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  • FIRST POST
    • kittie
    • By kittie 9th Dec 16, 7:42 AM
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    kittie
    The sewing thread
    • #1
    • 9th Dec 16, 7:42 AM
    The sewing thread 9th Dec 16 at 7:42 AM
    We have an active knitters thread on the os board, I always felt that we should have a sewers thread here too, in visible sight. Many many people sew and there are also many learners. I made my first skirt on a treadle singer machine at age 10, many of us oldies were taught sewing at a very early age. The craft died down for many years when cheap clothing shops flooded the high streets but there is a re-awakening and I have grandchildren who are desperate to learn how to sew. I believe that a sewers thread should take equal place with the knitters thread and on this board

    I am still an active sewer, using three machines, overlocker, sewing machine and coverstitch. Even sewing a plain hemmed tablecloth for all day coverage to keep the table nice, using good quality fabric, takes less than two hours and gets lots of good comments, also very practical and made in a light fabric, it brightens that corner of the room

    I am about to teach my 8 year old grand daughter, who is getting a future-proofed real janome sewing machine for christmas. She will obviously have to start with pedal control, forward and backward etc but I can see her making an apron for her mum after half an hour of basics. I have a simple paper pattern ready, the fabric and the notions. We will do simple cutting out of two fabrics, then will sew back to back, pulling the fabric through, there will be no seam edges, or finishing or hems.

    Let`s get this thread going. Join us if you sew, if you want to sew, if you have queries and questions
    Last edited by kittie; 09-12-2016 at 10:17 PM.
Page 19
    • kittie
    • By kittie 26th Jun 17, 5:17 PM
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    kittie
    oops me again, so many words but then again I am in a sewing phase which will soon end and then I`ll be silent

    That stretch fabric was the pits to handle, an unknown composition but I think jersey polyester with two way stretch, so me trying trapeze on that dress was just an experiment. Very hard to straighten on the table and very hard to cut out accurately. the type of fabric that should not be dangled over the edge. All cut out and long sleeves this time with two inches to spare.

    Next job was to find a stitch that would work with this very difficult fabric and the forward/backward stitch is really good, three forward and one back. It gives a lot of stretch and does not stretch the fabric. On bernina it is number 6

    I sewed the sides, back and shoulders and gave it a try and couldn`t believe my eyes, its fab, curves in all the right places, fits my neck beautifully and skims the bits that need skimming and looked great sleeveless, except I haven`t worn sleeveless for many many years.

    Facing next, a very light bendy soft interfacing and ironed on between two ironing clothes, dabs with the iron first to stop it moving and only then cut out after sticking. Finished 5/8 from the outside edge with a zig zag with a bit of stretch, then cut close to that for neatness. Facing went on well and that is it for today.

    The hem will be very difficult because the fabric moved so much, I may have to use my chalk puffer on a stand, together with my curved edge. The sleeve looks as though it will be a very good length and not hard to do. So tomorrow I will have another dress. Oh my word, I will have to take some stuff to the cs. I am much preferring these indie designs to run of the mill

    I bought that fabric over five years ago from croftmill and never thought I would get to use it. I have another length to use, same sort but different colours and pattern. It looks very nice when made up and that will be two big parts of my stash turned into something I will actually wear
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 26th Jun 17, 5:28 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    My goodness, Kittie you're an inspiration! You've obviously got quit advanced skills because I don't think I'd dare to try altering the armscye or shoulders.

    Please may I ask some questions - I've said before that I learned to sew from my mum, growing up in the 1960s and '70s. We used to buy paper patterns and just cut them out, we didn't trace them. What's the benefit of tracing (other than that you're preserving the original). What's best - that paper with dots on, or can you use any paper?

    Also, where do you get your interfacing, is there one type that's best to use, and if not how do you know which type to use on a project? I feel a bit at sea with some of these things.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 26th Jun 17, 5:49 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    I traced a pattern for the first time last week after a bit of a light-bulb moment. I made this New Look top last year as a first foray back into clothes sewing, it wasn't brilliant but I was quite chuffed to have made a wearable garment, however it was a bit tight over the chest.

    Last week I couldn't bear the heat and was desperate for something light to wear. I found a polycotton blend I'd been given by someone, and cut out another top. Despite carefully checking the measurements of the pattern pieces, I was puzzled to find again that it was uncomfortably tight. Experienced sewers will no doubt be rolling their eyes by now - I suddenly realised that this is why people do this thing called 'full bust adjustment'.

    I've never altered a pattern before, so I traced it on to some lining wallpaper and did the adjustment. . I had a few issues with the darts, but what a difference! Luckily there was plenty of fabric and it was free so I don't feel too bad about wastage. It's given me a lot of confidence to try again, in fact now I think I'll do this every time because I hate stuff feeling tight and I take a large cup size.

    I also used pattern weights (aka sardine tins!) for the first time instead of pins - so much easier.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • kittie
    • By kittie 27th Jun 17, 9:42 AM
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    • 57,266 Thanks
    kittie
    polly

    Kathleen Cheetham is the craftsy class to go for wrt full bust measurement. I only realised I needed to do one when a blouse dart was way above my drooped chest. Was much easier as a young thing, cut, sew and done

    I started sewing 62 years ago, did have some breaks and had to re-learn a lot when I came back to it. Those days it was only forward and back with one machine foot.

