Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sewing Machine Maintenance

Sometimes our sewing machines get dusty, sometimes they start making a strange sound or have a strange smell. These are all signs that your machine might a need a cleaning.

*Every sewing machine is different, what I do on my machine may be different than what you are supposed to do on your machine, please refer to your machines manual for the proper care instructions.

Even though we take care of your machines it is important to have it serviced by a professional regularly. If you use your machine often, for large projects, once a year is a good idea. If you just use your machine for small projects every once in a while, it can wait longer.

Some sewing machine care quick tips:

-Never pull thread backwards through your machine, this ruins the tension disks causing the thread to be too loose.
-Never turn the wheel of the sewing machine away from you, always towards you, turning it backwards will knock the timing off causing the machine to skip stitches.
-Never try to sew with the presser foot up, it should always be down when sewing. Putting the presser foot down engages the tension disks. Without the tension disks engaged the thread will be too loose and will knot and tangle in the bottom of the machine. If you need to do free motion sewing there are specialized presser feet for it.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Main Dress (Butterick 4827, View A)

After many twists and turns I finished the main dress of my costume and thus finished my 2015 Renaissance festival dress.

Part 1

Part 2

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Underskirt (Butterick 4827, View B)

I have finished the underskirt for my Renaissance dress. Here's a look at how it went.

I used the brocade for the underskirt. You have to be careful with brocades because they fray very easily, I serged every seam after it was finished sewing. I used satin pins, close together, to keep it from sliding. I also used a universal needle in size 90/14, and a 2.5 stitch length.

I was surprised because I had more fabric left over than the extra 1/8th that I bought. Also I didn't even use one spool of the thread I bought, (which was 100% cotton, sew all, thread).

Also I tried to use a disappearing ink fabric marker, and it worked, but it faded within 20 minutes. That was a lot quicker than the week it took on the cotton I tested before. Not a bad thing I didn't have to worry about the ink showing.

Now on to the more difficult project. The dress part.

Happy Sewing

Friday, September 4, 2015

Renaissance Festival Dress: A Closer Look at the Envelope

Sometimes when you start on a pattern it's hard to make sense of all the information on the back. Today I take a closer look at Butterick 4827 and weed through all the information to get to the stuff that applies to me.....And then I went shopping.

The orange fabric is a crepeback satin in Autumn (it was a red tag fabric at Jo-Anns)
The blue fabric is a Brocade fabric: turquoise paisley
Pellon 910 Sew in Featherweight interfacing.
Gutterman Sew all Thread: Color 474 "Curry"
Gutterman Cotton Thread: Color 7532
5/32 Eyelet kit with tool
Black Hook and Eye

And now I'm excited to get started on this project.
Happy Sewing 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Space Pants (Simplicity Pattern 9871)

Aside from a pillow case, pajama pants have to be one of the best beginner projects and the best introduction to pattern reading. Simplicity 9871 is a very easy pajama pants pattern. It's one I've used multiple times. My husband saw this cool, colorful space fabric and had to have a pair of pants.

If you're looking at this pattern and confused or terrified of the daunting task in front of you don't fear I'll walk you through it.

I used:
Simplicity Pattern 9871
Size XL
3yds of Fabric -Large Planets (It only calls for 2 7/8  but I always get that extra save it for quilting and stuff)
Black thread
1 inch elastic

Happy Sewing

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Dress Form Unboxing and Assembly

A dress form, it's a lovely tool to help you get an idea about how your garment is going to look. How fabrics are going to drape and also a really good tool for hemming skirts.
They were 50% off at Jo Ann's this weekend, so I decided to get me one.

I got the Dritz simple fit, it's a basic model. Easy to assemble and adjust, I have nothing to put on it yet but I'm ready to use it for my Renaissance dress.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Major Pattern Haul and Crafting Update

With three pattern sales in a row of course I had to make a haul video.

The patterns I picked up




So excited to get new patterns.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Phases of Crafting

Whether your just a beginner or so good you can do it with you eyes closed, every crafter goes through these phases when they craft something.

Design Phase

This is where you start with any craft. It can be a simple as looking as picking out a patter, or as complex as making a detailed drawing of what you want to make, with colors and materials listed.

-For Jewelry again you can look at instruction book, or make a drawing.
-Picking out blueprints
-Grabbing as many reference pictures as you can and putting them together is always a good place to start

Planning Phase

This is how you figure out what you are going to do to actually make the design a reality. Again it can be simple or complex.

-Make a task list of things that need to get done.
-Are you going to follow the instructions or pattern exactly or are you going to deviate.
-Are you going to make a pattern from scratch or are you going to work off other patterns.
-Gather the pattern you plan to use and then list which parts you are going to use from what
-List how you are going to use the patterns
-List the materials you plan to use, satin or crepe, rondelles or bicones, acrylic or wool.
-Figure out how much of each material you are going to need
-Choose your colors, even if this means buying swatches and taking them home for a week you need to pick exact colors before it's time to make the item.

