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our sewing forum

(225 Posts)
craftyone Tue 26-May-20 08:33:53

would you like us to start a real sewing forum with lots of help and links?

craftyone Tue 26-May-20 08:42:48

my first link is to an american site and never pay full price btw. The classes are amazing and are available forever. The people in america are way ahead of us re sewing techniques and are very good and can teach us a lot

There are lots of online american tv classes for free. Search for the link.

I am going back to sewing and have just bought a new dress form, closer to my size and hopefully will not need too much padding. It is really too hard to fit properly to myself, by myself. I moved a year ago and bought a house with a bedroom that I am dedicating to sewing. It is still not sorted but will be soon. I have plenty of cupboard space, a desk and horn folding sewing table, 3 machines, a cheval mirror and a radio and enough stash and bits and books to open a sewing shop

If you want to join in then the thread will succeed

Beechnut Tue 26-May-20 09:28:18

My joining in will probably be mostly reading. I have always liked to sew but don’t make so much these days.

I joined a Facebook page and am inspired by the things people make.

Susie42 Tue 26-May-20 10:02:46

There are reports on American sites that the Blueprint/Craftsy site is being shut down fairly soon.

craftyone Tue 26-May-20 10:33:50

oh dear, I didn`t know that craftsy had been taken over. They must have thousands of customers. Arghh, so I have logged on, not done so for over a year and my classes are the forever classes. I am hoping that I keep access to these. In the meantime I am going to watch an awful lot of craftsy. Thanks Susie

Farmor15 Tue 26-May-20 10:49:25

I’d be interested. Don’t sew as much as I used to but might start making some children’s clothes. If anyone has links to free patterns for little girl’s dresses 2-5 age, please post.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Tue 26-May-20 12:06:41

I'm interested but I'm a bit of a clunk on the computer. I love sewing - hand embroidery is my first love but I also do patchwork quilting and a little dressmaking.
I regret I'm too thick to post pictures as my brain has run out of space to take in new technology.

grandMattie Tue 26-May-20 13:01:11

Yes, please.
Do dressmaking, patchwork (very badly), appliqué, etc.

grannysyb Tue 26-May-20 13:16:38

There is a forum called the which is very useful.

craftyone Wed 27-May-20 09:36:17

my sewing room is almost ready, just tidying and getting into order,not now but when the weather is cooler. I cut out downstairs on my dining table, which swings to open to large enough for cutting. I use two cutting mats with joiners and I made little bean bag weights, filled with dry sand

I did sort my many patterns into marked boxes and being `good` I actually wrote down an inventory. eg 1 is lingerie, nighties, dressing gowns and btw if you haven`t made knickers from t shirt fabric, try it, so easy. I used stretch binding to finish them off. I hope I can remember all the good online stores that I used, one by one I will add them

I do alter patterns to fit me, 4`11 and older age mature sizing now. The bust point is down and low, no longer perky, the patterns with darted tops need the dart to finish at the bust point, not inches above and that needs a FBA ie full bust adjustment, patience and tracing paper and sellotape. I trace all my patterns onto swedish paper, was used on sewing bee years ago. I have a stash of that, so good that I never wanted to run out. I bag the traced patterns and they all go together into a special box for altered patterns

Today I am wearing a mix and match, I made 3 tops and 3 skirts from the same fabric, different colours, all a nice linen Robert Kaufman essex linen. I only bought very good fabrics over the last 15 years. If you like indie then
if you like very good fabrics at good prices then

I got quite a few patterns from the usa, no tax on them. They cater well for the mature figure

I have dozens from style arc in australia, I prefer bought patterns to digital downloads, then I found that amazon do stylearc, was very happy, paper patterns quicker. Very easy to draw on and adjust, good thick paper.

