Saturday, 7 December 2013

At Last!! Sewing Machine Mended!

The feed-dogs were broken, and apparently there were no replacements in the country!
 A 6 week lead time turned into a rather longer wait.

However, today the mended machine was collected and so WATCH THIS SPACE....

Sewing madness will re-commence shortly.

Oh .... and I suspect that very shortly Sally Sews Something will hit 10 000 page views!  :)

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Thoughts on Sewing and Stuff!

My sewing endeavours have taken a bit of an extended break due to the delay in a replacement part arriving to fix the feed-dogs of my Singer.

Yet all around me sewing continues.

It seems that once the sewing bug strikes it becomes infectious, because several friends have taken up sewing and are likewise inspiring others around them.  My good friend Rosie has even been to a Saturday Quilting Day and there managed to meet Gillian, an extended family cousin, also sewing.

Actually the pictures above are not so recent.  The last one shows the bits I used to make a tug toy for my puppy Finn.  Hopefully he and I will be able to start competing in Agility next year.  (Agility Blog)

And in the mean time I wish those feed-dogs would hurry up and arrive so that I can continue some sewing.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

A Request for Help.

Friends  please could you consider signing and sharing this petition. Karina Hansen is a severely ill ME sufferer. She has been forcibly removed from her parents' care by psychiatrists. Her parents have been denied contact with her.

I am moderately affected by ME (and this has affected my life dramatically). I cannot imagine how awful it would be to be removed from my family and treated as though I just imagined that I was ill!

Avaaz Petition: Justice for Karina

As a result of coming down with ME I have lost my job and the ability to do many of the things I love.

I have however had the full support of my family, friends and doctor: who all understand that this is a very physically disabling illness.  I am coping relatively well by using a mobility scooter to get about and my family are helping me to keep positive by facilitating activities that I can enjoy.  

Karina is in her early twenties and has been removed from the care of her family.  She is much more severely ill than I am, and I find it hard to imagine that a civilised country could treat anyone this way.

Please help the ME community take a stand against this outrage!

Please sign and share widely.  Thank you.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Ugandan Fabric Top on Holiday!

I should have put a post up when I'd finished this...  Big mirrors in this hotel room so here's the top all made up and in use.  

The fabric came from a trip I made to Uganda in 1999 and was bought in a  market town in N.W. Uganda called Arua.  Buying it was quite an experience as every stall holder hustled to sell us something.  Then carrying it home on bicycle taxi (ladies sit side saddle pillion) was rather a white knuckle ride.

Just wish I'd bought more bits of fabric at the time, for it wasn't expensive, and the colours and patterns were amazing!  This top was made using a Prima magazine pattern, but I made it several inches longer so it could be worn as a dress in its own right.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Summer Sewing!

My daughter Elaine has been on a real sewing spree!  She said she'd do a guest post here, but is now rushing out on some social whirl and so has left me with some photos to share of her summer creations.

The first item is a dress that she made from fabric I had stashed, and mighty fine it looks too I think!

Edit to add picture of pattern used by Elaine 

She also bought some floaty material on our recent excursion to the fabric shop in Carrickfergus and made this neat little top (copying the outline pattern of one of her existing tops).  She made the skirt to go with it.

Finally her last item this week was this flowery top.  She and her friends went back to the shop in Carrickfergus last week, and this material and the skirt material came from this second foray.

And her friend Joanna, who had never used a sewing machine before, got very inspired to create a bag for herself out of some rather vibrant fluffy fleece material!

This fully lined bag was the end result!  Way to go Joanna!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Making a Row of Button-Holes - Ta Da!

Well I've finally finished the shirt and it was certainly worth waiting for the sewing machine to be mended so I could use the automatic button hole feature.....

Here's one of the buttons being used to set the size of the button hole.

Whole thing then attached to the machine, and the button hole stopper brought down to lie between the two guides on the buttonholer.

Then, of course a few practice runs on some spare material to find out where the button hole runs once the fabric is put in place.