Test Phase

This is the time to test to see if your plan works.

-If you drafted your own pattern, this is a good time to make a mock up
-line up beads to see if you like the combinations
-make a quilt block to see if the plan works, or the colors work, or whatever
-if it doesn't work here go back to design of plan phase to see what needs to be changed.

Make Phase

This is easy, make your item. Sew the dress, build the table, make the necklace, knit the scarf. You know what I mean.

and finally

Show it Off

You know what I mean. Take picture, show people, wear it, be proud you made something.

Every crafter from beginner to expert goes through these phases and you will see yourself doing it. Want to start a complex project this is where you start, you have to design and plan before you make.

Happy crafting

Friday, July 24, 2015

Renaissance Festival Dress: Picking a Pattern

Since Hoshicon is over the next even on my list is the Carolina Renaissance Festival, and I want to make a dress for it. I decided that I don't want to do anything overly complicated, so instead of designing my own I'm going straight from a pattern. Let me take you on the journey while I narrow down my choices.

Honorable Mentions
At this time the fall previews (2015) for both McCall's and Simplicity are available. Since I do not own any of the patterns from the fall preview yet, I did not include them in my selections. There are two that are worth mentioning though.

Simplicity 1094
McCall's M7218

The frozen fever one (Simplicity 1094), I would consider but probably not make because of the sort sleeve issue.

The peacock dress is one I could see working if I were going for enchantress or sorceress.

Runner Ups
All patterns that came close but didn't make it.

1347(not currently available)
1487 (not currently available)
9891 (OOP)



Butterick 4827

Butterick 5371

Friday, July 17, 2015

Apple Bloom Boots

How I painted my Apple Bloom Boots.

I kind of wish I had mixed the paint with a textile medium before I started painting, or used the fabric spray paint. It might have worked better but you live and you learn. With this I am done with my Apple Bloom Cosplay.

Happy Crafting

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Apple Bloom Cosplay Breakdown

I've never really done cosplay before but I've been interested for a while. This is going to be my first cosplay I'm going to where to Hoshicon in July so I've got about 3 weeks to get it together. Here's how I started.


I'm so excited to get started.
Happy Crafting

Friday, June 19, 2015

Basic Pattern Symbols

Now that you’ve gotten your first pattern, you’ve figured out your size, and you’ve gotten your fabric you are ready to start sewing. Once you open your pattern and cut out your size you may look at the pieces and realize there are several symbols on the pieces. Each symbol has it’s own importance when it comes to making your garment. I’m going to introduce you to the basic and most common pattern symbols.

-Grain Arrow / Fold Arrow
These will be the most common symbols you will see, almost all pattern pieces will have one or the other.
The Grain Arrow
PP Grain Line.jpg
When laying your pattern pieces on your fabric to cut, you want your grain arrows to be parallel to your selvedges, this is done so that when you make your garment the pieces sit on your body and drape properly.

The Fold Arrow
Fold Line.jpg
A fold arrow is used, instead of a Grain Arrow, when the pattern piece needs to be placed against a fold. Instead of cutting two identical pieces you will cut one symmetrical piece.

Notches are another symbol that will be on almost all pattern pieces.
PP Notches.jpg
Notches are used to match your pattern pieces up after you’ve cut your fabric. When you pin your pattern pieces together you want your notches to match up so that your seams will properly fit. Also they help if you are working with stripes or plaids so that your front and back will have matching stripes.

You will run across quite a few dots on your pattern journey
These can signify multiple things. They can signify where to stop sewing a seam, like where you are going to stop a seam, like a split in a skirt, or the point where the zipper is going to start. They can also signify where a button or buttonhole is going, an eyelet, a hook and eye, etc. Usually the instructions will tell you what to do with your dots.

These are the basic symbols you will find in a beginner pattern. If you ever get confused about what a certain symbol means the pattern will have a legend for the symbols in the general sewing directions.


Friday, June 12, 2015

My Second Quilt (Crafting Log 6/12/2015)

I finished the top of my second quilt ever!!

Introducing my "My Little Pony" quilt.

I'm so excited.
Okay now the diamonds
Are made from this My Little Pony fabric.
 I got mine from Jo Ann's but it doesn't show on their website. It took a yard and 2/3rds. It was fussy cut and I barely got the 15 squares I needed out of that.

Then the two center strips
It was made from this fabric.
This one only took a little more than half a yard. The strips were the whole width of the fabric but the width of fabric was not long enough so I had to add two inches to each strip.

And the background.
 The only non "My Little Pony" fabric on here, it is a pink keepsake.
As a plain fabric I thought the color worked well with the other colors and the design fit in with my theme.

I've only made the top and I have two more classes, one to place the batting and quilt it, and the other to do the binding.

My final fabric to show, even though it's not on my quilt yet, is my backing.
I bought 1 and 2/3rds yard of this fabric. It is the perfect print to finish this quilt.

