A Winter Top

I loved this fabric when I bought it and it's been in my stash for ages. It's a jersey knit, with plenty of stretch. I liked the feel of it so I bought it...It was really enjoyable sewing this fabric, I was really careful pressing it as I didn't want the fabric to stretch any further.

The one and only problem I had, and it was my own fault. I overlocked the hem, then used a twin needle to top stitch the hem (too lazy to change the thread on my Janome cover-pro). This was a big mistake...Firstly I should not have tried to twin needle stitch over an overlocked edge...The whole hem had major tunnelling. Actually I didn't know why I did this because usually I just sew without overlocking the edge if I'm using a twin needle.

Lesson learnt...I re-did the hem with the cover-stitch machine and it turned out perfect.

Unpicking started off well, I use cheap snips to do this...Though in
the end I cut the hem off and started again.
The cover stitching was perfect, no missed stitches. I used my 'Humper
Jumper' to go over the seams.
Vogue 8634 Size: M. Easy sew a little big fitting wise, but I would definitely sew
this top again.
Long top made to be worn with tights...not over this A frame skirt. I had
a reluctant model who didn't want to change into tights for the pic.
It looks lovely and warm for winter but I think I could have made it
slightly more fitted...
Side view...
The fitting of this top is a bit big  because my model had 2 layers
of clothing underneath when I did the fitting so now it looks slightly loose!

McCalls 7130 Skirt

A Sewing Disaster

I've just tried out McCall's 7130 skirt pattern,  Size  L. All went very well until I pinned it together, then it started to stretch bigger, and bigger. I think it had ended up more like a XL. Otherwise it's a great pattern and I'd use it again definitely.

What a surprise for me  I made most of the skirt on my Elna 745 overlocker with no problems at all..In fact it was a dream to sew with.

Finished skirt hanging on the line looks more like a coffee sack and not really
true to's much brighter.
Unfortunately though I had a bad Janome cover-pro day. I fixed up the stitch tension the other day so everything was set up ready to go, and I was sewing happily away until the stitches broke...Then the Janome Cover-pro didn't make any stitches and then it did. In fact this is the worst cover hem I have ever done...

So much for my three thread cover-pro. By the way I have never ever had success with using 3-thread stitch on the Janome the thread always breaks. What a mess my hem became, it was it was just plain ugly and chewed up... Don't you hate that?

What a mess! No I'm not unpicking it, much too hard to do...I'll have
to cut it off!
The finished skirt is wearable, but the photo doesn't do it justice as it's not so sack like when wearing it. The hem is not good though and I've left the hem for now.  I'm going to decide whether to chop it off and start again using the 2-thread stitch.
The finished hem...and a plain stretch stitch hem using the Juki on another
skirt. The other skirt look much better. I knew I should have just used a 
plain stretch stitch and not bothered with the Janome Cover-pro.
In the midst of it all the fat cat sat and the brown dog watched...
Behaving themselves for once...they love to be where I am, just watching.
After all this trouble I'm now playing around with the Janome. I  have now changed the Janome Cover-pro back to a narrow two thread. The stitches below look perfect. So I will see how It all goes on the next knit garment I sew.

Perfect! Do you find that when you set your machine up to sew in a couple of
 days/ Then when you use it, it seems like Gremlins have been at it and all the
tensions are changed. The numbers no longer work...

Wow Spring is Here!

It has been a long cold winter....In my garden my pink Magnolia Tree is pretty.

A shame it wasn't planted as a stand alone tree...a feature in the garden. 
So pretty...
Stuck too close to a Camellia...But what do you do ?I don't like to dig
it up.
'The worried man' is falling apart...glue is his friend now. Some oaf landed
in the bird bath and knocked it over. Yes... it has four legs and a tail!
You know I nee a new bird bath to place him in...

Cut-off Gloves

I have warm mitts...thanks to my mother for making me some cut off gloves out of scraps of yarn. I actually like them (the bitsy look). These gloves are so warm and made of pure wool...Just the washing to watch out for now.

Trouble in Paradise: Elna 745

I knew it was too good to be true....that Elna 745 always causes me grief! Well for almost two hours, could I re-thread this overlocker after changing to grey thread? No, I didn't take my own advice to completely re-thread the machine when changing thread. I left the two needles with the threads on and re-threaded in any order. Big mistake the Elna 745 stitches became a tangle of grey with no chain stitch in sight!

This new thread cost around $30.00 for 5 cones with postage, made in India
bought in NZ. Has anyone used this brand before?
Lesson learnt...You must, yes you MUST re-thread in  the order stated not tie knots in the thread and take the easy way out. This machine does not like it. Well mine certainly does not, others may differ. I found out what the problem was, I needed to start back at the beginning and re-thread the Elna 745 correctly. Yes it was all my fault, I also forgot to put the thread through the clamps at the top of the machine as well.

Sewers of a young age...make the most of your young, sharp eyes, because these are the stupid mistakes you make when you are old, though not old, old yet. Not having so sharper eye sight, and two hours to spare you miss the obvious. Oh I wish I still had the eye sight of my youth I could sew black at night, see every little stitch.

Now in NZ it's almost spring and I feel like sewing, not sure what yet so I'm getting my machines ready for a hive of activity...Well I hope so I've had a long drought of no interest in sewing whats so ever.

Thanks goodness it wasn't the thread that upset my Elna's stitches..
All good now Elna 745 5-thread all ready for action.

Elna 745: 5-Thread Stitch

You know I only use this machine to sew a 2- thread rolled hem....It's rather a waste of a machine. But I have never been able to make friends with this overlocker. I either hate it, or just tolerate it.

Though I must say it's ability to power through the fabric is way much more superior than my other overlockers. I know I'm rather spoilt for choice, and that comes with age. I have been lucky enough able to try different machines as I have got older. Hence I have more overlockers than I should.

Today I dusted off the Elna 745 and decided to once again try and fix the 5-thread stitch. I bought the overlocking machine for the 5-thread only. Except the chain always kept breaking and it just would sew a 4-thread stitch.

Now to try and fix the 745 I went back to basics and did a total re-thread in the order suggested. Then changed the needles and oiled the machine.

Hmm...the spool holders won't slide to the bottom...
Are they supposed too? Maybe I have mixed up machine cones.
It's easy to oil...Just oil here
I did it I can't believe it worked. I loosened off the tension on the lower
looper which is used for making the chain stitch. It was that simple.
Next I wrote everything down that I did and  then glued a sample in a sewing book. So if it does not work again I will have a point of reference. Are we friends the 745 and I? Maybe for now...
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