Monday, April 27, 2015

Technique...Sewing Curves

This past Saturday was sewing day with my sewing buddy.  This month was about curves.  I had purchased a new foot that I wanted to explore.  It is the 1/4" Curve Master Presser Foot.  Here's what it looks like:

The package on the left contains adapters to fit most machines.  The foot is on the left.  Notice how short it is.  I had previously done a post on this foot that contains links to how-to videos.  Here's a link to that post -  Curve Master Presser Foot.  This post contains links to the product and various other videos by the manufacturer.  Since this foot is meant to do curves, I decided to purchase a Drunkard's Path template set:

This was the first time I've used a template set with a rotary cutter. It turned out well and without any incidents.  Here's my first attempts at using the Curve Master Presser Foot:

Of the eight blocks that I did, I had problems with two of them.  One, I made the dumb user error of sewing right side to wrong side.  The other, I think that I stretched the corner piece.  I was impressed with this foot.   I was able to sew the blocks without any pins and they look good.  I haven't decided yet what I'm going to make with these blocks but I think I have enough of fabric to create either a table runner or some place mats,

The next type of curve we tried was the free form curves.  We both really liked this technique.  We watched the video from Man Sewing on curved piecing.  Looks easy doesn't it?  I started with two fat quarters and here are my results:

How fun is this?  I used a regular presser foot with this technique following the instructions from Man Sewing.  I did try the 1/4" curve presser foot with one row of stitching and I preferred to use the regular presser foot for my machine on this technique.  I haven't decided what I'm going to make with these two items or if I'm going to continue the technique all the way across.  There is still a few decisions to make.  I have about 3/4 yard of each fabric left.

The one thing that I did learn is not to hold the fabrics together as you would with most sewing.  Of course, that means that you're using both hands to hold the fabric but it works well.  Just take your time and enjoy the process.  

Happy Sewing!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Cooking...A Spinach Salad

Oh, summer is coming and it's always nice to have a quick and easy recipes just waiting for those hot summer days.  I have found a perfect one.

It's Cranberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken and Orange Poppy Seed Dressing.  This is a really good salad.  So, remember to grill some extra chicken the next time you grill for a quick meal later.

This will certainly give you more time to spend creating.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Summer McCall's Patterns

The new summer McCall's pattern line was announced today and I'm feeling mighty old.  There was only one pattern that was remotely interesting to me and it isn't something I would purchase not that any of the patterns are in stock right now.  What were they thinking? So, here it is:

This is M7174.  This pattern offers the two pillows above with two floral variations. These pillows are very nice home dec options.  Love the look of the smocking.

So, I had to look a little closer.  I just couldn't believe that there was nothing of interest but really this isn't.  I did find another pattern that is very much on trend with the 70s style:

This is M7164.  This is a wide leg pant pattern with 4 variations. This is a pant with lots of volume.  Don't wear them too long.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping….

Yes, it’s springtime in Western PA and time for the annual fabric sale.  I managed to make it Saturday morning even though I’m a bit under the weather.  I didn’t purchase a lot but I did manage to find a few pieces. Here’s the take:

Most of these items were a $1 plus change.  I did find one piece that was $2.50.  Not too bad. The fabrics in the lower half of the picture are all quilting cottons. The top left was a nice knit for testing Pamela's knit skirt pattern. I'm not sure what the fabric is on the top right but it was super soft and has lots of texture. 

Now, don’t think for an instant that is all the shopping I did.  I did a bit of shopping from my own little shop:

I had been wanting one of the Ewesful Pincushion (lower right hand corner) and finally got around to it.  The Drunkard’s Path template is for the upcoming technique meeting with my friend.  It is going to about curves.  We’re planning on playing with the drunkard’s path and ¼” curve master foot,  along with free form curves with the rotary cutter.  The Templar I wanted to test printing templates with the printer but in looking at this is shows that it works with a laser printer.  Since it will not melt, it would be great to use with appliques.  The applique kit is for being able to carry a lot a small project when I go places and need to wait. It should be super easy.  Hopefully, it will be finished by fall.

