A Couple of Sales

Here are a couple of Craftsy sales that expire before I’m posting on Saturday, so I thought I’d share.

Choose your Craftsy class and apply coupon code: MAKEIT317 at checkout.

Get any one Craftsy class for $14.99 US. Not valid for The Great Courses. Limit one class per customer and cannot be combined with other coupons. Expires March 31, 2017 at 11:59 PM Mountain Time.

Or…

ANY ONE CLASS
$19.99 US OR LESS
Use Code 17GETYOURFAVES

Patterns

After working on drafting a bra from measurements, my work wasn’t done with the draft. The next step is to use that draft and make a pattern. Let me show you a little of the progression so far.

Drafting

Here’s the draft. It doesn’t look anything like the pieces I’ve seen in bra patterns.

Horizontal Seam

Then, a few more steps and things start to look more familiar. Beverly takes you through it all in her manual. Take a look at these pieces. These actually look like bra pattern pieces.

I’m not the biggest fan of a horizontal seams. I used one when I made my Heather bra.

Common Bra Seams

Here are some different seams shown in bras (photos are from Bra-Makers Supply and Sewy):

Vertical Seam

I’ve also tried the vertical seam when I made KS 3300. Once I started making my own patterns from the draft, I had to try each pattern. This part of the process was definitely fun for me. The photo of the vertical seam is from the Sewy website. It’s their Linda bra pattern.

Diagonal Seam

My favorite seam in bra-making so far has been the diagonal seam. That’s the bottom left in the photo collage above. A diagonal seam is what we find in the Classic pattern or the Shelley pattern from Pin-Up Girls patterns.

I also love the power bar and split lower cup on the Shelley. Here are a few of my favorites from that pattern.

I love this pattern, and know I will make it using my drafted pattern!

Curved Seam

The one I really wanted to try was the curved seam. All the gorgeous Cloth Habit Harriet bras I’m seeing were making me want to buy that pattern too. I had to be very strict with myself not to buy yet another pattern I have. The photo in the first collage is from Sewy again. It’s their Isabell pattern, which I have. I also have a clone of a Fantasie bra that is a curved seam too. I didn’t need one more pattern, but I was tempted! However, I did want to make one when I was making the patterns.

Patterns I Made 

Here are all my new patterns. I just need to add seam allowances to some of them, and make little changes like adjusting for a flat spot, thinning the band under the cradle, and lowering the bridge.

I also drafted my a new cradle and band.

Happy Creating!

P.S. You may also be interested in Sewing Bras: Foam Lace & Beyond.

Below are a few sales and some news.

Merckwaerdigh

The news is from Merckwaerdigh’s Etsy shop. Here’s what Margreet said in her post on Facebook: “SPRING … a perfect time for a major change! As of today all listings in the Merckwaerdigh shop at Etsy are FREE SHIPPING!!!

She is raising her cost a bit, but what she is adding to the costs will still be lower than shipping costs! Yay!

Craftsy

Just a little update on how Craftsy is doing their sales now. They’re using ‘codes’ that once clicked, are applied to your shopping cart in Craftsy. If you click on either of the classes below, you won’t see the sale price listed here, but once you add the class to your cart and view your cart, the price should be there.

$19.99 US. Special pricing offer only valid on the class shown. Cannot be combined with other coupons. Expires on March 29, 2017.

A Review of Craftsy’s Coverstitch: Basics & Beyond

It’s time for another Craftsy class review.

This review is for Coverstitch: Basics & Beyond with Gail Yellen.

I’m on my own for reviews at the moment, as Marsha and Naomi have other pressing engagements.

Reviews

This is a fairly new class, so it doesn’t have the amount of reviews as some of the other classes I’ve reviewed. At the time of this writing, there were only 35 reviews, and a few of them were less than favorable.

A few reviewers expressed a desire to have had more information that fit the ‘Beyond’ category.

If you notice the Instructor rating, Gail gets her highest rating there, and I agree! I had a couple of questions and Gail answered really quickly – I’m talking the same day – and her answers were very helpful. Gail deserves that high rating.

