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.

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.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Butterick 3363 update

The front of Butterick 3363 has an artist's rendition of the jacket being sewed with it.  It is hard to tell what it will look like when it is finished.
Butterick 3363

I know it is a 70s pattern, thus having large lapels.  Since I am making it in a light-blue cotton, I am realizing I could wear this to a Prom.  All I would have to do is add a tuxedo shirt.

Original 70s suit on

This pattern has a lot of extra material to "ease in" to the armhole. If I made this again, I would try to adjust the armcap to remove some ease.  I don't want to know how many times I ripped and re-sewed the shoulder seams.

Check out the lapels!

This 70s style is slim fitting.  I  wear a size 36 and with this being a 38 it is still form fitting.

Not lined or hemmed

It is supposed to have a half-lining.  I am thinking about making a full lining.  That is if there is enough room!

I like this jacket pattern.  I am thinking when I am finished with this one, I could make another in  beige and with smaller lapels.  This would be more my style.

Thanks for stopping.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

1970s Butterick Jacket

Butterick 3363 is definitely under way.  The muslin I made from this size 38 jacket pattern fit fine after lengthening the body 1 inch and the arms 2 inches.  It has a slimmer fit than the Butterick 6022 jacket I made.
Buttrick 6022

Buttrick 3363

I purchased this pattern because  I liked the Butterick 6022 jacket I made a few months ago.  It had a good fit, especially in the armscyes, with only the sleeves needing lengthened to fit me.

I decided to use a light-blue cotton material for the jacket and a dark blue polyester as the lining. I bought both  at Walmart for $1 a yard. It will look Groovy!  I think the Bradys would approve.

I am using a premade chest-piece from, even though the directions for this jacket show how to make one.

More on my new jacket project next time.

Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Child's Purse/Messenger Bag

I enjoy using my embroidery machines.  The sound of the machine and the images being produced are relaxing.  I make pillows and towels, but a chance for a different embroidery project excited me.

I found a pattern for a messenger bag.  I decided to make one, even though I wouldn't use it.  Maybe give it away.

I used my older Simplicity SE3 with the multi-position hoop to make the design for the flap.  Since the design is bigger than the hoop, there are three different positions so the hoop can be moved in order to continue.

Once I assembled it, I decided it is more like a child's purse.  Cute, but I am not sure a man or woman would use it.

For now, it is hanging in my sewing room for decoration.

I am glad I did this project.  I like doing different things. However, I am being lured back to making another jacket.  You are probably saying "Ugh!"

I was planning to make some jeans, but a Butterick jacket pattern came my way and I was hooked.  I think it is the perfectionist in me trying to find a jacket pattern I like and that I can sew.
Butterick 3363

I have Kwik Sew 3504 and some denim ready for jeans, but if I can find some material I might be in jacket-land again.

Thanks for stopping.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Same Day

I told myself I was cutting my sewing machine collection.  No more buying sewing machines, except for Berninas.

I found a White 793 on  These always sell for too much and/or cost too much shipping when found online.

I saw the $9.98 starting price and  it was in Sacramento.  Timing couldn't be better.  I was going to Sacramento this week, so if I won the machine I could pick it up.

To my surprise I was the only one to bid on it.  I paid the $9.98 and $5.00 handling.  Still a bargain.

It was in a bad part of town, so I went to the Goodwill, told my name, and the clerk rolled my machine out in a cart.  I quickly put it in my car and came home.

I opened it up today to try it.  I can't believe the warranty card has 9/30/72 as the purchase date.  Forty-four years from first owner to me.

White 793

A beautiful stitch.  I can't wait to try it out on my next project.

Thanks for stopping.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Casual Coat/Jacket

When I think of how many months and how many jackets have passed since I started this jacket project, I am in disbelief.  It seems like I started yesterday.

I wanted a jacket to wear on a cruise in January, so I started in November to get it done.  Not liking that jacket, I made not one, not two, but three more jackets.   Plus innumerable muslins. Each in my mind having better attributes than the prior one.

This one is Simplicity 3708.  I half followed the instructions, and half used techniques I learned from YouTube and Craftsy. I adjusted the armscyes, the length of the arms, and body.  There aren't any shoulder pads or chest piece.   I removed the rear vents because I couldn't get them to look right.  It has a collar stand, so the collar sits more erect. This is actually an unlined coat, but pretty close to what I wanted.

This is a coat I will definitely wear when the temperature cools this fall.

Now I am definitely burned out on making jackets.  I am starting on a messenger bag I am sewing my Bernina 840 Favorit.  More on the bag next time.

Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Three Steps Forward

I actually sold two sewing machines on eBay and gave one to the local thrift store.
I thought I was gaining some room, and working on my SMAD(Sewing Machine Addiction Disorder).
The three steps forward were quickly cut by two steps.  A friend of my mother gave me two machines.  The woman delivered them to the door instead of letting me pick them up.  I assumed they would be portables.
I now have a Singer 15-91 and a White Rotary in cabinets to make room for.  I received them in clean and shiny condition
They both sew great.  Dating them; the Singer is 1955 and the White is 1927.  Mother's and Grandmother's machines?

The Simplicity 3708 jacket is coming together.  I will have more on it next time.

Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Interfacing and Bindings, Oh My!

The Simplicity 3708 is coming along.  I decided to use some gray wool/polyester blend I had in my stash.  This is a medium weight material that is easy to work with.

I found a picture of what I am hoping my jacket will resemble.

While searching for this picture, I learned the button etiquette for three buttons. Starting from the top: Sometimes, Always, Never.

Here is the pattern picture.  A little baggy, and not a good lapel roll.  Hopefully mine looks better.

I had a hard time deciding on interfacing, but I finally used some fusible ultra-weft on the fronts of the jacket.  A trick I learned for making a good lapel roll is to have two pieces of interfacing.  One for the body and one for the lapel, so there is a slit between the two.  This makes a "hinge". Also a slit in the interfacing so the dart will be flat.
Fusible interfacing and bias binding 

 Then I used a sew-in interfacing on the facings to get some experience with it.  I also have a seam at the roll line here.

Sew in interfacing and bias binding center back

The pockets didn't call for lining, but I lined them with a light gray polyester lining.  I didn't interface the pockets because I felt they were firm enough.
Fronts with princess seams and pockets

Back and facings

I was going to flat-fell the center back seam. But the fabric was a little thick making it bulky.  So I used some turquoise bias binding on one edge and folded over the other.  I used gray bias binding on the other seams to give a finished look to the inside.

This jacket has two rear vents.  I watched a couple of videos to see how to make them look best.  In my next update, I should have vents and some assembly finished.

This is still a learning process for me.  However.  a jacket should be coming to life soon.

I also machine embroidered a new kitchen towel this week.

Thanks for stopping.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sewing another Jacket

I was going to make the Butterick 6022 again with some changes.  Like princess seams and sleeve vents.   After drafting some changes and getting ready to make a muslin, I found Simplicity 3708 online.

This is the jacket pattern I have been looking for.  It is unlined, has princess seams, and sleeve vents.  It is more like a coat than a jacket.

I bypassed it once, thinking it was a hooded jacket.  But on second look, I saw both models were wearing hooded sweatshirts underneath.  Quite strange when one would think the detail of the collar and lapel should be shown.

I like that it says "Easy to Sew".

After measuring the shoulders, I decided size medium would work for me. However, I made a muslin and it was baggy around the arm holes and other areas.  Just like the model!

All pattern markings on muslin helps fitting.

I tried adjusting it, but trashed it and made a size small muslin with medium shoulder width. 

A major fitting point with jackets is the shoulder and armhole area.  The seam of the armscye should mimic the attachment of your arm to your body.  The bottom of the sleeve should sit as tight to your armpit as possible, without restricting movement.  If great attention is not given to this area, large wrinkles will appear. 

As seen in the first muslin, the armhole was too big for me.  I added an inch of fabric under the arm for a better fit.  I also adjusted it as shown.

   I  lengthened the body one inch and the arms two inches.

Here is the muslin with my adjustments.  It is a three button jacket which I have pinned shut and shoved in shoulder pads.  

I think I made a good decision trying this pattern and not redesigning the other.  I'll call it a learning experience either way.

Now to decide what fabric to use.

Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Getting Closer to a Wearable Jacket!

I have been working on jackets since December.  I haven't made one work until Butterick 6022 from 1988.  Even though it is very simple, it fits me.  This pattern is size small, I lengthened the sleeves, but not the body.

Should I look for more Eighties patterns?  I think this was a fluke, so probably not.  Since this era of pattern is noted for being over-sized.

I used a cotton twill fabric I bought online from Fashion Fabrics Club.  A little prone to wrinkles, but looks nice.

 I made lined pockets, flat fell seams, and added interfacing to the cuffs.  There was a choice to use shoulder pads, but I think it looks better without.  Also, this jacket has no chest padding.

 Even though this pattern has "very easy" on it, I am happy I have had experience with jackets, since they are not easy.  This did go together in a week, so rather quick for a jacket.

I sewed this with my Wilson Rotary Sewing Machine (made by White).  This showed me again how great, vintage straight-stitch machines handle any job.

Here I am in a total made by me outfit.

I think this is definitely wearable.  A little adjustment to the facing to prevent the front from curving in and a little material taken out of arms would perfect this pattern for me.

I have not decided what my next project will be, but it might be another jacket,  with a lining and a chest piece.  I will be sure to share some of the techniques I have learned.

Thanks for stopping.