I found to get my button holes in the right place I wanted to put the buttonholer almost to the edge of the fabric and then the button hole stopper against the back guide.  Like so:

Then it's just a case of putting the foot down and letting the machine do it's thing to produce button holes as marked on the fabric using the pattern guide.  I'm quite pleased with these.

After cutting the fabric inside each button hole I then marked through the button holes onto the fabric of the other side of the shirt using a biro.

 And this gave a guide for where to sew each button.

 Resulting in a nice row of buttons on my first ever shirt/blouse!  Yay!

Just need some warmer weather again now, so that I can wear it without covering it in layers of fleecies for warmth!  

PS.  Previous post regarding this blouse here: A Blouse - or an Origami Puzzle?

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Great Northern Irish Sewing Bee??

What fun we had today.

Me, my friend, and a collection of daughters had a good old stitch and bitch sewing day!

So here are the collection of sewing machines lined up ready for use in the kitchen sweat shop.....

And a few fat quarters and other fabric bits and pieces all laid out to look tempting....

First Debate.. then  Choose...... 

and Iron and Cut out pieces......

Next man the machines....

Iron out wrinkles as they happen....

And stitch some more.....

Those of use who started with a cuppa then got to dive in and sew too......

A quick pause for a smile....

Lots of concentration....

Another  scruffy pony in the making....

 And finally the end products of a good day's stitching...

One scruffy pony, a bow clutch bag, two zip-up make-up bags, a coin purse, a beach tote and a short skirt (folded on left)..

We WILL all sleep well tonight!  :)

Monday, 24 June 2013

Oh! Oh! Guess who went SHOPPING!

My daughters heard that there is a veritable Aladdin's Cave at Craftswoman Fabrics in Carrickfergus, and so off we went.  Talk about kids in a sweetie shop - we didn't know where to start!

Well, their mother of course headed for the Sale Rail!  And I'm sure we spent an hour and half debating and choosing .....

So here are a selection of their fabrics we brought home...

 Kerry hopes to make a short skirt with this amazing fabric ...

Elaine is scheming a  floaty top ....

With this creamy fabric....

And Shona is going to layer two fabrics to make herself a lacy top.

And did I manage to keep my hands in my pockets and resist temptation?.... OF COURSE NOT!  This fabric just smiled at me....... and all those ribbons came in a £3 sort of Lucky Bag.

Anyway girls and I had great fun...

So watch this space, because they tell me, if I'm very good, they might even do guest posts here about their creations!  

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sewing Machine all mended....

Delighted to have my sewing machine back up and running again.  Something had seized in it, and although I'd taken it apart as far as I dared, all I could see was a load of old fluff.   Cleaning the fluff away made no difference, so off it went to the menders.  (A little place on Newtownards Road in Belfast for those local enough to know.)

Turned out there was some thread wound around something vital and  a quick service and a tidy up has it ready to sing again.

So now to read up again on how to do button holes....

And to get started on sewing the Ugandan fabric into a summery top.  I got all the pieces cut last week in readiness.

So watch this space!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Sewing Machine Blues!

Well something went fifftt in my sewing machine and it's away to the menders!  The great button hole adventure for my shirt - all finished except for the button holes - will have to wait.

Watch this space!  Hopefully by Friday it will be back and Singing again.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

A Blouse - or an Origami Puzzle?

I'm using Butterick 6085, which is supposed to be  "Fast & Easy" - well that might be true if you've made lots of blouses before.

I've found a cotton type fabric in my "stash" that I bought on impulse on ebay one day, and it's been just sitting around for several months waiting for a project.

Having never made a blouse before, I am taking my time with this and reading the instructions.... Yet even so I managed some interesting puckers at the back of the neck once everything was turned right side out...

Ah!!... Out with the unpicker...

And at last the collar turns right way around and looks... WOW.... like a collar!  How did that happen?

And a sightly closer version...

Next time - sleeves and button holes etc....  But now dinner!  Phew!

Edit to add link to finishing the blouse: Making a Row of Button-Holes, Ta Da!