Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Additions to the Sewing Room

I finally got my coverstitch!  A Janome Coverpro 1000CPX.  Isn't she pretty?  I had called the local Janome dealer and was quoted a price more than I wanted to pay.  So based on a recommendation from an on-line sewing friend,  I called Thomas Sewing Center (  They had a floor model that had only been demonstrated a couple of times & sold it to me at a discount.  They were very friendly & I definitely go back to them in the future.  I need to order some accessories and of course learn to use it.

Look at my other new sewing toy.  2 Greist buttonhole makers.

I have an old Alden sewing machine that is from the early 1970's that sews great and I wanted to get a buttonhole maker for it.  Trouble was, there are several different models & I had no idea which one would fit my machine.  Then I happened to be reading on PR & someone has made a list of which buttonhole makers fit which type of machine and was able to figure out that I needed a #7.   And as luck would have it, someone else wrote that they had 2 #7's that they couldn't use and asked if anyone wanted them.  I immediately wrote to her that I would love to have one of them and how much $.   She was so nice, sent both of them to me for FREE!  And best of all, they are both in excellent condition & work great on my machine!  Now I need to make something with buttonholes on it :)


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just 1 more: McCall's 5138 again

I decided to make 1 more shirt from this pattern.  I picked up the fabric at Joann's last week.  It was on the red tag table and was 50% off - so only $4.00 a yard.  It has just a little bit of stretch to it.  For the fabric, buttons & thread, I have about $10.00 in this shirt.  For this version, I added cuffs and tabs to the sleeves and breast pockets.  I cut the sleeve cuffs and pockets on the diagonal to add more interest.  I love how this shirt fits me, so I traced a permanent copy onto plastic sheeting.  It's amazing how comfortable clothing can be when it fits properly!

Here's a few pictures:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

PR Contest-McCalls 5138 Blouse Review

This is my entry for the PR "One Pattern, 
Many Looks" contest.  I needed some 
summer blouses & this contest 
was just the incentive I needed.  
The rule was to use 1 pattern and
make at least 2 variations of the same
item.  I used this pattern and made
3 short sleeve blouses.

Description:Misses fitted blouse with front & back horizontal darts; sleeve length options, convertible collar, and shaped hem.

Sizing:I made size 14 at shoulders going out to sz 16 at hips. Note that this is a close fitting blouse. So for the 2nd & 3rd versions, I added a little to the side seams to get a little looser fit.

Fabric Used: For my 1st version, I used a cotton blend from WalMart that I paid $1.50 a yard. It’s actually nice and such a pretty watercolor print. It doesn’t wrinkle much, but does ravel quite a bit. For my 2nd version, I used a light weight cotton that I got at a local fabric store. It has a textured design on it. For the 3rd version, I used a cotton from Joann Fabrics. I believe it’s a “quilting” cotton, but it’s heavier than most and comes out of the dryer hardly wrinkled and has a very nice feel to it. And I LOVE the print.

Pattern alterations and design changes :I took 1" off the shoulder - this is a standard alteration for me. Changes for View 2 and 3: added to side seam; omitted the front vertical darts; increased bust dart a little; made a sway back adjustment; added 2 inches to the length.

Sleeves: version 1 has a narrow band; version 2 is plain; version 3 has cuffs in contrasting fabric.

I changed how the back neck is faced. The pattern has you to clip the undercollar, fold under and stitch to cover the seam. I did this on my 1st blouse, but I don’t really like this method. So, for the 2nd & 3rd versions, I used a bias strip as a “mini facing”. I think this is much better; it’s neater and actually easier to do.

Love this & will do all my collars this way from now on.
I made the collar using this method.  collar

Conclusion: Now that I’ve got the fit right, I love this pattern. It’s a basic blouse that’s quick and easy to make. Only 4 pattern pieces: front, back, collar and sleeve. Plus the sleeve band or cuff, if you like. And it’s well drafted; everything fits together very well. The only issue I have is that there’s a little too much ease in the sleeve cap. I would definitely recommend this pattern.

First blouse

I didn't make a sway back adjustment on the 1st one, 
but did on the 2nd & 3rd,  and the fit is so much better.

3rd blouse

with sway back adjustment