Monday, February 28, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #2

I know it's blurry but I just liked it. In the slightly falling snow the modern lights side by side the old fashioned broom, signifying winter.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I like eating nuts. Sometimes when I can't be bothered to make something proper to eat, I'll use nuts as my protein, eating them straight from the bag. I haven't been recipe testing for a while because I'm usually just cooking for myself and can't be bothered. Carla had a Salty Smoeky Roasted Nuts Recipe this month that I thought that I would try because I like smoked nuts. She also put the recipe on her blog. Don't forget to check on them so that they don't burn!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Zentangle Inchie #3

I had planned to make the middle figure much narrower but my pen just went its own way!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Shirt Pocket

The pattern I'm using is from 1982 and the pocket they use is 14 X 16.5cm. It looked huge in the magazine picture. I found a smaller pocket from another pattern and used that.

I started by cutting out a cardboard piece the size of the pocket without the seam allowances as Peter suggests in his blog. I placed the cardboard template on the wrong side of the fabric and ironed the seam allowances over the edges of it. WARNING: be careful what kind of cardboard you use! I used a frozen pizza box and it stuck a bit to the fabric as I was pulling it off. Fortunately none of the writing came off but from now on I'll use something else.

I added the 2cm that was called for the upper edge but then realized that it would be too small if I wanted to fold it over twice. So my first hem was as small as I dared. I made the pocket a bit shorter so I could have a bit bigger hem for the top edge. With wrong sides together I stitched the top edge to the side seam. Then I turned it right side out and top stitched so the flap inside wouldn't flap around.

I liked the shape of this pocket. It was easy to fold around the cardboard template and easy to sew with straight edges and no curves. I'm not sure if it is in the right postition but once my son tries the shirt on he can decide himself where he wants it. And if he wants a pocket on the other side too and the shape of the pocket.

Friday's Foto From Finland #1

There's a sign that says to watch out for falling snow. It's the icicles I'm concerned about.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Attaching the Sleeves

I decided to attach the sleeves to the body by the method Peter shows at Male Pattern Boldness. With the sleeve face up, iron a hem. My seam allowance is 1.5cm so I folded it 6mm. With right sides facing together pin the fold to the raw edge of the armhole. Check that the placket will be at the back of the shirt. My pattern didn't have any notches to match so I just folded the sleeve in half to find the middle and kind of just pinned it around. Starting from the middle I sewed out to the the end of the armhole with a 9mm seam and then did the same with the other half.

Open the folded edge and refold it over the raw edges.

Pin the edge down. (Yes I know I use a lot of pins but with bad eyesight and winter sunlight I'd rather do as little unpicking as possible.)

On the wrong side topstitch close to the loose edge. I sewed from one end to the other. When I come to a thicker part I use this handy bump helper first before the bump and then after it.

First sleeve done.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Zentangle Inchie # 2

I don't know if I should call these inchie zentangles or zentangle inchies! I guess I should get a thinner pen nib as I can't draw too much in the small space with the ones I have. I was hoping I could use up my son's old felt pens.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Continuous Sleeve Placket

The pattern I'm using has a continuous sleeve placket. It is a rectangular piece of material that is twice the length of the vent. Unfortunately the pattern gave the length for the shorter sleeve and I didn't think to check and so I had to cut out new ones. To start with, draw the cutting line on the sleeve. Then about 6mm from the bottom edge of that line reinforce the vent slash by sewing with a shorter stitch length up to the point of the slash line. Turn the material around and sew down to the edge again. Cut up to the point along the slash line without cutting through the sewing line.

Iron the placket in half lengthwise. Open it and fold one edge close to the middle and iron this fold.
Unfold the placket, spread open the sleeve vent and pin the uncreased right side to the right side of the sleeve. The middle point of the sleeve edge needs to be about 8-9mm away from the edge of the placket. (I have a piece of black thread along the edge of sleeve to show that the edges don't meet.) Sew the seam allowance distance from the edge of the placket piece. Once you get to the middle it will be tricky because there is too much material to lay flat. I tried googling how to avoid this but wasn't able to find any answer. So I just did the best I could.

Iron the seam allowance towards the placket piece. Pull the placket piece around to the wrong side of the sleeve and turn the prefolded edge under and pin down. Top stitch, being careful to hide the other seam. With right sides together, fold the placket in half and sew a short diagonal seam at the top.

Not too difficult and turned out ok for the muslin. I might try different plackets to see if I like something else better.

I used the spell check and it high-lighted almost everything! I'll try again tomorrow.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Yoking Around

I finally gave up fiddling with the shirt pattern because other people in MPB Men's Shirt Sew-Along over on Peter's blog have already got their muslin finished. So I pinned some of the pattern pieces to an old sheet I bought from a charity store to use as a muslin. I've only cut out the two yoke pieces, the two front pieces and the back. I'll do the rest later. I might not even do the collar until my son has a chance to try the muslin on so I can see if the neck opening is the right size and at the correct height.

I started by pinning (the green pin) and then basting the pleats on the back piece. Then I put the back piece between the two (wrong sides out) yoke pieces and sewed through the three layers. I read somewhere that you should press all of your seams on both sides before moving on to the next step, so that is what I'm going to do.

Next was ironing to turn the seam allowance towards the yoke. I turned the whole thing over and ironed the other side the same way. After that I put both yoke pieces wrong sides together and ironed them from the outside. I decided to do the top-stitching on the yoke now because there wasn't as much material to move around. As this is the muslin I did the row of top-stitching and didn't bother to look where it should be. I just went and checked four of my son's store-bought shirts and the top-stitching on them is right at the edge and I did it 7 mm away! Oh well.

There is a way of finishing the shirt yoke called the burrito. I tried to look at it from people's blogs because I wasn't getting it. The pattern I'm using doesn't have a separate piece for the button 'placket' (is it then a placket?) so I didn't have to worry about that. The way I did it was to have the wrong sides of the front and back pieces facing and pin them together. Opening up the two yoke pieces I laid the wrong sides of the yokes down on the table.

Then I took the back piece and rolled it up and laid it on the yoke piece that was already pinned. I did the same to the front piece so that the pins were laying on the table.

I brought the unpinned yoke edge up and over the rolled pieces to meet with the pinned edges and pinned it to them. I sewed the seam, ironed it and repeated the steps with the other front piece.

Everything was turned right side out, ironed and I'll top-stitched close to the edge when there's daylight again!

Oops. I just read on Peter's blog that you should start by stay-stitching the neckline. I've done it now.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Inchies and Zentangles

I recently heard of inches and zentangles. Inchies are small pieces of art. As their name indicates they are only an inch by an inch. Zentangles are drawings with repetitive patterns but I thought that they were suppose to repeat the way I had done above. I liked the idea of both inchies and zentangles and thought I'd try combining them. As I'm not creative, the smaller the piece of drawing I have to do, the better!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Done and Over With

The sleeves turned out well even though they were 1 cm longer than we thought would be necessary. It was nice seeing long enough sleeves on my son! I made a mistake with narrowing the sides and didn't narrow them enough. Fortunately! I thought that the shirt was too tight in one place and I don't know if he would have been able to wear it if I had narrowed it as much as planned.

Now that the shirt sleeves were long enough my son noticed that the suit jacket sleeves could be longer. But that will keep until he needs the suit again. Hopefully that won't be for years. And the shoulders are too wide, and the ....