2 Oct 2011 MAF

Those gold silk pantaloons I shortened? Test drove them on Saturday at back-to-back gigs. Didn’t step on them once while dancing, so it looks like the operation was a success. If I get a copy of a photo of the pantaloons in action (or even in repose) and it doesn’t suck, I’ll post it so you can see the full effect.

On to the recent tasks.


1. Olive green shirt. The twin-needle stitching at the hem was starting to unravel. Seriously, it seems like at least a quarter of my T-shirts have this problem. So annoying. Trimmed the unraveling threads and pulled them to the wrong side.

Did a mock-twin-needle stitch by hand. The work goes left to right. For example, bring thread through existing hole from last stitch on top line. Make one stitch to right. Then bring thread to existing hole from last stitch on bottom line. Make one stitch to right.

Because the top and bottom stitches line up with each other, when you go from top to bottom, the stitch on the wrong side angles backwards a little. The stitch from bottom to top is pretty much vertical. Clear as mud? The work ends up being quite neat on the wrong side, but it’s hard to tell as I left the tangle of loose machine stitches alone and just stitched on top of them.

2. Grey sweater. Somehow the seam allowances of the front neck seam were starting to unravel but fortunately hadn’t become visible from the right side yet. Did a frankenstein job on it by whipstitching with doubled thread around the seam allowance and catching all loops that looked set to run. Would have been even more hideous if I hadn’t used matching thread. Survived the washer unscathed, so that’s a good sign. Hopefully this warm weather will continue for a while and I won’t need it just yet.

3. Red skirt. I made this skirt over a year ago but just basted the waistband casing  with black thread! – so I could test-wear it. I was not intending to leave it this long, but as I mentioned before*, wearable is the climax and done is dénouement, so here we are.

After making my first pleated linen skirt in black as my standard dance performance skirt, I decided to make this one in red as “real clothes”.** However, black is verboten in the new group (which mandates jewel tones instead), so the red skirt has become my new dance uniform. That worked out rather conveniently!

After all this time, I did actually adjust the waist slightly, which fixes the slight droop I had in the hem at CF. I had been using a drawstring that I had made out of some linen that was a close enough match in colour but a heavier weight, probably with the thought that it would be more robust as a drawstring than the self fabric (handkerchief linen), which it is. However, it was also a lot coarser and rougher compared to the more refined skirt fabric. I was a little concernd that it would wear on the skirt fabric. I did up a new properly matched drawstring using (as usual) my 18mm bias tape maker and my favourite special-purpose foot.

Not sure what this foot is called - it's the first specialty foot I bought. (Is very similar to but not quite the same as the blind hem foot.) The white plastic guide on the right can be adjusted. Makes edgestitching drawstrings a breeze.

I’ve got a few more items in the MAF pile***, but otherwise I’m feeling pretty much caught up. I should be able to get back to some “real clothes” projects soon. This weekend was a bit of a wash, being taken up with two performances on Saturday (hence the somewhat rushed skirt project as I had decided to take out the basting earlier in the week), and some work on both Saturday and Sunday.

* Mentioned, in fact, in the original post about this very skirt.
** Or for the one annual performance where almost anything goes, or for underneath the black skirt. But mostly for real clothes.
*** Where does this stuff come from? There seems to be an inexhaustible supply – perhaps we could work out a way to run cars on it.


About Zena

I sew sometimes.
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