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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Interfacing! on: November 05, 2016 01:42:15 PM
For your notebook covers, do you have to use interfacing?
I have used other kinds of material as interfacing. If you have some heavy fabric around that does not show through it might work as well or better. Something like drill or twill, or just anything heavy weight and stiff.

You might even be able to use something like manilla file folders, since you are probably not washing a notebook cover.
2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: New fabric for me - Double-Sided/Double-Faced Wool for jacket on: November 05, 2016 12:53:50 PM
I forgot to add that I'm considering two seam finishes - bound versus flat-felled. I read that flat-felled is not good for curved seams - and I'm not sure how curved my sleeves will be. I will have a better idea when I get to that stage. It would be nice to have flat-felled and be able to reverse that jacket.I don't think I could do a french seam on such heavy material.
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / New fabric for me - Double-Sided/Double-Faced Wool for jacket on: November 05, 2016 11:34:19 AM

I CANNOT for the life of me get this photo to display in the right orientation! It's hanging from the top of a mirror. I was trying to give an idea of it's drape

I'm nervous about sewing a garment with double-faced/double-sided wool. I bought this lovely piece in Edinburgh a year and a half ago and I don't want it to become perpetural stash. Besides - my husband kindly carried it home in his bag because it was heavy - He'd like to know it was worth it! And I'm working to keep less fabric in my inventory, especially the higher quality stuff I get nervous about sewing.

(Wool History/Travel Note at bottom of posting)

Sewing : 

I plan to make the long jacket (not the coat), like the one on this pattern - originally McCalls M5064 - which is both out of print AND very unavailable on the web as far as I can tell

My wool is thick and heavy - because it is two sided. I thought I would try this pattern - which is very, very out of print. In fact I no longer have the pattern envelope. I tried to find another copy of the pattern for sale, but could only find photo of it on the web. I would be glad to buy another copy just for the envelope, and because when
I alter patterns, even though I trace them onto medical supply paper, it's still good to have a backup. But doesn't look like I can do that.

So I cannot look at the list of suggested fabrics, and see if the pattern designers recommend double faced wool.

I can hang the material over things (like the mirror in my wardrobe) and look at the drape. I hung it over me, and can't get the photo to show right in this posting either.

I can use only the outer garment pieces, and not cut facings.

I think this shawl collar pattern might work well. The brown inside facing will show when the collar rolls back (or I could cut it with a separate collar piece and join the two, but I don't think the contrast will look nice, and I can avoid sewing and cutting mistakes)

I will make a muslin to get the fit right for me, but a muslin will not really tell me much about how the wool will drape.
I always have to alter the placement of the shoulder seam. There is no shoulder seam here, but the sleeve is in two pieces. I will likely have to alter that for a good fit.

Closures: Oh, also I plan to find some attractive closing hooks because though the model version does not close in front, I want to do that. I will try for two or three hooks.
I don't think buttons would work for this style. If I were going to make them, I'd do them by hand with some kind of wool thread.


1) Do you think double faced wool would work well for this pattern? Will the full swing of the jacket work?
2) What other things might you make sure to do when altering the pattern and making a muslin for this project?
3) Given the no facings, what would you do with raw edge? I was going to experiment with the blanket stich on my machine. I use that a lot as a decorative stitch for cottons. I'm sure I will need to fool with the presser foot, needle, and thread, etc. Maybe I'd have to do a hand blanket stitch, but sheesh, this is why we have machines!
... Also would you ALSO stay stich next to the raw edge?
4) Any general tips on sewing with heavy wools?

I'm sure I need to get some good heavy duty needles and yes I will use a new needle - and keep a spare on hand.
5) What have I not thought about?

History Note: The wool is English not Scottish - The Scottish would have been keen but it was a third more expensive. The English wool was not cheap, nor should it be.

BTW we stayed on a sheep farm for one night while on a multi-day walk/triek/hike  in Beatrix Potter country on the same trip. The sheep farmer
explained to me they no longer sell the wool from their sheep because the costs are much greater than what they get for it. They
actually burn the wool after shearing. Isn't that sad? My understanding is that you shear sheep to keep them healthy/comfortable.

The wool I bought came from a project in the U.K., the goal of which, is to encourage sheep farmers to keep some farms still producing and selling wool. I do not know where I have a note on the name of that project, I'm sorry to say.

I wish I'd noted all the steps involved in getting the fleeces ready for the market once the sheep are sheared. There are many of them.
4  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Melts - Doesn't Fuse - Plaid Matching with Fusible Thread on: December 18, 2015 02:12:05 AM
Thank you ~T

How come when I googled I only found advertisements for more fusible thread!

I sure appreciate your ideas.
5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Melts - Doesn't Fuse - Plaid Matching with Fusible Thread on: December 10, 2015 10:18:09 PM
Have you ever used fusible thread to meld a seam together? I was experimenting with this for plaid matching in a small fussy item (a princess-seamed doll's bodice). I cut it out carefully and then basted each princess-seam with the fusible thread (a new spool - so not old thread).

