Saturday, 30 April 2016

Mr Fox Scarf

Hi there!

I haven't posted in a while but I have been busy. Mainly I've been sewing basics, like another pair of Vogue linen pull on pants but with a tapered leg that I will try to get around to photographing and posting .. not ground breaking territory! But this is. I am doing my first ever crochet project that I will finish and wear. I mucked about with crochet as a kid - my mother was speedy and prolific - but I found it confusing an never went on with it. My mum taught me the stitches but could not teach me to read a pattern because the terms were different to what she was used to and she would get out a magnifying glass, look at the pattern diagrams and photo and freewheel it. I now know that the terms vary from country to country even in English! I am going to stick to the UK ones and try to learn to follow patterns properly but for now I was determined to make the Mr Fox pattern I fell in love with by Bee's Knees Knitting

My beginner efforts are here..


I had help from this book I bought while buying the hook and yarn but even so, for his nose and head I ended up - you guessed it - freewheeling. I am learning more with every stitch, enough to tell you the pattern is good, all variations are due to my beginner efforts. If I started again even now he would look more like the author intended but I am not undoing him.



Yarn- I went to Lincraft and Spotlight looking for the appropriate coloured yarn and found this rust coloured 'Harley BBB' in Lincraft but of course there was no decent black or cream in that brand so I bought Cleckheaton California 8 ply in Black and Butter Cream for the accents. It's beautiful but a slightly looser twist ?twill whatever the term is and harder to undo, but hey I'm getting there.



I'll show you Mr fox when he is finished, draped around my neck. I'm sure he's got dozens of perfectly made cousins around the world but I love him anyway!

Happy creating,
Val.




Monday, 4 April 2016

V9067 Pants


Hey It's Autumn!

Even though the days are still warm the morning air is cool and fresh. In my quest to sew what I need and use good fabric I bought some black pure linen from the Fabric Store and I've run up the wide pants from V9067 Vogue Five Easy Pieces link to pattern.

What about Vogue's beautiful new website? I like it!

I pre washed and ironed the linen and cut out the pants. I'd already adjusted the  pattern posted here   The leg looks very wide on the envelope photo but it is actually a true straight leg and the width is not overwhelming, even on my not very tall body. I added the pockets from View E and used strip of leftover lining material turned to the inside and stitched to make a casing for 1" wide elastic rather than a self waistband. The loose style in linen makes for a good between season garment, already a favourite to dress up or down.

One question though, I might take the pants legs up a bit more, maybe just a centimetre. What do you think? The casual top is another Simplicity Cynthia Rowley top 1366 posted here in a double weave sweatshirt material from Spotlight. Both patterns are earning their keep!








Happy to have cooler weather!
Valerie.

Monday, 28 March 2016

M7254 and sewing pleather


A while ago I saw View C of McCall's 7254 knit jacket done up in a black stable knit with a black pleather border and feeling inspired I bought some beautiful black quilted knit and black pleather from Emma One sock and planned to do the same for my daughter who took one look at the pattern and materials and said 'Can you just make view A from the pleather please?'




M7254


View A and Line Art


The pleather, though soft and supple does not have the give of a knit so I went up a size then ran up a muslin and  modified the fronts to have more coverage. When we had the fronts and the sizing right I set about googling information about sewing pleather/leather.

How to sew with pleather:

Use a leather needle. I did, a Klasse 90. It worked very well.

Don't use pins, use clips on the edges. I bought pink mini binder clips from Office Works. I also bought some wooden pegs from Bunnings and ended up using a combination of both.

Don't use an iron.

Use a teflon or walking foot. I have a walking foot and I put Scotch Tape on the bottom of the foot at the front and the back to make it a bit slipperier. A walking foot feeds the material along from the top while the feed dogs do the same at the bottom. Have I ever told you how much I love my walking foot?

Use glue to keep the seam allowances open, press in place or bang with a rubber mallet. Well, I couldn't find any special leather glues in Lincraft or Spotlight but once again Bunnings Hardware store to the rescue. In the craft section I found 'Boyle' Tacky Glue for Wood, Leather Textiles, Cork and so on. 
I applied the glue in the seam allowances with a small sponge and pressed the seams open with my fingers and had no problem.

Use a longish stitch. I used 3mm stitches fro the seams and 3.4mm for the topstitching.

Lastly, this is my own hint - put a eyelet in each corner of the front and back bodice pieces at the underarms for ventilation, 4cm from the corners before you sew the side and underarm seams.

Pattern notes:  After modifying the front of the pattern to fit I made pattern pieces for 7.5cm wide facings for the neck, back and sides. I assembled the shell, then attached the facings, then assembled the lining shell and attached it to the facing. The lining has a CB ease pleat. I left a 12cm temporary opening in one of the lining side seams so I could pull the sleeves through and do the sleeve hems one at a time. I had already pressed the sleeve lining seam allowances back, and after I I glued the jacket sleeve hems up I put the lining in place and topstitched through all layers. If I had thought it through better I would do the sleeve hem gluing before sewing the sleeves in but I managed. It was a puzzle it out as you go effort!

Result? DD loves it. It's what she envisioned.





The rest of the outfit is Top: Simplicity 1366 Cynthia Rowley in a floral knit from Pitt Trading, Pants:  Style Arc Elle in  'Premium' Cotton/Elastane from Spotlight, surprisingly nice quality. I bought the end of the roll!

So, that's what I've been up to. I hope you all had a good Easter. Hop in and leave a comment!
Val.