New dressform

This is exciting! I’ve put off buying a new dress form for several years, as my old form was ‘OK’, and I had other priorities. But this is a year of going for those things I know I will enjoy. As Joan Rivers said, if not now, when…

After careful research, I purchased this Janome Artistic Dress Form in size Small, and I’m delighted. The comparative pic below illustrates my issues with my previous form (in red). It was a Medium, had a booty and tummy, very wide shoulders (which I cut off with a hand saw), and a surprisingly large neck. And it was short-waisted. I have a long torso, no booty or tummy, and a skinny neck!! Enter the new form on the right, wearing the dress form cover I made years ago in cotton rib:

This line of dress forms is available on many trusted sewing sites – SewVacDirect, SewingMachinesPlus, etc., and of course on Amazon.

A table of the dress form sizing:

Have you indulged yourself lately:-) Happy – Coco

Serger business…

Serger horror. I could not serge/cut a seam! This is lawn!

Look what I found. A huge piece of fabric somewhere in my serger. Even though I cleaned it after my pinafore sewing, and my daughter can attest to this, because I showed her the lint that comes from just one garment.

Well, even before this issue, I’ve known for a while that my Janome 8002D knives were dull, so I ordered both the upper and lower knives, they will be here this week.

Meanwhile, I like having two sergers, one with white thread, one for color changes. I’ve had a second serger for years, a Juki MO644D, that I killed by sewing over a quilting pin. Managed to destruct all the thread/guideline pins, presser foot and press plate, just not redeemable for much less than a new machine.

Which is now on order:

Happy woman…Coco

Favorite sites for sewing techniques

Happy New Year! As I’m feeling industrious this morning, I thought I’d share some of my favorite go-to’s for various sewing techniques 🙂 Coco



Add darts to pattern bodicehttp://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/do-a-full-bust-adjustment-by-adding-a-dart-to-a-no-dart-pattern
Adjust wrap dress necklinehttps://www.craftsy.com/sewing/article/how-to-adjust-a-wrap-dress-neckline/
Conversion table – fabric widthhttps://butterick.mccall.com/size-fit-charts/fabric-width-conversion-chart
Conversion table – multi-country sizinghttp://www.onlineconversion.com/clothing_womens.htm
Fly front zipperhttps://grainlinestudio.com/2012/09/19/sewing-tutorial-inserting-a-fly-front-zipper/
Making a  jacket – Threads pt1https://www.threadsmagazine.com/2008/06/06/making-a-jacket-part-i
Making a  jacket – Threads pt2https://www.threadsmagazine.com/2008/06/06/making-a-jacket-part-ii
Making a jackethttps://www.threadsmagazine.com/2010/09/09/how-to-sew-a-notched-jacket-lapel
Making a lined jacket – Atelier Saisonhttps://ateliersaison.jp/pg189.html
Neckline – Alder v-neck variationhttps://grainlinestudio.com/2014/09/23/alder-v-neck-variation/ttps://grainlinestudio.com/2014/09/23/alder-v-neck-variation
Neckline – sew v-neck bandhttps://www.craftsy.com/blog/2015/09/how-to-sew-a-v-neck-collar/
Sew4Home Project Indexhttps://sew4home.com/project-index
Shirt collar constructionhttps://closetcasepatterns.com/an-alternative-method-for-sewing-a-shirt-collar-kalle-sewalong/
Sleeve – make a flutter sleevehttps://www.craftsy.com/sewing/article/flutter-sleeve/
Sleeve – Plackets and Bandshttps://inseamstudios.com/sew-sleeve-placket/
Sleeve – Plackets and Bandshttps://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C222/welcome.html
Sleeve – Plackets and Bandshttp://off-the-cuff-shirtmaking.blogspot.com/2014/01/tutorial-shirt-sleeve-placket.html
Welt Pockethttps://guthrie-ghani.co.uk/blog/big-bow-coat-welt-pocket-tutorial
Welt Pockethttps://oliverands.com/community/blog/2013/10/tutorial-how-to-sew-a-welt-pocket.html
Welt Pockethttps://grainlinestudio.com/2016/11/29/tamarack-inserting-welt-pockets/
Welt Pockethttps://www.threadsmagazine.com/2016/11/04/video-sew-a-single-welt-pocket

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