Posted in Evening Class Reflective Journal, My Musings, Sewing

Evening Class – Term 2

Oops! I had previously published this post but somehow managed to delete it whilst on my phone earlier today.  However having found an earlier draft I think I have re-added the main points.

Its a New Year and new term for my Sewing Classes.  This term I will be using my blog (specifically this post and its links) as my reflective journal for the term.

In the class there is a mix of familiar faces and new joiners.  I was pleased to see that my returning course colleagues also hadn’t spend all Christmas sewing as we had planned and were also carrying on with their projects where they had left off.

Going into this term I have

  • my bag to continue with
  • A Tilly & The Buttons Cleo Dungaree Dress to make
  • but my main aim is to learn to sew knits
    which is the first of my 2017 sewing aspirations.

Here is what I got up to:

Week 1 
Intro week, we kicked off with ice breakers, ran through some notices and then I went back to my bag.  My teacher told me a different way to connect the straps at the bottom of the bag, which I took a couple of less than successful attempts at.

Week 2 
We started out with some more paperwork , signing our learning agreements for the term.
I made a start on my Toaster sweater taking advantage of the big high tables I cut out my pattern pieces.  I had a little time at the end of class so started sticking together my pdf pattern for my Sew Over It Cowl Neck Dress.

Week 3
As I had completed my Toaster Sweater at home and finished sticking together my pdf pattern for the Sew Over It Cowl Neck Dress.
I turned up in my Toaster Sweater to show everyone and spent the evening cutting out my paper pattern then laying it out to check if I had enough of my Teal ponte left to make the dress version.  I think I just do and I have some cheep jersey left so I cut out my pattern pieces out in that and will use that as a fit test again.
I was set a challenge by my teacher to think about how I could make myself some pattern cutting weights (I think everyone is sick seeing my low tech tins and jars that I keep bringing to class).

***Having been paid I’ve booked onto the summer term before it gets full***

Week 4 
I didn’t finish my sister’s curtains at the weekend so started the evening ironing and sewing up her second curtain.
Once that was done i continued working on my my test version Cowl Neck Dress pinning and sewing up the shoulders and side seams.
During the evening we also had a quiz (because this is an Adult Learning class it has to include literacy & numeracy) on fibers and fabric – it wasn’t scored but if it was my team would probably have won.

Week 5 & 6
I was unwell and unable to attend class 😦

Week 7 
With only minimal changes required I made a start on my Cowl Neck dress final version cutting out the pattern pieces in my green ponte de roma.  I had just enough fabric left after my Toaster sweater to cut out all my pieces.  I can’t easily tell the right and wrong sides so I marked them up in chalk to keep track of which side was the inside.

Week 8
Having done some overlocking at home I stitched my front and back pieces together.  Then making the main change to the order I am constructing the dress this time round I attached the twin needle and sewed up my arm cuffs whilst they were still flat and unattached.

Week 9
Tonight was about attaching the arms to the main dress (with the front and back of the dress only attached at the top.  This was much easier than inserting the arm and trying to balance the stretch of a circle within a circle.  It also means that I will be able to sew up the side of the dress and just follow the join down the arm in one long seam.  The arms went on well but I did have a few small puckers but I managed to steam them out with the iron.

Week 10
I made progress on my working on my Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dress.  With great difficulty I had cut out the fabric pattern pieces at home.  I started construction sewing the centre front and back seams, for making the large front and back pieces.  Leaving them so I could overlock the raw edges at home I moved on to sewing up and turned over the straps.

Week 11
End of term assessment – I passed phew, when you include my practice versions I have completed a good number of garments this term.  When not having my one on one assessment I continued work on my T&TB Cleo by attaching the straps to the back of my dress and then cut out the interfacing for the facings.

In Summery
I have achieved my main aim which was to sew knits.
I no have a better understanding of knit fabric and feel more confident using it in my sewing machine.  As well as single ball point needles I have also used twin needles on my knits and I have used my overlocker for sewing knit fabric.
I have completed 2 practice pieces and an my final toaster sweater.  With my Cowl neck dress nearly finished.
Since the beginning of term I have also made progress on my bag and my Cleo Dungaree Dress.
Additionally I successfully took up a pair of curtains.

Posted in Evening Class Reflective Journal, My Musings, Sewing

Evening Class – First Term

After a wait of a couple of months it was finally time for my new sewing class.

