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.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Style 3949 complete and going public.

Today I decided to be brave and show my face ( although after seeing the one photo my DH took perhaps I shouldn`t have ) . I have wondered if anyone doing these blogs have had any problems ( apart from those negative anonymous comments ) with going public. Lets face it having a sewing blog is something only a sewer ( that term cracks me up ) can really understand and others may find um different. Just as I can not always understand various peoples interests ( one example my husband really wants to make a methane digester) . Meanwhile I  completed the Style jumper a little while ago and it was just was the doctor ordered - quick, easy and no problems- after the angst of my Simplicity jacket. The only issue was one of juggling fabric and pattern to fit. This top has the sleeve and side front and back all in one piece making it fabric hungry .It also has a ginormous collar piece.  This fabric was given to me by my Mum who got it from her neighbour who got it from someone else who sews nightwear etc for some boutique in Melbourne ( I`ll say yes to just about any fabric !) . So this fabric was not in one piece but did have very large scraps. In the end I had to cut the collar in 2 pieces and cut the sleeve part in 2 pieces - I don`t think this is too noticeable.
This old Style pattern suggested light weight wovens but I used this plush reddish maroon knit. If  I make it again I would make it longer in the torso but otherwise it passed the fashion police ( my 3 DDs ) and I wore it today while doing the early morning Saturday netball run . For an old pattern I think it is OK as several new release patterns have similar features of the large rolled collar and gathers at the front. It was definitely warm and comfortable. Anyway Cheers for now. Janine

Friday, 15 July 2011

Punding - not a dirty word ( and the relationship to sewing )

eI was reading an article recently and came across the word punding. I didn`t know the meaning and so looked this up and found the definition to be repetitive useless actions. This led me to thinking about sewing and why I love it. You see I think that probably alot of what I do is punding - gardening. dishes, ironing  , paperwork - all incredibly repetitive but I suppose not totally useless. You do all these things and then not 5 minutes later there are more dishes in the sink and you turn around and all those weeds have snuck back up.
However, it doesn`t matter how long I leave a garment on my sewing table for it doesnt change. I don`t have to keep on sewing seams that have come mysteriously undone or recutting the same pattern over and over  etc so eventually you end up with something hopefully beautiful and /or useful. Hmm not sure this makes sense. Anyway , it has been incredibly cold here even by Victorian standards and after all the hassles of my blue jacket ( that did end well ) I have picked out an easy pattern next.
This is another older style pattern since I enjoyed sewing my recent style jacket so much.The material is a thick plush reddish/maroon knit and I am making the top above -it has a gathered front and rolled draped collar .I had really wanted to make a butterick dress 5523 with a similar collar but Spotlight did not have my size available so until then this is my substitute pattern. I am looking forward to this since this week has a been a case of living to work rather than working to live. I most definitely think if you are able work/life balance is VERY important.
Cheers Janine.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Simplicity 4698- Finally done!

I am sooo happy to be finished. I started sewing this jacket in early June and I have had a feeling it just wasn`t meant to be. First of all I did a big oops on the collar but rectified this. Then after coming back from a one weeks holiday ( On a houseboat on the Murray River - highly recommended -very relaxing ) and having sewing withdrawals I launched into sewing the 2 piece arms but made 2 left arms - umm I only have one left arm - after hongkong finishing all those seams . ( With this material there are  no wrong and right sides - it looks exactly same ) . Argghhh - I did a quick unpick which means one arm now has the ugly side of the hongkong finishing `showing`.
Then as I was binding the armholes I broke a needle - at that point when my middle DD came into my sewing room I blurted out `Do you want a blue jacket ?` and she said Yes ! Perhaps I can borrow it sometimes.
I do love this jacket - it is a darling and I will sew it again but with the retrospectoscope it would be much quicker to line this jacket fully or use fabric which doesn`t fray so much.It is a very close fitting jacket as well but otherwise I would recommend this to anyone who has this in their stash unmade. It is a pity it is OOP because  it is so classic  I am very glad that I finally tried out this pattern. 
Anyway looking forward to my next ( much quicker ) project. Cheers Janine.