Tag Archives: bernina

Happy Surprise!

8 Oct

I could not be happier to figure out that my sewing machine does little tiny letters!


I never paid attention to that section of buttons because it’s all about memory functions, which I don’t use.


Here I am trying to figure out how to make size tags and all of the sudden I find this little gem hiding in the corner of my machine. This is a game changer! I’m so very excited.

This leads me to realize I really need to take a class on my machine. I would love some more decorative stitches and I have this plate:


Does this mean I can find more stitches sonewhere? I really need to figure that out! Anyone out there have this machine and know the answer?


Pattern Review: Sewaholic’s Minoru Jacket

4 Oct

I completed the Minoru Jacket! Of course the minute I finished it, Ohio weather went from nice crisp fall air, to a steaming 80 degrees in a matter of 24 hours. I knew it wouldn’t last long, though. Alas, today it’s back down to 50, and it’s even sleeting. So I get to test drive this baby today, woohoo!

The fabric I used was from my hand-me-down stash (thanks grandmas), so I am not 100% sure what these fabrics are, but I have a pretty good guess.

The outer fabric is a wool; black and grey, speckled with red, blue, and yellow. It’s a beautiful fabric with a hint of detail and the red top-stitching really makes it pop, but it is way itchy.

Most of the lining I used is a cotton with a printed on plaid design. I would have used a true flannel if I wanted to spend the money on new fabric, but I was committed to not spending any money on this project past what I absolutely needed to. I also used a tan lining fabric (also from my stash) for the sleeves, to help glide my arms in and out. I used a small amount of thermal cotton knit in the side seam pockets that I added, as well.

Minoru - Sew20Something

There are so many things I super love about this pattern. The first is that there is a sewalong to go along with it, tucked in the archives of Sewaholic’s blog. This was so handy during several steps, as I could check it out before I completed that part and had a better grasp of what I was doing.  It also helped me determine what I should change beforehand, such as lining the hood, adding side-seam pockets, and putting the lining fabric in the parts of the jacket that would come in contact with my skin.

I love the use of elastic to give this jacket a bit of a curve, and I even love it in the cuff, even though it’s not completely necessary.

I love how this coat looks on me. The versatile collar with optional hood is perfect for Ohio’s unpredictable weather, and the huge collar will cover my face on windy days. The raglan sleeve was fun to sew up and I love the way it looks on a jacket. I feel feminine while wearing it, whereas most jackets make me feel rigid.

I saw some reviews about the hood being too big, but this ended up being one of my favorite features. I have big hair, end especially when my hair is in a bun, most hoods don’t fit around my head, and guess what? This one does. I love it.

Hidden pockets are fun, and I actually love them in the mid section. I see these coming in handy from time to time, when I want to keep things safe and not run the risk of anything falling out as I put my hands in to keep them warm. That brings me to the lack of sideseam pockets. I did add side seam pockets in, and I can actually see why they aren’t there in the original pattern. The side seams are a bit too far back for a comfortable hand in pocket position. I’m glad I ended up adding them, because I know I use side seam pockets a lot! However, in future versions, I might try adding a front pocket instead.

Minoru - Sew20Something

Minoru - Sew20Something

Inside View.

The instructions were clearly worded, and with the help of the sewalong, I had no problem following along, for the most part. I did find the collar zipper step to be a bit confusing. Actually, I thought I wasn’t confused, I sewed the big long rectangle, snipped the zipper line, snipped the comers, and just folded it in before attaching the zipper. It wasn’t until the jacket was completely finished, and I was sewing another top, that I realized she actually wanted you to flip the liner through the zipper hole to the other side. I’ll make sure to correct that the next time I sew up a Minoru (which will 100% happen).

I only had to rip out one seam to do over (the stitch in the ditch)!

Minoru - Sew20SomethingMinoru - Sew20Something

My least favorite parts of sewing this jacket came few and far between, but there were a few. I really wish I had realized the inside of the hood pocket was completely exposed. I would have finished those seams, and I also would have lined the liner (does that makes sense?). I used the liner for the inside of my collar, due to the fact that I didn’t want itchy fabric rubbing the back of my neck, and my liner fabric happens to be obviously one sided. When my hood is out, you can see the exposed inside fabric, and if you really peak down in there you can see lots of layers of exposed seams.

The only other thing that bothered me was the stitching in the ditch along the bottom of the collar. I totally get the purpose of it (to keep the hood in, and to help line everything up), but I did it twice, and it still doesn’t look pretty. The first time, it was way off, so I ripped it out and really took my time pinning everything well. It was better the second time, but as you can see in the picture with the tag, it still isn’t great looking. It’s completely unnoticeable from the outside, which is awesome.

Minoru - Sew20Something


Pattern: $17.98 +Shipping

Fabric: Free (Stash busting!)

Notions: $9.36 (Elastic, Front Zipper, Thread)

Total: About $30


I competed this from start to finish in 6 sewing sessions, spread out over about 2 weeks. Most of my sewing sessions are 2-4 hours in a sitting, with lots of child responsibilities/breaks thrown in.  It felt like it went together quickly.

