Monday, June 29, 2015

Sewing Machine Cover

It is a very busy time for alterations, but this weekend I managed to make something for myself - a sewing machine cover.

I have been covering my machine with a plastic cover when it is not in use, but it was becoming rather torn and tatty. I previously sorted out some blue and yellow quilting fabrics to make a cover, and I finally got around to making it up. I incorporated some random patchwork I had made in a workshop years ago, and bulked it out with strips of various widths, using the quilt as you go method.

I finished the inside seams with the overlocker, and bound the bottom edge with pre-made bias binding - the photographs were taken before I applied this, it adds a narrow pale blue band around the bottom edge.


Update - to add better photos, pressed and with binding.


Friday, June 05, 2015

Rhododendron is flowering

The rhododendron in my front garden is bursting into flower.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Another two aprons

I splash a lot when I wash up and when cooking, and a cloth apron just doesn't give enough protection. I need a waterproof one to stop me getting a damp tummy.

After my previous attempt at a waterproof apron, I decided that the Tamari Apron pattern that I used was not suitable for this kind of fabric. I decided instead to copy the RTW apron I have had for a few years now which is starting to let water through. I like the full coverage the design provides.

I bought 1.5m butterfly print waterproof table covering fabric from The Range, and managed to cut two aprons from it. The aprons have a continuous tape around the neck, through casings along the angled sides, and tying at the waist. I added hanging loops to the tops of the aprons, as this design means they cannot be hung up by the neck tape.

This time I had more success sewing the coated fabric; possibly it was a little thinner thatn the spotted fabric I bought from Fabricland. I set the needle tension to maximum to prevent loops forming, and I used a teflon foot on the machine to allow the fabric to slide through more easily.

Another Me Made Monday

Rescued post - Originally posted 25/11/14 THE LAST RESCUED POST

Today's Me Made Monday (#mmmproutfit is not exciting, but it is cozy and comfortable. It is an animal print fleece top from a self drafted pattern, and another pair of my self drafted trousers in black corduroy.

The top is copied from a favourite garment. I have made 4 in fleece and one in boiled wool, and two full length fleece versions to use as winter caftans (instead of dressing gowns).

The trousers unfortunately shrank in the wash, despite pre-washing the fabric.When I let them down, even with the full width of the hem they were still too short, so I used an old plastic toothed zip as an edging.

Me Made Monday

Recovered post - originally posted 17 November 2014

Pattern Review is running a "Me Made Mondays" event until the end of the year. Since I am usually wearing something me made most days, I thought I would tag my pictures accordingly.
Today I'm wearing Marcy Tilton's Vogue pattern 8430 in brown boiled wool. The fabric had some fade marks that I only noticed after making the garment up, so I stitched the left lapel and right cuff with space-dyed embroidery floss.
Under this I have on a pair of brown corduroy elastic waist trousers made from my self drafted pattern - I must have made at least 40 pairs using this pattern by now. Just about every pair in my wardrobe is made from this pattern, and I can knock a pair out in about 3-4 hours. I really should look at modifying it or combining it with some commercial patterns with more adventurous styling.
On top I'm wearing a brown viscose knit t-shirt that combines features from 2 patterns. The body shape is one I adapted from Vogue 8497, but widened at the hip and with a shark bite hemline. The neckline is also taken from this pattern but I used the neck band treatment from Vogue 8582 to give a more interesting edge.
I also stringed the freshwater pearl necklace and matching earrings.

New Apron

Recovered post, originally posted 16 December 2014

I've been stealth sewing recently, so nothing to post pictures of. I also have been wearing me-made outfits on Mondays (as well as other days), but they are too boring to have posted pictures of.

But on Sunday I decided to make something for me for a change, and I pulled out the Sewing Workshop Tamari Apron pattern and some plastic coated table covering fabric. I bought a light blue with white spots, as the other fabrics available in my local store would have been fine for covering tables at a childrens' party, but not for an adult woman to wear.

The result is  wearable, however I think the stiffness of the fabric is not ideal. I also think for my height I could make the pattern a little shorter.

Sewing the plastic coated fabric was a bit tough. It can't be pressed and I didn't want to pin extensively, so the hems were difficult to stitch. There was also some difficulty in feeding the fabric because it was a bit sticky, and the tension was a bit variable. Maybe I should have cut the fabric a little smaller and made single-fold hems, or even raw edges as the fabric does not fray. I used twill tape for the ties, which works well. 

