Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Prize Draw - Pamela's Patterns Perfect T - and a lot of firsts

Happy New Year!!

First job of the year - give away from my Blog Anniversary.

Many people go high tech and do some sort of random counter.... That was too much for me - especially on the first of the year. So I resorted to low tech - drawing paper out of a bowl.....

Draw for pattern


Draw for Sketch book


And the winners are:

Hot Patterns Sabine Dress
Sue from Quilt Sew Sew Sue

Fashionary Sketch Book
Suzy from Suzy Bee Sews

It must be the year for Sue's

I also bought some fashionary pads which are smaller one image pads for sketching and have decided to give them away too.

They go to:

Congratulations. I will be in contact soon via PR.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who read my blog and special hugs to those who take the time to leave a comment.. Sure do love those comments.

Here's to a productive and fun 2013.

And now on to Sewing News....

Well - I have finished my first item for the year - and it was going to be my first item for my Artisans Square SWAP.

It is my first finished t-shirt, the first time I have sewn an item on my new coverstitch machine and I did my first successful neck band........ Now I know these are such easy things for most sewists but I have really struggled - especially with neck bands. Neck bands have caused me to throw out items in disgust. Finally I have one I am happy with - neck band that is.

Am I happy with the actual top? No.

It is funny that I was perfectly happy with it until I saw the pictures. A picture tells a thousand words ... and most of them I don't want to hear!!!!!

The top needs to be a tad longer in the front - the neckline a fair bit lower - even though I lowered the scoop neckline the girls need more room - if I wear anything with a neckline that is too high I look like I am walking around with a helipad on my chest and have to duck at low flying objects!!

Also - the darts need to be lowered even more - damn gravity :-(  and when looking at the pictures it appears that not only is it too short at the front - but the front actually goes up a little - wouldn't have anything to do with my large stomach!! Actually looking at the pattern I can see why - my fault - not the pattern's. Too much alteration and I ended up cutting it a little on a slope up.

However - I am thrilled with the neck band.

Although you can see some of the stitching just after the end of the curve - for my first attempt at stitch in the ditch - I think I did okay! I attached the neckband using the method of : sew right sides together, turn binding over tucking in seam allowance, stitch in the ditch and the cut off the remaining neckband on the inside. This of course after quartering both the band and the neckline.

I used my blind hemming foot (G foot) for my Janome to guide me when stitching in the ditch. (Got to love those machine feet). This method was shown on the Pamela's Patterns DVD for sewing the perfect T and it worked beautifully. (Thanks Pamela). Pamela used a special foot for hers but I had heard that you can use the blind hem foot and adjust it as needed - which is what I did.

I am loving the coverstitch for hemming too.

The pants are made by me too but not blogged about. They are the StyleArc Linda pant. The reason I haven't blogged about them is not because I am not happy with them, but when I made them they were too long - I still wore them though.. but was not happy with the twin needle hemming I did. I knew I was going to  get a coverstitch machine so waited until I had learnt how to use it and then cut off the old hem and did a new one on the CS machine. Now they are a tad short but at least I am not tripping over them.

They are also made with a light weight jersey and I am going to make another pair with a lovely bottom-weight RPL from EmmaOneSock. I am happy with them though.

Twin needle hem - the part between the stitching puckered

New coverstitch hem - no puckering

I am not going to review the PP top on PR until I have my problems sorted. I love the pattern itself - user error is the problem.

Things I have learnt:

- Love my new overlocker (serger) / coverstitch machine. When I purchased it the idea was to have my original overlocker set up and then set the new one up as a coverstitch and move between the 2 - just use the new overlocker function as a backup machine. However - this one is so easy to covert between overlocker and covertitch that I have now resigned my original overlocker to the role of back up machine (so sorry Elna 664 Pro - I do still love you - honestly - there's plenty of love to go around)

- How to do a coverstitch hem. OH Yeah - so easy and so pleased with the results.

- How to attach a neck bind - YEAH!!!!!!
This was a biggie for me. I now know what I was doing wrong when trying to attach neckbands. I quartered the neckband and put pins in indicating the quarters and then attached the quarters to the centre front, centre back and shoulder seams instead of quartering the garment as well - DOH!

- How to use the G Foot (blind hemming foot) for the Janome to stitch in the ditch.

- How to "block press" to remove wrinkles in hems etc.

- That there are so many more techniques and stitches to learn and practice.

- The importance of pattern placing when cutting fabric..Yikes - posies on the peaks!

