A diary of all my mad projects.

I am glad that you stopped by - welcome to my world. Its a little mad and hectic as I sew, knit, embroider and generally craft my way through life. My newest resolution is to spend more time sewing - less time dreaming about it. I love to read comments so I am looking forward to hearing from you all.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Old dogs and new tricks

Image from http://babylock.com/sergers/cover-stitch/

In my sewing room I have a number of machines, these have been bought over a few years as time, money and skills have warranted.  I added a Babylock Cover seamer to the list a few years ago and love it for the professional finish it provides on knits.  I removed the third needle after making a jeans jacket and until last week never changed a thing except threads and new needles as required.

Greta and her lace T-shirt.
Image from https://www.facebook.com/BerninaTauranga?ref=tn_tnmn
 Last week I had the opportunity to learn new ways of using the coverstitch machine to construct knit garments with a class at the Tauranga Bernina Centre with Robyn and the wonderful Greta. Greta is  at present  living in Cambodia (but visiting her parents in NZ).  She is a font of knowledge about all the wonderful fabrics that you can purchase in Cambodia and it is very tempting to visit just to get some fabric!!!  Under her guidence we learnt to use the chain stitch function and we embellished stretch lace (and so easy it was) then joined it to a knit underlayer and made a T-shirt.

Close up showing the fabric strips chainstitched to lace.

The finished t-shirt which was fully constructed on the Coverstitch Machine.

This was so much fun as well as quick and easy.  The differential feed on the machine means that the knit is easily sewn without pulling, stretching or puckering.  I was hooked - a new trick indeed.  The only thing was to make sure that the chain is not pulled before knotting or locking by sewing over seam otherwise all that hard work is undone literally!

At home I was off searching for some quick and easy project!  The Creative Cate from Style Arc seemed an obvious choice and combined with some odds and ends of knits worked a treat.

Close up of the chainstitch

Here it is in a very delicate silk knit from The Fabric Store which stitched up like a dream with the coverstitch.  I had attempted to sew this last year and tossed it into a corner as it kept disappearing down the needleplate of the sewing machine. 

I am impressed with the way I managed to get the pattern to join at the side seams!!

A final picture of me wearing the top - it is not such a good fabric to wear as it sticks to the body - but I loved the print and think the placement worked well.

 On a roll I moved onto a few remnants from past projects - a silver and black polyester knit that has already proved itself as a wardrobe basic.  But still thinking of passing it on as I am not sure that it is very flattering to my colouring - black is not such a good colour for me.

And finally out of a small left over which is a meaty slinky fabric with metallic geometric patterns.  The photo does not do it justice, the pattern is made out of metallic paints that rest ontop of the knit and almost glow.  I did not have much fabric so had to fold out of the middle to accomodate and recut the back neck line.  The fabric is very stretchy but not enough for me.  I badgered Alison to try it on and it was extremely flattering - although she was so taken with the pattern and had lots of ideas of where she could use it in her bags that I hope it remains as a top for a few outings!!!

 Now that I have learnt to use the chainstitch function I am moving onto the two thread stitch on the overlocker.  There are also a few more T-shirts planned using this method.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reaching for a Dream

I am so excited to finally realise my dream of teaching sewing!!!

In the past few days I have begun my journey as a sewing tutor.  Thanks to the amazing Robyn from the Tauranga Bernina Centre, who offered me the opportunity, I have taught my first two classes on using Burda Style pattern magazines with my draped front coat as the model pattern.

As a sewer I have struggled with accurately measuring myself and that is the beginning part of the lesson.  In my class,  we work through a measurement chart measuring each other and then onto finding the right size in Burda.  This coat or jacket pattern has only three pattern pieces and is a good introduction to the world of decyphering the maze that is a Burda pattern sheet.

Once this is done we then move onto fitting the pattern to the body.  There was much laughter and lots of talk about our bodies (lets concentrate and accentuate the positive) while we did this.  Shoulders seemed to be the area that needed adjustment for most.  The great thing about this pattern is that it is fairly simple and can be made up in both a knit or woven fabric with some stretch.  While we still had a few seams to finish at home the fiddly collar, dart and yoke seams were completed in class.  I am hoping for a show and tell at Bernina Club.

A Big thanks to Peggy, Lynn, Delwyn, Kathy, Debbie, Angela, Heather and Alison for being such awesome, wonderful students and thank you for letting me post some photos of the days.

Marking that dart
Delwyn cutting it one side at a time.

Heather pining and marking

Alison's jacket

Angela in a beautiful viscose Chanel like fabric.

Kathy and her black lace coat (we should have
put her in white to show and tell)

Debbie with a merino like knit 

Friday, September 6, 2013

In love with 35

Foot number 35 is the Bernna Invisible Zip Foot and I am totally in love with it!  Last night I had three large cushions to make for the New Entrants Room.  They need to be able to washed so needed to have a zip or buttons to close.  I have a ifffy history with zips especially invisible ones so was reluctant to begun until I remembered buying this little beauty with my new Bernina.

I attached and programmed the machine and started.  It was a little difficult to get the teeth of the zip into the groove correctly but easy once you know how, the machine walks slowly opening the zip teeth stitching close.  The end result is a perfectly invisible zip in the seam.

Next time I will take the time to tack the zipper tape exactly where I want it as it had a tendency to move inwards.  I am now looking forward to a dress project with an invisible zip - I can't believe I said that!!

The final result...

The cushions were wonderfully received by the children and will make the library corner a popular space.  And I am happy as I used up some stash helping in the sewing room tidy up.