Friday, 19 December 2014

A Dress for Meg - 8 - Attaching the Skirt

It is ages since Meg received her dress, and I have not done any posts showing the making of it since the post showing the collar being attached.

The next stage was attaching the skirt.  The skirt is made up of three rectangles, with French seams down the sides.  The width of the back of the skirt is approximately double the size of the back of the bodice, to allow for gathering.  The two front panels of the skirt both overlap for the buttons and buttonholes, in exactly the same way as on the bodice.  The gathers for the front of the skirt start just clear of the overlap.

Before putting in the initial gathers, with bit of red cotton I marked the central, quarter and three quarters points on the back panel of the skirt to match up with the corresponding points on the bodice.

Then I set in the first line of gathers, shown above, using the ruffler.

Perhaps somewhere there are mathematical geniuses who can regulate the size of the ruffle to give the correct amount of gather.  I am not one of them, so I do a second line of gathers alongside the ruffling.  The seam guide is there to keep the stitching straight.

The second line of stitching is done with the maximum stitch length and with the top tension loosened so that the bobbin thread is easy to pull to ease the gathers.

Before pinning the skirt to the bodice I put two tucks at the lower edge to give a bit of fullness across the back, and kept the fold secure with a few stitches.

Next, I pinned the skirt to the bodice, matching the side seams and the red thread markers, then eased the fullness by pulling the second line of gathers...

... and tacked the seam by hand.  There is a much wider seam allowance on the bodice, approximately an inch and a quarter.

Now the machine stitching could be done to finally attach the skirt to the bodice.  I made the stitching run about an eighth of an inch below the gathers and tacking.

Before neatening the seam I removed the tacking thread and machine gathering stitches, but I always find that it is better to leave in the machine stitching done with the ruffler because it keeps the gathered seam allowance reasonably flat.

To neaten the raw edges, the edge of the bodice is folded over.  Hair grips keep the fold down in place much more firmly than pins...

... and are easy to remove as the fold is stitched down.

Here is the finished seam, guaranteed to withstand the rigours of the washing machine!

I love this technique - I first came across it in an old pattern.

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

It's Time For A Break

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Free Motion Mavericks will be back in the New Year.  The next link up will be on Thursday 8th January.

If you wish to link up next time but have no new FMQ posts to show, feel free to show your favourite FMQ project of 2014.

Thank you to everyone who has linked up this year.  It has been great fun!

In the meantime I do not expect I shall be doing an enormous amount of sewing.  

Sunday, 14 December 2014

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Summer Daisies

Taken on a walk in the fields in early August - especially for everyone who is feeling particularly sun-deprived at the moment.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 25 - A Sampler and An Exhibition

Now that I am on the third thread sampler I am trying to persuade myself that I am not getting ever so slightly bored.  However the daylight is so short, and often so dull, that inspiration is lacking for a new free motion landscape, so I am getting on with the thread samplers because they don't exactly tax the imagination.  When the next burst of creativity comes I will be able to choose colours by just referring to the samplers.

The great highlight of the last fortnight has been two visits to the exhibition of 12 x 12 quilts at Midsomer Quilting.  Here is just one of the quilts that was on show...

... Midnight in Moscow by Olga Cottle...


... which has a fascinating story attached to it.

The entire exhibition can now be seen on Midsomer Quilting's Flickr page.  Enjoy the show!

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Here goes for week 25...

Many thanks to Maartje, Leanne, Beth, Carole and Linda for linking up last time.  

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand and France have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Cockerel is Taking Shape

It seems to be taking ages, but I'm getting there.  At the moment he looks a bit of a mess, but he will look a whole lot better once I have finished the blanket stitched outline and given him a beak, an eye and a pair of legs.

Welcome to Sujata Shah, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Linking up with Esther's blog for WOW=WIPs on Wednesdays.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Friday, 5 December 2014

A Bit of Maintenance for a Shuttle

Recently I had a frustrating day with the tension on my Singer 128K, and the only way I could tighten the bobbin tension was to fish the shuttle out of another machine and use it instead of the shuttle from the 128K.

This is the offending shuttle.  I have finally had a look at it.  First I unscrewed the tension spring and removed it.  Here is the shuttle with the tension spring removed, and you can see that there is a bit of residual muck which had been hiding underneath.  This took only a minute to remove with metal polish.

Here is the underneath of the tension spring, which also needed cleaning up.

On the right hand side there is a tiny groove visible, which is where the thread passes.  The bobbin tension had been too loose.  Even with the screw fully tightened, the tension spring was not holding the thread firmly enough against the shuttle.  

The solution was simple.  All I had to do was exert a little pressure with my fingers on that part of the tension spring to encourage it to lie closer to the shuttle: had I used too much force I would have risked breaking the metal at its thinnest points, so I hesitate to say I bent it.  The change in shape is imperceptible on mere inspection.  Once the shuttle was reassembled and I tried out the stitch, all I needed to do was make a tiny adjustment to the top tension and the stitch was fine.  

Job done.  Now the 128K has its own shuttle back in use. 


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