What a great sewing day - even though the top isn't a keeper but a around the houser.

Ciao for now

Happy sewing



  1. Great job on that neckline. I hate when a photo destroys a garment for you. I'd wear it anyway though. I'm going to have to look at the Linda Pants pattern. They are very flattering on you. Happy New Year!

  2. The Tshirt is great! And the neckline is perfect!! I know what you mean about the front....I've just noticed this phenomenom recently on my own tops and I am not happy. Now...the pants....they are fabulous. You need to make them again cos the fit is really good.

  3. Getting the neckline right, and knowing how to adjust your pattern are two very big steps. Congratulations on solving these two!

  4. happy New Year - That is one of the attractions of our hobby - always learning new tricks. Your neckline and hems look very professional - much better than anything we could buy . I was quite chuffed when my husband thought I had bought him the shirt but even happier when he was so touched by his present.

  5. Wow, that is a fine looking neckline, BeaJay! It looks like you are having lots of fun with your new coverstitch. Happy New Year!

  6. Thanks for the draw - I am very excited to be getting a pattern! Your finishing of the tee looks great and the Linda pants (envious) they look great too!

  7. The neck band looks perfect. You were doing the same thing I was...quartering just the band. That's what I love about these blogs...I've learned a lot. And...your top does look nice on you!!!

  8. Oh wow, thanks so much, you've made my day!!
    Your neckline looks nice and neat and I am so jealous of your coverstitch machine, really makes the hems look professional! The pants fit great too!

  9. Hi Bj
    A lovely neat job on your neckline, your machine give a lovely professional finish. Looking forward to seeing your next item. Now Ive finished knitting Christmas pressies, I shall have to get back to dressmaking.

  10. You just demystified neckbands for me! Oneless stretch fear to deal with! Thank you!

  11. Thank you so much for your generous bonus prize. It is going directly to my student as she aspires to be a designer! Sent you the requested info via PR.

  12. Very impressive neckband and fabric placement can be interesting.

  13. I just made my first of Pamela's Patterns and it was the Perfect T. I was instructed to do a stretch zig-zag stitch in the ditch on the neckline (that's the lightning bolt with three lines on my Janome). I didn't know that "in the ditch" in this manner meant to stitch just a tad BELOW the fold area. Mine rides right on the fold but I am still extremely happy with how it lays, and looks for that matter! However, I am interested in trying my G, blind-hemming, foot on the next one, as you have mentioned. My question would be.... is there enough stretch with that stitch to not pop the stitching when putting on and off the top? Then, if you don't mind, what stitch length and width would you suggest from your experience on the blind hemming? Your comments have been found to be extremely helpful. I'll be interested to watch for perhaps further Pamela's Patterns comments. I can't wait to make my next top and I am working on the hubby for a serger and cover-pro!! I used them in the class - awesome first results!!

    1. Hi Gail - I looked at your profile to see if you have a blog so I could reply directly to you but I couldn't see a blog so I hope this gets to you. Funny - I did a knit class yesterday with a brilliant teacher and she said "if you feel inclined to use the little zig zag for stretch stitch on your machine - slap yourself". An ordinary stitch is fine - if you use woolley nylon in your bobbin - sounds weird but works well - it has stretch in it and is so much easier to unpick if you make an error. The teacher also recommends not stitching in the actual ditch (ie - hiding the stitch in the ditch) but just a bit onto the band - she says it looks better - especially if you make an error and stitch out of the ditch in places. The blind hemming foot is good. I also purchased an edge foot. I am certainly no expert - I just use the default stitch length for the neckline. When you are actually blind hemming the length and width of stitch will depend on the fabric. Trial and test and then trial and test again until you get the best results with a scrap of your fashion fabric. You must do this with every fabric you hem on as each fabric will respond differently. Good luck with your sewing and if you have a blog let me know so I can follow along.

    2. I don't have a blog. But I came back to check for your response. Thanks SO much. This is extremely helpful. I've never heard of Wolley Nylon! I'm thinking that is only bobbin? Polyester on top? stitching? Thanks again. I'll be following you in the future. (And, I have taken out those zig zag stretch stitches and it is a big BEAR to do!! Don't want to repeat that one!!) I'm anxious to try other Pamela's Patterns, especially the "jacket" with the flowing front, her bias skirt and even the "unmentionables worth mentioning!" I'll be watching to see if you do others of hers and give some blogging to those.


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