Monday, May 8, 2017

Seam Rippers and Life....

Seam Rippers?  How often do you use one?  How often do you think to replace one?

I have been working on a quilt for the past year that requires me to use my seam ripper a lot.  Granted, I always have two seam rippers just in case one does a vanishing act.  Because of the amount of ripping I have done in the past year, both of my seam rippers have been present - one at the ironing board and one at the machine.  What do you do when both of them do a disappearing act at the same time?  I searched desperately for them because you only notice that seam ripper is missing when you need it.  I have no idea how two disappeared at the same time.  Fortunately, it wasn't too late to run over to Michael's and pick up more.  Yes, I purchased two more seam rippers.  When I returned home, I found one of the missing seam rippers.  So, I didn't bother opening either of the new seam rippers that I had purchased.  Fast forward a couple of weeks and the disappearing act has returned and I open one of the seam ripper packages.  Folks, I'm telling you the difference is night and day between the old seam ripper and the new seam ripper.  They were the exact same type of seam ripper.  So, what was the difference? The old one is dull and the new one is sharp.  You don't have to work as hard to use the seam ripper.  Lesson learned, I hope.

Now on to Life...I was going to start a new series but I wasn't sure that I would be able to keep with it on a regular basis.  Life is happening in a good mostly way. We've purchased a new house 1000 miles away.  My current house needs to be ready to put on the market by August.  The new house needs work done to it before we can move into it.  This means that there will be a lot of traveling back and forth.  In the middle of this, I'm having surgery on my ankle which means no flying.  This means all the traveling both and forth will be via car for me until I get clearance to fly again.

So, with all that, I've decided to take time off until all the dust settles on this new adventure.  I haven't lived near family in over 25 years.  It will be a good adventure. Have a good summer and fall.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Fitting Dresses...Hem Difficulties, Part 15

Continuing with the "Fitting Dresses" booklet from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Hen Difficulties

Pleats at hem line spread and sag.  On a skirt with one or more pleats, the hem line and the lower pleat edge may not be turned on the straight of the goods.  In other cases, the tops of the pleat insets may not be properly tacked in place.  Or the waistline may be fitted so loosely that the weight of the pleats pulls the skirt down from the waistline unevenly.  Or the dress may be so tight that the pleat spreads (figure 26, A).

Often rehemming the pleat inset corrects the sagging.  When the pleated section extends part way up from the bottom, tack the top of the section to the skirt or reinforce it by stitching on the right side.

On a straight pleated skirt or one with inverted or side pleats, if the sagging sections of the pleats at the waistline or yoke line until the pleats fall straight and do not spread (see figure 26, B).  Or, if the seam allowance permits, lower the other sections of the skirt from the top.



When necessary, tighten the waistline by taking up extra fullness at the seams or in hip darts.  This holds the skirt up in the proper position.

If the skirt is fitted too tightly, let out the side seams to give additional width.

Hem line is uneven.  An uneven hem is often due to poor cutting, or making a waistline too loose or a skirt too wide at the hips.  Sometimes the trouble is that the belt to be worn with the dress was not put on before the hem was marked.    In such cases, refit the dress at the waistline or hip line, and the mark a new skirt length.  It is well to let a dress hang, to stretch out, for a day before marking the hem.


This is the end of this series.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Kitchen Towel....

I've been having a lot of fun with my knitting.  I know I should be sewing but I do have a monthly knitting group that I go to and always need a little project for it.  Here's my latest completed project:


The completed towel is about 10" wide by 13" long, I think.  This took a couple of months to complete and made for great conversation at the knitting group since everyone loved the way the stitches.   For me, it was a freebie from Knitpicks but it is no longer free.  Here's the link for the Dish Towel Set just in case you might be interested.

I think I will make another one in the reverse colors.  It will make for a nice take along project and I will be needing one of those in the next few weeks.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Machine Applique...

It's been a while since I talked about the monthly sewing with my sewing buddy.  It was my turn to decide last and I picked machine applique.  Who knew there was so many types of machine applique?  I found The Crafty Quilter and she had tutorials on machine applique.   So, here are the types of machine applique that I chose:

1.  narrow zig zag
2.  satin zig zag
3.  blanket stitch
4.  blind hem applique

The first three were fairly easy to do.  The fourth one, we never quite able to get it right and finally gave up.  Here is my stitch sampler:


Starting at the left:

