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Topics - JudyN

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Fun with Fabric / Fabric for PJs
« on: December 27, 2020, 20:11:02 PM »
Shock horror, after watching Celebrity Sewing Bee, my hubby fancies having a go at making his own PJ bottoms  :o I'm not sure how to find the right fabric though, as we'd rather buy online. He has a pair of Next bottoms he likes - they're thin woven 100% cotton, but soft, not crisp and shiny. They need to be light, so nothing that could be described as 'cosy'.

Does anyone know if there's a specific term I could use to hunt down suitable fabric please? Of course, if you know of a specific fabric you think might be what I'm after, that would be even better!

The Haberdashery / Tracing paper
« on: September 13, 2020, 19:49:23 PM »
After fighting with my second muslin for Jalie Eleonores and discovering along the way that I have a full, low-slung bum and I need to let them out further than the sea allowances would allow, I'd like to trace the pattern onto paper and do a 'proper' adjustment rather than my usual 'guess and bodge it' approach. I've never done this before so I don't know if some tracing paper is better than others, and whether to go for one with dots or lines. Any recommendations please?

The Haberdashery / Scissor recommendations please
« on: August 03, 2020, 13:56:42 PM »
I'm not sure my dressmaking scissors are as sharp as they could be - the brand is Silky, and they're 37 years old (eeek! How is that even possible??). Recommendations for a new pair please? They're for general cutting out, but I wonder if it woul be helpful to have a smaller pair too for snipping round notches?

Sewing Machines / Loosely wound bobbin and needle threader
« on: August 02, 2020, 10:16:05 AM »
I wound a bobbin on my Juki this morning, but it wound loosely, and some of the thread ended up wrapped round the spool rather than the bobbin (which I wound back on by hand). I'm not sure what I did wrong, but my question is, will a loosely wound bobbin work, or should I rewind it?

Also, does anyone else find automatic needle threaders temperamental? It doesn't want to play this morning, despite me fiddling with needle height, foot up and foot down. I'm wondering now if I just wasn't pushing the lever down firmly enough, but are there any other problems worth considering?

Patterns Discussion / Jalie Eleonore - fitting advice
« on: June 25, 2020, 16:02:28 PM »
I've just purchased Jalie 3461 (Eleonore pull-on jeans). I was hoping to fins some advice in the pattern or online for adjustment but can't see any, so have a few questions:

My hips are 36" but because I bloat (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it) and I have a very sensitive waist so want the jeans to be really loose there (I'll put belt loops on and use a belt so they don't fall down), I measured my waist when I was very relaxed and it was 32" - which is a difference of 5 pattern sizes :scream: I'm also short and small bones and do want them to be fitting (apart from the waist) so the size that corresponds to my waist measurement would look awful. The question is, what pattern lines do I cut on? Do I cut on the size 34, which corresponds to my hip measurement, up as far as the hips and then just try to cut a smooth line going up to the size 40 cutting line (which might get fiddly with the yoke pattern pieces)? Or do I cut on the larger line all round and then aim to take them in considerably? At least if I cut to the larger size I can trim it later...

Then there's rise - I'm short waisted and high waistbands end up arguing with my bra underwires so I'll almost certainly want to reduce that. What's the easiest way? I'm thinking I could measure the rise on some jeans I've already got to get an idea, but not sure how to transfer this to the paper pattern.

And leg length - I imagine I can worry about that after cutting out, but is there a specific place where I should alter the paper pattern rather than just cutting a few inches off the bottom?

I know I'm asking a lot, so please feel free to point me at any online resources you think would help. If I can crack this and end up with a pattern that fits reliably, my life will be complete  :D

Sewing Machines / My mum's sewing machine has died...
« on: May 30, 2020, 19:59:38 PM »
My mum's sewing machine is another casualty of Covid-19 - it expired while she was making facemasks. She doesn't think it's worth trying to fix it as parts of it are already held together with Sellotape. I was wondering if anyone had recommendations for a replacement, please?

She doesn't want 'fancy stitches' - really just wants straight stitch, reverse & zig zag, though I've told her that she probably won't find one of decent quality that doesn't have a few bells & whistles. She'd want to buy mail order as she's in her 80s and probably best avoiding shops even when they do reopen. Ideally she'd order one from John Lewis though they only have two in stock for under £300 - I don't think she'd want to pay more.

I don't suppose anyone has any experience of John Lewis own-brand machines such as this one?

Any other suggestions would be welcome too - if I know a specific model I can hunt round for reliable places to order it from.

Thank you :D

I've not done any sewing for ages, thanks to my OH working from home and taking over my sewing table. And at this time of year, the garden tempts me more.

The Haberdashery / Elastic for face masks
« on: April 12, 2020, 14:28:36 PM »
Just a quickie - someone on a community group has asked if anyone has spare elastic for making face masks. I have plenty of 1" wide elastic, but no thin elastic. Can wide elastic be cut into strips that would work, or would they fray?

Technical Help / Taking in jeans jegs
« on: April 03, 2020, 10:17:03 AM »
I have some boyfriend jeans that are comfy on the waist, but I'd like to narrow the legs. Is it best to take in the inseam, the outside seam, or a bit of both depending on how they seem to line up with a pair of jeans with a fit I like? I've seen all three approaches suggested online.

Patterns Discussion / Am I mad to want to attempt jeans?
« on: March 29, 2020, 19:08:49 PM »
Some may remember me posting a while back about my sensory issues causing problems with waistbands. Long story short, for me to be comfortable when relaxing, I need to waistband to be loose enough that my trousers fall off when I stand up. Elasticated waistbands aren't the answer, because they only stay up because they are putting slight pressure on my tummy. Dresses would be the answer if it wasn't for the fact that I don't find tights comfy either!

