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    • 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 12
    • kittie
    • By kittie 14th Mar 17, 5:42 PM
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    kittie
    panda, best to sew jersey on a normal machine, use a ballpoint needle and polyester thread and a walking foot, if you have one. Careful when cutting jersey out, people generally use a rotary cutter, I use scissors and long pins. Always pre-wash, dry as flat as possible and iron before you cut out,. Jersey doesn`t need an overlocker. Remember to keep the stretch from side to side

    Had a really good afternoon and finally catalogued and sorted all my patterns, about 30 years worth and really nice ones in there. Many from america, also canada and australia. If you are short with narrow shoulders and a plus size then petite plus patterns are wonderful. I have many of them
    http://petitepluspatterns.com/

    The taller and slim can get away with lots of patterns but I get fed up with altering almost everything, hence my buying abroad

    Sewing workshop patterns are also generous
    • Fonque
    • By Fonque 14th Mar 17, 8:51 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    Fonque
    What a great thread.

    I've been sewing for a while but I just kind of fell into it. It started with two straight lines to piece some velvet together and since then I've kind of made larger and more complicated projects as I've gone along.

    I've made little evening bags, progressing to simple tops, kimono, appliqued tote bags, regency corset (boned with cable ties!), a victorian corset (steelboning+busk), victorian underwear, a Marie Antoinette style dress twice (as one was a practice/fitting run) and lately a costume based on a game character. My next large project will be using an embroidered georgette curtain and turning it into a regency/Jane Austen style dress (with period underwear). You may have guessed at this point I am obssessed with historical costumes and costuming.

    I recently bought a pretty ditsy print dress at a vintage clothing show for a £1, not that I'm going to wear it as I'm going to chop it up into a top and maybe some shorts. It was a Long Tall Sally dress but since I'm a Short Squat Nelly I'm getting a lot of fabric out of it!

    Also with regards to commercial patterns I recall from somewhere that tthe Simplicity ones are suited fot those of shorter and plump disposition, which is why I find that they fit my 4'11" cuddly frame.
    Do not make any sudden moves.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 15th Mar 17, 11:07 AM
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    kittie
    welcome fonque, I love reading about the different styles of sewing and garments

    My long post was wiped out, windows switched my computer off. Oh well grhhh

    I have spare fleece from dressing gown one, which I love and wear every day. I have just cut out a vest with a zip and a hood, I may not use the hood and will decide later. An old uncut pattern from my pattern stash
    http://www.cherishedcollectibles.com/p3086.html
    told you it was old
    The blue one, view B. It is a multi size pattern so I taped any overlapping cutouts for smaller sizes onto the back, ie around the armholes, in case I want to make smaller in future. Pattern also says to use fused interfacing, NO definitely not, not needed and no heat near fleece

    I also cut out DG two from blue fleece and will later cut out view A vest. Ordered all zips today. A has three zips, the pocket zips are 6" and they only had 8", no problem as they are closed zips, will sew in and cut off the excess. I prefer to cut out on one day and sew on a different day, more relaxing. Wish I had a very big cutting board, would be much quicker

    I also have thick ribbed fleece in my stash and want an every day pop-on jacket, not with a waist and tie as would be too bulky. I may use
    http://www.petitepluspatterns.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=251&Category _Code=PATTERNS
    No hood or lining, the shaping comes from the curved seams. Haven`t decided yet, need to work out how bulky it will be. Fabric could end up as bed throws
    • ivyleaf
    • By ivyleaf 15th Mar 17, 5:51 PM
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    ivyleaf
    kittie I am keen to get back into sewing after a long gap where I did nothing except a bit of mending, due to ill-health. Thank you for the links you posted - they're great, and the one in post #221 looks just the job for my shape
    • kittie
    • By kittie 17th Mar 17, 1:41 PM
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    kittie
    I had a massively long gap too ivyleaf, not ill health just pressure of work and family, years and years. Coming back to sewing was like learning a new language and craftsy helped me a lot, sewing in the old days was very basic eg I had never heard of `stitch in the ditch` but really this is so useful when doing the neckline on a stretch t shirt. My walking foot has a stitch in the ditch interchangeable sole plate I had forgotten about that

