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Topics - b15erk

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The Cafe / How can it get any worse.......?
« on: December 14, 2017, 12:43:22 PM »
I've been up to my ears in work, but got it under control now.  I had terrible back and pelvic pain last week, but that seemed to be responding to Naproxen.  I've taken the Belle frocks right to the wire, but there is now a manageable amount left to do.

Then, it happened.  Yesterday, the back/pelvic pain (poss sciatica?), had returned with a vengeance, so I left work early to try to get caught up with wrapping etc which is so time consuming, but I can do it while taking drugs.  OH had volunteered to do the Costco run as walking is painful, so I said I'd cook dinner.

I turned the oven on to heat up, and went back 15 mins later - to a stone cold oven! :o  Grill mode, chicken mode, pizza mode, and fast mode - everything has stopped working except for the display panel!!  Absolutely gobsmacked.  I have Christmas to cook on Sunday, and the oven is dead.....  :o

So, I did what I usually only do with my PC, and re-booted it.  It worked.  I'm sure it's only a temporary fix, but fingers crossed it will see me through until after dinner on Sunday.

We had noticed that it was being a bit temperamental lately, but just thought it was a hiccup - never thought of a total shutdown being on the cards.  ><

Keep your fingers crossed for me for Sunday, I have no time to buy a new oven atm, or search for a repairman.  :(


I've just read this article, and it's a real good news story!  Never heard of the brand before, but interesting to read a sewing success story.


The Cafe / Fewmin!
« on: December 08, 2017, 08:55:37 AM »
Just checked my emails to see when my yellow glass beads will arrive - and I've ordered the wrong ones!  Can't believe I've ordered gold instead of yellow!   :S

Where the heck am I going to get my beads now?  I need them today....

Puts thinking cap on ......

What a numpty!


Patterns & Fitting / McCalls M6711
« on: December 05, 2017, 08:45:53 AM »
Anyone made this?

I found it with some others in the charity shop, and wondered if the dress would be a quick make for my hols?

I won't have much time to make it, we go away on the 22nd, but it looks straightforward - there's a nice top on there too....

Looking for any pitfalls or fitting issues, and whether the overall dress looks as good as the cover picture.


Today... / Monday 27th November
« on: November 27, 2017, 09:21:03 AM »
Well, it's not like me to be first on, but there you go.

Nasty, dark and wet today, with a stiff breeze - OK, feels more like a gale force wind!

Plenty to do today, the usual paperwork running up to the VAT return.

The rest involves 2 Belle dresses and an unpicker - go figure.

Busy day.


I found this series of videos completely by accident, and they are wonderful!

Never heard of Charles Kleibacker, but the insight into his fitting and finishing techniques is amazing.  Just watching him work on fitting the Dianne Von Furstenburg wrap over (Vogue pattern).

Wonderful stuff!! Just the thing for a wet, miserable day!  ;)


Patterns & Fitting / What is a Pattern?
« on: November 20, 2017, 09:53:22 AM »
I've been using patterns for a long, long time, whether free, or paid for.  Some are good, some are bad, and some just need binning!

But, I don't think, in all my years of sewing, that I have ever sewn a project as is, straight from the packet.

Case in point is my latest project, my Belle frocks.  I was going to sew 3 Belle dresses straight from the envelope.

Nope.  I managed to get cheap yellow satin and yellow sparkly organza and netting, but, I couldn't get the right trimmings, and the ones I did manage to get looked naff.  This sparked a total re-design sans gold trimmings.

On reflection, I do something similar with every garment I sew, and I don't think I own one hand sewn garment, that looks like the front of the pattern packet.

Does anyone else do this?  I'm beginning to feel contrary, or difficult to please - or both!

How do you use your patterns?  Do you faithfully follow the instructions, and get a lovely garment at the end of it?  Or do you use your pattern as a jumping off point, before going off at a tangent?


A Good Yarn / Garden View Shawlette
« on: November 16, 2017, 09:07:34 AM »
Don't ask me why I have started knitting this type of thing, I never have before, but I'm finding it very relaxing.

This was a free Ravelry download, and as I'm not using the correct yarn, I will have to make some adjustments.  I'm using up the last of the silk mix, which is approx DK weight, and is a real pleasure to knit with.  I started off with a cotton lycra mix, but I thought the silk looked nicer.


