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A simple top with bias binding around neck and armholes - for me!

A while back I bought a top from M&S. I rather liked the style and the fabric it but was disappointed with the fit.  It was somewhat baggy around the waist. I decided to  alter it,  despite the French seams (I have previously posted about this) I needed extra space in the bust area so  tried to alter the darts both position and uptake and give a little more length for the bust. It seemed not too bad. The extra length at the front needed for the bust meant that there was now a bit of a high low hemline going on. I thought it was okay.




However, it quickly became clear that it was too tight around the bust as it was riding up a bit and needed a more radical solution. I basically dismantled the top and found that I was unable to make the required alterations and sew together again as there was insufficient fabric available and what fabric there was was very frayed. The side seams were unequal - not because of my alteration attempts but they obviously started that way.

I can't find …
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Machine problems - and problems solved - but not by the Lego repair team

I've had a couple of recent issues with my sewing machine,  a Bernina 350, which I take to classes. I really like this machine, so was quite upset when it wasn't behaving properly.A couple of times it snarled up, jammed. A couple of times,  threads shredded. I put that down to poor threads - one was machine embroidery thread and mine was apparently not at all good quality - I hadn't known that. That or needles of too small a size. A combination of these two. Thread nests on the underside were usually sorted by carefully rethreading. I had to be careful of the fabric being pulled under. On one occasion, a brand new needle was faulty (a raggy burr) and it took me a bit to realise that. I know now to check even new needles. Usually, a reason became apparent. Occasionally,  the foot pedal seemed not to work.

I keep my machine cleaned and lubricated. I try to use the correct needles and thread - though as you will see, I don’t always succeed.
Recently in class we have been mak…

#sewdowndewsbury and IG

Today I was at #sewdowndewsbury and had a great time. I met old friends and made new friends. I particularly enjoyed meeting Jan, who lives near me, for the first time;  we travelled together and hopefully will meet up locally. Thank you once more to Ali for organising and to her marvellous assistants! I forgot until the last minute to make a name badge and printed one out on the computer. It kept falling off and I gave up. I couldn't work out how to show it here without actually taking a photo of it.
I'm not going to say too much as I'm sure there will be numerous posts. We met up in Wetherspoons in Dewsbury (not sure how many of us - about 30 ) for a lot of chatting and a goody bag swap by drawing numbers.
I had taken a set of pyramidal  fabric pattern weights and some small storage containers in their own bag. Yes,  I made these myself for this event. A first! I had intended to make a lined padded zipped pyramidal bag for the weights and had all the parts cut out and the…

My 3 Year blogiversary!

I can't believe it! I've reached my 3 year blogiversary! So I've been sewing now for nearly 4 years, come Easter, when I found my informal class with Lyn. I posted my first review on Pattern Review in July 2013, more a plea for help! The following are photos from PR, before I started my blog.
My first attempts at sewing were appalling. Lack of knowledge, lack of support and a wonky machine! I now have a better machine, support from tutors in class - and of course, my blog and PR, and some knowledge to let me try the things I want to.Thank youThank you so much to all of you who read my musings. I particularly enjoy comments - and am happy to receive constructive criticism, hints,  tips etc on how to improve my sewing, my original focus. Please do carry on visiting my blog. I reread my first blog post and those who commented then are still with me - thank you! I enjoy reading others’ blogs too. I'm not quite into Instagram  - maybe because I have so little to show! Facebo…

Trouser toile fitting aka fitting of pant muslin

Rory was ill last week so our intended fitting session didn't take place.

This was due to be the first fitting session. Prior to that,  I had ‘hacked’ a pattern from a pair of RTW trousers (pants) that didn't fit ‘too badly’ and Dan marked the leg alterations required. The legs sat with far too much fabric at one side and not enough at the other. Rory said we'd work on these rather than the Palmer Pletsch pants we were originally going to use. See earlier post.

I made the changes to the pattern. These changes altered the leg angle. At home,  I finalised the pattern - I added to the back crotch point (this was an ‘in case’ amount, as requested). I increased crotch depth as the pattern was too short.  I added still more to the back rise. I added extra large seam allowances. Then I made up a toile (muslin). I've already said how unhappy I was with this toile and its ‘helter skelter’ legs. The toile seemed to me worse than my original. I could have,  did,  wear the original…