Archive for the ‘Sewing For M’ Category

This fabric is a thin knit with a border print that I bought by the pound at the craft thrift store.  The piece of fabric had lots of yardage, enough for two more tops at least.  The border is only on one side of the fabric:


Since New Look 6027 has a rectangular set-in yoke, I decided to use the border for the yoke.


When the fabric has a lot of drape like this one, I underline the yoke and then line it.  This fabric was so floppy though that I ended up quilting it to the lining, but the print is so busy that you can’t see the stitching.


DSC01965Above is the view of the inside of the yoke.

The armholes and the neckline are finished with self-fabric strips.  This week, M brought over one of the tops I had made for her from this pattern a few years ago so that I could see what I did the last time I made it.  I do try to make notes on the pattern envelope telling what I changed or how I did things, but sometimes I forget.

Thin knits like this aren’t the easiest fabric to sew, but they tend to travel well, don’t wrinkle much and are easy to hand wash and dry if you are in a hotel room.  I need to think of how to use up the rest of the yardage.

So that is the end of the machine being threaded in white thread for now.  I tried to find all the things I could sew while the white thread was still on the machine, but now it is time to put the gray thread on and finish up the shirt for A.

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Busy Week Of Sewing

Not that I have much finished to show for the busy week, but I did finish one top.  We visited with A over the weekend and had her try on the gray shirt, and the fit was excellent.  This means that I can now churn out one shirt after another in different fabrics for her to wear to work.  This is the beauty of a Tried-and-True pattern.  I think I’ll experiment with different cuffs and collars and maybe tucks, embroidery and/or lace.  Back at home, there are three shirts cut out for me and two or three for M.  We talked about a plain, useful white top for M but I ended up trying a lace overlay on the yoke just for the fun of it:

DSC01938The fabric is a white knit that is not too thin.  Because I didn’t want to have topstitching around the neckline or armholes on the lace, I used a binding.



In addition to this top, there is a black/white/red top half done for M using a border print knit.  There is also yet another fleece vest half done that should be finished up today, chores willing, and another cut-out shirt for A to get started as soon as I finish up the gray one.

We are still getting the occasional rain storm but Spring has definitely arrived here.  The almond trees are blooming and the daffodils are also in bloom.

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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).


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DSC01806This has been hanging from the sewing room door waiting for its photo session, and since M would like to take it home, today is the day.

DSC01808One of my daughters got a whole set of sewing machine feet for me for Christmas, so I have been trying out different types of feet to see how they work for top stitching.  I don’t have to wait for an opportunity to top stitch since I use it on every garment.

I cut out another one of these in a knit to see how the pattern sews up and wears in a stretchy fabric, and right now I am thinking about how to change the method of construction to avoid thick seams.

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Sales Flyer

Every Sunday the newspaper carries a sales flyer for the local JoAnn store.  Even though there is enough fabric in this house to clothe a battalion, sometimes to sale is too good to pass up.  Last week, some cotton prints were on sale for only $1.99/yard so I picked up three lengths for tops for M.  She likes polka dots and has been wanting a navy top with white dots, and the price was right.

DSC01601Today I was up with the dawn and started sewing right away while listening to a good book-on-tape.  Shirt No. 7 is going slowly, probably because I’m not that thrilled with the color (a chocolate brown), but the fabric weight was perfect to try out this new version of the shirt pattern.  Today the back was constructed and topstitched, the pockets were sewn but not attached yet, and the seams on the front were sewn.  When I got tired of sewing, I set up my cutting table and cut out one garment and then, since I was using an older pattern, I traced off some of the pieces that were looking a little worn out.

We may still be mired in drought and watching our yards dry up, but at least the sunsets are sometimes pretty:

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Cutting Out

Didn’t feel much like sewing today so I set up the cutting table in front of the TV and so I can cut out while I watch movies.  Cutting out shirts means cutting out lots of pieces, so today, as a change of pace, I’m cutting out some New Look 6871 tops for M.  The pattern only has 4 pieces plus some bias.  And nothing that requires interfacing.

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The idea is to use up some of the fabrics I bought by the pound at the craft thrift store.  Fabric #1:

When the garment is all cut out and the bias is cut, I store the pieces in a ziplock bag which prevents random pieces from going walkabout.


Next fabric on the cutting table is the same blue that was used for my recent shirt and the shirt for A.  There was certainly a lot of yardage in this wide fabric, and there might be enough left for one or two more shirts.


Here is a remnant I also got at the craft thrift store, and I am wondering how to use it.  The motifs are very large, from about 10″ to 15″ high.  They might make fun baby bibs or a baby quilt.


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Grocery Bags

The first two grocery bags are finished and are on their way to be filled with groceries.  The first bag was sewn in the same way the paper grocery bag is put together but that was a huge hassle and took all day to sew.  The second bag was sewn in the fast tote-bag style with the bottom corners sewn across to square them off, plus some topstitching down the side folds, and that was so much easier and looked much better.  I love it when that happens – the easy way wins! I got the spouse to model the bag which is pretty much exactly the size of a brown paper grocery bag.

DSC01051When my daughter was here to pick up the bags, she said they should have a piece of cardboard or something like that on the bottom so the bag would keep its shape.  I suddenly thought of all the plastic cutting boards I had bought at IKEA a few weeks ago, so we got one out and cut it to size.  The cutting board was big enough to make two of the bag bottoms.  Here’s the product name:
DSC01054I cut the insert about 6 1/2″ x 11 1/2″  (I measured the bottom width of each bag because they vary a bit) and put it in the bottom of the bag.  I rounded the corners so that the plastic would not poke through the fabric. Cutting the plastic is easy to do since it cuts easily with scissors.  Here it is in the bag:
DSC01052The removable insert keeps the bag looking crisp and square and is washable by hand if some grocery item leaks on it.  It has to be removed before you put the bag in the washer and dryer, especially the dryer because it could melt all over the dryer drum.

Now I need to make a few bags for myself, and then I will continue in my effort to never ever pay for a grocery bag.


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