Saturday, 31 May 2014

New Sewing Machine!

Hi all,
As promised, I have to share this exciting news with you: I got a new sewing machine!!! 

I am ecstatic! 

My old one is about 10 years old and had a service about a year ago after which it was never really the same, so I started looking out for a new one. But where to start right? Well, I had no idea. I tried some online forums and website, but I just couldn't make up my mind. My friend J. had the marvelous idea to try some machine at one of the sewing shows and get a better idea. Look no further, I tried my first machine and I was hooked! This was the one for me :) 

It had everything I needed. I'm not a great seamstress so I don't need tons of special features, but my old one was super basic so some additional stitches would be nice and a longer arm for quilting. So after much umm-ing and ah-ing I finally decided on the model: Husqvarna Viking Opal 650. I didn't choose the newer model 670 on purpose as I really don't like touch screen and the only noteable difference for me were a few additional stitches and the admittedly excellent feature of getting notified when your bobbin runs out. Cool but not worth an additional £100. 

I don't think I've ever had a fancy machine like this! Well, given that I have really owned only one machine before, that is pretty much a given but look at it! It's all digital and everything. I am very impressed :)

 And 140 stitches if I remember correctly :) 

And it came with a rather large extra pack too! I don't have picks of everything but it had an extension table, a bobbin holder, a pink seam ripper, scissors, a measuring tape, some more bits and bobs...

AND this enormous supply of threads! Needless to say I think I'm OK on the thread front for a while ;)

I've already made some things as this arrived about a month ago LOL. I never had fancy stitches like this before, so I rummaged through my stash and made these lavender sachets for in my closet (you know, against moths). I used plain cotton and netting fabric which I sewed together using various decorative stitches. Check it out, it's so cool! The one on the top left even has little bicycles, too cute :)

One more very cool thing to mention is that in order to get this machine, I went through all the possible ways of getting vouchers. For readers in the US: we don't have your cool rules where you can use a ton of vouchers (or coupons) to get the maximum discount and free things. Shame really. But I had some vouchers from work, managed to get some with points I had saved up from various companies, and managed to have to pay only 1/3 of the price myself! I'm very chuffed with myself of course for this as I would not have been able to afford this one otherwise without saving for way way longer.

Now that I have this shiny new machine, I am finishing a ton of projects so I have lots more to post. But first: the Color Run tomorrow so fingers crossed my knee doesn't play up and I can kind of make a good time. Pics will follow!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Running Tutu #2

Hello again!
Yes I had to make another running tutu. The orange one I made is great and I would gladly use it again, but I have a race coming up this Sunday where I need to wear as much white as possible so I needed a white one. I guess I could have made/used a coloury one since it is going to be for the Color Run but what's the fun in having colour thrown at you if you're already colourful? So white it was :) It turned out quite well actually, I used 4 meters this time as 3 was just not fluffy enough. Maybe I used 4 meters for the orange one too, I don't know as I just used stuff that I already had in my stash. The fun part with this one that I made this while watching the Eurovision while the bf was in the pub. Not a bad deal, that way I got to have an ueber-cheesy night with sewing and songs and the bf got beer. :)

And the results are:
It's really ONLY white, I even had to ask in the shop for white white and not cream. It was of course in the wedding section ;)

Freshly out of white ribbon, I added a touch of colour with the ties. I have so much left of this satin ribbon! Only afterwards did I realise that the instructions actually say to use grosgrain ribbon which would make sense as it slides less. But then again, I really won't be going that fast ;)

I just love it when the I can manage to get the mushroom shape! This length is definitely perfect for me.

Here it is, all finished and waiting to be used on Sunday!

The bf will most likely not be joining me so there will be no one to take pics that I know (unless I randomly invite some people on FB or something to come and watch, maybe the idea of showering runners with colour will convince them!) but I will try and get some pics to show you afte.

This was clearly a non-sewing project, and after the debacle with the zipper while making the wet bag, I have some exciting news to share with you in my next post. So watch this space!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Wet Bag #1

Hi all!
I seemed to have injured my knee a little so I have to take it easy on the exercising for the time being. It's been about 6 weeks already so nearly there, but I've had so much time for sewing :)

I found this great tutorial for a wet bag here. I love swimming but getting your wet kit home is always a bit of a drama when public transport takes a while. Enter the bag! Now I can just put all the wet stuff in here and keep the rest of my belongings in my bag dry.

