Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ottobre sewing

This was my first ottobre sewing pattern that I have ever done. It's from the 3/2009 edition called "ahoy" baby shorts. I did omit the belt loops and elastic topstitching just because I want to first sew how they fit (so I can rip it out if I have to adjust the size) . I really love this pattern and hope to do a few more of them soon for dear son. I had to learn how to thread a double need (which broke before I figured it out) and also I had to learn how to use the bartacking stitch on my sewing machine which I still need to practice. I am really happy with the pattern and will definitely be sewing more of the ottobre patterns.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Nursing bra !

So I decided to try and make a few nursing bras, as ds2 is fast approaching. They cost $26.99 in the store and I figured that I could make them fairly cheap. The way I did it was just a test and I will get all the right materials for it soon. I just used what I had on hand.
First of all, I deconstructed my favorite nursing bra (yes I'm silly that way). Then I cut out all of the pieces in scrap jersey. I used 2 layers for each cup, a peek-a-boo hole layer and then the side panel layers. I then serged the peek-a-boo holes using a 3 thread rolled serge. I used 1/4" elastic at the sides which now I understand that fold over elastic would have been so much easier to use (but I didn't want to spend the money if it wasn't going to work out as this was just a test). I should have used a seam allowance of at least 1/4" more so the I could have folded it over and covered the elastic. Then I serged on the bottom, the two layers of each cup to the 1 layer of the peek-a-boo hole. Then sewed up the middle between the cups and then using a zig-zag stitch, on the front of the cups I zig-zaged over the middle reinforcing the top of the bra. I then sewed the side panels to the cups. After which, I sewed the band elastic into place, although I probably should have pulled on the elastic a bit to give it a gather as I am petite in the circumference but top heavy. Because I didn't so this it was very loose in the circumference, so I then sewed a seam in the back (which I shouldn't have done!) as now the shoulder straps will be all wonky. But hey it turned out better than I imagined it would. all that is left is to put on the nursing clasps, some small rings and volia. And next time it will be even more amazing amazing!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Something to make you all laugh!

I have decided that sometimes my husband has too much time on his hands but he still manages to make me laugh.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2nd Attempt at sewing knit - Tank Top (free pattern)

Okay so this was my second attempt at sewing with knit fabric. I love the result! You can find the free pattern from ottobre's website here. Instead of following the directions as I first did (without satisfaction) I attempted it again. I serged a white knit fabric folded(with right sides together) to the pattern print using a 4 thread safty stitch. Then ironed and topstitched the binding (white knit) down. I then serged up the hem with the coverstitch on my pfaff coverstyle. I had never used the coverstitch feature until last night and have to admit that I love it. It makes hemming knit fabric a breeze. My machine really isn't that hard to convert to the coverstitch, however if I was to sew a lot of knit fabric I think I would consider a stand alone coverstitch machine. I would seriously consider the Janome coverpro 900cp. The cheapest I have seen it was for $249.00US dollars which seems kind of silly for a machine that only does one stitch but the nice thing is that you wouldn't have to convert your serger back over. Now the other thing that I learned was that a ball point needle is essential for sewing knit fabric. On my first attempt I didn't have any ballpoint needles on hand and well it was my first attempt so I knew that it wasn't going to turn out perfect (if at all). So I used a universal needle. It did exactly what I read and put large visible holes in the fabric. This is a picture of my first attempt
The pictures are truly deceiving. It looks fine but if you can notice, I serged the hem then (using the wrong needle) hemmed it with my sewing machine which cause the fabric to stretch (I think that I didn't have my differential feed set up properly). Plus I only did one row which could enable thread breakage. The binding is horrid and in some spots I didn't get close enough to the edge so the raw edge of the binding is exposed.

The pattern is a great pattern just remember to add your seam allowance as ottobre only includes seam allowance in the hemline.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Making Bread!

I know that this isn't sewing related but I guess you could relate it to sewing if you like to eat and sew! It also pairs really nicely with a nice cup of tea.

I have wanted to make bread for the longest time but have always thought it was so complicated to make. I wish that I did it sooner. It turned out amazing (even though I got preoccupied with hubby and dear son running around the house screaming, that I forgot to add the oil called for in the recipe.) I realized that I forgot the oil after the first rise. I called my mother-in-law for advice and she said not to add it and laughed at me. (The only other time she laughed at me was when I cooked my first turkey and put it "the wrong side up" she said. I didn't realize at the time there was a right way and wrong way to cook a turkey and well it turned out amazing.) So I new that this time it was going to taste good even though I forgot one of the so called essential ingredients. I was upset because I forgot the oil that I made another loaf of bread while the first loaf was on the second rise. If you have ever wanted to try to make bread but have been a little hesitant, I suggest giving it a try as I find it took longer to go to the store to pick up bread that to make it yourself. Here's the directions:

1 cup of water
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 tsps italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsps of salt
1 1/2 tsps of white sugar
1/4 tsps of pepper
1 tbsp of dried rosemary
2 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 1/2 tsps of quick rise dried yeast
butter for greasing pan

Step 1: Combine only 1 cup of bread flour and all other dried ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: add the 1 cup of hot tap water and stir.
Step 3: add the olive oil.
Step 4: slowly add the remaining mixture of flour. (note: your instinct will be to add more water DON'T!) Keep mixing it (kneading with your hands) and it will start to get doughy.
Step 5: if the bread mixture begins sticking to your hands slowly add more flour to it (say a handful at a time) to make it doughy enough that it's not sticking to your hands but isn't too floury.
Step 6: Once the dough it the right consistency, knead it into a ball and leave it in the bowl to do it's first rise. Cover it with a tea towel. (my mother-in-law puts it in front of her fireplace because her house is really drafty. Let it rise until it's twice it's original size (about 1 hour but it could be shorter. I used the quick rise yeast so it was done it's first rise in about 40 mins.)
Step 7: After it's doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and knead it a little bit more (not like the first kneading). Grease your loaf pan with butter. Put the dough into the loaf pan, cover and let rise again.
Step 8. Bake in the oven at 375degrees F for 20-30mins. If you have a gas stove (like me) I find that you have to cook things a little less than the recommended time frame that's why mine was done in 20 mins. Cook it until the outside is golden brown. Take it out of the loaf pan and let cool on a plate.
Step 9: Eat it! Yum!

It's really not that hard and doesn't really take that long to make (the second dough batter only took me 5-10mins to mix) it's just waiting for the bread to rise that takes a long time but it tastes so much better than store bought bread.