Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sunday Sevens - 27th September

1. Working downtown for the day so got to have nice lunch and coffee.... Very tasty  Black Forest mocha.

2. The fabric I won from Natalie's giveaway arrived. It's a beautiful vibrant cotton sateen. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but it's got a good weight and stretch. As much as we all love making pretty dresses, I really wear separates a lot more so I think this will become some trousers. I'm trying to sew more of what I actually wear rather than getting drawn in to whichever pattern is the current blogsphere craze, but it's so hard to resist!!! 

3. In preparation for winter in Alberta I really really needed more insulating layers (honest guv!). Never mind that I already have a feather and a synthetic one, what I obviously needed was wool. And posh expensive wool at that...

4. Illuminatia Garden and Lantern festival at Calgary Zoo. Quite cool, but I was wandering around by myself and feeling at bit gloomy. Hopefully Mal will be here when they do the Zoo Christmas lights and we can go together!

5. Creative Stitches show, and manning the booth for the Calgary MQG. Nice to get involved and meet more Guild ladies, but the show was a bit quiet and small. I didn't even do any shopping...

7. Finished my Cookie blouson, and look the seams match!! I should really take more photos and write a full blog post....

The Sunday Sevens series is the brainchild of Natalie at Threads and Bobbins.  You can find out more (and join in!) here.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Sunday Sevens - 20th September

Yes I know, late and I missed a week but I didn't really have much to show.... Here's my seven shots for Natalie's Sunday sevens!

1. Calgary corporate challenge... The mountain biking at Olympic Park was ridiculously hot, I went off way too fast on the first circuit and was knackered by the second so my time was terrible.

2. Corporate challenge again. This time the 10k run. Cooler temperatures, a bit of drizzle and an early morning start made for a much more plesant experience.  I'd forgotten how much I enjoy participating in running events. Note to self - must get out more...

3. A soggy ride to work, fortunately I take my own drying rack with me....

4. A sew day, so lots of progress on my cookie blouson... And practise crazy selfie shots in the mirror... Whoooaaa!

5. Up crazy early to meet the club for a hike, so I was treated to a cracking 'post Chinook' sunrise (I have no idea if this happens every time...)

6. A drizzly day in the mountains. Relaxing hike up to Burstall Pass in Kananaskis to check out the turning larches.

7. I can't do a blog post with only one mountain shot.

Friday, 11 September 2015

I am Made Up

Phew.... I made it.

A month ago, Karen of Did you make that launched a sewing community initiative to raise money for the National Literary Trust.  The aim being for people to donate funds, and pledge to make something within the month.

Well I've been sitting with lots of shirting fabric in my collection, and a plan to replace all my old work shirts with copies of Butterick 5526 (after seeing other bloggers raving about the pattern - e.g. Lauren and Erica), and I decided that would be my pledge.

And here it is. View D bodice (princess seams, love) with the long sleeves from views B/C/E, and lots of topstitching....  It nearly didn't make it to completion in time.  I had a week away with work and then Mal was over for 10 days from the UK (and we went and played in the mountains) so that all ate into my sewing time.  I'm trying to take more care with my sewing, not rush to get it finished but aim to take my time and improve the quality. I seem to be more relaxed about it these days, if I don't make a deadline I'm not staying up late and stressing myself out.

The fabric is a lovely light cotton with a slight stripe and sheen, and was one of my haul picked up in the fabric market in Ho Chi Minh City.  I can't remember how much it cost, but it wouldn't have been much, and I have high hopes of its longevity as the quality feels excellent.  The only problem was that it frayed really badly, which didn't cause any issues but I'm now prepared with Fray Check if it happens again!

I cut a size 12, and added an extra half inch to the side seams on the front and back pieces (so total extra 2 inches) but didn't make any changes to the princess seams.  Sorry, I don't have any means to take photos of me wearing the shirt (no tripod in Canada!) but I can report that the fit is spot on.  Usually I have to make adjustments for the armhole being too tight at the front but this feels perfect.  The only thing I might change is to make the cuffs a little wider as with the button done up they are a little tight (if you're wearing a watch).  The length of the sleeves is perfect though.

To make the shirt a little bit special (and because I can, after all that is the whole point of sewing your own clothes) I used some leftover patterned cotton for the inside of the collar stand and the cuffs. I love how it peaks out. Hopefully it looks quite stylish?!

All of my seams were flat felled. This is only the second time I've done flat felling and I think I'm improving a bit. It looks a little tidier than last time!  However, I do need to practise more on the sleeve seam, it could definitely be neater...

Monday, 7 September 2015

Sunday Sevens - 6th September

Happy Birthday Sunday Sevens! I've only been around a few weeks, but Nathalie's been going for a whole year. Hope I can keep it up that long!  It's Labour day today, so I've been a bit lax in posting but here goes....

1. Went out for lunch with the neighbours (and friends/family) as it was Mr E's birthday.  Mrs E just managed to pick the hotel where the Tesla tour was being hosted.... Funny that.  They were lovely and let us have a look around/sit in/take photos even though we'd not booked a test drive.  Very pretty....

2. Not much happening on work days as Mal was over for the week from the UK, but then I had a few days off and we went to the mountains.... First stop Johnston Canyon near Banff. A series of waterfalls in a steep sided gorge with a motorway style trail along the side. We miss timed the visit (lazy morning in Calgary) at got there at the same time as all the other tourists in the National Park.  But we did walk all the way to the top to see the Inkpots, whereas most people stop at the top Falls. The Inkpots are a series of small pools from underground springs, and you can see the water actually bubbling up from the bottom.  They're different shades of blue/green (hence the name) because of the variations in mineral content.

3. Next stop - Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park.  We weren't really sure what to do on our big day in the mountains as the weather forecast wasn't looking great, and there was a high likelihood of getting completely soaked later in the day. As we were staying in Field, we could start early (no long drive up from Calgary) so decided on Iceline.  You complete most of the ascent at the beginning of the hike to get up to the iceline (where the glaciers used to be, I guess) and then contour along the side of the valley before intersecting with Little Yoho valley, and then dropping down from there to the main Yoho valley.  We hoped that we'd make it to Little Yoho (and the valley/tree cover) before the rain hit.
Well it turned out the forecast was a little out.... We had the most stunning weather!  And the rain didn't reach us until about 45 minutes after we got back to the car!  It really was a great trail. The switchbacks up at the start aren't too taxing and then you have the most amazing views across the valley

4. Sorry, I couldn't just give you one photo of Iceline.....

5. The forests in the National Parks are full of mushrooms and fungi, and I feel the need to buy a book and find out more. The first one to look up is this! It was about the size of my hand, with strange block texture on the top. Very cool!!

6. The best Nachos in the world! Slow cooked belly pork and BBQ sauce at Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C.  We went there twice (as there is nowhere else to go in Field), and had Nachos both times!

7. Mal's birthday present (and the real reason we were in the mountains for a few days) was the Parks Canada guided hike up to the Burgess Shale Fossil Beds on Mount Stephen.  This is a restricted area, and you're only allowed to go there on a guided hike (they have CCTV with a live feed to the Wardens smartphones so watch out!). Quite a steep hike up, but once you're there it is absolutely amazing!! There are literally trilobites in every piece of rock.  You feel like you have to stand still and not move, as every step will be standing on fossils. Mal loved it (and I quite enjoyed it too!!).