Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Two Steps Forward, One Step Back"....or the Making of Kwik Sew Pattern 2776 - Mens Pants!

The Kwik Sew Pattern 2776 - (Men's Pants) is just the type of pattern in which I am so very glad that I have procedures built into my sewing routine.  Like always using Swedish Tracing Paper for my patterns and on new patterns always making a muslin first before I proceed to sewing the finished garment.  I find these two steps, although they may be time consuming,  are really very important and help work out any of the glitches that may be in the pattern.

During the muslin process I worked out a snafu they had in the pattern which is how you add the elastic to the waist line.  I'll explain that a little further down.  A couple of other changes I made, instead of the patch pockets I used a welt pocket.  Also I had to change my size from a large to a medium.

I have everything laid out. Lets start.

Another benefit of using Swedish Tracing Paper is having to essentially draw the entire pattern out before you cut it. You really understand everything about it much better.  It sorta gives you a bonding experience with the pattern your sewing. 

On this particular pattern I chose not to fold the fabric and pin the pattern down.  I made individual pattern pieces and just cut it all out on the right side of the fabric.

The pattern itself was a snap to cut out.  Love using tracing paper!  This is marking the outer edge of the pocket were you sew it onto the pant leg.

I drafted up my own welt pocket pattern after watching a tutorial by Colleen G. Lea from her Fashion Sewing Blog.  "Thanks Colleen"!

Love using my new Singer. Love, Love, Love.  Starting the main stitch base line for the welt pocket.  You may notice a couple of little black threads hanging out of the interfacing.  I've really started to enjoy just using thread to mark all of my pleats, darts and markers for placement instead of chalk.  In the long run it's so much easier and you don't have to worry about the chalk wearing off.

A lot of people stitch in the ditch for a welt pocket, but I sorta like the way it looks top stitched!

Topstitching on the front pockets.

The zipper was very easy to do on this pattern, very clear instructions.

Once the zipper was attached good and proper I turned it to the front and pulled out the basting stitch.

Top stitching from the front securing the zipper shield in place.  You can see were I still haven't pulled out my black thread markers.

Sewing up both outer edge pant legs!

Added top stitching to the outer leg seams gives a nice finished look.

Now adding the waistband.  This is were you have to waiver from the instructions.  I'm not really sure what they were thinking when they wrote the instructions for installing the elastic in the waistband. Hopefully their mind was side tracked by a "huge piece of chocolate cake" they had waiting for them in the break room and if that was the case then all is forgiven.  I probably wouldn't be able to concentrate either (can you tell it's almost my snack time). Also Kwik Sew patterns are usually really good with their instructions.  Now with that being said, the waistband is sewn on per there instructions, which is sewtastic, but when you go to install the elastic they want you to attach the center of the elastic to the center of the waistband in back and the two ends of the elastic to those two little black lines in front on the interfacing in the photo by the button holes.  This is were the problem lies because they want you to turn the waistband over wrong sides together, pin it down and stitch in the ditch all the way around the outside of the waistband.  Can you see the problem with this (long waistband short piece of elastic).

So this is how I resolved it.  I attached the center of the elastic to the center of the waistband.  On both ends of elastic I attached a  very "Big" safety pin and laid the elastic flat on the inside of the waistband.  With the wrong sides folded together I clipped the top of the waistband together with my "Clover Wonder Clips" to hold both the waistband and elastic in place and to keep the safety pins secure and out of the way of the sewing machine needle.  I stitched in the ditch starting 6" from the left front flap all the way around to about 6" from the right front flap.  I then pulled one side of elastic out at a time and stitched it into place with the little room I had left.  After that the little sections that were left to stitch in the ditch went right together very easy.

Top stitching the waistband.

I used a couple of extra Clover Wonder Clips to hold the safety pin securely.

The rest was easy peasy  after that, just the normal top stitching of the elastic and adding the button and button hole and a few other minor details.

I have to say when it is all said and done they were a bunch of fun to make.  Even when it came to the waistband and elastic.  I think its a good thing to sometimes have to figure something out, outside of the normal pattern instructions.  It shows you what you are really
capable of and how far you've come and that's a good thing!

That is it, the end of my post for today.  We just have a couple of things left....first, the big "Shout Out".

Today that is going to....Rochelle of Lucky Lucille - Her talent of seamlessly recreating the attire of the 40's is absolutely flawless.  Every time I read her blog and view her new creations it's like stepping back through a window in time.  She brings new meaning to making something beautiful with just plain cotton fabric.  So if your looking for loads of inspiration, she a definite must read on anyones  blog list!

and also....

This week the "Two Thumbs Up" goes to those good folks at Hawaiian Fabric.com .  I absolutely love this store for cotton prints.  They have great prices and there shipping is always on time.

These are two of my latest Fabric Purchases from them which I'm pairing up with a Hawaiian Classic Pattern #210 from the Victoria Jones Collection.  Can't wait to get started!  So if you haven't stopped by their site yet you just have to check them out!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Tale of my "Incredible Thrift Store Find"....or how I Love my New 1938 Singer 66-8

It was a warm and muggy Tuesday in June, typical type weather in the summer once you leave the island.  I was on my way to Karen's Kreations to check out some new fabric.  Once I pulled into the parking lot, I had to pass "The Arc of Atlantic County - Thrift Store" and something just told me to stop in just for a second and check out what they may have inside.  "Boy and am I glad I did!" 

This is my wonderful new 1938 Singer 66-8. Now I guess I'm sorta jumping the gun.  There is a little more of a story here before my machine became this beautiful.

