The Sew Weekly Reunion

 

The Facts

Fabric– linen/rayon blend

Notions– 7 buttons $6.50

Pantone Color Challenge Color – Emerald

PatternThe Frayed Jacket from Favorite Things (2005)

Time to complete– longer than anticipated- off an on over 2 weeks, 24 hrs??

I made the quilted version of this jacket circa 2005 and anticipated making the tailored view soon after, but a lot of water has flowed under that bridge and it didn't happen. Suffice it to say that this jacket has a different fit without the batting between the layers so I needed to take the seams in, throughout. The sleeves are still not as close fitting as I would like. I am planning a future post to compare the two jackets.

First worn– for photo shoot

Wear again – yes

Total cost– Pattern-($14 on hand)

Fabric- ( on hand $30-$45.00 based on JoAnn's fabrics prices without using a coupon, but most likely, I took advantage of sale & coupon pricing.)

Total recent expenditure was only for the buttons – $6.50

 

 

I used two different cameras to try and capture the true color of this jacket. IRL, the jacket matches the Pantone Emerald. The first photo was the closest color match.

 

Are You Ready for Soccer?

I have a special birthday party to attend next week. The Birthday Boy, born on 9/9/09, will proudly tell you that “I’m growing-up. I’m going to be four”

Well, I don’t know where those four years have gone, but I’ve had a collection of embroidery designs for longer than that begging to be used…

Twist.my.arm.

I hunted for these on Ebay after seeing a sweater using several of the designs in Sew News. I was lucky to have found the collection, as it is no longer available from a dealer.

Getting to work!

  • I purchased a Lands’ End scherpa-lined hoodie
  • changed the hair color in the design from black to “blonde”
  • reduced the design density from 11,000 stitches to 9000.

Changing the hair color required “zooming-in” on the design and viewing a simulation of the stitch-out on the computer. As I watched the player, I was able to insert a new color, and then resume the black thread color. Getting the stops in the right place is important, so that a yellow outline on the soccer player and a yellow soccer ball can be avoided!

Hooping the hoodie:

As I mentioned, this sweatshirt has a hood, and a scherpa lining. Ideally sweatshirts should be “hooped”, but because of the sleeve, hood and bulkiness of this project I did the following:

  • affixed a cutaway mesh stabilizer to the inside of the sweatshirt (scherpa) using a spray adhesive
  • hooped a washaway sticky stabilizer, scored it and peeled the topping away to expose the “sticky”
  • taped my printed design template to the hoodie and centered it in the hoop

Cutaway stabilizers are recommended for embroidering on knits so that the stitches don’t wobble and distort during the stitching and the design is well-supported on the garment.

At the Machine:

Attach the hoop and “fine-tune” so the needle penetrates at the center of the design. Baste around the design, if your machine does this, so that the garment & stabilizer are attached.  I recorded the coordinates of the center after adjusting, just in case. I’m living dangerously and did not do a test stitch-out…

Some people leave their machines to embroider by themselves, unsupervised.

Some people use baby monitors to listen for problems in “Embroideryland.”

I am not in either of those camps. I watch like a hawk. I hold my breath (sometimes, like today) so that I can hear the clunking of a bird’s nest in-the-making, or watch the innocent needle falling out from the vibration, or having to re-thread after a thread break. All of these things happened today.

After tending to these hiccups, I came close to needing the initially recorded coordinates having found it necessary to remove the hoop from the machine while performing minor surgery (during the final color block, of course!)

Ninety minutes after sitting at the machine, we have success.

  • trim jump stitches
  • trim stabilizer
  • press & admire

Ayden will be ready for soccer.

Laptop Satchel

One of my favorite machine embroidery designers is Kara Sutton of Kreations by Kara.

Occasionally, I find myself wandering over to her site …(ok, maybe more often than occasionally).

Anyway, while I was there one time, the most beautiful collection of Dandelions just jumped into my shopping cart! Amazing. It all happened so quickly!

Deciding on a suitable project to showcase these designs took much longer…

Laptop Satchel#1

I found the perfect canvas for my embroidery with this Laptop Satchel pattern from Vanilla House designs.

The satchel interior features a divided pocket and an additional zippered pocket for holding keys, phone, pens etc., alongside your computer and other documents. It makes a great gift too.

I had so much fun making one, that I had to make another!

Laptop Satchel #2

The first one I donated to a silent auction family benefit. It's always a good feeling being able to turn your hobby into something to help others.

