A Mystery Solved and other Stories

I haven’t even taken my sewing machine out of it’s case this week, I’m afraid!  I’ve been so busy trying to smarten up the yard before the weather turns – we’ve been really lucky so far, it’s still very warm, so I’ve spent all my spare time this week jet-washing and painting.  At least it’s starting to look a bit better – the walls are done, and the decking just needs one more wash to get the last of the ‘chocolate’-brown paint off before I can oil it.  I never though DIY could sound so dirty until I started on this decking, now all I seem to talk about is stripping and oiling…

So nothing major to report, although I do have a few snippets!  First is a majorly exciting (well, for me…) fabric revelation, which is viscose javanese.  This is that drapey viscose that all my nice high-street clothes seem to be made from, but which I’ve never been able to find in a fabric before.  I love wearing viscose (rayon in the US) – imagine the feel of cotton with the drape of silk – nice, right?  But I’ve previously struggled to find nice viscose fabric, probably because most of what I turned up seemed to be crepe, which wasn’t what I was after at all!

So imagine my surprise when I came across this crazy tropical print (above) whilst idly browsing Plush Addict‘s website.  I’ve never heard of viscose javanese before, but how could I not own that print??!  When it arrived, it turns out it’s exactly what I’ve been after!  Happy days.  I’ve been having a quick scout to see if this is the same stuff as rayon challis, which everyone stateside goes on about, but I don’t think it is: this index describes them thus:

javanese:  a viscose cloth with a spun weft and filament warp, characterised by a dull sheen.


challis:  a lightweight plain-weave fabric, made from cotton or wool, usually with a printed design.

So they don’t sound the same!  But then, I wouldn’t say my javanese has any sheen at all…

The tiny flowers one is also viscose javanese, this time from Fabric Godmother.  You can see how drapey they are, although the tropical is considerably heavier and more substantial.  I’m really looking forward to sewing with these, although having seen a few comments about slipperiness I may take the precaution of using starch on the seams to sew them up!  But then, you read a lot of nonsense about viscose – that it doesn’t wash well, that it shrinks, that it pills, you name it.  All I can say is that my favourite top (from New Look, so not exactly expensive)  has been washed as cotton, and it’s stood it very well.  It’s looking a bit sad these days, but that’s another story…  The two fabrics above have been pre-washed on a 40-degree cotton wash, no discernible change at all.  The only thing i can’t speak to is whether it’s true it shrinks to Barbie-size in the tumble-dryer, as I don’t have a tumble-dryer…


In other news, I’m unreasonably pleased with myself for turning this:

into this:

Ok, so I know it’s not exactly the finished article, but it’s a good start, no?  Takes my weight and everything…  You can add your own soundtrack, should you wish – it goes like this:  ‘No, George, give mummy the hammer… no, George, give mummy the tacks… no, not the scissors, get down off the table…’  Repeat this for about 10 minutes, and the result is what you see above!  I’m following this tutorial, and I have a few chairs to do, although I’ve just realised I need a staple gun or something to fix the fabric on top.  Hmm…


And Lastly, how amazing is Gertie Sews Vintage Casual?  Amazing.  Although when I asked Paul if I could carry off the Rosie the Riveter jumpsuit, he actually laughed.  Like, he didn’t even try to look like he was thinking about it.  Not that that’s going to stop me lol…

So, what have you all been up to?  Done any good DIY lately?



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