    I have been sorting my sewing machine feet, I have a bernina and very many feet, bought over years but I forget I have them as they were tucked away. They are all in one place now and the number and description for each foot are in a list in my new hard cover sewing notebook. Next step, next week, will be to type a list and laminate it to put into the feet container. I also have a book called `the sewing machine accessory` bible, it is a very useful and clearly written book with many pictures. I am hoping to get the best out of more feet in the future

    No sewing today, was up before six, now ready for an afternoon nap
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 17th Mar 17, 4:25 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    I went a bit mad when I got my first electric machine about five years ago, and bought lots of feet - hardly used any of them and I'm not even sure what they are now! . So last year I took photographs of each one and wrote myself a little list. That book sounds good, Kittie. If anyone is unsure about which foot does what, there's a great video on YouTube - just search 'Debbie Shore sewing machine feet', sorry I tried a link but couldn't make it work.

    It's the first day of my overlocker course tomorrow, I'm very excited- hope I'm going to come away with a better understanding of what I can use it for.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • ivyleaf
    • By ivyleaf 18th Mar 17, 2:16 PM
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    ivyleaf
    Ooh, let us know how it went, Polly!

    I'm thinking I should get a new machine very soon, as I should avoid heavy lifting, and mine - a German-built Pfaff electronic - weighs 8.3 kg according to the manual (though DS reckons it's heavier than that.). Its screen isn't backlit either, and I could do with "daylight" lighting; I looked online and sadly there isn't an LED-type bulb available for my model.

    It's difficult to know where to start; I've looked at so many online but of course they all have pros and cons. I like Pfaff because their "mid-range and upward" models have integrated dual feed - like a built-in walking foot, but I know I could buy a separate walking foot if I choose a different brand.

    I'm not interested on quilting or patchwork, so I don't particularly need those types of stitches - in fact an ordinary mechanical machine might be fine. I'd have to trade in my current one, or sell it before buying a new one.

    Mooloo has suggested the Silver 25-3, which I like the look of, but I'd be interested to hear any other suggestions. Bernina is out of my price range because I need new glasses soon as well and my lenses cost several hundred pounds
    • Artytarty
    • By Artytarty 18th Mar 17, 5:32 PM
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    Artytarty
    Hello! I'm Arty and I am a compulsive fabric haorder! Doesn't that qualify me to join you?
    I have a very good Janome, loads of beautiful vintage corona and tweeds but no matter what I Mina eat always looks or. Aleast feels homemade.
    I'd like to see more plain fabrics that rely on the shape more than the colourful craziness of my past exploits.

    Unrelated- today I order a metre of iron on vinyl because I fancy trying to make my girls some shower caps. Thta will be a good way to use up some of the older remnants.
    Norn Iron Club member 473
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 18th Mar 17, 5:45 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Oh it definitely qualifies you, Arty!

    Ivyleaf, sorry I don't know much about machines but I'm very happy with my Janome.

    The course was very good although I was extremely tired by the end of the day. Several others had got an overlocker and never got it out of the box so I didn't feel quite so inadequate! We talked about 2-way and 4-way stretch and different types of fabric, learned to thread the machine and did 4-thread, three-thread and rolled hems. In between this we cut out and graded up (in my case!) a pattern for a pair of jogging bottoms which we're going to cut out and sew next week. The tutor also showed us how to attach a band as a cuff.

    I have already played around with my overlocker so it wasn't all new to me, but it's made me feel much more confident about using it, and especially things like removing one of the needles. I also got a few tips about fabric shops. I'm really looking forward to next week. One of the other participants is doing a pattern cutting course and I really like the sound of that.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • ivyleaf
    • By ivyleaf 19th Mar 17, 3:27 PM
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    ivyleaf
    Welcome Arty Don't tell anyone but most of the things I make look fine....as long as you don't look at the inside....