As predicted being a beginner/intermediate class the other candidates all seem to know what they are doing and are getting on with complicated sewing projects.

There are a few other newbies in the class but most are continuing from a previous term.

I am enjoying garment making in a room with other people and having an instructor who I can call on when I get stuck.

My main work/learning points from each class have been

Week 1 – Intro and measuring ourselves

Week 2 -Was bring your project to get started – My first project is Box Pleat Skirt from my Sewing Bee book.  During the class I made a tracing pattern for my skirt including lengthening it.

Week 3 -I cut out my fabric including taylor tacks for my box pleats.  Well I used taylor tacks on the box pleats at the back but cheated on the front and just used my fabric pen.

Week 4 -Box Pleat Skirt was put on hold because I to make our Halloween costumes.

Week 5 -Box Pleat Skirt still on hold.   Carried on with Halloween costume.  Then when I got home I unpicked everything and decided to start over.

Half Term Break – I spent part of the evening (and part of last weekend) continuing with my Haloween costumes and then rushed to get them finished on the day of the party.  See them here.

Week 6 – Back to my Box Pleat Skirt, I sewed up my box pleats -(not the original design but I like the look better).  I also managed to accidentally pull out some of my tailors tacks from a few weeks back whilst figuring out what to do, which really just re-affirmed to me that I do better with my trusty marker pen.
**Also found out lots of new people had booked onto the next round of classes in the new year so quickly got myself booked back on before the places ran out***

Week 7 – Box Pleat skirt is taking shape, I had sewed up the sides, added the zip and attached the waist band at home.  I sewed up the waistband and asked how I should do the hem, which included a quick lesson on blind hemming with the sewing machine.  – I decided I would do this at home with time and my own iron.  See my finished skirt here.
I then moved on to starting to stick my PJ pants pattern together, I had 24 A4 pieces of paper to stick together so took over two additional desks.

Week 8 -New Project – Sewing Machine Bag.
I drew what I wanted from my sewing machine bag, took some measurements, added them to my drawing then drew out a layout plan.

Week 9 – I measured drew out my pattern, and cut out my fabric, in preparation for sewing up and bagging out.

Week 10 – Having sewed my 3 layers together in class I added a second layer of stitches for strength and then pulled through my material so the outsides were on the outside.  I then added a another layer of stitches round the edge to hold everything in place.  I hand sewed the gap i left for bagging out & went home to have a think.

Week 11 – Having ordered my handle strap webbing, & then some plastic that I though would be good to put in the bottom of the bag to give some strength and rigidity.  I went to class to ask my teacher if she agreed I should unpick my hand sewing, sew a channel for the plastic and slip it in before sewing up again.  She recommended I didn’t and just covered the plastic in material and placed in the bottom of the bag. I started pinning my straps to my bag (will be easier to sew whilst material is still flat and not bag shaped, as will my front outside pouch pockets. (Link to bag post will follow when finished)

In our sub group of newbies as well as our individual projects we are being talked through/occasionally helping with a teacher sewing project.

Week 1 – Picking pattern, identifying sizes etc
Week 2 – Taylor tacks, pinning pattern and cutting out fabric
Week 3 – Why make a toile?
Look at the toile the teacher made and identify adjustments/changes to be made.
Week 4 – No extra lesson
Week 5 – Sewing a Zip, standard sip (no lapped, not invisible) technique was to have where the zip was to go tacked together then sew in the zip and unpick – worked really well.
Week 6 – Sewing round a curve, using (and how to make a homemade) a seam allowance measuring tool.
Week 7 – Thread for sewing machines.  We looked at and tested various threads people had resigning many to, could you for tacking/bin.  However I was pleased that my vintage gray thread passed the strain/snap test, so I could carry on using it.
I also had a quick lesson on blind hemming
Week 8 – Sugar bagging – individual lesson, learning what it was and how easily it can be done.
Week 9 – No extra lesson
Week 10 – Working with pattern fabric, our example for discussion was check fabric and skirt pattern
Week 11 – We had 1 to 1  for our end of term review, which went fine, I passed and will be back next term.

And that is was it, I’m booked in for Term 2 starting in the New Year, and I’ve been told I can use my blog as my reflective journal for my course next term 🙂