Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New apron

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.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Drafting a cowl necked shark-bite top

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 Cochenille.com 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.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Another Me Made Monday

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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Me Made Monday

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.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Me made outfit

This is the outfit I wore to the family gathering we attended the other weekend. I made the tunic and slip, the trousers were thrifted.

The slip is essentially the pillowcase dress with an a-line shape cut from bias fabric. I made a bias tube for this, hence the diagonal seams that are visible. The straps are made from ribbon threaded through the top casing.

The tunic is even simpler, it consists of two rectangles the full width of the fabric, and the finished tunic length. I finished all the edges, then joined the rectangles on 3 sides leaving openings for my head and hands.

I also made the earrings to match a thrifted necklace, and I made the extension piece to make the necklace longer.








Sunday, November 09, 2014

This week in crafting 1st - 7th November

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.



Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Shortening jacket sleeves with a vent

Yesterday I shortened the sleeves on a coat that had a vent and non-working buttons, i.e. The buttonholes were not cut. This is a complex process, and I thought I would explain how I do it.

I don't touch shortening (tailored) jacket sleeves from the top because there is usually a lot of 'engineering' there that is difficult to unpick and reinstate. Sometimes there is a sleevehead, and sometimes the body and body lining are attached to the sleeve and bound before the sleeve lining is handstitched in place. Anyway, the whole thing is prone to error and looking nasty. Providing the amount to be shortened is not too much, shortening from the cuff end is much easier and looks fine.

Before I start, I mark the new hem length with tacking (basting) stitches, being careful not to stitch through the lining.

When you shorten jacket sleeves this way, you will need to remove all the buttons and the fake buttonholes and the stitching for the vent edge to be able to turn the new cuff up. Before taking the buttons off, measure the position of the first button from the seam and the cuff, and also the distance between the buttons, so you can resew them in the equivalent position when reattach them. Also measure the amount the cuff is being shortened so you know how much fabric to cut off the sleeve (and the lining).

Go in through the underarm seams even though it feels like you could just separate the lining from the sleeve at the cuff. Usually one of these seams is stitched last after the jacket was bagged, but open both up because it is less stress on the jacket.

It is usually easier to undo the buttonhole stitching from the inside as they are sewn with a special stitch that can be unchained from the back.

Add new interfacing to provide support to the fabric at the marked length. Don't forget to interface a little further up under where the buttons will go.

Since the sleeve tapers towards the cuff, you will need to renew the non-vent seam in the new hem to angle outwards, to allow the hem fabric to lie flat. Then you can work out where to resew the vent stitching. Sometimes there is a mitre seam on the overlap side, so use pressing and pins to work out where to put the new one. This sometimes needs to be at a different angle to the original.

I usually don't bother with new fake buttonholes as they really aren't noticeable, but if you want to make new ones, use the measurements for button placement that you made at the start. Just sew them onto one fabric layer as they will be fakes - if you are shortening, the extra layer needed for working buttonholes just won't be there.

Trim the lining fabric by the same amount you are shortening the sleeve. I usually find I need to resew the lining seam with narrower seam allowances at the cuff end to match the width of the hem edge.

Sew the lining to the cuff as you do when bagging a jacket, by pinning the two edges together as they will be worn, then passing them through the open lining seam. Catch the hem in place at the seams (or hemstitch all round).


Resew the buttons in place at the measured positions but not through the lining.

Finally topstitch the lining seams closed.