Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Time for a New Coat

I have been reading Peter's and David's blogs about the coats they made.  I think they are truly exquisite.

I am going to make a coat for myself.  However, not as complex as the coats they made.  Since my winter coat has been taking care of me for 29 years, and I think there are 29 years more left in it,  I thought I would try to make a similar coat.  Yes, you read correctly.  My trusty winter coat has been my companion since high school.
My Winter Coat 

I found Vogue 8842.  It is actually for more of a rain coat.  It can be made with or without a hood.

Vogue 8842
I am going to make the version without the hood, substitute welt pockets for the boxy pockets, cuffs, use a wool/polyester-blend outer, and a polyester lining.

I know, quite a departure for me, not following the pattern exactly.  However,  I read two reviews of this coat, both were favorable.  The one did some tweaking, a lot more than I want to do and ended up with a beautiful coat.  See cameraman-jacket . Since I have my old friend as inspiration and a model, I think I will be able to do it.

I ordered some closeout fabric and lining from fabric.com at a great price.  When I go to Joann's this week, I'll see if I can find the 30" separating zipper necessary.

Lining and Fabric
That is it for now.

Thanks for stopping.  

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pillows for my Nephews

To continue from my last post, I am making pillows for my nephews from a bed sheet. These will be Christmas gifts. Since the nephews are two and five, I don't think I have to worry about them reading my blog to find out what their Christmas present from me is.

This turned out to be a fun project.  I surfed the net for free embroidery designs I thought my nephews would like.  Then I embroidered them on a square of fabric with my Janome MC200E machine.

 I also used my Singer 6268 to embroider some simpler designs on squares.   I had to plug in the memory cartridge on top of the machine and place a plastic layover on the buttons to show the designs.  Then attach the embroidery unit to it.  Took me back to the eighties, it reminded me of using a Commodore 64 or Vic 20. (I still have both in my closet)

The front turned out to be a miniature quilt.  I sewed the nine squares together, then I sewed on the batting.  I used 1/2" batting for a firmer feel.  This gave me great regard for the Quilters out there.  Maneuvering this little "quilt" while sewing was a lot of material to handle.  I can't imagine sewing a full size quilt.

For the second pillow, I attached a walking-foot to my Brother XL2600I. This made the fabric and batting feed smoother.

One thing that really helped on this project was a cutting wheel and mat.  My niece gave me all her sewing supplies since she decided she is not going to sew anymore.  Nice gift!  It included the cutting supplies and a Singer sewing machine.

The back has an opening to insert the pillow, this way the pillow can easily be removed for washing the case. This is where my Singer decided to show its writing skill after I plugged in a different memory cartridge.

I think the pillows are cute.  I hope my nephews enjoy them.

My next project should show how my sewing skills are progressing.  I am waiting on the fabric I ordered. Yes, I actually ordered fabric instead of using whatever I found at the thrift-store.

Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thin Man Embroidery?

After making the appliqué shirts for my nephew and his friend, I became interested in appliqué and embroidery.
Flower Shirt
  I started looking at embroidery machines.  An inexpensive one isn't to be found.  So I started keeping my eye out on eBay.  I soon discovered the ones more than a few years old needed special software and maybe even a special computer(windows XP or older) to work.  Even some of the new ones need special software.
I lucked out last month when I spotted a brand new Janome MC200E for only $159 with free shipping. This machine sells for $500 and is still being sold.  The machine was brand-new, it was only missing the power cord.  I quickly did my research and thought I would take a chance since the seller had a high feedback and allowed returns.  I hit buy it now, then bought a power cord from another vendor for $5 with free shipping.  They both showed up two days later.  I indeed received a brand-new embroidery machine with all the accessories(except power cord) in the original box.  I plugged it in and all my anxieties quickly faded as it started to embroider.  Plus this machine works with any .JEF file I download onto a USB flashdrive, no software needed.

I tend not to question when something extraordinary like this works out.  I just figure it was meant to be.

Now all I need is more room!

My first real project is a pillow for my Nephew (It is a Christmas present, so don't tell Chase).  He of course loves trains and cars at the age of two.  He also has two Westies.  I think this embroidered quilt like pillow case which  was inspired by a Janome quilt pillow project will be cute.   It is from Janome Sew for Home.  This site has great projects for both sewing and embroidery.