    Polly that sounds great, though tiring! How many lessons are there in the course? I have a dear friend who bought an overlocker from Lidl and has been too nervous to really try it out. I'll have to see if there are any courses in this area she could do.

    I've heard Janome are very good machines, and there's a shop near me that sells them. I found one online I really liked but it's even heavier than the machine I've already got. But when I've got the money together I'll go in there and try some out. And if I buy a Janome, I will buy it there, even if it's a bit dearer than online - use it or lose it, after all!
    • Artytarty
    • By Artytarty 19th Mar 17, 3:51 PM
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    Artytarty
    Today I switched the silky multipatterned but very cold raglan sleeves form a tweed tunic dress. I substituted a cosy plain grey jersey and made a bog cowl neck ending in a scarf like way so it ties casually.
    I'm quite pleased with the result but may take an extra inch off the length of the dress as it's a bit fussy sudsy mid knee. But I hate doing that because it can't go back on and one of the reasons I started sewing is because I taller than average.
    I also made a thin seat pad with four ties for on each of my new kitchen chairs, they're shiny and the dog keeps slipping off!
    Meant to say, YOutbe for how to use an overlocker is great.
    Norn Iron Club member 473
    • ivyleaf
    • By ivyleaf 20th Mar 17, 10:24 AM
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    ivyleaf
    Today I switched the silky multipatterned but very cold raglan sleeves form a tweed tunic dress. I substituted a cosy plain grey jersey and made a bog cowl neck ending in a scarf like way so it ties casually.
    I'm quite pleased with the result but may take an extra inch off the length of the dress as it's a bit fussy sudsy mid knee. But I hate doing that because it can't go back on and one of the reasons I started sewing is because I taller than average.
    I also made a thin seat pad with four ties for on each of my new kitchen chairs, they're shiny and the dog keeps slipping off!
    Meant to say, YOutbe for how to use an overlocker is great.
    Originally posted by Artytarty
    Oh poor dog, I keep imagining the startled yelp
    I love the sound of what you did to the tunic dress. You obviously have a good creative imagination, which I certainly don't
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 20th Mar 17, 10:46 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    I long to be able to casually say 'I switched the sleeves over' ... I could probably do it but it'd take me all day! I'm like Ivyleaf, I don't have great imagination for these things.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • Artytarty
    • By Artytarty 20th Mar 17, 11:21 PM
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    Artytarty
    Well yeah, I've plenty of imagination but my technical skills can let me down!
    Luckily I have a friend who is able to guide me , she used to teach sewing classes and is very fussy! I'm more of a "if you can't see it it'll do"type.
    I also took that dress up by two inches .
    I shortened a pair of grey trousers that always made me feel mannish to the new ankle grazer length with a small turn up. quite nice but I can't decide if they're better with heels or loafers. I've not worn that length before.
    Anybody?
    Norn Iron Club member 473
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 21st Mar 17, 6:55 AM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    I don't do heels, so no help to you I'm afraid!
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • OlGreeneyes
    • By OlGreeneyes 21st Mar 17, 7:49 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    OlGreeneyes
    Hi all!
    Just discovered this thread - wonderful idea! I'm fairly new to sewing. I had the kind of sadistic sewing teacher at school that put me off sewing for life. She'd get you to hand sew a seam then she'd take the two sides of the piece and pull heaven's hard until she managed to pull the seam apart, give you a withering look, then tell you to re-do it!
    Fast forward a few million decades and I suddenly found that I couldn't buy knickers anymore. Well not anything that wasn't completely see-though. It seemed the only choice was what I've taken to calling 'w****'s drawers' - that show all your bits - or 'old lady knickers' that remind me of the navy blue serge ones I had to wear at school. All in all I got a bit cross about it and decided I'd blooming well make my own knickers. How hard could it be?
    Well, fairly hard, actually. But two years in and I can make wearable and pretty bekini-style briefs with only the odd outburst of foul language and thumping of the 'stupid' machine. Mind you, I do live in daily fear of being run over.
    • Artytarty
    • By Artytarty 21st Mar 17, 8:01 AM
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    Artytarty
    Haha! That last bit made me laugh! I'd say there's probably quite a lot of sewing and cutting goes into making knickers, - double gusset?
    small and fiddly too,.quite an achievement.
    Norn Iron Club member 473
    • OlGreeneyes
    • By OlGreeneyes 21st Mar 17, 8:57 AM
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    OlGreeneyes
    Well that's me all over - start sewing for the first time with the most difficult fabric - jersey - and such joys as fold-over elastic. Gussets are a sore point at the moment. Sewed the darned thing back to front. Unpicking teeny stitches from lycra? Moral: don't go near a sewing machine if you're having a bad day. It'll only get worse.
    At the moment I've moved on to making underwear tops. Again, because I got fed up with cami tops with stretched-out elastic straps that end up halfway down my arms all day. I've found one pattern that works for me and gone into production. I bet M&S are quaking in their boots .
    • Emm-in-a-pickle
    • By Emm-in-a-pickle 21st Mar 17, 9:08 AM
    • 1,598 Posts
    • 8,235 Thanks
    Emm-in-a-pickle
    Hi folks! It`s great to read of so many `returned` sewers on here, and so many useful links and tips.

