Monday, 5 November 2012

New Fabric, WIPs & some very personal questions...

Part 1: New Fabrics.

Today I welcome 9 new members into my fabric stash. All approx 150cm x 2m and I believe all are cotton.

Dad came back from a trip to Vietnam on Saturday and even though I said not to buy me anything, he came back with one suitcase full of stationary (for my sister) and fabric (for meeeeee!) Yayayya!

Dad's sister did the actual buying, so thanks aunty! There are some cuties in this bunch - third from top is my fav so far, mmm fruit. The ones that aren't my style or whatever can be used to make wearable muslins - nothing goes to waste :)

For a closer look, I've posted pics at the bottom of this post.

Part 2: WIPs

I've been banging on about these awards nights for months now so you probably vaguely remember that I have one coming up this Friday. Well, the last dress I made (here) turned out to be a thumbs down for me, so that meant that I had less than a week to get an outfit together.

I went shopping at Darn Cheap again during the week and bought "silk viscose" - now, how much should I trust those labels on the bolt of fabric? Is there such thing as "silk viscose"?

Viscose is not my friend from way back. I used to shop on ASOS and bought a few items that were viscose... they annoyed me cos they would get so fricken wrinkly after the wash and I'd accidentally destroy them with the hot iron (pre-sewing days).

With that history, not sure why I bought viscose. It looked good at the time, plus I drove an hour to Darn Cheap, I wasn't going home empty handed.

After some hours on Saturday night and a couple of hours on Sunday morning, I ended up with this mess...

Not what I had in mind. It's too casual for my function, too flimsy... and that viscose did my head in!!! It stretched and warped every time I touched it... nightmare.

This hem line has no chance of being even!

I managed to finish the bodice (fully lined) and attached a full skirt to it before casting it aside and going to a family BBQ.

After the BBQ, I started on another dress using beautiful floral fabric from my stash - cotton sateen is such a joy to work with. Even the sunsilky lining is a godsend after my weekend with viscose.

After 3.5 hours, here's what I have... TBC!

Part 3: Very personal questions
Okay, they're not that personal. Just some questions that I have been meaning to ask other sewists... 
  1. I always buy an invisible zipper and a dress zipper for each project, incase I decide to hand pick. Does anyone else do this or is it just me? I'm so indecisive!
  2. When cutting your fabric, do you get paranoid that you will cut off your hair!?! Or your tape measure? I started wearing my hair in a bun when I'm cutting cos I'm sure one day I'm gonna slice off my pony tail.
  3. How often do you oil your machine? I oiled mine for the first time in one year! Bad girl.

It's almost 3AM in Melbourne so I should get to bed soon. 

Lucky for me I have no work today and Tuesday is Melbourne Cup (public holiday for a horse race) so I have 2 more days to work on my dress for Friday.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Enjoy my fabric babies x


  1. NEENO! I am so in love with your fabric babies, especially those florals. You are a lucky girl.

    1. The zipper I buy depends on my mood. Lately, I HATE invisible zips. So annoying to install. Though my regular zip jobs haven't been looking particuarly brag-worthy either.

    2. I don't really ever get scared I'll snip my hair or measuring tape when cutting, though I do feel like I'm always breaking my back bending over that cutting table - blerg.

    3. I have NEVER oiled my machine! I know, I'm bad. I'll do it one of these days. I've only had it for about a year, so I guess it could be worse...

    Oh, and I really, really love that floral cotton sateen you're using for your awards dress now. Where do you find such pretty fabrics? I seem to only have luck at online stores these days...

  2. Your new fabrics are gorgeous! I think my favorite of the bunch is the second from the top in your first photo...the cream/blue/purple/pink floral. So pretty!

    1. I change my mind every time I buy a zipper for a new project, which usually translates to me alternating with each garment I buy for. The only thing I can be certain of is that if there's a thick seam (because of piping or something), I don't use an invisible zipper.

    2. My hair is super short compared to its old length, so I'm not afraid of cutting it off now, but I am totally paranoid that I'll cut through more layers of fabric than I mean to and ruin my fabric. I'm constantly smoothing and lifting the edge to double-check. :)

    3. I've been alternating between machines. My mom lent me hers on and off for a while, then took it back and gave me my grandpa's old machine, then we switched again because my grandpa's machine wasn't that great. I've never oiled either machine, but partially because I've never had one to call my own for more than a year. It's probably about time for this one!

  3. Love your cotton sateen nearly-a-dress! I've just spent the last few days battling a silk blend, it had stretch and wanted to WIGGLE! so frustrating.

    1. Now, I usually only ever go for an invisible, even though I always forget how to insert them and always sew them in wrong the first time. I'm a sucker for punishment, I suppose.

    2. I don't get scared of cutting my hair or tapes, but I always pray that I'll get it right before the first snip! I do, however, remember the BANG when my Mum and one of her colleagues were using an electric fabric cutter to get through multiple layers of fabric for samples, and cut through the power cord. Very, very scary.

    3. Never oiled my machine! And, even worse, I've only just gotten it back from its first ever service. BAD JULIET!

    Your Vietnamese fabrics are just beautiful, lucky you!

  4. Fabric is beautiful!! I had to laugh at your very personal questions - only a sewist!!
    #1 I don't usually buy two zippers, I guess I try to decide what would be best for the design ahead of time.
    #2 Hehee! I have relatively short hair so I would have to get very very very close to the fabric to cut it off! I DO get very paranoid about slicing a finger - I'm incredibly clumsy that way and.. well... I've sliced my fingers doing less difficult tasks (most recently, de-pitting an avocado...)
    #3 I oiled my machine once after... I don't know... 2 1/2 years?? I didn't really feel like it did anything - but I DID get oil everywhere!