You need a dressmakers curve to adjust properly and accurately, esp when doing a FBA. Quilting rulers are also very useful

For child patterns that cover many ages in one pattern, look for ottobre magazine. Dotsnstripes used to do the subs. Fab designs but lots of lines in different colours to trace. Also they do womens and I have several, I made a coat from one, one of my best ever sews

GGumteenth Wed 27-May-20 09:40:50

Good idea craftyone. Thank you for starting this.

craftyone Wed 27-May-20 14:16:53

ooh, I am on a roll.

Two things came today, the lady valet dressform in a medium and phew it is very close to my size. I need to put a couple of fillets into the added bra and some padding onto the front below bust, over the stomach area, it is on its shortest and is my height. The back length is on its shortest and is also my size at 15", I am well chuffed. Much better than struggling solo. I got it from hobkirk and only ordered it 2 days ago, it was the cheapest , never used hobkirk before and am impressed

10 minutes ago my patterns came from drapers daughter plus fabric to make the day dress. Straight into the washing machine at 30, the usual wash for this type of fabric. I will drape and dry outside in the shade and take notes and a sample for my notebook. I always wash fabrics before I stash them away

Tbh I will make that dress over winter, never used that designer previously, the avid dressmaker

I have finished my room, honestly I was realistic when I looked for a new house a year ago. I am immersed in my hobbies and wanted a sewing room, which I now have. It has a lovely calm atmosphere and a cosy wide armed easy chair, ideal for knitting too

So I have spent zillions of years like most, working on the dining table and packing away every meal time. Having this space is sheer luxury, the upside of being on my own now and choosing my own house. Btw I started sewing young, have sewn for 63 years

HillyN Wed 27-May-20 14:35:01

Sounds like a good idea!
I enjoy sewing but the shop I used to use relocated miles away and I sometimes struggle to find what I want online, so I would welcome useful links.
I have also realised from watching 'Great British Sewing Bee' that a lot of the techniques I was taught and equipment I use have been updated, so I would be interested to learn about new methods.

craftyone Wed 27-May-20 16:23:21

Updated, tell me about it. I have had to learn so much more and so much more about machine use and feet

No cutting corners and I have decided to pad out and cover my dress form. It won`t take that much padding but I should do it properly so I have ordered everything from one store, I have used this store loads in the past, usually for threads but they have moved with the times and now stock lots of things.

I used to call it batting, that padding that you put into a quilt but it has changed so much and so I have ordered soya wadding, which is I hope fairly thin and felt to go over that, so I can stick pins in her. I ordered a few shoulder pads so that it becomes a bit easier to pad certain areas, bust/ hips to waist, maybe not sure yet. Tape for the lines, waist/bust/hips and a cover fabric, I chose lycra with all stretch and in silver. I expect it will take me several days to kit her out to be my body double. Good to have a project to while away the days

The company is empress mills. I should keep a list myself and not rely on purely memory. Some of the companies have been going for very many years. Yes, into my notebook, so I have a good reference

ladymuck Wed 27-May-20 17:25:45

This is not really relevant to the subject but it is something I should like to say.
Obviously when we are doing needlework, whether sewing or embroidery, we use sewing threads. When we thread the needle, we put the thread in our mouths. Am I right to be concerned about toxins in the threads? There must be chemicals used in the manufacturing process. How worried should we be about this?

Beechnut Wed 27-May-20 18:03:29

I cut my thread at an angle ladymuck so it’s got a bit of a point and I find that easier.

Grandmafrench Wed 27-May-20 18:33:31

Beechnut me too! What a wonderful idea, craftyone, a sewing forum. When are they ever unpopular?!

You do sound as if you have put so much work into collecting, learning, making and also kitting out your new sewing room. I have one, I am a reasonably experienced sewer and so enjoy it. However, I treat it a bit like chocolate - i.e. I always feel I shouldn't be doing it. I know, insane. As a result, the room does tend to get filled with ironing or laundry which needs sorting or clothes waiting to be put away. And I always do that first, which means I am wasting precious time when I could be sewing. It's in my head - no one is stopping me and my DH loves to see me at the machine and doing something creative.
I must try to get some discipline into my sewing time.