    Polly my interfacings were collected over the last 40 years and you really need all weights and types. I started off with sew in but then iron -on came in and is much easier, provided you use two cloths or risk the board or iron becoming very tacky. You can get interfacings all over the place and much cheaper off the roll, then it lasts for 40 years. You need lighter than you think. Hold the fabric and interfacing together and bend it over the finger, it should feel just a little more stable than the fabric alone. Best to cut interfacing after little heat bumps with the iron, stops them spreading apart
    eg for buying
    https://www.croftmill.co.uk/search.html

    Pattern weights make it all so much easier. Sardine tins are an excellent idea

    I trace my patterns because just one alteration on the original ruins the pattern besides which the very thin patterns are so fragile. I also iron my paper patterns if they are very creased. Female shape changes, no doubt about it, so the pattern needs to change

    For tracing I may use three different papers depends on what quality I want to finish with: doctors exam paper on a roll but its narrow and hard to see through, draughtsman tracing paper which is see through and curls but is tough and will take cutting and pivoting. The best for me is swedish tracing paper and I have 12 rolls in my cupboard as I was so worried that it would no longer be produced. It was very hard to find but is the one I eventually finish with, fold and then store in labelled zip lock bags. I eventually transfer everything to swiss paper. It costs £21 on amazon but this site is where I got mine 8 years ago and is still cheaper
    http://www.creative-industry.co.uk/product/swedish-tracing-paper-roll-1m-x-10m/
    I save all the scraps of it for facings and the like and I transfer with a fine sharpie these days, better than a pointy pen or pencil
    Some people use greaseproof paper and sellotape, as I did when I started but it wasn`t for me

    I realised today that my wip is actually viscose jersey, I knew I would never order polyester. It irons well which helps a lot. Doesn`t crease on a normal squash and bonus, is a very cooling fabric.

    Some more notes: I got into a stetchy mess with the sleeve inserts so spent hours unpicking that strtchy stitch after deciding that the sleeve didn`t need them. Wondered how to make the sleeve hem look neat, so overlocked the hems, worked fab then pressed on a sleeve board and used stretch stich with a new jersey needle, worked fine. Also whizzed around between notches on sleeve cap with the longest straight stitch, ready to ease into armcye later, backstitch one end and leave a thread at the other. Pin at notches and then pull thread and wrap around a pin. Bend both layers over finger with gathering on top to help ease

    When I have finished my present sewing buzz, then I will do another marie kondo of my pattern store. I know I will never use many again, they will come out and go to the cs. Slowly slowly, stash busting

    Thats a lovely, very versatile top Polly. Very worth looking after that pattern
    • kittie
    • By kittie 27th Jun 17, 3:58 PM
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    kittie
    I am done sewing for nowand have tidied all away so I`ll just finish the saga

    That fabric is one of the most difficult I have ever worked with, I will never buy that type again. I put the dress on and immediately felt it lengthen with the stretch, so each and every dress in that type of fabric will need to have the nightmare hem re-modelled. It is grey with many light coloured flowers on it, so the chalk puffed lines were few and far between, couldn`t see the others. Carried and hung it carefully from a door frame before the chalk rubbed off. Put pins in every mark I could find

    Spread the hem with whole dress resting on table. Got the lutterloh hem ruler, kept with my lutterloh kit, which I could do with using again
    http://www.lutterloh.com/

    To my delight, the centre pins and edge pins matched the ruler curve as did a few in between. I tried more marks but nothing worked without dragging the fabric, tailors chalk, rolling chalk pen, invisible ink, so the only way was to pin the shape of the curve. The upside of the curve is on the outside edge. I cut each side and overlocked. Steamed a narrow hem and stitched very carefully with jersey needle, the polyester thread and walking foot. The hem is large and curved so I was anticipating wrinkles but it was perfectly flat all the way around.

    So it is made and was worth it, the upside to this fabric is the snugness around the neck. The downside was the sewing, It has tired me out, so I have decided to have a sewing break now and will spend some time sorting patterns. I have packed the swedish paper copy into a labelled ziplock, knowing it will be good for years to come. I have two lovely dresses, so am happy
    • rosie51
    • By rosie51 27th Jun 17, 8:09 PM
    • 189 Posts
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    rosie51
    Polly
    It's a great pattern that i bought a while back and have used it many times. The pattern is so easy and one i will use again and again.
    No money, no worry. I am alive and that is all that matters

    2017 Makes from stash
    4/100
    • rosie51
    • By rosie51 27th Jun 17, 8:12 PM
    • 189 Posts
    • 915 Thanks
    rosie51
    Kittie
    So love your posts they are so interesting and full of advice, please keep posting. xx
    No money, no worry. I am alive and that is all that matters

    2017 Makes from stash
    4/100
    • kittie
    • By kittie 27th Jun 17, 9:09 PM
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    • 57,266 Thanks
    kittie
    Awww, thanks Rosie

    I came down half an hour ago to find a full dishwasher of clean dishes to put away, doh as I am quite tired now. Its the capricorn, I always need to be doing. I did start with the patterns and 22 have gone out, including three nice ones for my husband, took two years to finally say goodbye to them, that plus the last of his ties.