 Outline

First Thoughts on the Class

I was really happy this class came out. I’ve been purchasing a Janome Cover Pro 1000CP from a friend. It had been staying at my house, and I decided I wanted it. Thankfully, my friend is being very patient in my paying it off.

Seeing as this was a brand new machine to me, I knew nothing about how to work a Coverstitch machine and wanted a class that started with the basics. This class did that.

In the class, Gail shows both the designated Coverstitch machine, and the Serger/Coverstitch combination machine. She goes through how to change the needles on both machines, and how to set the needles for different stitch widths. For a complete beginner, that is great!

Gail also gives us ideas on how to use these different stitches and demonstrates them on a few projects.

In the above collage, all taken from screen shots from the class, Gail shows how to make a tassel, sew a flat fell seam, and install a zipper – all with the Coverstitch machine. I would never have thought of using this machine for any of those. Honestly, I really thought it was just for hemming. So, this was all much more ‘Beyond’ than I was expecting.

Gail also shows how to hem an unbound neckline.

This is a lovely neckline. Hmm, this is a pretty idea to try on my next tee. I know I’ve wanted to hem a few things using the Coverstitch machine. I hadn’t even thought of necklines.

Disappointments?

There were a number of reviewers who expressed they wanted more and there wasn’t enough beyond the very basics. So was I disappointed? Well, no. Looking at the class, I can’t say I am. The class does cover a lot. More than I thought or expected.

There was only thing I wanted to see and didn’t – the foot shown below. My machine doesn’t have a regular presser foot (I have one on order), but it has a Center Guide foot, much like a Stitch-in-the-Ditch foot. I did realize I can take that center guide off, and I have a see-through foot. So, I’m happier with this foot now.

Feet

Let’s go over the machine feet Gail does cover in the class: the regular pressing foot, a curved pressing foot, a see-through pressing foot, and a narrow chain stitch foot. She also covers a belt loop binder, and a down turn feller, and seam guides. She even gives an idea for how to make a seam guide using a Post-it note pad.

I thought this was a neat idea, and tried it twice. The first time the pad moved, and I was also sewing a curved hem. That whole thing didn’t work out. The second time, I really pushed on the pad to make sure it was good and stuck down. I had no problems at all. It’s a great little trick if you don’t have a seam guide. (I want one of those too!)

Recommendations

 I do recommend this class. It’s a great class, with a lot of very good basic information in it, and some not-so-basic information too. This class made the difference in me bringing out my CoverPro machine and using it rather than letting it sit like it had been.

What I Made

Well just before I go there let me tell you one really great thing about Coverstitch machines: I learned if you make a mistake, you can very easily rip out the stitches – from the last stitch back to the first. I needed to use that tip. It took me a minute or two to find the right thread to pull, but once I found it – those stitches came out so smoothly and easily! What a nice feature.

So what did I make? I made a very sloppy looking hem! I don’t think a curved uneven hem is the first thing I want to try sewing and showing from my machine. I pulled those stitches out.

I also planned to hem a gorgeous Maxi skirt I wore once and then the hem started coming out. It’s been sitting in a mending pile for the better part of a year waiting for me to learn to use this machine. I got it out and… it’s a blind hem on it! (Rolls eyes!)

I did shorten my favorite pants. I’ve been wearing them too long for over a year, but every time I put them in a mending pile, well, they just couldn’t stay there – they’re my favorite. This time, I did hem them using Gail’s Post-it Note pad idea!

If you have a Coverstitch machine, and haven’t used it, I do recommend Gail’s class to give you a great base to learn how to use your machine.

See below for a coupon for this class.

Happy creating!

P.S. You might want to look at Another Perfect T-Shirt.

Here’s a Craftsy sale. For this, there is a code in the link (just click the photo for the link). This code will apply a coupon to your Craftsy cart. The price may not look like the right price initially, but check your cart! Usually, once you check your cart, you’ll see the adjusted sale price.

$14.99 US. Special pricing offer only valid on the class. Cannot be combined with other coupons. Expires on March 27, 2017.

Another Perfect T-Shirt

After working on drafting a bra, I wanted an easy sewing project. I knew just what to sew.

I pulled out my Perfect T-Shirt pattern.

