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Thursday, 21 January 2021

Embroidery machines do so much more than you can imagine

 In The Hoop Embroidery 

From Sweet Pea Machine Embroideryc

I have talked about machine embroidery before but as I use my machine such a lot, I wanted to share some of my latest projects with you. 

There are more ideas on Machine Embdoidery ideas so do take a look to see what else an embroidery machine can do. 



The designs are far removed from the traditional embroidery designs in that they are dimensional and the entire piece is completed In The Hoop - Backing,  wadding,and zips included!


If you  visit their website from the link above you will be able to view the catalogue of designs available to purchase. They are not at all expensive. They also have a gorgeous range of fabrics and their own range of thread which I am coveting. 



The designs are mostly applique with added Embroidery which are built up gradually starting with wadding and ending with the backing.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

How to sew Jeans update

This is a Jaycotts.co.uk blog post


How to sew Jeans.


This is perhaps the most daunting yet the most satisfying garment you can ever master. Jeans are  personal and we all have differing views of what the perfect pair should look like.
Get them right and I guarantee that you will love them so much that you will never buy another pair again. I know I won't

Recently I have been creating this years summer wardrobe. Starting with pants and jeans.
I really love these jeans. My favourite pattern is THE GINGER JEANS by Closet Case
A tip for you. If you have a pattern which you use a lot it is really worthwhile ironing all the pattern pieces onto some cheap interfacing to prolong its life





I made a new pair in a dark blue stretch denim . I make the high waisted version. 



I like to use a lovely lining - that's for my benefit 


I made another pair in cream stretch denim with a beautifully  coordinated lining.



And look at the pockets on the back. How cute.

So, let's get started 





This is not a quick project and you have homework to do before we even consider looking at patterns!
First of all, what is your preferred style? I love a high waist, narrow leg Jean which is very well fitted. If that is not your style there is straight leg, flared leg, boot cut, ankle length. And then there are jeans which fit below your waist or on your waist.

 The first thing you need to do therefore is to figure out which style you prefer. You may already own a pair which you love and which fit you well. This is good news because you can use them to refer to when making your own. If not then go along to a clothes store and try on as many pairs as you can and take selfies of those you like. Make a note of the style and if you dare, measure at least the hips and waist.

For your next task take a look at jeans in general and make a note of different top-stitching ideas and ideas for pockets. You can customise your jeans in so many ways so do take time to look for ideas. Pinterest is great for ideas.



I tested a few different Jeans patterns and this is the one I recommend you buy first. It has a large variety of design choices and different sizes. This is the link to purchase it from Jaycotts. B5682 Trouser and Jeans pattern I chose this one because it is not complicated and the instructions are easy to follow.


The first part of the pattern to look at - and you can do this on Jaycotts web site before you order - is the size chart.
Ignore your shop bought size and go by your actual measurements, the sizing is very different in each.
We are going to be sewing with a stretch denim which has " negative ease" ( more about that later ) so if you are between sizes it is likely you will require the smaller size.



Another choice would be this pattern, which again is easy and has alternative style choices .M7547 Jeans and overalls





Sunday, 3 January 2021

Sewing Seams and Sewing in Straight lines

This is a tutorial about working seams,finishing seams, and sewing straight  seams

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post


Recently I have had people tell me that it is years since they  last used a sewing machine  and could not sew in a straight line.

I remember when I was learning to sew my seams were never straight either. Like everything else it only comes with practice.  Luckily there are now lots of gadgets to help.


                                            A spot of hand sewing


What is a seam?


A seam is much more than joining two pieces of fabric together. A seam can provide subtle shaping to a garment and when correctly made can be almost invisible. Decorative seams add design and interest to a garment.
So what are the rules in sewing a seam?
  • Pin the seam together right sides of the fabric together normally, but there are exceptions which we will come to later
  • Pin the seam edges together matching the ends, notches and any other markings
  • Hand tack the seam. You can omit this if your fabric is easy to handle and if you are experienced at sewing.
  • Stitch the seam with thread which exactly matches your fabric and buy the best quality thread you can afford
  • Finish the seam edge appropriately
  • Trim loose threads
  • Press every seam every time. Pressing gives a crisp edge and makes the thread sink into the fabric making the stitches invisible.
NB Please note that in order to show you the different seam finishes  more clearly I am using a contrast thread. The only time you should sew a seam with a contrast thread is when it is a design feature for example top stitching.

How to sew a straight seam - some tips 





Seam allowances are usually 5/8" wide, there are occasions when 1/4" or 1/2" seams are used so do check your pattern.
Why is this important? 
Quite simply if your seam is too wide or to narrow, your garment will not fit. 
There are lots of ways to ensure your seam is the correct width and straight(ish) The simplest method of all and is what I do is to quite simply attach a piece of tape ,masking tape will do, positioned 5/8" away from the needle. Then when you are sewing align the edge of your fabric with the side of the tape nearest your machine. And there you have it! Straight seams at exactly 5/8" from the edge.