Monday, 28 March 2016

M7254 and sewing pleather

A while ago I saw View C of McCall's 7254 knit jacket done up in a black stable knit with a black pleather border and feeling inspired I bought some beautiful black quilted knit and black pleather from Emma One sock and planned to do the same for my daughter who took one look at the pattern and materials and said 'Can you just make view A from the pleather please?'


View A and Line Art

The pleather, though soft and supple does not have the give of a knit so I went up a size then ran up a muslin and  modified the fronts to have more coverage. When we had the fronts and the sizing right I set about googling information about sewing pleather/leather.

How to sew with pleather:

Use a leather needle. I did, a Klasse 90. It worked very well.

Don't use pins, use clips on the edges. I bought pink mini binder clips from Office Works. I also bought some wooden pegs from Bunnings and ended up using a combination of both.

Don't use an iron.

Use a teflon or walking foot. I have a walking foot and I put Scotch Tape on the bottom of the foot at the front and the back to make it a bit slipperier. A walking foot feeds the material along from the top while the feed dogs do the same at the bottom. Have I ever told you how much I love my walking foot?

Use glue to keep the seam allowances open, press in place or bang with a rubber mallet. Well, I couldn't find any special leather glues in Lincraft or Spotlight but once again Bunnings Hardware store to the rescue. In the craft section I found 'Boyle' Tacky Glue for Wood, Leather Textiles, Cork and so on. 
I applied the glue in the seam allowances with a small sponge and pressed the seams open with my fingers and had no problem.

Use a longish stitch. I used 3mm stitches fro the seams and 3.4mm for the topstitching.

Lastly, this is my own hint - put a eyelet in each corner of the front and back bodice pieces at the underarms for ventilation, 4cm from the corners before you sew the side and underarm seams.

Pattern notes:  After modifying the front of the pattern to fit I made pattern pieces for 7.5cm wide facings for the neck, back and sides. I assembled the shell, then attached the facings, then assembled the lining shell and attached it to the facing. The lining has a CB ease pleat. I left a 12cm temporary opening in one of the lining side seams so I could pull the sleeves through and do the sleeve hems one at a time. I had already pressed the sleeve lining seam allowances back, and after I I glued the jacket sleeve hems up I put the lining in place and topstitched through all layers. If I had thought it through better I would do the sleeve hem gluing before sewing the sleeves in but I managed. It was a puzzle it out as you go effort!

Result? DD loves it. It's what she envisioned.

The rest of the outfit is Top: Simplicity 1366 Cynthia Rowley in a floral knit from Pitt Trading, Pants:  Style Arc Elle in  'Premium' Cotton/Elastane from Spotlight, surprisingly nice quality. I bought the end of the roll!

So, that's what I've been up to. I hope you all had a good Easter. Hop in and leave a comment!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

A quick Lisette B6182

I dropped into Pitt Trading recently. It's my favourite independent family run material shop in Sydney. It's so nice to shop somewhere with an individual selection of goodies. I was in the area and wanted to rummage through their bargain table for some knit material and came home with two knits and a woven for the grand price of twelve dollars. One of them was a strip of 155cm wide by 55 cm knit with an eye catching scribble pattern. On impulse yesterday morning I made it into a top. I considered a few patterns from my stash but nothing with separate sleeves would fit on this bit of material and I didn't particularly want to go sleeveless. The answer of course was cut-on sleeves and I got out B6192 Lisette Top/Dress and Skirt to make the top. I cut a 14, without the sleeve bands, ran it up and then went to my photo group ramble through the streets of Newtown.

I took these shots when I got back, hot and crumpled. I like the pattern which by the way is for wovens. I had so little material that I finished the sleeve and bottom edges on the serger and just left them at that.

The front of the pattern has a horizontal dart at the bust and  centre front and back seams, nice details that come up well in a plain coloured woven.  I would definitely add some length to bring it down a bit and for a decent sized hem. I'll be leaving off the bands if I make it in a woven too and just cutting on a hem allowance at the edge of the sleeves.

I'm posting a link to buttonandneedle's top in linen on Pattern Review that made me buy the pattern in the first place here

Have a happy weekend,

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

It still feels like Summer M6759 Swimsuit

We are having an unseasonal heatwave here. In what is technically the first week of Autumn the weather has been hitting about 35 degrees C for a week, and still hovering around the low 20's C at night. So, as our hot weather continues I finally made a swimsuit I'd been procrastinating about all summer. I've made my own swimsuits for the last five or six years but sewing them still makes me a bit apprehensive. Half a cm added or taken away here or there makes a big difference, as well as the application elastic and the amount it is stretched when applied..That's the real challenge.

Anyway I bit the bullet and did a muslin of M6759 swimwear out of leftover black dance lycra. BTW this pattern has only just gone out of print. I wanted a swimsuit that was very simple in design and would be secure in the surf and comfortable for swimming laps. Maybe I should have gone with the Burdastyle Swimsuit Sloper, but the McCalls already had the leg line and armhole that I wanted, so I went ahead. The muslin revealed the fact that the swimsuit has a tank top style upper half that when made up as a one piece looks decidedly 1970's leotard. As well as that I made a hash of the elastic at the neck and arms and did not finish the legs. It will be turned into swimwear bottoms at a later date.
But it gave me enough information to see what I needed to do.

I redrew the swimsuit to:
Deepen the armscye by 1cm
Deepen the front neckline by 6 cm
Deepen the back neckline by 6 cm
Add more buttock curve by going out 1.5cm
Narrow the crotch area by .5 cm on each side.
Narrow the straps by a tiny amount, about 3mm on each side.
Take out the waistline 1.5cm, basically straightening the waistline curve a bit.

The next one will have:
A deeper back by 2cm
A slightly deeper front leg curve.
Possibly a back mesh lining too.

I used a beautiful designer swimwear material bought form The Fabric Store Surrey Hills Sydney about three years ago and self lined it to the under bust apply-elastic line, then lined the rest of the front with swimwear mesh in nude from my stash. I used white 2.5cm wide non roll elastic from my stash for the under bust elastic and 8 mm Birch Braided Elastic in nude from Spotlight for finishing the edges. I bought a few elastics because I wanted a soft but strong one with a nice stretch. The Birch was the best of the lot.

The construction differed from the instructions by the fact that I pieced the front to have swimsuit material at the bust and very lightweight mesh lining for the rest of the front. I did not line the back for this one.

I did the assembly of the front at the crotch as described in the instructions sewing the right side to the right side and then flip, but at the shoulders I assembled it using the 'burrito' to end up with a clean finish and the seam inside the strap. I'll try to describe it. After you have done the crotch and flipped the suit and you have your three layers at the straps twist the lining so the outside is facing in, then twist the back suit strap so the outside is facing in, do your seam then turn it the right side out and bingo clean finish with the raw edges on the inside, then apply all your elastics. I used zig zag to apply the elastic to the edges, turned them in and did another row of zig zag on the outside. I did two rows at the neckline. McCalls say to do a straight stitch. That would not last very long on my swimwear! I did not use cups on these swimmers, also wanting to keep it very simple. All in all I love my new swimmers and they are the most comfortable I have ever owned.

A distance sarong shot is all I am willing to put on the web  :)




I think the swimsuit still contains the essence of the style of the original. I've made my own TNT and will keep tweaking it but the pattern gave me a great starting point.

Keep on Sewing,
and for all you Aussies I hope you are coping with the heat,