Archive for the 'Sewing Ideas' Category

My Coat

July 16, 2010

Is sewn!

All I need is to add snaps and sew on the belt loops.

I realized last night that the snap fastener I have does not match the snaps I got, so this means another trip to the store.

I also need some buttonhole thread for the belt loops, I do not have the right color.

I also want to get some trim for the belt, at least where the loops were sewn in place, to cover the seam. With the visible seam it looks very amateurish.

I’ll take some pictures of it tonight.


More sewing

July 15, 2010

I have made a lot of progress yesterday on the coat, or today, cause I did stay till after 1AM.

Note to self: stop sewing so late and in a hurry… I caught my finger in the sewing machine!

I love my Brother sewing machine, but it has a defect by design. I would call that a bug, others would say it is a feature. It is programmed to stop with the needle always in a preset position: either up or down. So, no matter if I take my foot of the power pedal, the machine has a mind of its own and takes one more step, to bring that needle in the preset position. After years and years of sewing on normal machines, I still can’t get over this issue. So late, last night as I was attaching the sleeve with the lining, in a tight circle, and by machine, with the rest of the coat on my left side, creeping into the seam, as I was trying to pull out the unwanted fabric from underneath the teeth of my Brother, bang! My finger gets caught by the screw on the right side of the needle, lifted up and pressed under the machine body. Believe me, there is no room for a finger up there… It is not that bad, just a scratch and feels like someone closed the door on it. Now I know how powerful my Brother is. Funny how they designed it with all the sensors that notify you that you are running out of thread and you forgot to move something, pull a level or lower presser foot…but it doesn’t stop when a finger gets stuck. I also noticed something even more scarier about it, I hope I never get to experience that “first finger”. When you go over some very thick fabric it cannot penetrate, it tries again and again, very rapidly punching the needle downwards…what if that is was finger???? Then either the needle breaks or it stop saying some silly error message, like the protection mechanism kicked in…right.

Wish I did a muslin first.

Note to self: lengthen the bodice! you have a long torso. The pattern is designed for a 168cm high woman, I’m 171, so I figured the difference is no that big, it should work. But my torso is toooo long: now the waist line is uncomfortably high. It does not look bad, just feels weird tying a belt around my ribs.

Note to self: Leave a lot more hem allowance on the sleeves! Lot: like 15 cm more. When I added the shoulders, the sleeves got shorted with the thickness of the shoulder…Lucky my design called for cuffs, lucky I made them big.

All this agony for putting the cuffs on the sleeves, the sleeve header and shoulders, the lining with the piping…now all is left is the hem, finishing the front sides and snaps!

It looks pretty good, but I don’t know how to finish the hem line and the front sides in the center. Normally I either do a topstitch or just iron it, but this time it seems that ironing will not work, since it doesn’t lay with a smooth edge. Since the corners are round, how far do I topstitch? Could I go all the way around to the back vent? or just down till the curved edge? Any clues?


Oh, and here are the links I studies yesterday to help with the process:

Have a look at Tany’s lining next to back facing and hem facing and lining.

Nameless tutorial 2 shows how the hem facing is done:

All about sleeve-heads:

Now here I’m not sure I did it right, because the sleeves are so puffy. Another Note to self: no more puffy sleeve heads! I don’t like them and I find them hard to sew.

All about shoulder pads:

After all, I ended up buying mine, time is of the essence.

Tonight I will try to put a snap in.


July 14, 2010

The month of July was supposed to be reserved for the BurdaStyle Book sewing project.

I downloaded the pattern on July 1st and received the fabric by that day, so I was ready to go…

Go camping that is, to wonderful Rainbow Springs, FL, on the 4th of July weekend.

I wish I did have a month for sewing only…yeah…who does?


I was caught between the camping trip, planning a B-day party,

days of overcoming the after-party effects and a trip to San Francisco starting Saturday.

Time & Progress

All I have left for completing the BurdaStyle Book project, are 3 more nights and that includes doing laundry and packing for the trip. I probably lost a few pounds since I didn’t have time to cook and I might even be dehydrated…

I did come a long way though, loosing a few hours of sleep over it last night, but it is starting to look like something put together finally.

I finished the assembly of the lining, top and bottom front and back pieces, with pockets and the collar is done, all I need is sleeves with cuffs, some topstitching, putting all together, adding snaps, labels. So I can probably finish it in time. You guessed it, it is a coat! A trench and I really needed one. I know I’m in Florida, but I travel and it gets very cold for about 2 days here during winter… I tried to keep it as light as possible, so it will work great! I haven’t sewn a coat in a looong time, but I used to sew everything from camel hair long pile wool to fake fur and ski suits… I do miss the seasons, I can’t stress that enough.

Fabrics and notions for the BurdaStyle Book project

The fabric I received is from Britex Fabrics (I think it is this link). It is a wonderful suede like fabric, kind of khaki, olive green, it changes color with the light. I hope after all my pressing of the seams it will not show, I should have used a towel so that the pile doesn’t go flat looking shiny in pressed spots…oh well I think it is ok, meaning not that bad.

I managed to find a dark green silk dupioni for the lining on sale at the local craft store, so I bought lots of it, enough that I can probably even make a dress out of. It was narrow so I got twice all the added length of the body, length and arms.

For closures I will use snaps, since it is a time saver, hopefully they will work well through this thick fabric. Although given enough time, I would have done those triangular bound buttonholes with leather buttons…oh well, snaps will make it look more modern or maybe military.

Given more time, I would have added leather like piping all around the detailed seams, without the time, I just did some topstitching with regular thread…

I spent more then one hour at the local craft store yesterday looking for snaps, belt rings, piping, a little chain for the hanger.

