Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer Mystery Project Update

It is hard to believe it is already week six of an eight week project.  Where is Summer going?

San Francisco Stitch Co. has been doing a great job supplying these weekly embroidery designs. They have been stitching out extremely nice.

I have been using my Simplicity SE3 with the regular and the extended hoops to embroider the designs.  This has been my first time using Sew What Pro software to make the larger designs.  This is accomplished by splitting a large design into two separate ones.  With the multi-position hoop,  the machine does one part, then I put the hoop on position two and embroider the second part.  It all comes out perfect.

The software does have a learning curve, but it is so much cheaper than any other I have seen.

Here are weeks one through six:








Looking good so far.  I wonder where we are going next?

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Elastic Dress Pants?

I finished my McCall's 8971 pants rather quickly due to the fact they have an elastic waistband and simple front pockets.  The rear pocket is a welt type with a flap.  I liked this for the practice.  I haven't made many of these.

I might make this pattern again with fleece for lounge pants.  But I am not sure I would make pants to wear in public with this pattern.  Don't get me wrong.  They are comfortable and feel good. In fact, in this 100 degree heat, I wore them to the store and was cool and comfortable.   However, a zipper and a button along with some belt loops makes a pair of slacks in my mind.

The shirt is tucked in to show the detail.  Otherwise, I wear the shirt untucked.





Rear pocket
Rear pocket flap




So, no elastic dress pants for me.  Time for another project.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Zero to Sixty!

Wow!  It is hard to believe it has been over a month since I sewed anything.  And unlike other bloggers who are busy doing other things, I don't have that excuse.  I could hardly get motivated to get out of bed since early May.  But now,  I think I am "Zero to Sixty"!

I say this, because I started the San Francisco Stitch Co.  Summer Mystery Stitch Project.   If you were reading my blog last year, you might remember this is an eight week long embroidery machine project in which you don't know what the end result will be.  It is already week two and I did week one and two yesterday.


The theme is Road Trip.  Being one square is a car and one is a clipper ship, I think it will be a coast to coast trip.   My Simplicity embroidery machine is handling this task.  This should be a fun and interesting project.

I also started a pair of pants yesterday.   I have had this pattern for a while, but I have been waiting for the right material to come along.  I ordered two kinds of material from Fabric.com,  A twill and a linen.  When they arrived, I decided they were much too nice for the simple pair of elastic-waist pants I want to make.  So,  I dove into my stash for some lightweight-polyester I purchased at the thrift store a while ago.


I am using  McCall's GAP pattern  #8971 from 1984.  I want some simple lightweight pants to wear a few places this Summer and I think these will fit the requirement.

Two projects going full speed at once.  Now you see why "Zero to Sixty".

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Summer is here!

Summer is here in California.  It has been in the 80s all week.  But then my photoshoot was delayed because we got two days of rain.  That was great since we are in a terrible drought.  Now it is shorts weather again,  so I'll be wearing my designer shorts.

The Simplicity 1948 pattern fits me great.  I will have to make some pants with this pattern since I like the shorts I have made with it.  I think the slanted front pockets are a nice touch.

This has been a good test for my Singer 7470.  It handled the heavy duty denim easily.  I also used my Singer 6268 to embroider the pocket.  Part of the sewing fun for me is using different machines.  I like the different stitches, the controls, the different sounds, and the hunt for that orphan machine calling my name.

I wanted the designer look of the 70s and 80s.  I think I achieved it.





I took my time with these shorts, especially the top stitching.  I think they turned out nice.

Since I had a little denim material left, I decided my friend Jaime could use a new pair of jeans.

Ready to cut

Ready to sew

Velcro closures

All finished, except for turning right-side out

Jaime is thrilled, but needs a new top

Summer top finished
 I found the patterns for Jaime's jeans here,  And her top here.

I did her outfit with my hand-cranked Bel Air since I wanted real control over the tiny stitches.  This worked out quite well.



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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Summer is getting closer.

The Simplicity 1948 shorts are getting closer to being ready.  I have been doing a lot of topstitching.  My singer 7470 hasn't let me down.  I am surprised at how well it has been handling several layers of denim.  I thought for sure I would have to use one of my vintage machines.

I did use a vintage machine to embellish a back pocket.  I tried my Simplicity and my Brother embroidery machines, but I liked the style of letters poduced by my Singer 6268. This machine was made in the 80s.  I thought it definitely evokes the 80s designer jeans look I wanted.
Jordache 1980s

Calvin Klein 1980s


Singer 6268 with embroidery attachment

Embroidery unit in action

TMS = ThinManSewing designer shorts

Zipper fly
Time to finish the waistband and belt loops.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Summer is coming!

How better to get ready for Summer than making a pair of shorts?

I had some heavy denim in my stash I bought at the thrift store.  I was thinking a pair of jeans, but after measuring the fabric I decided I had only enough to make shorts.

I washed and dried the material twice.  Hopefully that will be enough shrinkage.  I read online some people wash denim up to five times before cutting out the pattern.

I am using Simplicity 1948 in size 36, which is waist 30".  This is a pants pattern, but I have made it before as shorts.   I used lightweight denim.  Hard to believe it has been two years since making these.

Joe's shorts made 2013

My Mod shorts made 2013

So this will be different because I am using heavy denim and top stitching with denim thread.  I bought size 14 needles, which seem to work fine for the sewing, but when I tried top stitching, the machine skipped some stitches.  So I put in a size 16 needle and tried again.  This time the stitching looked good.

This is also a good test for my Singer 7470.  It has been plowing through the denim with no problem. I used three different feet to top stitch the pockets with three stitches to get the stitching straight. The standard foot and two different  blind-stitch feet and a seam guide.

Singer 7470



I do think the pockets came out nice.  I used a french-seam for the pocket bottom for a more finished look.  Plus I couldn't help from using a decorative stitch too.

Front
Pocket Close Up


Pocket Interior
Pocket Inside
The zipper is up next.

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring of 1957

I had some white linen-like  material in my stash that was begging to be turned into a Spring/Summer shirt.  I thought Simplicity 2081 from 1957 would be a match for this material.  This is the second time I used this pattern, it is size small,  but this time I added two inches to the length.

I used my felling foot and my Singer Confidence 7470.  The flat-fell seams take longer to make, but do make a nice finish.   This shirt has a notched collar, so it is more casual looking.

Instead of a rolled-seam hem like I usually make, I made a standard hem.  I think it works well with this shirt since the hem is straight and it has side vents.

This shirt definitely says "Easter", "Spring",  and "Summer" to me.  Lightweight and white.





Made by me label

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