Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ordered a Serger - Brother 1034d

I jumped on the bandwagon and ordered the Brother serger from Amazon. I'm suppose to get it Tuesday and will post more as I learn how to use it. I love wearing knits and as much as I like how my sewing machine handles them, I thought a serger would be a wise investment.

I found an inexpensive source for thread at eBay. I haven't done comparison shopping but $5 seems like a good buy to me and they offer free shipping. Even though you can use regular thread on the Brother serger, from what I've read it uses quite a bit and cones would seem a logical choice. I'm going to use basic colors: white, black and a neutral. I can't see matching my thread to the fabric as I would with regular sewing but I'll let you know how that works out.

Pattern Review has a good thread on using your little Brother 1034d. I've also found a good ruffle tutorial at Cole's Corner and Creations. It's at google docs but I simply emailed it to myself. LBG Studio has a few helpful tips as well about gathering and here's a tutorial on doing a rolled hem with your serger.

On a different note, I've finally bought rechargeable batteries for my camera and will take pictures of the quilt and nightgown I've sewn for my grandchildren. Finally! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Decided on Style Arc Patterns for Autumn SG 6PAC

After a lengthy discussion in Stitchers Guild, I decided on using the Style Arc Patterns for my capsule. Thanks to the members of the group who were so helpful with your tips, comments and advice. Appreciate it! (You're the only ones who read this blog - so thank you!)

The jacket mimics my favorite sweater from last winter. I used pins to hold it together when I wanted a different look. I've ordered shawl pins this year:

I've chosen a knit and stretch woven pant. The funnel neck top is another style favorite from last year. My three favorite turtlenecks are actually funnel necks and this pattern looks exactly like the style. The other top is simply because I liked it! 

According to evjc on Stitcher's Guild,

Here's the "formula" for autumn.

  • Jacket or cardigan in a dark neutral.  The jacket/cardigan is the foundational piece in terms of styling and I recommend starting with this.  Boleros do not go with everything, neither do zipped hoodies, neither do tailored blazers.  In essence, the style of the jacket often sets the style of the collection.  Choose wisely.
  • Bottom in the same dark neutral.  I favour trousers for autumn.  This gives you an "outer column" that is easy to co-ordinate.  In a classic style this is a trouser suit, but it can be much more casual depending on fabric choice.
  • Top in same dark neutral.  See how dull?  This makes an "inner column"
  • Jacket/cardigan in alternative colour.  Here it can be a second neutral or an actual colour.
  • Top in this same alternative colour/neutral.  This makes your "accent set"
  • Print top that contains both colours/neutrals.
Now for the color decision! I'm thinking black because I feel good in it and always have.  For the second color, I'm unsure. I think possibly brown and make the print top in an animal print. Seems easy to me and I have no animal prints in my wardrobe yet - every woman needs one, don't you think?

So - black, brown and animal print. Sounds easy enough to me!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

OMG! I can sew a straight seam!

I can't believe it! I'm sewing a self drafted pattern for a dress (nightgown) for my granddaughter out of that fabric she likes so much! When I say self drafted - I mean that I copied the lines of a dress she has that she loves. It took a few tries to get the bodice workable and I hope it fits when made out of actual fabric. We'll see - either way, it's close enough for pajamas which I sincerely hope is all she wears it for! :)

It was quite the task though. Evidently sleeves in children's garments cover up a world of fitting issues. Since this is the first muslin, the fit will be interesting.

I'm sewing on stretch cotton jersey and it is such a nice fabric and I can even sew a straight stitch. I'm using the slant overedge stitch on my Singer Stylist 7258. Of course, this time I tried the seams out first on a scrap of fabric. It is a very nice stitch and I find if I keep my finger in front of the foot that the fabric doesn't ripple. The machine does all the work and it's a nice stretchy seam which is essential for jersey.

I'm impressed but when I get to the neckline and armholes, will be remain impressed? I have to wait until she gets here tonight to perfect the fit before I do those. I'll update you as soon as I do.

Wish I had my camera! Pictures will be coming sometime, I promise!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What is it that makes this capsule work?

Grey, Navy and Purple Professional or Church Wardrobe

I've made a lot of capsule images on Pinterest but this one works. I've researched wardrobe capsules until I'm blue in the face and rarely get it right. No matter where I look with this one, all the pieces seem to fit but I'm not sure exactly why.

