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Showing posts from October, 2013

The Trouble with Knitting...

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I'm sure all you knitters out there know the importance of pattern choice and tension squares. A few months ago I purchased some of Spotlight's wool - it was going out on sale.  It is a 4 ply, 75% wool, 25% polyester.  In 100 gm balls: It is a variegated yarn in shades of grey through to black.  I chose a plain jumper, checked the tension, and, as the tension was fine, started knitting the back. I finished knitting the back.  And I did not like it.  I did not like the shape, or the way the variations lay in weird (to my way of thinking) stripes. So I undid the back. As anything made in this wool would give me the weird stripes, I had to decide what to do. I decided to knit two balls together, as I thought this would eliminate the (weird) stripes. I chose a pattern, and knitted a tension square. The tension was wrong.  I changed needles and knitted another tension square.  The tension was still wrong.  I changed needles and knitted another tension square.  TH

A Quick and Simple White Skirt...

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Hello everyone, My approach over the last few weeks has been the "Sew a Little Bit Every Day".  This works really well with simple projects.  (For more complex projects I do prefer a little bit of time set aside to think problems through - this works well if integrated with simple sewing as well). Summer is coming, and I have been busy making a few basic items of clothing - the sort of thing you wear everyday around the house or for basic errands. This is one of them - a simple skirt made out of stretch cotton twill (purchased from Spotlight).  I can't tell you what the pattern is, because I only have something I traced some years ago.  I didn't label it, other than "straight skirt".   Very simple sew it all together side seams, back seam, insert lapped zip, add waistband, do hem and back slit. I think I'll just let the pictures tell the story: Skirt front - I'm trying to learn to smile more at the camera! Skirt Back - with RTW t-sh

Sunday Well Wishes and Welcome to New Followers

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 Hello everyone, Another sewing week has flown by and it's time once again (as I usually do on Sunday) to welcome this week's new followers to my blog.  So welcome guyaneseista, Joyce in NY, and Lagina, who are following via the blog, and Lisa and J.P. Stevens who are following via Bloglovin. Do feel free to say hi and comment at any time. *****   This week we had quite a discussion on  how thread could cause all sorts of problems with different sewing machines.  We also discussed various ways of sewing time management.  We all have different approaches - some prefer to do longer sessions,  and I tend to break the job into parts and fit it into whatever else goes on - and then have longer sessions.  It's lovely finding out the differences in our approaches to sewing and learning new ways of viewing and doing sewing.   *****    October is drawing to an end, and lots of garments are being completed for the Make a Garment a Month Challenge.  I found two

Make A Garment a Month Challenge Weekly Update

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Hi Everyone It's nearing the end of the month and so many of you have already finished some very lovely garments.  I'll be posting these later in the blog.  Next Saturday I will post all the October garments - that will give you a few extra days to post your garment on your blog :) I also post all the garments in a Gallery so that you can look at all the garments in one spot.  If you look at the top bar of this blog, you will find the Make a Garment a Month Gallery. I do go around all your blogs to find your garments, but if I miss you, please, please, please do tell me, by email stylishsarah251@gmail.com or by commenting on my blog. And I know there are some of you out there who have joined the challenge, but I don't know who you are - in which case, again, just let me know... This week  three new sewers took up this challenge: Patty :  www.sewmuchknitting.blogspot.com Lisa :  www.pieceworktreasures.blogspot.com Judy :  www.stoneylonesomesewworks.blogs

Mastering the Mojo - How do you manage your Sewjo?

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We've all had problems with our Sew-Jo from time to time.  If I'm honest, I have problems with it much of the time.  So I break every project down into manageable steps - otherwise what with the 200 plans for garments you already have in your head, plus everything you have to do with the current one (sort out the pattern, go through the stash, pre-shrink and iron fabric, prepare pattern pieces, do muslins (if you do them) , thread machine, check notions, master techniques, fit the garment, and finish it), you can just get overwhelmed.  Especially as you probably already have a full life... This week I have been working on a project step by step: Day Three's effort Day One:  I found the fabric and the pattern I was going to use. Day Two: After a day at work, traced the pattern pieces.  I always trace the pattern pieces if the pattern is multi-sized.  That way, if I have chosen the wrong size, at least I have a master to go back to.  And tracing patterns is not my f

Technical Talk - Does your machine skip stitches?

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Sometimes sewing machines skip stitches.   The machine usually has a manual that lists causes of skipped stitches - usually to do with the needle being bent, blunt, inserted incorrectly,not the right size, wrong type for the fabric, poor quality needle or the thread may not be threaded properly. There is another reason as well, and not one you will find in the sewing machine manual. THREAD!! This is a little known fact.  I use the threads that are marketed as "good quality"and was sewing with the above reel yesterday. And noticed that the odd stitch was being skipped.  It didn't matter on what I had done, but I wasn't going to keep going. I replaced the thread with a new reel of a different brand: PROBLEM SOLVED... I learnt this some years ago when I used to hire an industrial  machine. (yes, I have a past life in sewing).  I was grumbling about problems with stitches and thread breaking and was told it was the thread.  My mother also had an experienc

Sunday Hello, Welcome to New Followers and Answers to Comments

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It's that time of the week again - Sunday, the end of another week - and we are getting very close to the end of the year - but I'm sure you don't need me to remind you of that :) I would like to welcome five new followers to my blog - Marta, Susan, Diana, Angie and Kathleen, all following via Bloglovin.  And a belated welcome to Karen. ***** I'm currently facilitating two challenges - one a stashbuster, the 2013 Style the Stash Sew A Long. This has been running for a few months now and will finish on December 31st this year.  Some of our contributors are amazing sewers, and together we have sewn over 600 yards of stash.  Quite an effort... you can find us at www.stylethestashsewalong.blogspot.com The second challenge is ongoing and more self directed - the Make a Garment and Month Challenge.  Three garments have been completed already and are posted in a Gallery dedicated to this challenge.  You can find that at the top of this blog.  Every participant

Make a Garment a Month Challenge, Weekly Update.

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Hi everyone Just a quick update on who has done what so far...but before I start, just to let you know  that Lou, Chris and Sherry want to join - these ladies don't have blogs, so please email me pictures of your garment for the month when you have finished it - my email is stylishsarah251@gmail.com  Sandra from www.makingitwithhelp.blogspot.com is also joining us. ***** So, who has developed their plans: BeaJay - www.ontheroadtosewwear.blogspot.com   will be making up a TNT that suits her. ***** Christy-  www.beezekneesfashions.blogspot.com Has raided her stash to make a Woodland Fairy costume from Simplicity 1550:   And look what she has to choose from (great stash!)                                                                             ***** Karen - www.sewwellmaide.blogspot.com Karen is drafting her own wrap dress and plans to make it in the following fabric: Karen - www.sewsirius1.wordpress.com Is making a pair of lined trousers

Fitting New Look 6095.

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I'm going to talk about fitting today.  Most of us have read books about fitting - how to fit shoulders, full busts and so on.  These are technical alterations but there is a lot more to fitting than that - you have to think about whether the style is right, whether the pattern is right (there are some patterns that are just not going to work), and how the dress works on you.  You may alter but still find problems - that could be caused by poor posture for instance.  So with fitting you also have to develop an eye and a feel. *****  New Look 6095 is a simple shift dress with bust darts and back darts.  It has no front darts over the tummy. It is shaped at the side to go in at the waist and curves out over the hips and thighs.  That is what the picture suggests. Ease is quite generous - 4 inches at the bust, 5 inches at the waist and 4 inches at the hips.  I was not sure what size to use - lots of commercial patterns are quite generous with ease. Pattern companies design p