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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snow day

We had a little bit of snow today and I headed down to my sewing room after telling my also working-from-home spouse  I was going to get some work done too.

My sewing room in the basement but since that's only semi in the ground I have full windows, one to the backyard and one to the front street. This was the view there today. Cheery isn't it?

In case you are wondering those black specks were put there by an over-zealous snow blower who also blew up part of the lawn I think.
My "working" in my sewing room mostly involved me making a list of all the jobs at work I really like, and wondering how I can arrange my job description to include exclusively those parts.

I also spent a lot of time trying to track down my mother who turned 85 today and was on the Winnipeg roads at 50 degrees below all day tutoring at the elementary school and going to swim meets and other things. She still isn't home but I hope to get to her before bedtime to see what's the latest.

I also made some gab pants for my SWAP based on an evolving TNT but it appears my figure is also evolving so although they are excellent standing up pants I decided I really need standing up and sitting down pants so wrote "Add here" all over the pattern pieces and then cut out four more pair that I intend to sneak sew some time over the next week.

These pants have invisible zippers in the side, which I love as there is no apparent top-stitching, and I can put them in without any pinning in about one minute.


But I always have trouble with the seam you then stitch up to meet the zipper. I get a little bubble and it is most annoying. 

If I could defeat this issue I would be in business. Might trying sewing the seam first, or if you have any tricks, I need to hear them.

Back to classes tomorrow again, staring at 8:30 and going through to 8:00 at night, so my sewing will be limited, except in my head.

Just so you know I am doing some stash reduction but will not be observing a fallow year this year, personally I need to see some bright fabrics and some good spring Vogues asap.

I feel it has come time to ditch the black.


LinB said...

Only way I've found to avoid the bubble is to do the last inch or so of seaming by hand. Sigh. Still, the effect is worth the little bit of bother.

Ann said...

Interace that side seam where the zipper goes. After all, it is a curve on bias. Helps a lot. Use a strip about an inch wide along the stitching line.

gMarie said...

I rarely comment here - but I adore your blog and your commentary. You always make me laugh, think hmmmm, and wonder about stuff as well. I love the snow outside - but then I live where it doesn't snow, so of course I love it.

I'll be interested in hearing the answer to the invisible zip bump. g

TinaLou said...

Long time reader; first time commenter ~ I adore your blog! I was not raised on invisible zips; I can put in a lapped zipper like nobody's business, so much for that. I stumbled across a workable solution to the same bubble/hump at the bottom issue not too long ago. After sewing in the two zipper tapes, I zipped it up and turned the skirt to the right side and gave it a light pressing all along the newly created seam line, even below where the zipper ended. Then I turned the skirt back over, realigned the seam below the zip, matching up those fold lines, right sides together, and sewed just a tiny bit to the outside of that fold line. No bump. I haven't had the opportunity to recreate this to make sure that this wasn't just a fluke, but it might just work for you too. Let us know what works for you in the end. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Florida is looking better by the minute isn't it, Barb. Love your latest SWAP top.
I spent the day knitting more felted hats. The wool keeps me warm.
My daughter has taken over the sewing room. Making a glam dress for the nurses' dance. She will be reading this for the tips on putting in invisible zippers without said bubble.

I am so happy to have found this on line sewing community!

Anonymous said...

Barb, forgot to ask if you found your mom. Hope all is well and she is home safe and warm.


Elaine Seniuk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Start at the zipper and sew down to the bottom of the leg. Seems like most people do it in the other direction, but this works for me. I do use interfacing on the fabric under the zipper.

Claire S. said...

Hope your Mom had a happy birthday and that you finally got hold of her. - oh boy, once my Mom retired it was impossible to keep track of her - she was running the roads all the time LOL

No fallow year here either. My up to now 'unvoiced' only sew from stash as much as possible has suffered a serious blow - last night my brother gave me a Fabricville gift card for Christmas ! :-)

With the others, I'll be watching for the 'bump' solution.

elke said...

I've had generally good results with the method from Threads issue 119, using my regular zipper foot. I did try the cheapie plastic foot and hated it, so I was happy to find these instructions.

Debbie Cook said...

TinaLou is sorta describing the method I use, sans the pressing step. You sew the zipper in first as usual, close to the coils. Then you sew the seam at 5/8" up to where you ended the zipper sewing. It's not a straight line, the two do not meet. And this is hard to describe. I think it's in Pants for Real People if you have that.

Eirini said...

Your Mom is amazing - I hope she enjoyes many more years of active life! Regarding the invisible zipper I just wanted to second TinaLou's method: you start closing the seam below the zipper by "sewing just a tiny bit to the outside of that fold line", i.e. the stitching line is about 3/8'' away from the zipper stiching line. For me, this is waht made the difference.

Paula said...

I've installed more than a hundred invisible zippers, and I always hand-sew the last few stitches. In other words, I sew pretty close to where the end of the zipper is, lift the zipper foot and pull the project from the machine leaving a good length of thread, thread the tails onto a needle, and complete the sewing by hand. When I get to where a zipper stop should be, I hand-sew across the ends of the zipper before cutting off the excess zipper tape. It takes just a few minutes, and you have total control of the situation. And using interfacing on the seams helps if the fabric is a little on the wimpy side.