Sunday 20 February 2011

Tools or toys?

Everytime I take up a new hobby I'm struck by the same feeling: the interest in all the little things one can buy. It's tools, little garment details, practical things, purly decorative things, bur I want them all, convinced that if I just have all the proper gear my experience will be perfect. Which is silly, because in the end it's not the gear that makes the hobby but the actual performance of it.

However, while toys are fun there are so many things that are practical. Danceshoes are shoes, which means they´re fun to buy, but they're also much needed if one dances a lot (for knees, feet, legs, posture etc). Sewingmachines are fun, but certainly also makes the sewist's life easier. So how to think when the things I crave as toys also are practical tools? Nowadays I think 1) Will I use it enough to merit the expense? and 2) Do I have room to store it? I'm often saved from "pratical purchases" by having to say "No" to the second question, my appartement is small with limited storage spaces.

Sewing is by no means a new hobby to me, but the intensity of it has shifted the past 1,5 years. A bit because of my vintage interest (sewing period clothes that can't be bought) and a bit because of my injuries giving me more time for quiet hobbies. I've sewn quite a great deal in my days, but little modern, meaning I have very few of the tools often taken for granted by sewists (in medieval circles I'm considered a great cheat as it is; I use a sewing machine after all! =) ). There's a lot of "Oh, I want that" and "Oh, I need that!" and "OMG, I've been looking for a place to buy that!" when I browse any sewing tool section =) I really try to remember that if I've made it this far without something, I probably don't really need it. Some stuff I've given myself leave to purchase/aquire:

A point presser (kantpress) and a tailor's ham. The tailor's ham I made myself from leftover fabric, it has wool from my thick coatfabric on one side and a double layer of cotton on the other side. First I stuffed it with rags, as one DIY said to, but it ended up very lumpy and uneven so I changed the filling to sawdust. At first I was at a total loss, where do one buy sawdust?, until pet-stores were mentioned. Cages for small animals has sawdust on the floor! *mentally clapping my forhead* The supermarket has a pet-isle, and what do you know? Sawdust!

An aid for measuring and a new seamripper, with a better handle. Both were in use within a few days of arrival.

I've been coveting a dress dummy but found them too expensive (a bit like the overlock, which btw works like a dream after service). I might very well be the luckiest girl in the world, 'cause my grandmother found one. And I mean found it, someone had thrown it in the trash (in a big plastic bag, in the trashes where one throws clothes, furniture etc, not the icky trashes). She rescued it, but it's the wrong size for her and she anyway has one, so she gave it to me! Thousend thank you's, grandma!

All the pieces are there, it's only fault is that it has separated in the waist. Some spring or something is missing, so one can press it together but it doesn't stay that way. Hopefully I'll find a way to lock it in place in a suitable height, but until then it will still be a great help while I'm sewing the coat. Later on I'm planning on making a fitted shell and fill it so the dummy actually have my measurments (nope, it can't be altered to that extent, I have too great variations between back, bust, shoulders, waist and hips. Erhmm... the bodice.).

Other things I covet but don't know if I really need are duckbill-scissorns, zigzag-scissors, loop-turners and chalkwheels. And lot's of other things, but that's what came to mind while writing. What do you say about this? Are these things (both the things I have and the one's I want) tools or toy's? Anything of it that you can't live without or that you've tried and never used again?

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!
Love / Erika

Sunday 13 February 2011

Shopping spree

I had a few errands to run, and then I wanted to have buttons made for the coat (the wool is so thick I figured it was smart to leave it to a professional). So how did I end up carrying so much home? Lol!

I went to the lovely Sidenateljén, and as always had a great time chatting with the charming lady who runs the dressmaking/fabrics-shop. This is what ended up in my bag:

Buttons (total of 8, so I have a few extra), lace for the red slip I'm making to match my red dress, and lining material for a slip to my sister Kajsa (late birthday present).

On my way home, I stopped by the big fabric store and bought this, also for Kajsa. I'll be making her a coat for fall! I know, I'm crazy... =) But this fabric had her name written all over it!

A visit to Make up store resulted in me now owning lipstick suitable for work and everyday life.

As for sewing, I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere with the coat! The back is sewn together, and today I'm making the bound buttonholes. This was my first attempt at it, so I did three trial-holes first. I think it's going to look good, but one never knows for sure until all the pins are out and the piece is ironed, right? =) Some photos of what I've been up to:

It's been a really quiet and productive weekend, couldn't have wished for more! And to top it off, the last episode of BBC-production "Sherlock" is about to start in a few minutes. Time to make tea and gather the handsewing supplies!

Oh, and a quick photo of a hat I bought from Tradera (Ebay):

As you might have guessed, I have a thing for hats... And this one was too cute to pass over! =)

Love, Erika