This is actually the way she looked when I first found her just sitting in the isle at the thrift store.  I couldn't believe it.  They had the machine all threaded up at the time and a little piece of fabric with her. So I just had to sit down for a minute and try her out.  She sewed perfect stitches and absolutely straight, didn't pull the fabric in any funny way or anything.  These photo's are taken inside of Karen's Kreations after I purchased my little gem.

She needed a little cleaning but everything worked just like it should and she ran as quiet as could be.  The only thing you could hear was the faint sound "clickity clackity" of the pressure feet and foot moving up and down.

Forward only no reverse.  You have to love the simplicity and rugged durability behind this machine.

All the original electrical was intact and the light bulb even worked.

Even came with the original Motor Lubricant.

Lots of Extra's
1.  Tucker Foot  2. Adjustable Hemmer Foot  3.  Binder Foot  4.  Hemmer Foot 
5.  Seam Guide  6.  4 Bobbins  7.  The original screwdriver.
The Standard Foot is on the Singer

Even the original manuals showing that she was in her original cabinet.

I was just a little beside myself to say the least.  I couldn't believe my good fortune.  A wonderful old Singer with all the bits and pieces and it ran really, really nice!   For only $75.00.  I think the people in the store thought I was a little nutty for wanting such an old machine.  Most people just don't understand the background and heritage of sewing machines and what it means to the sewist.

So I took the machine over to Karens Kreations and let her Sewing Machine repairman have a go at it for a couple of days.  You know, replace all the electrical cording which was a little soft and just give it a good cleaning on the inside.

After he did his magic I took it home and started working on the cabinet.

Let the stripping begin!

Top scratched up a bit, time to give it a new luster!

Used chemical stripper on every piece of wood.

It took two solid days of stripping and sanding to get everything just right.

Once I had everything stripped and sanded I used a nice Minwax wood finish.

Once I had the wood stained I used a nice hand varnish you apply with a rag and rub in.  It gives the wood a soft glow.

This is the final result.  

Sewing with this machine is almost magical.  There really is a charm to it.

My wife laughs at me when I sew now.  I just finished a pair of pants, the Kwik Sew 2776 using my Singer.  I loved how perfect the stitches came out.  Every once in a while I would have to jump to my Janome to use the zig-zag stitch to bind off the seams and also to make my buttonholes.  That's all right though.  It is hard to relay how enjoyable it is to use one of these older gems.  I would highly recommend one to any sewist.  It's like stepping back into a simpler time.

That is it, the end of my post for today.  We just have a couple of things left....first, the big "Shout Out".

Today that is going to....Elizabeth of My Sewing Machine Obsession .  If you find yourself with a Vintage Sewing Machine of any type and have questions about it.  Her blog is well worth checking out.  She is devoted to finding and fixing Vintage Sewing Machines and she is absolutely wonderful at it.

and also....

This week the "Two Thumbs Up" goes to Katwise .  Kat Osullivan upcycles old sweaters into absolutely beautiful pieces of clothing artwork.  I absolutely love each and every piece she makes and I definitely plan on purchasing some of her patterns this fall.  She will give any sewist tons of inspiration and her patterns are just plain fun!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

When the "Going Gets Tough - The Tough Go"........Fabric Shopping!

I can't speak for everyone, but there are day's when I wake up in the morning that I just have to get that extra special fix of fabric shopping in.  Stepping out of your sewing room for the day into the sunlight and fresh air and driving to your favorite fabric store - "Let the adventure begin".  You walk in, they greet you by your first name and are always thrilled to see you and hear about the latest garments you've made.   You look thru all the new fabrics running your hands through knits, cottons, silks, denim, corduroy, gabardine...the list goes on and on...life is good!

This is my little slice of "Fabric Heaven" on the Jersey Shore - "Karens Kreations".  Once I leave the island it only takes about 10 minutes to arrive. 

I know, I know, it's rare for me to have a photo of myself in the blog....but this is a special occasion.  "Fabric Shopping Day".  Behind the counter is Karen, the shop owner, master sewist and purveyor of all things wonderful in the sewing industry.

I also want to pick up some cotton fabric while I'm here for a new quick sew pattern.  I used to have a pair of pants like this in the 80's and I loved them.  They were so comfortable.

Fabric, Fabric Everywhere!  Fun Times!

Lace trimmings and more specialty fabrics.

Ribbons and Buttons!

A huge variety of buttons, which reminds me that I have to pick up a couple for my quick sew pattern!

Applique's and Thread.  I always try to pick up a couple of cute applique's every time I'm in Karens shop.  You just never know when you will have that special little spot on what you are sewing, were you'll just need that specific applique.

This was the perfect fabric outing!  I found some wonderful cotton fabric, which feels great to the touch and a nice weight.  Some real nice wooden buttons.  I picked up some extra elastic, I already had the zipper.  So I am good to go...Stay tuned for a segment on my kwik sew 2776 pants to come up on a future post!

That is it, the end of my post for today.  We just have a couple of things left....first, the big "Shout Out".

Today that is going to....Debi of My Happy Sewing Place.  She rock's the Vintage Sewing Patterns of the 30's, 40's and 50's and is an expert sewist.  I am always amazed by the little special details she puts into each one of her pieces.  It inspires me to go that extra little bit on what I am working on.  She has a fabulous blog that you just have to check out.

and also....

This week the "Two Thumbs Up" goes to none other than Karen of Karen's Kreations .  If you ever find yourself in the Atlantic County area of New Jersey and you just have to have that fabric fix.  Just stop on in and pay her a visit, you'll never leave empty handed and you'll have a wonderful time while your there.

Until Next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe