Monday, June 29, 2015

Little helpers - Pins

I might be a bit spleen-y, but I have different pins for different tasks. They rest altogether in a bowl (or in a wrist pincushion), but I search for the correct needle while working...

What is it good for?
Well, to pin things together. Either fabric and sewing patterns - if I'm not using my fabric weights which are not good for patterns with small prickly parts - or fabric on fabric or fabric and decorations such as lace... There are a huge number of things to pin for every sewing person* so everyone should have some pins ready!


Most of the time I use pins with a wax pearl head (as above). The ones I own are rather thin but very pointy, so they glide into most fabrics with easy and leave small holes, if any. Unfortunately, you can't iron without pulling these bastards - trust me, I tried. And ruined a nice iron with it! Also they are prone to bending which is a reason that my stash sometimes runs low when I get rid of the curvy ones!


Otherwise I have pins without big heads which are full metal (oh so trve! ^^). I'm not so keen on using them as I forget these in the garments way to often. And it hurts to get stung by an unexpected needle when wearing a shirt or pants! But you can iron over them like nobodies business and I think they last longer without bending - might be me using them less, though...


I also own needle which combine the good characteristics of both other needles: Pins with a glass head! They are a teeny bit more expensive than the wax head ones, but you can iron them and the colour full heads avoid pinning myself because of forgotten needles! Also my needles have a morbid past - they were bought for my anatomy course were they were used to pin dead animals for drawing their insides. Doesn't get much more goth than that, right? **

How much does it cost?
Almost nothing, you can get 50-100 in 1 Euro stores, even fancy ones with heart shaped heads are 1 Euro for 20 pieces there. Watch out, they mostly sell wax ones there, though! The glass head ones are a bit more expensive, I bought 100 for 3 Euros. Still not expensive, right?!

Who needs it?
Everyone who sews!

* I noticed that I use the word seamstress way to often. Which is mean for all the male sewers all around the globe. Hey, equality works in both directions, so I'll try to get better! :)

** For everyone who has hygienic (or other) afterthoughts: My pins have been autoclaved and washed since then, they are probably cleaner now than they were fresh from the store! ^^

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Panty sewing 2 (Again with bonus panty!)

As I mentioned yesterday, I sew panties either with elastic around the leg opening or use a twin needle to hem. Here I'll show how to sew the panty with elastic bias tape around the waist and twin needle hems! The panty I made is black with white polka dots, remnants of the Eva dress I sewed last month:

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So, let's get started! I will not show again how to insert the crotch piece as I do this the same as yesterday. But instead of adding elastic lace to the folded seam, I use my twin needle. So, folding over again and pinning the fabric.

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If your jersey makes a little wall between the twin seams, do not fear! You can iron it out (lots of steam, less pressure) or you can insert clear elastic into the hem. But if you tried the twin needle before sewing the actual hem, you can figure out if this is necessary! Do both leg openings with your twin needle hem:

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If you folded under too much fabric and have a little "hangover" of fabric, you can carefully cut it off! I don't mind too much, but with this printed fabric it is much more visible than with others... Hey, they are panties, nobody but me (and my boyfriend) will see them. And we don't care!

Next, you'll need to close the side seam with a serger or a zig zag stitch. We will use elastic bias tape for the waist. This time you should not fold over the fabric, but put the fluffy side of the elastic bias tape on the wrong side of the fabric and pin it!

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Again, I used the zig zag stitch (2mm long, 3 mm wide) to sew it to the panty:

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Fold it over and sew the other side down with the same zig zag stitch:

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Close the other side seam, and fix the seam (serger: pull it the threads, zig zag: back stitch and fix the threads). And you are done!

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Did you try your hands at panties or bras? I'd love to see any results! Wait for tomorrow for a cute little detail for panties which is really easy but pretty!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Panty sewing 1 (with bonus panty)

With this entry I will not only show you another panty I made, but I'll also go step by step through panty sewing. Tomorrow I'll post another option to hem the panties, so stay tuned! The panty we will make today is the left over fabric of the Lip Service dagger jersey (which is not exactly true as I still have about 20 cm² left) with neon green elastic lace I got on the last Fabric Market!