This was my third time making this pattern. The first one was pretty good, but the neckline was a bit loose. I adjusted the shoulder so the neckline would fit better for the second one, and have loved it. So this third one, well, all the alterations I needed for this had already been done, so it was simply a matter of cutting it out and sewing it up.

This T-Shirt pattern was shown on Sewing with Nancy – that was where I first saw it. I recorded the show thinking I’d watch while making up the tee. You can watch it here.

However, being in Canada, I’ve had a hard time finding the notions used in the show and recommended on the Pamela’s Patterns website:

Knit Stay Tape (neckline), Woven Stay Tape (shoulders), Double Sided Fusible Stay Tape (hems)

The Stay Tape is shown here in a screen shot from the show.

I asked at my local fabric store what they’d recommend instead of the Stay Tape. One of the staff there sews a lot of knits; she said she uses knit interfacing for the neckline and hems. She uses a woven interfacing for the shoulders. I did just that. Here is my first tee showing the woven interfacing on the shoulders. (I didn’t take any photos during sewing this time.)

I have to say, I’ve made three tees this way now, and the interfacing works beautifully. If the Stay Tapes aren’t available in your area, knit and woven interfacing works and is probably a lot less expensive.

Here’s my last tee’s hem with the knit interfacing for the hem. I cut a 1″ strip and fused it onto the tee.

Below is a screen shot from the show where they’ve used Double Sided Fusible Stay Tape:

Looking at this, I’m thinking the interfacing would take less time than the Stay Tape. They’ve had to cut the Stay Tape so it will curve along the hem. There’s no cutting the interfacing once you’ve cut the strip because it’s a knit. It curves along any curves very easily. I do have to use pins though, where they’re not using any pins.

Here’s my new tee. It was a lovely quick sew, and I know I’ll enjoy wearing this as much as I’ve enjoyed my last two Perfect tees.

Here’s the front.

Here are the back and side.

This is a darted tee, so the fit is very flattering. However, there are a couple of little construction aspects I’m not sure I love. I’m showing them in the set of photos below.

When sewing on the neckband, it’s the standard quarter the neckband and distribute it equally around the neckline. It even says this for the scoop neckline, which I used. I wasn’t thinking when I sewed it up because it’s not equal distances all around the neckline. You can see the difference between the front and back below in the first two photos.

One other design aspect to this tee is the curved hem, which is flattering on, but to keep the material from distorting, I had to narrow the hem at the sides. (That’s the third photo.) It’s about 1/2-inch on either side and it’s 1-inch for the rest of the hem.

It’s not a problem as along as I’m aware I need to make these changes. So, I’ll make a note on the pattern to remind myself of both of these issues for the next time I sew a Perfect T-Shirt.

Happy creating!

Attempting a Draft

If you were trying to reach my blog yesterday, I’m very sorry. It was down for the better part of day. Thankfully, I’m back.

I was going to make a Valentine’s bra for myself. I had everything set out and was getting ready to cut it out. I even knew the one alteration I wanted to make.

Still using my Pin-Up Girls Shelley pattern, I was going to add a little bit of width to the bottom of the bridge.

Right there. I want it just a touch wider, but everything else fits really well. In fact, it’s my current favorite.

However, much like making my Personal Croquis (which I’m still really enjoying), I’ve had another project on my list of things to do for a while now – draft my own bra pattern.

Resources

I have Bra Design & Draft from Beverly Johnson’s Bra-making Manuals.

In fact, I’ve drafted part of my pattern already. The only part of the drafting process that is new to me is the cup. Because of the alterations I’ve needed for my cradle and bridge, I’ve been drafting my own cradle/bridge for a few years now using information from the Manuals.

Even though only part of this process is new, it still felt daunting. I figured the worst case scenario was it wouldn’t turn out, and I’d go back and use my Shelley pattern making that one little adjustment. The best case scenario would be I’d have a self-drafted pattern. I took a deep breath, and started.

