Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sewing Pants for Women...Preparing the Pattern for Alteration Step 4, Part 5

Continuing with the Sewing Pants for Women by Else Tryoler.  Today, will we start with Step 4 of the seven giant steps to pants perfection:

Hang of the pants at the waist and crotch width alterations

There is an old and weary joke about a person's legs being just long enough to reach the floor.  It is also axiomatic that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  Now, suppose we start at the waist smack in the center of the back and envision two lines traveling to the floor.  If the person involved has a very flat seat, the route from waist to floor will be a straight line.  But if she also throws her hips forward making her tummy rather prominent, you can see the line from the waist to the floor in front has to travel over the provenience en route;  therefore it is not a straight line and is longer than the line to the rear.

A similar situation develops if the subject has a bustle back and a flat stomach.  In other words, it is possible for a pair of pants to be a different length from waist to floor in the front and the back.  This is also true of a person who carries no extra weight, but simply tilts her hips forward or backward so that her waist line is at a slant. See Figures 9, 10, 11.  These three figures each have the same hip measurements.  Figure 9 shows a standard (or perhaps ideal!) shape.  The anatomy is evenly balanced and requires little or no alteration.  Figure 10 shows a shape which is wider through the seat.  It is rounder in circumference through the hips, and is more like a true circle.  This type requires a longer line in the back to reach from the waist to the floor as shown in Figure 12.  Add 1/4 to 1/2- inch at the center back waist seam, tapering to nothing at the side seams.

Figure 11 is very flat in the seat.  This type requires a far shorter line from the waist to floor in the back.  In this case, drop the waistline 1/4 to 1/2-inch a the center back seam, tapering, as before, to nothing at the side seams.  You will find this technique illustrated by the dotted line at the top of Figure 13.

Look again at Figure 10.  Compare the distance between the Xs on this type -- this is called crotch width  -- with the distance between the Xs on the other figures.  Wider, isn't it?  In order to fit this type, the crotch curve must be widened by adding to the inner leg seam at both front and back.  See Figure 12.

Look now at Figure 11.  Judge the distance between the Xs on this type.  Her crotch width is narrower, isn't it?  Therefore less crotch width is needed in the pattern, so the inner leg seam is decreased at the crotch by about 1/2-inch in the back only.  This is shown by the broken line at the side of Figure 13.  It is sometimes necessary to alter this again after the first fitting.  If it then proves to be still too wide, in out a small amount at the front seam also.

Front alteration (the waistline seam):  If your abdomen is flat, no alteration will be needed.  However, if you tend to round out in front once the coning influence of a tight garment is removed, this is more apt to be a problem.  If this is so, increase the center front by adding 1/4 to 1/2-inch to the waistline, tapering to nothing at the side seams.  See Figure 14.

Did you notice anything with the terms in this section? I believe we would know crotch width by today is called crotch length.  What do you think?

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Here's a view of some of the fabric organization in the closet:

In this picture you can see the collection of denim, fat quarters, holiday fabrics, interfacing, and mostly contained quilting scraps.  There is a shelf above that can not be seen.

In this picture, you can see the carefully folded fabric.  Fabric in this area is larger than 1/2 yard.  You can also see the sleeve board, a few hangers, towels awaiting applique, and more interfacing.

This is some of the carefully folded fashion fabric.  There are a few pieces in this batch that will be for muslins only.  This is a couple of shelves above this picture and a shelf below.  This is also a sewing machine under the last shelf.

This is another view.  Additional carefully folded fashion fabric with magazines, patterns, and a tiny bit of yarn (this is the only knitting stuff that has made it to the room).  There is a couple of shelves above with more fabric and a shelf below.  You can see the corner of my cutting table which will be in the closet and moved out to line up with the sewing table when needed.  Also, hidden by the cutting table is a couple of my sewing machines.

I think the biggest surprise with doing this organization is the amount of denim that I have collected along with the amount of quilting weight cotton fabrics.  Some of the denim is destined for a quilt and some of it is destined for jeans.  I suppose some of the denim can be used as a muslin for jeans.

If nothing else, this whole experience has certainly slowed down the desire to purchase more fabric.  Now that I can see the majority of it, I'm hoping that it will be considered first before purchasing more.  I do not have a large amount of knits so that will most likely be the exception.

Fabric folding techniques can be found in the blog post "Organization....Folding Fabric".