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Let us start with the pattern: While mine unfortunately is not commercially or anyhow available for you, there are plenty of patterns for download. This here for example, or this or that or this... So, you should get your pattern ready (download, glue together and cut out or buy and cut out or draft yourself and cut out) and some fabric. I need about 50 x 70 cm for my panties. If you'll use elastic bias tape for the hems, you'll need 1-2m for the panty (depending on size). If you hem with a twin needle, you should have that handy and two cones of yarn. Let's get started!

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I cut out my fabric pieces. As you can see, in my pattern the crotch is elongated from the front piece. Make for one less seam! I started with pinning all three pieces together:

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The crotch piece has to wrong side up, so the nice print ends up visible! I sewed the seam with a serger, but a tight zig zag stitch on your sewing machine will do!
Next up is the other seam to fixate the crotch piece:

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Initially I folded the seam allowance under before I sewed but
  • this was very fidly
  • and it looks just as nice to use a  zig zag stitch over the fabric border. See?
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Next thing is the leg openings. For this panty I used elastic lace made for underwear. It is very stretchy which is good for blood circulation and invisible panty lines! While pinning the lace to the fabric, I fold the seam allowance under and stretch the lace slightly:

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I use my sewing machine with a zig zag stitch again to sew everything together. My stitch is 3mm long and 2.5 mm wide, in case you are interested! I go once around each leg opening with the lace.

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Next, I close the first side seam (in my case with a serger, otherwise just use the same zig zag stitch again! I close one seam first as this allows for prettier lace application at the waist. So remember, only close one side seam first!

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While I was at it, I took a picture of how I deal with serger threads. If you just cut them straight at the end of the seam, the seam will rip sooner or later. I used a big blunt needle (actually for sewing knitted clothes together) and pull the threads back into the seam:

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Next I pin and sew the lace around the waist line. Just the same as with the leg openings!

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Then I close the other side seam and pull the threads into the seam. If you use zig zag, you can just use your regular back stitching to keep the seam from unraveling.

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Aaaaaaand we are done! Pretty, comfortable panties in next to no time. I make mine in under 1h, but I have made several ones, so you first trial may be a little longer!

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Week in Review 26/2015

What did I see?
What I saw this week was the funny (horror) story of Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish.


What did I listen to?
The follow up on Percy Jackson - The Heroes of the Olympus by Rick Riordan. And some ASP for a good measure (Try this - although German: Kokon)!

What did I ask myself?
Is this the real life?

What did I read?
Job descriptions and corporate homepages

What did I work on?
you might have guessed it: Underwear!

I was happy about...
Seeing how happy my boyfriend is playing video games

I was annoyed about...
Interacting with government employees who work slower than snails. Or stones. Or glaciers...

I bought...
A Play Station 4. And a Batman game. Because my boyfriend is just the best!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Panty 3 - Oh la la see through panty

The fabric for this panty is not that old, actually I bought it this year on a fabric market together with my friend Sintra! It is some kind of see through lycra with pin stripes in all black. My boyfriend liked these panties best although I have to say that the fabric is not very well behaved and it was a lot of work to get the elastic bias tape stay put on this panty!

*Disclaimer: The panties fit great, thank you for asking! I will not put pictures of my a** up on the Internet, so you'll have to trust me on this! ;) *

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Do you like working with jersey? I found there are two kind of people (thank the gods for binary thinking, black and white is so much better than grey! ^^): Those that love jersey because the easier fit and those who hate jersey because not every sewing machine likes it and it rolls and stretches all the time. Which  of my (binary) drawers do you fit?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Panty 2 - Lip service stash killer panty

As I said, I went into panty mass production! The fabric on this one is very special. I bought it about 10 years ago. It was in my stash for a year before I dared to cut into the (at that time, for me) very expensive jersey I got from the US. I cut a shirt pattern from the fabric and put it aside to sew it up. Fast forward several months of being lazy and I wanted to sew it together but - somehow I lost a sleeve! I have no idea how, but there was not enough fabric for another sleeve and none of my black jersey matched the colour of this fabric! The horrors! This should remind me that UFOs should never be stashed away but sewn up as quickly as possible...

Anyway, it took me years to face the problem again. In the meantime the pre-cut pieces moved two times with me. And now I finally did something about it and cut them up for a panty I'll most likely wear more than the shirt anyway...