Beginnings

 I was geared up to start. I had my paper, pencil and eraser and thought I was all ready. I drew two lines, and then searched the house for a compass. Even my hubby got in on the search. Nope. We didn’t have a compass anymore. Our kiddos are done school, and we didn’t keep any of those school goodies. (I love to declutter!) So, it’s a quick trip to Staples, and now I’m ready again.

 From here, I did what I usually do. I decided it wasn’t just right, so I crumpled it up and started again. I did this when making my bodice sloper too. My sloper was fine, and so was this. But I like things just so, and I don’t mind making sure.

The next step felt like going back to the beginning. I hadn’t drawn out the cradle and band this time. But I needed those before I could say the cup fit. So, re-drew my cradle.

Third Time’s a Charm

 I was happily getting started on my band and cradle, and realized I didn’t have all my measurements! I was drafting away thinking I was doing better than I anticipated, and everything came to a stop. I needed measurements which I couldn’t do on my own. I’d never drafted the band part, so didn’t have those back measurements. My hubby to the rescue.

Sigh

There was one more bump in the road. I got to a point with the drafting and mine didn’t look like what Beverly had in the Manual. It really didn’t look the same, but I knew all my measurements were correct. I was stuck. You can see how I was feeling even. No sparkly stars shining perfection on my draft!

I am so fortunate to have worked on a blog tour with The Fairy Bra Mother and Mrs. Weaver. In fact, I’ve worked on a few projects with Mrs. Weaver. I’d mentioned to Mrs. Weaver that I was attempting a draft. She very kindly offered to help if I got stuck. I took her up on that.

It turns out I was on the right track; it’s just much easier to see what the next step was rather than read it. Thank you so much, Karin!

Next Steps (Finally!)

Here’s my newly drafted pattern from my measurements. I won’t sew this up as it is. I’ll change the lines – add a power bar, split the lower cup – add a few of the pretty details I like in a pattern. Once I make it more a style I want, I’ll make a test bra to see how it all fits.

Happy creating!

Useful Handbag Hacks

Do you ever want to make a handbag and the pattern looks great, but it just doesn’t have all the features you want? That’s how I’ve been feeling.

Here’s my first Raspberry Ripple handbag. I love the outside of this, but I didn’t love the inside. A zipper on one side and a couple of side pockets. It’s adequate, but not exactly what I want.

Common Patterns

I’ve been looking at a lot of patterns, and too many of them are totes. I don’t love totes. They’re fine as a tote, to throw a few books in when heading to the library, but they’re not a handbag.

Most of the patterns I have, or have seen are all missing one thing I really want in a handbag – a divider inside. I love a divided handbag. I like to put things like my sunglasses on one side, my wallet in the zippered divider pocket, and any cosmetic things like hand cream or lip balm on the other side. Nice and neat – not all thrown in on the bottom. I also like a top zipper closure to secure it all.

So, I haven’t found my perfect patterns out there. After a little searching around, it seems I’m not alone. A few bloggers have posted some hacks that look really good and I wanted to share them with you.

Purse Dividers

This first one was referred to me by Marsha (Seam of my Pants). Thanks, Marsha! Sherri at Thread Riding Hood has a free pattern (for a tote) and tutorial on how to install a divider.  I’m using a photo from Sherri’s blog post to show you just how nice it looks.

That is so lovely and such a neat-looking finish. I love her fabric choice too.

This next one came from a search and it looks really good too. On the photo it says it’s from Diedel Bug. It’s on the Swoon website. It’s adding an interior divider pocket to the Eleanor handbag. This is a great-looking tutorial, and exactly what I’m wanting. Again, I’m using the photo from the website.

This is great! It even has the zipper in the divider just like I’m wanting.

Here is one more divider tutorial for you.

This photo is from Abby at Things For Boys*, and it’s a divider for a tote bag.

These are all great tutorials, and I’ll go through them all before I draft a divider for my next Raspberry Ripple handbag.

Zipper Closures

There’s one more thing that will make my Raspberry Ripple, and so many of the other bag patterns I have, my perfect handbag – a zipper closure at the top.

Here’s one more great tutorial on how to add a zipper closure.

This one is from Lisa at Andrie Designs. And it’s for a tote!

With all these tutorials, I feel ready to make all the changes I want to make to my Raspberry Ripple pattern.