Happy Stitching!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Organization.... Rulers...

My room is slowly coming together.  I hope that it works as well as I hoping.  I used the vertical surfaces on cabinets and my shelves for the rulers:

On the bookshelf, I have a long skinny ruler and my tube turners.  There is a little bit of space left to add additional skinny rulers should I find them or acquire more (I hope not).

This side of my little cabinet has triangle rulers.  Additional space below for some additional rulers.  I'm currently out of hooks and have two more small rulers to hang .  You can see my largest mat behind this little cabinet.  Not ideal storage for it but it was the only spot I could find.

This side of the cabinet has the hexagon rulers with a variety of other rulers below.

One on side of my pattern cabinet, I have all my large cutting rulers.  There are 2 stripology rulers and a 12 1/2" square.

On the other side of the pattern cabinet are the remaining rulers.  I think most of the rulers have been found.  At least, I hope that have been.  There is always the chance that some mini rulers may be discovered yet.

I used the Command Medium Wire Hooks to hold up the rulers.  So far they seem to be holding up well.  This particular hook will hold up to 3 lbs.  Here's a better picture:

FYI:  I'm not affiliated with this brand.  Just a happy customer.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sewing Pants for Women...Preparing the Pattern for Alteration Step 3. Part 4

Continuing with the Sewing Pants for Women by Else Tryoler.  Today, will we start with Step 3 of the seven giant steps to pants perfection:

Hip alterations

There are as many different humps and bumps to a pair of pants as there are women to walk around in them.  There is certainly no area more susceptible to poor fit than the hips if you attempt to squeeze all those varied contours into one pattern shape.  Might as well try to add apples and oranges or bananas and pears for that matter.

On your measurement chart you have all the information you need to personalize a pattern so that it will fit you and your particular terrain.

Pin the front and back pattern pieces together by matching the side seams at the hip-line.  (Remember those two pins at the fullest part of your hips, about seven or eight inches down?)  Take a look at Figure 7 to see what you should be doing.

Now comes a little math:  look up your hip measurement and add two inches for ease.  This represents the total hip circumference you will need in your pattern, but remember that the two pieces of your pattern represent only 1/2 your figure.  So, next divide your total hip circumference by two and you have the number of inches your pattern must measure to fit you.

Back to the pinned together pattern.  Measure from the center front (the X to the left on Figure 7) to the center back (the X to the right on Figure 7).  If the measurement is more than the number of inches you determined in the preceding paragraph, you will take half the difference out of the pattern Front and half the difference out of the pattern back.

This alteration is made on a vertical line, designated by the alteration line on the diagram, so that it will not disturb the side seam curve.  (Do not make the common mistake of adding only at the hips, because that will make the side seam ripple and cause great difficulty when it comes time to insert the zipper.)  An example:  if the pattern is 1-inch too large, fold out 1/2-inch in the front and 1/2-inch in the back.  Be sure to fold it out all the way from the waist to the hem as shown in Figure 7.  Similarly, if the pattern is too small by 1-inch, insert 1/2-inch in the front and 1/2-inch in the back.  You are now grading or sizing the pattern up or down a fraction of a size.

Remember your hip measurement is not all hip.  It also includes the seat and abdomen.  If your hips curve more than standard, add a little more at the side seams of the front and back to take care of the excess.  This is particularly  necessary when the hips are prominent.

If you have very straight hips, the curve at the side seams must be decreased in front and back. Be sure to decrease in equal amounts, however.  See dotted lines, Figure 8.

Always operate where your figure requires it.  Sometimes you grade or size only in the front, sometimes only in the back.  For example, you may need to add only a small amount to your hip measurement -- let's say 1/2-inch.  If you protrude more in the front over the abdomen than the standard figure, then insert only in the front.  Or perhaps your seat is standard plus --- or a prominent side.  Then insert only through the back portion.

Do the same grading if you want to make the pattern smaller.  For a figure with a flat abdomen, fold out a small amount in the front only, or do the same in back for a flat seat.

After you have made any of the alterations, ad have decreased or increased the width of your pattern pieces, remember to draw a new crease-line vertically through the exact center of the knee-line and parallel to the former crease-line.  The reason for this is that when inserting or decreasing the pattern piece, the crease-line moves over half the amount of the any change made.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Found Beauty...

