Amber takes a break …

Well!  We are all packed, ready to go on holidays!  Amber, my Singer 421G, finished my swimsuit cover up a few days ago and I’ve packed her up for a little R&R!

I just had to show you the cool stitch that Amber can create, one of many I have yet to discover!

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This fabric is a lovely “Dahlia Jacquard”.  51% polyester 46% cotton and 3% spandex.  It feels soft and comfortable.  I didn’t want the seams to be messy and unfinished on the inside, so I decided to finish them off by folding them to one side and sewing them down with a decorative stitch.  I was happy with the results.

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One step closer to the beach …

My sewing days are running out.  Soon my sister and I leave for Mexico.  As usual, I have a dozen ideas but only so much time – so at the top of the list, besides swimsuits, is cover ups.  I bought the fabric for two cover ups – one for my sister and one for me – last weekend.  My sister chose this print – full of black, brown and gold colours.  It’s called Tangiers Linen-look print, 97% polyester and 3% spandex.  It definitely has the quality of linen.  When I pre-washed both fabrics, this one lost at least a 1/4″ off the width with the unravelling and fraying.  I decided that I would have to be very careful finishing off the seams.

Did I make changes to this pattern, McCall’s M7200?  I added a few inches to the length and I made the back only one piece instead of the several they designed into the pattern.  This pattern has a pretty back with all those seams and a bit of a peplum, but I want my cover ups to be a plain style.  I ended up with only four pieces – front, back, collar and sleeve.  (My cover up will be the same, made of the beige fabric.)

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So I like it …

and it takes A LOT for me to like the style, colour and fit of a swimsuit.  With a few changes, this one was good right out of the envelope.  It’s a one piece, which I wanted, and it has flattering gathers at the front to hide all evils.  I removed the gathers at the back though – I’ll explain that later.  The colour … well it’s a wild purple print!  Purple is “my colour” as I have discussed before. The sizing was a bit big, I used shorter than recommended strips of elastic, and I sewed the side seams in with a 1 inch seam allowance, and not a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

So let’s get into some detail about this pattern …

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Amber is put to work …

Perhaps you remember my Singer 421G, a convertible free arm sewing machine made in Germany in 1954.  “Amber” for short!  Since purchasing Amber, she has received a good cleaning and oiling, and I took apart her tension assembly and put her back together again.  She runs smoothly now with a nice stitch.

I love the sound she makes – like a train clicking quickly on the tracks, heavy on my table with no shake – unlike my Janome 3160QDC who whirrs loudly and shakes the table as she sews.  Now it’s time to put Amber to work.   Continue reading

I figured it out!

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I have been sewing up exercise clothes in a frenzy lately and looking at what’s on line and in the stores and therefore the most fashionable.  I found a pretty gathered fold over waistband on a pair of $62.00 (Canadian) name brand yoga pants and I just wanted them – not for $62.00 though!  I borrowed a pair from a friend and examined them closely.  Then I started…

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So I guess if you lose your voice, it’s time to write a blog post?

Lying here on the couch, watching TV and reading other blogs, fighting off my cold with hot chicken soup, hot tea and a chocolate bar (a recommended cure, honestly!), I have decided I might as well write up one of my own on what I put together last week.

Perhaps you remember my sister, Bon-Bons & Bootcamp?  Well my sister made me a purse (I shall have to blog about it to show it off to you).  So in return I offered to make her some workout gear – seems I can’t stop myself from “Diving into knits!”  She gave me the material (a lovely blue and a black – polyester spandex), thread and a couple of patterns with a request to make McCall’s M6360, view F, and McCall’s M4261, view C.  The pants black with a blue side stripe and the bra top all blue.

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Diving into knits! Part Two

Back on schedule again!  Perhaps some of you remember my other “Diving into knits”  post?

imageI have been using McCall’s 4261.

I sewed up my red T shirt, it was such an easy pattern to put together, but I think now it might be too nice to workout in!

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Now on to my blue yoga pants.

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Don’t worry! I ironed my pattern piece after taking this photo and before cutting!

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My first “up cycle”?