I prefer to have a professional image for church but this would work for either work or worship. Perhaps to make it more realistic for daily use, I would add a few pair of slacks and nix the heels. Even the boots I've chosen here are a little high for my comfort. My heel wearing days are over. Flats are at least wearable!

Another unrealistic issue is the price of some of these pieces. It's very easy to window shop and not have to stay in a preset budget but then, isn't that what Pinterest all about?

I've been trying to steer away from black and tan or beige as my colors and I feel good in these as well. The style also is elegant which I like but another area that is unrealistic is related to my health. At times, simply dressing is a difficult achievement, let alone looking this put together.

Most of these silhouettes I can imitate with patterns and fabric. Pamela's Patterns have a good pattern for a pencil skirt if I can choose the kind of fabric that wouldn't bag in the seat. It's something I worry about when choosing knits. The jackets are easy enough to copy and to be honest, the grey sweater I would probably purchase. I like the drape of the grey maxi skirt but I feel it might be hard to get that exact silhouette which I like. Not too much fullness or too little. Just right. Pamela also has a pattern for a bias cut skirt and I wonder if it might be close?

Christine Jonson has a pattern for a top similiar to the white blouse and I know I've seen something similiar somewhere else but at the moment, I'm not sure where that would be! :) The grey blazer looks like a Chanel type jacket.

One thing that might make this work is that I have coordinated the colors of the tops with the purse, shoes and scarves. The trench I feel would go with any of the outfits. No matter the colors I settle on for my aging self - I would like to be able to make those colors work in capsule as well. It's not as easy as you would think!

Friday, July 13, 2012

My First Quilt - in Retrospect or What I Have Learned

1. Always check your stitch length before sewing. It seems elementary, doesn't it? Unfortunately, I didn't and some of my seams appear too tight for the amount of loft in the batting. I could and should have tried the stitch length before sewing the actual quilt.

2. I will not prewash my fabric again. In this case, it was a bad idea. I think my fabric was a lower quality and it might have been better not to prewash it. When pressing, I think I might have pulled it off grain but there is no accounting for the print being crooked on the fabric - that issue, I couldn't have done.

3. Wind a few bobbins before you start and keep ahead of the game. I can wind from the needle with my Viking Platinum Plus but it's just as easy to wind on top of the machine because I have a separate bobbin winding mechanism. When you're in your sewing groove though - it's nice to have prewound bobbins.

4. Number your lines when making continuous bias strips. It's easier to match them for sewing the seam.

5. Mark your seam when doing a whole cloth quilt. Even if you can sew a straight seam, when the fabric is rolled up on your machine, all points of reference disappear. Ask me how I know that! :)

6. When putting the sandwich together - do not ignore the suggestions to anchor the layers somehow before pinning it together. My quilt isn't as tight as I think it should be!

My personal preference is to make bias binding the old fashioned way - I tried the continuous and it didn't turn out that way. I thought I was following instructions perfectly - but when I tried to cut it apart, it was far from continuous. Perhaps I had too much on my plate with just getting back into sewing. I'm also convinced parts of the strip was not on the bias as I found out while I was pressing it. Lots of difference in stretch between bias and straight of grain strips.

I thought I could just wing it - doesn't appear to be the case! :)

Blog Renamed to Not Sew Fast and Easy

There's nothing sew fast and easy about this blog, that's for sure! It should be renamed to Not sew fast and easy because nothing about sewing is coming easy these days. I think it's just a learning experience again and I'll get there - eventually! :)

I finished the quilt and gave it to my granddaughter and she loved it - mistakes and all! I'm proud to have actually finished it which isn't an easy task. I KNOW I have batteries for my camera here somewhere but I put them in a place I would SURELY know where to find them. Ha! So much for that idea! :) As soon as I do, I'll post very proud pics - just be gentle on me! Constructive criticism is always welcome however!

My son Will has three girls - Dani who the quilt was for, Daphne and Delaney. They are little fashionistas - and make me smile when they give me their ideas for their next outfits! They were going through my stash and found this hideous but oh, so soft cotton/lycra blend fabric and want dresses out of it!

It photographs so lovely, doesn't it?
 It might photograph lovely but let me assure you, it is not. The repeat is rather large at I would estimate 12". Can you imagine that on little girls? LOL Still, it's what they want and I thought they could always wear the dresses as nightgowns. This fabric is so soft and cuddly - and about 100% stretch too which might be a little difficult to sew on but hey - I'm up for anything at this point. Wish me luck!