Happy creating!

A Review of Craftsy’s Sew Better, Sew Faster: Garment Industry Secrets

It’s time for my Craftsy class review again.

craftsy-script-with-magnifying-glass

This month, I’m reviewing Sew Better, Sew Faster: Garment Industry Secrets with Janet Pray.

craftsy-gis-700

Marsha and Naomi couldn’t join me for this review. Unfortunately, I don’t know when they’ll be able to join me again right now. We’re all still good together, just all busy working on different projects.

Basic Information on the Class.

Janet’s class has quite a few reviews compared to the last class I reviewed. This one has 170 reviewers, and only a couple didn’t completely love the class and give it Five-stars. It has a 4.8 rating. That’s still really good. That’s a lot of love.

reviews

Here’s the Lesson outline.

class

My First Thoughts.

I’ve watched through the class. I bought the class in mid-December and it’s now mid-February and I only received the pattern two day ago. I contacted Janet’s company, Islander Sewing Systems and they sent a second pattern. Unfortunately, as a reviewer, I can only share my thoughts after watching. I can’t give an opinion on the pattern or pattern instructions because there just wasn’t time to even begin a project.

No Pins.

 Janet emphasizes that no pins are used in making the class project. I know she’s not alone in her no-pins philosophy. However, I had a neck/arm injury years ago and although I’ve recovered quite a bit, I’m not where I was before the injury. No pins and using my hands more isn’t a selling point for me.

I did try the no-pins a little though. I tried it on the Raspberry Ripple handbag I was sewing. Yup. I tried it. Then I ripped the seam out again because I only caught part of the fabric underneath. Then I pinned it the second time. So, if you have any reasons of your own why you need to use pins, then follow your own wisdom.

I will say though, after watching how Janet does her no-pins on a long straight stretch of fabric, if you don’t have any hand/arm issues, try it! It does look simple, easy and very efficient.

 Helpful Class Features

Something I’m finding very helpful in Janet’s class is after explaining each part of the jacket construction, she shows you exactly which pieces you’re working on.

Here’s a screen shot from the class showing the pattern pieces that were pressed at this stage of construction.

That is such a helpful part of the class. I haven’t seen this done in any other classes.

Panties

This class is all about techniques used while constructing a jacket. I’m sure you’re all wondering how panties fit in with this.

Well, when Janet is showing us how she does the inside shoulders on the jacket, I’m thinking panty construction. She gets things twisted around so the seam is enclosed once it’s sewn. It’s the same as when we’re using the burrito method for our panties. Just take a look at how twisted the material is for sewing this seam. I love it! I definitely want a few pins though.

This sewing method also produces a great finish that is just as neat as the burrito method is on panties.

More Burritos

 Imagine my surprise when just a little later in the class, Janet is demonstrating The Burrito Technique! She tells us ‘we will know it’s a burrito because of the filling. If we don’t have any filling, it’s just a tortilla.’ It makes more sense when you see it, but it is another great technique to make a really nicely finished garment.

Here’s the photo showing everything all nicely encased in the cuff using The Burrito Technique.

Personal Recommendation

So, do I recommend this class? Even though I wasn’t able to sew along and make the jacket, I do recommend this class. I think Janet really knows her stuff and I learned a lot of great tips and tricks watching her class. Some of them I will incorporate, and some of them I will not. I’m mainly thinking of the no-pins.

Other than that one point where I have personal reasons for not following Janet’s tips, all of her tips were great! The jacket she makes is lovely too.

Happy creating!

Raspberry Ripple Completed

I thought my Raspberry Ripple would be completed easily with no more bumps in the road. Well, so much for that. My husband decided to share the flu with me just as I was recovering from that cold. Bad. Just bad.

So, my Raspberry Ripple sat some more.

I did make it to the fabric store before he shared. I bought this lovely material for the lining. And the gorgeous red polka dot for the lining on the 2nd bag I have waiting for me.

The photo really doesn’t do this material justice. The two fabrics look much better together in person than they do in this photo.

Here is the red polka dot lining to use with this next bag.

