Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Have Met Thy Enemy, The Jersey Knit

I have always been a woven kinda gal, but I have seen some gorgeous tops and dresses made from knits, and I wanted in on this action. I read over a lot of reviews on and other blogs before making the plunge. I saw people who 'said' they never sewed with knits before do bang up jobs, even without a serger, so I figured I could do this.


Armed with a lovely ITY black and red jersey from, New Look 6753, a brand new pack of ballpoint needles and my trusty Pfaff 7570 I headed into battle!

And a battle it was, right from the beginning. How and the heck do you cut and sew this stuff neatly? It is slippery than a Chicago politician ( I know, I'm a Chicago native)! And marking, let's not go there. Wax-free tracing paper, tailor's chalk, chalk pencils, soapstone marker....nothing stuck to this fabric. I was tempted to try a Sharpie, but just gave up.

Let's move on to sewing the evil knit. I tested my Pfaff's stretch stitch and a regular straight stitch on swatches of the jersey and chose the stretch. It still puckered a little so I kept playing with the tension and got it the best I could. Keeping my seams straight was nearly impossible, I felt like a drunk, always verging off the road. I could not get the neckband and seam allowance to lie flat, so decided to topstitch on the outside as they suggested. BIG MISTAKE! I tested the straight stitch on my swatches with the appropriate layers of fabric and it looked okay. But, of course, when I did it for real on the garment I couldn't keep the vehicle on the road! This fabric just had a mind of it's own. My top stitch looks like quilt stippling. So, I've read where several people have made mistakes on knits and ripped out the stitches and fixed it.


Fat chance, those stitches were buried in like ticks on my dog's a**! They weren't going anywhere.

Let's talk armholes. Stitch, stretching band to fit. Okay, did that, but it stayed stretched. If I had Hulk arms it would be great, but I don't. Not very becoming.

At this point I was going to toss it, but I really like the print. It would go so well with my new capris I just made. So I turned the hem up and zigzag stitched it down.......making a nice little ruffled edge.....instead of a nice flat hem as intended. So here it is:

If I apply the quilting theorem "if it looks good from a galloping horse", then it's not bad. But I don't think I can apply that here. I am totally disappointed. I'm not sure why I had so much trouble. Maybe the jersey isn't the best knit to start with, maybe a serger would have helped but really I don't think so. I have a cotton knit, ottoman knit and 2 more jersey fabrics in my arsenal. I may have lost this battle, but I will win the war on knits.

60th Birthday Meal

The Husband made himself a wonderful meal for his 60th birthday (you really didn't think I was going to cook, did you!!??).

Herb-crusted rack of lamb, sauteed leeks, rosemary roasted tomatoes with a rosemary portwine reduction and (underneath in the center where you can't see very well) a mushroom and bacon bread pudding that was out of this world! He really outdid himself, this meal was fantastic!!

TeenagerI think of Lily as my teenage dog, I have to go and wake her up in the morning. I have never had a dog that loves to sleep in like this.............

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today is The Husband's 60th birthday!!! Happy Birthday, baby, I love you! I couldn't have a better partner or friend than you..............

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Houston we have......Pants!

Well, they were suppose to be pants but the 100% cotton twill really shrank up a tad, so I thought capris were more stylish than flood pants. I'm really please with this pattern. I think they fit really well and look nice. I like their pockets, very narrow waistband, slimming darts.
Here's they are from the front:Here they are from the side:
And finally....from the back:
Here is the pattern I used, it is OOP. I got it last year from Lanetz Living Sewing Patterns.
I cut a 14 and pin tested it with a 1" side seams. I had to let the waist seam out to the standard 5/8" but took the side seams in more than an inch. I probably could cut the waist at 14 and then tapered to a 12 at the side seams but I liked having the extra fabric there just in case. I would rather cut off a few unneeded inches at the seams than end up with only a 1/4" seam. I had to take in the crotch a little also.

They pants look more streamline on the pattern model, but that's because she has stick legs and I have over 50 thighs!

All in all, I'm real happy with the fit and also with how simple and easy they were to make. I think this could be my TNT pants pattern with a little more tweaking! I've already gotten some more twill, this time with a little stretch to it, and hope to make some pants (not capris) soon.

Next I am trying my hand at sewing a jersey knit top. I should be finished with it this weekend. So far I have mixed emotions about sewing with knits.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pattern Fitting

I want to learn more about fitting commercial patterns to me. I have no desire to draft my own patterns, why reinvent the wheel, and I'm not that creative anyway.

I used Nancy Zieman's "Pattern Fitting with Confidence" to try fitting a dress pattern. A lot of measuring and redrawing going on there with mixed results. It's not a bad concept just maybe not the one for me.

Next I got "Fit for Real People" and "Pants for Real People" by Pati Palmer. Fitting the actual pattern to me rather than all the measuring seemed right up my alley. I figured I go with the flow and do a body graph so I conned The Husband into helping me out.

While the body graph confirmed some things, I'm short-waisted and have a sloping right shoulder, there were no great revelations. As a matter of fact I'm pretty average. I guess that's a good thing.

So I moved to fitting a pants pattern. This isn't as easy as the book makes it look. I kept losing my pins even though I put them in the way she said and it was a little hard to see if the pattern was wrinkling this way or that way, but I managed.

I did much better with fitting the fabric pants. In fact, I think they look nice. There still are a few issues I need to work on, but I'm please with the method, it'll work for me (at least with pants!).

The pants are just about done, need to hand stitch the waistband down inside and hem. Pictures should be soon.

Meet Edgrrr

I just realized I haven't put a picture of Eddie up, so here he is......all 118lbs of him.

He always has a smile on his face....................

Time to go, The Husband is making me a Valentine's Day meal, then we are watching a "romantic comedy" and eating apple strudel. Neither one of us are into these types of movies, but I figured it Valentine's Day so what the heck! Now what romantic comedy did I have Netflix send you ask..........." The Philadelphia Story" with Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I know everyone north of us has been experiencing extreme cold and snow, but it's been a little nippy in NW Florida also. We're just not suppose to have windchills of 14 degrees! My poor little date palms have had to spend a few nights underwraps. But today it warmed up so Me and The Husband took a walk on the beach.

The Husband in a thoughtful pose. Isn't this beautiful!? The water was so clear and emerald green and the sand white as snow. The only thing that would have made it better would have been dolphins.Beach art???The tree of lost shoes and one glove.......................

Okay so I haven't been a total sewing slacker, I did get this purse finished. It's the Mini Miranda pattern from Lazy Girl Designs. Sorry the picture looks orangy it's really pink, deep rose and brown. It's a nice bag, easy to make but still a little large for my tastes. If I make it again, I'll trim the dimensions down.Spanish Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with machego, Medjool dates and jamon serrano on rosemary sourdough bread. This was very, very good. The sweetness of the dates and salty cheese is just a great combination, and the hint of rosemary from the bread was an added bonus.
It was from March 09' Bon Appetit .

It was a nice relaxing Sunday. I did start on some pants, more on that later.