Thursday, 18 July 2013

Making a Tailor's Ham (or Sewing in the Barn)

Currently. I'm working my way through the Sassy Librarian Blouse on Craftsy, instructed by Christine Haynes. The class requires or reccommends a few sewing tools I didn't have. One was this amazing fasturn tool for turning your sewn tubes of fabric right side out in a flash. Seriously, check out this video! Too bad it's too pricy for me when you factor in shipping.

The second was a tailor's ham. In the past, I'd always just pressed darts like normal on a flat ironing board (I guess that's what you get for being mostly self taught). I looks all over for a tailor's ham, but they are extremely hard to find in my area. I looked online and saw I could order one from Joann's, but I hate paying shipping on a single item and I didn't need anything else at the time. So I decided to make my own!

I looked at a few different tutorials and decided to go with this one by Serger Pepper. The tutorial calls for one side of the ham to be covered in cotton and one to be covered in wool. I had lots of cotton scraps to choose from (I went with stars). However, I didn't have any wool scraps around and I didn't feel like running to the fabric store just for this project. So I found this wool skirt that had to lying in my mending pile for ages. It doesn't fit anymore anyway, so I decided to cut into it for my ham. Look at me upcycle AND stashbust on the same project!

The skirt I sacrificed for this project

The empty ham
The tutorial was pretty straight forward, since it's basically a ham-shaped pillow. But that leads to the barn reference in the title. The tutorial calls for you to go out and buy a package of hamster bedding (wood shavings). Well, along with being a sewist, I'm also an equestrian! So last weekend when I went out to riding my horse (his name is Scarface, one of these days I'll post some pics of him), I also filled my ham with some clean shavings from the barn. Since, I didn't want to make a mess in the house/my bf's car, I sewed it up right there in the barn!

Completed ham - wool side
Completed ham - cotton side
Overall, I'm pretty happy with this project, although I think I underfilled it a touch, so I might go back and try to fill it a bit more. It was essentially free, since I already had all the supplies (or they were readily available), which is nice, since it would have cost me $18.29 to buy it from Joann's and have it shipped to Canada (the shipping was only $1 less than the cost of the ham). Now I can save my sewing budget for something fun (like maybe a pattern or two from Deer and Doe)!

As well, I will admit that some sewing shenanigans also occurred while working on this one late at night.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Meet my new friend!

Back in June, the bf and I went on a road trip down through Idaho and Washington state. It was awesome. The drive was absolutely beautiful and I really enjoy visiting Seattle (Pike Place Market was so cool). We even got a chance to go kayaking, which I totally fell in love with. One other thing we made sure to do was go to a fabric store and look for a dressform. Since I had the bf in tow (he only has so much patience for fabric stores), I only ended up going to one major fabric superstore: Hancock's. For those of you with a Hancock's in your neighbourhood, this might not sound exciting at all, but prices for patterns (99 cents for McCall's) and the dressform were much better than here in Canada. So after a lot of thought on the matter, I decided to get the basic Sewperfect model by Dritz. It's pretty basic, but it was relatively inexpensive, so I won't feel bad when I need to upgrade in the future. Here she is (sorry the photo quality is a bit poor):

So far, I've been really happy with her, but I only set her up last weekend, so I'll give a full report once we've spent a bit more time together.

Here's some pictures of our trip!

Puget Sound
Space Needle

Pike Place Market

Riding the golden piggy (bull riding style)

At the first Starbucks

Glass statue in Tacoma

Glass sculptures

Guy blowing glass at the glass museum
Ballard Locks
Lift-y bridge near the locks
Cutest honey truffle evar!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

I've Moved (just me, not the blog)!

Well, I've finally finished moving. It ended up taking a lot longer than expected, since the first place we were scheduled to move into didn't turn out and we ended up having to move again 3 weeks later. Yikes! But at least everything was still packed I guess.

Anyway, we finally got moved in a couple weeks ago. There's still a few boxes to go (waiting for my mom to come visit with her SUV so I can get my bookshelves from IKEA). However, there is exciting news! We've gone from a one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom townhouse, which means a lot more space. And my wonderful boyfriend agreed to let me make the second bedroom into a sewing room. I am beyond happy about it!

So I thought I share a couple pictures of my new space. It's still a disaster of boxes, but I've gotten my table, sewing machine and iron set up and have finally been able to do a bit of sewing in the past couple days. Working on my sassy librarian blouse (hopefully wearable) muslin. I'm new to the Craftsy platform, but so far I like it. It's a bit slower to watch the video compared to reading a pattern, but I enjoy being able to watch her techniques. Advanced sewers might get bored with explanations for beginners, but for where I am now it works great. Except I don't have enough plugins to plug in my laptop, so I can only sew for as long as the battery lasts. The bf said he will get me a powerbar though, then I can sew all night! Also, if you look closely in the closet, you can see my newest sewing toy, which I'll show off to all of you next week.

Finally, I just wanted to mention that along with getting a new place to live, I also got a new job! It's exciting and nerve-wracking all at once (I haven't started at a new job since 2009). I'm going from being a student to working 9-5 through May, June and half of July to my new job, where I'll be working 12 hour shifts 7 days on/7 days off alternating days and nights. You guys! This means I get a week off every other week! There will be entire DAYS of sewing! I'm super excited. Here's hoping I can handle the night shift! My first day is Monday! Expecting a bit of a bittersweet last day at the old job tomorrow.