Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A bit more progress...

As I mentioned in my last post, I only had the collar to perform the thread replacement on.  Well now its done, so all the fun bits are complete.  LOL.  And I'm really having a hard time taking pictures of this shirt.  The red replaced silk thread is very subtle and black just doesn't show any detail. So please bear with me and remember you can click on the picture for a slightly larger look.  Here is a picture of the constructed collar.  I'm about to attach it to the collar stand.

I have lightened the pictures to try to show some details.  I draped it on my ham to try to catch the light just right on the silk threads.

Now here is a closeup shot of the pull-thread front band now attached to the left front.

Like I said, sorry its such a crappy picture.  But below is a different shot of the front.

I don't have it pressed yet.  LOL.  Things are looking up now and we are down to the wire on finishing.  I have to teach most of the day at Cloth Merchants tomorrow, but I should be able to finish the blouse on Sunday.  I can't finish it on Saturday because I'm taking a Sashiko machine class and its all day.  I'm rather excited about it.   My friend Carol has a Sashiko machine already and has said I can borrow it at any time.  So I'll take the class to see if I like using it.

If the weather and hubby cooperate, I'll even get pictures of me wearing the blouse.  LOL. 

More later...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pulled-Thread Pocket

Hello; I'm baaaack!  LOL.  I've started the sewing on the blouse.  So far, I've completed both front and back darts, attached both yokes (the inside is a facing and I've embroidered it), constructed & attached the pocket.  Here is a peek at the pocket.

And here is a quick pic of the embroidery for the inside yoke.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Finished Thread Replacement fabric

Here are the 2 completed pieces that will make up the pocket and front band.  Here is the pocket fabric:

And here is a photo slice of the fabric created for the front band.

I'm going to start construction while I try to work out how to do the thread replacement on the collar.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Heirloom tech - replaced thread I

Time seems to have slipped away from me this week.  LOL.  Here it is Friday and I said I would have pictures Monday.  Oh well...sigh.  With a new class starting this week and a new book catching me in its thrall, I haven't had much time to doctor the pictures I took of the technique.  LOL.  Okay enough excuses; here is a demo of Pulled-Thread replacement as I've figured it out. 

In my last note to you all, I was saying I would have the pocket, the front band and the collar tips make use of the technique.  I have completed 2 of the 3 pieces, the pocket and front band.  I'm still working out how I will accomplish the collar.  That's going to take a lot more thought and planning.  Also I'm running out of the Madeira silk floss, so I'll need to get with Silvia next week or I won't have enough to complete all of the work I want to accomplish on the blouse.  I'd have met with her this week, but she's totally involved in the SandSprings Herbal Festival this weekend and is "out-of-her-mind" busy.  LOL.

In this first picture, I've shown a scrap of fabric large enough for my pocket.  On it, you'll see how I've marked with a Chaco liner, the outline of the pocket plus the grain line of the fabric.  Oh I do need to let you know, since this was done on black fabric, I'm having to lighten the pictures considerably for you to be able to see what I've done.

Once I've marked around the pattern piece, I decided I wanted a stripe (pulled-thread) every 1 1/2 inches; so fairly close together.  The next picture will show a piece already in work because I forgot to take pictures while I was pulling thread for the pocket.  LOL.  I measured to the spot for the next pull and marked it with the Chaco liner.  Then using a small, very sharp scissor, I cut a 1/4 inch into the fabric on the diagonal. 

This next shot shows the first thread being pulled.  The first thread is the hardest to pull.  Using the cut as my guide, I pull 3 threads on either side.  In other words, 3 threads on each side of the cut gets pulled. 

After I've pulled 5 threads, the 6th gets started (gathered) and I go to the other side of the fabric, and find that very same thread and pull on it too.  So you have a pulled thread showing from both sides of the fabric and gathered fabric showing in the middle shown in the next picture.  As always, you can click on the image and the size will increase.  Do you see the threads at each side of the picture?

Now we are ready to prepare our floss to be pulled through the fabric.  In the Sew Beautiful article, you separate every floss thread and press them straight, just as you would if you were going to smock with them.  If you look at embroidery floss in the package, its twisted.  You are removing as much of the twists as possible so you will get a straight run of floss through the fabric.  Cut a piece of floss from the package that is 2 to 3 inches longer than the piece of fabric it's going through.  Separate the pieces and press them flat.  Take 3 strands of the floss and put them on top of one of the pulled threads hanging out of the fabric.  Use the thread hanging out of the fabric to tie a double square knot around the floss.  I have to use magnifying readers and a serger tweezers to tie the know.   It should like like this:

And when you start to pull it through...

