Thinking about sewing and pressing

I’m watching a good movie and sewing buttons on a new blouse. The things that go through my head…

Love your steam iron 🙂 As I sew, I press open every seam to sink the threads. And proceed from there. The end result is well-worth the time and effort for a nicely finished garment.

I use a very inexpensive ($25) Sunbeam steam iron. It has great steam, is easily replaced, and lasts as long as many pricey irons I’ve purchased in the past!

Just a thought – Coco

Love your machine – Sergers

Absolutely indispensable – a serger. Forget pinking shears and overlocking/zigzag stitches on a sewing machine. Nothing takes the place of a serger for fabric and seam edges. IMHO, a good serger is a great investment in sewing satisfaction and professional finishes.

They work so well – powerful little beasts – that it’s easy to forget that they need care and feeding just like a sewing machine. So, some tips from a lover of a good serger.

  • Simple stuff – clean it. I use both brushes and cotton swabs to get into every nook and cranny. Have you used it for a few hours or on a linty project? Clean it. I actually clean mine for every project, and I do recommend this. BTW, cotton swaps are great for cleaning the bobbin race on your sewing machine.
  • Intuitive stuff – oil it. That machine is pumping its heart out and has so many moving parts- oil doesn’t really last very long. Your serger will love you back for a little oil. I do this frequently, and I use a wonderful oil pen.Varieties are available, Sewing Machines Plus, Wawak, etc., all refillable. They have skinny needles for easy application. Just be sure to use sewing machine oil!
  • Easily overlooked – the needles. Serger needles take a beating, and they should be replaced! Most of the time I have a 90/14 in my sergers, but have changed them for different threads and fabrics. My choice: Klasse universal needles – again, MHO, do not spend money on a serger-specific needle!
  • Don’t drop a needle into the machine while replacing it! I have a nifty brush with a helper-hole on the end, I think it came with my Juki:
  • The tricky bit can be threading the loopers. Try a serger needle threader! it goes in and out all those elusive spaces.
  • Deep cleaning – About once a month I remove all the threads from my sergers and give them a deep cleaning. I’ve had mine for years, and I think a little love goes a long way. My machines, and I recommend them both, mid-price, heavy, quiet, obedient! and old friends. I have tried air-threading machines and ones with dial-tension. I like these. The tension knobs facilitate nuance changes, really important for the loopers and needles:
  • Last thought – cutting blades. When is the last time you replaced these? They are like scissors, but in one project do more than a pair of scissors over many years. And they are easy and fairly inexpensive to replace.

Bye for now – off to a project! Coco

Goldmine – Atelier Saison blazer videos

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This is an incredible video series from Atelier Saison on sewing a lined structured jacket.

I’m making my first Republique du Chiffon Manteau Gerard, which is typically lined. It’s been a while since I sewed a lined jacket, so I went looking on YouTube for a refresher course. Wow. This 6-part series from Atelier Saison is simply stunning. From laying out fabrics, cutting them, jacket assembly, and finishing, it’s all covered. And I find that watching someone do it is a lot more helpful than reading a tutorial. I love that ‘pause’ button…

The topic is a beautiful classic woman’s jacket/blazer.

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This garment done in wool flannel with a very sheer fusible interfacing and ‘posh-like’ lining. The journey is fascinating. I learned so much! I’ve watched each session several times, checkpointing my own jacket construction and simply taking it all in. I was captivate by all the Technique, fabric manipulation, seam management, sequence of construction, and small steps that differentiate the end garment from something well-made to something beautifully made. Couture.

I would have been happy with the videos. But Atelier Saison takes it a step further and offers the pattern for free as a PDF download. This link includes info and links to each part of the series, as well as the download.

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The videos have no audio dialogue, but are captioned in both Japanese and English. They are very easy to understand and navigate. Bonus – each video includes a list of topics covered, in English.

E.g., Part 2: “Adjust cutting, Stick stay tape, Sew the lining”

  • Stick stay tape on front bodice
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  • Fold crease line on lapel
  • Stick stay tape on back bodice
  • Plain seam under collar and collar stand
  • Plain seam upper collar and collar stand
  • Seam opening upper collar and collar stand
  • Top-stitch (seam opening) upper collar and collar stand
  • Top-stitch (overlapped seam) under collar and collar stand
  • Plain seam upper and under collar
  • Cut seam allowance and Grading it
  • Seam opening the collar and turn it out
  • Plain seam front bodice and facing
  • Attach the collar to the lining bodice
  • Attach the collar to the main bodice
  • Cut & Slash the seam allowance of the edge of front and lapel, and collar
  • Staystitch the edge of front curve
  • Seam opening and overlapped seam the collar
  • Seam opening the edge of front lapel
  • Make the pattern of the part of curve
  • Press the edge of front curve
  • Turn the facing out and Press
  • Hand blind stitch the neckline
  • Hand blind stitch the lapel crease line

Hope you enjoy (and many thanks to Atelier Saison for a real gem). Coco

Sewing is hazardous!

sewing

 

I just managed to burn my thumb with my iron. Which got me to thinking about all the injuries incurred (or lurking) in a sewing room!

 

My short list:

  • Walking pins and needles into my feet (my sewing space is carpeted).
  • Having the iron sputter hot water and steam onto my hand (my fault, I lifted it before it was to temperature).
  • Sewing through my nail bed, twice! Very painful.
  • Scratching myself while pulling on a fitting garment with the pins on the inside. Duh.
  • Cutting into the web between my thumb and forefinger while trimming a seam.
  • Starting to sew with my finger under the side of the presser foot. Ouch. That thing came down like a hammer.

croc sewing machine

And you?! Coco

Paper Theory Zadie Jumpsuit in progress

layout Quick post! My Zadie jumpsuit pattern is drafted and ready for layout.

Aargh…I really don’t enjoy doing a flat layout on fabric (instead of folding the fabric and cutting two at a time).

But I tell myself it’s all part of sewing 🙂

 

I really really want to wear this on Tuesday, an appointment. I’m Watching April the giraffe, Animal Adventure Park, on YouTube, and Deepwater Horizon on the TV for company.

line art
Pattern link

This fabric has a fairly short vertical repeat, which helps. And I always order extra yardage for anything that will need print matching.

Zadie fabric
Linen/cotton woven, FabricMart

This is keeping me out of trouble if nothing else! Ciao – Coco