ILX Sewing!

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Who has a sewing machine? Who knows how to use it?

My parents bought me one for my birthday, and now that they've left, I'm finding the patterns a bit daunting.

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:05 (thirteen years ago) link


I barely know how to do anything. threading the bitch was more difficult than imagined.

but to be truthful I haven't tried too much, still have to many grand knitting plans.

i want to make a skirt though, they seem fairly easy.

Sam: Screwed and Chopped (Molly Jones), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:07 (thirteen years ago) link

My base-model Baby Lock has a needle threader! The lady in the store did it with such ease! Of course, as soon as I got home, I couldn't figure it out, so I'm just doing it by hand.

Also, the brand name Baby Lock just sounds perverse. But it's a nice little machine!

I bought a skirt pattern, that my mother thought was fairly simple, and probably my speed (sidenote: my mom's a great sewer (that looks awful! Should I say seamstress? Or quilter?).

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:11 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh FINALLY, a sewing thread! I got a passel of Vogue patterns in the mail today. Open betting pool on whether I devote this coming weekend to sewing or fuck around w/ other stuff. Weighted odds for the fact that I'm running out of work clothes now that weather is cooler.

("Sewer" or "home sewer" is correct! I think "seamstress" is a professional designation...? Quilting is a totally different art, unless your mom does in fact quilt.)

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:25 (thirteen years ago) link

What skirt pattern, molly dolly?

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:25 (thirteen years ago) link

I have been intending to use my sewing machine for some time, but I've been pretty unsuccessful at getting it to work for me. I've been thinking about taking lessons to get me started -- would that be worth the effort, or should I just learn by trial, error, & brute force?? Also, where to find sewing classes?

elmo argonaut (allocryptic), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:35 (thirteen years ago) link

The Vogue patterns are the BEST! While at Jo-Ann Fabrics with my mother, I sat down in the cushy chairs in the pattern department and admired the gorgeous Fall Vogue Pattern book. My goal is to make a party dress. With Crionolin. It's going to take me a while, as the shirt I'm working on now is looking pretty rough. My seams suck! I can read knitting patterns like nobody's bidness, but the sewing patterns are driving me bonkers!

The word "sewer" just doesn't seem right on a message board. Too close to the pronunciation of the the bits that carry sewage.

My skirt is pretty boring, actually, but it will suit my librarian ways. It's just a regular A-line type get-up, and probably good for someone who hasn't sewn anything substantial in several years.

Laurel! Tell me what you've sewn! I'm so excited to hear what others have created, as it will give my inspiration that I will get better and I won't look like a crazy hippy in my big goofy, oddly puckered shirts.

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:37 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm taking classes at the shop (Pfaff?) where I bought my sewing machine. I think the big name craft/fabric stores offer classes as well, as I saw a bunch of sewing machines lined up in the middle of Jo-Ann Fabrics. I need these classes. The freeform-no-rules sewing I'm doing now isn't working too well for me. My stuff looks like crap.

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:41 (thirteen years ago) link

my gf is a badass seamstress. she sells her stuff at

Fetchboy (Felcher), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:53 (thirteen years ago) link

I own a sewing machine, but junior high home ec plus the excellent skills of my best friend have still not helped me to enjoy sewing or become proficient. I did make a dress for my daughter, but my friend wound up putting the zipper in and hemming it (because if I had taken any longer, my daughter would have been too big for the dress).

Otherwise, I do like to make fabric pouches, fill them with feed corn (rice would work, too, I think), close them and give them to people as gifts. They are cheap and easy to do, and once you explain "heat this up in the microwave and stick it in your bed or tuck it into your coat when it's cold," they are very appreciated.

Sara R-C (Sara R-C), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:53 (thirteen years ago) link

I've sewn a bunch of skirts, a blouse or two (but nothing with set-in sleeves, only puffed ones), two dresses (with varying levels of success in fitting). Have also received about 10 patterns for this fall, split between Vogue and Simplicity. Not started any yet.

Plus more I can't find right now.

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 19:57 (thirteen years ago) link

Those tops (3rd one down) are really cute! My skirt pattern is Simplicity, I think, and really similar to the one you posted (w/o buttons).

I'm going to bring my machine (I have a blue carrying case!) and my disaster of a top to Ben's parents house tonight, where I'm hoping his mother can help me sort out the collar. It's not so great-looking. I need help.

