Sunday, April 17, 2011

Burda Jacket Update

Update on the Burda jacket I’m making in Sherry’s RTW Tailoring Sewalong: after trying it on many times, and making many adjustments, it still feels a bit too snug. I later let out the side seams and lower back seams again, then almost started to make another adjustment for narrow neck but changed my mind; anything more and it would start to really look like a Frankenstein jacket muslin!! The back and sleeves should have had the adjustments done *before* sewing the muslin…oh, well! *sigh*

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So, I started tracing out the next size up and incorporated all the adjustments I made on this muslin. I’m going to make the neck a bit narrower too, as it seems to gape at the sides and back. Then *hopefully* I’ll be able to get to cutting the fabric by mid-week. Fingers crossed!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jeans are done!

Yes it’s true! I’ve finally finished the Jalie jeans I began to make in the PR Blue Print to Blue Jeans with Jennifer Stern last November. They’ve actually been sitting for the last 3 months awaiting the final touches: button & buttonhole, rivets.

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The Greist buttonholer that I got last week did a pretty good job of the buttonhole, but I had to do a bit of fiddling as it tended to jump around on the waistband and I had to rip out the first attempt (and this was after making half a dozen tests on the first/scrapped waistband). It turns out that the fabric needs to be of the same thickness on both sides of the buttonhole plate, otherwise it can’t get a firm hold.

The problem was that the waistband seam is much thicker than the top edge of the waistband. To compensate, I basted some folded denim scraps just on the top portion of the waistband to match the thickness of the waistband seam. That was better, but it still slipped a bit. Then I put strips of double-sided sticky foam tape along the top and bottom of where the buttonhole would be; this helped to literally stick the fabric to the bottom of the buttonholer, and so no more slippage. (I see now that it would have been a lot more helpful to include photos of this!)

For a first attempt, they’re wearable, but I think I’ll have to just wear them in the summer as they are a bit short!! During the muslin fittings and many adjustments, I took out quite a bit of fabric just under the butt, however I forgot to add it back to the lower leg…live and learn! LOL I’m definitely making these again, and a few more tweaks should do the trick.

Oh, here’s a close-up of the first pocket (the 2nd is a mirror image, and was a bit neater!)

Jeans back pocket

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Greist Automatic Buttonholer arrives!

It’s like Christmas!!! I had to stop myself from jumping up and down when my husband walked in the door with the mail; on top of the pile was a small brown paper parcel, roughly assembled, but intact. My Greist buttonholer, all the way from the UK!

While sewing my jeans last November/December in Jennifer Stern’s Blue Jeans class on PR (by the way it’s on again now, starting this week) I thought it would be nice to make a keyhole buttonhole on them, but my Bernina 910 only has the plain 5 step buttonholer. One day, as I was perusing on PR, I stumbled upon a blog post that was all about automatic buttonhole attachments. Eventually I began to search on eBay, OK it was about a month ago, and found a style #1 Greist (apparently this style/model is compatible with most imported sewing machines, like Bernina) in the UK starting at BP 2.99. What a bargain, I thought, so why is nobody else bidding on this? Maybe the shipping costs, but who cares! It was the only one of this particular style at the time.

At first I was a little hesitant because it didn’t include the instruction manual, but I needn't have worried as after just a little searching online I found this page for Greist buttonhole attachment instructions.

This is it, as it came in the box (left) and once I’d dismantled it (right):

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It wouldn’t work at first, totally seized up. Of course I only discovered that after I’d attached it to my machine, and had to remove the plastic cover; I remembered another Bernina user had the same problem.

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There was one part in particular that would not budge at all. In the pic below, the arm by the red arrow wouldn’t move and so it couldn’t turn the ratcheted wheel to its right, which moves the adjustment lever positioned in the cam…it’s easier to see it than explain it! And there was a lot of white flaky stuff around many parts, which I guessed must be just old oil/grease and decades of dust. A lot of little oil over every part I could imagine that might move (the instructions in the link above include how/where to do this), and it started to shift again.

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The instruction page at the link above mentions that you don’t really need to put the Greist cover plate on, and in fact it doesn’t even fit on the Bernina. As long as the feed-dogs are lowered it’s fine. This is the first test run, front and back, and I’m really happy with it so far:

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As I was doing all this I watched Brian’s videos Exploring Buttonhole attachments, which are great. It sure is a lot faster if you can see something in action. In his part 1 video he mentions that the Greist was available with 5, 7 or 9 cams, but mine only came with 4, the smallest is missing I suppose. I wonder if cams in different sizes from other models are interchangeable?

Now I might just finish my jeans before making the alterations on my first muslin in Sherry’s RTW Tailoring Sewalong. They’ve been waiting a long time.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Getting into sewing mode…

Having a definite plan sure got me moving! My sewing room hadn’t seen much action since my jeans, which should be complete in the near future when my eBay purchase arrives – more on that in a bit. In the meantime, things sort of got left there, on the table, the ironing board, and before I knew it there was no room to do anything.

So, one night after I decided on the RTW Tailoring Sewalong, I dived right in, in my usual kamikaze way, and spent several hours decluttering and reorganizing the sewing room. The layout is working so much better now, and placing the ironing board right beside the sewing machines makes so much sense (I read that tip somewhere, don’t remember where though.)


It’s still a little bit cramped, but it’s really workable. Eventually I’ll put in a clothes rod (in a little nook that’s not visible in the photos) to hang up all the UFOs ongoing projects. The peg board has been in my sewing room for over a year, but I’ve not figured out how to really use it yet, I guess I’ll just have to start! But one day I will do the ultimate: build a work table with storage underneath. That would be absolutely fantastic!!!

And now I’m ready to get cracking on my jacket! I changed my mind on the patterns, I’ve decided on Burda 02/2011 #109, but without the ribbon edging.

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