Monday, 23 July 2018

Is this still sewing?

I've had to reformat this post as the lines weren't wrapping,a although they seemed to be when I posted it. Well, I've tried again! Please let me know if you read this and the lines are wonky again, thank you.

Gosh where has June - and now nearly July - gone? I haven't done much in the way of sewing as I've spent a while helping my mother move. She has moved into very sheltered accommodation where she will get her meals made for her and most importantly, there are no stairs. I say June but we’re nearly at the end of July as I add to this post. I will be visiting mum this coming week and hope that will be the last of these ‘crisis’ visits - just back to normal visiting. Fingers crossed!

I haven’t been sewing, though I did do a class on silks and sheers which I will post about separately. I've already started the post just need to take some photos maybe.

I did a little machine embroidery earlier in July. I made some pin cushions. A few in one design, which I loved , ‘the sweetest pincushion’, a free design from @sewcanshe via Craftsy and one in another, which I paid for but didn’t like nearly as much (I don't have a photo of that one either). I have given them all away apart from this one which I have earmarked for someone. This could be practice for a Frida Kahlo embroidered huipil! Kate@fabrickated is running a #dresslikefridakahlosal challenge but I won’t be joining in though I would quite like to make the top.

Because I’ve put on weight, I have very few clothes that work for me in this hot, for us, summer. I’ve never really felt the need to have a separate summer wardrobe as many items are all season with the addition of layers. Depends on your lifestyle of course! I don’t go on summer holidays abroad as I really don’t like heat. I would’ve liked to make some things but it wasn’t to be. I have plenty of tee shirts, it’s bottoms that are eluding me.

I had a number of garments waiting for alterations and repairs and concentrated on them rather than on sewing from scratch as I found I didn’t have the concentration and focus required for that.

I had a pair of blue linen trousers - casual, with gathered tie at waistband, that were comfy if not over smart but they developed a linear stress hole in the inside front leg. I was shocked but apparently linen doesn’t wear well. I didn’t know that. I had read it might not be a good idea to tumble dry (though the label on these said it was okay to do so) and I don’t. But a longitudinal hole appeared nevertheless. I put some fusible interfacing behind the rip and sewed over at the front. I should have used a blue and a white thread in the stitching but didn’t even have the right blue. They’ll do a turn. No photo

Next up was a sleeveless top with a peplum. I don't usually wear items with peplums but never say never! The underarm area stuck out in a most unattractive way and last term I took that area in. However, the right underarm was still loose and baggy and had to be taken in more. One tip by sewing tutor was to cut away the excess seam allowance before overlocking the seam allowances. That worked well and I then stitched the top of the seam allowance to the seam at the back. I had hoped to finish for my twp trips to London but it wasn’t to be - I finished it yesterday. I don’t actually like this top - I actually think it’s too big and could do with a reduction at the sides. I wore it today and it’s comfortable. I asked david to take a photo of me wearing it - his response was ‘Are you sure?’ Maybe you can see why!

Where I'm holding my hands on my hips is exactly where this top is too loose - I suppose that makes it cooler though!

Last term I started to alter a plain/striped top in grey and black. I liked the top but there were two issues. The first that the top was the wrong length for me - it is supposed to be a tunic but for me needs to be either longer or shorter. Secondly, the sleeves were too short. Solution - I cut a piece off the bottom and used this as a cuff on the sleeves. I used both straight stitching on my sewing machine for placement and the overlocker to finish. This meant I could use the finished edge of the bottom hem on the cuff bottoms. I don't have a coverstitch machine so used a pin hem and twin needle on the bottom. It looks fine and I’ll get a lot of wear out of it.

I can’t show you any of the steps - though they were so simple they weren’t worth photographing. I tried it on to get a photo and find that the cuffs are a little loose so I may have to take in further - I’ll see. The sleeves are lengthened by a lot and I guess I should have tapered as I went down rather than keeping the whole thing straight.

There is a lot of decorative stitching on the top - I couldn't recreate this

My twin needle hem on the bodice

Overall view. No longer an inbetween length tunic but a top. Sleeves have been lengthened by 2.5"

I have a tunic that had lost two of its buttons. One was lost completely. One was broken but I still had the front. A third button had losts its crystal.  I looked through my stock of buttons (as an aside I remember loving playing with my grandma’s button jar) and to my astonishment, found two identical buttons in a little bag. I hadn’t remembered about them. The loops around the buttons are not big enough to allow the buttons to be fastened so I had to sew these new ones in the same way. David kindly prized out the crystal from the broken button and replaced it (glued it in) in the crystal-less but otherwise intact button. Voila! A wearable tunic!

Next was a pair of golf shorts where the zip stitching had come loose. This is a fly zipper and I didn’t want to remove and replace completely especially since they don’t actually fit me at the moment! I pinned the loose part closed and stitched an extra line of stitching through all layers. Perhaps not the most authentic of solutions but it’s work for me, if they ever fit me gain, that is.

The second line of stitching isn't that obvious!
David mended my box that holds my Bernina feet and some spools. Again. He had mended it once before and I broke it again. I think it’s pretty  fragile and a poor design. I haven’t found anything better to hold my feet (these are on a shelf, hanging down, I had hoped for soft plastic holes/nests) so again, this will last for a while at least. I could buy a new one from Bernina but they are expensive and I don’t think very good.

I have a few other half-written posts from various times that I’ve started or written while  waiting to do other things and will gradually post them over the next couple of weeks.


  1. If you are busy with doing lots of things that are draining of course your sew-jo will disappear. Mine has as well, but I hope to find time again soon. I hope you do as well.

    1. I hope you do find time again soon. You are so right.

  2. Lots of very effective alterations and mending. Impressive! I too am finding my wardrobe somewhat lacking in this heat. I have cooler trousers but they are too casual for work. I have some charcoal pinstripe linen trousers cut out but things are slow going unfortunately.

    1. Thank you. I'll be able to wear the linen trousers - they are most definitely too disreputable for anything other than kicking around now.

  3. I find that clearing these sort of jobs actually helps me to consider sewing something worthwhile.
    Well done for clearing the decks. Now go find that sewjo!

    1. Thanks,Kim. Still a few more things to do but no sew-jo yet!


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Update and Continuing with Machine Embroidery Course

I haven’t been sewing anything recently. I’ve managed a few alterations and repairs and a little bit of machine embroidery - though I’ve f...