Vintage Machines / I've broken my Featherweight
« on: November 15, 2017, 09:06:04 AM »
In order to kick start my stalled Belle project, I decided to spreed things up by using the Ruffler attachment.  The only machine I have at home which will take one of these is the Featherweight.

Took her out of the box and set her up to do miles and miles of net and organza.  She really does stitch beautifully, and so quiet!

Fixed the Ruffler on, tested on cotton first, then net, all OK.  The minute I tried to sew the organza, the whole lot came to a halt.  I knew immediately that it was thread jam in the bobbin area - again.

Stopped everything, tipped her up, and saw the offending thread.  I tried to pluck it out, but only managed to snap it....

This time however, I couldn't remove the bobbin assembly at all.  I think it is well and truly broken.....

Anyone know of any videos, or tutorials other than the Featherweight Shop ones.  These are helpful, but rely on the assembly coming out easily when the gib mechanism is released.

For now, I need to find another machine which plays well with a ruffler....  ><


A Good Yarn / Boysen Berry Cowl
« on: November 14, 2017, 09:26:59 AM »
I started this at the weekend when my sweater fell out of favour, and I was waiting for short circulars... (I'm still not getting on with the magic loop).

I'd already found this pattern on t'internet, and decided that it was a quick project and I needed to knit it! :)

I chose to use some silk mix yarn I got from a charity shop, and smaller gauge needles - 10's I think.  I really like it.

No problems at all, just a nice gentle knit.  I actually bought this pattern  :o - I know, I usually choose free ones! It's $5.40 but I think I'll be knitting a few.  I'll also be looking at some of Grace Mcewen's other patterns.


Patterns & Fitting / 3 Belles - Progress
« on: November 13, 2017, 15:45:55 PM »
This stalled a bit with the trimmings saga, and life in general poking it's nose in.....

So, yesterday I made a start on the petticoats, and nearly finished all 3.  Just waiting for measurements, then I can do the waistbands and finish off.

One bodice is ready for sewing, but work halted again, as the sleeves caused me problems.

I've decided to steam ahead, with the simplest construction, and adjust as necessary.

Pic of petticoats attached.

A Good Yarn / Blocking??
« on: November 09, 2017, 09:26:26 AM »
Any tips?

I've never done it before, but on the Sea Nymph sweater, I can see that it would benefit, mainly because, I unpicked? frogged, tinked? so many times at the beginning of this project, so the knitting doesn't look too neat.

I'm on the last lap with this, just the sleeves to do, and it would be nice to know that it can look rather nicer than it does at present.....


Vintage Machines / Lovely machine £5 in Norwich
« on: November 04, 2017, 11:46:36 AM »
Anyone wanting a bargain machine should look at this:

Not a make I know, but it looks to be a lovely clean and tidy machine.  May do someone as a spare?

If I lived there I'd give it a go.  :(


Your Favourite Suppliers / Now that I've had my moan....
« on: November 03, 2017, 12:42:28 PM »
Had a big moan about Chinese delivery times on another thread, so here is the balance side, and the best reason to order from this country.  An ebay company, ordered two pieces of fabric, free delivery, ordered the 1st November, delivered on the 2nd!!  Well done them,  and the fabric is lovely too!

Helen Howes: Ordered bits for my overlocker, and even allowing for the fact that I amended the order twice, I received the package yesterday - and everything is perfect! 

So, it's not all bad - just the bits from China!  ;)


The Cafe / Fyumin!!
« on: November 03, 2017, 08:52:32 AM »
With myself mostly.  After a lengthy search yesterday, I ordered some lace for my Belle costumes.  Not a great amount of money, and coming from China.  That hasn't been much of a problem in the past.

Then I got an email, informing me that my items have been shipped, excellent!  ..... And should be with me between 30 - 40 days!  What!!  Are they coming by sea in a coracle?  Or overland on a bicycle?

I'm beyond annoyed with myself for not reading the delivery times.

Just made arrangements with OH to more or less have the morning off tomorrow, to get the train to Liverpool Abakhan.

Unless any of you have a better suggestion?


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