. It’s easier to reach for the processed carbs to give yourself a sugar boost. It’s a pity because I know I will feel better if I eat the veggies. Most days I’ve at least had my green juice so that’s positive.

I haven’t been exercising and that includes the yoga. Although, now I have scheduled dog walking into my agenda with the productivity website I mentioned above. I also need to carve out a time and create a ritual to begin my meditation… Some more research is required here.

Simplified Home Goals

At this point, we have no progress to report other than my knitting down scraps from my stash. Again, with the way my mental state has been of late, it’s just all too hard. 😦

So that’s where I am one month into the new year. How are your 2015 goals working out?

SEWING GOALS

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 1.29.12 pmPretty much I just have one sewing goal this year:

  1. SEW

I have not done a lot of sewing at all in 2014 and I want to change this in 2015. I want to finish a few WIPs and also start some more garments that I have thoughtfully decided upon, instead of making something on impulse then not wearing it because it doesn’t fit my style.

On the Colette Patterns blog, the Coletterie, they are doing an extension to their popular Wardrobe Architect series of last year where Kristen will be going through all the steps outlined in the original series of posts and building her new wardrobe through 2015. I am intending on following along and creating a wardrobe of garments I love, love wearing and that fit my style and look great along with removing garments that I just don’t dig anymore.

What are your sewing goals for this year?

MyMuddlings Podcast is Live!

So here’s my exciting news I was hinting at in my last post; I’ve started a podcast! 🙂 Podcast Logo

In my first episode I give an introduction to myself and touch on some sewing and knitting projects I’ve been working on! It’s available on the PodOmatic website and will soon be available on iTunes*. You can find my podcast at the following addresses:

Podcast URL: http://julieannec.podomatic.com

RSS feed: http://julieannec.podomatic.com/rss2.xml

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/my-muddlings-podcast/id931381982

Please, take a listen and let me know what you think! I was quite nervous recording this episode but I don’t think it shows too much! 🙂 Please offer any topic or segment suggestions by commenting here or on my podcast show-notes website, http://www.mymuddlingspodcast.wordpress.com.

*The podcast isn’t up on iTunes at the time of publishing this post but should be there in the next day or so. J

Update

Sorry for the silence folks. It is not because I haven’t been busy, it’s because I haven’t made anything relevant to this blog for some time.

I created this blog, and a lot of you I’m sure follow because of the clothing that I was making on a regular basis. Due to my work on my bags and amigurumi for my Etsy store, making clothing for myself has kind of gone on the back burner. I have been knitting, but no sewing of clothing of late. My time during the day is spent on orders and stock items for my store, and I didn’t create this blog to necessarily share those things, it was for the clothing and my handmade wardrobe. Of course I encourage you to follow on with my handmade bags and toys via my Facebook page, or my Etsy store (button in the sidebar or here) if you’re interested in those things but I want this blog to remain mostly what I’m making for my own wardrobe.

Having a completely handmade wardrobe is still something I aspire to, but due to other paid orders for my bags etc and also my not having an outside the home job, time and funds are scarce. I am also actively trying to lose weight (separate blog here if you’re interested) and as such, I am a bit loathe to spend time and fabric (especially some beautiful stuff I got with birthday money) on clothes that I may only get to wear for a short time.

And finally, having said all that, there are at least three to five items I have on my mind that I hope to be making shortly. I’ve decided that I miss creating my own clothes and that I want to carve out some time and use up some fabrics from my stash to do so. These are:

  • Colette Zinnia ver 1 skirt – I was able to buy some black rayon shirting to make this from with birthday money. I want to make one just like Sarai’s here. I have printed and assembled the pattern ready to cut the fabric.
  • Colette Ginger skirt, ver 3 waistband – I have some black and white fabric I bought op-shopping on my honeymoon that I want to make this from. I still have my pattern from my previous make so I’m ready to cut the fabric.
  • By Hand London Polly top (a free pattern, oh yeah!) – Just printed the pattern ready to assemble. I’m not sure which fabrics I’ll use for this one, it doesn’t use a lot so I guess I’ll just dig through and see what I can find.
  • 2 x Sewaholic Renfrew tops – I got some nice jersey in black and green with a Spotlight voucher I received for my birthday. I’ve decided I found the fit on ‘my size’ (based on my measurements) to have a little too much ease for my liking so I’m going to go down a couple of sizes for these two makes. This way I can wear them longer even if I lose weight. I will be making the short sleeve variant, with the scoop neck option. Oh yeah, my overlocker got serviced and they managed to get perfect tension! Yay! So we’ll see how I go on these items.

I also have a couple of knitted sweaters that I have yet to blog about so I just need to take photos and I can talk about those. There are some fun things on the horizon so stay tuned! 🙂

FO: L’s 1920’s Dress

So! I can finally blog about this one. I had a photo of L in the dress but I didn’t want to splash her all over the interwebs without first getting her permission to do so. Of course she said yes, and the pic I have of her is oh-so-cute so here’s the post with some juicy internal shots of the dress for good measure.