The tutorial says to use a shower curtain. I didn't have one at hand, so I used some sewing plastic (am sure this has a name but you know what I mean). Sewing with that was really annoying and I got really annoyed when my zipper broke just when the whole thing was put together and I had to start all over again. I also wanted to make this into an easy project (obviously the zipper thing didn't help) so I wanted to use a fabric that didn't need quilting or anything. I found this adorable owl fabric in my stash, isn't it cute? I didn't need lining as the plastic was the lining already. This is the result:

Yes the zipper used the be teal but purple works too I think.

Clearly the zipper wasn't sewn on great, this plastic stuff is tricky to sew with!

This was more of a test though so for now I will be using this. I do have the perfect fabric to make a new one that I found at a show a few months back so I'll be making another one soon. So far this one is great though, coming home from the pool was so much easier without having to worry about my bag getting wet.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Vintage Afternoon Tea Memories

Hi all,
Today my best friend in London is leaving for a year to Australia. I am going to miss her very much, and I am sure that she will have a great time over there. As I hadn't posted our outing for a vintage afternoon tea for her birthday last year, I thought I'd post this today to wish her a great trip and let her know that we're all waiting with baited breath for exciting news updates :)

For those of you who have never had afternoon tea before, there is an order (yes, this was my first tea as well and I had to be shown LOL). You get tea, possibly some bubbly also depending on what you order, sandwiches, and a three-tiered tower of goodies. That is where it gets difficult.

First, you start with the sandwiches. These were particularly pretty :) No, it's not food colouring, it's beetroot flavoured bread, spinach bread, nutty bread, and eh... something else. (it's been a while). My friend gave me the tip to start with the thing you like the least and working your way up, saving the best for last.

Once you've finished the sandwiches, it's time to tackle the three tiers. The rule: start from the bottom and work your way up. You will go from somewhat sweet to OMG-my-teeth-are-falling-out-sweet.

The botton tier will always have scones and something cakey, in this case lemon cakes. Scones always come with jam and clotted cream, the order in which you put them on your scone have names too, but for me it's all down to preference. I prefer the jam on top to avoid making a mess.

The second (middle) tier will usually have something fruity and/or chocolatey, in this case chocolate cake pops and berry/custard tarts. These tarts were so yummy!

The top and final tier will have the supersweet stuff. Here we had passionfruit (or mango?) macaroons and mini white chocolate cheesecake slices. Personally, I hate macaroons so I left that one anyway but the cheesecake was quite nice.

And here we are, enjoying our vintage afternoon tea :) Have a great trip and I will miss you so much! Big huge hugs!!!

Friday, 2 May 2014

LOTNA Sweet 16

Heyhey again!
Here is yet another backlogged post... I'm finding these left right and centre! But no matter, I still have so lovely things to show you :) About 8 weeks ago, it was the 16 anniversary of our LOTNA group. LOTNA is a group in London that is all about sci-fi. Luckily for me, things like LOTR etc are also included :) They've been going strong for 16 years, and I've been a member for about 3 years now. 

Whenever there is an event going on, some members bring food so of course I had to chip in with something nice as well. As the only sci-fi bakeware I actually own are Star Wars pancake moulds (very cool by the way!) I baked a cake in cool colours and topped them with a ton of different sprinkles. I basically put all the opened sprinkle jars into a bowl and poured that over the cake. The effect was great!

I made my usual banana/chocolate bundt cake, and covered it in white chocolate and said sprinkles. I was a tad with the baking so the chocolate hadn't set yet but the rest was ok. The inside was black and purple also!

 I also made these rhubarb muffins. The topping is the same, I added some white chocolate and the same sprinkles. The banana cake was a bit too solid for my liking but these muffins totally made up for it!

Of course others had brought things too, mini cupcakes and even Dalek cookies! So funny!

It was a great night with a lot of people celebrating this. I just had to share :)
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