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Little Legs

There are a couple of free patterns online for leggings that I have been using. One is the Flounced Ruffle Capri Leggings and the other the Girl's Capri Length Leggings Pattern No.8.

Both patterns were very easy to use, and the instructions are clear. So a big thank you to those clever ladies for developing these two patterns. They are perfect...

The size I decided to use was Size 4 and Size 5. It was a bit of guess work for sizing as I had no idea if they would fit the girls or not. They keep growing and I haven't seen them for awhile.

The fabric I chose was a green spotty, winter weight, stretch cotton from my stash. The other striped fabric I bought was a stretch polyester fabric. It hooks up really easily, plus it is not very serviceable. This fabric is going to run, it reminds me of thick nylon stockings, it really is a bad choice. Also it was such a pain to sew, where as the green fabric was bliss...
     
Here are the first two pairs I made. I sent them over to the girls for a
fitting. According to their mother they are okay. I hope so because
I have sewn the rest all the same...
Here are the rest of the tights, the girls each got 3 pairs.
While taking the photo's I annoyed a Bumble Bee. Funny how they seem 
to buzz louder when you're nearby. The Leggings are ready to go plus
I'm giving the girls eggs to eat as well.
I used a narrow cover-stitch to hem up the straight leg tights. This worked out very well.

Janome Cover-Pro narrow hem stitch.
I haven't used the Janome Cover-Pro for awhile...So here is an update on
finishing the seam and removing the fabric away from the needles.

Friday

You won't believe this, I wrote all my blog post and lost it, even Apple Z didn't work...Wahhhhhhhhhh!

What was I saying...who knows I have a memory like a sieve. What have I been doing lately? I have actually been sewing for myself, and it has been rather a 'hit and miss' affair'. Some garments were a success and some were not.

The worst one was the 'Peppa Pig' jacket (I've named it that). I sewed it out of thick polar fleece from my stash. The fabric was so pink it really looks ghastly on me. I must say I actually hate polar fleece and avoid wearing it....I just bought this fabric on a whim. I was warned by my daughter, why are you buying that colour? Well I am just like a moth to a flame, I'm drawn to bright colours...Though I was never sure what I was gong to use it for. Really it would have made a better blanket that a jacket

Anyway getting back to my sewing, I have not recorded that much of it because it has taken me nearly over a month to charge my camera. But I did manage take a picture, well half a picture of myself wearing a top.

The pattern:
Is the Cool, Calm and Cowl Necked Top by Hot Patterns. It is a free download over at fabric.com

Was it Easy to sew?
Yes it would have been if it actually fitted me. It did not, and I didn't bother to check to see before I cut the fabric.

What went wrong? 
The armholes were rather tight on me, and perhaps it was designed for a much stretcher knit fabric than I had. On finishing it I looked at other reviews of the pattern and other sewers have said the armholes were tight.

What went right?
I can wear it...I had to re-make the armholes as big as I could, though they are still a bit tight which also brought the shoulder seam forward a bit.

What I changed:
I didn't use rib for the band, just the same fabric as the body.

Would I sew it again?
Yes I would and make the armhole larger before I cut the fabric. Overall I can wear it so that has got to be good...

A Story 

Wearing knit fabric, well anything that stretches has definitely been my down fall over the years, once you wear it you never get out of it. The older you get you don't really notice the widening waist band, you just grow with it. Too late when you get to old age you have to work harder to get the chubbiness off.

Was it the 70's that everything became stretch, body suits, men's shirts? Oh those were the days my husband used to pinch my black shirt style stretch body suit (he was a drummer in a band so I guess it looked pretty cool). Except it belonged to me and I never did get it back. It fitted him so well because it stretched to his size, but it never stretched back to fit me.

The moral of the story is don't wear stretch clothes for most of your life. It's so much easier to tweak your weight when you wear woven clothes that get get tighter. Yes I've put myself on a diet of sorts. Well not a diet really, a good habit lifestyle change....Maybe with some luck the tight sleeves will get looser.

I'm putting it out there Stretch Fabric is to blame for the sudden weight gain in the western world? I might be on to something there...

Yes I know...sadly I can't blame a stretch fabric for a weight gain. It is really is, energy in energy out. But stretch clothing it is a variable that needs to be taken into account, well I think so anyway...On that note I am off to have lunch!

