Fairely Well Maid

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Monday, June 7, 2010


Summer Shirt - Day 4

Last night I hand stitched the neckline.  I just rolled it over and whip stitched it.  I also sewed on two of the buttons and took a couple of stitches at the top to keep the fold together.

Today I hemmed the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt.  I used a zigzag stitch on the bottom for a different effect.  I sewed the last buttons at the wrist and I'm done.

OK...here are the lessons I learned:

1)  Make sure you have the right needle.  When sewing knits you should use a ballpoint needle.

2)  Tissue paper is your friend when sewing delicate or slippery fabrics.

3) Buttonholes.  My machine has a one step buttonhole.  If the material is slippery or delicate use a scrap piece of sturdy fabric when making the buttonhole.

4)  Use the proper stitch.  Knits need the stretch stitch or a zigzag stitch to work correctly.

5) A little hand sewing for details never hurt anyone.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer shirt - day 3

Whew - it is hot in my kitchen where my sewing area is set up.  I had the fan on and still kind of melted.

I got the sleeves on today.  I had to rip part of the side seam out that I put in yesterday after I put one sleeve on and realized it wasn't right.  I was looking for a slightly Rennie type sleeve that buttoned at the top, elbow and wrist and was wide at the bottom.

I cut two pieces per sleeve, hemmed the straight edge and pinned the two pieces to the body.  I sewed them on and then ran the bottom up.  I still need to hem the bottom of the sleeve.  Then I put in the buttonholes.

OK...a word or two about buttonholes.  I've never done them before so I read the directions in the machines manual.  My machine has a one step buttonhole option.  It says to use a thick thread when making buttonholes on slippery or knit fabric.  Yeah, right.  No way could I get those stupid things set right.  After much swearing, I got a brain storm.  I put a sturdier piece of scrap material under the knit and, voila, worked like a charm.  Nice and easy with that fix.

I'm going to do a hand rolled whip stitch neckline.  Then sew on the buttons and I'm done.  I have a salvage edge at the bottom so hemming that is optional.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

ARGH - Summer shirt - day 2

I just have to keep telling myself "It's a learning experience".  Here's what happened.

I changed the needle to a ballpoint needle, pinned the two pieces of fabric together and put a piece of tissue paper underneath to help with the feed.  SNAP goes the needle because of a clogged bobbin.  Took the bobbin case apart and cleaned and oiled it.

Then, after putting the new needle in, fiddling with the bobbin tension, fiddling with the stitch tension and swearing just a little bit I finally got a seam sewed.  OK, so using the correct needle, stitch and tissue paper worked.

Next problem.  The sleeve design is off.  It won't hang the way I want it to with the current design so it's back to the drawing board.

I guess it is a good learning experience for when I start sewing with silk and satin to make merchant or noble Elizabethan garb.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Knit Fabric Summer shirt

I bought a wonderful, soft knit fabric in a dark fuchsia.  I want to make a V neck summer shirt with loose sleeves that button at the elbow and wrist and flair at the end.  I have very wide fabric so I'm going to use the T Tunic model.

I folded the fabric and cut it at 29".  This is the width I need.  I cut out the neck.  I cut out sleeves at about a 2:1 ratio with the larger end being the bottom.  I'm going to split the sleeve in half, then hem each piece at the top.  Then I'm going to pin the two pieces to each side of the body, run the side seams up and sew the underside of the sleeves.  Two buttonholes will go on the sleeves top at the elbow and the wrist and a button will also go at the top of the sleeve for decoration only.

I started trying to sew this today and have run into all sorts of problems.  My bobbin side is globing all up, the machine is eating my fabric (had to cut another sleeve) and everything is bunching up.  So I clean and oil the bobbin casing and then I google.  Come to find out you need a special ballpoint needle to sew knit fabric, who knew.  So the whole project is on hold until I can get the proper needle.

Hey, this is a learning process.

Viking Dress in action

Here I am in the Green Tunic with a plaid and with the Yellow Apron Dress.  They are very comfortable and wear extremely well.