And this is about halfway through the fabric.

And finally all the way through!

Now that you're cross-eyed from looking at these pictures, LOL...

More Later...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Creating your own fabric - an heirloom technique

Have you ever thought about creating your own fabric?  You know, just something a little different?  I've done it with embroidery; machine candlewick white-on-white embroidery for the bib & cuff area on my candlewick & roses blouse.  But this time I realized I haven't done an heirloom technique in awhile.  I received this month's Sew Beautiful magazine (issue #135) and there was the inspiration  for my next garment staring at me from the front cover!  LOL.

I have to explain.  I don't have any children or grandchildren.  So there are no little ones to sew cute little heirloom outfits.   And I like heirloom sewing.  Soooooo, I have a tendency to translate any heirloom techniques into adult clothing.  For me.  LOL.

Back to Sew Beautiful; on page 24, there is a lovely article by Nancy Sipple about a pulled-thread replacement technique.  I just love what she did.  So now I'm starting a sleeveless blouse with my TNT Simplicity 2339.  I've acquired 2.5 yards of a really nice silk broadcloth in black from my friend Sylvia of Delicate Stitches.  I also purchased a pkg of Madeira silk embroidery thread in a deep red and a nice leafy green.  My plans are to use the pulled-thread replacement in the red silk on a pocket, one side of the front band and possibly the collar.  I'm going to further complicate matters by cutting the front band on the bias.  LOL.  Also I'm planning on hand embroidering red bullion roses into the buttons.  Now you realize that since I chose black, its going to be very hard to photograph.  So I'll probably have to do some lightening up of the pictures to show the technique.

I'll have a couple of pictures tomorrow!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Teaching at Cloth Merchants

I'm starting to teach at the Cloth Merchants.  If you'll remember, they are Tulsa's only independent fabric store.  I'll be teaching an advanced beginner sleeveless blouse class from Simplicity 2339.  You'll learn to read the pattern, determine your size, sew darts, finish seams, sew a back yoke, construct a collar with stand, finish armhole with bias, embroider buttonholes, and finish with a narrow hem.  There will be 5 - 5 hour sessions starting on April 14th at the Cloth Merchants.   I sure hope you can join us. 

Here's a picture of the blouse for the class:

And here is the pattern link:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Good Idea...

Good ideas don't happen around here terribly often so I thought I would share this one.  LOL.  With all of the garment sewing going on, lots of edge & top stitching happens.  Even when I quilt, there can be lots of stitch-in-the-ditch going on to anchor areas down.    Getting really straight, even stitching either requires lots practice (many years in my case) or the use of a guide of some sort to make life easier.  These days, I am all about making life easier.

I make use of 2 extra feet purchased, beside the ones that came with my Babylock machines, the edge-join foot and the quarter-inch foot with guide. 

Using the edge-join foot to perform any edge stitching works wonders on straightening out a jiggly straight line.  Then using the quarter-inch foot to sew to top stitch is easy peasy!  These are the most used feet in my collection.

Here's a picture of the beautiful top-stitching you can achieve by using these feet. Sorry its not any brighter; I took the picture last night.

Now I had the bright idea of removing some of the flanges on each foot that allows you to make such a pretty straight stitch so I could navigate convex and concave curves that happens on occasion with garment making.  I have a very handy husband who loves to use his Dremel tool with the itty bitty saw.  LOL.  He removed the portion of the flange on each foot and made the cut edge smooth so there would be no burrs to catch the fabric as it went by.

So when parts of the flange were removed, this is what they should look like when you're done.

The top foot is the edge-join foot with the extension of the flange removed.  The bottom is the original foot.  If you look closely, you'll see how much has been removed.  As always, you can click on the picture for a larger view.  Now for the quarter-inch foot.

Its much easier to see the change in this foot.  The original, unaltered foot is pictured at the top and the foot with the flange removed is at the bottom.  Not much of a difference but it certainly helps make those convex curves easier to navigate and create beautiful stitching.  Purchase an extra of each foot; they are relatively inexpensive now that Babylock/Brother have lowered the price to $14.99.  I got mine when my dealer had a 40% off foot sale.

Here's an example of a curve using the altered edge-join foot.