Friday, September 26, 2014

Shorts for Joe and Wil

As mentioned in my last blog, I purchased an enormous amount of cabernet-red colored material at the thrift-store,  It is soft, comfortable, and the right thickness for shorts and shirts.

I decided to make some "lounge-shorts".  Perfect for wearing around the house.  Comfortable and over-sized.  I used McCall's 6231 pajama pants pattern, but made the legs shorts-length.

I made a pair for Joe first. There is no fly.  I sewed a fake fly seam, so it would be easier to tell front from back.  They turned out so well, I made a pair for me.  Of course  his are medium and mine are small.
Joe's shorts

My shorts
Flat-fell seams

I used my Bernina 817 for Joe's pair.  This is a 3/4 size flatbed Bernina.  I can't believe how smooth and powerful this machine is.  I posted a short video of it on Youtube   I have had this machine since March, but this is the first project with it because it had no case.  Since the motor is mounted on the bottom, I could not simply place it on the table to use.  I lucked out last weekend finding a case for $2 at a yard sale. I don't go to yard sales too often, but this one was on the street where we walk  Max. Max received lots of pets and kisses from the yard sale attendees.

I used a different Bernina for my shorts.  It ran smooth and quiet.  A couple of fix-ups and it would have been  a great machine.  More on this story in a later blog.

I used my Pfaff 1469 to write our names on the shorts so we wouldn't get confused.

My next project is some short-sleeved pajama tops for us with the same McCall's pattern.

I am sure a photo-shoot will be necessary.

Thanks for stopping.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Egyptian Themed Shirt

I made McCalls 6613 with some of the Egyptian themed material I bought at the thrift store.  I think it turned out nice.  I wanted to try a new pattern, but fell into making one I knew.  I made the small size, but lengthened it four inches.  I added two inches to the short-sleeves.  This pattern for some reason has very-short sleeves otherwise.

I usually line up the prints of the pocket and the shirt.  This time I did not.  The print is so busy, I don't think you can tell there is a pocket, without a close look.

I wore this shirt to an Art-Trek this weekend, and many people commented on it.  I felt like part of the art show.  LOL

I wasn't sure what I was going to make next, but while at the thrift store today I found another huge yardage of Cabernet-red material.  It probably has a little polyester in it, not enough to stretch, but it has the feel and a little shine.  This find made me decide to make some boxer shorts.  I don't wear them too much, but Joe likes them.  I think I will make a pair for him and one for me.    Plus, I am sure I will have enough left to make a few shirts.

Interesting Looking Material.  Almost Alligator Print.

Backside Looks Great Also.

Now all I have to decide is what patterns I want to use.

Thanks for stopping.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lycra T-Shirt made with Serger.

I needed  a quick project to satisfy my need to sew and have a usable item in a matter of hours.  A t-shirt for Joe would be the perfect thing.

I used Sew-Knit-N-Stretch #309 for the pattern and some material from my stash.  I have made this pattern before, but it has been two years.  I decided to use my serger after I read I could serge stretch-knits.  I am not sure if this material is lycra. This worked out great.  It made a beautiful edge and a nice t-shirt.

I looked at my old blog pages to see what size I made for Joe last time.   Good thing I have this blog for my sewing-diary.  I actually made him an extra-large and noted how small the pattern runs. Since he usually wears a medium or large depending on the pattern.

After serging, I sewed the edges with a flexi-stitch using my sewing machine to reinforce the seams.  The seams look professional.

  I used a twin needle for the hem.  It gives it a nice touch.

So many things to see



I purchased a huge quantity of material that would be perfect for shirts, lounge wear, and boxer-shorts at the thrift store yesterday.  It has an Egyptian theme.  Pillars, pyramids, and Sphinxs.   Fourteen yards by fifty-eight inches of a light weight broadcloth for $1.50 is the best deal ever.

I wonder if a shirt of this material would go well with my Vogue jacket?  I have many ideas for projects, but the first project will be a McCalls 6613 shirt.

Thanks for stopping.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Unveiling the Vogue 8719 Jacket

This was supposed to be a wearable muslin, but I decided to put the jacket together in normal fashion since it has some new skills needed. Plus, since it was $1.50 thrift store material I am not out anything.  I am happy with the jacket.  There are a couple adjustments I could make when making this again.

It is something new for me to have a form-fitting jacket.  Since in the past I would buy a size 38 tall in order to have the length in the arms and body.  I did not realize how big size 38 was on me until comparing it to this one.  I never have seen a 36 tall, which this jacket is.
Vogue 8719 Jacket and Pants

The bias-tape was a new skill for me.  I made it myself because the instructions said so.  I do not have a bias-tape maker, but I am glad I have a bias-tape foot for my sewing machine. Being an unlined jacket, the bias-tape finishes the seams nicely.

