Spring Needle

Hows this for a funky looking needle?? Its called a Schmetz SPRING Needle and apparently its for embroidery. I have quite a collection of different machine needles now, this one was one of the few I didnt already have. I got given it free when I bought my new machine, they are usually around $15. I'm super happy to have it. One day I may even use it!

Boho Baguette

Another very cool thing to happen lately is my purchase of a very cool StudioKat bag pattern. I love everything about this pattern and have stressed a lot over which fabric to make it out of.

I have finally decided I am going to make it, on my new machine (!!!) out of this:

I think I am going to go with a plain pale blue lining, but I'll wait till I actually get it and see how the colours look.

Big news!!

OMG, I cannot believe I now own a brand new Elna 6200! Its just the most perfect machine! I cannot believe how lucky I am, and it was very cool that I was only able to buy it thanks to money coming from my Dads estate, and that I bought it on his birthday! Thanks Dad :o)

Twin Needles 2

I apologise too for everything being different sizes and not all in a neat line. Twice while composing this post my browser shut for no reason meaning I lost everything and had to start again. Its been very frustrating so I'm afraid this is as good as it gets for tonight ;o)

If you click the pictures, and each block of print, they do enlarge a little bigger making them slightly easier to read :o)

Twin Needles

These are the twin needles articles, as promised. I found a second one while looking for the first one. I will put them up in two separate posts.

I'm sorry some of it isnt very clear, the scanner just didnt want to cooperate.

If you click on each photo, and each block of print, they will enlarge making them a little easier to read.

I hope everything ends up in the right order :o)

The two new additions

Michael Miller fabric

I love Michael Miller fabrics almost as much as I love Amy Butlers. This is the Michael Miller fabric I want most at the moment. Sadly I have never seen it here, but I might be able to buy some online.
Isnt it gorgeous!

New toy!

I was browsing all the sewing auctions online last night, as usual, when I found this. I'm super happy to have got it for $10. I iron constantly when I sew. I always iron fabric before I start sewing. Then I iron it all again after I have overlocked it. Then I iron each seam as I finish them. Do other people do that too? No wonder it takes me so long to make everything!
So, wahoo, I think this little board will be really handy! Cant wait for it to arrive! It will need a funky new cover though. Great timing actually as my big ironing board needs a new cover too, so I can make them matching covers.

I bought my big ironing board at a second hand shop about 10 years ago for $5 and its great. Very sturdy, just the right height. Its not the prettiest, but its just perfect. I love the hard board on the end. Very handy.
I hope to get a new iron soon too. At the moment I have a Breville Jet Select and its ok, but not great. I've had it about 3 years I guess. The non stick coating is peeling off the plate, maybe because I sometimes iron over pins? Maybe I should just peel the whole coating off, I'm not sure. I have also noticed it spits out dirty drops of water sometimes, eeekk!
I would like a heavier iron. I iron a lot of denim and other heavy fabrics so I need a heavier iron, but it still needs to be ok on finer fabrics.

Last night, also online, I bought another two sewing themed fat quarters. I wish they would stop making them, as I just cant stop myself from buying any fabric with a sewing theme! I must have enough themed fat quarters to make 2 quilts by now. sigh. One day I might even sew with them!
I also discovered a Michael Miller fabric that is black and white with sewing machines on it!! I think it might be quite old, I'm not sure. But I want some!

This is where you can find pdf files with the free bag pattern and pattern pieces :o)


Comments Link Fixed

I think I have successfully fixed the Comments problem and it should be working now :o)

One Of Everything Bag

I have found my next bag pattern! This is a free pattern thanks to Anna Maria Horner. I love making bags, especially one of a kind bags, so this pattern will be fabulous! I found the link for it on www.patternreview.com many thanks to the person who reviewed it there.

This is the pdf file with great instructions, including colour photos. The second pdf file has the pattern pieces.

Now I just need to replace my dead printer and I can make a start. Although I am sure I could just draw similar shaped pieces and scale them to the pattern measurements.... nah, I'll wait for a printer..lol

Scrambled eggs.

I'm sorry my posts are all out of order. This is my first blog so its all new to me. I have to say, there are even less instructions for learning to use this blog site than the average Ottobre pattern has! I cant work out how to reorder my posts, if its even possible.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about the making of this hoodie anyway. Its nearly midnight here and my eyes feel like they are full of overlocker dust, so I'm am going to bed. Good night :o)

Next I pinned the binding all the way around the hood and around the front opening (I dont know the technical name for the bit cut out of the center front) I stitched it on, ironed the edge under and topstitched all the way around. I was happy enough with how it looked, except for at the bottom of the opening. Because I didnt cut the binding on the bias it didnt curve well and was gaping. I remedied this by making a small tuck in the band and hand stitching it on the wrong side. It wasnt quite the look I wanted but it solves the problem and I dont think its too bad.

Oh, look!! I worked out how to move the photo's!!!

This green is getting closer to the true colour but is still no where near as bright as the real thing.

All there was left to do now was sew in the sleeves, whizz down the side seams and add yet more binding to the cuffs and the hem, which are also topstitched down (did I mention I love topstitching??)

Over all I am happy with it. Its not perfect, some of the seams have stretched out a little when I was sewing them and the binding isnt perfect either but I think they will be fine once the top has been worn and washed a few times.

