Sunday, 28 August 2011

Kwik Sew 3474 - The Spring has Sprung Top

I finally finished my Kwik Sew blouse - I have learnt how to add a Pattern Review Widget so I have done a fairly complete review if anyone is interested. This top was super thrifty to sew - I found the pattern for only 20cents and the fabric was only a couple of dollars - the most expensive part of this project was the thread which I had to buy new  . So really there was nothing to lose with this top - especially as I broke the Kwik Sew rules and cut different sizes at different lines - small at the shoulders and sleeves and side seams and large at the front .
I love the wrap front of this and the side shaping and front ties and cuffs with slits . I dislike that there is nothing keeping the upper part of the blouse together so I added press studs This is completely necessary as any movements will cause major gaping at the top and a significant case of `Hello boys` or being charged by the police with exposure. I  also understitched the facings which Kwik Sew surprisingly didn`t include in their instructions - having said that, this pattern confirms that I do love Kwik Sew patterns .
I wasn`t completely happy with my upper press stud - it is tending to show so I will wear this with a brooch. Next time I make this I think I will add a button .
I have some lovely soft gold paisley embossed silk look fabric and I am debating making an evening version of this above pattern but I am just not sure yet.
Anyway spring has definitely sprung here - we have a new born lamb with hopefully a couple more to come and our chooks are laying 10 eggs a day and the wattles and native jasmine are blooming ( and I am sneezing !) . It is lovely here at the moment. Until next time ( another top on the way!) cheers Janine.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A Nifty Dart Trick ( PHoto Heavy )

Just this week I learnt a really good little dart trick - I haven`t seen it elsewhere so I decided to show it here . Probably everyone else knows about this but you know the saying ` If it just helps one other person then it will be worthwhile. `.
I have always just left the threads at the narrow end part of the dart loose or before I knew better just  backstitched -gasp horror! I have seen a technique where you get a needle and insert the loose threads into the dart or just cut the threads really short. The technique I found is quicker than this . I wish I could lay claim to inventing this technique but I am strictly a follower not a leader. The below technique is from Singers The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing if my instructions and photos are as clear as mud. You can click on the photos to make them larger if this helps.

Photo 1 above shows the dart marked and starting to sew.

Photo 2 above shows the dart sewn - Continue until you just stitch off the edge of the fabric

PHoto 3 above  - Lift up the presser foot and pull the fabric towards you about one inch or 2 cms. This creates the length of thread above.

PHoto 4 - Set your stitch length at zero. Insert your material under the foot , lower your presser foot , insert your needle in the fabric inside the dart and stitch several times to secure the thread.

PHoto 5 above . Remove from your sewing machine and clip the threads close. As you can see the threads at the end are neat .

PHoto 6 - the outside of my ( unironed ) dart - see no puckers !

This is so quick. saves having loose threads inside and saves threading up your needle. I hope this is of some use.
Cheers Janine.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

A Name Change

IMG_0880[1] by JanineMcK
IMG_0880[1], a photo by JanineMcK on Flickr.
I have wanted to have a sewing blog for a long time but lack of computer skills and a touch of shyness stopped  me. Then my younger daughters showed me how to transfer images from the camera to the computer - I thought this was going to be hard !- and off I went. However I could only come up with the rather boring name Sew Janine. Today I created a new name which I think is rather appropriate.
Sutures is the medical term for stitches and interrupted sutures is a style of medical stitching.
I also wanted to add a photo of my next project. I had wished to sew the above Kwik Sew top with some light weight black silver brocade but did not have enough fabric to match the pattern which would have wrecked the whole thing so I am using some left over fabric from a skirt/top combination I made my Mum some time ago. I am now procastinating on marking the 6 darts involved ( my least favourite part of sewing after cutting out possibly ) . I hope this post works as I have had a heck of a time trying to get photo inserted and now I see after each m there is a funny gap. Cheers Janine.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Simplicity 2418 and my sewing mate.

This is my little dog Toby and he loves being with me all the time including sewing. I wanted to show this photo as he has FINALLY learnt not to just plonk himself down on my fabric and pattern pieces  -hooray . Ask him how he learnt this ! He still needs to learn though to give me space while enjoying my cups of tea and chocolate. He comes and sits right next to you and just stares the whole time .
I completed Simplicity 2418 - a pattern that is still in the current pattern catalogues ! It is the cowl neck version. Although rated easy I had to think carefully about the yoke attachment which has you sew the wrong side of the back and front pieces to the right side of the yoke - also there wasn`t much difference between the wrong and right sides of my fabric so I had to be careful.
I took the advice of pattern reviews of this and sewed size 10 instead of my usual size 12 and also took the side seams in by 2 cms instead of  1.5. In the end I didn`t really need the self fabric belt as doing these adjustments meant the top was not too baggy. I also used some `satin` bias binding around the `sleeves` which I did enlarge to accomodate my size 12 arms . I will definitely be making view B - sooner rather than later. I am going to do a more complete review over at Pattern Review ( love that site - I always check it out before sewing any patterns these days ) Cheers Janine.