I decided not to line the arms.  The pattern was supposed to have lined arms, but I put one lining in and thought it made the arm look wrinkly no matter what I did.  I was going to bias-tape the arm holes, but after one attempt over three layers of fabric, I gave up and serged them.  They came out looking nice.
I added two inches to the body and the arms.  Next time I will add another inch(total 3) to the arms, the body seems the right length.

A Little Longer Sleeve Next Time
I will have to figure out the wrinkle under the collar when I make this again.
A Wrinkle Under The Collar
Since I had leftover lining/bias material. I used my rolled-hem foot to make a handkerchief.   This only took a few minutes and I think it adds a nice touch.

After my experience with this pattern for both pants and jacket I give it a thumbs up.  I am not a fan of the instructions and illustrations for the jacket, but I was able to construct it with a little help from the internet and my sewing books.  When a pattern fits and can be put together with  minimum adjustments I am impressed. Even with the things I am pointing out, this is still a wearable jacket.

I don't think I am going to make this pattern again for a while.  I think I am ready to change direction now and come back to making Vogue 8719 in the future.  In fact, my new project is already being laid out.  A t-shirt for Joe.

Thanks for stopping.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Vogue 8719 Jacket Venture Continues

I have been sewing everyday.  I am so enthused about this jacket, that I want to get it finished so I can wear it.  Of course, it will have to get a little cooler first.  It is still 100 degrees here in California.

I don't own an unlined jacket, or a jacket with patch-pockets, so I am looking at the internet for examples of what I am making.

The instructions for this jacket are either for a more advanced sewist, or very vague.  I haven't decided which.  First it was the bias-tape instructions.  They were horrible.  I tried, but ended up making bias-tape my own way since Vogue's way only ended with a mess of fabric strips.  When I make this jacket again, I think I will buy bias-tape.  Also, I was supposed to simply sew on the tape with a regular foot.  If I didn't happen to have a bias foot, I would have never been able to do it.

Then I started the lined-patch-pockets.  My first pockets looked horrible.  After watching some good and bad Youtube videos, I was able to make some nice pockets. This was a good video.  Again, very vague instructions by Vogue.


Pocket Lining





Pocket Close-Up
The collar and sleeves are next.  It should be challenging.

Thanks for stopping.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Vogue 8719 Jacket Venture Has Begun

I bought some beautiful wool-blend suit material at the thrift store.  Enough to do the Vogue 8719 jacket.  It is a a pale lavender color.  I am not sure where I would wear it.  Maybe a garden party or other casual affair.  I haven't worn a suit-jacket for many years, so even if it was a blue or gray, I am not sure where I would wear it.  I also purchased some lightweight plaid material for the bias-binding and the arm sleeve lining.  This is an unlined jacket, except for the arms.

This pattern has numerous pieces for the jacket.

My Pfaff 1469 will do the sewing for this project. This is my first and only Pfaff.  It is certainly a fine machine.

I think it is interesting the pattern calls for the sewist to make his own bias-binding.  I was tempted to buy some bias-binding when I was buying the thread, but decided to go strictly by the pattern instructions.  I did vary a little when it came to attaching the binding.  I used a binder foot.  The instructions wanted the binding simply attached like it was no big deal.  Yeah, right!!

Binder foot attached.

Binding attached.

My only question so far is the long dart in the front.  I am not sure at this point how it will look once the garment is finished.

The pants came out like the pattern picture.  So I am fairly hopeful the jacket will also.

Thanks for stopping.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vogue 8719 Pants Summary

I finished the wearable-muslin for my Vogue 8719 pants.  Besides the gaping pocket problem, they went together rather nicely.  There are a couple of things I will change when I make them again.

First will be a different style front pocket.  I don't want to deal with gaping pocket issues again.  Since my fix was to release stress from the pocket seams by removing the darts, I will add the darts back.

Second will be finishing the fly and facing differently.  The pattern did not call for any kind of edge-finish.  I serged the fly which worked fine, but I want a little more refined look.

Third will be to have more fabric overhanging the zipper.  The zipper is covered, but not by much.  I think the fly looks great.  I hope I can make this little tweak without any issues.

Fourth will be to have a snugger fit around the waist.  Adding the darts back will take care of this.

These are small tweaks, and in my mind a good pattern since the overall fit is good.   I am going to move on to the jacket muslin now.

Here is my photo shoot.  I wanted to show these pants are versatile.


Pocket-flaps give a dressy look  





100 degrees!!  Let me out of this jacket!

I would like to thank Max for being patient with me as I did this on his walk.  Also thank you to my photographer, Joe.

My next posts will be about the jacket muslin.

Thanks for stopping.