Thursday, March 26, 2020

Touch and Go

Before the "shelter at home" order,  A fellow student in my quilting class asked me if I worked on machines.  I am guessing she did because I was sewing with my Bel Air Bantam in class.  I told her I liked to oil them.
BelAir Bantam

Anyway, she then told me she had two machines she would give me at the next class.

To my surprise she brought me a portable Singer 771 Touch and Sew.  I don't think this machine was ever used, it was sparkling clean.  However, I had to replace the rubber feed dogs because they had deteriorated due to age.   It is quiet and sews a perfect stitch.  It also does a two-step buttonhole.


Many steps for a two-step buttonhole.

The second machine was a Brother Select-O-Matic 100 in a desk.  This machine needed oiling, a belt, a lightbulb, and a new electrical cord, but still beautiful.  After doing the fixes it needed, I found it to be a great machine.

I am not sure if I will keep the machines or donate them to the Hospice thrift store.

Thanks for stopping.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Blue Bomber Jacket

Sometimes I get in a rut and make the same pattern more than once.  This is the case with McCall 7637.  I made a sand-colored jacket last time.  This time it is a blue jacket.

The reason I made a second jacket is mostly because I bought some blue faux-suede and the lining at Wal-Mart for a total of $6.

I purchased the zippers and ribbing from for $15.

For $21 I have another faux-suede bomber jacket.

I used my Bernina 1120 to sew it.

Here is how I inserted the zippered pocket:

First I ironed interfacing a 1/2" bigger than the opening on the marked pocket opening on the inside of the fabric .

Then I sewed the pocket facing to the front side of the fabric and slit it up the middle with two little tabs, similar to a welt pocket.

Then I pushed the facing through the opening and pressed.

Next I put double-sided tape on the zipper and centered it in the opening face down from the back.

Then with a zipper foot I sewed the zipper in by sewing as close to the opening as I could.

Finally, I sewed the bag to the facing, keeping it free from the garment.

Voila! A zippered pocket.

Dixie and Armani

The pattern calls for a 24" zipper for the front that must be shortened to fit.  I simply used a 22" zipper.

 The pattern also says to slip-stitch the liner to the jacket.  I used my machine as much as possible and only needed to hand stitch 4" of the opening .

Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Suede Bomber Jacket

While looking at the McCalls catalog for a new pattern, I found bomber jacket pattern 7637.  I decided on view B which has a collar, but the zipper pockets from view A.

The first thing I did after buying the pattern was to look for fabric.  I found some sand color faux suede on .  I  found some nice lining material at Wal-Mart in the precut section, 2 yards for $3.

The hard part was finding the rib knit for the waist and cuffs at a reasonable price.  I finally found some on .  And the color matches.

I made a muslin in medium size.  It  actually fit nicely with no alterations.  Usually I have to add to the sleeve length of any garment.  I put in the zipper pockets for practice by watching this video .

The pattern calls for 7 inch pocket zippers, but these were too long,  I enlarged the pocket opening 1 inch to fit.  My hand barely fit in the 6 inch opening, so this worked better.

One tip: Attach zipper with double-sided tape instead of pins.  This way it lays flat when sewing it on.

Maurice modeling muslin

The faux suede sewed like butter on my Bernina 640.  Even stretching the cuffs around the sleeve sewed nicely.

It's a nice lightweight jacket that will be worn when it warms up a little.  Right now it is a high of 42 drgrees.

Thanks for stopping.

Monday, January 6, 2020

A New Year and a New Shirt

Back on Super Friday in November Joann's had a Super Sale on flannel shirting. Of course I couldn't pass on it.  I bought some cranberry and some blue flannel.

I decided on Simplicity 2741 in small with two inches added to the sleeve length.

This pattern has a good fit on me.  Two things are different with this pattern.  The yoke is about half  the size of a traditional yoke.  This makes it a little difficult sewing the burrito method.  I really have to roll the material tightly to get the yoke around it.  The second is the continuous-lap  sleeve placket.  But this is an easy fix, I simply use a tower packet from a different pattern.

I picked the cranberry since I don't have any shirts this color.

 I decided to use my Bernina 910.

The material had a little stretch to it, so I interfaced both pieces of the collar and stand to make sewing easier.

Thanks for stopping.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Reverse Order

Usually when making a new pants pattern, I make a pair of shorts first as a wearable muslin.  This time I reversed the order and made the pants first.

I used McCall 7987 to make a pair of slacks in a 32" waist with 4" added to the inseam.   I used some suiting material I had in my stash.  I am not quite sure of the type, I think a polyester blend.

I usually follow the instructions the first time with a new pattern, so I put patch pockets on the rear with the pants, but I put a double-welt pocket on the shorts.  I watched a video on Youtube to refresh my memory.

Double welt


The front pockets have a piece that connects to the zipper to make a lining.

Inside front
The instructions wanted me to hand stitch the waistband. But I machine stitched it.

I like the way these fit.  This will definitely be the pattern I will use for slacks in the future.

I like going to the local thrift store because I sometimes get a bargain.  This time it is a Singer 560 Diana.  This is an electronic machine from 1975.  It is smooth and quiet.  A bargain at $3.25. It came with a hard case too.

Thanks for stopping.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Retro Camp Shirt

In my last blog I made a camp shirt with quilters cotton.  This shirt inspired me to make another.

I again used McCall 6238 in medium.  But this time I used a quilters cotton that looks to me like a 50s print.  Thus, the retro camp shirt.

I removed 1 3/4" of ease in the sleeve by simply folding the arm pattern.   This made for easier sewing.

I sewed this using my treadle sewing machine.   Flat fell seams turned out fine.  The treadle is quiet and fun to get in the rhythm of hand, eye, and foot coordination

The pictures are taken with me wearing McCall 7987 slacks.  This is a first-attempt with this pattern, so more on these next time.

Fronts and pocket lined up

Inside of shirt looks good

Thanks for stopping.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Groovy Camp Shirt

After watching Peter Lappin's Bluprint class on making a camp shirt, I decided to make one.  If you belong to Bluprint, you can watch it here.  If not, you can watch the introduction.

I call it my groovy camp shirt because I made it out of some quilting cotton that looks like something worn on The Brady Bunch.

I used McCall 6932 in medium for this shirt.  It has a inner yoke, whereas many camp shirt patterns do not.

My only gripe with this pattern is the two inches of ease in the sleeves.  If I make it again I will try to take the ease out.  Peter talked about removing ease in his class.

The instructions varied from the class on the collar, so I followed the instructions.

I serged the seams with my Brother 523.

I sewed it with my Bernina 640.

I used some 5/8" buttons I had in my stash of two jars given to me by a neighbor .

Maurice likes the shirt.

I like the shirt.

I am happy with the way this shirt turned out.  I was able to line up the pocket pattern, but not successful lining up the center fronts.  However, I think the pattern is so busy, it is not distracting.

 I am sure to make another using this pattern.

Thanks for stopping.