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  • FIRST POST
    • kittie
    • By kittie 9th Dec 16, 6:42 AM
    • 12,444Posts
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    kittie
    The sewing thread
    • #1
    • 9th Dec 16, 6:42 AM
    The sewing thread 9th Dec 16 at 6:42 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 9:17 PM.
Page 55
    • Mademoiselle
    • By Mademoiselle 30th Apr 19, 6:25 AM
    • 375 Posts
    • 4,472 Thanks
    Mademoiselle
    Feeling very pleased with myself. A wonderful day doing something for me and a great result. My blanket is finished and I think it looks great.

    Thanks for all your advice about trying and practice. I did several test bits and found that a zig zag worked very well to quilt shirts to the backing. Then trimmed fleece backing to 2 cm bigger all the way round and turned it over onto the front to make a nice border and stitched down with more zig zag.

    Very pleased with how well it turned out and ho the machine handled the thickness. Now feeling confident for making some mattress covers and custom size and shaped bedding for our boat when it comes next month.

    Oh and I think DD1 is now sorting out her sports and uni tshirts so I guess there will be another Tshirt blanket to do soon.

    Thank you all for the inspiration and motivation and putting up with my ramblings
    • silvasava
    • By silvasava 30th Apr 19, 7:43 AM
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    silvasava
    Mademoiselle - I've made covers for my boat cushions so can pass on some tips if needed! I put long plastic zips in mine ( don't use metal!) and I've got a supplier for them and velcro etc. Let me know when you get around tuit and I'll give you the link
    Well done with the blanket The more you use your machine you know what it's capable of and that helps build your confidence.
    Small victories - sometimes they are all you can hope for but sometimes they are all you need - be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 30th Apr 19, 8:46 AM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Ooh well done Mademoiselle. You're inspiring me, I know a friend has a lot of rock concert t-shirts and we've talked about making them into a quilt before now.

    I need to crack on with my sofa cushions. Been talking about doing these for at least two years. I finally ordered the foam, cut the pieces ... and they are still sitting there. The foam takes up a lot of room in the spare bedroom, and I'll need it for my sister next week, so no excuse. I think fear of it not working out is stopping me. They're just cushions, how hard could it be
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • silvasava
    • By silvasava 30th Apr 19, 9:41 AM
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    silvasava
    Polly - feel the fear and do it anyway. I've often found that the thought of doing the job has taken up more time that actually doing it. Get in there - it'll be fine!
    Small victories - sometimes they are all you can hope for but sometimes they are all you need - be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle
    • Mademoiselle
    • By Mademoiselle 13th May 19, 11:56 AM
    • 375 Posts
    • 4,472 Thanks
    Mademoiselle
    Feeling pleased with myself again.

    We got confirmation on Friday that our new boat is arriving next week, so today I have turned an Ikea flat mattress cover into a nice V shaped one for our berth. It is only the 2nd project I've done on my machine but it has given me more confidence with it. Next on the list is V shaped fitted sheet, I have a grey Ikea one to transform so I guess I had better get on with trying to work out the pattern.

    Happy sewing to you all
    • silvasava
    • By silvasava 17th May 19, 7:48 AM
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    silvasava
    Bit the bullet and got my machine out on Tuesday and attacked my mending/alteration pile!
    Two pairs of trousers for DH shortened. They were bought in a sale, right waist but wrong leg length but easily altered and very cheap!
    A pair of my paint splattered jeans turned into shorts
    A CS top taken in at the sides for a better fit
    Two seat covers made for DS1 for his bar stools
    I've just got two beach wraps to alter - I'm going to fold them in half and make a head hole for a slip over poncho style beach dress as I've never worn them sarong style. I'm also going to have a bash at a beach bag if I can find some suitable fabric in my stash.
    Mademoiselle - how are you getting on with the sheet for the forward cabin?
    You too Polly - have you done those cushions yet?
    Small victories - sometimes they are all you can hope for but sometimes they are all you need - be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 17th May 19, 3:36 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    You've been busy, silvasava. Harrumph, those cushions ... I made the first one, put the zip in, and then before I stitched over it (and after I remove the pin that was in place) I managed to pull the end right off the zipper. Much gnashing of teeth and cursing. I couldn't get the end back on, but no matter, I have more zip. Now, I have been putting in zips for about 45 years, I would say it's one aspect of sewing that doesn't hold any terrors for me. So how did I manage to put the next one in so badly? More gnashing, zip unpicked and re-stitched. Then I inserted the cushion in the cover .... And the cursed thing is too big. (The cover, not the cushion) . I think I was so anxious about making it too small, that I didn't use the seam allowance I'd planned.

