Wednesday, 30 August 2017

merino lisbon cardigan

I was lucky enough to find some lovely merino wool on sale.  Perfect for my next Lisbon.

I once again struck problems with my overlocker and buttonhole foot on sewing machine.  This time my overlocker refused to move over the fabric creating a huge nest which had to be cut out of the throat plate leaving a big hole in the button band.   I didn't have enough fabric to cut another band on the grain so had to cut another band against the grain.   Unfortunately this really stretched when cut this way resulting  in the right side being about an inch longer than the left.  I had to do a tuck under the right side to bring it even with the left.  Not ideal as the bottom bands don't match up now, but it's not really noticeable in this fabric.  Also I tried sewing the top and bottom buttonholes before attaching them to the fronts, but this still didn't work and I ended up making buttonholes on the machine.

Here is how I made my buttonholes.  Straight stich up both sides of button holes.  Zig zag up both side of button holes. Go back and forward a few times with a straight stitch at the top and bottom.  It needs very accurate sewing but is better than the foot sticking and creating a nest.   Next time I might try the embroidery machine.

The merino is lovely and warm and I've worn it almost constantly since making it.   I love the cardigan, shame about my machines messing it up.  I will definitely be making more of these.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Itch to stitch Lisbon and Style Arc Barb pants

I've been doing some Xmas sewing for gifts.  I won't be showing these until they are given to the reciptients though.

Also I've done a couple of quick to sew items.

First up was yet another pair of Style Arc Barb pants.  See top photo, photo bombed by Sandy.  I love how quickly these sew up, about 2 1/2 hours from cutting to wearing.  I hear of people that can whip things up in an hour, not me.  Believe me 2 1/2 hours is fast for me.

Fabric was from the Hospice shop.  I had about 1.5 metres and they cost just $5.

Next was my first Itch to Stitch pattern - the Lisbon cardigan.  I made this out of a blue ponte from Spotlight.  I had a 3 metre by 150cm length and the cardigan used about 1.2 metres.  I made a size 8, however the ponte probably didn't have enough stretch as required by the pattern, so it is just a wee bit tight across the bust.  Next time I should go for a size 10 if using ponte, size 8 will be fine for anything with more stretch.

This one also came together really quickly - about 6 hours from cutting to wearing.  However I must have spent an hour of that time fiddling with the darn overlocker.  I was really happy with how it was turning out, but then I had machine malfunctions - both the overlocker and sewing machine.  The first problem was attaching the bands to the jacket fronts.  I tried to do it with just the overlocker and on both bands it decided to chew the beginning of the bands and refused to move over the seams resulting in the sewing repeatedly over the same part of the band.  At the same time it moved the bands out of alignment with the front of the garment.  They had matched perfectly when pinning.  I ended up having to do a weird tuck at the tops of the bands to get them to align (sort of) with the neck band.

The second problem was the sewing machine.  It just refused to sew the buttonholes at top and bottom, the buttonhole foot would not move over the seams, resulting in an absolute mess.   When doing the top buttonhole it stitched the first side of the buttonhole and stuck at the top.  I had to start again moving the buttonhole to the right and dragging it instead of letting it feed, resulting in an unsightly row of half a buttonhole.  At the bottom the same thing started happening but it just created a big knot.  I ended up moving the buttonhole higher than it should be.  As they are so densely sewn and the needle kept repeating in the same spot they are impossible to rip out without damaging the fabric.   Sadly, what could have been a lovely cardigan is now relegated to being worn around the house.

However if won't put me off, the pattern itself is lovely and my machine issues weren't the patterns fault.  I've already got 3 pieces of fabric earmarked for more Lisbons.

Next time I will sew the top and bottom buttonholes to the bands first.  Then sew the bands to the jacket with the sewing machine, and then overlock the seams.

top buttonhole with weird tuck and that extra line of half a buttonhole

Bottom buttonhole, too high and ugly knot beneath it.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Biker Jacket Burda 1/17 113B, hand sanitiser

I've wanted to make a moto or biker jacket for a while.  I'd intended to use leather from jackets from op-shops, but 3 jackets wasn't enough fabric as lapels, pockets, seams got in the way.  So I decided on a suede version and used buttersuede from Spotlight.

Here is my jacket.

It is lined with blue satin.  I made a size 42, grading to 44 at waist.  I'm very happy with how it turned out - except it is a bit tight across the back shoulders.  If I do it again I should go with a size 44.

The pattern is rated for advanced sewers but the magazine has step by step sewing lesson.  However I found these instructions to be a waste of time.  There are 24 steps and from step 17 onwards it felt like they'd run out of patience in writing the instructions.   The instructions for the lining were vague at best, misleading at worst.   I feel you should to be familiar with making a fully lined jacket before tackling this.

On the embroidery machine has been a hand sanitiser holder.  Made with leather from one of those leather op-shop jackets.