Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hobby mashup

 While the SO and I were on holidays this summer, we came across a few funny little stores that combine several of my hobbies: A shop that sold both sewing machines and bikes (above), and a bike store that was in a space formerly occupied by an aquarium store (below). I guess they decided to keep the old sign and just add their own store name!

I finished a cross-hobby project recently as well, a fabric cover for my bike seat.

The cover is not for saddle protection, but for pants protection: I made the unhappy discovery while biking the other day that the black leather saddle can leave stains on my clothes, especially if I bike too hard in the sweaty summer heat. Since I was on my way to to sewing store when this happened, I was able to sew up a quick solution before I biked home. Now that I have the pattern, I'll probably use it to sew up some waterproof seat covers as well when I find some appropriate fabric.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A processor preview

You might think based on my radio silence here on the blog that there hasn't been much in the way of sewing, biking, or other hobbies in Biketopus land, but that's actually not the case. I've been getting a fair number of things done, including reaching a significant milestone on my processor quilt: I finally have the entire thing pieced! Finishing up the decorative stitching on those last few rows of red squares was not exactly scintillating sewing, but I managed to get it done by bringing them into the sewing shop on a Sunday so I could have some company while I stitched what felt like miles of straight lines.

Immediately after finishing piecing the top I made up the bed with it so I could see how it would look. It's not as wide as I somehow thought it would be (despite having supposedly carefully measured when I started it years ago), but it does look sufficiently long to cover up the SO's dangling feet. I was a little worried while making it that the bright colors would overwhelm our small bedroom, but I actually really like the way the quilt fills the room. I like peaceful decor in hotel bedrooms, but for my own house I prefer energetic bright colors.

 What remains now is to make a plan for actually quilting this quilt. I toyed with the idea of asking my sister to quilt it with a random meander pattern or even just quilting it with straight lines, but I just wasn't feeling that excited about going forward with a simple design. My SO pointed out that this thing has already been years in the making, so it doesn't really matter if it takes me another year to finish some ridiculously complicated quilting pattern. I'll probably end up very annoyed at myself halfway through, but right now I'm really looking forward to incorporating a bit more of the texture of the original photo with quilting. Where I have had an ongoing attack of the lazy lately, however, is in taking pictures. All I have for now are these cell phone pics, but I'll try to corral the SO into taking better pics sometime soon so that you can see the full quilt.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

... and one big one.

I've also been working on the processor quilt once again. In early February I had a rather annoying stretch of sewing where the blouse pattern that I was drafting was just not working out, and I find that when I only have a spare hour to sew it's not very satisfying to spend that precious bit of time doing something like redrafting a sleeve. So, I turned back to the processor quilt, where at least every little bit does add visible progress towards finishing this massive project.

I've now finished enough so that you can see what the finished dimensions of the quilt will be, and it's big. So big, in fact, that I couldn't even lay the whole thing out on my sewing room floor! The quilt is actually much more finished than it looks, because most of the bottom part is a fairly easy to piece section (I think it's the cache of the chip?), and I already have some of that done. So, I mainly have one long strip that goes along the side and some of the cache to go.

Here's a detail shot of the top section of the quilt -- any guesses on how many pieces are in there? Maybe some day when I'm very, very bored I'll count it!

A few little projects...

The past two months have been quite travel heavy for me, with numerous little bounce trips to places on the east coast, and a longer trip to Portland to visit some dear friends of mine. Portland is a wonderful city to bike in, and after being snowed in here in Montreal for the last few months, it was a great feeling to be able to stretch my legs on the bike.

In between trips, I've been working on various little sewing projects, like this shirt for my Portland friends' son, who likes to play the ukelele. I was rummaging through my stash one evening when it dawned on me that this 3/4 yard of Hawaiian print fabric would be just the perfect amount for a ukelele playing outfit. The pattern is once again Oliver and S's sketchbook shirt pattern, this time in a 3T (I'm getting good at making these things now!).

I also made some baby bibs, including these two matching octopuses for another friend's twin baby girls (by the way, three babies and one toddler in the house for the week = exhaustion! I'm in my pajamas today recovering). I took these bibs over to Emiline & Annabelle to work on, a local sewing workshop where you can rent sewing time by the hour. It was fun to meet some other sewists and brainstorm with them about how I was going to cut these curly octopus tentacles out! I ended up signing up for a sewing membership, and will be going back in a few weeks for a lesson on how to use their serger.

And finally, an action shot of the Hawaiian shirt -- that's a smile that makes all those flat felled seams worthwhile!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

More Sorbettos

Sorbetto is the pattern that just keeps on giving! Like many out here in the sewing internets, I've made a bunch of these now. Here are a few more versions:

This one is for my mom, made out of a fabric that she purchased while on vacation. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but this was not a fun fabric to work with! It frayed like crazy, and as you can see from the photo it creases easily, too. Fabric issues aside, though, the top turned out quite well. I made it for her in a size 6, with an inverted pleat left open at the bottom to give it more of a swingy tunic look to it.

I made one for myself as well with an inverted pleat left open at the bottom, but I don't have a photo of it here. I do wear it, but it's not the best look on me -- having a pleat that opens up directly under my bustline makes me look like a pregnant lampshade. I also used the size 6 pattern as my base and did a large FBA. That helped with the shoulder and armhole fit, but it resulted in such a massive dart that it was impossible to sew without getting a pucker in it at the tip.

So, when I made this version, I divided the giant dart into two little darts (it's a little hard to see in this photo, though). They still look a little puckery, but I think that's more the fault of the fabric than the pattern this time. This final Sorbetto is madeout of a stretch silk charmeuse that I've had aging in my stash for a while. I wanted to make something pretty basic out of it, but to make it slightly more interesting I did the pleat and the binding out of the reverse matte side of the fabric (unfortunately this made the binding a total nightmare to sew because the slippery sides were facing inwards and the binding kept twisting like crazy!).

I think I'm probably about finished with this pattern -- despite tweaking the pattern multiple times, I still feel like the fit in the shoulders is not quite right for me. I had the feeling that the shoulders were too wide for me in my Rooibos muslin as well, so maybe the Colette patterns sloper has shoulders that are just a bit too broad for me?