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I am a mother, a 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 book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Sunday, December 31, 2017

All day shirt pattern review - Liesl and Co.

This is a long review as it involves my major Christmas sewing project.

This year I made four men's shirts. One was an overdue one for my youngest son using some custom printed poplin from Spoonflower (electrical circuits - he is in the wind energy business now in Austin Texas) and three flannel shirts for the same son, my middle guy now in San Francisco, and my son-in-law here.

They were all in town for Christmas and I thought a sort of group sew made sense, at least to me.

First the pattern.

I have made the boys a number of shirts over the years and not been totally happy with the patterns. The Big Four patterns are too boxy for current styles and some of the specialty patterns out there are either not too well drafted or dated in cut.

I wanted a real RTW draft so on a whim tried this pattern from Liesl and Co.:

This pattern turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.

Reasons I liked this pattern and will be using it again, and again and again, I expect are:

  • The fit is exactly what I have been searching for - modern but enough easy to be comfortable
  • Two useful views - a button down collar, casual version, and a more formal dress version with an almost spread collar, also fashionable
  • Really good construction advice, using some of my favourite techniques, which also tend to be those not included in most other patterns, the method for the stand collar in particular

The best way to talk further about this pattern I think is with pictures and notes.

Here we go.

First the Spoonflower print fabric one for my son. 

If you haven't heard of Spoonflower they definitely are worth checking out. The idea is you have access to an enormous number of Indie print designers and you can select the fabric (from knit to woven- big selection) you want it printed on and make a custom order. I was very happy to see poplin as a listed fabric, it is a great fabric for shirts and I was very happy with the quality. Too many cool prints are in quilting cottons and these are simple too loosely woven to hold up for shirt wear and it was nice to have an interesting pattern in a real shirt fabric.

There are various reviews of Spoonflower, some say the blacks fade, but I can only talk about my one experience.

I have to say I was happy with my purchase. True the fabric was slightly stiff, I would expect that with a surface printed design, but I did pre-wash and line dry it before I cut and did not detect any fading.

I sometimes wonder if some of the colour fading folks talk about is because so many people wash and machine dry their clothes. For instance my son was amazed when I told him not to put this shirt in the dryer (he would probably do that and put them in at hot water with his jeans).

Service was a bit slow on my order, required a few emails to make sure it was on its way, about 3 weeks, but in the end I found the customer service, if slow, outstanding.

I will order from them again.

Here is the shirt on my youngest with some detail shots and comments:

See how nice the fit is? Slim enough but not tight. Love it and so did he. Guys in the office wondered if I could make more. My son said he was pretty sure I only do this for my own kids. He is right about that.

Here is the cuff. The slightly rounded corners make this nice and neat and the "Burrito method" cuff application is super easy and smooth.

For accuracy in marking details like the stitching box of the cuff placket I always just trace it off, and using a short stitch length do my stitching. When this is done the paper just pulls away.
Hit my picture limit in Blogger, so part two will be posted next.

Part two of the Liesl and Co. All day shirt pattern

Next here is a shot of the flannel shirts on the boys.

Note everyone in my family is tall. My middle son, pictured on the left here, is about 6'1" and he looks shorter than the other two, my son-in-law in the middle (6'5"), and my youngest, on the right (6'4"). At 5'9" I am their "little mommy."

A note on fit. I was able with both the guys in the blue shirts to borrow, in a sneaky way, shirts they already have to verify the right size. The middle shirt was an XL and the one on the right a L - both with 2" added to length. I am less happy with the fit for the one on my middle guy on the left - he is in San Francisco and the logistics for invading his home on the QT were more limited. The L is too big on him even though that worked for his chest measurement. As you can see he has a well developed chest (works out) and is trim due to riding his bike to and from work up those San Francisco hills. (He even calls me from the bike and is not out of breath). I am going to sew him up a medium shortly with room across his chest (it will be interesting to see how that turns out). That said this shirt is made of really heavy flannel and I made it for camping - something he and my DIL do to take advantage of California's outstanding park system. As an outdoor type shirt he says it is fine and he loves it, but then again he was always nice to me.

Now onto my favourite stand collar application, nicely detailed in this pattern instructions.

