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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Re: Peacock Feathers on: August 21, 2007 07:38:11 AM
I bought the pattern 2 years ago, and still really want to make it - just have to find the perfect yarn...

Yours is lovely!!!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Does Anyone MAKE Patterns? on: August 19, 2007 09:43:06 AM
I thought that dress looked familiar, and realized it was very similar to the pattern I used for my wedding dress!! (I altered it though, so my version looks different.)  I just looked, and sadly, it's out of print.  You may be lucky with eBay or something though (you might even ask Simplicity if they have any back copies).  You'd have to drop the waist, but pretty much everything else is there (note that the dress on the model is too big - I can't remember how big the pattern runs):

It was Simplicity 9125 - I included the picture because they've used that number several times in the past with different patterns!
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Sewing Machine Tension HELP! on: August 19, 2007 09:27:52 AM
You can try pounding the middle layers (you wouldn't want to crush the pile on the top one) with a hammer or clapper to make the layers thinner.  I'm not surprised that it's having trouble with 8 layers of corduroy - the 18 layers of muslin was a bit surprising though - I guess it would depend on how densely woven the muslin was.

This may be the wrong thing to do, but have you tried using a slightly finer needle?  Something that you'd use for 2 layers of corduroy?  You'll have a greater chance of breaking the needle, but my thought was that it would have an easier time driving through the fabric (as long as it doesn't bend!).
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: My over-ambitious introduction to the sewing world! (pictureful!) on: August 13, 2007 10:14:09 AM
As someone who uses other clothes as raw materials all the time - it's soooo easy when you get actual fabric yardage!!  Except for finding the space to lay it out Wink.

Congrats!  It's a great top, and even more great that the sewing bug got you!!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: sewing with jersey knit on: July 30, 2007 08:59:02 AM
It was using pre-made woven bias tape that was called for on my vogue dress and I really didn't like how it turned out - even with a heavy knit fabric, the bias tape was too stiff/thick/?? and the neckline was obvious and tended to behave badly.  Turning and topstitching, or using a cross-cut knit fabric looks much better - as long as you can control the stretch!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Wrap skirt with tutorial on: July 27, 2007 09:28:20 AM

Conceived, drafted, and sewn by yours truely!! 

Since it's a pretty basic alteration from an a-line skirt, I thought I'd try to put together a tutorial while I was at it... (although bright blue does not show the sewing well - good for me, not so good for you!)

Step 1: find or draft a plain a-line skirt to fit you, lengthen/shorten as you wish

Note: the front piece is free to hang how it wants, which means the effective bottom hem circumference is bigger than a regular a-line skirt would be - don't make it too wide at the bottom!

Step 2: cut out one back on the fold, one front on the fold, and two front pieces NOT on the fold (basically cutting the front in half):

Cut out two straight pieces to bind the top and create the ties: 2" wide, one piece long enough to bind the waist of the front of the skirt, one long enough for the whole waist + length of ties (I did 80" for this one).

Step 3: sew all darts

Step 4: sew the cut-in-half front pieces to the back on the side seams, press the side seams TOWARDS THE FRONT.

Step 5: hem the bottoms of both the on-the-fold front piece, and the back-with-wrap piece you just finished

Step 6: using a double-hem (turn a small hem in, then turn again so that all the raw edges are hidden), hem the edges of the two pieces

Step 7: bind the tops
7a: take your strips, fold them in half, press, fold each edge inside and press again (1/2" binding)

7b: for the front piece, tuck 1/2" in on the end of the short binding strip, sew it over the top of the piece until you get close to the end, cut off the binding strip 1/2" past the end, tuck that 1/2" in and finish sewing.

7c: for the back-and-wrap piece, find the center of the long binding strip and match it to the center of the back waist.  Pin the binding along the top in either direction.  Once the binding is off the skirt waist it becomes the ties - simply tuck in the end to cover the raw edges, sew the binding to itself for the tie, and keep going along the skirt waist the same way as you did for the front, continue along for the second tie and tuck in the final end as you come to it.  Make sure your side seams are still lying towards the front.

8: add buttons to the inside of the back-and-wrap piece, attaching them to the side seam allowances (note that I did french seams here, it really is the wrong side Wink )

9: add buttonholes to the sides of the front piece to match the buttons - this is how the front of the skirt gets held onto the back-and-wrap piece!

10: button up one side, put the skirt on, button up the other side, tie the ties!  Voila!

Note that you can end up showing a lot of leg this way - the front panel doesn't play modest Wink.  If you'd like more coverage, add more buttons down the side seam to keep the front attached to the back.

7  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Figure 8 cast on?? on: July 25, 2007 11:46:46 AM
The figure-8 cast on is going to be loose because it's done over two needles - but the yarn is one continuous snake, so you just have to tug a little to tighten it up (start at the opposite end from the tail and work back, then you just end up with a longer tail to weave in and everything is at the same gauge!).
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Male sweater help... on: July 23, 2007 05:43:36 PM

I'm not super excited about seaming....just not so much fun!  Do you think I'd be able to add the extra stitch....the switch back to knitting in the round after the argyle section?  Or would this just look sloppy?

I've never thought of it...

Off the top of my head: a seam is stiffer than the surrounding fabric, I would think you'd run the danger of having that bit of the sides stick out or bubble strangely in comparison to the rest.  But that's just a thought experiment - it would certainly be interesting to swatch it and find out!
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Patten for a Zip Neck Men's Jumper..er Sweater? on: July 23, 2007 05:40:46 PM
Glad you found something you like!  I just thought I'd better correct myself though - by the look of the schematic, the Bootcut Sweater doesn't have a V-neck, it's just a straight slit that you can add a zipper to directly.  It's just the curl of the stockinette that made it look like a V.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: sewing with jersey knit on: July 23, 2007 05:35:50 PM
Couple of added tips: make the binding 1 - 2" smaller than the neck opening (you stretch it to match as you sew it on), that helps snug things up.  If you need even more help, adding clear elastic to the neckline (again pulling it just a tad as you sew it on) will give you a sturdy snugness.

I have just turned and topstitched (just did it to a vogue dress after the disasterous attempt at using bias tape like they called for!) - but I knew in advance that I needed to put something underneath it as it sewed to stop it from stretching - I just use strips of tissue paper (you can use stablizer or regular paper).  I also used a stretch stitch.

Knits can be frustrating this way (the other way is the skipped stitches - ARG!), but they are so quick to whip up and need very little fitting to make up for it!
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