Special Notes:

  • I love the way the top-stitching turned out and the edge-stitch foot was vital.
  • This was my first time (I think ever) sewing with plaids. I think I did a decent job minus the inside collar. In fact I have a lot to work on for my next one in regard to the collar.
  • With a wool outer layer and a cotton lining, I think I can get away with wearing this coat decently far into the winter. We hit negative temperatures last year, and if that happens again, then I’ll most likely need a warmer coat. I think my next Minoru will be a lighter weight trench type coat for the spring.
  • If I want to take better pictures (meaning not with my phone camera) in my tiny sewing room, I’m going to need something different than a 50mm lens.
  • Last but not least, I learned diffusing essential oils is my favorite new addition to my sewing tools. There’s nothing like needing to rip out a seam and not wanting to rage quit because your sewing room smells like lavender. Lavender makes everything suddenly seems awesome, even seam ripping.

I had a blast sewing this jacket up! It was a great way to jump back into the craft. Sewing is such an awesome hobby because you can take a year long break and jump right back in feet first, and barely feel like anything was amiss. I am already back into the swing of things and sewing up Christmas/birthday gifts! Oh, and Halloween, too.

Happy sewing! And if you have sewn a Minoru, I’d love to see it!

Sewing a T-shirt V-Neck Band {Tutorial}

1 Nov

I am making a billion {8} knit pajama tops for Christmas gifts this year, and I have gone from feeling intimidated by neckbands, to feeling pretty comfortable with them. I thought I would share my step by step with you, just in case someone out there might need some second reference. I am using a walking foot, and crazy old leftover jersey sheets. This is a 4T sized neckband, so don’t be alarmed at its size:) I mainly use the lighting bolt looking stretch stitch on my Bernina, and a stretch needle. I wish I had a ballpoint needle {you’ll see why later}.

Overlap your neckband. Right over left, or left over right, do what you please.


Baste the ends of the neckband together along seam lines {I did 5/8in}, though all thicknesses.


Basting the second side, forming an X.


Then Baste up the center, to make a star {*}


It will look this when you are finished. I also reinforced the center front of the shirt. I was careful not to stretch the fabric, and I used a normal stretch stitch. Then I snipped the V right to the dot, being careful not to snip my stitches that I just sewed.


Next up, I made sure to complete the neck hole, by joining the sleeves right sides together. No I’m ready to put the band in!


It’s really hard to show this in pictures, but I did my best, so here goes.

With right sides together, pin the neckband to the neck edge, matching center back notches, and aligning the shoulder seams with the dots that match. Match the center front dot on the shirt front with the center of your star, and pin.


Here you can see how I pinned the V. {There will be a lot of extra fabric in the V on the other side, I made sure the head of the pin was lined up in the center of the star and went all the way through the center dot to match them up, then the rest of the pin goes through to keep the pin in, not to hold the gobs of fabric in place}


On the wrong side, start sewing at center back, adjusting the fabric as you go to match notches, and dots accordingly. {The band is slightly smaller on purpose! That ensures it to lay flat when finished.} When you get close to the V, take the needle that is matching the star and center front dot out half way. Keep the needle poking out so it still keeps the matches together, but doesn’t direct the rest of the loose fabric. {Watch out! It’s pokey}


Sew along the 5/8in {or whatever your seam allowance is}. Keep the raw edges together, you will still be sewing a straight line, and the shirt front will be flat against the band, where you are sewing {but not on the other side of the V}. Sew until you hit the center of the V, which is also the center of the star, keep your needle down and get ready to pivot. {I can not say the word pivot without screaming it in my head like Ross from Friends}


Needle down still, lift your presser foot up. Rotate the neck so that your now facing the rest of the V. You’ll want to adjust the excess fabric so that this side now lays flat and the raw edges align. Lower the foot, and sew the rest of the neck, all the way around, easing in the shirt to the band and continuing to match dots and notches.


This is what it will look like. {hopefully} Sometimes I mess it up, and I rip it out and do it over. Or, I call it a feature, convince myself I like it better than the normal and leave it. It happens, we’re human.


Then I sew another reinforcing line just inside the original line.


Rip out the basting seams. There are three, and go carefully. You do not want to rip out the ones you just worked so hard to get right. I will actually pull out the baste  seams when I can, grabbing one of the ends and pull slightly, sometimes they pull right out, sometimes they need the seam ripper.


Then you have this beautiful V. {I was using a stretch need but it’s not ballpoint. I recommend a ballpoint if you are worried about the basted lines showing}


Here’s what it looks like on the other side.


I pressed it.


Then serged it. If you don’t have a serger, you don’t need one. Just go straight to the top stitching.


And the other other side’s view.


Topstitch. Use a fun stitch that has a stretch to it, this one is slightly thicker of a stitch. I start at the center V and just go around if I am using a crazy stitch and just overlap them at the end. I like the look and it’s easier than trying to guess when the needle is going to be going forward or backwards. If your using a regular stretch stitch or zig zag, you can get fancy, start at the center back and then keep your need down when you get to the point of the V, rotate and have a lovely finished V.


I saw that some of my foundation stitches showed through here, so I ripped them out, and used some water to erase my water soluble ink dot.


And here it is!


The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle: 1940s

29 May

This week was all about the 1940s. Get inspired by the 40s and use it to make a one of a kind. Here’s what I found: I am not inspired by the 1940s! eek! So I stretched it. I found this picture

hello, plaid


Then, I came across this free Collete Pattern{!!!!} and I went for it. Plaid. That’s all I got out of the 1940s. And maybe a pleat influence as well. I had the plaid in my stash, and decided to bust that stash once again, and off I went.

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