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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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Sort-Of Jacket

This project and my last project will be great when it cools a little.  Right now we are having record highs in the mid 70s in California.

I ordered some blizzard-fleece from Joann's at a bargain price.  I thought I would wait to use it, but decided I had a pattern and the time, so no time like the present.

Butterick 5773 is called a jacket, but it is more like a sweater with a zipper.  Can I call it a Swacket?  It is supposed to be very-easy.  Mine took some thought to match up the plaid. Also, I thought flaps on the chest pockets, hand-pockets, and a finished fly-facing would make a better finished product.  I also did my usual lengthening of two inches to the body and the arms.

I like how thick and luxurious this fleece is.  I made some pajamas from other Joann's fleece and the fleece was not this thick.  So this blizzard fleece is the choice for outerwear.  It doesn't ravel, but I serged the seams for a RTW look.

To match up the plaid, I used almost all three yards for a two yard project.

Max supervising the cutting


I like the way it turned out.  It actually was nice to have in the early morning.


I made lined pockets to put my hands in.


View from back.



I folded the zipper-facing and stitched. Then I tacked it in the pocket stitching to the front.  The pattern didn't mention how to finish it, so I did it my way.



I am glad I made this Swacket.  I am sure to use it a a lot.

Thanks for stopping.



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Shirt Mania


I have been a sewing maniac lately.  Shirts flying out of my sewing machine as fast as my fingers can move.  Also, I have been putting some of my machines on Pinterest

I am not sure if it is because the weather has been cold, I have new machines to test, I have nice fabric to use, new patterns, or maybe a combination of all?

Anyway, I purchased some flannel fabric from Joann's at 60% off, plus a 20% off coupon, plus a buy $10 get $5 off coupon.   I used my buttons from Wawak ($2.95 for a gross).  This shirt was very reasonable to make.

I used my new favorite pattern,  Simplicity 1544. I used the size 36, and I lengthened the sleeves two inches.  I also made a rolled-hem, this gives the shirt a more RTW look.  The only gripe I have with this pattern is the length of the collar stand.  This is my second shirt with this pattern and I have had to make the collar stand longer than the pattern makes.

This is a luxuriously-soft flannel. The kind that feels like you have had it for years.  I haven't made a shirt with such a prominent plaid, so matching the pattern was quite a struggle. Even with help from several books on pattern placement for plaids.   The back and yoke line up.  The front to yoke does not.  But still looks good. I used three yards for a two yard pattern, to line things up.

I used my Brother SE270D to make this shirt.   I used my White SewMaster and butonholer for the buttonholes.

I overedged the seams and sewed them down for a flat-fell look.

Brother 523 HomeLock
Brother SE270D

White SewMaster 611








Max helping me get warm.

Maybe my shirt making mania is over.  I am not sure what my next project is.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

My New Favorite Shirt Pattern.

My new favorite shirt pattern is Simplicity 1544. It is a long-sleeve pattern with a separate button placket.  I like shirts with this type of placket because it pops out and makes the shirt look dressy.  I made no adjustments for length, which I usually add 2 inches to most patterns.  This shirt is more casual though, not form fitting, but not too loose.  It looks good tucked or untucked.

I made this shirt with a polyester blend material I had in my stash.  The only change from the pattern I made was short-sleeves.  I don't wear long-sleeves too often.  I started with a 10" sleeve, and once I had the shirt wearable, I cut the sleeves to the length I thought looked good.

This is the second Simplicity pattern I have used that that instructs the burrito method for finishing the yoke.  This is such an easy way and gives a professional look.

I used my Wilson Rotary to make this shirt.  I also used my white buttonholer.  This machine being straight-stitch only makes impeccable stitches.  Plus it is smooth and quiet for being some 70 years old.  The buttonholer made beautiful buttonholes.

Speaking of buttons,  I purchase several colors of buttons from Wawak.com.  A gross of buttons for $2.45 is quite a bargain.


I used a piece of burgundy fabric for the collar stand.


First time I used a pattern with this button-tab on back.  Plus, no darts on the back.


 The right length for tucking-in also.


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