Friday, August 5, 2016

July MAGAM finished Burda 8390 Jacket

It seems like months since my last post but it's really only just over one month. After I damaged my overlocker (see previous post) thus putting it out of action for two weeks, I couldn't overlock the edges of the boucle fabric which was unravelling at a great pace. I tried zig-zagging the edges but this was too hit and miss and likely to take too long so I pressed on hoping the lining would contain the fall-out. The interfacing helped to hold the fabric together in places but it's not interfaced everywhere so I swept up threads and lint and hoped for the best.

I tried the unfinished shell on a couple of times and wasn't too sure about the shoulder width but chose to ignore it. After the jacket was finished and moments before I started to slip stitch the lining to the hem I decided the neckline was too low at the back and the shoulders were definitely too wide.

I turned the whole thing inside out, unpicked the centre back seam, the facing and the lining at the neck edge and pinched out a 1 inch dart 4 inches long and stitched it. Then I cut through the centre of the facing and sewed a 1 inch seam. I folded the lining into a bigger ease pleat resewed the neck seam. Turned the whole lot back to the right side, steam pressed it to death and it worked!!
Invisible dart

Now the jacket sits nicely nearer the base of my neck, the shoulders are where they should be and the darted section curves over my rounded back making the whole fit much better.  The only other thing I could have done was make the jacket a little longer, but it will do.
Fuzzy picture of the lining

To insert the lining I followed the instructions for Vogue 7975 which were a little more comprehensive than Burda's. To insert the separating zip I used the same instructions as for my husband's jacket and am happy to say this one went in perfectly too.

The zip isn't really bumpy

This is the real colour

Myrtle modelling front

and back
Finally a mirror shot of me wearing my new jacket. I wore it out shopping today and was very happy with it.

I might sew something simple next but haven't decided what yet. I could use a new pair of black pants as my Linda's are getting a bit old and I have some black Bengaline in the stash and some aubergine Bengaline also. We'll see.
I can smile

Cheers for now.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Whatever you do don't touch that screw.

On Sunday after cutting out the pieces for my Burda jacket I prepared to overlock all the edges as the boucle was shredding madly all over the place.

The needle on my Janome overlocker needed changing since I had used it to make my husband's fleece jacket so I started to undo the screw to release the right needle. In a lack of concentration I absentmindedly undid the screw on the right side of the needle bar instead of the one on the front. Thinking all the while "I don't remember it being so hard to change a needle before". As soon as I had undone it I realised my error. Then I had a terrible time trying to get it back in place.

That was just the start of my problems! For three days I threaded and re-threaded my overlocker, but no matter what I did my machine skipped stitches or refused to make a chain at all. I changed the needle again in the right place this time and loosened the wrong screw and re-tightened it. I googled, but no one seemed to have my problem. I did everything I could think of, to no avail.

Finally I gave up and this morning I took it to my local Janome dealer for a repair and service. When I explained the problem the lady said knowingly "Oh you've put the timing out."

I can't show a photo of the screw concerned as my overlocker is in hospital, but it is on the right hand side of the little metal square that the needle screws are in and holds the square onto the needle bar.

 So be warned!

 Don't ever touch it!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Catching up.

I can't believe it is so long since I last posted. Instead of writing my posts I have been reading other people's. I have been sewing though. In May,  I made a McCalls knit jacket but I took a while to get photos then in June I sewed another jacket this time for my husband  and now in readiness for July I have prepped a pattern and cut out something for myself. Another jacket. I sense a theme here.

The first item was a lightweight drape front jacket for myself, McCalls 5830. It was a bit of a disappointment. It looks lovely on Myrtle but she has a much straighter back and shoulders than I do.

On me, from the front, it looks OK but from the side it swings out at the hem and emphasises my rounded shoulders. It may get worn, but it is a lightweight interlock and not suitable for the current cold weather.  In retrospect it would have been better made as a top but I wanted to test the pattern and the colour is not one I normally wear so a muslin it became.

Next I sewed a winner. My husband is feeling the cold badly this year and I decided to make him a fleecy jacket to wear in the house.
 Instead of buying new fabric he suggested I use some remnants I had from a previous top and track pants I had made for myself. I was a bit afraid it might be too girly but he said he didn't mind so I went ahead. I had just enough.

 The body is a patterned purplish grey and the sleeves a plain grey with black rib hem and neck bands and a black separating zip front. The black rib came from my stash so the entire jacket cost $5 for the zip. Bargain!

The pattern is a very old Just Knits pattern dating from the 70s I think. I picked it up at an op shop (thrift shop) some years ago. It is a multi sized pattern that needed to be traced so I chose  medium which was a perfect fit. I stitched it with .5mm seams and then finished them with the overlocker. The pieces went together easily and the zip went in without a hitch. I wish I could show you a picture of the zip but I'll be lucky to peel the jacket off my husband long enough to wash it.