Here is the project I am following, except for a regular sized pillow and of course, embroidery.
EZ Nine Patch Pillow.

Here are some of my finished squares.  I haven't decided how many more I will make.  I think all squares embroidered would be too busy.

MC200E Embroidered Squares
 Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bernina 731 and a New Flannel Shirt

I didn't realize it had been so long since I last blogged. It is not that I have been busy, it is that I haven't done anything I thought was blog worthy.

I did get a Bernina 731. This is the same as the famous 730, except it has 4 fancy stitches instead of 8. Once I became familiar with the controls, I found it not only easy to operate, but quiet and smooth. Now I see why sewists love their Berninas.

Of course I needed to use my Bernina for a project to see how it would perform. I chose my old reliable Simplicity 7330 shirt pattern for this task. A long-sleeve flannel shirt for Joe seemed perfect since I had some material in my stash.

I have been reading David Coffin's Shirtmaking book. So I implemented some of his techniques. The rolled seam foot makes a perfect hem on the shirt. I will say I tried this hem before with no luck. It wasn't so much me as the rolled hem foot supplied with every sewing machine except my Bernina. The Bernina made a 1/4" hem as compared to an 1/8" hem. In other words, unless you are putting a rolled hem on really light material, it won't do it with the standard rolled hem foot. Bernina got this right when no one else has.

I also used the flat-fell foot to finish the seams. However, I made beautiful French Seams because I did not fold the material properly on the second pass.. Maybe next time.

I am not sure of making the button holes with the Bernina. For those of you who don't know about older Berninas, they do have a built in manual-buttonholer. However, it is several steps and the sewist is responsible for making the proper length. I thought to be on the safe side, I used my Memory Craft 6000 so I would be sure they would come out properly.

One other little extra on this shirt is a label. This came about because when people comment on my clothes and I respond I made them, they are in disbelief. So, a label should remedy that.  This is where yet another machine came into use.  My Singer 6268.  It sews wonderful letters.  My Memory Craft does letters, but I like these better.

Originally, I said I wasn't busy.  I guess now that I think about it, I have been busy oiling and learning how to use my new machines.

Thanks for stopping.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Shirt Embellishment

I decided to buy some $1 Store t-shirts to embellish for my grand-nephew's and his friend's birthday.  My grand-nephew Chase is turning two and he loves trucks.  His friend Abigale is turning three and she is getting a shirt with flowers.  They are having a birthday party next Sunday, so it will be fun to see how they respond to the gifts.

I purchased a New Home Memory Craft 6000 Computreized Sewing Machine at the thrift store a while ago and I thought this would be the perfect project for it.

Tons of buttons to play with!  It came with the manual, all accessories, and the case.  It is quite fun to sew with and try new stitches.

I cut out some felt made for this type of project in the shape of a flower and stitched it to the shirt with a very short stitch-length with a zig-zag stitch.  Then I used the fancy stitches to put butterflies over the flower and some flowers around the sleeves.

I decided to put a truck made out of felt on Chase's shirt  with "TRUCK !" written on it since Chase yells "truck !" anytime he sees one.  The machine wrote the word effortlessly.

This was a fun project.  I decided I might do some embroidery and embellishment in the future.

I hope the kids like them.

Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Back to 1945

I finished my McCall 5863 shirt pattern that was made in 1945.  I used my Singer 404 for the shirt and my Kenmore 1050 for the buttons and buttonholes.  The shirt has flat-fell seams.  Instead of two pleats at the yoke like most shirts, this one has the fabric gathered.  Thanks to my 404's gathering foot, this was a snap. 

I am glad I had my 1959 Simplicity Sewing Book to help me along the way.  The instructions in the pattern were a little brief. 

I thought it would be fun to take my time-machine back to 1945.    

I made it.  Here is my casual look.
A General Store

Think I'll go in

Checking out the building

Less smog to look at in 1945
Going to Church?

Looks like I am on Time


Back to the present time

I like this shirt a lot. I wore it to coffee after my time travels, so I am quite tired right now, time for a rest.

Thanks for stopping.   