Moving all of my sewing stuff across country has been a true eye-opener.  Too much stuff but it has been fun going through it.  I have also found many projects.  Many unfinished and stuffed into bags and/or boxes.  Along with the unfinished projects, there have many projects that were purchased (pattern, fabrics, and notions) and just left in the bag for another day.  I'm planning on finishing some of these projects.  The first project is this little beauty:

Yes, this is very hard to photograph but I tried.  I'm pretty sure this is something that I did in the late 80s when I was learning how to hand quilt.  I have no idea if it was ever intended to be anything but what it is but I'm going to turn this into a small pillow.  Hopefully, among the pillow form stash will be a form that will fit the finished size.  Also found with it was more of the same muslin and this will be perfect for the backing.  Now, I just need to see if I have a zipper in an appropriate color (cream or white).

Have you found old projects like this?  Have you gone through with the completion?  Were you happy with the end results?

I'm hoping that this will be a good addition for the bench in my entryway.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Casual Skirts....

As life continues to change and I fall into new routines, I decided that I needed a new casual skirt.  You can't really get much more casual than a denim skirt but do I really want denim?  Maybe I will consider the skirt styling and try for a colored denim.  So, with that in mind, I headed over to Neiman Marcus to see what they were showing in this particular style.  I found this:

A rather typical denim pencil skirt with jean styling. Although my skirt will not be too small as the picture is showing on the model.  I suspect that if this skirt was worn by the model for an entire day, it would be butt sprung.  Of course, the denim might relax but I'm not familiar with the fabric blend on this skirt.  It is cotton and polyurethane.  I don't general think of polyurethane as a chemical to create fabric but there is it.  This is the AG Emery High-Waisted Pencil Skirt.  Regular price tag:  $168.00.

Now for a pattern.  I just received the Silhouette Patterns #2017 - My Basic Jean Skirt:

This is a classic jean skirt pattern.  Styling is pretty close to the inspiration picture.  It most likely is not a high-waisted and not as close fitting because it doesn't show in the line drawing that it has a slit.

Other pattern considerations:

McCall's Perfect Fit Skirt, the shortest version on the right.  It has slanted pockets which might rule it out.

This Vogue Calvin Klein skirt.  It's a little shorter than I prefer but that is easy to fix.  It has the high waist like the inspiration picture.  There is a slit in the back which is where I would prefer to have the slit, if I'm going to have one.

So many things to consider.  The Silhouettes pattern would probably be the easiest because of the sizing.  The McCall's and Vogue patterns will need to have adjustments made.  All three are very classic skirts. 

As far as the fabric, the recent move has proved to me that I have plenty of fabric.  For some reason, I tend to collect denim which I had no idea that I had done.  I also have a small collection of twills.  I'm leaning toward a dark chocolate brown twill to make this skirt. 

I guess if I'm going to get this moved from a plan to reality I need to work a little harder on the sewing room and get the organization finished so I can get the sewing machines going.  I'm definitely ready to see how a couple of the machines survived the move.  It will give me the chance to see how my setup works.

What are your thoughts on the chosen patterns?

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sewing Pants for Women...Preparing the Pattern for Alteration Step 2, Part 3

Continuing with the Sewing Pants for Women by Else Tryoler.  Today, will we start with Step 2 of the seven giant steps to pants perfection:

Length alterations:  crotch, knee, and full side

First we will deal with the crotch length.  Take the Crotch Length from the measurement chart.  Then, add the necessary ease:

For small sizes (hips below 35 inches) add 1/2 inch.
For medium sizes (hips 35 to 38 inches) add 3/4 inch.
For large sizes (hip over 38 inches ) add 1 inch.

For stretch fabrics, reduce the ease by half these amounts.  For tight fitting pants, reduce the ease slightly, especially if the fabric has some give to it.

Let's correct the pattern.  Look at Figure 5.  Measure the length from A to B on your pattern.  Compare this figure with your own crotch measurement plus the necessary amount of ease.  If the pattern is too long, draw a parallel line below the hip-line and fold out the excess.  Do the same to the back.  If the pattern is too short compared to you, cut it along the hip line.  Lengthen it by inserting the needed paper all the way across, see Figure 5.

The knee length:  Some women are long from the ankle to knee , some are long from the knee to hip.  It doesn't really matter unless you're wanting a type of pant that depends on the knee for length.  So regard that knee-line you made in step one with suspicion, until you have determined whether it coincides with yours or not.

