Archive | June 2014

My last sewing class, another productive weekend, and a challenge…and another disaster!

Well, last Wednesday was my last sewing class.  I can’t believe how quickly those 8 weeks went!  Not to mention how much I have created in that short time.

I didn’t want to start anything brand new so I took with me, the disastrous hot pink tank top and my Royal blue skirt from B3460,

B3460 which I had cut out and had completed the first couple of steps.

 

I wanted to see if my sewing teacher had any ideas for making the pink tank top fit me.   So we looked at it and she suggested putting in a number of pleats or tucks in the neck to pull it together both in the front and back.  I assumed I would do this with the machine, but after a number of false starts where the knit moved at the last moment and didn’t sew in properly, and then stabbing myself in the finger with a pin hard enough to require a band-aid, I figured it would be easier to do the pleats by hand.  So I moved onto the skirt which went together really easily and I am quite happy with the pockets.  I didn’t get a chance to finish the skirt before the end of class, but all that was left to do was the hem.

So this last weekend, I spend all my time in my sewing room,  surfacing only for meals.   So I finished the blue skirt.  Finished the green skirt and red capris.  I made another top from  M6927 view A, exactly like my Hawaiian print one, but in a fabric I had liberated from my mum’s stash.  It is a pale aqua with a pattern on it in white of stylized flowers.  I also completed M6551 View C, in a similar fabric to the one displayed on the website, oddly enough.  It’s a thick cotton with some stretch in it, with a white background and a dense pattern of red flowers in a sort of water-colour style.

m6551

I didn’t make the belt, because I ran out of fabric.

My only issue with this dress is that because the fabric is fairly stiff, the sleeves and the facings are a bit thicker and stiffer than I would like.  Still, it looks pretty spiffy on, though it is a little shorter than I was anticipating.

The last thing I did was to cut out M6899 View A, in a mid blue cotton.

I also convinced my DH to let me bring some chain maille up to work on while we watched the World Cup.  So I have been having a good time making a long rainbow chain in the full Persian style.  I haven’t decided what the final product will be yet.  The other thing I did last weekend was to measure a number of the earrings I have in my Etsy shop and updating my listings.

So that was the weekend, and sometime during, I decided to set myself a challenge for the coming week.  I would wear something I made everyday.  And I have done so!

Monday –  The new  M6927 (with rtw beige capris)  excellent office outfit!

Tuesday –  M1620 blouse in the white/blue floral with  B3460 in the Royal blue – LOVE this combo!

Wednesday – The red capris (which are more like shorts) that I doctored from M3056 (with a rtw white blouse) a bit frumpy but super comfy!

Thursday – M6551 red/white floral dress

Friday – M6927 in Hawaiian with rtw jeans as well as the matching earrings my pink full Persian bracelet

* rtw = ready to wear/purchased

Challenge completed!

Now for the disaster.  M6899 View A.

m6899

 

I had cut it out in a plain mid blue fabric, I should have used a pattern, patterns hide errors!   The pleats were tricky enough, and i wasn’t use to dealing with so many of them on one garment.  I also made the mistake of taking out the basting before I had completed construction, so that it was a lot of fabric to deal with.  This however was not where the whole thing “fell apart” as the saying goes.  The big trouble was with the collar.

First, I foolishly forgot to double-check the pattern and I sewed the collar to the wrong side of the shirt..dang it!

Second, it got accidentally snipped when I was removing the stitches.

Third, the sewing machine started having fits as I was trying to re-attach the collar (and somehow hide hole) because the thread had fallen off of the arm which at least was easy to fix once I had figured out the problem.

Fourth, could NOT figure out what the heck the button band and collar edge instructions were saying.

I ended up somehow having the button band I think folded over too many times, so that you couldn’t actually tie the collar properly.  It looks so crappy, especially with all the places the fabric has torn or frayed from sewing, un-sewing, re-sewing and re-un-sewing!   UGH.

So I shall now take a break from sewing for me, and get to work on my DH’s multi-meter case.  Assuming there is time this weekend, since we are rebuilding our deck.

 

P.S.  Sorry there are no pictures currently of the completed items, I will add them this weekend.