There are about 53 different methods for doing this particular high risk sewing job out there and I have tried them all.

The hand method is nice and easy to do but can get a little messy around that visible front join. The burrito method has many variations but I personally find wrestling all that fabric into a tiny area, squishing a collar in the process, more work than I want to do - also I like to breathe and the burrito method requires the breath holding stamina of a synchronized swimmer.

Additionally I have several principles of construction that I like to stick to in the interest of quality control and nerve saving.

These are:

  • Keep it hand sized as long as possible. This is because you are sewing with your hands. Hauling large pieces around under a needle is not for me. I can only focus on what I can see. This is why I don't quilt or do home dec sewing.
  • Do as much as possible to each unit before moving on. It's nice to sign off on something, preferably a hand sized something, before you do the next thing.
  • Try to keep what you have to sew something you can see rather than the presto chango method where you sew blind and hope when you turn it right side out it will be brilliant.
  • Break up big ambitious seams into shorter achievable seams.
The easiest method IMO, and shared by Liesl apparently, is this one:

1. Sew the collar up, top stitch and press. Put it aside for now. Hand sized and signed off on.

2. Sew on collar band to the neckline.

3. Sew the other collar band to the neckline over the first stitching. You can see what you are doing.

4. Fold the shirt body out of the way at a 45 degree angle and pin it to the front of the shirt, isolating the ends of the bands so the shirt won't get caught in them. Less fabric to work with than the collar attached method of the traditional burrito.

5. Stitch the ends of the band only on each side and pivot and sew a bit to join the top of the bands together to about where the collar would fit in. No need to get too stressed about this, the space you leave for the collar can be a little big, just not too small - eventual top-stitching will close this off anyway. Do a little trimming after you have had a quality control look at your stitching and redone it or fixed it up as necessary.

6. Turn and press the band, tucking under the seam allowances of the opening and pressing them under.

7. Slip the collar into the opening and sew it to the band that will be against the neck. If you find this tricky to do right to the ends don't stress, again you can catch this later. Just do what you can do.

8. Working from the outside back of the shirt, pin, baste, glue baste or adhesive sewing tape (my choice) the remaining seam allowance to the underside of the collar and stitch down catching it in topstitching all around the band. If this scares you the other option is to hand sew the band seam allowance down and then top stitch.

Here is what the band on the underside of the collar looks like before it is sewn down on two of the shirts:

And here are pictures of one finished shirt collar all neatly attached done by a breathing sewist:

So great pattern, great construction methods, happy shirt wearers.

Friday, December 29, 2017

New Year's resolutions and Movie Night pattern review

Well the tree is still up but the dining room table is covered now in things the spouse is considering packing into the RV. 

We will be leaving Nova Scotia in about two weeks. We are heading to Panama Beach Florida and more or less along the Gulf Coast to Texas, where we will cruise around for about a month getting to know the place the youngest son now lives in, and then west to San Francisco to do the same for the son and DIL in California.

It's pretty cold out there so we are packing warmer than usual clothes and of course a couple of months of sewing projects. When we hit the Bay area I am going to be shooting a few videos for the publisher, very homey, on some of the hints I think new sewers need to know. Hope they are braced for that. I have kind of decided to just be myself for that sort of thing and hope that makes sense to someone somewhere.

I am wondering how well I am going to go without sewing friends to talk to for nearly three months. I have even considered getting an American Sewing Guild at large membership so I can drop into a few meetings as we travel to just sit with other sewists.

For those of you who belong to the ASG does this make sense?

Back on topic.

Living in an RV brings out the inner minimalist. I know the concept of traveling this way might seem weird, certainly not something I thought I would ever do, but I really like it. 

I remember saying on a student trip to Europe years ago that I could travel forever if I could go home every night and sleep in my own bed.

It's like that with the addition of your sewing room traveling with you too. Imagine if every hotel room you ever stayed in had your pattern collection and machine in it.

There actually is a point to this.

I have made one major New Year's resolution, which I actually think I will keep because it is something I want to do anyway.

I am going to try make as many Indie patterns as I can in 2018 and review them.