Locate knee length:  Refer to you knee length on the chart and apply it to the pattern.  Measure the pattern from A to C.  See Figure 5.  If the measurements are the same, you're home safe.  If not, draw a new, correct knee-line parallel to the existing knee-line (either above or below).  Make the line in red so you'll know that it's yours.  This step is important when styling different lengths of pants.

The full side length:  To adjust, compare your measurement from the chart with the length of pattern.  If there is a discrepancy, shorten or lengthen the pattern below the knee-line.  Make certain that you keep your lines parallel.  Add or remove the same amount both front and back.

Seams do not meet after alteration:  Adjust your lines as shown in Figure 6 by the broken line.  It is a matter of giving a little and taking a little to arrive at a compromise between the original lines.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sewing Pants for Women...Preparing the Pattern for Alteration Step 1. Part 2

Continuing with the Sewing Pants for Women by Else Tryoler.  Today, will we start with Step 1 of the seven giant steps to pants perfection:

Preparing the Pattern for Alteration

Your pattern is the blueprint for constructing a fine pair of pants. You will need a ruler, triangle, and pencil.   Prepare your pattern by drawing in the following item (see Figure 4):

(Always measure from the seam lines and not the cutting lines.)

1.  Draw in the seam lines.

2.  Take the vertical waist-to-hip measurement from the measurement chart in Part 1.  On the pattern, measure down that distance on both front and back pieces, establishing points through which you will draw a horizontal line.  This line will be call your hip line and alteration line.

3.  Locate the Crotch Length on your pattern Front by place a triangle on the straight of grain line and matching it to the point of the crotch (see Figure 4).  Draw a line across the top of the triangle to "B" as indicated on the diagram.

4.  Draw in the hem-line.

5.  Locate the knee-line, usually half way between the hem-line and crotch, and carefully draw a horizontal line at this point on Front and Back pattern pieces.

6. Draw a crease-line, both front and back

When you are finished, you should have a workmanlike pattern, drawn in the manner illustrated.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Organization...Folding Fabric

I have been folding a lot of fabric the last four or five weeks.  In fact, I've found a lot of fabric that I did not remember having. Nothing more fun than finding cute/beautiful fabric that you have completely forgotten about.  However, it has caused a bit of storage problem.  Basically, I am using three ways to store fabric:

1.  Ruler method of folding fabric - In generally, you use a 6" x 24" ruler for this method.  It is very neat and you can store a lot of fabric using this method.  Here's a very quick youtube video on this method of folding.  This method works well with 1/2 yard and larger pieces of fabric.  I have been using it for fashion fabrics, quilting fabrics, and other types of fabric.

2.  Card method for folding fat quarters or pieces smaller than 1/2 yard -  I found the instructions for this fold at Nancy's Notions.  It is a pdf labeled Fat Quarter Poker.  At this point, I am not re-folding purchased bundles that are currently folded.  I have not decided yet how those will be displayed/stored.

3.  Scrap storage - I haven't figured out yet how this is going to work out but I'm going to give it a try so that I have access to fabric pieces that can't be folded using the method in item 2.  This method is described at this Quiltville link - Scrap Saver's System.

When I have finished the fabric organization, I will share pictures from the sewing room.  It may be a while as I still have a lot of fabric still in bags or boxes.

I would love to hear how wool fabrics are being stored to prevent infestations.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sewing Pants for Women....The Measurement Chart....Part 1

This series will be from the Sewing Pants for Women by Else Tyroler.  This publication is from the early 60s.  Let's start with The Measurement Chart.

The Measurement Chart

This is the basis for a perfect pair of pants.  It is where fit is begins.  Follow the instructions and note all your findings.  As you proceed through the fitting steps, you will be referring back to the measurement chart.

Now call in a good friend,  get a good measurement tape, and fasten a length of elastic around you waist snugly.  Relaxy while your friend takes your measurements and watch for accuracy.

Now that you've taken all your measurements.  We will get ready for the seven steps to pant perfection in the next post.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Little Bit of Organization...

Things are getting along well enough that I feel like it is OK to show a couple of pictures.  Don't get me wrong, the new sewing room is still pretty much a disaster and not ready to use by any means but it is slowly getting there. This is the corner behind the door entering the room:

I used an over-the-door hook and a couple of skirt hangers to hang three of my cutting boards.  The larger mat is hanging on a hook that is attached to the door.  I either got this idea from pinterest or a quilting board.  I still need to figure out where to put my largest mat besides on the floor.  That mat is slightly larger than the lower mat that is hanging on the door.  Originally, it was suppose to hang from a skirt hanger but the hanger didn't have enough strength to hold it up.  I'm sure I will figure it out but I will welcome any ideas.

