Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Best Christmas Gift or a Tied Fleece Blanket

Yesterday, I worked at Fabricville and it was one of those "oh my gosh, fleece is half price " days. Needless to say ,it was very busy. Just about everyone in our area,for quite a few years now, have been making these wonderful, cozy and much loved blankets.

Here, I'll let you have a look at the end result and then, if you're interested, you can follow my step-by-step instructions on how to make one or two, or 55 (that's how many I've made so far).I've never given one to anyone who didn't absolutely love it!


Step 1....You'll need two pieces of coordinating fleece , a pair of sharp scissors, and a few straight pins.

For a baby, I use one meter of each; for a child ,1.5 meters ,for an average height person, 2 meters ,and for a tall person 2.25 meters.

Step 2... You can fringe this blanket either on all four sides or on only three sides ,which is the way I prefer.

...For the four side fringe,lay the two pieces of fleece wrong sides together on a large surface. Some people will use the floor, but since I'm 60 years old ,I prefer to use my Queen size bed.Be sure that both pieces are selvage to selvage.

..... For a three sided fringe, you'll need to lay your fleece with the right sides together.Pin the two layers together at the top . Go to the sewing machine and zigzag starting 4"from thebeginning and ending 4" before the end.Turn to the right side and lay on your cutting surface.

Now you'll want to trim your fleece so that the top and bottom layers are the same size.

Step 3...At each corner, cut off a 4 inch square.Your fleece will now look like this: (for the 3-side fringe only cut two squares on the two bottom corners which is what I'm showing you here) :

Step 4...Cut a fringe that is a scant 1"wide by 4" long. (remember the 4"square you cut out at the corners ) all around the blanket like this:

You'll have an easier time to tie if your fringe is not too wide.

Step 5... Place pins at intervals on each side :

Step 6... Fold carefully so as not to disturb the fringe too much:

Step 6...Pour a cup of tea (or coffee ).Turn on the TV or the music. Sit in your favorite chair, relax, and start tying.Be sure to tie in knots so your blanket doesn't come apart. . Try to tie the bottom to the top fringe so the bottom shows. Remember to check occasionally to be sure you are tying the top and bottom fringe in the correct order.

It takes me about an hour and a half from beginning to finish of this project. It will take longer for the novice ,but with practice ,you too can make this wonderful gift in very little time . Here are two others that my husband and I each use all the time:

Have fun and enjoy your "blanky".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Buttrerick 5131 by Ghetta B or "My Funny Looking Dress"

So this is what I sewed last week after my daughter went back to Ottawa.

It was a UFO (UnFinished Object). It was also meant to be a transition piece but I couldn't find big brown or green buttons that matched the browns and greens in the fabric so I had to use these big white ones that I actually found at Frenchy's ,which is a chain of used clothing stores here in New Brunswick (Canada). I feel that the white buttons make it look definitely summery.

How do I feel about the dress?

Well...It's a little looser than I expected it to be. I cut out a size 12 with an extra inch of fit insurance at the side seams but didn't need it so had to take it in.

I cut the placket an inch wider because I really wanted to use big buttons ( I love big buttons.).That turned out fine.

I didnt make an FBA ,which I usually do but this rayon/lycra was very stretchy so I kind of knew I could get away without it.

The lenght was just what I wanted. The pattern shows an above the knee lenght on the model.I'm 4'4.5' so I figured it would fall below my knee a little ,and it did.

I think the shorter version of the sleeves might be more suitable for a summer dress . Maybe next spring ,I might decide to take off the cuffs and shorten them.

So,when all is said and done ,I think I would like the dress a little better if my husband, when I asked him to take this photo, hadn't said:

" That's kind of a funny looking dress,isn't it? "

I'll have more photos on my Flickr site tomorrow.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Attention Jeff !! or How to Hem Jeans

My son called me last night and suggested I post a tutorial on how to hem jeans, so this is for your benefit Jeff.

How to Hem Jeans

1. You should use a #16 or denim needle on your sewing machine.There is a sort of gold thread available especially for altering jeans.It may or may not match the thread on your jeans but it will be somewhat close.

You can also use regular polyester thread that matches your jeans .If you decide to use the gold "jeans " thread, do not use it in the bobbin. Your sewing machine wouldn't like that. Just use your poly thread for the bobbin.

2. Decide the lenght you want your jeans to be by measuring the inseam of a pair that is the right lenght.

For these "skinny" jeans, I want my inseam to be 32"

Before you cut anything off the new pair, plan on leaving about 1.25" for your new hem.

4. Add this 1.25" to your desired inseam. In my case, I'll need 33.25".

5. With a tape or ruler ,measure the excess amount ( for me just a little over 1")from the bottom of your jeans.Mark with either chalk or pins.

6. Either draw a line joining the pins and cut along this line or "eye it" as you cut.

7.Fold up the bottom of the leg about .5" and pin.

****Now, you are ready to sew. But before you start, look at the next photo, I'm showing you the direction in which you should insert the thread. Your bobbin thread should come out in a clockwise direction.

Now turn on your sewing machine and......

(A). Sew a line of stitching close to the edge of the .5" seam allowance.

(B). Turn the hem another .75" (6/8") and pin.

(C).If you are using regular polyester thread, sew another seam close to the edge on the wrong side of the jeans. But if you are using the gold "jeans" thread, turn the pant leg to the right side .
Sew the seam along the 5/8" seam guide in this case.

***NOTE:On the throat plate of your machine ,there are usually lines indicating 1/8",3/8," &5/8". Notice that I marked the 5/8 "point with masking tape. This is a good way to be sure to sew a straight seam.

Never start to sew at the side seam or the inseam . Your machine really won't like that.

Repeat with your other leg.

And voila! You did it!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Daughter's Home or Vogue 8379

My daughter came home for the weekend. She lives in Ottawa where she works for the house of Commons on Parliament Hill. This is Tamara and the new addition to our family,VeeJey.It's hard to see him ,but he is a giant black ,lovable cat.

I've been sewing for Tamara for the past week. I finished V8379 which turned out very well we both think.

This dress is a perfect fit. I didn't altar the pattern at all. That's because Tam is young and everything is still where it should be.Oh! How I long for those precious days!!

I sewed this dress in a polyester knit which we bought at Fabricland in Ottawa.. It went together very well. I first serged all the pieces ,then I used a zigzag stitch 1.8 wide and 2.0 long to sew everything together.I interfaced the collar, the cuffs, and the top facings with fusiknit.( I use Fusiknit for practically everything. I just love it.) I didn't interface the bottom facings. I decided to use 1/4'' Steam-a-seam on the facings so they would stay put.That worked very well too.
Would I make this pattern again? I can't wait. Next week,when I'm finished Tamara's sewing, I'm making it for myself. I'll have to make a Full Bust Adjustment as I do on all my patterns cause the girls won't stop growing!

I'm also making this for my dear daughter :

which I've already made for myself. I used a heavy washed linen for both,mine in chocolate brown and Tamara's in red.I washed these linens in hot water and dried them in a hot dryer twice.I admit they did fade out a bit, but it was that ,or wrinkles.I chose what I thought was the lesser of two evils.

This is my finished coat.I'll post more pics on my Flickr site tonight.

This is where I'm at with Tamara's coat, but it fits well so far.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Adding Shoulder Pads to V1060

Since I have narrow, sloped shoulders, and this coat has dolman sleeves ,I had to add light shoulder pads. I always make my own pads, usually out of cotton batting or fleece.This time I used one layer of self fabric and one of fleece.

I started with this as the pattern which I layed on the fold.

I sewed two darts as in this photo:

This is what I ended up with:

Then I sewed another dart as in this picture which also shows a smaller layer of fleece To avoid bulk, I merely cut out the dart shape in the fleece:

....and got this:

I sewed the two layers of the shoulder pad together pulling up on the fabric in front and in the back of the presserfoot. This shapes the pad quite nicely.

If you want to know more, visit my Flickr Photos . you'll find the link at the upper right hand corner of this blog.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

About V1060, S.Betzina's Coat

I thought I should write some comments about what I discovered about this pattern during the construction of my coat.

First of all,when I attended Sandra's workshop on fitting, in Aug. 2006, we got to try on the prototypes of her jean jacket 7610 and her Channel jacket
v8043. Sandra decided the right size for each of us. She told me to make size B for the jean jacket but Iwould need the size C for the Channel but with my narrow and sloping shoulder adjustments,which she had determined I need to make for all patterns.

I have since made the jean jacket in the size B and it really fits well as you can see in the photo below. (I hope it's below.). I haven't made the Channel but have the perfect piece of boucle which I bought from Julie at Timmel Fabrics. ( I miss you Julie.)

Now I come to my new coat V1060.Instead of making a muslin, I decided to take all of the above under consideration.The sizing for size C is bust 36, waist 30.5 and hips 38.5. Since my measurements are 36.5, 29.5, and 37, I thought I'd be fine .I didn't even follow my #1 rule of one extra inch of fitting insurance at the side seam!*?.Don't most patterns have built-in ease?

To come to the point, this coat is small. I should have seen it by looking at especially the front pattern piece. I ended up having to take out four of the six back darts.It's wearable, it would be better if I should lose 5 lbs, but that's not going to happen.

Other than that, it went together very easily and well. Would I make it again? For sure! I'm already eyeing an embroidered boiled wool in purple at Fabricville for the next one.

Another comment about 1060 is that because it has dolman sleeves, and I have narrow sloped shoulders, I had to add light shoulder pads .I thought I'd show how I made my own out of self fabric and fleece. But that's for another time.
Happy Sewing!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Sandra Betzina Coat (Vogue 1060)

As soon as I saw this coat, I knew I had to make it. At Fabricville where I work, we are encouraged to make displays. Each of us has a budget allowance, so the items we sew must stay on display for two months then we can take them home. We must finish our displays within two weeks of taking the fabric, pattern,and notions home. It is a great incentive to sew .
I usually start my project at 9:00 in the morning and I only stop for an hour for lunch. In other words I regard it as a work- day. (except we only get a half hour lunch at the store.) By the way, I only work one day a week at Fabricville so I have lots of time to sew!

I chose a black quilted stretchy faux leather for my coat and it worked out very well,I think.

The inside of the fabric is a fleece.

I used the fleece as a design element.Instead of the facings, I simply turned the seam allowance and top-stitched. Before this, I serged all the pieces using only three needles and black wooly nylon in the upper looper for a nicer finish.I really like the result!

This is me in my Sandra Betzina coat looking at least 10 lbs. heavier than I really am! What's with that?
In any case this will be a great little coat for those cool fall and spring days. If you want to see more pictures, check out my Flickr site.