Eek I’ve bought an Overlocker

I’ve been reading all about overlocker or serger machines. They used them on the Sewing Bee and they are referred to a lot when sewing with stretch fabrics. Buying one had been on my wish list for a while but I was waiting for the right moment. It came when someone on the Sewing Bee Facebook page said that they were on Amazon, as Deal of the Day. I did a quick bit of research and decided to go for it as it had £50 off.

I ordered it on Monday and it arrived on Wednesday. My first impression was – it’s a scary piece of kit. All that thread and all that threading through lots of loops and things!

Well, I’ve watched the DVD and a couple of You Tube videos today and I’ve managed to set it up and have a practice go. So 😛 to you Mark. He was expecting me to cry for help. Being the stubborn old woman I am, I managed to do it without his help. Hooray – I’m not brain dead after all. I was expecting the set up to take all day and be quite frustrated but I was pleasantly surprised.

So now I have to try it out on a sewing project. I decided to thread it with black thread so I need to find something dark coiloured to sew 🤪. I have a lot of the cranberry jersey left that I made the Lark Tee out of so I am going to try a long sleeved version I think.

I am also going to make the Joni Dress featured in the Tilly and the Buttons Stretch Book

I bought  some lovely floral cotton jersey from Guthrie and Ghani and I am going to make the Joni Dress out of that. And that means I will have to re – thread it with white thread 🥴

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

15EA7D53-AE38-4F62-B561-D67B1CE7609F

5E6B897E-662E-47B5-B180-BAF78EAD83C6

The Lander Shorts

I’m late to the party but I’ve made a pair of Lander Shorts. The pattern is made by True Bias, a pattern maker I have only just discovered. I have seen and heard loads of mentions for this pattern so I thought I would give it a go. I wasn’t sure if it was suitable for an older person – me – but I looked at the makes on Instagram and there’re were some other mature ladies wearing them so decided I would join the party. The pattern appealed to me as it had Some neat details like a button fly and belt loops. I have never made either of those before.

After reading a few sewing blogs and some comments on Instagram, I decided I would try using a ‘toile’ before I started.  In all my years of sewing I have never done this. Basically, it’s making a practice garment out of cheap fabric so that you get the fit right before using your expensive fabric. As I had forked out for some rather nice linen from Guthrie and Ghani  I decided this would be a good idea. I used an old cream coloured cotton curtain lining for the toile. I made up a size 16 after measuring all my bits. When I made the basic toile (without the pockets but with the button fly – to practice)  it gaped a bit a the back of the waist so I knew I should increase the waist dart sizes on the final garment and that should do it.  The rest of it fitted ok.

So I cautiously cut out my fabric – as usual I had far too much! As the linen has stripes I was careful to make sure that they ran the right way. They are very thin strips so I didn’t need to worry about lining up the stripes to match, on this occasion.

I told myself, I would not hurry so that I would not make too many mistakes. My new sewing machine had a variable speed switch so I keep it at slow to slow me down 🤪

The instructions are in a small booklet, with pictures, and they are very clear and understandable. They are much better than the traditional patterns and paper instructions which need folding and flipping repeatedly to find where you are.

65216AD9-1CD5-4B6E-B1B9-DC67C18F937F

After watching the Sewing Bee and Lauren from Guthrie and Ghani’s You Tube videos I have updated my sewing kit a bit.

I have bought a pair of rotary scissors, some glass pins and a metal measuring gauge. I also want some of those weights the Sewing Bee sewists use, instead of pins and have tried out the concept with some magnetic board holders. The pretty weights are quite expensive and you need quite a few, so they will have to wait a while.

I hate doing buttonholes (not quite as much as I hate putting zips in) as I get a bit flustered as to the exact positioning of them. It’s easier with my new machine but it still worries me. It’s not easy unpicking one when it’s wrong! I managed in the end, though and they are not perfect but they are okay and functional.

I lined the pockets with a scrap of material I had leftover from making Nells jumpsuit. I loved doing the belt loops, it makes the whole thing look so professional.

I staggered the making over a few days so I wouldn’t rush it and as usual pressed as I went along. It makes the whole process much easier.

I finally finished them yesterday and I’m really pleased with them and very proud of myself. It’s made me confident to have a go at the trousers now. They are high waisted and a comfortable fit. I can now see what all the chatter was about. I would have added a picture of me wearing them but as it was -1 this morning it will have to wait.

 

Spanish Sewing Project No 4 – Japanese Style Apron

This is the 5th apron I have made with this pattern. I bought the pattern at a craft fair in Leicester a couple of years ago. I had been looking for a Japanese style apron pattern for a while and so I spent a hard earned tenner on it. The lady who made it had one she had made on, which I admired. She said she had made it from an Ikea curtain. (Saved!) I duly went and bought a pair of the grey curtains in Ikea and made 2 aprons. They were made from grey linen but the material frayed quite a lot after washing, so not ideal as they get quite a lot of laundering.

The pattern is very easy to put together and there are only 3 pattern pieces. I can whip one up in a morning now.

