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Adventures in amateur sewing


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Tanks for everything: the Aurora top

Pattern: Aurora tank by Seamwork

Skills acquired: 

  • Double needle for knit
  • Installing a walking foot

Hello sew blog my old friend.

This past summer, running was my life as I was training for my first marathon (as seen in my other blog). It was almost impossible to find time to sew. The good news is that I’ve been sewing quite a lot in the last month, so I’m hoping to be able to carve out some time to write about my projects.

Amidst all the training, I was actually able to complete one project over the summer – the Aurora tank top by Seamwork patterns. On top of everything else, I also got a new job this September, so I never got around to writing about this project. I had picked this particular pattern due to it’s simplicity – only 3 pieces to cut out and Seamwork patterns are known for their quickness to assemble. All are supposed to take under 2 hours. I worked on this in pieces of time that I could find here and there, but I’m pretty sure the 2 hours is accurate.

The walking foot! It was kind of a pain to put on as I had to take a few things apart to install, but worked pretty well in the end.

The only thing that was really challenging was trying to use a double knit needle. I had threaded a double needle before when I was making my corduroy pants and I remember sewing on that fabric felt perfectly normal. I’m not sure why I was having such a hard time doing the same on knit – it felt a lot more difficult. Material kept bunching up and sewing in a straight line was totally impossible. I had to unpick and redo a few sections, as it kept puckering in parts. With all the difficulties I kept having in keeping the stitching an even tension, I decided to try one more thing – my walking foot.

I had only used it for one other project – where the material was thick and stretchy and didn’t move well through the machine. This time, I decided to use it to keep the stitching more even – it would get tight in some parts and much looser in others. I’m wondering if there is some big trick that I am totally missing.

So much bunching! Trying to double needle this thing was not easy.

It took some extra time to install as it is more involved than just popping feet on and off. I actually had to unscrew a piece off – but I actually remembered how to do this despite only having done it one other time before. I think it did make a difference in how the material moved through the machine and my stitches were a lot cleaner, even though they never ended up perfect. I also probably need practice as I noticed the 2nd armhole came out better than the first. I was running low on time, so the imperfections would have to stand – I’m still pretty pleased with the result. Definitely something I can wear on those hot summer days when I barely want to wear clothes at all.

The back yoke has a really nice pleat that I think really makes the top! I would definitely make this top again…when the weather gets warm again.


Well that is all I have time for right now. Stay tuned for some of my fall/winter makes – coming soon to a blog near you!

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Tank Finished


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Wait, is it After Labor Day?

Pattern: Simplicity 4127

IMG_1368It’s pretty bad when your summer projects don’t get finished until the fall.  It’s even worse when they leak into the wintertime as well.  Okay, so I am running a little behind on my projects.  But I wanted to finish this top, since I had already made the muslin (see blog post) and I didn’t want to forget all the knowledge I gained.  Especially since this was the most expensive material I have bought to date.  But of course it’s white, and you know what they say about wearing white…seasonably I mean.  Not the virgin thing.

 

 

This project went very well – I was able to get the straps right and had some soft white cotton that worked great as a lining.  Again, I installed an invisible zipper instead of a regular zipper, which the pattern called for.  My new invisible zipper foot has been serving me well – definitely worth the money.  I also made sure to cut the bottom section 2.5 inches shorter than the pattern, which gave me the length I wanted.  For the straps, I used a textured trim I found at the fabric store.  I wanted a contrast for the waist, so I picked a satin yellow ribbon.  I’m wondering if white would have been a better choice.  After I stitched it together, I realized I still had an issue of the bottom blousing out more than I liked.  I didn’t want the illusion I was Tank1expecting…so I knew I would need to do some adjusting.

I took in the material in two sections around each side seam.  Because of the gathers, my alterations are not too obvious….I don’t think.

Taking in the garment

I’m not too impressed with the way the bow came out – I’m never good at those little decorative things.  The bow on my muslin came out a lot better, probably because my mom helped me out with Continue reading


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Okay…I did it…

Pattern: Simplicity 4127

In case you were wondering, that vague post title refers to the fact that I made a muslin, which is something I pretty much never do.  I just don’t have much patience when tackling new projects.  But, I have also noticed that being a newbie, I tend to make a lot of mistakes.  And I also notice that the second time I make something, I make less mistakes, soooo….yeah you see where this is going.

Making a muslin refers to making a “trial” garment out of some inexpensive material.  Traditionally these were made with muslin, hence the name, which is a really plain cotton fabric.  But now the term “making a muslin” is used for any fabric that may be used.  This is my understand at least, from reading many sewing blogs.  Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

I bought a wonderful white material labeled “as seen in J Crew” at the Fabric Corner in Arlington, MA.  I bought it because it reminded me of this cute summer top I used to have when I was much younger, that showed off my midriff.  I’m not at an age where I can show that much skin, but I did want another cute summer top, so I splurged on it (it was pretty expensive) and then bought this pattern:

Simplicity 4127

My mom gave me some brown-ish printed cotton that was leftover from a quilting project.  So I got to work. Continue reading