This is a smallish pegboard (2' x 4') that DH painted to matched the wall.  It is hung at the top of the door level to leave a bit of space for pattern paper rolls.  The top portion holds the vintage quilting hoop and my embroider hoops with the lower section holding machine hoops.  There is a little bit of space for other items that hang.  I have some small scissors shown as an example.  I did attempt to put the rotary cutter in there but it didn't work out so well.  I'm sure this idea also came from pinterest.

Well, I'm proud of the little bit of organization that I have accomplished.  I only get to spend about an hour a day in the sewing room because there are so many boxes that still need to be unpacked.  It gets better every day.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Days are sliding by...

...and I want to sew but my sewing area isn't ready yet.  The new sewing room has been painted and has new flooring.  Here's another glimpse:

Looks a little better than the lavender room with the tan carpeting.  I will not miss any holes or crayon drawings on the walls.

I'm still in disbelieve on the amount of fabric that I have but have slowing been working through the boxes and re-folding the fabric. i have found some really beautiful fabrics hiding in my stash.

 I'm using the ruler method for folding the fabric and it seems to work well for both fashion fabric and quilting fabric.  Although it does seem to work a little bit better with items that are 45" or less in width.

I'm trying really hard to make my space work for me.  Currently, all of my machines have made it into the room.  Some are out on display and some are in the closet.  I'm trying to use the same desk that I have had in my sewing area for years.  In the past, I have two sewing machines and the serger on that desk but for now I'm setting it up with one sewing machine and the serger.  It will definitely feel less crowded with this set-up.  The previous set-up never slowed me down and I can certainly bring out one of the other machines should I decide to do some embroidery work.

Off to fold more fabric.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, September 18, 2017

I've Landed....

After a swirl wind summer, I have landed in my new house. So much has happened since I was last here - new house purchase, family death, ankle surgery, parent's 60th wedding anniversary, starting work on new house, getting old house ready to hit the market, death of family pet, packing the house for a move, and moving.

My ankle surgery was a success as in from constant pain to no pain.  I would do it again in an instant.  The sell of my home in PA happened much faster than expected.  It was on the market for 6 days and then had a 30 day closer.  I have been running non-stop since mid-June when the surgeon said I could take my boot off my foot.  I am ready to sit down and relax but it's not quite time yet.  There is still lots to do.

Here's a glimpse at my new sewing space:

It's not a great picture and it doesn't feel like a large room but I'm going to try to make it work.  When the previous owner's furniture was moved there were holes in the walls to deal with and lots of crayon drawings.

The one thing about moving is you get to see just how much stuff you own.  It has been a real eye opener for me.  I need to sew sew sew and quit collecting.  Currently, I'm working on furniture layout and trying to get organized.

How was your spring/summer?

Happy Sewing!

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.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


It was the annual craft sale at the Salvation Army this past Saturday.  I meant to be there very early, like an hour before the sale started but it didn't happen.  Fortunately, a friend was there a head of me.  I felt bad for cutting in line but I've never seen anyone get upset about it at this sale.

There were bargains to be had just like there are every year but really how much stuff do you need to have especially when you're suppose to be clearing out getting ready for a move.  So, here's my finds for the year:

How could I resist these Calvin Klein patterns?  You know actually see these available very often and not for the price I paid.

A couple of pieces of fabric.  They're suppose to be cotton but I don't think so on the solid.   I'm thinking skirt on the blue and a top on the print.  Specially, I'm thinking about trying the revised Sorbetto.

I picked these up to make some little charity pigs for a local animal haven that takes in the unwanted pot belly pigs and rabbits.  How could I resist helping a little bit?  Now, I just need to find time to work on it.

I can't pass up a super bargaining on knitting supplies.  6 sets of circular knits and a baggy full of other knitting supplies.  I did realize what the blue thing was till I got home.  It's a peg board system for keeping up with your stitches.  I wish I had picked up a second baggy because each one contained different items.  The little things tend to disappear fairly quickly.

