Monthly Archives: July 2013

Serging with Delight!

Forgive me blogging world, but it's been about 12 months since my last sewing confession. I've owned my overlocker (or serger to those in the US) for about 10 years and never once changed any of the the settings.

Oh the shame! When I first bought my overlocker, I'd just saved up enough money to buy myself a sewing machine and never even thought about an overlocker. I went with my Mum and I came home with a heavily discounted Janome MyLock534D and my Mum's old Husqvarna sewing machine. Shopping with my Mum never goes quiet according to plan. Anyway back to my confession, I used it to finish edges and sew knits and fleece together and that was it. When ever the edge I was sewing was a bit wavy, I just ignored it or gave it a big yank to straighten it all out. Yes, yes, I know that it's bad. I thought I needed a bunch of different feet to do anything else and I really hadn't a need before.

But, the other day as I was staring at my sewing machine and overlock trimmings, I noticed in my bag of machine feet these two extra feet for the overlocker. How did I miss them all these years? I hunted high and low look for my instruction manual, but no dice. So, I turned to the interwebs, as you do, when seeking knowledge. I came across some very helpful information and YouTube videos like this one. I found out that I can do a whole lot more with my overlocker than I thought. Who knew? Well, a lot of people apparently!

This set up resulted in an awesome rolled hem. Yay! (I forgot to take a picture of the needle plate setting knob on R (not S).) Then I managed to do gathering on my overlocker too, but I still need a bit of practice with this one to get nice even gathering on a long heavy weight fabric.

Now I realise that I'm not using my overlocker to its full potential, I want to know more. There is this online course from craftsy that I have only heard good things about. I can't afford the $40 dollars right now, so maybe for Christmas. Until then, I'll keep looking on YouTube for helpful tutorials. As for those feet…I still have no idea what they do.

 

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Yoga Pants

When I came to the realisation that I needed to sew more practical items and less fancy dresses, I was a bit bummed, but it did make me rethink what I really needed in my wardrobe. However, if I only made “boring” practical clothes, I'd soon get bored with sewing, so I decided on a happy medium, with a bit of both. To start off the practical sewing first I made my coat, and I've been thinking for a while that I needed new yoga pants. The issue with making yoga pants has always been finding the right fabric. But, while shopping at Spotlight for another project, there it was on the sale table for $3 a metre. A thick bright blue cotton/elastane blend with 4 way stretch. Ok, so blue wouldn't have been my first choice for yoga pants, but now people in my yoga class well get a joyful flash of colour whilst doing their downward dog. Your welcome!

For the pattern, I just traced around a pair of leggings, with a bit more room at the bottom and gave them a yoga waist band, obviously. I used my overlocker (serger) for the construction and only used my sewing machine with a twin needle for the pant leg hems. I actually finished these pants almost 2 weeks ago and it has taken me this long to photograph them and blog about it. I've already finished my next project, the beautiful Elisalex Dress. I also made a quick no sew yoga mat holder with some scraps.

Between the shrinkage of the fabric after washing and a few marks on the fabric, there wasn't much fabric left but, lucky for me, just enough for a bonus project. I made another knit pencil skirt like this one, making this one exactly the same.

Here it is being modeled by my extra hippy vintage dressmakers dummy. I'd consider buying a new one if I thought that it would mimic my body shape, but alas, no dummy I've find has their hip measurements go as small as mine actually are. Not to mention my stubby torso. And on that bombshell, I leave you. Until next time, good night.

 

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Yoga Pants

When I came to the realisation that I needed to sew more practical items and less fancy dresses, I was a bit bummed, but it did make me rethink what I really needed in my wardrobe. However, if I only made “boring” practical clothes, I'd soon get bored with sewing, so I decided on a happy medium, with a bit of both. To start off the practical sewing first I made my coat, and I've been thinking for a while that I needed new yoga pants. The issue with making yoga pants has always been finding the right fabric. But, while shopping at Spotlight for another project, there it was on the sale table for $3 a metre. A thick bright blue cotton/elastane blend with 4 way stretch. Ok, so blue wouldn't have been my first choice for yoga pants, but now people in my yoga class well get a joyful flash of colour whilst doing their downward dog. Your welcome!

For the pattern, I just traced around a pair of leggings, with a bit more room at the bottom and gave them a yoga waist band, obviously. I used my overlocker (serger) for the construction and only used my sewing machine with a twin needle for the pant leg hems. I actually finished these pants almost 2 weeks ago and it has taken me this long to photograph them and blog about it. I've already finished my next project, the beautiful Elisalex Dress. I also made a quick no sew yoga mat holder with some scraps.

Between the shrinkage of the fabric after washing and a few marks on the fabric, there wasn't much fabric left but, lucky for me, just enough for a bonus project. I made another knit pencil skirt like this one, making this one exactly the same.

Here it is being modeled by my extra hippy vintage dressmakers dummy. I'd consider buying a new one if I thought that it would mimic my body shape, but alas, no dummy I've find has their hip measurements go as small as mine actually are. Not to mention my stubby torso. And on that bombshell, I leave you. Until next time, good night.