The second satchel was my daughter's choice.

Lets see, now…I have a “few” more designs from Kreations by Kara, but I do not yet have one of these satchels. Hmm, I wonder what I can do about that??

 

Two Cabaritas!

It’s a “piece of cake”. Actually, it’s one of the recently introduced Cake patterns Riffs and I have just completed not one, but two of these delightful knit tops!

This design caught my eye when I saw Steph wearing a cute chevron-striped top on her blog. I was thrilled when it was released in pattern form!

Lets take a look.

The Cabarita is intended for intermediate to advanced sewers. There are minimal directions provided, so if you haven’t gotten your feet wet in working with knits, I would hold off a bit before trying this, but don’t wait too long!

In addition, the pattern features customizable fit options allowing you to trace your pattern size by connecting the markings on the pattern for your desired bust, waist and hip measurements. What could be easier?

For me, the key element in this design is choosing a striped fabric. I found both a navy stripe cotton jersey blend and a nautical cotton/spandex blend from Girl Charlee fabrics.

 

What to do next?

You’ve probably heard it before, but…pre-washing the fabric will allow the fabric to shrink , if it is going to, (no bad surprises later). And since most fabrics are treated with sizing (think hairspray) to make the fabric attractive, this can cause the needle to bounce off the fabric resulting in skipped stitches. (Not to mention the fact that this sizing flakes off into your machine, yuk!)

And speaking of the machine- a ballpoint needle. A ballpoint needle can slip through the loops of a knit where a regular machine needle might damage the knit or cause the needle to skip. (who needs that aggravation?)

Pattern Layout and Cutting

This is the part of sewing which is probably the “least thrilling” to most people. However, careful pattern layout leads to a fabulous outcome, so here we go!

Because I am working with a striped fabric, I cut it out in a single layer so that I could be sure to have my stripes matching. The pattern has markings showing you where to place your pattern pieces along the stripes (crosswise grain;stretch goes around the body). In addition, since some knits are created “in the round” and then split along one side, it is conceivable that a stripe could be on a downward spiral. Cutting on a single thickness keeps everything out in the open and you can see where your stripes are going.

I placed the front piece face-down on the fabric, cut around it, starting at the hem at the CF and ending at the neckline. Then, with a ruler and my Frixion pen drew a couple of guidelines at the neckline and hem along the CF to aid in lining-up the pattern for cutting the other half of the front.

When cutting out the back pieces on a single layer, remind yourself to flip the pattern piece over so you don’t end up with two of the same sides. Painter’s tape is a staple in my sewing room and it is a quick way to mark the wrong sides of fabric and pattern pieces and easily removed without leaving a trace (stealth sewing).

The pattern does not call for interfacing, but I chose to interface the collar with a fusible knit interfacing. After cooling, I trimmed the outside curve with pinking shears to eliminate bulk and to blur any shadow of the seam. I also under stitched this seam to the collar facing (the collar piece without the interfacing). It is not necessary to do this, but I lIke to keep the edge rolled underneath. It is usually difficult to get all the way into the corners of the collar, but that’s okay, whatever distance you achieve is fine.

Tips for under stitching:

Trim, grade, clip and then press your seam towards the garment facing. Place your garment on the machine so that the seam allowance is against the feed dogs and the facing is on the top.

Stitch about 1/8″ or so away from the seam onto the facing. If you have a stitch-in-the ditch or edge joining foot, it makes the job so much easier ;). Under stitching attaches your seam to the facing and the collar has a beautiful roll.

Side Seams:

As recommend, I used the knit stitch on my machine for most of the seams and used my serger to finish them. I used the serger alone for the shoulder/sleeve seam, and rather than attach the sleeve band before sewing the under arm seam, I preferred to sew the band into a circle and then attach in-the-round. I think it looks better.

Top Stitching Tips

Lengthen your machine stitch to 3-3.5mm, and if you have a machine foot as above, you have it made!

Hem Trick:

Do you have partially filled bobbins hanging around? Of course you do. Now is your chance to recycle that thread! Set your machine to a basting stitch and baste your top along your desired hem depth. Press up along that line and you are all set to hem.

I used my coverstitch machine, but I didn’t always have one. Twin needle stitching can give the same visual appearance as RTW, so you can duplicate the look 🙂

What do I think?

I love the unique style of this top, and as a bonus, you can wear it with the collar in front or in back!

My best description of this top would be Classy Casual. It’s as comfortable as a T-shirt, but it certainly doesn’t look like one!

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