Here are my reasons for doing this:

1. It will be fun
2. I will learn something new - really important to me as a sewist that I don't get limited or stuck in my familiar techniques. With sewing there is always a new idea and a different way the same thing can be done, we all know that. An example is the pattern I am going to review here.
3. A few of the patterns I have tried could do with some alternative instructions or maybe a construction technique alternative- if I see an opportunity to add information that might be helpful to the next person sewing this pattern I will do that.
4. I enjoy the stimulation of the sewing community that follows some of these pattern designers, nearly all have FB groups, and seeing their makes. This is good for my own creativity and when you are inspired, in my experience, you just should sew something.

And finally, this is too big an idea to be in a list, I want to explore new pattern designers. The ability to produce and sell .pdf patterns has revolutionized the access of design talent to the sewing community. 

I truly believe that there is a lot of talent out there and I want to meet it. I don't believe at all that the potential to create a great pattern or design can only happen on 5th Avenue. Many good ideas start on a kitchen table, late at night, or while someone naps. If anyone understands that I do.

And to quote Joseph Howe, a father of Confederation and fellow Nova Scotian,  you don't need a big field to grow a big turnip.

As an aside, just so you know,  I will pattern test if asked but I buying all patterns I am reviewing. You need to know I am being as objective as I can.

Now onto the Movie Night Pajamas.

This pattern is a free one from Sew a little seam if you join their FB page which will give you the freebie code. Note there is also an adult woman's version of this pattern available too. I am going to get that cut out soon to take with me to sew in the rv because I am anticipating some chilly nights on wheels this next month at least.

I threw together this pattern on December 24th for Mr. Billy who was yakking away about Batman jammies. I got the fabric from Fabric Crush, a Canadian online seller I highly recommend, just in time.

Of course I had already made Billy traditional flannel Christmas jammies but like all children, and most adults if they would admit it, how they felt was as important to him as the print was to me and to his mother.

He told us he didn't like the way the wide legs flapped around his feet. He is an action guy after all.

So I went searching and found the Movie Nights.

They were a particularly fast sew, which is handy when you are whipping something up the day before Christmas, with bands at both the cuff and ankles as well as the neck.

The only hem is on the top and I serged the edge and top stitched it down with a three step zig zag which, because the steps eliminate the long floating threads of the plain zig zag, and I have found to be the most durable for children's clothes - more so than my cover hem for instance.

The intriguing thing about this pattern (not illustrated because my model wouldn't stay still) is the option to replace the traditional elastic waist with a "yoga band" essentially a big wide band of Cotton lycra knit. This is a brilliant idea and one I am going to use more often.

The yoga band is of course super easy to apply, faster than the elastic, and more accommodating when you are trying to figure out what length to cut the elastic for someone you can't test on.

Billy finds it about 1000% more comfortable than an elastic waist too and it also does the job of holding up the jammies just as well.  

Where else can I use this idea?

Finally my model, Christmas morning:

Now off to cut out projects for the trip.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Flypaper thoughts Boxing day edition

  • Well it's the morning after
  • Now I can start posting some of my project photos for things I made this year
  • Never a production sewist, however this year I made
  • 11 retreat bags (toiletry bag free pattern from Emmaline bags)
  • Four dress shirts (All day shirt from Liesl patterns)
  • One pair of Batman pyjamas (Movie night PJs free for both children and adults if you do a FB sign up)
  • Two Sugarplum night gowns from Peek-a-Boo
  • Two pairs of pyjamas, one for a 3-year-old one for a 36-year-old from Jalie
  • Five slouchy head wraps a free pattern from Patterns for Pirates
  • Three sleep masks for my flyers from a pattern in the top drawer in my sewing room
  • One polar fleece jacket also from Peek-a-Boo
  • There is probably more but this is all I can think of now
  • My biggest urge this morning
  • A bunch of tops for myself
  • Please I don't want you to think I am that kind of productive sexist
  • Doing all of this was an emotional release for me with so many family members all over the place
  • Sometimes I communicate best with sewing
  • And this year I needed to do that
  • The day went well
  • High point was the power going out about an hour before the entire city was ready to sit down for dinner
  • Our meal was fortunately already cooked as we make it here at home and transport it about five minutes away to my daughter's because she has the huge table
  • The meal is one of our gifts
  • Imagine the poor folks who had semi raw turkeys
  • To heat up our food we relied on my husband
  • Who is kind of a sleeper cell waiting to come alive in emergencies
  • With gear no one knew he has stashed in the garage
  • Rigged up a small microwave attached to a car battery
  • Apparently there are two spare microwaves I didn't know about in the garage
  •  No one goes into the garage unescorted
  •  Just in case
  • You need an inverter to run a microwave when the power goes out
  • No one knew what an inverter was or that we had one
  • Ran a series of super long extension cords up two flights of stairs to the kitchen from the van in daughter's garage where it was plugged into the lighter thing
  • We got the broccoli warm
  • I put the potato casserole in front of the wood stove, where it actually cooked
  • And the cabbage on top of the stove where it actually almost burned
  • We lit a collection of candles and tried to keep small children from carrying them around
  • It was very exciting
  • So disappointing when the lights went on after a few hours
  • So we turned them off in the dining room and ate by candlelight
  • We had children roller blading in the kitchen
  • Dogs eating the ornaments
  • A poor and brave daughter-in-law who had a cold
  • And then got reflux because I insisted she drink two tablespoons of Buckleys ("it tastes terrible but it works")
  • Widely popular in Canada because it is made of pine needles and looks like mucus
  • Which are characteristics that matter here
  • "This looks like the stuff I am trying to get out of my body" Maddie said
  • That was before the reflux kicked in as the pine needles went down
  • Her living in California oesophagus undoubtedly gone into shock
  • At this point the mother-in-law of the year decided to lie low on the medical front
  • And not to suggest a mustard plaster
  • Anyone else have mustard plasters applied to their chests as children?
  • Highly sophisticated
  • English mustard and flour mixed with water and the paste smeared on brown paper
  • Then put in a tea towel and applied to small bony chests
  • Works like a charm to cure chest colds 
  • Providing you don't fall asleep with it on
  • In which case you have to investigate home remedies for 3rd degree burns
  • I realize that "my children survived" is not an argument that qualifies me as a medical expert
  • Life in the Canadian winter
  • In two weeks now we will be driving down and out of it
  • Of to points south, Texas and then California
  • To check on the kids who have recently escaped us
  • They might need something
  • A shirt
  • Some advice
  • Or maybe its us who need to see where this family is now
  • At Christmas you remember
  • And one of the things you remember
  • Is the present moment is the one that counts

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Laugh of the day

Hi folks.

My daughter just called me in hysterics.

If you google this blog it comes up as lessons from a serial sewing sexist.

My original tag line, and the one from my book, was a serial sewist.

Since this is not a common word, but one the publisher felt was more appropriate than the sewer I always use, it is being automatically changed to sexist.


I have removed the tag line from the blog but even this does not change what Google spits out.

I tend not to worry about details much unless they are under the needle of my sewing machine, but the kids think this needs to be changed.

If anyone out there knows how to do this please let me know, otherwise I will see if I hear back from Google.

I am finding the humour in this however, generally being of the opinion that people, and sewing bloggers, can take themselves too seriously.

So much for trying to upgrade this messy blog.

I stand reminded.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

I have disappeared down a Christmas rabbit hole

If you wonder where I have been lately the title of this post might help.

Have you ever gone into a sort of thing where you feel compelled to do something that makes no sense?

Well this year for some reason I have ended up on a mission to make fairly complicated gifts for everyone. Despite the time constraints, despite life, despite common sense, and despite the fact they might not all want this stuff.

No matter.

I have found myself the last few weeks in a place I often see my students this time of year when they become submerged in end of term papers and assignments. 

This time of year my tizzed up students are transformed. Pyjamas are worn to class, the extensions and eye make-up and contacts become the old glasses, the messy bun, and bad skin. They are tired, they cry, they stress eat donuts and don't do yoga. 

They do nothing but school work. Right now I am doing nothing but sew.

My husband calls me during the day and says what's for dinner and I say beats me. My three-year-old grandson comes over and suggests I wash the kitchen floor (OK he is a pretty neat three-year-old) I walk the dogs, get the mail, and pre-sew the next stage in my head.