The next one I made was using some denim material I bought from the Knitting and Stitching Show in October. I made one soon after and saved the rest of the fabric to make another whilst here in Spain.

The aprons are very good, because they cover a lot of you of you and look stylish, as well as keeping your clothes clean, whilst cooking.

The denim one was more of a success and looks pretty smart I think. I have reinforced the pocket edges more this time, as they came undone on the original ones. I also took more time to neaten the edges before I made the apron up. They wash much better.

Spain Sewing Project No 3 – Blue Top

8xz639l6qqemrzpuyfqvmwUsing another piece of Seasalt fabric, I made this top to wear over jeans and leggings. The colours go well with my Winter capsule and the red bits match my red jeans.

The fabric is a printed cotton viscose twill (Forest Collage Marine). The pattern is New Look 6871. I carefully read the back of the pattern and the instructions on the back with regards sizing. I didn’t quite understand but by looking at my actual measurements it made me a size 18. My initial  hunch was  to ignore this and perhaps go with size 16 to account for said boobs. But no, I pressed ahead with the next size up which was a mistake. It does fit my boobs but it’s a bit big on my neckline, so I have had to add a couple of darts. If I use this pattern again, I will use the size 16.

The fabric was a bit of a nightmare to sew, to be honest. The automatic tension didn’t work on the machine so I had to adjust it, to stop the fabric gathering when I sewed. I think it may also have been the thread too. I have found that cheap threads don’t work.

It didn’t take me long to put it together as there are only 5 pieces and no zips or awkward openings. I made it in a couple of mornings.

However, the upshot to all of this is that I don’t like it!  I have worn it but will probably just wear it around the house.

Spain Sewing Project No 2 – Making a dress – to fit my post menopausal shape!

Ha! I should be used to it by now but I’m not. I hate the huge boobs thing I have going on now and love the charming way that Mother Nature has dumped a load more fat round my middle section.  I get it though – being post menopausal makes us less shapely when we can’t reproduce, so that would make us less attractive to males. Thanks a lot MN. Actually I don’t care about the men bit. I am who I am, like it or lump it.

So back to the subject, the dress. I bought some lovely floral linen material from the Seasalt sale last year. Their fabric sales are great, almost a third off. the original prices.  I bought 3 metres, which I thought should be enough to make me a dress. I didn’t actually have a pattern in mind when I bought it but I already had a Simplicity pattern to try out, pattern number 2247.

I saved the making until we got to Spain. I wanted to make it without hurrying. Mmm not sure I managed that,  but I did try and go slowly, so I would make less mistakes.

The pattern instructions are very good. Basically you cut out all the pieces to the size you think you are and then machine tack it all together so that you can adjust it and have a perfect fit. I haven’t ever actually done this before. I have gone by which size I thought I was only to find that when I have finished the item, it’s a bit tight around my bust area. Fortunately, I have a lovely sister, who’s not so big on the bust as me and so I can pass them on to her.

Mark helped me with the fitting, it’s impossible to do it on your own. I forgot to buy the zip I the UK and couldn’t find a long enough one here in Spain, so I have used a shorter one and will replace it when I get home.

I am fairly pleased with the finished article. I haven’t yet tried it on with nicely done  hair and make up yet, which I think, makes a difference. Also, the shoes I have bought with me aren’t quite right either as they are too flat. I’m pretty sure I have some others at home.

So on to the next sewing project.

 

 

 

 

 

Nell’s Dressing Gown

i bought some soft fluffy material about a year ago at a sewing event in Leicester. I thought it would make a lovely dressing gown for my 8 year old grand daughter Nell. I just about managed with the amount I had. it was he end of a roll so that was it.

I haven’t used this type of material before so I wasn’t prepared for the amount of fluff that comes off as you sew.. I used a zig zag stitch throughout as the material was stretchy. That worked a treat. It hasn’t put me off using this type of material again.

I use a McCalls pattern M6225. I am very pleased with the finished article. The instructions were easy to follow. I hope it fits her. What do you think?

zTiu8VWpTumQcWCB0Ddjqw

Making clothes

I love making clothes. I learnt how to do this at school and by watching my Mum. I used to make lots of clothes for my children when they (and I) were younger. Back then, in the 70’s, I had a basic sewing machine, but it did the job. Once my children grew up and life changed, I didn’t have the time or the inclination to sew. anymore. It was one of those things I knew I wanted to pick up again when I had the time. The time came when I retired. I bought a cheap machine to get me back up to speed, which was a bit of a false economy as the quality was poor and I got quite frustrated as I couldn’t get the tension right.  I decided that I would splash out on a better one. After a bit of research and a conversation with an expert in John Lewis, I decided on a Janome DC3050 sewing machine.

 

B8C41084-F88D-4D58-B8A3-44D19044BDB1

Since I bought my new machine I have made several blouses, a Japanese style apron, and  a jump-suit for my grand daughter. The more I do, the better my completed garments look.  I am quite proud of my achievements and only I know where the mistakes are!

Here are a few pics of some of my recently completed items.

 

 

B9F2BB0E-983B-4018-8F13-F2C3BBD02FBB

 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