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 20:09 (thirteen years ago) link

Collars look hard, I haven't made any proper shirt collars before. Plus shirts are harder to fit because you can't pin them on yourself and see all the way around. I found skirts much, much it's hard (for me) to find off-the-rack skirts that FIT, so making them made a greater difference in my getting dressed in the morning.

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 20:15 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh, it's not even a proper shirt collar. It's an attached piece around the neckline. I think they called it a collar in the mind-blowing pattern, but it's not a proper one with stays, or anything of the sort. It's a glorified hem, really. Somehow, I couldn't follow the "stretch to fit" instructions and it got bunched up and uneven. So it goes.

I completely feel your pain! I have a hell of time finding pants / skirts / tops that are long enough, as I seem to have freakishly long extremities. And, well, the thought of only spending about $5 for fabric plus the time it takes to make a crappily-made garment seems a lot better than spending at least $35 for a crappily-made garment with a label. I can make my own poorly constructed work clothes, thank you very much! Are you listening Banana Republic?

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 20:25 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh, it's a collar facing? The little part that goes underneath that makes the visible edge clean? Those never ever look right until you trim the seam allowances and press with an iron. The dress I made for my sister's wedding seemed like a TOTAL LOSS at about 10pm the night before the ceremony (admittedly I had altered the bodice pieces beyond recognition from their original state so I was expecting some problems with the lining)...but my mother straightened it out by snipping and steaming.

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 20:28 (thirteen years ago) link

Yes! That's exactly what it is! This makes me feel a lot better, even though my 5/8 stitch didn't stay 5/8 for very long, which is another cause for woe for the collar facing. My mom advised me just to take it out and start again due to the horrible and clumsy stitchy. Steaming! That's something I hadn't even thought of. This is making me feel a lot better.

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 20:35 (thirteen years ago) link

I took a costume designing class my last semester of college just to burn up credits (my course load that semester was tennis, costume design, music and computers, personal development and baroque art hist.) and it was really useful. I had to make a button down collared shirt as a final project. Thank god I didn't have to wear it, because those arm holes were not big enough for anyone.

Another mistake I will never make again, is when making a simple elastic waistband a-line skirt. I measured my waist for the elastic but totally didn't take into account my hips. So basically, it was hell trying to get it over my ass.

I would sew more if I had a nice big flat surface for cutting and ironing and if I had a dress form. And if I weren't so lazy. I tend to just get Franz to mend my clothes. He sews better than me anyway. (Carey), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 20:36 (thirteen years ago) link

I so would kill for a serger if I wasn't scared of threading one. (Carey), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 20:39 (thirteen years ago) link

Carey, you didn't have to WEAR the shirt you made?? That's kind of crazy.

I layout and cut on the floor. I actually kind of miss having wall-to-wall carpeting with padding underneath, because I could pin the whole thing to the floor for stability while cutting (probably the only good that carpet ever did). A dress form is never gonna happen in my life, I don't think, but it would improve my tailoring HUGELY if I had, and could use, an upper-body sloper. I feel like I don't do enough sewing to justify it these days...but I could start!

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 20:48 (thirteen years ago) link

Cutting boards! My mother recommended I get one! Are they just used for cutting? Can you pin into those?

My kitchen table is now solely used for cutting and sewing purposes.

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 20:51 (thirteen years ago) link

Cutting boards are for rotary cutters...they're made of some kind of "self-healing" plastic that closes right up when you cut into it, and doesn't dull the rotary blades. You can't pin into 'em, so they're normally used with pattern weights, which are basically just heavy things you put on top of your fabric-pattern sandwich to keep things from shifting while you cut. It's upposed to be lots faster than pinning, which makes sense. Rotary cutting is better for big cuts than small ones, though -- good for pants, skirts, long things, not as good for little facings or tiny notches.

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 20:58 (thirteen years ago) link

Ahh, I see! I'm not sure exactly what my mother was recommending, then. I think she just didn't want me to scratch up the old wooden table. Are there any "Sewing for Dummies" books out there that you'd recommend? I feel I need some reference material.

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 21:02 (thirteen years ago) link

okay, totally intimidated.

I have a nice cutting table in my knitting/sewing room. now just to actually sew something.