I’m still not feeling quite 100%, but I have been sick for the better part of a month and I really want to get working on something. So, I cut out a couple of linings for the animal print bag, and then decided it was time for a hack.

I did not feel well enough to figure out all the written instructions, and the parts that are crossed out over it and written in again. I’m putting in a basic lining with a few pockets and that’s it. No zipper. Nothing complicated.

Here’s my hacked lining. I put in five basic pockets. Three on one side. Two on the other side. I do like pockets.

Here’s the outside of the bag all finished. I’m rather liking this.

I even have a plan for looking at those instructions again. My friend wrote all over them in pencil. I’m going to make a copy of the instructions with her notes, and then sit down with an eraser to erase all the notes from the original. Then I’ll try to make sense of the original without all her notes. I’m hoping I can figure out what is really supposed to be done here.

 I’m hoping the notes will make more sense after I read the original pattern maker’s instructions. But having things crossed out and then written in again, and having the flu really didn’t help.

Next I think I’m due for something new!

Happy creating!

Raspberry Ripple

Keeping to my plan to do a Craftsy class review each month, and work on my UFOs, I started working on the Raspberry Ripple handbags I have waiting for me. These are the bags I was given, all cut out and interfaced. All I have to do is sew them.

Raspberry Ripple Handbag

If you haven’t seen the Raspberry Ripple bag, here it is.

I think it’s adorable. You can find the pattern here.

Fabrics

The one I’m working on first is an animal print and a lovely coordinating fabric.

The coordinating fabric is lined on the back, which you can see – it’s the darker brown.

The above one is my trial run. I also have this one all cut out and interfaced just waiting as well. I love this black floral print.

I thought I’d save my favorite material for once I’m a little more familiar with the pattern. I was told that shiny material is leather, but it’s really thin and lined. I don’t think it’s leather, but it’s pretty.

I was also given this material, but after checking, there aren’t enough pieces for the bag, and not enough to cut more out, so I’ll have to think of something else to do with it. I’m thinking wallets or small clutch bags as all the material is interfaced.

A First Melly & Me

This is a new pattern for me, and also a first time sewing anything by Melly & Me. There’s a lot of text in the instructions, and step after step with no illustration or photo. I’m a visual learner, so I don’t know that this will be a favorite pattern for that reason, but it is all coming together fairly easily and well so far.

Illustrations don’t always mean a project will turn out either. There were lots of photos in another pattern I tried last year and it ended up in the trash! There was also a lot of ripping out with that one.

So far, on this Raspberry Ripple, I’ve only had to rip one seam out and that was all my fault. I was trying a no-pins method of sewing. More on that in another post.

Other than the no-pins bump, my sewing did have another bump in the road. I caught a cold, and spent more time than I wanted on the couch with Netflix. So, I did start my bag, take a long break, and then go back to it.

Unique Challenges

Do you know, or can you guess the most challenging part of sewing something someone else has cut out? Figuring out what pieces are what. Nothing is labeled.

I thought I had all the pieces, but I searched through everything I had again when I was ready to sew the band on. There wasn’t a band. There was some fabric to cut out a band, so whew! I was able to cut it out and get it interfaced.

My friend had lengthened the pattern for the band for some reason. I had to adjust it back to the original pattern size. I’m not sure why she did that because the lengthened band pattern piece did not fit the bag, but it’s all good again.

Notes

It’s kind of fun to follow along on a pattern someone else owned first. I love to read the notes from other sewers to see what they felt needed to be added, or clarified, or even just their reminders.

There are lots of notes on this from my friend. It makes for interesting sewing and sometimes more complicated too.

And this is where I feel like giving up. All that text and not a photo to help me out. Add to that I don’t know if I really want right sides together or wrong sides, or right sides!

Well, I’m stopping for the time being. It will remain a UFO for a few more weeks. There isn’t any lining material, or pocket material and I don’t have anything that coordinates with it. I also need a zipper.

So, I’ll take a swatch of this fabric and the black floral with me to the fabric store and buy enough lining for both bags.

Finished Bag?

No, it’s not quite finished, but here’s my outside part of my Raspberry Ripple handbag:

It’s lovely! Now to get to the fabric store.

Happy creating!