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Topics - JudyN

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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..... :)

In the wardrobe / Altering stretchy garments
« on: December 10, 2019, 19:28:11 PM »
As mentioned in my intro, I really struggle with tight waistbands - and by tight, I mean 'won't fall down on their own'.

As an example, I have some XL thick tights, pre-stretched by wetting and then drying stretched over a chair - they're comfortable when I'm out and about, but when I'm at home relaxing or working, they feel really uncomfortable. And I'm 5' 0", size 10, and weigh 7.5 stone!

I have a few pairs of leggings, jeggings & tights I'd like to alter. The leggings & jeggings I'm thinking of removing the waistband and creating a new channel (if that's the right term), and threading new elastic through which has ends that can be tied like a drawstring. The tights, I'm wondering if I can simply lower the waistband (as they're so large and I'm short it comes up very high) by taking a horizontal fold of the fabric below the waistband, stitching round, cutting off the excess, and binding the raw edges. If that doesn't work, I can do similar to the leggings.

The problem is, I have a 60-year-old Singer 201K that only does straight stitch, and don't have a zig-zag foot, so not much use for stretchy fabric or finishing edges. I'm wondering whether to try to find a zig-zag foot for it, or whether it's time to treat myself to a new sewing machine. I love my Singer, it used to be my mum's till she 'upgraded', but it does such a beautiful stitch... but it is limiting.

I wonder if I could have your thoughts, please? Would a new machine with zig-zag, something to finish raw edges nicely, and other bells & whistles make my life easier? I don't tend to do a lot of sewing because of shoulder problems, but it would be nice to have the option to do more....

Hi, I'm new... / Hi from Dorset, UK
« on: December 10, 2019, 15:43:44 PM »
Hello all :)

I'm not much of a sewer... I am the proud owner of my mum's 60-year-old electric Singer 201K (she 'upgraded' years ago) and I did go through a phase of making clothes, but badly... I can't even stitch in a straight line :| However... I have sensory sensitivities which mean I can't stand tight waistbands and I have a few stretchy garments (including tights) that I'd like to try altering. But my trusty Singer only does straight stitch and I don't have a zig-zag foot for it so I'm wondering whether to hunt down a zig-zag foot or to take the plunge and buy a new sewing machine.

So that's me - I'll post for advice in the appropriate section later (when I've worked out which the correct section is!) :)

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