Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The New Skirt

As promised, here's my newly made skirt:

It's another McCall's 3830, but this one has a few changes.  I added two more darts to both the front and the back, and I also added a waistband.  The top is New Look 6150 and an infinity scarf, blogged about here.

The fabric is from Joann's home dec department, on sale, and I chose it because I think the colors can span a couple seasons. 

The skirt is underlined with black poly/cotton broadcloth to give it a little more body and to, hopefully, stave off wrinkles.  All edges were serged prior to sewing the seams.

I inserted an invisible zipper using my brand new Bernina foot on my old Bernina 930--and it came out perfectly!  Yay!  For the hem, I used the blindstitch foot on my newish Babylock sewing machine.  

All in all, I'm pleased with the whole outfit.  I'll try to get some modeled shots soon.  In the meantime, happy sewing!

~ Peggy

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Peggy vs the Machine: the Invisible Zipper Wars

Several months ago, I purchased a new machine--my first computerized one: a Babylock Elizabeth.  For the most part, I like the machine, but there are a couple of things that are quite annoying.  One problem I thought was my fault rather than the machine's, but I've now changed my mind.
So this problem - the one that actually isn't my fault (!) - has to do with invisible zipper application.  I used to be able to insert these with no problem, but with the Elizabeth, it was more likely that I either sewed too far from the teeth or sewed on top of the teeth.  And yes, I was using an invisible zipper foot--the one sold and made for Babylock machines.

I don't know if I'm delusional (that's another post!), but it seems like the tracks in the invisible zipper foot (the ones that go over the teeth) are too shallow.  I think this is why I had such a hard time controlling the beast.  I HATE that I'd carefully construct the rest of a garment but be freaked out at the thought of applying the invisible zipper because maybe the zipper application would look good,  but it was more likely to be less than desired.

I tried all sorts of things, I read every tutorial I could find, I practiced and practiced and practiced. But the results were the same and I was disheartened.  All along, I thought that if only I could have a zipper foot with deeper grooves, my problems might be solved.  And then it came to me in another head-slapping "Duh!" moment:  use a different machine.  As it happens, I have my old, old, old machine, a Bernina 930 Record that I bought (I think) in 1983--I hadn't used it in a long time, and it undoubtedly needs a major tune-up, but I thought trying to install an invisible zipper with it was worth a try.   
Back in when the Bernina was my go-to machine, I used one of those plastic invisible zipper feet--I don't think Bernina made one back then.  But now they do, so to give myself as much as an advantage as possible, I went to my local Bernina dealer and bought a $40+ Bernina foot.  Just looking at it, I could tell the grooves were deeper than the Babylock's.  And guess what? This story has a happy ending!  I've now installed two invisible zippers in garments using the Bernina, and I think they're fabulous!  Whew!  Here's one of the installations highlighted by the blue box:
I'd forgotten how much I liked the Bernina.  This baby purrs when it sews!

I'll show you the finished skirt as soon as I hem it.  In the meantime, happy sewing!

 ~ Peggy

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Look 6150

A week or so ago, I was in Walmart.  I haven’t been to a Walmart in ages, in part because there aren’t any where I live, and I like the idea of supporting independent stores.  However, my mother, who has recently had knee replacement surgery, had asked me to run errands for her, and this included a trip to the Walmart in Sonoma County.  You probably know this, but I didn’t:  Walmart on a Saturday is crazy!   But, as Mary Poppins said, the prospect of a treat makes chores a lot more palatable.  Okay, maybe she didn’t say just like that, but …  My treat was to peruse the sewing section. I didn’t have a lot of time, and as I mentioned, the place was PACKED, but I did scoop up some notions and New Look patterns—which I think were $2.79 each.  (I can’t find my receipt!)  One of my purchases was New Look 6150, and I whipped up view D in a couple of hours using this yummy Sophia double knit from Vogue Fabrics in tarragon.  
 It's a very straight-forward pattern with easy, clear instructions.  I deviated slightly from those instructions (as I am wont to do).  I stabilized the shoulders and I put the sleeves in flat.  I also used the coverstitch on the neckline and hems.  Here's a close-up of the neckline:
 Then, since I had extra fabric and it was a chilly day, I made a coordinating infinity scarf (14" by 58" before sewing).  I like the versatility this adds.
This top will go perfectly with a pencil skirt I am making out of this home dec fabric:
With equestrian boots, tights, and a belt, I hope it'll be a sharp outfit.  We'll see!

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a happy and restful holiday.  For our celebration, I actually made something I'd pinned on Pinterest--a pecan pie cake.  Oh my goodness, it was delicious! 
Back soon with the finished skirt.  In the meantime, happy sewing!
 ~ Peggy