Sunday, October 22, 2017

It's been a long time

It's been a long time since my last post and I haven't done a lot of sewing since. That is not to say I haven't been trying.

I started off in March with a shirt from Itch to Stitch. Itch to Stitch Bonn Shirt & Dress  Fortunately I made a muslin out of some old curtain lining but my rounded back and forward shoulders made a mess of how it fit in back, so I dug out my Palmer/Pletsch book and  looked up how to do a rounded back alteration. Slash and spread, add bits of paper, alter the muslin. That looks about right. I cut another muslin using some blue poly cotton then took a break to make something else.

 First I made Style Arc's Simone cardi.

I just love this pattern. I made it in grey and it turned out just as nice as my previous navy one. I don't have a photo but it is the same fabric as my next project. The top below. Style Arc's Amy knit top.

It's a wee bit short and the neckline is a little low, but I like it. I wear it with a short sleeve tee underneath.The photos aren't the best but they are up.

The day after I took these photos I had a stroke and finished up in hospital. Only for three days and without any major after effects but it shocked me to say the least. The  biggest problem I have now is double vision. For a while I had to wear a patch over one eye to enable me to see straight. Now I have a plastic-stick-on-prism-thingy over one lens of my glasses which helps me see fairly well but it's not perfect. The double vision may clear up or it may not only time will tell. But I'm managing.

That was in May and it took me a while to get back to sewing but I finished up my muslin and tried it on. Wahh! It's beautiful but it doesn't fit. What went wrong I'm not sure. I cut the size to fit my measurements, perhaps it was the centre back seam I had to put in. It doesn't even fit Myrtle so there is something definitely gone awry.

Too small across the shoulders

Curve in back seam for fit.

Neck band seems too small.

I plan to cut the next size up (in a muslin of course) and see how it goes.

Wish me luck!


Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year

I haven't done a lot of sewing since October but I did manage a pair of shorts in November and a summer top in December. As getting photos up onto my blog is why I don't post frequently I have photographed both the top and shorts together.

The shorts are Style Arc Amanda shorts in stone bengaline. I got the pattern from the Style Arc Etsy shop and bought the bengaline from their website. The Etsy shop patterns come in three sizes but you still need to print out a single size, so I got 10, 12 and 14 and printed out my usual size 10. I have purchase two or three patterns from the Etsy shop but I must say I prefer my paper pattern posted from Style Arc. I don't enjoy sticking all those sheets together and you do get a freebie when you order from the website.

All that aside the shorts came together easily and I am mostly pleased with them. They are a very slim cut and I possibly could have used the size 12, but they do fit and the stretchy bengaline makes them very comfortable. In a less stretchy material they would need to be a bit bigger. They have a wide yoke and elastic waist with two patch pockets at the back. The slim cut suits my skinny legs.

The top is another PDF download. This time from Itch to Stitch which is a pattern company I discovered on Facebook. I have bought three of Kennis Wong's patterns and have downloaded her free Petal Skirt as well. The top is the Vienna Tank top and has a woven yoke with a knit body. I didn't have a piece of knit big enough for the body without cutting into yardage set aside for other things so I made the entire top with a lightweight voile(?) at least that's what I think it is. It was a one metre border print I got from Spotlight a few years ago and has been sitting patiently awaiting its turn.

I used the border for the lower portion of the top and the mainly white top part for the yoke and the binding. 

I really like this top. It will need a few tweaks next time I make it due to my body shape (the back of the armholes needed a dart to stop them from gaping) but that was easily fixed and I will adjust the pattern for next time. The lightweight fabric I used makes it perfect for the hot weather.

I'm going cruising again next week so my sewing will stop again for a little while, but I will try to be more consistent this year than last. I have a lot of patterns and fabric waiting and I need to do something with them.

Wishing you all a Happy Sewing New Year.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Giving "Barb" another go.

After a lengthy break from sewing I am back. I rested on my laurels for a bit after my successful jacket and then couldn't quite make up my mind what to do next. While I was still deciding I had cataract surgery for my left eye in September. After a week or two getting used to being able to see more clearly I started going through my patterns and fabric trying to settle on something. So much stash, so many decisions. Dither, dither.