I do have some particular sites that I follow and places where I buy materials. I shall post these when I have got the details together. In the meantime, well done you for doing something for you and wanting to spread the word. Presumably you will also post photos illustrating a particular method or something you have made? Sounds very interesting.

Whiff Thu 28-May-20 06:33:31

Craftyone found you. My passion is cross stitch but I do use a sewing machine when I make cushions. If I use Aida 14 I always make my own cushion inter that way I can make the cushion any size or shape I want. Always use anti allergic toy stuffing which can be washed at 30. I usually buy my Aida and other fabrics from eBay. Always wide choice and a lot cheaper than some fabric on line stores plus get free delivery. My DMC threads I got from a man who used to advertise in Cross Stitcher magazine. But he doesn't advertise anymore. He's threads were the cheapest and delivery was 80p no matter the quantity. Must write to him to see if he is still selling. When I was a teenager made my own clothes but not very well. I look forward to reading what you and everyone else make. Love sewing bee . Who wouldn't with Patrick to look at. Joe always makes me laugh and Esme has such confidence in what she wears even a bomber jacket. Love the mix of people. Thought last night's show was great. It was interesting how they used old clothes and who would have thought to use laundry bags.

craftyone Thu 28-May-20 07:33:48

I do the same as beechnut, always cut thread at an angle and have even resorted to old fashioned nedle threaders

How do you cope with eyesight and cross stitch whiff? My eyes are definitely not as good for close work any more, I found my magnifying glasses when I was sorting my sewing things and I use a good lamp behind me when knitting.

Cross stitch is so marvellously therapeutic, I have not done a great deal and not for many years. I have recently bought myself a kit by bucilla from ebay, it will make 24 small cross stitch tree ornaments. Whiff should I get a small hoop do you think? I loved bucilla crafts, first got kits when I was a qvg addict, years ago

Cushions are a great idea, especially for beginners, learning how to get pointy corners, maybe inserting a zip, maybe piping, maybe applique (I don`t do applique).

I found some great books upstairs yesterday, one is by Nancy Zieman, I will write titles for a couple more later. Nancy did a lot of online free sewing lessons

Whiff Thu 28-May-20 08:13:33

Craftyone my favourite hoops are the spring loaded ones as I find the wooden ones hard to get the tension right. I use 2 sizes of hoops 4" and 5.5" . Tried larger wooden hoops but found then hard to hold. Also have a couple of square ones but found I had to keep tightening the plastic grips as the fabric slips. I mainly use Aida 14 but have used 16 and 18. But couldn't go smaller than that. I also use Sudan canvas for cushions for myself which is 5 squares per inch. I use chunky wool for that and adapt ordinary cross stitch charts to fit. Paint box wools have a wide variety colours so only use those. I use pre zipped cushion backs you can buy. But always sew the canvas and back on but hand using main colour wool in back stitch. So far made 6 cushions and working on my 7th doing that. I will see if my daughter can show me how to post some of my work on here. I love making coasters. Get the coaters from eBay. Pick an design and once finished back using heavy weight iron on facing before cutting to size and fitting in the coaster.

I have tried to you even weave fabric but can't do it. With Aida it's one square one stitch with even weave you need to go over 2 squares per stitch. The biggest design I have made was for my brother's 60th last year on Aida 14 triumph Bonneville it's was almost 28,000 stitches took me 3 months did it on antique Aida as the design was of the bike made in 1959. I framed it he loves it.

I only started doing it 4, years ago as I could never understand how crosses would make pictures. What a fool should have started decades ago. Love doing the back stitching as it makes everything pop. I make cross stitch cards. Cross stitch perfect can't say the same for the card making. Also make Christmas tree decoration.