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*Disclaimer: The panties fit great, thank you for asking! I will not put pictures of my a** up on the Internet, so you'll have to trust me on this! ;) *

Do you also have old unfinished projects that you simply can neither finish nor throw in the trash? How do you deal with them? 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Panty 1 - Leftover Jersey

This week will give you a new panty a day! I went on a bit of a sweat shop streak last week and cut and sewed so many panties, I might not have to buy any for a year! Also it is good that I sewed up all the jersey scraps that are too small for a shirt and take up room in my stash.

*Disclaimer: The panties fit great, thank you for asking! I will not put pictures of my a** up on the internet, so you'll have to trust me on this! ;) *

The first panty is made from scraps of the shirt I made for my mum and a beanie (still have to show that here) I made for the boyfriend. As the scraps were long and not wide enough for my behind, I had to piece it. Which is not that noticeable but maybe a reminder that even small scraps of jersey can be used if you have a serger or zig zag stitch to put them together:

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The pattern is still the one I got from Weißerregenbogen years ago, but this time not the full retro length but the lower style. Love it!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Little Helper - chalk

Any seamstress who uses a pattern (and probably even the ones that draft their own patterns, I guess) needs a way to mark the cutting lines and seam allowances on the fabric. Most of us use chalk for variable reasons...
What is it good for?
Marking pattern pieces and seam allowances of the pattern on the fabric. Chalk has many advantages: It can be easily brushed or washed out, leaving no trace on the fabric. Chalk is more durable than self removing pen (which vanishes after a week) - if you do not brush over the fabric that much. It comes in a variety of colours (white, yellow for the use on white fabrics, red, blue - I've seen plenty). I use a little tool instead of real chalk because I don't like to sharpen chalk. Actually, cutting or biting into chalk is one of the most horrible feelings in the world for me, which makes me a kind of freak. I don't care. Anyway, my tool comes with refillable chalk powder (can be seen in the little window) and makes really thin lines, very precise. For normal people without chalk issues, a single sharp piece of chalk will absolutely do!

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My chalk device has a nifty addition (in the picture on the right) which allows perfect seam allowances as it keeps the chalk line exactly 1,5 cm, 2,5 cm or 5 cm (for hems) away from the pattern. I'd love to have a 1cm option which is the seam allowance I use for jersey, but I'll do with the others as well!

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How much is it?
Normal chalk for sewing is a dime a dozen. Dirt cheap. Really! My fancy "I hate to handle chalk because I'm a freak of nature" costs about 10 Euros which it is worth for me, but may not be for you. The chalk refills (also in other colours) are 2 for 4 Euros.

Who needs this?
Anyone needs chalk for sewing! It doesn't have to be my expensive version, though...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday sweet - Strawberry lemon cake

After a long time of festivals, visiting friends or family we are finally at home on the weekend again. And I made a cake:

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The base is a shortcrust covered with white chocolate to keep it crispy. Then I added lemon cream (again the Paradiescreme with heavy cream) and strawberries! It was oh so delicious although I threw it together very quickly...

Friday, June 19, 2015

Week in Review 25/2015

What did I see?
This week I saw photography by Alexia Sinclair who took these pictures in a real Swedish castle instead of photoshopping like so many others do. The series is called "A Frozen Tale" and looks out of this world:



What did I listen to?
Audiobooks of Percy Jackson and now the second cycle with Jason! My boyfriend and I spent hours listening through them!

What did I ask myself?
Am I really willing to go through this?

What did I read?
Job descriptions

What did I work on?
Panties and repairs. Oh and trackpants!

I was happy about...
Spending time with my lovely flatmate/lover

I was annoyed about...
Calling unknown people. Grr.

I bought...
Ahem... Some stuff. Clothes. Way to many clothes... *blush*

Friday, June 12, 2015

Week in Review 24/2015

What did I see?
After the Western astrological signs last week, this week I stumblep upon the Eastern signs. Another thing I don't really believe in, but the drawings by Lu Ke Art called the "Macabre and Beautifully Grotesque Chinese Zodiac" are amazing:

monkey
rat

What did I listen to?
TOOL - Schism (Neisella, don't watch this!)

What did I ask myself?
IS goth just a phase? Here is a questionary by the Australian researcher Emma for a scientific analysis of this very question. You should participate in the name of Science! ^^

What did I read?
Nothing besides work stuff

What did I work on?
leggings and track pants

I was happy about...
Getting job offers. How comes?

I was annoyed about...
Cutting thick fabrics

I bought...
Clothes, lots of clothes!