First up, my gorgeous sister in her dress (sorry for the quality, it’s off a phone – it’s the best we could get):

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So pretty right?!! And those legs, ugh I wish! 😀

Now that you’ve seen the outcome, here’s the blood, sweat and tears behind it (only half joking! ;)). As I’ve previously mentioned this is a pattern hack of the Colette Laurel. I basically cut it off at the same points on the back and the front pattern (after a bit of trial and error), created a waistband, then widened the skirt section to allow enough fabric to gather.

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As the lace was see-through (obviously!) I underlined it with a similar colour lining. Oh the hours of hand-basting those layers together. I did initially try to sew it by machine and that was an EPIC fail so out came the unpicker and some bright thread (for contrast so I could remove it all when finished) and needle. Once the two layers of each piece were joined as one, I then sewed everything together.

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I was originally going to sew it all with French seams but found it was just far to bulky so I reverted to normal seams and finished them on the overlocker. My overlocker was not playing Mr. Nice-guy so the finishing doesn’t look too nice unfortunately. I have since put the overlocker in for a service; hopefully that will help. But what did look nice was my hand-picked zipper and hand sewn bias edging! 🙂

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Now, be gentle on me. All these stitches were done by hand and I have never done this before! Having said that, I think I did an awesome job and was really pleased with how it turned out. Having never done a hand-picked zipper before, it took a little wrangling for me to get the hand positions and the garment laying the right way before I got the hang of it. After doing it once, I don’t think I ever want to install a zipper any other way! 🙂 I used Tasia from Sewaholic’s wonderful tutorial, it can be found here. It’s just so much easier to make sure the zip is straight and in place when you are going slowly by hand. Obviously on the bags I make, I will still machine sew the zipper because you usually don’t have much fabric to deal with and it’s a straight line to sew but for clothing, I think hand-picked is the only way to go.

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I especially wanted to do all this sewing by hand so that I could attach the zipper and the bias edging only to the lining and the stitches wouldn’t be visible on the outside of the lace. The thread I chose was a perfect match for the lace colour so you can’t even see the little stitches on the lining through the lace unless you look really hard. It blends wonderfully.

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After all the stress, tears and long hours making this dress, I think it was all worth it as L was so happy with it and I think it’s the most adventurous thing I’ve made to date! Me? Doing a pattern hack?!! 😉 Just to see how happy my sister was with this dress made it more than worth it and I think she looked AMAZING!

So, what do we think? 🙂

WIP Wednesday

So, my WIPs this week have mainly consisted with working on my sister’s dress for her AGM on Saturday and some knitting and crochet.

Here’s L’s dress so far:

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You may remember that I was doing a pattern hack on the Colette Patterns Laurel. After being very despondent about this ever being finished and actually being good, I’m pretty happy with how it’s turning out. 🙂 All I need to do now is hem and apply bias binding to the neck and armholes. Unfortunately due to my overlocker being a douche, the outside looks WAAAAAYYY better than the inside. I think perhaps I need my overlocker serviced or maybe a new one as Mr. MyMuddlings suggested. Love him. ❤

The lace on this dress is so pretty. Everyone who saw the lace when I was buying commented how lovely it was. We initially were going for a different lace that was a little more gypsy-esque but I saw this one and suggested it instead and I definitely think we made the right choice. 🙂

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On top of working on this dress I have also been working on some crochet and knitting.

The crochet I’ve been working on is Freshstitches‘ Blair the Ghost Bunny amigurumi. She’s just adorable! You can find my project page on Ravelry here. All I have left is the little ghost costume to do. I’m about halfway through this.

In regards to knitting, I’ve mostly been working on my Ishbel shawl by Ysolda Teague (I think you’ll only be able to see this link if you’re a Ravelry member). I’m making it from some lovely soft and drapey viscose fingering weight yarn I picked up cheap at Spotlight. They’ve had tons of great yarns on special lately and I’ve been stocking up. I got a few different colours of the viscose yarn and also quite a few balls (one colour enough to make a sweater!) of some superwash wool from Panda. Love sales at Spotlight! 🙂 You can see my Ravelry project page for Ishbel here.

Good news too that after having my birthday a couple weeks ago, I was given a Spotlight voucher and also some cash so these have been put towards purchasing fabric to make up some of the items I blogged about for my Summer Wardrobe a few weeks back. From what I have purchased I will be able to make two Renfrew tops (in black and green), Tania culottes, Cascade skirt and a bonus item of a Colette Patterns Zinnia skirt. I will be making version 1 of the Zinnia in a black rayon shirting. Can’t wait to get started on these items! 🙂

P.S. I’ve finally put some of my handmade things up on Etsy. You can check them out here. I’ll have more up next week when I’ve finished the dress!