 

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A Productive Weekend

It was the first weekend in a while that my DH and I didn’t have a lot of plans, so we got to devote our time to our various crafty pursuits.  For me of  course it meant spending every possible moment in my craft room.

When I got home from work on Friday I set to work on some seriously cute stuff for my niece Charlotte.

From http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6947-products-48426.php?page_id=487

M6947  I made View A, the shorter top and view G, the leggings.  Both in the same hot pink knit that I made that tank top out of for me.  My machine does NOT like that fabric!  My thread broke continually throughout the project, but I did finish it in the end.  I added three little white flower buttons on the top for decoration.

Charlotte outfit

I didn’t know this place even existed, but on Saturday after we popped in to visit my father-in-law so my DH could use his table saw, my DH took me to this place called Rockland Textiles.  They carried every shade of Gütermann thread available so I was able to get the green and red I need for my skirt and pants projects.  I also found a bunch of fun quilting fabric to make aprons for my next craft show.  We also found fabric for me to use for my DH’s multimeter case.

So I texted my mom to say, “did you know about this place?”  Not only did she know about it, apparently while we lived in Ottawa she used to work there on Saturdays and most of the fabric that made up my early childhood clothing came from there!  Who knew?

But I digress.

I also made my niece Top A from http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6022-products-10720.php?page_id=487

M6022

I used an adorable printed knit that is blue with white flowers with hot pink middles. It goes with the hot pink leggings perfectly.  It was a more challenging pattern than I have done before, but I really like how it came out!

Charlotte blouse 1

When we were at my Sister-in-laws house yesterday for a Father’s Day BBQ, I tried everything on Charlotte.  The hot pink tunic is a bit big, but she can grow into it.  The leggings fit quite nicely.  The blue top unfortunately is to big in the shoulders so it hangs down too low.  I thought I could just take it in at the shoulders, but then it would be difficult to get it onto her.  So I gave it a lot of thought throughout the evening, and I figured out what I will do.  I will unpick the shoulder seams, and refinish them open, then put a button-hole on the front side, and next time I see my niece I will add the buttons to the back so that  it is easy for her mum to get it on and off and it still fits properly.

Now, don’t think I ignored my own needs during all this.

My Aunt also gave me some great Hawaiian print of green leaves and pink flowers, that I think had been either a skirt or curtains or something in a previous life.  At any rate, the fabric is lovely and soft, so I thought I would use it to make http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6927-products-48273.php?page_id=101, which my mum had helped me to adjust for my fit when she was visiting last.  It is a great pattern!  It is super easy to adjust to the size you want, and includes different pattern pieces for different cup sizes, so that the darts are the right fit.  The pattern only goes to a 24, but I added an inch on each side from the waist to the hips to make a 28, I cut a 20 in the neck, a 22 in the shoulders and armholes, but moved from a 22 at the top of the armhole to a 24 at the bottom.

And it fits perfectly!

Hawaiian top I will absolutely be using this pattern again.  I love the way it is finished too.  The back is closed with a button and thread loop.  Fortunately I had a button that worked in my collection, but I had to look up how to make a thread loop on YouTube.  It’s fiddly.

So I decided to wear it on Sunday for the BBQ, and because it’s me, I decided that I needed a pair of earrings to match.

hawaiian earrings

 

So tonight I will tackle the top for my niece and finish cutting out http://butterick.mccall.com/b3460-products-3524.php?page_id=367

B3460

 

Sewing class, under-stitching and surgery.

I just got in from my second to last sewing class and it was a busy one!

I was ready to put the finishing touches on my black and white dress for Simplicity 3506.  All that I needed to do was add the facings in the neck, finish the arm-holes and the hem.

Of course, things never go as smoothly as one would wish.  First off, I had somehow left the bobbin cover to the machine at home, which meant that I had to tape a piece of cardboard over the hole.  Not an auspicious start.  The machine ran along smoothly though.  I ironed the interfacing onto the facing pieces and that went OK.  I pinned the facing in and that went OK too, so I sewed it in and pressed the facing down and then did what I thought the teacher meant by under-stitching.  I thought it meant that I put in a row of stitching close to the edge through all three layers, fabric, facing and seam allowance…nope.  What I was supposed to do was put a row of stitching at the edge of just the seam allowance and the facing.  crap.   So I added a second row of top -stitching so that it looks decorative.  I wasn’t about to unpick all that!  So then I  zipped up the zipper…double crap.