That's all folks.  I'm really not a big spender at this sale.  As much as I would like to spend a lot of time looking at the fabrics, there are just too many men/women digging through stuff and you really have to fight to even get a place in line.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Fitting Dresses...Fitting The Waistline, Part 13

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

Fitting The Waistline

Where the waistline of a dress should be placed -- at, above, or below the normal waistline --- depends on the style of the dress and the position most becoming to the figure.  To find the normal waistline, place the hands with the curves between the forefingers and thumbs in with the lowest rib or the slight body indentation.  The forefinger curving  around the front and the thumb curving around to the back indicate the normal waistline.  The waistline of a dress is usually made slightly higher in the back than in the front but gives the effect of a straight line.

A snugly fitted waistline helps keep the skirt as well as the blouse in proper position.  When fitting the waistline, keep the seam lines and darts entering the waistline at right angles to the floor.  Special style features might indicate otherwise.  On the pleated skirts that must be straight at the lower edge, the bottom is finished first and the length adjustments made at the waistline.

Skirt too loose at waistline or hip.  The pattern may be too large for the hips and waist of the figure.  Or the
waistline may not be properly fitted and map slip down below the belt line.

A slight amount of extra width can be taken out by the deeper seam lines.  Side back darts also help to shape a skirt into a smaller waistline.  Extra fullness in the blouse waistline is eased into gathers or darts.

If the skirt is much too large, refit it.  Rip the side seams to below the hip line.  Put on the skirt, right side out.  Pin front, back, and side waistline to the foundation garment.  Fold under a deeper seam allowance on the front side seam.  Lap this over the back seam.  Place pins at right angles to the fold.  (See Figure 22)   Work first
from the hip line to the waistline, then from the hip line to hem line.  Keep crosswise grain of goods straight at hip line.  Keep underarm seam line straight directly under armpit.  Adjust both side seams and, if necessary, any other seam line.  Remove the skirt.  Use top basting to mark and hold the new seam line.  After basting, try on again before final stitching.

Skirt too tight at waistline or hip.  The waistline of the figure may be larger than the waistline of the pattern or dress.

Let out any seam allowances as well as skirt darts in order to straighten them and relieve the strain. If there is not enough seam allowance, insert a gusset above and below the waistline in the side seams to give extra width.  Taper the gussets to fit the figure.  Facings, hem, or belt may be used for the gusset.

Lower edge of skirt pokes out in front.  The side seams swing forward and diagonal wrinkles extend from the center front of the waistline toward the hem (See figure 23 A).  This may be because the blouse is so short in front that it pulls up the grain of the goods in the skirt.  If this is the case it can be corrected by following the instruction (see below) under "Waistline Pulled Up Above Belt", or by raising the back of the skirt slightly at the waistline.  This brings the crosswise grain of the goods at the hip parallel to the floor and straightens the side seams.  Mark the correct waistline on the skirt and blouse.

Another way to correct this difficulty is to rip the side seams and front waistline.  Lift the front of the skirt at the sides until the grain of the cloth is straight across the hip line (Figure 23, B).  Pin and baste the side seams.  Fit the waistline, tapering the seam allowance on the skirt to normal width at the center front.  Baste and try on again before stitching.

Blouse sags over belt in front or back.  The blouse is too long between the bust line or shoulder blades and the waistline.  This often occurs on a short-waisted or sway-backed figure.

Rip the blouse from the skirt wherever the extra length is located.  Tie a cord over the blouse at the waistline, leaving some fullness above the cord for comfort.  Keep the grain of the goods straight across the bust and the back.  Mark the new waistline along the cord with pins or chalk.  Take off the blouse and fold it so that the corresponding seam lines are together.  It helps to pull one sleeve into the other.  Pin the sides and lower edges together.  Even up the pinned or chalked waistline, adding a seam allowance.  Cut away the extra length.  With the help of the pattern, mark again the position of the waist fullness, front and back.

Waistline pulled up above the belt.  The blouse is too short.  Women with prominent busts have this fitting difficulty.

If the seam allowance at the bottom of the blouse is wide enough, rip the blouse from the skirt and let out the seam.  If this cannot be done, insert a piecing that is wider in the center front and tapers to nothing at side seams.  The belt will cover the inset.  If matching cloth is available, a belt can be set in between the waist and skirt.  An inch or an inch and half can be added to the length of the blouse in this way.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Fitting Dresses...Fitting Armhole and Sleeve, Part 12

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

Wrinkles form in front and back of blouse below the arm.  The sleeve may also have lengthwise wrinkles under the arm.  These fitting difficulties arise when the blouse is too narrow or fitted too closely at the underarm seam and in the armhole.  The figure may have a roll of flesh directly under the arm and extending to the back.