    Needless to say, I now have a "mental block" on this project, I'm too scared to get it out of the bag! Visitors meant that I couldn't do any sewing, and now I'm going to be away for a week. I'm going to have to tackle it when I get back.
    Last edited by PollyWollyDoodle; 17-05-2019 at 5:48 PM.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • silvasava
    • By silvasava 17th May 19, 5:01 PM
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    silvasava
    I feel your pain Polly - why is it if one thing goes wrong it seems everything else does! I'm sure when you get back it will all go together perfectly and you'll be thinking why??
    Looked in Hobbycraft for some ribbon/tape of some sort to trim the necks of my beach covers but their stock was boring - nothing different or unusual so I'll look into the hospice shop tomorrow
    Small victories - sometimes they are all you can hope for but sometimes they are all you need - be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle
    • Mademoiselle
    • By Mademoiselle 22nd May 19, 6:39 AM
    • 375 Posts
    • 4,472 Thanks
    Mademoiselle
    Sorry to hear about your set back Polly,

    Silvasava, not started on sheet yet as want to measure accurately. Boat had just arrived when we went last weekend so just got a quick look round but hoping to go back this weekend to do some more serious investigating and measure up for various bits including aft cabin mattress cover (loads of cut outs) and sheets for both. Under mattress stuff also ordered so that will need cutting too but I think I'll do that in situ.

    I have drawn a plan or pattern for v berth sheet but not decided yet if I should put elastic in the hem all the way round or if I should just do it on the corners or if I should stretch the elastic and zig zag it on. Any thoughts or hints as I don't think I have ever worked with elastic except threading it through.
    • downshifted
    • By downshifted 19th Jul 19, 12:44 PM
    • 961 Posts
    • 2,014 Thanks
    downshifted
    So what have you been sewing recently? I’ve enjoyed reading this thread but it’s gone v quiet

    I don’t sew. Made a nightdress over 2 years at school. By the time I finished it didn’t fit!

    But now age 64 I find myself tempted. I like wearing simple floaty linen or cotton mix dresses and they can be very silly prices. In Vietnam earlier this year I was buying and wearing harem type trousers that were very comfortable in hot weather and only made from two pieces of fabric and some elastic. I’ve two granddaughters age 2 and 5 maybe I could make them simple dresses, skirts or dressing up clothes. Surely I could manage something like that without the dragon domestic science teacher breathing down my neck?

    What do you think? I could spend around 160 on a sewing machine, any advice on which one? A friend told me her automatic threader was invaluable, what about button holes, one step or 4?

    A shop near me does classes in the autumn, I’m looking into joining one, but I’d quite like to try some basic stuff soon
    Downshifted

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    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 19th Jul 19, 1:05 PM
    • 429 Posts
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    Laura_Elsewhere
    Definitely you can do it - and should!

    Since you have a friend with a sewing machine, why not start by borrowing hers - or even better, get her to hover over you at hers or yours when you first use it...

    I'd suggest summer skirts for the grand-daughters - nip into a supermarket and buy a double sheet for 6, pop it in the machine for a hot-wash to get any excess dye out of it, and you then have enough cotton to make them skirts and little drawstring bags, and it's cheap enough that you don't need to worry about making mistakes, and it's machine-washable, tumble-dryable and non-iron, which their parents will be pleased about

    Borrow skirts they already have and measure the waist to hem distance; measure the hem all the way round. Add c.1/2" all round for seam allowance and there's your rectangle. Cut, or be bold and tear along the grain line. Then fold and sew a narrow hem along one long edge and a wide hem along the other long edge. A narrow hem on each short edge, and then seam the two short edges together. Leave the wide hem open at the top of the side-seam. Put some elastic through the wide hem and sew the overlapped ends securely. Stitch up the opening.

    Bingo - a little girl's skirt with one seam and four hems

    THEN you get clever... take the girls to choose their own fabrics! The older one at any rate might absolutely love the specialness of that!
    2019 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 19.5 coupons left out of 66
    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 19th Jul 19, 1:19 PM
    • 6,614 Posts
    • 48,207 Thanks
    joedenise
    Downshifted - Laura-Elsewhere has come up with an absolutely brilliant description. It's pretty much how I started sewing when my kids we small (they're both in their 40s now!).