Mopsx4 Thu 28-May-20 08:45:10

Great thread. I enjoy all sorts of crafts. I am baby quilt making at the moment - just finished a rainbow quilt for a baby born a few weeks into lockdown. Previously to that I was sewing for NHS and with the many material scraps left have cut them into 1 1/2 inch strips and have crocheted them into a rug and have a second one on the go.
I mainly sew clothes for my 2 granddaughters in NZ and make curtains and cushions when needed.
It will be good to get tips from others.

craftyone Thu 28-May-20 10:09:24

My project now has to be that body double. Thankfully I have found all the measurements needed and more, I did them 3 years ago, before I had shoulder ache meaning it is now difficult to raise my r arm up behind my back. It will get better, my left shoulder got better but it takes an awful long time.

I was inspired re the measurement list by a video on craftsy called `fitting solo` and these are the measurements needed for all sorts of garments
over bust
full bust
back waist length
high hip
distance from high hip to waist
full hip
distance from full hip to waist
shoulder length
shoulder (by head) to bust point
bust point to point
arm length (shoulder to wrist)
underarm length
upper arm girth
inside leg to ankle
inside leg to floor
outside leg

I added a couple of extras, useful for knitting too. I scribbled all my measurements in pencil. My measurements have not changed so I am going to copy them out tidily and laminate them to hang in my sewing room

craftyone Thu 28-May-20 11:11:53

Measuring accurately is psychologically awful. I no longer have a waist, had to bend sideways to see where it used to be.

I checked all the girth measurements and had a good look at myself sideways in the long mirror, I did have to tweak my measurements on my hips and upper hips to cover stomach.

I consoled myself the other day, neighbours 80 year old lady friend is a most glamorous lady with slender legs and then I saw her sideways in her floaty top and her stomach is as big as mine, so it seems to happen slowly but slowly, to most of us. I wish I had appreciated my younger figure

I found the worksheets online and have filled in and laminated them for posterity. Next step will be to receive the ordered wide white tape from amazon, I will make the circles and stick the ends together, write on them where they need to be and they can be my prototypes for padding.

I padded a smaller dressform once before, it took ages and I even hand stitched it all together with a circular needle. My plan is to try and not make a meal of this one

HillyN Thu 28-May-20 21:59:50

Strange though it may seem, I don't often make clothes for myself, so I have never invested in a dress form. Over the years I have made a lot of bridesmaids' dresses, for both my daughters' weddings and when DD2 was a bridesmaid for her sister-in-law.
I am trying to move with the times. I'm just getting used to using a cutting wheel, managed to cut my finger twice!
Every time I sew over pins I can still hear my needlework teacher telling me to tack everything first! Watching Great British Sewing Bee, no-one seems to tack anything these days and pins seem to be going out of fashion too, with weights on pattern pieces and spring clips holding seams together for stitching. I suppose they are so time limited- I prefer to take things slowly.
Here is a picture of my last project- upcycling a prom dress into matching outfits for my eldest grand-daughter and her 18" doll. Not a bad fit (room to grow!) considering we couldn't meet up.

craftyone Fri 29-May-20 06:50:53

very very lovely Hilly smile, a beautiful fit

That brought some memories back, 1969 and I made my own wedding dress and 3 bridesmaids dresses, did not faff about fitting because I was still a stock size and so were the bridesmaids, no alterations to worry about. They all had puffs at the top of the sleeves and were so cheap to make. I think mine cost the equivalent of about £10. I was only 21 and looking back, don`t know how I did it. I also did the 3 tier cake and reception food, on covered wallpaper tables in my mums house. There were 8 of us in that standard semi, widowed mum and my 6 younger siblings. In 1971 I used that dress fabric and made a christening gown. We really did make do and mend in those days and I had a fairytale wedding on a shoe string

I need/want new covers for my sofa seats, I want to make the room look lighter and the seats have become a little soft. I did send for samples from a maker and have heard nothing back so I am going to bite the bullet. They are big rectangular seats with piping around the bottom and top edges and a zip in one side. This will be a new one for me, never done piping before and will need to buy piping cord. Today I will measure and send for fabric. The seats are a dark sandy brown and I think I want a light mossy green to match the splodges in my new rug