A year with Juki

I just took my Juki in for her first service, she was running fine, but when I bought her the salesperson recommended I get her serviced after a year, well low and behold it has already been a year since I bought her. I figured it would be a good idea to reflect on my last year with Juki. I can already say offhand that I sewed so much more frequently than I did before purchasing Juki. I figured I spent so much money on my new machine that I had better get to using it, Juki is also a lot easier to use/less stress inducing than my old Brother, and I also began taking sewing classes this year, which I think helped.

So, this year Juki and I sewed:

  • 4 pillow covers;
  • 2 children’s skirts;
  • 2 pajamas;
  • 1 cape;
  • 1 not so successful bikini;
  • 6 sweaters;
  • 4 pairs of leggings (still haven’t found a perfect pattern);
  • 3 pairs of lounge pants;
  • 7 knit tops;
  • 9 skirts;
  • 14 dresses; and
  • a whole bunch of baby bibs, burp cloths and blankets.

I feel like I have learned a lot in the last year, going to class certainly helped with that, but I still have so far to go. Right now I am really struggling with garment fit. It’s really hard to want to complete a project when you just know it isn’t going to fit correctly. So this next year I think my focus is going to be on learning to alter patterns to fit better.

Unselfish Crafting

I usually like to make handmade gifts for the holidays to go with the store bought ones which most frequently consist of knitted items, but I haven’t really spent much time knitting since I have thrown myself into sewing and I really didn’t have a lot of time. I did however manage to do a tiny bit of unselfish sewing recently. I made my nieces (ages 5 and 6) matching My Little Pony skirts. I bought the fabric almost a year ago at Jo-Anns and the pattern is a Burda kids pattern. I made this skirt pattern for my niece almost a year ago on my old Brother machine. I have to say that the experience was a lot smoother on my Juki and it was nice to be able to sew the two skirts at the same time assembly line style.
Matching My Little Pony Skirts for my nieces

Matching My Little Pony Skirts for my nieces

My second item of unselfish sewing is a silver leather pouch that I made for my sister. I got the leather/zip at Sew LA when I was there for my intro to leather class. It is the same pouch that I made myself in that class only a different color.
The zipper doesn't look too bad

The zipper doesn’t look too bad

I also managed to knit my sister a pair of fingerless mitts and my other sister a chunky infinity scarf.
Catching Butterflies

Catching Butterflies

Tiny Owl Knits pattern

Tiny Owl Knits pattern

I also bought some fabric for pajama patterns for the bf and I got Thread Theory’s New Castle Cardigan pattern with the thought that I will make a sweater for the bf, but both of those items will have to wait until after the holidays.

The Not So Basic Delphine

Tada!

Tada!

Back not bad except for a bit of bunching/pooling when the waist sags

Back not bad except for a bit of bunching/pooling when the waist sags

Cookie!

Cookie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I recently said to myself that I should sew more basics as I frequently have a hard time picking outfits since everything I own is either a pattern or a bright color. I have to say that this sewing project is a major fail on that front. While the Delphine skirt from Love at First Stitch would make a great basic skirt, the fabric I chose is anything but basic. I saw this Kayo Horaguchi canvas fabric at the Sew LA birthday party and thought that it would make a cute Delphine. The first time I made this pattern I made a size 0, but it was a bit snug and had to take it out a little at the zipper seam. This time I made the size 2, but this time it was way too big in the waist. Poo. I ended up taking the skirt in 1/2″ on each side at the back seam. The fit turned out pretty good and the fabric is as amazingly crazy as I had anticipated. Now I just need something basic on top to wear with this skirt.

Front

Front

Back

Back

Hand stitched waist

Hand stitched waist

Hand stitched Hem

Hand stitched Hem

 

Way Too Big Washi

Washi

Washi

After chatting with some fellow sewists at the Sew-LA birthday party I decided to finally bite the bullet and make the Washi dress. The pattern has been sitting in my stash for months, but I just knew that the top was going to be too big and I am not really to the point in my sewing where I know how to make adjustments. But I decided to forge ahead anyways and picked out an Anna Maria Horner quilting cotton that I had in my stash. I cut out the smallest size with no adjustments.

I found that the dress sewed up pretty quickly. In one night I had the shirring done, the front was attached to the back, I had the facings in and I was ready to attach the sleeves, but I figured I had better try the dress on. Good thing I did, it was huge! I could stuff another me in the front of that dress! I certainly could not bend down in this dress. I pinched and pinned and figured out that at least 3 inches would need to come out.  I tried to figure out what the best way to fix the top was and decided to just take it in in the sides and see how that worked…So I took in the top over an inch in each side. Well, now the dress was uncomfortably tight around the arms and there was still gappage at the front….I sat down and took the top apart and put the dress aside.

Luckily for me the next day I had a private lesson with the lovely Haley at Sew LA to help me do a small bust adjustment to my Emery dress pattern. When I got home I attempted a SBA on my Washi pattern. I took in my bust darts by about 7/8″ and this time sewed up a muslin of the front and sewed it into the rest of the dress. Hmm, there was still some gappage so I  then took out over an inch from the font. I recut out my top from my fashion fabric and sewed it up. I tried it on and the fit was pretty good, yay! All that was left was to sew my sleeves, bind my sleeves, tack down my facing and sew the lining.

Arm hole binding

Arm hole binding

I ended up using pre-made binding, which I think was too small and made things a little bit difficult to sew, but it looks okay so I am fine with it. I then tacked down my facing and sewed my hem by hand.

Overall I am really happy with the way it came out. I think I would like to make the Washi again, but maybe in a softer, more comfortable fabric. Suggestions?
Not a bad fit

Not a bad fit

Shirring keeps it pretty snug in the back

Shirring keeps it pretty snug in the back