I have no idea why I am doing this.

Maybe it has something to do with my last birthday and thinking what am I going to do with the rest of my life. I thought about what was most important to me. That list began with family followed by sewing so I guess I am expressing that moment of self awareness, something I don't experience a lot.

So I am aware that I am doing this as much for myself as anyone else. It is a long time since I did anything but sewed at the edges of my life - right now I am a snowplow in the middle of the highway.  What I am doing now is teenager stuff.

Of course what I make may not even fit (it's a surprise) or be appropriate.

I remember one woman I know who found the Nova Scotia tartan vests she made for two adult sons who were bankers in England stowed away in the back of a closet after they had boarded the flights back to London.

Sometimes my taste isn't their taste, in this case often because they are the ones with good taste.

All that said I have about another week of this ( I lie it's going to take me longer than that) before I return to multi-dimensional living. And I do have to do that hemming review of the stretchy thread, I haven't forgotten about that,  just been out of the country a little bit.

In the meantime here are some random shots and thoughts:

The kids got their Christmas jimmies early. Billy's pants have since been shortened. I like sewing for them because I can go a little excessive (the girls totally get ric-rac) and make things I would like to wear myself.

I am pulling all my tricks out of my trick bag.

Here is how I make details, in this case a shirt placket. I draw the unit/markings on tracing paper, pin it to the fabric stitch where I have to, in this case the placket opening box, and then tear away the paper:

It's safe to show this because my youngest son is too busy to read the blog. The print is from Spoonflower on poplin (if you don't know them they print custom designs on a fabric types you choose). It's electrical circuits because he works in wind energy and is now based in Austin Texas.

I have put my vintage buttonholer to good use:

I have sewn on and owned so many machines but nothing gives me perfect, predictable fast buttonholers like these units. Unlike current machines that move the fabric under the needle as they stitch the buttonholes these buttonholers move and the fabric stays still. They also work by following cams, like train track, so there is absolutely nothing to keep them for doing the exact same buttonhole on any fabric in any location in the garment (collar stands we are talking about you here).

It should be noted that there are two kinds of these buttonholers. One kind, that which fits onto most machines with a straight needle bar, moves more because the unit has to go back and forth the make the zig zag sides. The end result buttonholes are beautiful but the unit is noisy and rocks around a lot, plus you have to insert the came in the bottom of the unit, which means you have to take the whole thing off and turn it over whenever you change the cam to make a different size buttonhole.

The other kind, the one pictured here, works only on old Singer machines with a slant needle, like my gorgeous Rocketeer - thank you thank you to my friend Kathleen for gifting me a second Rocketeer last week to use exclusively for buttonhole making.

The slant buttonholers, unlike most which just use the straight stitch and covered feed dogs on sort of a free motion principle, use the machine's zig zag setting. This, plus the fact that there is a built-in feed dog cover you can operate with a little lever, means a quicker set-up and quieter, IMO more efficient, operation.

And best of all the cams are dropped in from the top of the unit (see the little lever above) which means that once attached there is no need to take off the buttonholer every time you want to change the cam to make a different size buttonhole.

Well folks off I go, back to my busy and happy place.

Talk more soon, hope you are all well and happy too.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sewing for Christmas

For some reason that is not entirely clear to me I decided to make everything for Christmas.

I think it might be as sort of a celebration of having this fall off from teaching combined with a sort of if not now when sort of thing.

In general I do not believe in putting yourself under a lot of production pressure, particularly over the holidays.

Seared in my brain is an incident at a sewing class I taught years ago when one woman had such a melt down over the stress of trying to get a huge amount of sewing done that she started crying and couldn't stop. We ended up having to call her husband to come and get her. Really matching sweatshirts for 27 people was not worth it.

That said I decided to use November to immerse myself in my projects in a sort of university student doing the term papers sort of way. This way I won't have much to do before the day actually happens and I can just enjoy my family, everyone will be back in Nova Scotia this year, and eat.

I can't for security reasons show you everything, or even mostly what I have made, due to the fact that the recipients have access to internet. 

Here are a few things I can show you however with a few thoughts on how to sew for this season without losing your mind, although it is never clear around here that I have managed to achieve that.

