Friday, November 7, 2014

Sewing plenty

At least, much more than my norm.  I got my pants sloper done.  That's it below the envelope, with painter's tape to white paper, spreading it out.  It actually needed much less adjustment than I thought.  After I had a significant crotch depth increase done, the rest of the proportions fit better than my measuring tape led me to believe,  I went ahead and used the sloper to modify my butterick jeans pattern and I wish I would have made a sloper back in 8th grade home ec.  That teacher just did not have aspirations for any of us that high.  We were an ill mannered rotten bunch, as I recall.

ANYWAY, other progress as promised are the machines I had sitting and waiting for rebirth.  Complete success with the 401a, so I rewarded myself by buying some new feet and thread spindles for her.  This is a slant shank machine, I can't use my low shanks that have worked well for all of my other Kenmore and Singer models.  I believe the presser foot height is still not correct.  I had to switch back to my Kenmore for sewing over thick seams on my jean shorts.  The older 306k though.....I had gone ahead and purchased a new bobbin case and the special needles it takes, all excited because I knew I was going to love this machine.  BUT, when I oiled her up and started wiggling her stuck stuff, snap!  The darn stitch regulator lever that controls stitch length and direction just snapped off.  Everything else is pretty groovy, I can see very beautiful fine stitches, I just can't have any other size or go backwards unless I get a new regulator, and get it correctly inserted up in there.

As far as quilting goes, the sampler is on a serious stall.  I hope I live long enough to see it done.  I totally gave up the mini quilt idea after sewing one eighth of the first mini block.  I have discovered the therapeutic claims of paper pieced hand sewn hexi blocks are true and I am amassing quite a pile.  I plan on using them to applique onto a duvet cover.  One scrap per flower, none used twice.  I may use up all those singles as the centers, or in another project entirely.

I did a quick muslin of the jean pattern just to check out the yoke and waistband part of the jean.  Satisfied, I pulled out my denim to find the stash I've had more than a decade was only a yard or so.  I decided making shorts would be good practice sewing with heavy fabrics and topstitching thread.  Turns out I needed the practice.  I also learned I need more than a 5/8 seam to do a better flat-fell seam too.  It just doesn't look right that narrow.  I've picked more seams out from these "practice shorts" than I probably ever have on any other project.  I guess I'd throw out anything that required that much work for real.  Also frustrating is trying to find the right denim.  I've purchased unsatisfactory stuff from Joann's and Mode.  I'm aware of Taylor's selvedge denim and I bought hardware and thread from him, but I don't want high priced narrow-width denim- it just feels a little pretentious and wasteful for where my jean sewing level is.  I do want old fashioned, stiff, heavy, thick, non stretchy dungaree style denim.  I think I've found a source in NYC after calling a manufacturer in TX and begging the lady who answered the phone for a lead on one of their customers that might sell yardage.  60" wide, 14 oz good stuff.  If it goes through, I'll post it when ever I can.  I'm seriously thinking of buying a damn roll and selling it myself!!!
It's almost jammie sewing time again.  I've been accumulating flannel.  I really hope I find some denim and sew my jeans before Christmas!

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