My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Rounding the corners and creating more space July 30, 2015

Filed under: lessons,Made by me,Sewing — blankenmom @ 1:45 am
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Have you ever looked at a pattern that has curved edges and wondered how exactly you were supposed to do that?  Ten burnt fingers later, after trying to lay the edges down to press it and finally giving in, and ending up with a shirt with wonky edges.   (Wonky is technical word you know.)

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This lesson, I will show you how to round your corners, whether it’s on a collar, a hem, or something in between, without losing your mind, or spending hours burning yourself.  I’ll also show you a quick and easy way to give yourself a bit more space between your shoulders if you’re like me and have “swimmers shoulders”, but no chest.  Meaning, you’re back is bigger than your front.

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Let’s start off with the room in back –

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I tend to pop stitches under my arms and on the back arm seams when I move because of this, even in ready to wear clothes.  But I also have plenty of room in the chest of the same exact shirts.  Sure I could redo the whole back, which would mean adjusting the collar too, but if I just want a quick, easy shirt, why?  Plus, it adds a little style.  Like you were all technical and fancy!

This is not the only way, but it is a very easy way.  Just make sure it doesn’t affect the look of the fabric or style of outfit.  Casual shirts, nice blouses, some dress bodices work well with this, and you can always modify it for your own tastes and affects.  (Click on photo’s to enlarge.)

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shirt 13

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When you put the pattern edge to the fold, creating the center back, place the bottom in the correct spot.  No extra fabric, just as the pattern calls for.

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shirt 14

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At the top, give yourself some extra space, I used and 1″ (one inch – more or less, depending on how much more room you need).  Just keep in mind that if you keep the line on the pattern 1″ from the fold, it creates 2″, an inch on both sides.

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shirt 12

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Now you’ll stay stitch the top.  (Stitching the unfinished edges, usually of the neck and shoulders, so the fabric doesn’t shift when you start putting the pieces together.  You will not be sewing together two pieces of fabric, just running the fabric through the machine to make it behave.)  To create this particular fold, I butted the two edges of where the fabric *should* have been cut, up to the center fold and stitched it down and pressed.  By doing this, the top of your shirt will still match the collar.

You could make the fold on the outside, by putting the folds the other way.  You could also place a small tack stitch (a stitch to make things stay put – look at the bottom of a ready to wear zipper) farther down the back, creating a more “bubbled” look.  I have a few vintage patterns that do this.  I wanted something very casual.

By doing it this way, and not adjusting anything else, it created only a slightly bigger back.  Even though I didn’t make any other adjustments, the waste still fit me correctly.

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Now let’s start with those curves –

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shirt 10

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Place your curve, here we have a ruffle edge, under the presser foot close to the edge.  You’re going to sew it as you would a ruffle, gathering as you go.  Put your stitch setting on a long stitch.  I had mine at 5, which is the smallest gathering stitch.  If you have an older machine, this may actually be your largest.

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shirt 8

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Tie off one end so it doesn’t slip as you pull the thread on the other end.

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shirt 6

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When you pull the threads, it’ll look like a big ol’ mess.  It’s ok.  Keep gently pulling until it starts to lay itself on the inside, towards the center.  Press.

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shirt 5

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That big mess, now looks all purdy and lays flat.  Make sure to use steam if possible, to make it easier.

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Now turn over and press again.  If you used a regular sewing machine, you may need to cut some of the fabric away from the edge, so you don’t have a lot of fabric inside the corner, or fold over again, to make the edge look clean.  If you’ve serged, this won’t be necessary.

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shirt 4

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See how nice that looks!

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And repeat at hems.

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shirt 3

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This is a bit more subtle since the corners aren’t as sharp.  And it will be necessary in some places, but not in others since parts of the shirts hem may not have a curve.  You don’t need to run the gathering stitch across the whole hem, only at the curves.  And, there is no exact spot.  It’s ok to eye ball this.  Pull.  Hem stitch and Press.

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shirt 2

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Now show off your curves!

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shirt 1

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Gone camping

Filed under: Animals,Boys,Family,Home improvement — blankenmom @ 12:18 am
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My boys have all gone off to camp.  Last year was the first time I had ever been separated from them for more than a day.  This year, my dentist man is also gone.  Three whole days to myself, excluding the pets.  The conversation on the way to camp rotated around the boys’ conclusion that 1) I’d go crazy.  2) I’d put glitter on everything.  And 3) That I must have never done a chore before, during or after having them, since they felt the need to instruct me on every one of their chores.

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I’m not sure if you realize this, but when you clean the house, and there is no one there but you, it stays that way?  It’s like… some sort of magic?

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I’ve used a total of four dishes the whole time they’ve been gone.  Although I will admit that I made a trip to the store and bought everything that I wouldn’t eat while the boys were home.  I’ll also admit, that I’m sort of sick now.  I guess Ding Dong’s, chips and salsa, frozen Chinese and creamy mac and cheese are not a good combo.  Who would have thought?  I regret nothing!

My dentist man comes home tomorrow and I managed to get our master bath mudded and primed for when we start on our final plans for the bathroom.

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bathroom 1bathroom 2

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I promise it’s completely painted now.

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So when the boys come back, and ask me what I did the whole time, as though I don’t exist without them, I’ll tell them I actually got something done!  (And then give them all giant hugs!)

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And tell them about all they missed –

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bird

A large hawk, smacked into our window, shaking my bed. It hit so hard you could see its beak feathers stuck to the window! There has GOT to be a way to preserve this window mark when we replace the windows?

 

Crap(per) in the dining room July 13, 2015

Filed under: Home improvement — blankenmom @ 11:05 pm
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It never fails.

We don’t have company for months and months while mostly everything is put together and then *boom* we have two while I’m in the middle of priming the guest bathroom.  Don’t care – its company!

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shower 2

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Poor souls.

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bathroom

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The bathroom looks like it’s from an abandoned mental institution and it’s 112* outside.  I’m so excited about visitors that I don’t even care that we still don’t have floors or that the a.c. is barely chugging along making it almost 90* in the house.

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At least the toilet was still in the bathroom at the time.

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crapper

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I’m impressed with my first mudding job though.  The only marks you can see will be behind tile.  Why bother making it perfect when will it actually be covered?

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shower 1

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wall 3

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Primed and ready for the good (not white) stuff!

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(And now maybe I’ll get some of my summer sewing done?)