First the requisite Christmas jammies. I have made two nightgowns for the little girls and two pairs of pyjamas for little boys. I used Jalie's wonderful multi-sized PJ pattern, now available only as a .pdf and Peek-a-boo patterns Sugarplum nightgown for the girls:

They were a pleasant sew (I simplified the bottoms on the pyjamas to a plain elastic waist, rather than the drawstring through buttonholes Jalie suggest).

I have to say too that I recommend Peek-a-Boo for gift sewing. I used their diaper bag and changing clutch for my niece's new baby present and both were far simpler to sew than many other patterns I looked at. This nightgown pattern is also very easy, and multi-sized. Nice to have a place to look for fast projects when you need them.

I have also downloaded their sock pattern, on the recommendation of my friend Pat, and may try those too. Apparently the toe seam is on the top, not the end of the foot, and that makes these comfortable.

Sewing socks is pretty nutty as an idea. This is probably why it is a sure thing I will make some.

I also turned around a fast tree skirt for my son and daughter-in-law in San Francisco. 

They called me Sunday night to say they had bought their first tree and asked me if I would make a tree skirt for them some time. Doesn't have to be this year my son said etc. As if I am not on permanent standby for any chance to do anything for my very competent and self-sufficient adult children.

We texted a few ideas (me secretly hoping they would not want one of those elaborate quilted numbers since I am not much of that kind of sewer) and they went for something tasteful and modern.  Since they are modern and have much better taste than I have this was no surprise. 

At any rate I went from design confirmation text to a trip down to Canada Post in less than a day. This pleased me as I am not a particularly efficient person.

Here is the finished product:

For fabric I used some soft-shell, rainwear on one side, low pile fleece on the other, fleece side up of course, because it had a nice weight and of course did not have to be lined.

I finished all the edges with a sort of satin stitch on my serger, stitch length set to close and Wooly Nylon in the upper looper, so it was basically a two seam project only. I made the pattern myself on the back of some old wrapping paper with a dinner plate used as a template for the hole in the middle.

The stars were stick-ons from Michaels that I glued more securely with some E6000.

Not sure how sturdy this whole unit is but when it wears out I will make something else for them.

So folks that's why I have been AWOL but rest assured there have been multiple blog posts written in my head.

Some might even make it to print fairly soon.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hold the phone! Late breaking hemming knits news

In all the discussion about how to hem knits I neglected to mention another solution, and a new one, which is a stretchy sewing thread - a new one from Coats called Eloflex.

I didn't include mention in this in my hemming series because, until today, news of this new product slipped right past me.

Sometimes events happen in the world I miss, I don't know how it happens, but it does.

I had one of my lovely all day sewing days with my friends from the sewing guild today and my friend Pat brought this thread to me and let me feel it. It certainly was stretchy if you pulled on it, strong and didn't break.

If in fact it will allow us to sew a good simple seam or hem in knits on our standard machines with a standard straight stitch (which being a minimally active stitch by definition is the least likely to cause a hem to wave) this in fact will be a game changer.

Right now, as in this very minute, I am at my daughter's babysitting as opposed to at the fabric store. However it is my intention is to run down and pick some of this stuff up tomorrow and do full on research type lab test on it.

Expect that report to be released soon afterwards.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Flypaper thoughts should be in bed version

