More Men’s Coat V8940 (and Adventures in Thedas)

v8940fabricAND1frontunderstructureI’m still working on V8940. The fronts have all their understructure and padstitching.  Which is a roundabout way of saying that everything I’ve done so far happens before Step 1 of the pattern.  I did mention I’m slow, right?

Given that it’s the later part  of winter here, I’m sewing toward next winter.

I referenced several books (listed in my last post  about the coat) while making decisions — (Ledbetter and Lansing’s is particularly good for choosing between methods) — but now that I’m sewing, referencing too many makes me muddled, so I’ve stuck to the very clear, one-method Cabrera book (even though I have the women’s version) and Poulin for adapting it to menswear.

I’d be further along if I hadn’t seen a dirt cheap copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition and played it through the end.  Now my favorite, easily surpassing Skyrim and Witcher III (for me at least — those are probably fighting words to many). So although I’m sewing every weekend, I took a few detours to Thedas. :/

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Gussets Galore

gusset_jacque_in_colorGussets were mentioned on a recent episode of the Great British Sewing Bee, and since I haven’t sewn one, I paused to grab a few books. (Any excuse to crack open old sewing books.)

Construction methods were varied with outright contradictions about when to hand sew and when to machine sew, how to reinforce, and whether and when topstitching is okay. I’ve scanned some in for comparison…

 

 

1 Evelyn Mansfield
Clothing Construction (1953)
Diagram to show whether a gusset is needed for a kimono sleeve. Instructions on prep and Continue reading Gussets Galore

Thimble for a Small Finger

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my Lacis brass thimble

After attempting to make do with too-big inherited thimbles, I finally have one that fits. 13 mm was harder to find than medium sizes, so I bought online. (For anyone else in need of a small tailor’s thimble, there’s also an Osborne #5 that’s 13 mm. I haven’t seen smaller.)

Lacis thimble sizes are listed by the diameter of the inside at the base. I wrapped a strip of paper around my middle Continue reading Thimble for a Small Finger

Muslins for Men’s Coat V8940

V8940_BI’m working on Vogue 8940, which is the first thing besides boxers I’ve made for my OH. After 2 1/2 test garments, I think I have the last fitting issue sorted, and am waiting for him to wake so I can pounce and (after his coffee; I’m not a monster) have him try it on yet again.

I’m not over-fitting; I’m just new to both menswear and coats. I definitely like the reduced stress of getting a muslin to the point where I’m happy with it before I cut fashion fabric.

Assuming all is well, I’ll move on to doing more with understructure than the pattern includes. I still have a couple of months before his birthday (by which time it will be cold here), but I’m pretty slow, so may be late…

Over the past couple of months I’ve referred to several books, including The Complete Continue reading Muslins for Men’s Coat V8940

A basting stitch that’s twice the max stitch length of your machine

I liked this so much I made a video for it. It’s easy and only requires a double eye needle and a machine with a zigzag stitch. These needles used to be popular and were sold as “magic” or “basting” needles. Now Schmetz is making them again to market them for decorative stitches.  (I’ve gotten them cheaply on ebay here.) You can do regular sewing by threading the bottom eye and basting by threading the top eye and following the steps in the video.

ETA – As pointed out to me by a member of the Bernina Lovers fb group, you can baste with an even longer stitch using the blindhem stitch.

knit top This weekend I experimented with the thinnest, stretchiest knit I’ve tackled yet. A 4-way stretch that was cheap from a pop-up shop in Porirua. The easiest pattern I had for it was McCalls 8777.

I traced out full pattern pieces so I wouldn’t need to cut anything on the fold, then pinned fabric and pattern to foam core board. After trying the fabric with a few types of needles, I liked the stretch needle best. Foot pressure was reduced by more than half, and I sandwiched strips of water soluble stabilizer in the seams. Tension was set to 2 for most of it, but I hemmed with a double stretch needle, and for that I set tension to zero to keep it flat. At the shoulder and neckline, I stabilized with 1/4″ cotton tape (bought at Made Marion while enjoying the Mad Skills class).

None of the adjustments were that time consuming, so I was happy with a quick top made with just foot #1 on the Activa 130.

mccalls8777seam

Vogue 8815 Peplum Top

Vogue 8815 View A — Sleeveless peplum blouse with raised waist and back zipper. (Rated very easy, but was more difficult than my recent 8877 top, because I needed more alterations for fit this time.)

Pattern size 12 (my measurements match 14, but with the amount of ease they had 12 was definitely the better choice for me)

Fabrics: Lightweight, slightly sheer polyester chiffon. Bias binding is self made from lightweight cotton (following method on the seasoned homemaker).

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Alterations:
Continue reading Vogue 8815 Peplum Top

My Mother’s Thread

My aunt mailed a present along with Christmas gifts — this box of DMC threads that was my mother’s. Mom brought clarity and order to everything she set her hand to. Possibly the closest I’ve ever come to that is neat handwriting on occasion, but this organized collection is so her, and it reminds me of growing up with her working on various counted cross stitch projects. She let me get kids’ kits and work alongside her, but I always lost count, and I don’t think I ever finished one.

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Continue reading My Mother’s Thread

Easy, Casual Knit Top (Vogue 8877)

Vogue8877_greyKnit

Just in time for spring, I’ve made a cool weather shirt. That’s alright; we always have some damp, chilly weather again before Christmas. This was straight forward and super easy, so not a ton to say about it, but after the Craftsy cramming fest that was October Free Pass and then some back trouble, I’m glad to finish a project!

Vogue 8877 View C — Loose fitting, pullover top with dropped shoulders. So loose fitting, in fact, that since I was using knit, I made a small, despite the size chart indicating a medium, and still had plenty of room. In fact, I tapered the sleeves down to an extra small at the wrist.

Incredibly easy to make, and the instructions were fine.

Fabrics: Maggy London Fog City Gray medium weight ponte knit, and a lightweight looser weave knit endcut, both from Smuggler’s Daughter with discounts for the endcut and  having reviewed the shop at pr.

Continue reading Easy, Casual Knit Top (Vogue 8877)