utility sewing

Friday, 14 May 2010
I've practically finished sewing the skirt and jacket shown in the previous post, all that's left to do is sew on the buttons - all eleven of them! Not that sewing on buttons is that hard, but getting them lined up properly and sewing them on by hand since they are shank buttons is a little tedious.

But I got a little distracted last week because we had an unexpected cold snap, well relatively cold for Sydney because it's not like there was snow or even frost, it was just a little chilly! Anyway I finally took the hems up on two pairs of jeans I bought over a year ago - how unbelievably lazy of me when it takes about 5 minutes to do. Especially when I did three pairs a few months ago for a friend! I also whipped up some fleece tracksuit pants for Anna to wear around the house, so unexciting they aren't even worth taking a picture of.

I also made her some grey corduroy jeans from my trusty Kwik Sew pattern 'cos nothing says cosy winter clothes like corduroy. I know, I know, grey again! But grey is a good neutral to offset all the pink hand-me-down clothes she has (I avoid buying her pink clothes). However, to liven them up, and because I cut these from some left over fabric and didn't quite have enough fabric, I cut out the cuffs, pockets and rear patch pockets in a grey and white stripe seersucker cotton.

Aren't those autumn leaves pretty? Anna had a ball grabbing handfuls of them, and if she could talk she could tell you what they taste like as well! She is still in that stage where everything goes in the mouth, and not just once either, she likes to try things several times especially if I say not to. I swear Crayola should release some icecream flavours because those crayons seem to be a favourite for munching on too....

A few questions popped up in the comments to the last post, which some of you very experienced sewists out there might be able to better answer, but here's my 2 cents worth:

Mamalucy asked about padding her recently acquired dressform to use it to it's fullest potential. I have to say I rarely use my dressform for anything other than hemming and hanging UFOs on to gather dust, because even with padding to more closely match my extra padded bits it still doesn't really resemble me and I don't get a good fit. I think it's to do with my forward sloping shoulders (aka bad posture) and narrow shoulders - those are things that just can't be padded out. But to answer your question mamalucy, I have seen other people use those body shaping slips over padding on their dressforms, because it fits closely to the dressform and is a slippery finish so that your clothes don't stick to it.

Ribbons Undone asked about the top layer of her fabric shifting when she is sewing. I find this happens to me when I'm sewing layers of different fabrics together, like when I'm using organza for underlining to a thicker fabric it shifts like crazy. And recently when I was sewing some curtains (still not finished, alas) I found the coated lining fabric and the cotton curtain fabric did not play nicely together either. But as to why it is happening when sewing two layers of the same fabric together I don't know, it may be the differential feed because I don't know if you can change the pressure of the presser foot (maybe check your manual?). What I usually do when this happens to me is to periodically lift the presser foot up and smooth the fabric out before it's shifted too far, sew a bit further, do it again etc and that distributes the fabric evenly. Or I try to feed the fabric through holding the top layer taut and letting the machine pull the bottom layer through to even up the rate at which the fabric moves through.

All highly nontechnical answers I'm afraid! Anyone else know what is going on? Here's a direct link to Ribbons Undone's post if you can help a fellow sewist in need.


  1. Toddlers clothes are a great way to use up leftovers in a cute way!
    Love the autumn leaves!

  2. Anna's pants are really cute! Those are great photos of the autumn leaves especially since all of our trees just got their leaves and we are starting to experience the first days of really warm weather here in the Northeastern U.S.