First off I tried Style Arc Skye woven top as a muslin. I used a piece of white Damask tablecloth material I bought cheaply from Spotlight eons ago as it had a small flaw. It was 1 metre by 240cm wide which was ample for this pattern. Because I find it very difficult to just throw something together it was finished with the overlocker and all the facings understitched etc. etc. (I was hoping it would be a wearable muslin).
Excuse the wrinkles

When I tried it on I was not impressed so I tossed it aside in disgust. However a few days later I had another look at it and decided it wasn't as bad as I had originally thought. If I make it again in future it will need a forward shoulder adjustment, softer fabric and the neckline lowered a little in front. Well it was only a muslin after all and it might soften up after washing. Meanwhile it is loose and should be cool on a hot day at home.

The MAGAM theme for October is "ONE" so next I dragged out the Aubergine Bengaline I purchased from Style Arc as a pattern and fabric bundle. The pattern is for their Margaret Pants, but I mainly bought it to get the Bengaline and chose to make another pair of  Style Arc Barb pants instead. I first made these in 2014 in some stretch gabardine which didn't stretch very much and didn't get much wear. In fact they were most uncomfortable to wear and finished up in the charity bag.

This time, I extended the back crotch seam to match the seam on the Linda pants which I have made twice and love. That plus the fact that the Bengaline has more stretch was the perfect answer. I added a little more to the waistband length to accommodate my lack of waist but that turned out not to be necessary as the Bengaline is quite stretchy so I took the extra out again.

The final result is quite acceptable.  I need to tighten the elastic in the waist perhaps, but I wore them to lunch on my birthday and they were very comfortable. The colour was called Aubergine but it looks more like a very dark burgundy in real life.
 While I'm using Style Arc Patterns I thought my next item might be a pair of Amanda shorts in Stone Bengaline. I bought this from Style Arc last months and got 2 metres and after I have made the shorts there should be enough left for another pair of pants. That's the plan anyhow. I downloaded the pattern from Style Arc's etsy site and I have taped it together and cut it out. That is as far as I have got.
I had my right eye cataract done last week so I'm hoping things will be a lot clearer from now on. It's amazing how different colours are now.

Friday, August 5, 2016

July MAGAM finished Burda 8390 Jacket

It seems like months since my last post but it's really only just over one month. After I damaged my overlocker (see previous post) thus putting it out of action for two weeks, I couldn't overlock the edges of the boucle fabric which was unravelling at a great pace. I tried zig-zagging the edges but this was too hit and miss and likely to take too long so I pressed on hoping the lining would contain the fall-out. The interfacing helped to hold the fabric together in places but it's not interfaced everywhere so I swept up threads and lint and hoped for the best.

I tried the unfinished shell on a couple of times and wasn't too sure about the shoulder width but chose to ignore it. After the jacket was finished and moments before I started to slip stitch the lining to the hem I decided the neckline was too low at the back and the shoulders were definitely too wide.

I turned the whole thing inside out, unpicked the centre back seam, the facing and the lining at the neck edge and pinched out a 1 inch dart 4 inches long and stitched it. Then I cut through the centre of the facing and sewed a 1 inch seam. I folded the lining into a bigger ease pleat resewed the neck seam. Turned the whole lot back to the right side, steam pressed it to death and it worked!!
Invisible dart

Now the jacket sits nicely nearer the base of my neck, the shoulders are where they should be and the darted section curves over my rounded back making the whole fit much better.  The only other thing I could have done was make the jacket a little longer, but it will do.
Fuzzy picture of the lining

To insert the lining I followed the instructions for Vogue 7975 which were a little more comprehensive than Burda's. To insert the separating zip I used the same instructions as for my husband's jacket and am happy to say this one went in perfectly too.

The zip isn't really bumpy

This is the real colour

Myrtle modelling front

and back
Finally a mirror shot of me wearing my new jacket. I wore it out shopping today and was very happy with it.

I might sew something simple next but haven't decided what yet. I could use a new pair of black pants as my Linda's are getting a bit old and I have some black Bengaline in the stash and some aubergine Bengaline also. We'll see.
I can smile

Cheers for now.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Whatever you do don't touch that screw.