I prefer waterproof aprons because I am a bit of a splasher when washing up, but I think if I make this pattern again I will go for a different type of fabric that will drape better.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Final Me Made Monday of the year

Recovered post, originally posted 29 December 2014

Today I am wearing a me-made outfit. My trousers are a pair of navy corduroys from my trusty self drafted elastic waist pattern, finished yesterday and worn for the first time today. Also new is a navy silk dupion camisole/shell. I made it just before Christmas to wear under an evening top, but the necklines didn't work together, so again today is the first outing.

Over the top of this, I have a fleece top, again from a trusty self drafted pattern. It has a slight difference in the collar, I used an idea from a Marcy Tilton Vogue pattern, offsetting the attachment of one edge of the cowl. This gives a nice soft rumpled effect.

I made the camisole using an existing garment as the pattern. I laid it on the fabric, with the centre front on a bias fold on the fabric, and traced around it. I angled it slightly away from the fold towards the hem to give a looser fit. I added seam allowances only to the shoulders and side seams. On the front I drafted a lower neckline. If I do this again, I will trace the armholes in the original position before flaring the sides, add front bust darts, and make the neckline a little squarer, but I'm sure this will be a useful garment.

I made French seams, sewing the first pass (WS together) with the three-thread stitch on my overlocker. I bound the armholes and neckline, following the advice given by Thornberry on her blog, sewing the folded binding on the inside, then wrapping it to the outside and topstitching it in place. 

All in, I think this garment took about 1.5 hours to make.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Drafting a cowl necked shark-bite top

Recovered post, originally posted 9 December 2014

I have noticed cowl necked tops and shark-bite hems appearing on blogs recently so I thought I'd show how easy it is to draft one using Garment Designer.
Start with a simple A-line top with the sleeve and armhole you want.
Drag the bottom point of the side seam downwards and outwards.

Reshape the hemline by adjusting the curve control points.
Widen and deepen the neckline. I used the 'wide deep' option but decided I wanted it wider so I adjusted the neck/shoulder point further.
Select the 'collar, joined at the back' option from the extras menu.
Choose the 'stand' collar group, 'band 1' style.
Drag the bottom (outside edge) line down to the width you want for the cowl.

Drag the outside point on this line outwards to widen the edge so the cowl will fall downwards. You will need to cut the cowl with this edge on the fold.

Because Christmas is approaching, there are bundle specials available for both Garment Designer and Stitch Painter. I offer the same discount on UK prices as the website, so if you are interested, drop me a message and I can let you know the details.

By the way, if you are a Mac user of either Garment Designer or Stitch Painter, and haven't upgraded to Yosemite yet, the advice is to hold off for the present, as the driver for the security key is not compatible. Technicians are working on this, and I will post another entry when the new driver is available.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

My week in crafting 1st - 7th November

Recovered post - originally posted 9 November 2014

Saturday there was a family gathering, and I cast on some fingerless mitts using the Wendy Fusion yarn left over from making this hat earlier in the year.
I decided to knit them as one piece, as the colours only appeared once in the remaining yarn, and knitting separately would have resulted in two completely different mitts.
Sunday 2nd November I continued with the mitts.
And I watched the Craftsy class I reviewed on Wednesday.
On Monday 3rd I finished the mitts.

I decided that a sweater I had finished in 2011 was too long, which was why I had not worn it more than once or twice since then.

I took it to knit night on Tuesday and started by undoing the bottom of the side seams, and snipped a stitch just shorter than the target length so I could separate the unwanted part and pick up stitches across the bottom. I couldn't ripped up from the bottom as I knit the garment bottom up. Having completed the separation for the front, I undid the knitting for the section I removed.
Wednesday saw me doing the same to the back.
Thursday, I knit down on the front to match the length of the back as I hadn't managed to get them quite even when performing the surgery. I rejoined the side seams, then joined the whole bottom in the round.
Friday I continued knitting in the round in moss stitch to form a new bottom band. I didn't manage to cast off but that was all that remained to be done.
Sorry, no photos of the last two days work, but I will show the finished garment next week.