July's project is Burda 8390, a jacket with a zip front. I'm making the collarless version on the left. It's all cut out ready to go, so more next time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Kwik Sew 3740 for the 5th time

Hello! I'm still here. March sort of got away from me but I'm back sewing again.

I found some fabric in my stash for April's MAGM theme. It's not the oldest piece in my collection but I have had it for several years.

Kwik Sew 3740 is a favourite of mine. I have made it with long sleeves and cowl for the winter and short sleeves without the cowl for the summer and have made two of each previously. I have never made the sleeveless version yet but may do so one day.

The first time I made it I cut size medium. It was very loose and required taking in along the sleeve and side seams. I have tweaked it several times since then and this time I cut the front small size to the underarm then medium to the hem and small size for the back. I raised the neckline to X-small and cut the X-small cowl to match. This makes the neckline neither too high nor too low. The sleeves were cut at size small. I also did a forward shoulder adjustment of 1.5cm at the shoulder point tapering to 0 at the neck edge. 

It fits Myrtle beautifully
The flash has changed the colour making it more red than it is. It's more like the first picture. Unfortunately with the busy print the cowl doesn't show up very well in photos.

 I'm really happy with this version. It fits in all the right places and I will probably make many more with and without the cowl in future.

Cheers for now. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Facing one's fears Part 2

My snakeskin slippery fabric has been successfully made into a nice little top.It was cut out in January and sewn in February. All the anxiety caused by the thought of the tricky fabric proved to be premature and I had no real problem.

 I used french seams throughout as the cut edges were prone to whiskers, a few of which I had to trim from the french seams, but otherwise it was no trouble at all. I used a 75/11 universal needle and changed the pressure of the presser foot to 1 which was recommended by my manual for lightweight fabrics like chiffon and georgette.

The Elegant Escape dress  has had the side seams taken in a little and I lowered the front of the neckline. I scooped it bit too much and lost the boat shape which is unfortunate but it doesn't strangle me any more and I will wear it now. 

I am off on a cruise in two weeks so will not be sewing for a little while. I will use the time to consider what I would like to make next.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Facing one's fears

Christmas has been and gone, the New Year has been and gone and here it is almost February. I eventually finished my Elegant Escape dress but I fear it looks better on Myrtle than it does on me. I may salvage the fabric for something else one day but in the meantime it goes into the magic wardrobe.

I foolishly promised myself I would join Jungle January this year and had a piece of snakeskin georgette and New Look 6035 ready to make a little sleeveless top. Well every time I picked up that soft, silky, slithery georgette I backed away in terror. I swear the longer I sew the less confident I get.

To take my mind off it, I resorted to sewing a very make it up as I go along quilt top from some strips I originally intended for a border for my grandson's quilt. It is now sandwiched and waiting to be quilted. It's likely to wait a long while. I love piecing and don't like quilting.

This brings me up to last week when I faced my fears and put scissors to fabric. The sky didn't fall in, the fabric didn't slither off the cutting table and in fact it wasn't difficult at all. At present I have a centre back french seam, staystitched neckline and gathering in the front. I expect to get it finished in no time at all.

Stay tuned.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Best Laid Plans...

Sometimes the plans we make don't work out and we end up doing something completely different.

My original November MAGAM was the Elegant Escape Dress and I got as far as cutting it out. However when I prepared to sew it up I realized I had completely overlooked the need to pattern match the rather large leaves on the fabric. With a seam centre front and centre back this was hideously noticeable. Myrtle was not impressed and lurked in her corner muttering things like "What did you think you were doing?", "You should have known better" and "It's not as if you didn't have enough fabric."

At about that time Fadanista started a Japanese Knot Bag sew-a-long in conjunction with Facebook group "Sew-A-Longs & Sewing Contests". Just what I needed to take my mind off that badly pattern-matched dress.

I had a remnant of border fabric left over from a quilted back-pack I made in 2008.The pattern and the fabric came from the Perth Quilt and Craft Fair that year.



I downloaded Fadanista's pattern and joined the sew-a-long.

 The result is a cute little bag which could be quite useful and a nice way to use up a remnant I had been saving for something special.

 No sooner had I finished it than I injured my back helping to shift some furniture  - very bad idea - I have been out of action more or less since. After two weeks I am gradually improving and managed to make a quilted case for my 7" tablet using a tutorial I found on the internet and that is the extent of my sewing for November. 

I may tackle the dress for December MAGAM but I've rather lost interest in it. I know the mismatched pattern centre front and back will mean it never leaves the house. Will have to see what happens.