Saturday, August 31, 2013

My "Mini Photo-Shoot"

After seeing how many bloggers do some sort of photo-shoot rather than simply taking a picture of their new creation, I decided I should do one.
However, Since I am not much for imagination, I thought I would start out small.  Thus the "Mini Photo-Shoot"
 Also, this is not a new creation, but an old one.  I am wearing a shirt I made for Joe.  I think it looks good on me and he does too.
Joe wearing shirt

Me playing tourist in shirt

Max getting pets with me in shirt
Joe and Max playing tourist
I realize it is unfair to compare a photo-shoot shirt to a posed picture, but I do look good.
As I said, not much for imagination.  So just playing tourist in my home town.

When I finish my 40s shirt I hope to have a bigger "shoot".

Thanks for stopping.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Man's 1945 Sports Shirt Pattern, Part Two

Deciding to make the McCall 5863 pattern from 1945 started me on a learning trail.  I have started down this trail and I haven't cut pattern or fabric yet.

I decided to take the pattern out of the envelope and trace it on tissue paper.  This is a one size pattern.  It has small only. To my surprise, the pattern was already in pieces.  I thought it was cut.  Then with closer examination I surmised this is the way the patterns from this era came.

There is what the instructions call a "margin" on the pattern that you simply cut through when cutting the fabric.  The "margin" is simply the extra paper around the cutting lines.  Since the "margin" is still intact, this must be an uncut pattern.

Another interesting thing is it comes with both a long and short sleeve pattern piece.  Not like today where one sleeve pattern is included and the user cuts it long or short depending on the type of shirt made.

Pattern as it came out of the envelope.

Hopefully I can find a vintage pants pattern so I will have the 40s look when finished.
I am not sure I have enough "hip" for the look.

I have a 1959 Simplicity book with instructions on making a Man's Sports Shirt.  This should help in the process.  Pretty close to the same construction.  The 40s shirt has a bigger and floppier collar.

Thanks for stopping.

Friday, August 23, 2013

McCalls Shirt Pattern from 1945

I purchased a McCall 5863 shirt pattern from 1945.  A little different for me since I haven't used a pattern from earlier than the 70s.  The instructions are brief but seem straight-forward.  I am going to try out my Singer 404 for this soft-blue cotton short-sleeve shirt.  It should look just like the one on the pattern envelope.

I haven't hemmed the lounge pants for Joe because he will get too hot in this weather if he puts them on.  So I will finish those on the first cool day.

A pound of blueberries was on sale for .98 at the local market, so I made muffins today.  I only mention it because I used an All Recipes recipe to make them and they turned out great.  The only thing I did different from the directions is use half the crumbly topping mixture.

The recipe is here.

Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My New Additions

I decided to post pictures of my new machines. 

This is my Kenmore 158.10500.  I bought this one at Goodwill several months ago.  I see examples of these "small 158" machines on Ebay all the time.  However, this model I have not seen.   There is no tension knob like the 1030 and the 1040. It has a thumb wheel and the thread slips between two discs under the top.  A small, but heavy-duty machine from the mid 70s with a plastic clam-shell case and all accessories.

My next machine recently acquired is a Singer 404.  It has a wooden case covered in vinyl.  This is a straight-stitch machine built in 1959.  This machine is gear driven and quite a looker and sewer.  The attachments and owner's manual were included.

The next machine is a Free-Westingouse 52F.  It was made around 1950 by the Standard Sewing Machine Company, but badged for Free-Westinghouse.  I have wanted a vibrating-shuttle machine to play with.
This one is 3/4 size and comes in a wooden case covered in blue vinyl.
I am thrilled to have another Free-Westinghouse.  I might have to name this one since it is related to Alice.

Look at the unusual friction drive.

It also has this strange spring drive bobbin winder.  The spring is attached when wanting to wind the bobbin.

My last find I purchased yesterday is a Necchi model BU.  This was also a thrift store find.  I wasn't going to buy any more machines for a while, but this was too interesting to pass.  I did pass on a Singer Touch and Throw and a newer Necchi made in Taiwan.  This one was built between 48 and 50 in Italy.  It has a bent-wood case, the attachments, and the manual.  What a heavy machine!  I am afraid to weigh it, it might break the scale.  It is one of the first zig-zaggers in the US.  I cannot believe how smooth this machine is.  When reading reviews online, all I can find are reviews of high praise. 

Enough of new machines.  Now I just need to decide what machine to use with my next project.

My next blog will be the finish of Joe's lounge pants.

Thanks for stopping.