I've been tidying up my download patterns...I've given up
on plastic bags too bulky, now I'm using paper.

How to do a Rolled Hem: Merrylock 740DSA

Parts of my Merrylock 740DSA manual is missing, the pages for doing a 3 thread rolled hem are not there. Now I can say with confidence that using the Merrylock 2020 manual I downloaded (address in post below) has been a great help and very useful. Because now I can do the 3-thread rolled hem and I'm so pleased with myself. Although I  will need to fine tune it, perhaps by using different thread, the one I'm using is weird...funny stuff! Or maybe I need to change my needle!

Instructions for rolled hem on the Merrylock 740DSA

The pages that you need to know about for making a 3-thread rolled hem stitch in the Merrylock 2020 manual are page 30, 37 and 38. Page 30 gives you a handy reference chart and if you look at number 7, it shows you the needle position and tensions, then refers you onto page 38.

On page 37 titled 'How To Sew A Rolled Hem' it gives you ideas as to what fabrics work best. Then further down the page you have 'Machine Set-up' and it tells you to remove the left needle and so forth.

When looking at page 38 you will see the tables for needle position, stitch length and tension dial numbers. The instructions are very clear and they have worked for me. I can do the 3-thread rolled hem. Except I probably need to play around with the thread plus tension (I saw some odd loops), but the stitch is definitely passable.

I didn't take the needle out I just unthreaded it...I knew
 I had to put it back in so I couldn't be bothered.
Very simple to switch over...
Page 38 in the Merrylock 2020 Manual
I liked this one it's the one below in my sample..on page 38 also
Not a bad effort for first try...





Looking for a Merrylock Overlocker Manual?

I cannot believe it has taken me all this time to realize that half my Merrylock overlocker manual is missing...My booklet just goes to page 21 this is so bad! If it wasn't for someone querying the 3 thread rolled hem which is on page 29 I would have been oblivious forever...I have never done the rolled hem on this machine...Has anyone out there got any tips on how to do this?

I have found another Merrylock manual on line for the 2020 and it's in a pdf which is handy for printing. I thought it might help for learning the 3 thread rolled hem....Not sure though as I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Here is the address for the Merrylock 2020 4 thread overlocker manual (it takes a while to load ). Save the pdf to the desktop for future reference. It may be of some use.

Additional Information on the Merrylock 2020 can be found here Also other Merrylock machines are to be found at SewReview.com too. At present they don't have anything on the Merrylock 740DSA on there. Actually if you are in the market to purchase any new sewing machine or overlocker/serger this is a great site to check out the brands and models, reviews etc.

Update:
Merrylock 740DSA manual can be bought here. It's in Euro's and I haven't tried to buy it because I am not sure if  it is any different to the one I own that has no rolled hem instructions. If anyone has bought one and it actually has page 29 in it let me know...

Playing Outside in my Parka

A bit big...but so warm. I did think about unpicking the front so the elastic was tighter but in the end I left it. The next one I make will make tighter....


Finished in Time

Most of my sewing was done today. I did enjoy sewing this pattern and what a help it was to be able to refer to the blog posts over at you & mie. While I was happy with the style, I think my fabric choice was a bit difficult when I needed to bind the neck seam. I used polar/micro fleece that was stretchy and it it didn't matter how carefully you top stitched the fleece it still looked a bit shabby....

When out fabric shopping my rule that I hate sewing polar/micro fleece was soon forgotten. I was swayed by a pretty yellow coloured fabric. It was so pretty, a little bit of warmth in the middle of winter I thought to myself... Yes I'll buy that!

The parka hood and pocket are both lined with a yellow striped cotton fleece...

The photos below don't do the parka much justice, it just hangs like a sack in the pics. I need a little person to model the parka but there is not one in sight...On reflection I would certainly make this again, but I would use a lighter weight fabric. I think the pattern is definitely better in a light weight fabric. It might have made a difference if I hadn't lined the hood which added bulk.

Another sew-a-long blogger did their parka using bias to finish the seams, the edges of the hood etc. This might have worked better for my parka, I am not really happy with the front because the gathers are not very defined!

When you use a finer fabric the gathers in the front are more pronounced.
Apart from me not being so happy with the outcome this parka is
very warm and good for playing outside!
My cat is mental...he was banned from the sewing table today. But just
thought he might get in on the photo and nobody would notice!

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