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Topics - Jo

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In the wardrobe / Embroidering a shawl collar
« on: September 15, 2017, 15:46:29 PM »
Well...not really a shawl collar, but close enough.
I'd like to embroider something on the lapel (does it count as a lapel?!), but I'm not sure what, how big and what color.
I kind of narrowed it down to this pack. But which one?! Do I do the same one on both lapels? Different ones? Do I do just one of them?
Argh, so many decisions!
What would you do?
My initial idea was to embroider on a corner, but the corners fall at the waistline, and if I wear a belt or something to tie it, it will cover the design.
Or maybe leave the front simple (it is pretty full with all the folds) and embroider something on the back?
What would you do?

Patterns & Fitting / Butterick B6244
« on: September 12, 2017, 10:04:39 AM »
I'm making this topic to track my attempts at making B6244, view A

I found some cheap but very nice looking coat fabric (probably poly). The only problems with it are that it doesn't hold a crease well and that it's rather bulky.
It requires seams to be flat felled, so I've practiced on a few scraps and I'm happy to say I feel confident.
What I did was use some wonder tape (double sticky tape that dissolves when washing) to help me with the folding, and after that it was smooth sailing.
Since it does not have a facing, it requires a narrow hem. Which is fun to do with a bulky fabric that doesn't hold a crease :) So I've used wonder tape some more and made mitered corners, because there was no way I could fold so many layers neatly (and trust me, I gave it a fair shot!).
Today I plan on tracing and cutting the pattern, and maybe do some sewing. We'll see what time I have left.
Wish me luck!

Courses & Classes / Craftsy All You Can Watch Day
« on: September 04, 2017, 08:06:29 AM »
Yup, as the title says: all classes with free access for today :)

Fun with Fabric / Sewing with silk
« on: July 26, 2017, 07:43:25 AM »
So I kinda sorta promised husband a silk pyjama. Didn't really know what I was getting into...but well, too late now :)
Got the silk, some really lovely sandwashed jaquard habotai (light coffee colour). As a side note, the order arrived really fast - 2 weeks - and was delivered at home, no customs office, and the fabric really is awesome!
Question is: how do I cut it? How do I sew it? do I NOT ruin it?
Any tips for sewing with silk?
I see Linda lee has a class on craftsy, but a reviewer mentioned she only talks about Silk dupion wich has a lot more structure and is one of the easier to work with silks. The one I have is oh so slinky!

Patterns & Fitting / Men patterns
« on: July 24, 2017, 08:02:26 AM »
So I want to make my husband a silk pyjama. But before ruining all the good silk, I'm testing in some poplin.
I was a bit too lazy to draft the pattern from scratch, so got one from Burda style instead. Going by their measurement chart, I should have graded up a size, to 58 for the chest. He's very athletic and has 117 around the chest.
Before grading I thought I'd check the pattern measurements tho and decided for size 56 - supposedly for a 112 chest. The pattern actually measures 132 - now that's a lot of ease!
What's more, at the across front, where he measures about 42, the pattern measures 50.
He looks like he's swimming in it!
The silk I've got it a sandwashed silk charmeuse, so very drapey. The poplin is nowhere near that drapey, but not stiff either.
Should I go for this size or should I take out some of that ease at the across front? Does anyone have any experience with men's clothing?

Patterns & Fitting / Fitting issues and how to fix them
« on: July 10, 2017, 07:32:44 AM »
I thought it would be helpful to have a topic for fitting problems, for those of us that stumble into them.
For about a month now I've been struggling with an issue with my bodice sloper: gaping back armhole and a few diagonal wrinkles radiating from the side seam (that I now know are related).
Signs: back armhole gaping and/or diagonal wrinkles radiating from the side seam
Problem: side seam is unbalanced, back lenght is too long.
Here is an image describing the problem, from

Fix: Depending on the fit of the front armhole (too high, too low or good), the solution is to either lower the front armhole, raise the back armhole or split the difference. You can find out the amount by slashing the side seam and brushing the back armhole down until it lies smooth.
This will leave you with a longer side seam in the back. If your waist is straight and there's no extra fabric pooling at the center back (like those of us with sway back get), just connect the new side seam point to the waist point at center back.

If you have a sway back, you can shave the extra lenght both at the side seam and at the center back, raising the waist entirely.

In the wardrobe / Help me make my origami top wearable
« on: June 26, 2017, 07:40:54 AM »
So I've made the origami top for the Japanese challenge. First try on me and I knew why I'd never seen one of these actually worn.
It looked really nice with tucks, except for two problems:
- created WAY too much ease, so it looked two sizes too big from the bustline up.
- even the slightest movement caused the tucks to unfold and the effect was lost.
Best thing I could come up to was to topstitch the darn things in place. Which I did (only basted them and wasn't super careful, that's why some of them don't look so neat). But because scuba is rather thick and doesn't crease all that well, I'm left with little puckers at the end. The darts that incorporate my bust darts are the worst, I'm left with pointy boobies  :\
I don't think there's any way of covering those two, as my bust dart are quite large and if I manipulate them all into just one dart there's always going to be a pucker (or maybe I'm not skilled enough yet).
The only option I see is to cover them somehow. Maybe some ruffles or something? Any ideas?

ps: dress form ended up with bust line a tad lower than my actual bust line, that's why it looks a bit odd.
Original, with tucks:

And topstitched:

Embroidery Machines / Embroidery Software
« on: June 14, 2017, 07:58:10 AM »
I have almost made up my mind to buy the Brother PE Design 10. Mostly because it's quite popular and because the dealer I got my machine from could give me a good price. They also sell Wilcom software (I could only get the lite because...well, super expensive!) and Bernina. Because I'm buying my machine from them, they agreed to give me a good price on any of the software.
So which one would you pick, and why? I know some use Embird, which is quite a lot cheaper. Anyone know how it compares to Pe Design?

The Haberdashery / Embroidery thread
« on: June 10, 2017, 08:15:59 AM »
Looking to buy some embroidery thread. What should I look for?
I've never been a thread purist. I just can't pay 1.85 gbp for 100m of Gutermann sewing thread when I can buy 1000m of Coats Moon for about 0.7 gbp and I can honestly see no difference :)
Found [u=]this[/u] on Amazon. Seems like a good variety of colors and a good price.
My other option would be Madeira thread. About the same price for 60 reels at 400m, but a very weird assortment of colors (for example no white thread!).

Courses & Classes / Transformational Reconstruction with Shingo Sato
« on: June 09, 2017, 08:12:45 AM »
Does anyone know anything about Shingo Sato's transformational reconstruction classes? He does some amazing work and I would like to enroll in his classes at some point. They are quite expensive tho and I don't know anyone who has ever taken them or if they are worth it.

Tech Know How / Chatroom discussion
« on: June 07, 2017, 11:29:35 AM »
Wait. There is a CHAT ROOM?!  :S where have I been? Must check it out asap!
How do I access it tho?

House Beautiful / Baby blanket
« on: June 07, 2017, 10:02:06 AM »
A good friend is due to have her baby at the end of August, and I'd like to make a baby blanket for her new born.
I think I would like to use some fleece for one side (maybe minky?) or maybe faux fur, but I'm not sure what I could use for the other side. I haven't done patchwork before, and I'm not sure I want to (don't want it to be too much work), but I'd like to quilt it (not sure that's even the proper word, what I mean is I'd like to sew both layers together so they don't move independently) and embroider it.
I don't have kids and really don't know what would be useful and what not.
Any advice is very welcome.

Embroidery Machines / Sewing + Embroidery machine
« on: June 04, 2017, 08:22:48 AM »
I am looking at buying a sewing + embroidery machine sometime this year.
Until now I've been looking only at Brother machines, but today have stumbled upon the Janome Atelier 9 and...oh my, be still my beating heart  <3
I was wondering if any of you had Janome machines and what you could tell me about them. It seems to have a lot more features than a brother in a similar price range.
Do Janome machine use snap on feet? Will I be able to use the feet I have for my current Brother machine?
Also, does it have a software for creating your own embroidery designs?