    Have fun getting your dress ready for your event! How exciting to have something fun to sew for!!!

  5. Oh man, way to have a sudden increase in your fabric stash for free! I feel similarly about sewing with viscose, even though its drapiness is so flattering in the end. The cotton sateen you went with instead looks gorgeous and I hope the rest of it comes together quickly!

    1) I don't use invisible zips anymore; they break so much more easily and it's just not worth it to me if I'm going to end up replacing it in the end.
    2) My biggest fear when cutting is slicing through the shell or lining fabric when I'm just supposed to be cutting the seam allowance! I almost always tie up my hair when sewing, mostly because it makes it easier to try things on while sewing.
    3) I've never oiled my machine, but I took it in for a tune-up a year ago. Wow, that felt like a very scary confession to make! Way to ask the personal questions, Neeno!

  6. Gorgeous fabrics, very lucky!
    1. I pretty much only use invisible zippers for everything, terrible aye? But I really like the look even though I know they aren't as strong as dress zippers but I've never had a problem myself :)
    2. My hair isn't long enough for me to worry about, anymore...before I went to University my hair used to be so long I could sit on it, but then I chopped it all off. I do usually tie my hair up though, just to keep it off my face and out of my eyes.
    3.I am pretty pedantic when it comes to servicing my machines. I oil and clean after every 3rd or 4th project, more often if the fabric was particularly fluffy. I believe if I keep my machines well maintained with a little bit of effort regularly will save me big $$$ in the long run and I have never needed to have either of them repaired or serviced so I think it is working ;)

  7. Woo! Lovely fabrics! My favourite is the red rosy one. In regards to your questions, I almost never use invisible zippers, probably because until I have a metal foot for it (instead of the disastrous Birch plastic one) I've either hand stitched them or given them to someone else to deal with. And I have never oiled any of my machines!! Oops!!!

  8. Too bad about the viscose dress =[, the print looks cute at least!
    I love! invisible zippers ever since I got the right foot for them, I never get the same neat finish with a regular zip. Invisibles go in perfectly every time (after I've ironed and tacked and changed the foot)!
    I've never cut my hair sewing but I've cut my clothes when I've been careless and tired cutting too close to myself.
    Oil my machine? there a time interval for that kind of treatment or should I just do it when my machine starts to jam up and ruin my projects =P

  9. Love the cotton sateen dress, and I gotta agree with Bridget that the viscose print is cute indeed! ;-)

    Hmm, I always use invisible zippers for garments and (perhaps this is a strange thing) I get insanely inspired when I look at zippers, so I usually buy a bunch and keep them in my drawer. I just loveeee looking at zippers. Another weird thing-- I prefer to sew invisible zippers with the regular zipper foot despite having an invisible zipper foot. EEPS.

    I've never thought about accidentally cutting my hair BUT... but... I'm always afraid that I'll accidentally cut a big hole in the middle of the garment while trimming seams/threads. Been paranoid about that ever since I accidentally cut a hole into a bag I was sewing back when I was 15. Gulp.

    I used to oil my machine every 3-4 months, but since I changed to a computerized machine I'm told that I shouldn't oil it myself because the oil might interfere with the computerized parts? So I'm supposed to take it to the shop to service it. Which I haven't done in like almost a year. OOPS.....

  10. ha ha ha, I've been very happy reading your post, I laughed a lot with your idea ... you are afraid of cutting your hair with patterns! I could not stop laughing!
    You are very lucky! Wow! All these treasures!

  11. Ahhhh! Love this post! Your fabric is AMAZING! What a great souvenir!

    1.) I buy two zippers, too, every time I'm making a sort of special dress. Confession: I've only not used an invisible zip once!
    2.) I'm not worried about my hair but I'm SO SCARED that I'm going to cut off part of my finger every time I use the rotary cutter! I guess I'm paranoid!
    3.) Um, I've never oiled my machine and it's nearly the one-year anniversary of when I got it. Oops!!

  12. Love the fabric with the big orange flowers and the bottom one - gorgeous. As for your questions:
    1. I've never bought a zipper, I have so many from what used to be Mum's stash that I pick one from that (still haven't used an invisible zipper either). At some point I will run out of long ones but I'll only buy one.
    2. I've never been worried about cutting my hair but I have cut my waxed paper - I did it again this weekend! I've also cut my clothes (and myself) when I'm cutting something on my lap (stupido, stupido, stupido!)
    3. I oil the overlocker when I think of it, I don't think I've ever oiled my new SM (a few years new) and the old one got oiled a handful of times over the last 25 years ............. bad tiger! I did ask a SM tech about oiling the old one (the only time I've ever had to take it to be serviced), he said they don't recommend that customers oil them at all because often they do more harm than good. I also asked him if SM's were supposed to be serviced regularly, nope, only if something is wrong and then they get oiled.

  13. Is there a better surprise than fabric? That large floral with orange flowers is divine. I can't wait to see what you make from it and also I want to see the finished cotton sateen dress, the bodice looks so well made (I love working with this fabric too).

    1. I always use invisable zippers. When I first started sewing I used dress zips, but I haven't tried insalling a non-invisable in a long time...I'm far too lazy for hand sewing. I respect people that do it, but I am no good at it.

    2. Now that I have short hair I don't need to worry about it but I sometimes worry about cutting the fabric where I dont want it to cut.

    3. I have only oiled mine once or twice this year. I usually only think about it when something sounds off (as I sew) or I have had it serviced. My mum usually reminds me to oil it haha

  14. 1. I always buy only invisible zipper%)
    2. Nope
    3. I have new machine and woman in the shop said that 1 time in year is ok(if you sew not very often, like 1 dress per day%))

  15. superbe blogs vos créations sont magnifiques un grand bravo !!!


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