Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Topstitching help please

I mentioned on the post about my Peggy skirt that I had some issues with the topstitching.

It looks ok from the right side (bar a few skipped stitches on the sections where there are a lot of layers):

But pretty awful from the wrong side as you can see below:

Believe it or not, this is a distinct improvement on how it looked originally. 

Based on advice from Twitter and Instagram, I switched from a denim needle to a topstitching one and used normal thread in the bobbin with topstitching thread on top only. I fiddled with the tension on the top thread.

These lessened the problem considerably but it's still not great.  My machine didn't seem to have any issues with sewing the layers with normal thread, just with topstitching thread.

The only thing I could find online was that Gutermann topstitching thread (which I used) is apparently much thicker than other brands.

Can anyone shed any light on my problem? Any great topstitching tips to share? Have you found that the brand of thread made a difference? All suggestions gratefully received as I want to make jeans at some point and that's a lot of topstitching!  

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Grease Inspiration

I've just put up my bad girl inspiration post for the Grease sewalong on the Sewcialists blog - head on over a have a read here!

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Grease Sewalong!

I'm co-hosting this month's sewalong on the Sewcialists blog, and it's a theme very close to my heart - Grease!

Click here to read the post - and there's a competition too!

Will you be joining in?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Operation winter coat is go!

I may not have been blogging too much due to work and general life busy-ness, but I have been sewing and planning quite a bit!

The big project I am working on is a winter coat.

I was looking for a fairly simple shape with a collar and some waist shaping and I picked up this great 1960s pattern on Etsy:

It has lovely princess seams running to the waist with welt pockets at the bottom, bound buttonholes and is fully lined.

I knew I was going to have to buy fabric online for it as my local fabric shop just doesn't stock great quality coating. The fabric I used for my Anise really hasn't held up well which is frustrating when you think of all the work that goes into a coat (especially one with welt pockets and bound buttonholes!). After much perusing of online fabric shops (it's a dirty job...) I ordered a stack of swatches from Stone Fabrics. They have a great selection of coatings and I have read good things about their quality. You have to call up and order but they were very helpful and got my order out really quickly - they're not paying me to recommend them BTW, I just like to give praise where it's due!

I ordered this wool mix coating (90% wool but not scratchy - 100% wool rarely works on my skin). A good tip I found was to keep rubbing the swatches together over a few days to see how they might hold up to wear. I actually rejected my original choice after it went a bit fluffy when I did this so hopefully I have chosen one that will wear well!

The lining is also from Stone Fabrics and it's viscose acetate in a beautiful peacock blue - the picture really does not do the colour justice.

As ever, I asked for advice on twitter for interfacing and the ever helpful Anne from Mercury Handmade recommended Speed Tailoring from Gill Arnold as she uses it in all her coats. This stuff is ideal for stabilising an open weave and is beautifully soft.

For buttons, I bought huge 1960s style ones from John  Lewis. I hope they don't look stupidly big on as I'll have to do the bound buttonholes first!

I think you'll be getting quite a lot of in progress posts on this as coats take such a long time. Wish me luck!