Somehow, one side of the zipper was half an inch higher than the other.  I guess I had pinned it in wrong and so the top of the zipper hadn’t folded properly.   So I had to unpick that side back a few inches, re-fold it so it matched the other side and re-sew it.  Thankfully, that turned out pretty well.

Now for the surgery part of the class.  As I was happily overcasting my seams, on the sides, my brand new machine started to slow down and then grind to a halt.  I tried to re-thread, checked under my make-shift bobbin cover.  Tried turning it off and on again.  Now even the manual wheel was stiff.  Something was VERY wrong.  So I decided to open it up, and once I figured out how to do that, I found that a large amount of pink thread had wound itself around a wheel in the arm of the machine that feeds the thread.  This was the result of the thread breaking so many times while I worked on the pink tank top.  So I carefully picked and pulled the wad of thread out and reassembled.  THANKFULLY, the patient made a full recovery and I finished the dress!

dress

 

Even having cut a 22 in the top, it is still a bit big.  I think I will cut a 20 on my next project.

And sometimes things go terribly wrong!

I have been hard at work sewing lately, although I took a quick break to go to the cottage.  So I only got some crochet done.  Go a weekend without some kind of crafting?  Yeah, NOT gonna happen!

Sewing classes have been going really well.  I have started working on the dress for

Simplicity 3506 and so far so good.  I cut out a 22 in the shoulders and gradually widening out to a 28 in the hips.  This was a great learning pattern for me, because it is the first time I have done any gathering, put in darts or installed a zipper.  Each thing took at least 3 tries.  But I am happy with it and it fits really well!   I still need to finish the seams, add the arm and neck facings and hem, but it should be done soon.

And that is the good news!  Now for the disasters!

So, from this pattern I also cut out the pants…and boy i should have cut a 26 with a 24 in the crotch, because when i tried them on, they were GIGANTIC!  sigh.  So last night I removed the elastic, and took it in a good inch on each side.  I am also going to use a draw string and elastic combo instead of just elastic, and make them capris instead of pants.  In the middle of this process I ran out of thread…

So you will remember the green skirt I had started from

Simplicity 1920 Well I finished it AND the belt and I was pretty happy with it I thought. But you know what?  It was also kinda big.  So I decided I would also take it in and instead of elastic, I would use the same elastic, draw-string combo as for the pants.  So I opened up the waistband and removed the elastic. I managed to rig up a tie with a piece of elastic in the middle and I took the skirt in a good inch on either side again.  But as I was trying to put in button holes (for the tie to go through), I ran out of green thread…*$^@#&*!!!

Breath SJ, breath!

So I had also cut out a plain tank top pattern in fuchsia knit.  I was being so smart, I cut out a 22 in the top and widened it out enough to fit through the bust and waist.  I started assembling it and so far, so good and then I finished the neck line and tried it on…AAARRRRGGGGHHHH @#&@$#&&#$&*$*#&%^%&@#&!

The damnable thing went almost halfway down the front showing an excessive amount of cleavage, and the shoulders were still too wide and the arm holes too small!

It was at this point last night that I decided it was time to go do something else.  So I did.

I have a couple of ideas for making it work for me, and adding some decorative elements…I might tackle that tonight, or just wait till the weekend.

So the red pants and the green skirt are on hold until I can get to Fabricland and get more thread (thankfully I kept the sticker with the colour code on it).  In the mean time I have lots of fabric to wash and items to cut out from my last trip to Fabricland from the weekend.  My Aunt who does costuming for a local theatre popped by on the weekend, with some great kids fabric for me, so I bought some patterns for my 4-year-old niece.   As well as a bunch of fabric to cut out more stuff for myself.  My DH also issued me a sewing challenge for a case for his, oh I can’t remember what it is called, but it measures electrical current or something like that. I wish I could book a week off work and just lock myself into my craft room!   I have an urge to make some chain maille too.  But of course the weather is so nice out, I like to spend as much time as I can in my garden.  Good problems to have 😉