Sunday, March 12, 2017

Islander Shirts

I added two inches to the sleeves of a medium Islander 228 pattern.

The medium shirt fits my body the way I like, but the shoulders are too big.  I have seen reviews that complain about the sizes being big on this pattern, but I am not convinced.  If I made a small, it would be too small.

I sewed this shirt after watching the Craftsy video Sew Better, Sew faster: Shirtmaking.  It included the pattern I printed out and put together like a puzzle.

I followed the pattern and the class, except for using the left-front flipped over for the right-front.  The Islander pattern has the left-front fabric folded twice to make the buttonhole placket, but the right only once, thus the two different front patterns pieces.

I made this shirt in a beige linen and 1/2" buttons I had in my stash.  The linen sewed beautifully with my Kenmore 117-959.  This straight-stitch machine runs quiet and does a beautiful stitch.  Plus it is in a desk, which I realized from watching the video makes it easier to sew due to the flat area for the fabric to rest.

I decided to try this pattern again with small armholes on a medium body.

The results were almost satisfactory.  I made this in a blue Oxford cloth.

I sewed this shirt with my Singer 401 in a desk.  When I first bought this about two years ago it didn't blow my hair back.  But after using it this time, I like it!

Striped shirts coming next.

Thanks for stopping.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Continuing Education

I purchased the Craftsy class "Sew faster, Sew better :shirt making" with Janet Pray.  This class gives some tips, like how to sew without pins, sewing a tower placket, and others, plus it includes a printable man's shirt pattern. I have used some of these tips to make my Simplicity 1493. My next project will be with the Islander shirt included with this class.

I made a size small Simplicity 1493 with two inches added to the sleeves, thinking it would be sized the same as the Simplicity 2741 I made in my last blog.  However, it is a slimmer fit.  This works nicely with the lightweight cotton I used, I would make a medium if I used a heavier material next time.
Admiring my CE 150

Aqua Cotton

Sewing the pocket with a 1/4" seam allowance was one of the class tips, and it worked great.  I also liked using interfacing in the pocket fold.

Another tip is to take one diagonal stitch when sewing the collar points.  This does make a nice point. Don't ask me why.

I made the tower sleeve plackets from the Islander shirt pattern.  They are made in one piece, and one of the simplest methods  I have seen.  A little more practice and I will be able to make nice ones.

I am still using my Singer CE150, I enjoy it a lot. One of the tips is to use a machine with the needle-down stop position to keep your stitches lined up after stopping.

I enjoyed this class a lot.  I took it for the "Sew Better" part, but thoroughly enjoyed it all.  Some previous shirt making skills are needed for this class.

My next blog will be the Islander #228 shirt which was included with this class.

Thanks for stopping

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Snow and Sewing

Time just flew by last week even though I was fighting a terrible cold and had also been snowed in for ten days.

Yes, a freak snow storm dropped 6 inches on Friday, then another 6 inches on Sunday.  We were not able to drive to town until the following Monday.  We had plenty of food and the power was only off for 12 hours, so we did not have it bad.  In fact, I finished this shirt.

I sewed many hours on my blue flannel shirt this week with my Singer CE150 while watching the snow.  I used Simplicity 2741 and added two inches to the arm length.
Simplicity 2741
As mentioned in previous blogs,  I made three different plaid shirts before making this blue one.  The first three were wearable muslins.  I used snuggle flannel for them, but real flannel for this one. Snuggle flannel has the plaid printed on instead of being woven in, thus less expensive.



Yoke on bias

Dixie enjoying snow

I cut the yoke on the bias.  Everything else I lined up.

I have worn this shirt several times.  It is soft and comfortable.

I am planning on a solid blue shirt with Simplicity 1493 for my next project. It is similar to this pattern.

Thanks for stopping.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Plaid Compulsion

The plaid keeps coming.  Maybe I am a little compulsive.  It seems like I get on a kick and keep going.  For example, I worked on jackets for over a year.  I made several with varying degrees of wear worthiness.

I started on the jacket kick because I wanted a lightweight jacket to wear to Gala night on a Cruise.

The plaid kick started because I saw some beautiful plaid flannel at Joann's.  I purchased enough for a shirt, but I have been trying different patterns with Joann's snuggle flannel.  It is so much less expensive than the real stuff.  Once I find the right pattern, I will make a shirt with the real flannel.  I think I might have a winner with Simplicity 2741.
Simplicitiy 2741
The first two shirts were Simplicity 1544 and McCall 6932  I did not like the collar size of Simplicity 1544.  The notched collar of McCall 6932 is nice and casual, but I like a shirt with a collar stand.