My sister’s co-worker is traveling to Mexico very soon to avoid our rainy winter – the rain just goes on and on and on…  She asked my sister if I would be willing to sew her “tankini” for her before she leaves.  Sure, I love a new project!

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What we have here is her tankini top and a sample of the bottom she would like to have made out of the material which covers her tummy.  She wants that material taken off so that she can get some extra sun.  “Might as well! Hey?”

So I cut it off.

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I used this excellent stitch to hem up the stretchy knit material of the top by hand.

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imageTop hemmed.  The strap has to be changed yet though.

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Next? Diving into knits!

Last time I sewed anything with a knit fabric I was in grade 10. (That was a long, long time ago!) It was a heavy 100% polyester knit and it was solid pink! Very cool indeed! I made a t-shirt style top and hipster pants, almost a perfect match for this McCalls 3280.

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Can you imagine $1.00 for a McCalls pattern!

Now that I think back it was really heavy, thick material and really really pink. (ugh!) Another annoyance was that the pants didn’t really fit well. Ya they were hipsters and ya they were tight all the way down to their bell bottoms, but they had a tendency to slip down if I moved and the elastic waist band rolled down and dug into me. More importantly the crotch seam was just not quite right! Need I say more? But hey, I made them myself and they were fashionable and I wore my pink outfit to school proudly!

I haven’t sewed a pair of pants since and I haven’t sewed a scrap of 100% polyester knit fabric since!

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Well … Long time no blog!

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks, starting with the Craft Fair.  The top sellers for me seemed to be the infinity scarves and secondly the kitchen items.

Here is a photo of my wares…

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I had my business cards there too as I am willing to make up an item, personalized, from scratch, as indicated by the blue fleece jacket, for anyone.

A note to self: when someone says “craft fair” check if you should bring your own small table. I should have known! But since it was in a private home, I assumed there would be lots of space and somewhere to set up.  Well there was, but the poor Host was apologizing that she had so many vendors, she pretty much ran out of tables and space!  I could have helped her out by bringing my own table at least!  That being said she was very generous with her home and her coffee and snacks too! It was a happy, friendly crowd and a great day!

Now since I was busy sewing for the craft fair for two whole weeks, after full days at work, I did not do any of my regular exercise routines and as a result, as I should have known, my back went out this last weekend! Here I am trying to finish off some sewing projects and then get ready for Christmas and I have lost one weekend – so far – not being able to do anything comfortably, except stand.

A few people at my office have asked if I have any infinity scarves left over – I do – and if so bring them in. They would love to buy one. A couple have also asked if I could make one in the blue material or the animal print for them – well I would love to!… When my back can bend again! Oh so aggravating!

(Moral of that story:  always, always HEALTH comes first!)

Anyway, here are some directions on how to make an infinity scarf – basically a large unstuffed doughnut (excuse my Canadian spelling!).

Materials Needed:
3/4 yard of 60″ wide lightweight knit fabric, such as jersey
Matching Thread

Cutting Instructions:
Cut one strip of fabric across the full 60″ width, make it 25″ wide.

Assembly Instructions:
Fold fabric in half, with RIGHT sides of fabric facing each other and matching long cut edges. Pin together that long edge.
Stitch along the long edge with a ½” seam.
Press seam flat to blend stitches; press seam open.

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Now trust me… I had to just DO IT and not think about it!
Turn scarf RIGHT side out – just put your hand in and grab the end and pull it through!
Open short ends of scarf.
Place short ends with RIGHT sides together, lining up cut edges and the one seam end. Pin together about half way around to start.
Stitch short ends together with a ½” seam, as far as you can go, leaving a small opening (It will be hand sewn later.). It helps to use the free arm on your sewing machine and let the one short end wrap around there to start.

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Even before taking my scarf off my machine, I shoved everything inside the hole to turn it right side out.  My bad?

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Anyway, shove everything inside the hole.  Shake it out.  Slip stitch the opening closed.

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It is difficult to see the hole but it is beside my blue seam ripper.  Press seams flat.  And you are DONE! And looking lovely might I add!

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So until next time…

Stay tuned…