Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wearable Muslins

I read a lot of sewing blogs....and it's amazing seeing all the different outfits people make.

I saw two patterns that looked like they'd fit into my mostly casual wardrobe -- by a company I'd never heard of - Jalie.  So I ordered two and made one of each as a trial to check the sizing and see if I could use the cover stitch on my (older model) serger.

First was a dolman sleeved knit top (Jalie 3352) -- using some fabric I had on hand.  I cut what I thought would be a good size -- with sleeves -- and used a twin needles for hemming.  It's cute -- and looks like the pictures.  But it's really too big (especially in the shoulder/underarm area), too long (by 2-3 inches), and the doubleneedle just didn't provide sufficient stretch.  It's wearable -- as an oversized top.  But I'm going to try again with a sleeveless version and adjust the size/length.

Next up was a racerback tank (Jalie 3245) -- again using fabric I had on hand.  I cut the same size as the dolman sleeved top -- and had to cut off one inch at each size at the underarm-- for a total of 4 inches (I have to admit that I just serged the excess off - blending into the original seam line a few inches down).  This time I used my coverstitch and it worked out fairly well.  I couldn't stitch over serged seams neatly -- but the stitching looked great on the flat hems, around the arms and neckline.  And after reading a few tips online for starting and ending each seam -- the results really look professional.

I didn't use any binding, but simply stitched the hems down.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dribs and Drabs

I made another bonnet -- this one size 6-9 months.  The outer fabric and visor lining were cut from a single fat quarter, the rest from leftovers.  Instead of making the pleat after sewing the bonnet, I added a quarter inch pleat in both shell and lining during construction.  It cut down on the bulk. These are just so cute. I need to make one in the other three sizes -- I'll have a set of five.

Today we played Tom Sawyer -- painting boards in preparation for fence repairs at the community garden.  There are always so many things to be done at the garden. Weeding, trimming, etc. A never ending to-do list.

And I bought myself a present -- a 100 percent wool Zwartbles travel blanket (shepherded by the one and only cat shepherd Bodacious) - direct from Ireland.  It's so dense and soft....I'm looking forward to the cooler weather when I can really use it.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I've been looking at patterns and trying to get my sewing mojo (sew-jo) back. I need some new tops and pants.  But I wanted to start small.  And what could be much smaller than a baby bonnet?

I saw this blog post -- and how could I resist (ignoring the fact that I really don't know any babies.....but that's a mere detail)?  The pattern is here

For my prototype I used stash cotton and made the 3-6 month size.  I pressed all the seams in opposite directions (outer shell one way, lining the other) and top stitched all around.  There's a lot of bulk where the folds those are a bit bigger than 1/4 inch.

For the next iteration, I'll cut the center hat on the crosswise grain to give it a little stretch to better ease the side pieces in.  I also found that using a piece of paper made topstitching the ties a lot easier....and it just pulled right off.

But all in's really cute.