I've been playing with adapting the clothes I have, but I am the world's worst when it comes to going off piste, and I'm much better at following instructions, so I'm thinking about finding a pattern and making jeans/trousers from scratch. Fitting might be difficult as I'm never sure if I'll be comfy before I've totally slobbed out in them, and I'm also only 5' tall, but I'm thinking that I could compare the pattern pieces with a pair of my more comfortable jeans and let that guide me.

My ideal style would look like skinny jeans/jeggings, with a large waistband that could be pulled in tight with a belt when I'm out and about (OK, I'm not out and about much right now ;) ) and let out when I'm home. A zip would allow me to undo it when slobbing, but pull-up would work as long as there are belt loops, and as long as the waist didn't have to be so loose that it was horribly gathered when pulled in.

Fabric - I have problems with anything but the softest, or crispest fabrics - I have some jeans that make my legs feel as if I'm wearing a cheese grater before long. I'm wondering about denim jersey knit, but don't know if it would work with standard jeans patterns.

This is one of the patterns I've been looking at: Alternatively, jeggings with a drawstring in place of elastic might work, and I'd consider something looser, like this, as long as it didn't look like I was wearing pjs:

Soooo... if you didn't give up reading three paragraphs back - is there any chance that a pretty rubbish sewer could successfully make a pair of jeans, adjusting them for my peculiarities? (My mum says I've no hope - thanks Mum ><) And could anyone suggest any pattern/fabric combos that might work? 

The Haberdashery / Pins... and pincushions
« on: February 14, 2020, 19:55:31 PM »
I need new pins... most of mine have been pilfered from shirt packaging over the years and are tarnished & blunt. And a pincushion... but there's so much blinking choice nowadays I struggle to choose!

So, what are your favourite general purpose/dressmaking pins? Is there much to choose between them? And do you prefer a wrist pincushion, or a freestanding one, or just a box? Or maybe a magnetic one?

Technical Help / Buttonholes!
« on: January 27, 2020, 17:47:59 PM »
I've had my first go at making a buttonhole on my Juki. The instructions weren't that detailed so I followed them in combination with this video: The machine's not identical, but is close enough.

The problem is that the machine isn't moving the fabric as it stitches, so I just end up with a big snarl-up in one place. I've had a few goes, but nothing seems to work. If I take the buttonhole foot off and replace the standard foot, it works just fine (on a straight stitch, not buttonhole setting).

Could anyone make an educated guess about what I'm doing wrong, please?

Technical Help / Another newbie question...
« on: January 23, 2020, 14:42:42 PM »
I've removed the waistband from a pair of jeggings and an reattaching it lower down. I played eeney meeney miney mo with the stitch selection (though I dare say straight stitch would have been fine) and thought I'd try stretch overlock. It seemed fine, apart from the fact that the edge of the fabric had to go right through the centre of the foot so the fabric wasn't held in position that well. And when I stopped, lifted the foot, realigned the fabric very slightly, and continued, the stitching jumped to the side.... like this:

This isn't from me moving the fabric, as I was just shifting the top layer to stop it curling up. It's as if the needle 'forgot' its position so jumped in the wrong direction.

Is this to be expected? Surely it's normal to need to raise the foot to realign things occasionally and it shouldn't disrupt the stitch?

Sewing Machines / Juki stitch selection
« on: January 12, 2020, 11:56:17 AM »
Finally, I've had a chance to play with the Juki I bought last week :D Naturally it took a crazy amount of time just to work out how to wind the bobbin and thread the machine, particularly the automatic needle threader (had to resort to YouTube for the last one)  :| But I got there!

I've had a play with a few of the stitches, and one has me stumped. On the machine it looks like a solid scalloped edge (stitch 'I' here, though this is a different model: ), but regardless of what I set stitch length or width to, I just get a running stitch. I'm assuming stitch styles are similar across machines, so can anyone please tell me where I'm going wrong?

Oh, that's just reminded me - when I was investigating sewing machines I came across something that implied that there was a difference between straight stitch and running stitch. Is there a difference, and if so, what?

Tech Know How / Go to first unread post
« on: December 13, 2019, 13:12:15 PM »
Is there a way of going to the first unread post in a thread? I've worked out how to go to the latest post in a thread, but then I have to go back up - and possibly to the previous page - to find all the posts made since the last one I read.

Sewing Machines / Sewing machine recommendations please
« on: December 11, 2019, 10:28:57 AM »
After advice in another thread, I'm tempted to invest in a new sewing machine. My current one is a 60-year-old Singer 201K and though it does a beautiful straight stitch, that's pretty much it.

I don't do a lot of sewing, but a zig-zag stitch and something to bind raw edges would be really useful. Beyond that... not sure. Because of shoulder pain (fibromyalgia) I can't sew for long so can't see myself needing really fancy stuff... I might never even put in a zip or sew a buttonhole, but I'm sure these come as standard anyway.

Cost is relatively unimportant - what is important is quality - something that reliably does a lovely stitch and avoids all the gnashing of teeth and wailing that I used to get with the cheapie machine I had before getting my mum's old Singer, mainly because the top stitches were so tight the puckered the fabric and the bottom ones threw great big loops....

I'd quite like to get a preloved one because it's better for the environment, but on the other hand a new one might be better as it would come with a guarantee, maybe backup help, etc., and I'd know it hadn't been misused.

Go on, tempt me..... :)

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