On Sunday after cutting out the pieces for my Burda jacket I prepared to overlock all the edges as the boucle was shredding madly all over the place.

The needle on my Janome overlocker needed changing since I had used it to make my husband's fleece jacket so I started to undo the screw to release the right needle. In a lack of concentration I absentmindedly undid the screw on the right side of the needle bar instead of the one on the front. Thinking all the while "I don't remember it being so hard to change a needle before". As soon as I had undone it I realised my error. Then I had a terrible time trying to get it back in place.

That was just the start of my problems! For three days I threaded and re-threaded my overlocker, but no matter what I did my machine skipped stitches or refused to make a chain at all. I changed the needle again in the right place this time and loosened the wrong screw and re-tightened it. I googled, but no one seemed to have my problem. I did everything I could think of, to no avail.

Finally I gave up and this morning I took it to my local Janome dealer for a repair and service. When I explained the problem the lady said knowingly "Oh you've put the timing out."

I can't show a photo of the screw concerned as my overlocker is in hospital, but it is on the right hand side of the little metal square that the needle screws are in and holds the square onto the needle bar.

 So be warned!

 Don't ever touch it!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Catching up.

I can't believe it is so long since I last posted. Instead of writing my posts I have been reading other people's. I have been sewing though. In May,  I made a McCalls knit jacket but I took a while to get photos then in June I sewed another jacket this time for my husband  and now in readiness for July I have prepped a pattern and cut out something for myself. Another jacket. I sense a theme here.

The first item was a lightweight drape front jacket for myself, McCalls 5830. It was a bit of a disappointment. It looks lovely on Myrtle but she has a much straighter back and shoulders than I do.

On me, from the front, it looks OK but from the side it swings out at the hem and emphasises my rounded shoulders. It may get worn, but it is a lightweight interlock and not suitable for the current cold weather.  In retrospect it would have been better made as a top but I wanted to test the pattern and the colour is not one I normally wear so a muslin it became.

Next I sewed a winner. My husband is feeling the cold badly this year and I decided to make him a fleecy jacket to wear in the house.
 Instead of buying new fabric he suggested I use some remnants I had from a previous top and track pants I had made for myself. I was a bit afraid it might be too girly but he said he didn't mind so I went ahead. I had just enough.

 The body is a patterned purplish grey and the sleeves a plain grey with black rib hem and neck bands and a black separating zip front. The black rib came from my stash so the entire jacket cost $5 for the zip. Bargain!

The pattern is a very old Just Knits pattern dating from the 70s I think. I picked it up at an op shop (thrift shop) some years ago. It is a multi sized pattern that needed to be traced so I chose  medium which was a perfect fit. I stitched it with .5mm seams and then finished them with the overlocker. The pieces went together easily and the zip went in without a hitch. I wish I could show you a picture of the zip but I'll be lucky to peel the jacket off my husband long enough to wash it.

July's project is Burda 8390, a jacket with a zip front. I'm making the collarless version on the left. It's all cut out ready to go, so more next time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Kwik Sew 3740 for the 5th time

Hello! I'm still here. March sort of got away from me but I'm back sewing again.

I found some fabric in my stash for April's MAGM theme. It's not the oldest piece in my collection but I have had it for several years.

Kwik Sew 3740 is a favourite of mine. I have made it with long sleeves and cowl for the winter and short sleeves without the cowl for the summer and have made two of each previously. I have never made the sleeveless version yet but may do so one day.

The first time I made it I cut size medium. It was very loose and required taking in along the sleeve and side seams. I have tweaked it several times since then and this time I cut the front small size to the underarm then medium to the hem and small size for the back. I raised the neckline to X-small and cut the X-small cowl to match. This makes the neckline neither too high nor too low. The sleeves were cut at size small. I also did a forward shoulder adjustment of 1.5cm at the shoulder point tapering to 0 at the neck edge. 

It fits Myrtle beautifully
The flash has changed the colour making it more red than it is. It's more like the first picture. Unfortunately with the busy print the cowl doesn't show up very well in photos.

 I'm really happy with this version. It fits in all the right places and I will probably make many more with and without the cowl in future.

Cheers for now.