Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stitch Selection Savvy - The Triple Straight Stitch

This is the topstitching on my Herringbone Jacket
I want to share with you all, how to achieve a perfect topstitch without purchasing special thread.
The triple straight stitch is used for reinforced seams, and it is also perfect for topstitching.
Ordinarily topstitching is accomplished by using a straight stitch and a heavy weight topstitch thread.
But the same, if not better, results can be achieved by using regular weight (40w)
multi-purpose thread in conjunction with the triple straight stitch,
which is standard on many of today’s sewing machines.
The stitch icon looks like stitch number 31 on this sewing machine:

Your sewing machine will take one stitch forward,
one stitch back over that same stitch,
and again one stitch forward over the previous two stitches.
Three stitches in all, but the end result is one straight stitch.
Thus the name – triple straight stitch.
This is the same number of layers of fabric and the same thread,
but topstitched with a regular straight stitch.
See the difference?
I use my number 10C presser foot when I topstitch.
It is called an edgestitch foot.
As you can see from the bottom of the presser foot,
it has a metal guide running through the middle of the foot.
Simply position that guide along the edge of your fabric,
set the needle either to the left or the right of the guide, and stitch.
The result is a perfectly placed, even line of stitching.
The next time you want to add topstitching to your project, give the triple straight stitch a try.
Use your regular presser foot if you don't happen to have the edgestitch foot.
It works just as well, but you will have to be more attentive to keeping your stitch line
an exact distance from the edge of your fabric throughout the length of topstitching.
Happy stitching, my friends!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Herringbone Jacket - Simplicity 2728

Mother's Day attire this year was classic black and white.
I notice from this photo that the sleeves were a bit wrinkled.
This was after about 7 hours of wear.
Se la vie     :)
This is the third time I've sewn up Simplicity 2728.
This go round, I decided to add the notched collar
and forego the pockets.

I see why news anchors and individuals on television
don't wear herringbone.
Photography of said print proves to be a bit tricky.

I like the shorter length of this jacket
as an option to wear with wider leg pants.
The back inverted 'v' hem is a nice detail.

The pale pink lining is Bemberg Rayon.
I also plan to wear this version with
white capris and black capris.
A bright tank (such as a fabulous pink)
would add a terrific pop of color.
Hmmmm, I see myself sewing up a new tank in the near future.
What about you, my friends.
Do you make many jackets during the warmer weather?
Or do you concentrate on jackets more during cooler weather?


Friday, May 9, 2014

A Girl Can Never Have too Many Totes

Hub and I went camping last weekend.
Crochet is my go-to camping activity!
Forget the hiking, fishing, outdoorsy stuff
(okay, I enjoy those also).
But crocheting is a perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon
under the RV awning.

My handy, and very stylish, Martha's Tote, housed my crochet supplies.
This is another required project for the Martha Pullen Teacher Licensing course.
It is also a sewing class that I will offer once my licensing is complete.

The exterior is printed burlap.
The interior is a cotton twill print by Amy Butler.
I picked up that fun, flirty, girly trim at JoAnn Fabrics.

I secured the top of each interior pocket with a fly stitch.
The fly stitch is used to add strength to high stress seams.
Have you ever had a pocket that tore loose at the top edge?
A fly stitch will help ease some of the 'pull' created on that seam.
Have you used the fly stitch?
Happy Sewing, my friends!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DIY Living Room Curtain Makeover

My living room curtains used to hang just above that window frame.
The room has vaulted ceilings, and after having them painted that serene blue/gray color,
I decided to raise the curtain height to better flow with the lines of the vaulted ceiling.
Of course, in doing so, the original 84" long curtains ended up much too short.
Quite functional in a flood, but aesthetically dysfunctional!
A brand new pair of 93" long curtain panels was out of the question.
I have a limited budget, plus I would rather update and renovate what I already have.
I found this lovely blue and cream print decorator fabric on the remnant table at Hancock's.
My existing curtains were 54" wide and that lovely new fabric was 58" wide.
All I needed was to cut two panels 15" x WOF:
Hemming each 15" side with a 1" double fold hem gave me 54" wide panels.
Serging the top edge of each panel and adding a 1" single fold top hem,
plus 2.5" double fold bottom hem gave me the extra 9" length needed
for the new curtains.
Why, you may ask did I completely finish off the panel addition before
attaching it to the existing curtain panel?
Rather than simply seaming the two pieces together,
I wanted that added length to look like it was intended rather than added.
So I chose to attach it with a hemstitch.
Perhaps it is a bit unconventional to use an heirloom stitch to seam curtain panels,
but I *heart* the added detail.
Heavy duty thread adds to the strength of the stitch.
 The Bernina Spanish Hemstitch Attachment attaches easily to the base of the machine
and the clear guide sits in the center of the #20 presser foot.

That clear guide allows the fabric to glide smoothly and perfectly along either side
as the machine stitches.
This DIY Living Room Curtain Makeover offers optimal impact at minimal cost.
Happy decorating, my friends.