    I went through all my ready prepared patterns and thankfully all the jalie ones will be in the right size, all dated may 2013. The petite plus ones are all fine too. There is one butterick top with a peplum, which is another good design for tum-hiding, I made it a few years ago and its hanging in my wardrobe but I`m going to narrow the shoulders and bring them forward a bit. Tomorrow I am going through some skirt patterns to find THE one that I want to alter to fit. I did find some copies from long ago, made from brown paper, from a roll.

    I found my complete lutterloh set and some patterns that I made 10 years ago and wore over and over, so they do fit. I may well get going with that kit one day again. Many of their patterns look old fashioned but it is the way they are printed and the old fashioned models

    Almost all the female patterns that I have put out are vogue, they look so dated and far too fitted for me. The ones I am liking are stylearc, I have a lot of those and all those that I have have tummy-hiding potential and they enclose a little swatch showing the best type of fabric to use. My next sew will be another dress in a viscose dreaded stretch, I found several more stretch lengths, one with red roses and lovely. This pattern
    https://www.stylearc.com/shop/sewing-patterns/marita-knit-dress/

    Their patterns are already sized so I won`t be tracing and there should not be much altering needed. I would never get pdf btw, I did once and you have to stick masses of A4 together

    That was lekala, made to fit patterns and an absolute bargain, hardly any instructions though and you need to remember to add SA but fantastic value
    https://www.lekala.co/

    So stash busting re fabrics is going to take years, I actually had a good look at what I have got and there are very many stretchies suitable for tops of all sorts

    My best delight was finding an ottobre ready pattern, one I copied from the magazine and made a few years ago and love. It is a maroon gaberdine knee length parka, lined with a black cotton with owls on it, has a drawstring, hood and several pockets. It fits perfectly and is my go-to coat for shopping and the hairdressers. I am so pleased to have found the full ready cut pattern. Ottobre is brilliant but boggling, the designs are wonderful, women and childrens but you have to trace through zillions of lines of all sizes and styles. Dots n stripes sells ottobre
    https://www.ottobredesign.com/

    Labelling: yes important. I never put the size on my copies until recently and had quite a job working them out today
    Last edited by kittie; Yesterday at 9:13 PM.
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 28th Jun 17, 12:07 AM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Kittie, thanks very much for those links. Your dress sounds fabulous, but very hard work! I can't imagine doing all that, I need to learn patience.

    It's interesting what you say about patterns, I used to use Vogue patterns back in the 1970s-80s, and I've hung on to a couple. Apart from the fact that I'm never going to be that size again, they were quite hard to sew as I recall - and they were expensive. Makes me wonder why I'm keeping them!

    The New Look pattern is indeed very versatile and it is probably worth my while to trace it. I'm starting to look at patterns in a whole new light!
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • kittie
    • By kittie 28th Jun 17, 10:47 AM
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    kittie
    haha, Polly I am not patient. Take today, its raining so no allotment or cycle ride, thought I would finish some WIPs instead. Months ago, I had fleece left over, dark grey with coloured balls, will be fine for house or allotment as a body warmer. Even the zip and kangaroo pockets were done and hood was cut out. Thought a quick whizz, no pins would do it. Put the hood on, finished the inside seam with long zig zags, all looked neat, except the hood was on the arncye. Lol. Cut it off, not unpicked, sewed it where it should be, all neatly finished. Did armcyes with plain long zig zags as is a bit stretchy. Joined side seams and did the hem. Put it on and the hood flopped over my face by a good three inches. Anyway I have really finished it, cut and tapered the hood and is neat

    I have a similar fleece in blue with white stars and love that original cosy dressing gown in the grey, the long white zip arrived and I cut it out about four months ago. Will do that next, today and excess fabric will go in a nice bundle to my dgg, to make anything she likes as a learning project. Over a metre left and bulky in my cupboard but she can make a blanket, cushion, mitts whatever she wants

    Found those perfect skirt patterns last night, cut out and ready copied. Brown paper patterns is the maker and a very good value package, numerous pockets, waistband, lengths and sizes in one pack
    • kittie
    • By kittie 28th Jun 17, 2:05 PM
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    • 57,266 Thanks
    kittie
    Dressing gown is finished and on the shelf in my wardrobe, I like that kwik sew pattern so much, very very easy. All seams finished nicely with zig zags and then trimmed and double rows on hems, hood and zip edges for neatness. I love sewing with fleece, once I did a craftsy class. Main things I learnt was long straight stitch, 4 and long zig zag all seams to make them thinner. Needle gone in the bin as is hard on needles.

    Pockets, like kangaroo but one each side of zip. Second side, to make sure the pockets match. I started at the pocket and worked outwards. Got to get some food now. I`m tidied and tired, feet up and glad its raining otherwise the allotment would call me
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