 

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I Made a Coat

About a year ago I had grand plans to make myself a coat using Simplicity 7113 . I even went so far as to draft up a slightly altered version (making it knee length) and cut it out. Then I lost my nerve and it sat in my to do basket for the year. Chicken!

Then, after Me-Made-May, my realisation I needed more practical sewing and my bout of Sew Depression, I thought I would try making a coat again, but I was no longer feeling my original plan. I had moved on to this coat, in fact one of my very first posts on this blog was about this coat.

I initially disregarded the Simplicity 7113 version and started from scratch, altering the Darling Ranges pattern in an attemt to copy the coat exactly, differing only in colour. After 3 toiles, I just wasn't happy with the fit of the sleeve and the armscye. The Darling Ranges has an odd fit in the sleeve normally, and the more I fiddled with the pattern the less I was happy with the way it was coming together. So, I turned back to Simplicity 7113, made peace with the differences, and got to work.

Details

Shell Fabric – a vintage wool/polyester blend of which I had 6 metres. I'd paid $2 a metre for it at my local Op-Shop, a bargain, no? I also have 6 metres in a dark magenta, jealous much? The labels were still attached, so I Googled the brand. I found this newspaper article from 1968. Their fabrics sold for $5.50/yard at DJ’s in 1968, so I think I got a good deal on this one.

Lining Fabric – two old sheets. The white one was from my linen press and the other one was a thrifted bed sheet that I found a few years ago for $1.

Pattern – I used Simplicity 7113 for the bodice, changing the neckline/lapels slightly. The pattern was too large and I ending up using 1″ seam allowances on all seams. I already had this cut out, so I just cut it off at the waistline mark on the pattern.The skirt was self drafted and the pockets were from the Darling Ranges dress.

Notions – 5 vintage buttons ($3 for 6) and polyester thread, which was the only thing I purchase new. I also used a small amount of self made bias tape left over from this make.

Cost – about $5 for the shell fabric, about 20c for the lining, $3 for buttons and $3 for the thread. Total cost $11.20.

Overall, I fairly happy with the way this coat turned out. It is in no way perfect and has many faults, but I'm pretty proud that I managed to make a coat. One sleeve is perfection, the other is the exact opposite. That little devil cost me days of extra time. I don't even want to count how many times I unpicked and sewed that sleeve in place to try and fix the slight twist that it had. Ggrhh! It still has the problem, but I think it is less noticable now than it was before and I have no idea why or how to fix it. Something to figure out for next time perhaps.

 

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Filed under Pattern Modification, Sewing, Thrifting

Unfinished business

Hi, remember me? I used to post here on this blog a while back.

I lost a bit of my sewing and blogging mojo after Me-Made-May. The general crazy state my life as a stay at home mum to my two children, a dose of the flu (yay winter) and boring chores all played a part in my absence. But mostly I was Sew Depressed after seeing all the wonderful summer dresses and outfits put together by all the lovely bloggers out there. Have you every been Sew Depressed? I coined this term to explain my recent state of mind. I wished I could be sewing great dresses and skirts, fabulous peplum tops and the like, but I was being stopped by that nasty thing called practicality. Who invited him to the party? I came to the realisation that full skirted dresses and pencil skirts are not really practical wear for running after kids and general horsing about. Also, we're in the middle of winter here, so lots of layers and generally pants. Boo! Therefore, I never did a post about all the unblogged pieces I wore during Me-Made-May. So here it is.

I found this skirt at the op-shop for $4 about a year ago. I had grand plans to refashion this and another denim shirt into a dress, but it just sat there in my ever growing pile. I replaced the buttons with some vintage buttons I bought and moved their placements for a better fit. I unpicked the straps and tried to work with them to form braces, but I scrapped that plan and just continued with the rest of the refashion. I shortened the length and added a pocket made from the bottom of the skirt, because, what good is a skirt without pockets. I'm still not sure if the length is right.

This is my stampede top, that was a dress, but was always meant to be a top. I just folded it in half and gave it a high low hem.

This skirt is made from a thrifted cot sheet. I actually finished this skirt at the start of the year, and I started it about a year or two before that. When I originally started this, I cut the skirt using the whole width of the skirt. When I then gathered the skirt the skirt was too bulky, so it sat in the pile until I figured out what I had done wrong. After I had made my first Darling Ranges dress, I finally figured it out. Every time I had previously self drafted skirts, I used too much width. So, using the back pattern from the Darling Ranges dress for both the front and back, I found I had enough left over to cut out matching pockets. YAY, pockets! I put it togther as per the Darling Ranges instructions and then added an elastic waist band (selvedged from another failed project).

Pyjama pants, what can I really say here? I used a thrifted sheet and an old pair of pyjama pants that I was trying to replace.

And that's that, I think. I should hopefully be back later this week to post about my current project.

 

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Filed under Me-Made-May '13, Refashioning, Sewing