Thursday, 26 April 2012

A Discovery

paper craft header from Abakhan
I was browsing the UK based fabric suppliers the other day when I came across Abakhan.
Based in the North West of the UK, they have a few stores and a great website. I spent several house just browsing online and looking at their vast range of of supplies, courses, tutorials and news.
I've signed up for their newsletter and earmarked some fabric that I want to buy - did I say they are very very reasonable!

So UK followers - go have a look!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Happy Friday

Today was Happy Friday.
Once every 4-6 weeks a group of our friends get together and spend a couple of hours catching up. We also share food and drink. It has become a time to chatter, try new foods and the latest batch of home brew.

John and I made individual lemon meringue pies, we made an Italian meringue for the topping. It was surprisingly easy if rather messy (should've used a bigger bowl). We also made roasted tomato and goats cheese tartlets.

John and Martin cracked open a mini keg of their summer ale. It's tasting pretty good.

After dropping friends off on the way home we turned up the music (Pendulum) and wound the windows down. We are just so classy!!!!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Sewing by hand

I've started the dress today. In order to ensure I don't get greasy marks on the fabric I removed the covers from the dining table and worked directly onto the smooth table top.
I moisturised my hands well to stop the delicate fabric snagging on my dry skin.
I made sure I used only my sharpest pins and needles and began.

I cut out the fabric and then hand basted the two layers together. I also thread traced the seams. I only completed the very outer layers and still have the inner foundations to thread trace and mark.

I found it really relaxing and surprisingly enjoyable. I guess I knew it was going to take some time so relaxed into it.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

We got fabric!

Elaine and I finally got her bridal fabric today. It's going to be soooo pretty. I'm itching to get started, but there are currently guitars all over the place and I need the dining room table to cut out on, and do the initial basting. I really can't wait to share this dress with you but it will have to wait until the wedding in early June. I might show little snippets of construction as I go along.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Halter Dress Inspiration

I have some lovely fabric and want to make a halter dress, just some inspiration...
Which are your favourites?

Monday, 9 April 2012

I need some HELP!

I thought I'd sorted it.
What? you might ask.
My overlocker tension, that's what.
I used a you tube guide to sort my tensions - all was fine, working well. Then I changed the threads!
At first I thought it was the thread I was using - so I changed back. Same fabric now with rubbish tension.

Actually I think it's just one thread. My left needle thread. the rest seem to be ok.  The left needle tension is too loose. It doesn't seem to make any difference what setting I put the dial on it's still too loose.

Someone out there must have a clue as to what the problem could be. I would really appreciate it if you are able to help me sort this problem.



Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Celebrations

I must admit I was not feeling in a very celebratory mood when my alarm went off at 5am this morning!
However, by the time we'd reached the beach at 6am and it was starting to get light I was ready to celebrate. I love Easter Day. The day when we remember that Jesus rose again and how that allows us all the opportunity to have new life and a personal relationship with God.

Back home by 7am and time for a family breakfast of bacon and eggs before heading off to church for out morning service. I get to play my saxophone (which is a rare occurrence these days) and am looking forward to celebrating with our church family.

I know we have a creator God and that creativity is a special gift that we should celebrate. I thank God for the talents he's given me and how I can use them to bless other people and share his good news. I suppose that's why I write my blog.

Anyway a little bit of music to share with you today. One of my favourite bands is a UK group called Phatfish. The singer, Lou Fellingham also does some solo stuff and this song is amazing! It's been going around my head for days months and is so relevant for Easter.  So enjoy and check out their website too.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Dress and Blouse Refashion

John had bought me this skirt a couple of years ago in a sale. I love the fabric and the colours, but the fit was a little off and I don't have any tops that go with this, so I decided to remake it into a summer dress.

I added a side zip and used the waistband to make the straps. 


I used a pink ribbon at the waist and a thinner one to cover the raw edge in the bodice. The fabric had a little elastane in it, which stretched slightly under the arms. I used a gathering stitch to ease the excess and steamed it out. still a little more to do on the right side.

The second refashion was a blouse that I have loved wearing, but found the bottom frill made it look a bit dated. I used to wear it for work, when I could be more casual, but I now need to wear it tucked in to meet the dress code at work. So I removed the shirring elastic and removed the frill. I finished it with a narrow hem - ready for casual or smart :)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Fabric Delights and thread tension

Elaine and I went shopping for fabric for her wedding dress today. There was much discussion on the right shade and handle of the fabric, in the end we've opted for a two layered very drapey choice of fabrics. One is a polyester heavy chiffon - by heavy I mean it has substantial body - more like a georgette, two layers would be completely opaque. Topped with a viscose/ silk pattered fabric that just hints at the colour beneath. It will look beautiful! Itching to share with you and will do as soon as the wedding is done!

Secondly  I've had some problems setting the balance of my overlocker. One of the threads was not correctly tensioned. So I set the machine with 4 different colours so I could easily identify the correct tension dial and followed this guide. It worked pretty well and with just a little fine tuning the machine is now correctly balanced.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A surprise panda visit.

Yesterday was Bethan's birthday and we braved the freezing wind and rain to visit Edinburgh Zoo. Extended services at Bethan's school had provided a very reasonably priced coach trip - all we had to do was buy the entrance tickets.

We had hoped to visit the Pandas, but there were no viewing slots left. However we were determined to have a good day and spent a good few hours looking at the different animals. Many of the big cats were asleep, apart from the Jaguar and the Tiger. The Zebra were huddled in a corner out of the biting north east wind. The Monkeys got a lot of interest from the children and Cai was obsessed with seeing the Penguins, they weren't in their normal enclosure, as it's having some work done to it, but we got to see them in a different one.

After seeing all of the animals, we discovered we could queue to see the pandas in a standby queue, and hope to get in. As the weather was soooooo cold and wet, some people who had booked Panda viewing had not turned up and we got to see the two Chinese Pandas; Tian Tian and Yang Guang. The keepers have been preparing the pandas for breeding. which is possible for just a few days in each year. The Pandas are solitary animals and have separate enclosures, so they had swapped enclosures to get used to each others scent. Tian Tian was asleep outside in her enclosure, while Yang Guang was busy eating. we saw him both inside and outside. He seemed very lively!

I'm glad we got the opportunity to go yesterday. Had we gone today we would not have been able to see the Pandas as they have been put into one enclosure in the hope that they will mate this week. Here's hoping that there will be baby Pandas in the not too distant future, helping keep this beautiful animal from becoming anymore endangered.


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