When I pressed, using a press cloth, the thread melted into one side of the seam, and just vanished  from the other piece of fabric, leaving the seam, then, un-joined.

My guesses so far are....
1) I should press for less time (no directions with thread - and can't find anything on web)
2) I should just baste with regular thread!
3) That there is some trick I don't know.Any ideas?


Laurel Shimer
6  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Just got a new machine, not sure if I got swindled - help? on: February 23, 2014 05:56:07 PM
I agree with the others who responded. You didn't get swindled. Free classes should really be called 'included'. It's just good marketing to call them free.

I go back to the dealer all the time with questions. My deal went out of business and now I take my questions to the dealer who services my machine. They are really nice about answering them, because they are still full service. I get my machine serviced yearly for maybe 130 - 150$ and so yes, after a while you will have spent more on service than the purchase price. But if it's a good quality machine then I think it's worth it.

Very much like caring for a car, when you use your machine a lot. Which I do too.

7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Not sure if I need a better machine or just service? on: February 22, 2014 10:38:59 PM
I can see that if you end up buying a new machine, you'll be cheesed off that you spent money getting the old one serviced. On the other hand, you may be so happy with the servicing, that you love your machine. And that's kind of what you're saying, right?

Also some people learn to service their own machines. I don't know if you want to go there. Personally, I just make durn good and sure to keep the lint trap zone under the needle clean! I burned out the motor on my first machine by not doing that.

I'd be really direct with the people who service the machine. Tell them your situation. Ask them to demo any machines (used or new) you might be interested in. A sturdy used machine might not cost a whole lot more than one or two  servicing appointments.

Bring in the kind of thing you need to be able to sew - especially heavy denim, etc. Try out the new machine. Then remind them - I need to be able to sew these fabric on my machine. Ask their opinion as to whether or not servicing will do the job. Tell them, perhaps, that new machine is not yet in your budget.

You mentioned you'd been in a fashion program. Are you in that area still? Can you talk to teachers in the program? Or can you email teachers from your program? They probably deal with care on the machines they have there (my teachers crew service the machines themselves), and might have good ideas. Also they want you to succeed in your sewing business.

I think you can probably develop a sense of whether or not a dealer is selling you or being straight with you. I agree about industrial machines. If you know for sure you want one and/or get a super good deal on one, it may be worth it. I tried using an industrial machine at school, and found there was a lot I'd probably have to learn about fixing on my own. Don't know if that's generally the case, but i made me steer clear.

Buena suerte/Good luck. I'm very curious to hear about your experiences. Will you email me and let me know? I'm at EnchantedBySewing AT gmail.

8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / New vs. Used: How long before top of the line becomes more affordable? on: February 22, 2014 09:01:23 PM
Sewing Advice Request.... So I went to the Sewing (and Quilt) Expo in San Mateo today to get some new scissors. Good vendor I've gone to in the past there (http://www.scissorsales.com). I found my scissors - a pair of Stag shears, a pair of Gingher shears, and OK some of those really darling tiny embroidery snips with the cool animal designs.... Then I went to the Brother dealer's booth recommended by a classmate. And I fell in love with a new machine. It's a Quattro 3 ( http://www.brother-usa.com/Homesewing/quattro3/) . I want a more up to date machine for both garment and machine embroidery* Of course, it's not actually in the budget now...... I just wanted to get an idea of what I'm hoping for. But it's like shopping for a car when you're not ready to buy one (I'm not actually into cars, but I get why people would be tempted). I felt absolutely drunk reveling in all of the things this machine could do embroidery 'wise. Several things I never imagined being able to do in addition to the basic stuff I can't do with my old bottom of the line Viking (which still uses cards and can't download designs). In addition to the embroidery coolness, the Quattro handled my heavy weight denim like a dream. I hardly even played with the garment construction features, except for using the 'hump jumper' and going over old Levi seams.

 Here's my question.... at the lowest price offered (floor model) it would be $8,000 which is not in the budget. It's also about a third of the cost of the car we need to buy to replace one that's getting on in years.... Also for me sewing is a hobby. This is not a business expense.
.... How long do experienced machine buyers think I'm going to need to wait before people start trading this gorgeous, capable machine in for a newer model? And when that happens how much more affordable do you think it might get?

Thanks for your thoughts.

 * I used to be into quilting but for me I had to chose between garment and quilting - garment won
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Re: Marley's Chains on: November 04, 2012 05:45:58 PM
Oh what a great and creative idea!

And another reason it's  a good thing I don't know how to knit! I'd just want to create mine own.

Have a jolly one

10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Re: Do You Love Butter? The Bluebird's Buttercup Purse on: October 20, 2012 03:21:23 PM
Golly, and here I thought that was just some vintage kid activity!

Thanks for checking out my purse. Don't we just love to say look-what-I-made!

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