    I stopped sewing for years but still kept a fair stash of fabric even though patterns had long gone west (wouldn`t fit now anyway!!) and am still adding to fabric stash faster than I`m using it. Teaching my 2 youngest DGD`s to usew their Xmas pressie machine is going well, but stalled for a bit due to their house move recently... household makes still going well, but making stuff for myself hit the rocks because I wasn`t finding patterns I really like.

    Now, I have made myself 9 tops that I LOVE, and just finished one for eldest DGD that she loves. But I`ve done it all back to front, got a piece of fabric first, then failed to find a pattern, then gone mad and cut up something I really did like to take a pattern from.
    My tops (inc short, 3/4 and long sleeves) are from a top that I loved, dissected, and made paper pattern using Xmas wrapping paper. DGD`s, similar story. She`s a large size, and rather conscious of it, and she too couldn`t see herself in the patterns we looked at but she`d fallen in love with some fabric and knew exactly what she wanted. I wasn`t even sure there`d be enough on the large remnant piece but we bought it anyway. After much searching I eventually found a top like she described (drop shoulders, long sleeves, but in a hideous spotted fabric - 99p from local Barnardo`s) Made her try it on, perfect fit, so dissected it and made Xmas paper pattern, cut out the beloved fabric and it`s perfect, she loves the result.
    It isn`t the easiest way of doing things, but I`m really pleased with the results, especially the last one.
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 21st Mar 17, 1:21 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    That's really interesting Emm - I want to have a go at cutting a pattern from an existing top, it's not something I've ever tried before.

    I've had a bit more time to digest my overlocker course (it's two Saturdays so there's another day this weekend) - something miraculous has happened, I got out the manual for mine and instead of being written in gobbledegook it's been translated into plain English I've got a couple of observations that might help anyone else who's got one but hasn't really used it.

    Firstly, I think overlockers are a bit like washing machines, they have ten different options but in reality you only use two of them. So while it's great that you can insert shirring elastic and make lettuce-edge hems, you don't need to learn all that at the outset. It's there if you need it later.

    The biggest revelation to me, and it's changed my perception of them, is that while most overlockers have four (or even five) threads, for a lot of everyday stuff you only need three - one needle and the two loopers. If I use my sewing machine I might change the stitch or alter length, width etc but I couldn't understand why with the overlocker there was so much stuff about removing needles. Now I get it - and once you've done it a few times it isn't such a big deal. It's made the whole thing seem much simpler.

    I still don't understand why there isn't a quicker way to change needles, maybe there is if you buy a top-range one! I'm so happy that now I understand mine. Has anyone bought one of the Lidl ones?
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
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