When Miss 9 first realised earlier today that this sweatshirt wouldnt have a zip, she wasnt very happy. She thought she would hate it and I would waste the cool fabric she likes so much. I tried it on her just before she went to bed tonight. It still needed the binding around the cuffs and hem, but she loves it. She is really happy with it, and thats the most important thing of all.

This has been a fun project. So far in my sewing life I havent really done many pattern alterations and even though the changes to this pattern are pretty minor, I'm still happy I gave it a go and will definitely be looking at my patterns in a new way now. I intend to make this same style again later this week in a dark brown with cream hearts lightweight sweatshirting, although I wont be doing binding on it like I did here, mostly because it wont need it, but also because the pain from this one will still be too fresh!

The Binding

I am about to give you all some very good advise, listen up. If you ever find yourself contemplating using a very thin, stretchy fabric for binding, dont. Just dont do it. Do you know how much that stuff can roll? AArrggghhhhh!!! I would have had this sweatshirt done in at least half the time if I didnt spend sooooo much time trying to get the strips to lay flat enough to sew. It was a nightmare!

I dont think I'm supposed to be adding a new post all the time, but when I try to add another photo is puts it beside the first one, stretching the page out of shape. Please bare with me while I learn to blog :o)

The Hood

I constructed and stitched on the hood the way I always do. I like to topstitch my hood seams with a twin needle. I think it looks good, adds strength to the seams and makes the seams tidier. Of course the finished result would look even better if I had used matching thread for the overlocking, but I didnt have any.
I find the topstitching much easier to do if I iron the seams flat as I go. The curved end of my ironing board is perfect for fitting the center curved seam around. It means ironing on the edge of the ironing board, but hey, it works :o)

The Making Of McCall's 4705

The main fabric is a 100% cotton unbrushed sweatshirting that just will not photograph its true colour. I think even the camera shuts its eyes when pointed at this fabric. Its bright, really bright! Its not quite glow in the dark fluoro, but its close!
I decided on the stripe for the trim. I figured it was going to a very loud top anyway so I might as well go the whole way. Further down the track I would regret the decision to use this fabric for trim.

Skinny Hoodie McCall's 4705

Miss 9 needs more warm tops for winter and I am tired of making zip up hoodies. Miss 9 does like hoods though and has asked for some skinnier tops. So I am going to use McCalls M4705, a great pattern I have a few times before. I have redrafted the front pattern piece so it will be cut on the fold to eliminate the zip and I have taken the sides in to make the whole top slimmer fitting and also added a little shape to it. I have also added a U shaped opening to the centre front which I will line up with the hood and have a contrasting binding going all the way around. It will also have a kangaroo pocket on the front. Well, in my head it works anyway.
Miss 9 wants the first one made from a very bright, almost flouro, lime green cotton sweatshirting I bought on Trade Me last week. I intend to bind it either with navy blue or a multi-coloured striped knit. All the fabrics are in the clothes dryer pre-shrinking at the moment, I will decide on the fabric combo this afternoon when I start making the top.

The Stash

I dont have a sewing room, although I would certainly love one. I just take over the dining table and spread my wonderful sewing stuff pretty much all over the house. I used to have all my fabric in big plastic wheelie bins but found I could never remember what I had or where it was. So I now have it all stacked in my wardrobe (clothes, what clothes??) Recently I decided to swap bedrooms with my daughter, which was a much bigger job than I had imagined it would be. By far the longest part was transferring all the fabric from one wardrobe to the other, it took hours! On the bright side I did get to touch all my wonderful, divine fabrics again - it was like a family reunion, it was beautiful! Here it is all stacked nice and tidy in its new home. Well, its all the fabric that isnt still in bags throughout the house. That wardrobe is double wide, floor to ceiling high and a lot of the stacks are 2 deep. I started out trying to stack it like with like but was running out of time to be elsewhere so the last lot just got put in together.
I would dearly love a way of better storing all my patterns, trims, buttons etc. I did eye up Miss 9's wardrobe but I think she might protest about that!
I will be buying my own house sometime this year and a spare room I can make my sewing room is definitely on the list. When I read other peoples sewing blogs I always look for photos of their sewing rooms so I can store away ideas. I'll be sure to post pics when I get mine :o)

I have decided to use Simplicity 2745 because I love the styling of the jacket. I intend to lengthen the jacket at the waistline so the finished length is quite a lot longer. I also want to scallop the hem and have the finished length longer that the back than at the front. I intend the front to end just below the knee, the back about 5-6cm lower.
I intend to recut the sleeves so they are made up of three panels that flair out slightly at the cuffs. The cuffs will be scalloped to match the hem.
The collar and cuffs will be a short pile black mink fake fur. I may put a fur trim around the hem, I'm not sure yet.
I love topstitching! I think it always adds a nice RTW touch as well as strengthens a garment and helps it sit nicer. All the seams on this jacket will be topstitched, I want the seams to be a feature.
The other big concideration will be the lining. I want just the lining to be a big feature of this jacket. The charcoal grey wool outter is quite severe and grown up for a childs jackets so I want to go for something really funky and girly, something completely opposite to the seriousness of the outer look of the jacket.

The Big Jacket Project !!

On the 23rd April, I took my daughter and her friend to see a Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana tribute concert. Whenever I am around a group of children, I cannot help but look at what they are wearing, the styling, the colours/textures etc. I noticed a lot of the girls were wearing long, warm winter coats with really nice tailoring. My Miss 9 wouldnt be caught dead in such a coat, but I have decided to make one anyway. I already have a large piece of charcoal 100% Merino wool knit that I bought off Trade Me last year.

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