Patterns & Fitting / Making your own patterns
« on: June 02, 2017, 18:14:46 PM »
Does anyone here make their own patterns?
I'm a very small size (sometimes even the smallest size from pattern companies is too big) but with a lot of issues: sway back, rounded shoulders, big bust (well, bigger than the B cup they use) but small torso and waist etc.
I only made 2 garments from Burda Style and they turned out HUGE, with gaping neckline, gaping armholes and a bunch of other fit issues.
I didn't even know where to start, so figured my best shot was to learn flat pattern making. So I did just that.
Will post details, just in case anyone is interested in my journey and what I learned. It's been about one year with a few months frustration break, but I'm finally at a point where I'm (almost) happy.
The first thing I got when I decided I would like to learn about patterns was to buy a book on the matter. So I got Metric pattern cutting for Women by Winifred Aldrich. While it is not a bad book, I find it's not a good book for a beginner. It's mostly instructions with very little explanations, and for me it's crucial to understand WHY I have to do a thing a certain way.
Made the sloper with the instructions from the book but found it's not as easy as I thought. Even tho I used correct measurements,  the sloper was not anywhere near perfect fitting. I did try to do some fitting, but because I had no experience, didn't even know where to start properly.
It was then I decided I need a tutor. There is nowhere here were I can take classes, so I browsed the internet and found Burda Style Academy. I'm going to tell you right now: don't waste your money.
While the instructor explained things reasonably well, you could only ask questions for three months, and the reply was soooo slow. I now recognize the blocks as those from Pattern Making for Fashion Design and will probably give them another try at some point. After making a few muslins and still having some issues - it is a single dart block and I ended with a huge dart, over 10 cm I think - and getting very frustrated in the process, I decided to have a little break.
In the mean time I did sew some skirts that didn't really require a pattern. I did some rookie mistakes but also learned a lot.
This year I discovered Craftsy has frequent sales and I didn't have to pay 70$ for Suzy Furrer's drafting classes, I could get them for 19.99 or less if I had a bit of patience.
So in the end I got all her classes. I love her way of teaching and the way she explains why you have to do things a certain way and when you can decide to do it differently. I have learned the most from her classes and love that she takes the time to answer everyone's questions (albeit sometimes it takes a few days).
I am very near a "perfect" sloper, I just have to bring myself to make a few more changes and sew another muslin. Meanwhile, I'm drafting patterns avoiding the issues I have and they turned out great so far.
I've attached pictures of my latest moulage (basically a sloper with no ease). I still have to lower the back shoulder because my back armhole is gaping a little, transfer the sway back adjustment to the pattern (I only made the adjustment on the muslin) and increase the armhole dart intake a little bit as I find there's a bit of extra fabric there.

I'd love to hear about your experiences or any tips/trick you might have and see the patterns you've drafted.

In the wardrobe / The skirt that will be the death of me
« on: June 02, 2017, 08:20:54 AM »
This is one of the first skirts I ever made. Initially I put a thick waistband with the invisible zipper running through the waistband. Fine craftsmanship I did, but, of course, the zipper kept popping open. And I did find the waistband to be a little too thick anyway.
So I took it out  and replaced it with a thinner waistband. Well, what do you know? Too thin this time.
The fabric is a double layer scuba knit, quite heavy and thick, and really doesn't want to hold a crease. So my seams were really bulky in the waistband and it looked all puffed up and awful!
There I go taking it out again.
This time I used a facing instead of folding over, and used a much thinner fabric for the facing.
Mistake number one: didn't interface it  :angry: so it looks rather home made. But that's ok, it's on the inside, I can live with it  :D.
Mistake two: waist got too big! I don't know how that got there. Probably with all the ripping and handling (or maybe I lost a little weight?!), the waist stretched a little, so now the skirt no longer sits on my waist but a little lower. And the waistband is, of course, gaping  :devil:
Do you guys have any solution besides ripping and sewing a contoured waistband?
I'm soooo fed up with working on this skirt! I even sewed the buttons this time  :'(

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