Sam: Screwed and Chopped (Molly Jones), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 21:04 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh gosh, I dunno what your mom meant! I seem to remember my mother having a big board printed with a 1" graph, which I think was just meant to provide a smooth surface and/or protect tables, yes. I'd forgotten about that. I haven't seen it since I was a kid.

Sewing for Dummies: no -- I have a couple of basic sewing books (like the Dorling Kindersley one from when I worked there) but I haven't found them ALL that useful -- the Internet is probably better when you have a specific question, like "HOW THE FUCK DOES AN INVISIBLE ZIPPER GO IN WITHOUT SHOWING, GODAMMIT?". I am totally in love with Threads magazine, though, for secret tips and technique hints. Lots of stuff I didn't really understand has turned out to be useful later.

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 21:13 (thirteen years ago) link

I think she does have a brown graph cutting board! Yes! I think that's what she probably meant for me to get, as I've already nicked my table with my scissors.

I'm going to have to get a copy of Threads. My house is already filling up with knitting books and magazines. Why not fill it up more with sewing stuff as well?

I'll try to take a picture of the shirt I'm working on tonight. It's not awful... just very novice. My mom also bought me a purse pattern (fun black handles were purchased). She tried to explain interfacing to me, but I think I just ended up blankly staring at her from information overload.

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 21:21 (thirteen years ago) link

Answer: I'm pretty sure you can't put an invis zip in by machine unless you have the special foot for it. It's hard to explain why without examining a zipper and pointing things out. But you can put them in by hand relatively easily and I had WAY better results that way. Generally, though, I prefer regular zippers...just move them from center back to the side seams so they're under the arms and really not noticeable. Also helps keep fabric print continuity across the back of the dress/skirt, where it would otherwise be interrupted by the zip.

Capish? :)

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 21:22 (thirteen years ago) link

Yes! Thank you! I think that makes sense. When I get to the zipper on my skirt, I'll sure I'll be howling for help. The idea of hand-sewing gives me a sense of calm, so I will keep that in mind.

molly d (mollyd), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 21:25 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm signing up for lessons either late this year or early next. I can wrangle the machine into submission, but the results aren't pretty. 3 identical curtain pairs = 6 different sized panels. Not good.

patita (patita), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 21:47 (thirteen years ago) link

Sweet! Among the (many) reasons I want my wrist to heal is so that I can make myself new clothes for this fall. (, Tuesday, 26 September 2006 23:43 (thirteen years ago) link

I want to learn to sew so I can make a skirt of out my ELVIS fabric.

tokyo nursery school: afternoon session (rosemary), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 00:05 (thirteen years ago) link

Roze: SPILL. Whence the Elvis fabric?? I always want to buy out the shelves at reprodepot but not at those prices... :(

Laurel (Laurel), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 12:36 (thirteen years ago) link

I am very tempted to take some sewing classes NEXT year when I already know a bit of knitting so I can focus on something new. But I want to see if I can make a go at knitting for Ophelia first, then I can focus on sewing pretty things for her. :-)

I have already been looking for a sewing machine. Any tips?

Nathalie (stevie nixed), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 12:45 (thirteen years ago) link

The best tip I can give you is that you don't need anything fancy on your sewing machine. The cheapest and most basic model you can find will do for almost everything. I've inherited my grandmother's Singer, which is about 40 years old, but works fine. I've only used it once, though, to make a kingsize duvet cover into a double. One enormous straight line isn't particularly challenging :)

Mädchen (Madchen), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 12:51 (thirteen years ago) link

I bought some white and gold swirly patterned material today, some gold coloured satiny lining material, some white fake fur trim and some wadding. All cheap in a sale, less than £10 for the lot. This weekend I shall be turning all that lot into eight high-heeled-fashion-boot shaped Christmas stockings. I found a great template for it online - they're not huge, about 12" or so high.

My daughters talked me into it ... they will have one each plus give one to each of their three Best Friends, and then everyone will buy a small gift for everyone else to go in each of the stockings, rather than buying one bigger gift each for every friend. I thought that sounded a really cool idea of theirs (except I'm the one lumbered with having to make the stockings now!)

C J (C J), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 13:01 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm tossing all the fabric from my unrealized sewing projects into the Red Cross collection box. I will NEVER NEVER NEVER sew these dresses! This stuff, fabric and patterns, has been languishing in the drawer of my broken sewing machine for years and years. Like, pushing twenty years. The sewing machine's going too. It was broken when I scavenged it, a beautiful antique—I thought I'd get it fixed. Hah. LET GO!!!!!
I have a nice New Home portable that lives at a friend's house. She needs it more than I do. I go over there and use it once in a while. Hemming up cut-offs, etc.

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 13:04 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm hoping they'll turn out a bit like this :

C J (C J), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 13:15 (thirteen years ago) link

It's useful to have stitches on yr machine that are intended for stretch fabrics, actually, if you're going to make any Tshirts or sweatshirts or use that jersey material (especially for kids!). If you put a straight stitch on a stretch fabric and then actually stretch it, the straight stitches snap under the pressure and your seam or hem falls out. (Funny, it sounds like I learned this the hard way!) Luckily even quite basic machines have a couple of stitches with some ease in them, it doesn't require anything very advanced.

Laurel (Laurel), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 13:22 (thirteen years ago) link

From my incredibly limited experience, I do think the more basic a machine, the better, for novice sewers, anyway. I think if my machine had any more functions on it, I'd be overwhelmed. I'm mildly overwhelmed as it is, but my sewing classes and my bungling mistakes should be good learning experiences.

molly d (mollyd), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 15:10 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm plenty overwhelmed with my basic machine. I think it has 4 or 6 stitches on it.

I went to the site for Threads magazine and downloaded a 'teach yourself to sew' pdf that I might give a whirl this weekend.

expereinced ladies, how did you learn? did you just dive into a project or did you just practice sewing lines and curves and corners on scraps?

Sam: Screwed and Chopped (Molly Jones), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 15:44 (thirteen years ago) link

My mom sewed, and I watched and read books aloud while she worked. Now I have her old machine, and I find whenever I try a new procedure (buttonholes, etc) that some part of my mess of a brane remembers what buttonholes sound like. It's awesome. Otherwise I think I took one Home Ec class in Jr High that involved some basic sewing, and the rest has been on my own.

Laurel (Laurel), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:00 (thirteen years ago) link

I am freakisly remembering things I learned from my Home Ec classes in 7th and 8th grade. My mom even asked, "Why do you put the needle in the fabric before putting the foot down?" and my only repsone was "My 8th grade teacher told me to." I made my fair share of scrunchies and fabric snowmen xmas ornaments back in the day. I think they totally looked like crap, but it was good experience and is slowly, but surely (well, more slowly than surely), coming back. My mom sews, and my grandmother sewed like nobody's bidness. She was the first person to teach me, actually, when I was a wee little Molly.

molly d (mollyd), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 18:16 (thirteen years ago) link

no home ec for me. and my mom sewed but she never showed me anything and doesn't do anything useful anymore. boo!

Sam: Screwed and Chopped (Molly Jones), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 18:19 (thirteen years ago) link

I finished my top last night.

It looks awful!

I'm going to wait to embark on something new until after my first sewing class on Saturday.

molly d (mollyd), Thursday, 28 September 2006 13:48 (thirteen years ago) link

I bought a book which explained how to make patters based on body type. Yikes, I thought knitting was hard. :-(

Nathalie (stevie nixed), Thursday, 28 September 2006 13:50 (thirteen years ago) link

There's more instant gratification with sewing, i.e. a top only takes a week or so, whereas a sweater takes ages.

I need these little old ladies to help me.

Maybe I should try a less ambitious project first, like a pouch or something. Frustrating!

molly d (mollyd), Thursday, 28 September 2006 13:52 (thirteen years ago) link

show us your top!

All I've made so far were dog toys. they're appreciation is only so-so.

a top only takes a week or so, whereas a sweater takes ages.

This is why I love making purses!

Plus, knitting's more portable. hard to sew on the bus.

Sam: Screwed and Chopped (Molly Jones), Thursday, 28 September 2006 13:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Aw, molly -- haha.

Sewing is really just lots of direction-following + a working ability to think in 3-D. Ie, remember which armhole is the left one even when yr shirt is inside-out, see in your head how things are going together before you sew them. That is sometimes hard, I have definitely sewn the wrong things together based on inside-out-ness or similar confusion. And my mother once made a set of lace curtains with one somehow six inches shorter than the other, and she's been sewing all her life! Concentration is key.

Laurel (Laurel), Thursday, 28 September 2006 13:54 (thirteen years ago) link

I can't seem to find where I put my digital camera! But as soon as I do, you can all be inspired and given confidence by crash and burn attempt at sewing a shirt that fits HORRIBLY.

I have a purse pattern! I may be asking for y'alls' help. Interfacing is involved. I am frightened.

Thanks, Laurel! I think I just need more practice. Reading patterns confusing, esp. when you have no clue what they're talking about. I did have to run to the computer several times last night to figure out certain mystifying phrases such "basting." Do you usually do that by hand or just use a big stitch? I used a long stitch on my machine which is the same one I used to gather fabric. Perhaps that's why my shirt looks like crap.

molly d (mollyd), Thursday, 28 September 2006 14:02 (thirteen years ago) link

Also key: READ THE DIRECTIONS ALL THE WAY THROUGH BEFORE CUTTING ANYTHING. Like, read them and look at the diagrams and imagine doing it, so you walk yrself through the whole process. Helps to see where particular details might be important later on, and what you can fudge. Measure twice, cut once -- all those woodworking proverbs apply.

Haha, XP!

Laurel (Laurel), Thursday, 28 September 2006 14:05 (thirteen years ago) link

Basting I usually do by hand because I have more control over how things are positioned when I handsew; ie if things have to be on a curve you can lay them over the corner of the ironing board or a tailor's ham or whatever, and find the best way to match up seams without being limited to a flat surface. Especially useful if making anything with princess seaming, which is ALL CURVES. Grrr.

Exception: I use a long machine stitch if basting is to stabilize a curved edge, ie the edge of a neckline or the top of a skirt. That kind of basting is used wherever fabric has to hang on the bias, to keep the fibers from getting pulled out of square while you work on the pieces (too much handling can be hard on the grain).

Molly, do you have the pattern number for yr shirt? Am curious.

Laurel (Laurel), Thursday, 28 September 2006 14:10 (thirteen years ago) link

Do you really?

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 19:27 (three months ago) link

maybe I will just sew a bunch of condoms together for the extra protection and then quilt them.

Yerac, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 19:33 (three months ago) link

I was thinking of trying interfacing in the middle, or just a third layer of cotton. It's tricky though because there's a seam going down the middle of it so that it curves over your face, so batting would be easier because you wouldn't have to sew it and make the seam bulkier. but yeah, breathing is a thing.

The fillyjonk who believed in pandemics (Lily Dale), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 19:40 (three months ago) link

So the standard pattern with two layers of fabric is very quick to make but pretty thin. I just tried making it with three layers of fabric - just doubling up the lining, basically - and cutting one of them on the bias. That gives you a lot more of a barrier but does end up a bit bulky and lumpy-looking. Haven't tried wearing either of them out yet.

The fillyjonk who believed in pandemics (Lily Dale), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 22:30 (three months ago) link

I need to find something to cut jeans pockets from cos its crucial for the sizing.
Got one pair's done but not the other.
Did do 2 jacket inside pockets but feeling a bit low energy.

stitched the jeans yokes to jeans backs on both pairs but may have damaged one side of one pair with too hot iron. May need to get a new iron. Cos that is a pain.
Well hope I get further along tomorrow.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 23:44 (three months ago) link

sending this dispatch from jo-ann fabrics:

i decided to go around 3 thinking, it won't be crowded or anything. it's not close to my house but not a horrible drive and no one's on the road anyway. so, no signage other than a crude typed "HAND SANITIZER AVAILABLE AT CUTTING COUNTER" or something to that effect. as soon as i walked in i saw 4 staff talking to each other. one said "oh, i'm sorry, we're at capacity." i was confused. "we are following federal guidelines and only ten people are allowed in the store. we would ask that you come back another time." not like, wait in your car for someone to come out, just...leave. it was awkwardly handled. not that i blame them, no one knows how to handle this shit. after all those other corporate emails there was nothing from jo-ann about federal guidelines, just tons of DOORBUSTER coupons!

forensic plumber (harbl), Wednesday, 18 March 2020 22:01 (three months ago) link

Were there 10 (6) people in the store?

Yerac, Wednesday, 18 March 2020 22:06 (three months ago) link

i didn't make it far enough in to see how many people were in there. i'm guessing they meant 10 customers? but maybe that does seem somewhat crowded for jo-ann at that time of day! i'm taking my business to

forensic plumber (harbl), Wednesday, 18 March 2020 22:09 (three months ago) link

yeah i have been using for years. I just stocked up on a suitcase full of kona cotton last year in anticipation of making a lot of quilts.

Yerac, Wednesday, 18 March 2020 22:11 (three months ago) link

There is this (from a medical center) for facemasks too . I skimmed the video and there seems to be some pleating.

I was going to try to work on this this weekend. I have some commercial masks but Iike the idea of a fabric one maybe over it so that I can wash it. I just looked through my sewing stash and I have about 15 yards of elastic 1/4 -1 inch width.

Yerac, Friday, 20 March 2020 13:10 (three months ago) link

another hospital prefers this pattern (but four layers) .

Yerac, Saturday, 21 March 2020 22:09 (three months ago) link

On a more frivolous note, I finished that nightgown.

Life is a banquet and my invitation was lost in the mail (, Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:58 (three months ago) link

hey! it looks like a nightgown!

forensic plumber (harbl), Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:08 (three months ago) link


(also joann's fabric is now giving away kits to make masks)

Yerac, Tuesday, 24 March 2020 18:17 (three months ago) link

i'm going to try some masks, but with ties because no elastic

forensic plumber (harbl), Friday, 27 March 2020 20:46 (three months ago) link

yeah i saw a video like that. do you have one you are using. i saw considering this one for one without ties.

Yerac, Friday, 27 March 2020 23:16 (three months ago) link

damn, i cannot type coherently these days.

Yerac, Friday, 27 March 2020 23:16 (three months ago) link

this has three patterns, A and B can be made with ties

forensic plumber (harbl), Friday, 27 March 2020 23:35 (three months ago) link

video using pipe cleaners for the nose piece

forensic plumber (harbl), Friday, 27 March 2020 23:37 (three months ago) link

i am almost done with this bag (in the denim because i had bought it for the bag i made above)
i'm...better at the bias tape binding than i was. but it's not really possible to do well around the boxed corners because you are working over two thick seams in the middle. even if they aren't stacked on top of each other that's a lot of layers of denim to get around and my sewing machine hates it too. i have one more corner to sew tape onto. have to pick out what i had done because i got too close to one of the edges when sewing. but i've put it down and my cat is sleeping on it. it's really cute though, and no one will see the messiness.

forensic plumber (harbl), Friday, 27 March 2020 23:40 (three months ago) link

what color is your bias tape.

Yeah, I totally am not doing any metal nose piece. I have no ways to source that here.

Yerac, Saturday, 28 March 2020 00:41 (three months ago) link

i did the same color as the pattern--orangey pink

forensic plumber (harbl), Saturday, 28 March 2020 00:47 (three months ago) link

fabric is coming via ups today so i can make bags for my friend in germany and my mom. i'm a sewing maniac now. nothing else to do. this morning i was watching youtubes of more expensive sewing machines. which i will NOT buy now. maybe for my birthday in the fall.

forensic plumber (harbl), Saturday, 28 March 2020 16:29 (three months ago) link

For those making masks, it seems like there are facebook groups (Crafters against COVID) for most cities, and they'll take orders from hospitals, clinics, etc. and then tell you the specifications. You sign up to make masks and they arrange a pickup. That way you don't have to worry about making something that won't be used.

The fillyjonk who believed in pandemics (Lily Dale), Saturday, 28 March 2020 16:34 (three months ago) link

I tried to learn to sew but never got very far; two people on a local FB group came by today to pick up bags of fabric I had so that they can make some masks for our local hospital. Good luck mask makers of ILX!

she started dancing to that (Finefinemusic), Saturday, 28 March 2020 18:02 (three months ago) link

looks good! I can't see. did you use elastic or make fabric ties?

Yerac, Saturday, 4 April 2020 15:18 (three months ago) link

Elastic. It's based on the pattern. I figure on wearing it to Trader Joe's later today, to see if I should add a metal nose piece.

Life is a banquet and my invitation was lost in the mail (, Saturday, 4 April 2020 15:46 (three months ago) link

i still didn't do it but i will tonight or tomorrow. i'm having extreme laziness problems. i am going to try to see if there's any wire in the basement, or will break off the ends of file prongs i have for work. i also have a seltzer can that i exploded by leaving it in the freezer, which i could make into strips and fold.

forensic plumber (harbl), Saturday, 4 April 2020 19:48 (three months ago) link

My mask was okay as-is for the hour or so it took me to get into Trader Joe and come home. I don't go out very much, so it should be acceptable for when I do go out.

On another forum someone suggested using a plastic-over-metal produce bag tie, or an unbent paper clip, to make a nose piece. Any thoughts on these ideas?

Life is a banquet and my invitation was lost in the mail (, Saturday, 4 April 2020 21:21 (three months ago) link

i was thinking paperclips might be too inflexible, produce bag tie might be ok

forensic plumber (harbl), Saturday, 4 April 2020 21:47 (three months ago) link

i am not doing any nose pieces.
I feel like things I have seen about fit for home made masks, the only thing that really makes a difference is double sided tape.

Yerac, Saturday, 4 April 2020 21:50 (three months ago) link

how do you use double-sided tape in it? is it in the pattern you linked above?

forensic plumber (harbl), Saturday, 4 April 2020 22:45 (three months ago) link

oh no, it's for masks that don't fit properly (and you work in a medical setting), people use double sided tape to ensure a seal.

Yerac, Saturday, 4 April 2020 22:52 (three months ago) link

the thing about the blue shop towels (being able to filter out a lot more than cotton) is very interesting but it looks like those have kind of sold out everywhere anyway.

Yerac, Sunday, 5 April 2020 16:39 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

i am obsessed with quilt patterns

forensic plumber (harbl), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 17:20 (two months ago) link

is quilting the new knitting

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 17:28 (two months ago) link

it's the old and new knitting. I am trying to figure out how to make a certain pattern without needing to paper piece fuck that bs.

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 17:34 (two months ago) link

it is my new knitting because i'm not getting a lot of knitting done. i am going to try a quilt soon and there are so many options for a first quilt that are not beginner-looking at all. i need to just pick one. oh yeah, that time i said i would wait until fall to buy a better sewing machine, i lied. i got myself a present and it's coming friday.

forensic plumber (harbl), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 18:26 (two months ago) link

this was the first quilt pattern i did. it was simple enough while being interesting.

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 18:53 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

i started this today
have to make 8 squares of strips and i already made 7. i did screw up a couple by putting them in upside down--you are supposed to go toward the printed selvage so you when you trim the squares down they disappear, but i had the colors in the wrong order to do that because i wasn't paying attention (i sewed them in pairs first). i just measured; think there will be enough room to trim it off still and if there is any left it may be within a seam allowance on the next step so it should be fine.

contorted filbert (harbl), Tuesday, 2 June 2020 01:35 (one month ago) link

Harbl that is gorgeous!

Anyone still looking for mask nose piece ideas - the recloser strips from bags of coffee work great. Vinyl coated and wide enough plus hold up to bending.

Jaq, Tuesday, 2 June 2020 02:43 (one month ago) link

God, I can't wait to get out of my parents house and back to the sewing machine.

trishyb, Tuesday, 2 June 2020 07:56 (one month ago) link

That is such a cool quilt, harbl.

trishyb, Tuesday, 2 June 2020 07:57 (one month ago) link

Gorgeous quilt! I love Moda fabric.

The fillyjonk who believed in pandemics (Lily Dale), Tuesday, 2 June 2020 15:29 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

i finished the top, sort of. i have to rip out the seam between rows 2 and 3 and do it again. i was marathoning and i get lazy when i'm tired. the fabric migrated between the two sides as they were getting heavy. i will do it with walking foot next time.

contorted filbert (harbl), Monday, 29 June 2020 21:47 (two weeks ago) link

oh and i really underestimated how hard it is to get those angles to line up at the points. i'm glad you can't see it as well in the photo, most of them are a little off.

contorted filbert (harbl), Monday, 29 June 2020 21:49 (two weeks ago) link


Yerac, Monday, 29 June 2020 22:37 (two weeks ago) link

yeah points are hard to line up. I made a chevron face mask and it was crazy with the center seam and completely still off.

Yerac, Monday, 29 June 2020 22:38 (two weeks ago) link

Ooh, lovely!

Lily Dale, Monday, 29 June 2020 22:52 (two weeks ago) link

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