Hope everyone is enjoying nice spring weather.  I enjoyed the weather in Arkansas a couple of weeks ago but not enjoying the Pennsylvania weather too much. 

Happy Stitching!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bust Darts….

Are you a person that needs to make adjustments to every pattern that comes into your space?  I mostly am.  That means that I should but don’t necessarily always do it.  Do you know when you need a bust dart?  Well,  a few telling signs are when the front is always shorter than the back or the side, the little gathering around the side bust, the little pleat that hangs from the bust to the side seam, and when the front swings forward away from the body.

There is tons of information on the net regarding how to add a bust dart but how do you know it’s correct?   Is the answer it depends on where you start?  If you’re starting with a pattern that has the correct width for your bust, why would you add additional width when adding a dart?  I can see adding additional width when you start with a pattern that is smaller than you.   Most of the information that I see about bust darts are adding width and length.   Here an example of Full Bust Adjustment (this is a link) from Sew News.

Have you ever wondered how to add a bust adjustment when you don’t need to add width?  I have always done the easy method of just cutting the pattern across approximately where the apex is and adding the length that I want.  This method works best with knits because you generally ease in the extra length with very little gathering or an actual dart.  No, I don’t think this is a recommended method.  In researching this question, I came across “Sabrina Student Designer” blog and the “How to Calculate Your Bust Dart Size” (this is a link).  Great information in this article.  Warning you might need a calculator for this one.  This information sounds like the information that Peggy Sagers uses in her patterns.  I plan on using the information to determine the cup size with my next Silhouettes top pattern.   I will let you know if it was of any use.   When I was reading the comments from the above article, there was a reference to another tutorial on "How to add a dart to a dartless pattern" (this is a link).  This is a very good article, also.

Do you have a favorite method for adding darts or reducing a dart?

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tutorial - Narrow Back Adjustment:

This tutorial is how I made the narrow back adjustment for B6199 dress.  The information was found in the "Fast Fit" book.  The book stated that this alteration was for someone with an erect posture.  I'm not sure that this actually describes my posture but it seemed to work.

This is a dress work page from the "Sew/Fit Manual".

On the dress back, I have drawn a line where the waist would be on the pattern.  This is the line that goes through the waist dart from left to right.  I have also drawn a line from the waist marking to the shoulder.  This line should be outside of the waist/hip dart.

Here I have drawn a second on the armhole side of the line that was previously drawn from the waist to the shoulder.  The instructions from Fast Fit stated that this should be started at 1/2" and if you need more you can make changes in 1/4" increments.  These two lines will form a tuck in the pattern.

Although it is a little hard to tell, in this picture I have cut the waist line to the waist-to-shoulder mark closest to the waist/hip dart.

Here I have folded the pattern on the first drawn line from the waist-to-shoulder.

I have matched to the drawn lines in this picture.  Note, the drop in the slight shoulder line.

Next, it is time to start truing up the seams.  I used a cop of the original dress to do this part.  Yes, it does add the full weight of the tuck back at the waist but I didn't want to remove any width from below the waist.

Then I trued up the shoulder seam.

Here's the finished mini pattern.  This alteration worked fairly well for me.  I'm very happy with the dress that I made.

One last thing, note that the shoulder seam on the back is now at least 1/2" shorter than the front. No, you do not need to make an alteration to the front pattern piece.  They will ease together without any problem.  Just remember to put the front part with the feed dogs.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Summer Vogue Patterns...

I love seeing the new patterns with each coming season.  Sometimes, there isn't much of interest for me.  That's Okay.  I have many patterns in my pattern stash that needs to be used up.  Here are the new Vogues that I found interesting:

Let's start with V1446. I love the details on this dress.  All the little pleats and the back detail is just wonderful.  This is marked as an advance pattern.  If you needed a spectacular dress for summer, this might be the one.  Since it is close fitting, a muslin should probably be done.  Unfortunately, this pattern will not be added to my collection.  The design is a little too young for me.

This is V9099.  A classic jacket pattern by Claire Shaeffer.  Oh, yes, this will be added to the pattern collection.

That it for the Vogue collection.  There were many nice looking patterns in this collection but the majority were too short or too full for me.

Happy Stitching!