1.  narrow zigzag - the settings used are .9L/1.5W, .5L/1.3W, .4L 1.0W.
2.  satin zigzag - the settings used are .5L/3.0W, .4L/2.5W, .3L/2.0W.
My machine had different types of blanket stitches.
3. blanket stitch #11 - the settings used are 3.0L/3.5W, 2.5L/2.5W, 2.0L/2.0W.
4.  blanket stitch #15 - the settings used are 2.0L/2.0W, 1.5L/1.5W.
5.  blanket stitch #19 - the settings used are 3.0L/3.0W, 3.5L/3.5W, 3.5L/4.0W
6.  blind hem - the settings used are 2.5L/0.5W, 2.5L/.8W, 2.5L/1.3W

My samples have already been stitched together but here is what they look like:


The narrow zigzag is in the upper left hand corner and the satin zigzag is in the lower right  hand corner.  I really liked the narrow zigzag. The upper right hand corner and the lower left hand corner are both done with the blanket stitch.  This also has very nice results.

The blind hem applique ended up not working well.  I think I need to do a little more research and practice before giving up on it.  Has anyone tried this type of applique?


Monday, April 17, 2017

Fitting Dresses...Fitting The Hips, Part 14

Continuing with the "Fitting Dresses" booklet from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Fitting The Hips

When the skirt fits correctly, the center front and center back hang straight down without swinging out in the front or back.  The side seams also hand straight down, giving the appearance of continuing the underarm seams of the waist.  The crosswise grain of the goods is parallel to the floor.  The space between the waist and the hips is fitted smoothly but not tightly.  The only exceptions to these rules are skirts with special styling. 

The first step in fitting a skirt is to see that the crosswise grain of the goods is in a straight line around the hip line.  If it is not, raise or lower the waistline a the points where the grain is out of line or rip the skirt at the seams and raise or lower the sides as necessary.

A well-fitting skirt of any kind, plain or fancy, does not draw or pull when the wearer is sitting or standing.  When the fitting is complete, ask the wearer to sit and also to move around naturally to see if the skirt will be comfortable and will hang gracefully when worn.

Side seams of skirt are crooked and puckered.  The dress may be poorly sewed together.  Careless joining of the side seams (one seam edge eased too much onto the other), crooked sewing, or too tight sewing machine tension will cause puckered seams.

Restitch a straight seam if stitching is crooked or loosen any tight sections in the seam.  Otherwise, open the side seams, pin, and bast, matching the grain of the cloth at the hip line.  Avoid drawing the basting thread too tight.  Try on.  If satisfactory, stitch carefully.

Skirt draws across hips and tends to ride up.  The skirt is too small.  If the side seams are wide enough, let them out until there is no stain across the hips.  Keep the side seams hanging straight.  If there is not sufficient side allowance for this and the skirt is long enough raise the skirt at the waistline and refit it.  It may be necessary to face the hem.

Skirt cups in the back and the side seams swing forward.  The back of the skirt may be too long between the waist and the hip -- thus allowing the grain of the goods to drop at the hip line.  This causes the side seams to swing forward (see figure 24, A).

Raise the skirt at the back waistline until the grain of the goods is straight across the hips (figure 24, B). If this makes extra fullness at the waistline, take it out in two darts.  Trim off the top of the skirt in the back, at the waistline.  



If the dress is one-piece, without a waistline seam, rip the underarm seams, raise the back at the shoulders, then recut the back neck and armhole lines.

Lower edge of skirt swings out in back.  The side seams swing back (see figure 25, A).  This may be because the figure has a sway-back and large hips.  Extra length is therefore needed in the back of the skirt.  Sometimes the crosswise grain of the goods is pulled up out of line.  In some cases, the flare of the skirt in the back may be too pronounced for the type of cloth used.

Rip the back of the skirt from the waistline, letting out any extra seam allowance so as to drop the back of the skirt and thus straighten the crosswise grain.  

If the seam allowance is too small to let out the seam, rip the skirt and waist apart, and lift the front and side front gores of the skirt until the cross wise grain of the goods is straight all around the hip line (figure 25, B).  Mark a new waistline on the skirt, pin, baste, and try on again before stitching on the machine.

When the grain of the goods is straight at the hip line and the trouble seems to be only in the flare of the skirt, it may be eased out some at the seams.


Crosswise folds across the back between waist and hips.  The skirt may be too tight at the hips or the figure may have a sway-back.

If the skirt is too tight, rip the side seams (if necessary, also the back gore seams) and let the skirt drop into an easy position.  Pin and baste.

If the side seams are too narrow to let out, raise the skirt at the back so as to take out the fold, keeping the crosswise grain of the goods straight across the back hip line (Figure 24, B).  Trim off the extra goods at the waist.  If there is extra fullness at the waistline, take it up in the seams or, if necessary, in back skirt darts.