Sunday, 28 April 2013

I'm Still Here, Honest!

Janome! And eBay safety specs as I don't trust myself not to sew over pins

Hello there! I intended to follow up my 25 Before 23 - The End post with a new list some weeks ago but starting my new job & adjusting to that meant it fell by the wayside. I'm taking some time this weekend to sort things out and get properly rested. The students two doors down ruined the resting part, their loud party wasn't showing any signs of abating when I fell asleep from sheer tiredness at 4.30am. I dissipated some frustration by making a noise complaint at 2am but it didn't have any immediate effect - the council's noise team stop work at 3am. Bed at 8pm today I think.
Anyway, despite not making it onto blogger to write I have been using my forty minute bus commute as blog-reading time (hurrah for smartphones!) and getting some sewing in in the evenings. I'm a software engineer so I really can't escape from looking at a computer screen all day and, as you might expect, using my laptop just doesn't appeal in the evenings.
For my birthday (and in lieu of a couple of previous ones) my parents bought me a sewing machine. It's a Janome DC3050. John Lewis initially delivered me a needlefelting machine (apparently that's a thing - a scarily 5-needled £300 thing) which led to a couple of days of waiting in for couriers to collect the wrong machine and deliver the right one, but it's here now.
I'm slowly getting to grips with my Janome (which needs a name, something 50s sounding perhaps? Definitely female) but finding it frustrating at times. However I've almost finished my first item made with it, which I'll post about soon. I still need to show the internets my Simplicity 2451 (which finally has some seam finishing) but haven't got any decent photos of me actually wearing it yet. Sigh.
I wanted to go to the London sewists meet-up last weekend, which was amazingly co-ordinated by Rachel of House of Pinheiro, but sadly it didn't quite work with trains/buses and my sister's coursework schedule. I did spot from the pictures that Katy of Sleek Silhouette has made a lovely McCall's 6503 which has reignited my wanting to make one. I already have the pattern and 3m of cheap navy polycotton, plus old bedsheet for a toile, so it's just a matter of getting around to it.
I don't actually have any crochet on the go at the moment. I need to decide upon and commit to a project with some of my more special wool which is stagnating in my stash. Once I've decided I can take whatever it is on the bus and make fairly speedy progress :)
I'd also like to learn to knit but that's not going to be something I can do easily on the bus as the best way will probably be via YouTube. Anyone know of any good tutorial videos? I can do basic stitches but I don't think I'm doing them right and my tension is horrible.

Right, I'm off to enjoy the fact that I can afford to use a coffee shop as my sitting room for a bit. I've got a lot of hem to catch stitch and a 24 page paper pattern to assemble on their decent sized tables. (Honig Designs Garden Party Dress in case you're interested - it's recent and free!)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

25 Before 23 - The End


This post is somewhat overdue but I won't waste time chastising myself. I went away for two weekends, started a job(!!!), and have been without internet for the last week or so so it's not my usual spiral of self-criticism that's been stopping me. Anyway...

25 Things

  1. Finish my final project - Still no result but I'm booked in for graduation
  2. Get a job - My third interview was a winner. I started last Tuesday and all is well so far :)
  3. Move to Bristol
  4. Sew a dress - I've at least started! I have the pattern cut out for the Salme Patterns Sonja dress
  5. Make 10 of my recipe bookmarks / pins - 3253462365243/10 I like cooking
  6. Send parcels to far-away friends - Scarves completed but not yet sent
  7. Go to Southwold at least once
  8. Get rid of my Flickr backlog - I've made a dent at least Currently: film - October '11, digital - July '12
  9. Get a grip on my finances - Still needs doing. Argh.
  10. Sell my eBay pile, swap my swap pile - I gave some stuff but there's plenty more
  11. Mend & alter my mending & altering piles - Made a dent in the mending pile
  12. Read a newspaper regularly - I've been reading The Metro on the bus but that doesn't count!
  13. Weekend away by train
  14. Buy good shoes - I bought smart work shoes, my job has no dress code *sigh*
  15. Crochet 3 items from stashed wool - 6/3 Over and above, made another snood just before Easter
  16. Get a new phone
  17. Read 3 good/classic books - Over and above again :)
  18. Print more photos - Only did a few for Christmas presents
  19. Watch 3 good/classic films
  20. Exercise regularly - I've been consciously trying to walk more
  21. Scrapbook - Nope. I've got a scrapbook and a pile of stuff here but haven't started yet
  22. Have a picnic - Boy took me for lunch up at Chew Valley Lake on Good Friday and we had a sort-of picnic on Saturday
  23. Visit a city farm
  24. Visit my sister at university - Still needs doing
  25. Cycle from Bristol to Bath -Needs some effort putting in  
I haven't achieved everything on my list but I have done an awful lot, much of which I wouldn't have without this project. It's helped me get on with things, cut excuses, and use my time more efficiently. I've been going through lots of change so having a stated set of goals has been a nice anchor and I think prevented me from feeling so lost and confused as I might have.
I'm definitely going to produce a new list (and carry some items over) for this next year, I just need to turn my scribblings into a proper, balanced list.
Hurrah for projects!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Trials & Tribulations

Me: I know, I'll finish my seams by zig-zagging. It's simple to do & will look neat.
Sewing machine: No.