I'm loving this design and these fabrics, I can't wait to try this quilt pattern with a different theme.

Happy Sewing

Friday, June 5, 2015

How to Read a McCall's Pattern

So we discussed how to read a Simplicity pattern now we’ll talk about a McCall’s pattern. There is not that much of a difference between McCall’s and Simplicity, only how everything is set up.

But introductions now.
McCall's M6819
Here’s our MCcall’s Pattern again not something I would pick for a beginner but for example purposes it works.
First we will talk about what’s on the front of the envelope.

Brand and Pattern Number.jpg
Brand and Pattern Number
Here is the brand and pattern number, they tell you what pattern you have and it is how you find the pattern in the store.

Next on the front
This is where you find the pattern sizes. This is the range of sizes this pattern will make, you want to pay attention to these sizes because like Simplicity….
Spot the difference?

The patterns can come in two different size ranges. Like these two.

Also they come in one size
McCall's 6981
Like this one.

And instead of size ranges some McCall’s patterns come in Kids and Adult sizes
McCall's 5954
Like these two which means the size chart will feature both child’s sizes and women’s sizes.

Finally on the front is the views
This one has two, and I looked but I have yet to find a McCall’s pattern that only has one view.

Now the huge difference between Simplicity and McCall’s starts on the back, but before we go there I have to point out something McCall’s has on their envelope flap.
This is where the size chart is going to be.
And the ones for children and adults will look a little different.
5954 size chart.jpg
Like the one on this one, it has the child sizes by number and the adult sizes by small, medium, and large.
The one size pattern doesn’t have a size chart.

Now moving on to the back.
Don’t freak out now, you don’t have to re learn how to read patterns. It has all the same things that a simplicity pattern has only in a different format.

Item Descriptions.jpg
Up top is a description of the items being made. It has a written description of the difference between the different views.

Yardage Information.jpg
Since the size chart is on the envelope flap this goes straight into the fabric information. Like the simplicity you find the size you need and then follow the column down to find the amount of fabric you need for the view you want to make.

Yardage Information on inside.jpg
This little note right here is just telling you that there’s more yardage information of the inside. Also the list of notions will be inside on the instructions sheet.
Sugested fabrics.jpg
Here is where the list of suggested fabrics is. At the top it tells you “designed for light to medium weight woven fabrics” and then gives you a short list of what kind of fabrics it’s talking about.

Next up
finished garment measurments.jpg
This is where the finished garment measurements are, it has few and then tells you that the rest  of the measurements are on the tissue paper.

And finally
Back Views.jpg
The views this one gives you front and back for both views on this pattern.
Now to look at the back of a one size pattern
One size back.jpg
Not much different but each fabric needed only has one set measurement.
Now the one with both Kids and Adult sizes looks more like a simplicity pattern.
Child and adult back.jpg
It has the yardage for both the Childrens and Misses sizes but it lacks the views that the others have.

Now that’s all that’s on a McCall’s envelope time to look inside.
Inside you’ve got your instructions, in the newspaper type print, and pattern pieces, on the tissue paper.

First on the instructions

Another look at views front and back

Next to that.
The general sewing instructions, they aren’t that much different than simplicity, the symbols are relatively the same and the instructions generally the same.

Under that
The list of pattern pieces, the numbers and their name, McCall’s likes to categorize their list by what each piece is for. Like top and bottom, or by each view.

DSC00258.JPGThese are the necessary items that were not listed on the envelope. The interfacing lining and notions. They are like the yardage chart on the back with the sizes listed and follow the columns to find out how much you need.

And next up DSC00260.JPG
The cutting layouts, not much different from simplicity just follow the pictures and cut out the pattern pieces accordingly and you will find you have plenty of fabric.

And finally on the newspaper paper
The sewing instructions. Once you cut your pattern pieces according to the cutting layout and put them together according to the instructions you will have a garment.

Now for a look at the pattern pieces.
Here’s an example of a pattern piece from McCall’s 6819

First up
Brand and Pattern number PP.jpg
Here’s the brand and pattern number to help you keep track of what pattern you are working on and what pattern this piece goes with.

And then
Pattern Piece number.jpg
This is the pattern piece number to help you remember what piece you are working with.

Now to zoom in a bit.
Pattern Piece name.jpg
Here’s the pattern piece name to help you understand what this piece is for.

And under that
Pattern Piece what to cut.jpg This is what to cut, so when you do the cutting layout you are getting what you need to do the whole project. You don’t want to be in the middle of a project and realize you didn’t cut out the lining or interfacing you need.

Another thing on some of the pattern pieces is the finished garment measurements.
finished garment measurments on pattern.jpg
It has a different measurement for each size, this is the measurement around the arm for the sleeve.

Don’t panic it’s very similar to a simplicity pattern, it’s not like having to learn a new language, and things get easier once you start doing more pattern projects. Hopefully i’ve deciphered enough for you to get you through at least one easy project.

Happy Sewing