I made size small, with no adjustments for length.  Usually my 6' 2" self needs a longer shirt. But since this is more like a muslin, I did not make any adjustments.

Snowed in

Yoke on bias

Continuous lap sleeve plackets

Nice length

Pocket on bias

I am surprised by the fit.  The only thing I will adjust is the arm length.  An inch should do it.

I am happy with sewing the yoke and the pocket on the bias.  Looks good and is easy not trying to line up plaids.

Also, this shirt pattern has a continuous lap instead of the tower placket on the sleeves.  I like the way they look.

I used my Singer CE150 for this shirt also.  This machine has a good stitch and power.  As I mentioned in my last blog, the buttonholes are balanced and look nice without any adjustments.

Now it is time to make my blue plaid shirt.

Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

More Plaid in my Future

I have been working with my new sewing machine and the Simplicity 1544 plaid shirt.  As I blogged about last time, I was not happy with the way the shirt was looking.

Actually, the shirt turned out OK, except for the collar.  I think the collar is too small.   I was originally making this shirt for Joe, but I didn't feel it was nice enough, so I have been wearing it around the house.  It is soft and comfortable and fits me perfectly even though it is a size 40 with no adjustments.

My new Singer Future CE 150 did a great job on the buttonholes. I used the default settings, which is rare with an automatic buttonhole.  Usually at least the stitch length has to be adjusted.

I purchased this machine because it was a great price and I wanted to try it since I didn't have a Singer embroidery  machine.

The embroidery by this machine is beautiful.  I think it is better than my Janome and my Brother.

However, I wouldn't recommend this machine because it needs a computer operating Windows 7 with 32 bit processor.  Most machines the last few years have Windows 10 with a 64 bit processor.  I suppose Singer was liquidating these machines because they were outdated.

I decided to try a different patterrn using McCall 6932.  I had just enough material to make a short sleeve shirt.

I like the 6932.  It is casual with a notched collar.

I am now on a plaid kick.  Another plaid shirt is being made with Simplicity 2741.

Thanks for stopping.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sewing Regress

The 70s jacket is on hold for a while.  I need to rip out and put in a larger collar.  My excitement fizzled.  So I decided to move on to another project.

I am making a plaid flannel shirt for Joe with some snuggle flannel.  I am thinking this will be nice to wear around the house since it is so soft.

I am using Simplicity 1544 in size 40.  When I first used this pattern last year, there weren't any reviews on  Now there are several glowing reviews.

I had a regress with my shirt making.  The tower sleeve plackets turned out square, not pointed, even with the help of this Video by Pam Howard.  Also, the plaids aren't lining up like they should.  I guess it being a year since I have made a shirt, this is normal.

Cuff and placket

Yoke plaid off a little

Front looks good
The only things left are the collar and buttons. It will be interesting to see the outcome.

I am using my Singer Confidence 7470 on this project.  It is fun to use vintage and newer machines to compare humms, stitches, and ease of use.  This machine whirs instead of making the standard clack-clack like my older machines.

I am serging the seams with my brother 534

The finished shirt and a new sewing machine will be in my next blog.

Thanks for stopping.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It runs!

When buying a vintage sewing machine in person, I can check how it runs.  That doesn't mean it sews, but I can usually tell.  I check to see if the feed dogs move, if the bobbin spins, and if the machine responds to different settings.

Buying a machine over the internet is entirely different. The seller assures you it runs.  However, recently I bought two Singers from Goodwill online that ran, but that was it.

The first is a Touchtronic 2001.  It was $7.99 plus $15.00 shipping.  I have a Touchtronic 2000 and haven't been able to find a 2001 locally, so I took a chance.

Touchtronic 2001

Once I received it, I was relieved all the electronics worked fine, but it was out of time and would not sew. When taking the bottom off, I found plastic gear pieces falling out.

I never replaced gears in a sewing machine, but after searching the internet I found a set for $10.  It took a little tinkering to get it sewing, but in the end, I feel it is worth it.

The second is a Diana 560.  It was $7.99 and $13 shipping.
Diana 560

The same thing happened. It was out of time and the gears were crumbling.  I searched the I internet for some gears and got it sewing again.
Old gears

New gears
The 2001 is 38 and the Diana is 40 years young.  It is hard to believe 1976 was 40 years ago!  So I don't fault the machines, I am just happy gears are readily available.

Original TV commercial from 1978:

Just a short blog to remind myself and others a vintage machine might need some repairs besides cleaning and oiling.  Just because it runs, doesn't mean it sews.

Thanks for stopping.