It was really slow in the store, only 2 assistants, each busy, long lines, so I got the snaps, belt rings and decided to make my own piping, since none in the store would have worked.


I found some orange strips of silk dupioni and some thicker shoe lace kind of yarn, in my extensive stash of stuff.

I wrapped the ribbon around the yarn and starting sewing, using the zipper machine feet, as close the the yarn as possible. Using the zig zag sheers I cut the allowance to about 1.5 cm, that will go into the sewn seam between the fabrics.

The piping I will use only between the facings and the lining. Since everything is so khaki and dark green, a little orange detail will brighten it, even if it only shows when I take off the coat. I might even think that the inside so far is nicer, since it has more details, but simple is elegant, so I’ll just have to wait to see the whole thing done. Soon…! Soon!

BurdaStyle Book

July 1, 2010

Something nice to look forward to from BurdaStyle (click on the image for more details):

THE BOOK will be out in fall 2011, and I will have busy month of July sewing a project for this book.

I have received the fabric and pattern, and I promise I’ll blog about it if I’m allowed.

The creation will stay with BurdaStyle for a while to be photographed and worn by models.

Wish me luck!

Oh, and I’m not out of practice with sewing, I have been sewing, I just have to catch up on my blogging.

I guess it is better this way, sew more – less talk.

Zero Waste

November 13, 2009

I always try to place the patterns differently than the pattern instructions, in order to use less fabric and maybe squeeze in another top or skirt or even a belt in there.
Remember my angels blouse with all the little cut out angles reapplied to the fabric?

But check out this wonderful design for a jacket with ZERO waste:

And Oh!:

What do you do with all the scraps? I have a drawer full with scrap and I don’t quilt…at least not yet.

The A Plus A Line Skirt variation

October 15, 2009

The A Plus A Line Skirt variation

The A Plus A Line Skirt variation, originally uploaded by fmirela.

BurdaStyle contest entry based on free pattern from Burda Style.

Thanks to Twinkle by Wenlan! My inspiration came from the book The Art Of Manipulating Fabric thanks to Roberta for pointing this book out to me! Pretty cool!

I wanted to keep the fullness of the skirt, and apply a quick and fun technique of machine smocking. I used the same decorative honeycomb stitch to sew the hem and the topstitching on the yoke. Another change to the pattern is the lowered waistline (with about 5 cm).

Brief Instructions for the machine smocking

Wish me luck! 😉

No luck this time. here is the winner:

And this out of 64 creations, some really gorgeous, a skirt with no hem at all and some lace over it wins, I have to disagree…I liked the third price winner more, and many others out there deserved it better, but oh well…cute stockings.

The view

August 30, 2009

The view, originally uploaded by fmirela.

I’m moving out of the place all together on Tuesday…will surely miss that view.

Here’s what I have been up to in June, a somewhat productive month:


Ellinor pattern from BurdaStyle:

The knotted top:

Another green T-Shirt with pearl snaps, in Lacoste fabric. Wondering whether to put the iron on transfer with the Grand Tetons or just live it as is….
Green T

Pattern: M-Patterns…disappointing. I’m really not pleased with the way this turned out, I don’t like the finishing on it, nor the fit…will probably just use this for the gym or a bike ride
Lacoste Green T

A strange one this time in Lacoste fabrics purple and green, some flowers iron on applique. the neckline is tooo low, i will probably add another green ribbon around it. I’m not sure I like this shape…
A Burda T Shirt

La Mia Boutique T shirt. I adore the pattern. A friend sewn a similar top ages ago, in brown lycra and I decided there and then to make one, or two as well. It did take me a long time, but I will probably reuse this pattern more often now. I think this looks great as a sportish look, but it could also be more elegant in a different pattern and under a cute jacket.

Antique White


July 2, 2009

I’m looking into buying an embellisher machine (HUSQVARNA VIKING® ER10), it is on sale at Husqvarna this weekend with a coupon in an email, for 169$. They go for about 300$ otherwise and so do the felting needles attachments that you can use with some sewing machines, but the machines won’t be great for sewing afterwards cause of all the fiber dust. I think this is a great deal!

I did get the hand held felting needles from clover and I’m very happy about them, I just think that a machine will speed things up and maybe I’ll get to work on larger projects.

Doing some reading about these types of machines, I stumbled upon this article: it’s a good read, very informative.

Silk Jersey

June 23, 2009

I got silk jersey, in a nude color, excellent drape.

I cannot decide what to sew. My intention was to sew a PJ with long sleeves and pants to have something that breaths well in the sleeping bag and dries faster then cotton… but just can’t decide…I’d like to be able to also wear the top as is, not just as a PJ…










The last two are my favorites…so far…
Or should I simply stick to the drape neckline of the simple yellow top?

What do you think?

Crochet Belt Loops

June 6, 2009

just one more trick my mom taught me

This is useful for the side seams on blouses or dresses for keeping the belt from sliding down.

1. Thread you needle with 2 threads, so you end up having 4 threads that you sew with. Knot the ends together. Insert the needle from the wrong side of the fabric towards the front. Make a small stitch and create a loop.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

2. Pull the thread with your fingers through the loop, to create a crochet chain stitch.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

3. This is the second loop that forms and the initial loop is now sitting at the base of the chain.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

4. Continue until you read the desired length.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

5. Insert the needle through the loop and pull to finish the chain.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

6. Finished chain.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

7. Sew the end of the chain to the fabric. Pull the needle to the underside and secure the thread with a knot.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

8. An almost invisible thin yet resistant belt loop.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop