Wednesday, July 8, 2015

No clever title but "thanks".

I have been sewing and I finished a top yesterday from a pattern that my friend sent from the U.S.  - Butterick 5203 (bottom right with long sleeves). I used a fabric from my mother's stash and I wore it today for a friend's birthday celebration had at the park. Did I get a photo? No, of course not. So no photo today. I really like this pattern. It was easy and even though it is for woven, I made it out of some 1970's wool mix ponte type fabric.  Maybe in a few days.  It's a good pattern. I didn't think I'd like the points; I hated handkerchief hem skirts in the '70's or '80's or whenever they were popular. I have some woven fabrics I'd like to try for summer.  I also have some red wool out for that cape below too, but that's not till I finish the Ottobre jacket.

Remember these tops below. I made them for Alex for Christmas in UK last year. I hadn't seen them since but Alex brought them from his Dad's for our little mini-break to O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat last week. I have to say I am very impressed with the merino. They are like I made them.. no pilling, no fading, no shrinkage. It's great to have such good quality fabric and a garment last. I think they'll fit him next year too, but I'm not worried as, if you look below at the photo of me, you'll see I was wearing the grey one under my green t-shirt as I was so cold, so it fits me so when they don't fit him, they'll be mine. They really come up great - I love merino.

This is at O'Reilly's at the time the birds come in for feeding. My son LOVES the birds. We were there 4 days and I think we spent about 8 hours total with birds on some part of our anatomy. One day they weren't there at all and another there was just a few and one day we were there 3 hours! I'm telling you LOVED the birds.

We'd just come back from a bush walk hence the tired look, I also found it really difficult to sleep there so I was super tired but walking the bush and chatting to my son, looking at the birds and creatures (lucky it's winter so no snakes) was enough to keep me from just having a nap - oh and coffee!

So back to sewing! Thank you to all the comments on the coverstitch help. I took all the advice on board and applied it to my machine. Some things worked.... I pulled the nets off but ended up just keeping it off two spools. I cleaned between the plates and made sure the threads were threaded correctly. It worked! I haven't re tried with three needle threads but I haven't finished the jacket and have started two needle so will stick to that for now. The Butterick top I made also is red so I coverstitched it too with with the needle threads on the outside.

At some point one needle thread broke and I was stitching the pocket and it did this nice chain stitch - it's won't really be visible when it's finished so it's only a surprise for me.

The coverstitch seems to run really fast and have a very unresponsive foot pedal. I've read this with some reviews. I find it's hard to feel the acceleration well - it just seems to kick in after a delay so I find it hard to really control. You'll see from the photos below that I missed the correct spot for the needles to go into. To get this look the needles run on the inside of the garment. When I did the first run I'd missed covering the seam by about 2 mm.
This is the outside of the collar - see the peek or red on the edge.

The is the inside collar. The sleeve cuffs are also lined (opposite grain) in the red scrap from a friend. The cuffs and collar are constructed in a way that has the edge unfinished. I like the look and on the collar I kept the messy edge of the selvage to have a peek of red. The red is a very soft knit and I like the contrast too. 

See ... completely missed the seam line. Partly from speed and partly because I didn't know where to have the needles line up on the inside.

Some skipped stitches.. not noticed till I'd finished.

This is the front left of the jacket and my hand in the pocket.
I like how the jacket is coming along. I like the finish with the coverstitch and really takes knit garments up a notch. The finish on the the top is really professional looking and if you didn't know I'd made it it could pass for RTW. I haven't used it much, but if you like sewing knits and can afford one (even second hand) I recommend it but not necessarily the Brother. This is the only one I have used or seen even and I'm no expert by far!

I wanted to take it the jacket to O'Reilly's with us, and even though I was sewing the morning we left, I would have finished but for having to pick up my niece from the airport. I still have to sew the other side seam/arm seam up, insert the zip and hem it. Hopefully tomorrow. School holidays and lots of family things to do isn't allowing much time for sewing the last few days. Plus, even though it's winter and cold (for us) at night, the days are magical with temps in the 20's celsius so lots of outdoor things to do.  Anyway I did finish the top... even if I have no proof! ... yet ;)


  1. The scenery looks vaguely familiar - I've been there, I think we spent a few days there - O'Reilly's rings a bell, we had coffee there - can't remember where it is on the map though! It's a lovely spot - I'm sure you had a great time :).

  2. Isn't O'Reillys wonderful? I always love those red birds there. My parents went there for their honeymoon, a very long time ago. I don't have a coverstitch machine so don't actually understand how they work, however it is very interesting to see what you have achieved. The red looks great, but I am intrigued that it is so difficult to line it up - I don't think I would get the Brother if I decided to go the coverstitch route.

  3. I toss up about getting a cover stitch machine but I am not there yet. Love your pics from O'Reilly's particularly the yellow breasted bird. Well done to snap that!


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