Productive Week

The gray blouse is waiting for A to try it on, so in the meantime I decided to reduce the stack of fabric in the sewing room.  I grabbed two lengths of fleece that I bought for pillowcases for the long body pillow, and before I could lose steam I had sewed up two of them.  Then I caught sight of the ziplock with the other cut-out grocery bags I had intended to make last year (three of them got finished last year and are now in the car) and sewed up three more bags.  Now if only I could remember to take some into the store with me when I shop.

DSC01896-001I got this fabric at the craft thrift shop last year or the year before.  It was heavy for a shirt but just right for grocery bags.  These bags are the same size and shape as the brown paper grocery bags.



There have been some pictures online of a certain type of Japanese apron that crosses in the back and has no ties.  I looked them up on pinterest:

Fullscreen capture 2112016 115725 AM-001I used to have some Daisy Kingdom patterns with a similar shape, or rather, I still do but don’t feel like going through boxes and bins looking for them, but this pattern (Simplicity 1133) was more accessible:

DSC01917This pattern could be shaped more like the apron very easily.  It might be easier to line it, making it reversible, because that’s a whole lot of bias tape there.


Getting down to the home stretch with this work shirt for A.  We’ll skip quickly over the part where I forgot to trim the neck seamline down to 1/4 inch to match the collar I was using, but that I remembered before I did the topstitching.  I was able to rip that collar off, trim the neckline, and put the collar back on.  Didn’t take as long as I expected.

This is the same shirt pattern we worked so hard to fit to A last year, but that pattern has a lot of darts, and sewing darts is not my favorite thing.  I changed it to a shoulder princess incorporating the closer fitting darts.  If it meets with A’s approval, I can really crank these shirts out, mojo permitting.  It is fun to use a contrast but coordinating lining for the collar, stand, and cuffs.

The weather here has been rainy (hooray!) but is very cold this week.  The violets are blooming in the front yard but I haven’t seen any almond trees in bloom yet.  Some years they bloom in late January, but not this year.DSC01849

Little Ironing Tools

When the collar and stand unit for the new shirt was sewn, it turned out to be difficult to iron the small curve at each end.  What I needed was something small and round with a handle to put into the end of the stand so I could press it.  Today I was at the fabric store in the craft section and had an idea.  I already had some wood glue so I bought some head beads in two sizes and some dowels that would fit them.  The package of dowels was only $1.49 and the package of beads about $2.50.

DSC01886 The ends of the dowels were dipped in the glue and then the bead was glued to the end portion of the dowel.


Now I can use whichever bead fits the curve of the collar stand to iron the end.  I’ll probably leave the iron on the ironing board and press the collar stand end with the bead in it against the hot surface.  We’ll see how it works.


Interfacing Day

There are three or four cut-out shirts in their ziplock bags that need interfacing to be applied to collars, facings, and cuffs.  To try something new, I set up a table in the living room, made an ironing surface (cardboard cutting board, towels and an old tablecloth) and got busy pressing multiple pieces at once onto the sticky side of the interfacing.  I use the iron tip to tack the garment piece onto the interfacing, then cut it out, then press it according to the interfacing instructions.

DSC01852After everything is nice and dry, the pieces for each new project go back into the ziplock to wait for the day it stops being a UFO and becomes a shirt.  I find that I am more likely to sew up a project if the interfacing has been done and I can just sit down and sew.  The gray fabric is a new shirt for A and it is going to have contrast cuff and collar lining.  The gray has pinky/purple undertones, so I found a scrap of fabric that coordinates with it.  It made me think of all the small lengths of cute fabric I have that are too small for a top but could be useful as interesting collar and cuff linings.

Jungle Print Top


Though I have made many of these New Look 6871 tops, I have never before made one from a knit.  Printed knits like this one are often easier to sew than stretchier knits but I was thinking that the usual yoke construction method would create a bulky seam.  I decided to do the neckline in the usual way but to sew the two yoke layers as one unit to the gathered lower part.  It seems to have worked fine.


Topstitching holds the seam in place and also goes around the neckline and armholes.


I was a little surprised how neatly the hem turned out.  My usual method is to hand baste a 1/4″ turnunder, then press up another 3/4″.  I stitch from the wrong side near the folded edge with a narrow zigzag ( a ‘1’ on my machine) and a stitch length that is stretched out and not dense.  I experimented with different sewing feet and ended up using this one:


This foot came with my Elna SU when I bought it used over 25 years ago, so I have no idea what the foot was originally for since the accessory box had some non-Elna feet in it too.  It slides smoothly over the knit without pushing it out of shape,  so I’ll be using it for knit hems from now on.  It’s a low shank foot so I use it on my other low-shank machines too (right now it’s on my Kenmore).


Pink Raw Silk Blouse

This former UFO sat around for years just because I didn’t feel like making the buttonholes and sewing on the buttons.  Did I say I was a procrastinator?  Finally, one day I just found the buttons and finished off this project.




I think this is McCall’s 8082:

Fullscreen capture 1252016 14750 PM

I’ve made lots of these shirts over the years since I used to have a job in an office where I had to lift and carry lots of heavy boxes full of documents.  This shirt looked office appropriate but had enough room for movement.  It also was modest enough for bending over and lifting things.  Why is it that large offices always seem to have That Creepy Guy Who Looks The Girls Over that you steer clear of?

Now I have an extra ziplock UFO bag that I should go fill with another cut out project.

Paper Sewing

This morning I was thinking about the Bunka sleeve draft that I wanted to try out, and I was wishing I had the book:  http://www.amazon.com/Bunka-Fashion-Garment-Design-Textbook/dp/B004XYLRVK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453500755&sr=1-1&keywords=bunka+fashion+college .  I looked the sleeve up on the internet and found various instructions, and read the instructions in my Japanese sewing magazines (looked at the illustrations, rather, since I don’t read much Japanese).  Eventually I figured it out:

DSC01826  I’m interested to try it out on my blouse pattern because I had moved the shoulder seam forward and this draft seems to account for that.  This will let me match the top notch to the shoulder seam and will let the sleeve seam match the side seam again.  DSC01828

I finally made my TNT blouse pattern into a sloper of sorts by cutting it out of poster board and trimming off the seam allowances.  Now I can use them to try some Japanese sewing patterns I have saved.  The photo below shows how the sloper (the red portion) is used as the base for the new pattern.  You trace out your sloper and make the changes and additions as shown in the pattern graphic.

DSC01829Now that that is all drafted, I can start sewing a new top for M.  I cut out the Jungle Print top and cut two sets of front and back yoke pieces.  One will be the lining and one will be the right side.  It is a large print, and the color scheme of each set was so different that I took pictures of them and sent them to M so she could decide which she liked best.

2016-01-21The one on the left has more animal print and lots of black and white, and the one on the right has more teal (which she likes).  She chose the one on the left, so now I am going to go thread the machine and get started.


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