Release the armhole seams of the blouse to give more room across the bust.  If the armhole is too snug, carefully clip it at intervals at the tight places.  Avoid clipping too deep or beyond the seam allowance.  Examine the fit of the lower half of the armhole.  If the armhole in the blouse was slightly eased into the sleeve around the lower half, wrinkles may result.  Rip out the sleeve and refit the lower half of the armhole.

Sleeve cap twists to the front or back.  When a sleeve cap twists to the back, the crosswise grain of the goods in the cap pulls down in the back and up in the front.  The lengthwise grain slants toward the back at the top.  On the other hand, when a sleeve cap twists to the front, the crosswise grain of the goods in the cap slopes up to the back and lengthwise yarns slant toward the front at the top.

The sleeve may have been set into the wrong armhole.  Or perhaps, when cutting out the sleeve, the pattern was not laid correctly with the grain of the goods.  Twisting to the back may be caused by too much fullness at the back of the sleeve cap.  Or perhaps the sleeve pattern was too short at the back, or there is not enough room for the elbow.  The shoulder bone on the figure may be more prominent than was allowed for by the pattern.  Twisting to the front may be caused by too much fullness at the front of the sleeve cap.

Check the sleeve with the pattern, noting the location of the notches in the sleeve cap and armhole.  Check the marks for the elbow.  If the sleeves are in the wrong armholes, exchange them, and fit again.

If a sleeve has not been cut correctly on the grain of the cloth, no amount of fitting will prevent twisting.  The best solution is to recut the sleeve.  This may mean changing the style of the sleeve if material is limited.  

If too much fullness has been put toward either the back or the front of the sleeve, rip the top half of the armhole seam, and shift the fullness, bringing the lengthwise yarns into the right position.  (See Figure 15)

When many changes are needed, rip the sleeves from the armhole and fit the sleeve while the dress is on the figure.  (see information for Figures 17 and 18).

Underarm sleeve seam twists to the front or back.  If the underarm sleeve seam pulls the top of the sleeve to the back, the back underarm sleeve seam may be too short or the elbow fullness incorrectly placed.  If there is plenty of elbow fullness, rip the seam and release some of the fullness, pushing it up higher.  This gives more elbowroom and helps to straighten the grain of the goods between the elbow and armhole.

If the lower armhole seam twists to the front it may be because there is not enough room at the elbow.  rip the seam below the elbow.  Push additional fullness into the elbow darts or gathers.  Pin and fit the lower part of the sleeve.  This will shorten the sleeve and you may have to change the sleeves to a three-quarter length.  

Back of blouse pulls at armhole line.  The sleeve bins.  At the narrow part of the back, crosswise wrinkles extend from the armhole toward the center of the back (figure 20 A).  The wrinkles may also extend across the sleeve cap.  The dress may be too narrow across the back.

When the armhole seam allowance permits, let out both the back and the sleeve.

If the wrinkles occur on in the back of the blouse at the armhole curve, the sleep cap may not be deep enough.  In other words, the back armhole line is too long for the depth of the sleeve cap.  In addition, the sleeve is probably too small for the armhole.  To give more depth to the sleeve cap, rip out the sleeve from the armhole and raise the lower or under half of the sleeve cap (Figure 20 B).  The extra material on the sleeve seam should be trimmed out after, and not before, the armhole seam is completed.  Pin, baste, and refit.

Armhole tight with crosswise wrinkles in the blouse from armhole and lengthwise wrinkles extending down at undersleeve.  Such wrinkles (Figure 21 A) occur when the armhole is too tight or too high at the underarm.  Or the sleeve may be too tight at the armpit level.

If the armhole is too snug, rip out the sleeve, and mark a new armhole line.  Refit the sleeve into the new armhole line, keeping the crosswise grain straight across at the armpit level.

Sometimes the armhole is too high at the underarm, yet the sleeve fit is well over the top of the arm.  To adjust this, rip the armhole stitching under the arm, baste a new, lower seam line (Figure 21, B).  Try on the blouse again.  If necessary, trim out the armhole a little to test the fit.  If the sleeve is too tight, let it out as much as possible.  Extra fullness can be eased into the upper half of the sleeve cap.