  • My ham fisted attempts to class up this blog continue
  • See I added my name to the blog title on this page
  • Won't affect searching or finding me
  • So actually why did I do it?
  • Good question
  • Probably because there are sewing schools, workshops, and other places
  • Called sewing on the edge
  • And I thought it was my idea
  • Figured if I added my name I would distinguish myself
  • Name like Emodi you can be pretty sure the field won't be crowded
  • Names that were once made up are good that way
  • Baby steps in the user friendly department
  • Bear with me
  • Being sewing instead
  • Made 11 somethings for Christmas gifts
  • Blog goes a little dark in terms of pictures this time of year
  • The relatives all read in case I talk about them
  • Not much of a production sewer
  • Over and over, how do quilters do it?
  • Got a big Tilley hat in the mail today
  • Had a chunk of skin cancer removed from the side of my nose a few weeks go
  • All good
  • Anyway figured from now on I would go big or stay home
  • Hat-wise
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee told my spouse as a way of deflecting the how much did it cost question
  • Of course it does he said
  • They only sell hats like that to old people
  • You don't see them offering lifetime guarantees to two-year-olds
  • Time that man called it a day I think
  • Pretty sure my niece is now dating my son-in-law's nephew
  • Welcome to Nova Scotia
  • Which we will be leaving some time after Christmas
  • Going to Austin Texas and then California I think
  • Got to do some site visits to make sure the kids don't need buttons sewn on or dish cloths crocheted
  • Pretty sure they aren't taking care of this themselves
  • Any fabric stores I shouldn't miss west of say Tennessee?
  • Tons of flannelette to cut out in the next two days
  • Now there's a fabric
  • Dream to sew and gets stiffer with wear
  • However if it's for gifts that won't be my problem
  • Think about it
  • All other fabrics soften over time
  • Not flannelette
  • Good old prairie material, much like myself
  • Probably would go nicely with the hat
  • Little Billy is with me tomorrow 
  • He'll help me cut
  • Working together on new Batman jammies to replace the ones he trimmed up himself
  • By the way
  • Did you ever notice that all kids can tell you right away what their favourite colour is
  • And want to know yours
  • Why don't adults talk about things like that?
  • What would cocktail parties be like if we replaced what do you do?
  • With what is your favourite colour?
  • Or we introduced ourselves, I was 64 at my birthday party
  • Might be more interesting
  • Best wishes to those of you doing holiday sewing
  • May it not be in velvet
  • May you not scorch it at 11 p.m.
  • May you not have to sew multiples
  • May the easy-to-sew pattern actually be easy
  • And may you get it done early enough to still have time to sew for yourself too

Friday, November 10, 2017

Sewing and hemming knits Exhbit H

Well folks it appears this is my final hemming knits series posts.

I have to say I have really enjoyed doing these.

I sew all the time and sew more than I can sometimes get organized to post. Yes I know item by item pictures is how sewing bogs work, but I too often go onto making the next thing before I get proper shots taken.

Writing is not hard but having someone home to take pictures, without their thumb over the lens, can be hard. My husband has been working late this last few weeks and that's why I put these recent sews on my dress form who definitely is going to get signed up for Weight Watchers real soon.

I know pictures on me are what I should do but would you rather see a garment on a dress form than not at all?

Anyway back to knits.

Exhibit H.1

An another project I made last week was in this angora like knit and the fabulous Jalie Marie-Claude pullover pattern. I like this pattern because it skims not clings the body, and is not too loose to be sloppy. The drafting of the turtle neck is brilliant, soft at the front but with a centre piece at the back neck that means the back of the neck is smooth and close to the neck - so much more sophisticated a draft that the usual turtle neck tube:

Because this sweater knit had far more body than say the green I used in the last twin set,  I used the wider cover  hem for this project. I think you can see below here how nice that looks, again to scale, and how much nicer the wider rows of stitching look than if I had used say the narrower cover hem:

The next, and final project, I have to show is a knit version I did of Stylearc's famous Adeline dress. This project was totally inspired by the cool fabric, a sort of a double knit with the stripes in opposite colours on each side. I used my own technique for a knit V neck on this one, here's the post on how to do it,

Again because this was a beefy knit, I used a wide cover hem for the bottom of the dress, but on the patch pockets, and because I liked the wrong side of the fabric so much, I just folded the hem to the right side and working from the wrong side of the pocket and with some jeans top stitching thread in the looper (I have tons of that thread once having had a finger slip on an online order and ordering 14 not 4 spools of the stuff) finished the raw edge of the pocket hem on the right side that way.

The cool thing about the loopers, and this is true of serger loopers too, is that the eye of the looper is so much larger than the eye of a needle and so you can easily use thicker thread there:

And here is the hem cover hemmed from the right and the wrong side:

Well that's it, a pause maybe more than a conclusion, on the subject of hemming knits.

I don't know about you but this topic focused way of sharing garments has worked for me this week. There is a good chance that I will be doing more with this in the future.

In the meantime what do you have to share now?