    After that I started making shirred dresses by a similar method and just putting several rows of stitching across the material until it pulled in the top, then sewed the seam up. Attaching ribbons from front to back on both sides and tying into a bow on the shoulders. Kids loved them.

    I've since progressed onto make stuff for myself and even once made DH a shirt (but only the once!). I haven't been able to get at my machine for a while as we've been having work done on the bungalow but have got loads of material that needs using. My next project when I get round to it is a couple of pairs of trousers - I've got the pattern as well so I'm all ready when I can find the inclination!

    Denise
    • silvasava
    • By silvasava 20th Jul 19, 9:38 AM
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    silvasava
    mademoiselle - only just seen your post. I'd put elastic all the way round - I often alter my bed sheets & do this as there's nothing worse than having a wrinkly sheet under you thats moved off the mattress. TBH my boat is small so we just use sleeping bags
    Only sewing recently has been more alterations for DgD - taking up trousers as usual. She didnt inherit her Nonna's long legs poor kid
    Small victories - sometimes they are all you can hope for but sometimes they are all you need - be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 20th Jul 19, 10:33 AM
    • 1,302 Posts
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Downshifted, for about 100 you can get a decent starter machine - John Lewis still do their basic one for 99 and it’s very good.

    If you have a bit more to spend, then things that I appreciate on my “upgraded” machine are: the ability to stop with the needle in either the up or down position; top loading bobbin (makes it easier to see when it’s running out) and a quick backstitch function for the end of seams. None of those is essential, they are nice to have though. The one step buttonhole is brilliant, but I’ll be honest and say that I’ve only done buttonholes once since I got the machine! Whatever you buy, it will have about 10 different fancy stitches. I predict that you will use about three of them! If you scroll back in the thread quite away, I’m sure there was a recommendation for an online sewing machine supplier whose prices seem to be good.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • downshifted
    • By downshifted 20th Jul 19, 3:19 PM
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    downshifted
    Well thank you all for your comments. I’ve been to a village show today and picked up a simple pattern for a gathered skirt and harem trousers in my size for 1 on a charity stall (will take Laura-Elsewhere’s advice & make one for my granddaughters first). A lady there is selling an old but not heavily used Janome for 25. I’m calling her tonight to find out more. I guess it will need to have an instruction book, she says it works fine but I don’t yet know what it has/does. I’m a bit torn, because I want to be sure if things go wrong it’s my fault, not that of a machine, but then 25 and quickly get on to do simple stuff might be worthwhile, worry about something better later?
    Downshifted

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    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 20th Jul 19, 3:43 PM
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    Laura_Elsewhere
    Get her to show you how to thread up and use the machine and wind the bobbin when you go to collect it!!!!! Ideally take along a friend who already can use a sewing machine, who can see if there's anything not standard, a bit different, that needs a question asked to make sure you don't end up stuck (I dunno, maybe most machines have this bit that way round but your machine has it the other way round.... you know the kind of thing!)

    Once you have the detailed model number etc., you may be able to find the instructions online.

    And raid charity shops or supermarkets or jumble sales for old sheets to practice with Most Councils even have textile-rag recycling, so you won't even be sending those practice bits to waste!
    2019 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 19.5 coupons left out of 66
    • downshifted
    • By downshifted 20th Jul 19, 4:38 PM
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    downshifted
    Thank you again Laura-Elsewhere, some good advice there. I had some old sheets in my charity shop bag, they’re going to be deprived now I’m afraid ��
    Downshifted

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    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 20th Jul 19, 6:59 PM
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    joedenise
    Charity begins at home downshifted! Well done on getting the pattern for a 1. Patterns are really expensive new.

    The last patterns I got were with a sewing magazine for 3.99 and it had 3 patterns in it, one of which was the pattern I wanted for a pair of trousers.

    Agree with Laura Elsewhere about getting the lady to show you how to do the basics and also to have a go with it. I think it definitely worth getting the machine. You can always update it later once you've had some practice if you think you need a new machine, but if the cheap 2nd hand one works there's really no need unless you want to do more complicated things.

    Denise
    • silvasava
    • By silvasava 21st Jul 19, 10:23 AM
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    silvasava
    Downshifted - if the machine runs OK and has the facility to do Zig Zag you'll probably find it will suit your purposes for quite a while. At 25.00 its worth a punt - good luck
    Small victories - sometimes they are all you can hope for but sometimes they are all you need - be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle
    • downshifted
    • By downshifted 21st Jul 19, 11:07 AM
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    downshifted
    I’m going to try the machine tomorrow :-)
    Downshifted

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