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SWAP 2020 general discussion thread

Started by Lisanne, October 30, 2019, 05:35:57 am

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Quote from: KathrynT on February 29, 2020, 02:16:12 pmCCL, I know you said you don't like snaps, but what about the really large ones? I made a coat for my daughter a few years ago and attached the over sized snaps with embroidery thread (6 strands) and stitched through both layers so it made a hexagon on the outside. They were decorative,  but didn't detract from the clean lines.
Your coat is really gorgeous!

KathrynT, that's a good idea too. Thank you. I used the really large snaps a couple of years ago with my blue coat (that coat was definitely not as successful as the current red one).   I felt as if the snaps weren't enough and I really needed the buttons - but it was a much heavier coat, with the flannel backed lining.

Much to ponder - I am thinking I really need to weigh all the options before I go cutting buttonholes into the front!


@Helen M  have fun on your vacation! Your are well under way with a coat finished... and four other items. So the major part has been done already. Lovely shirt.

@dementedfairy the shirt sleeve looks great... soo much work! I am looking forward to the finished shirt.

@indigotiger again, such a nice touch to your garment... block printing the leggins. They look great!


@CCL Just thinking:  those big SNAPs: just sew them on, try it out, if you don't like the way they behave with the front, take them off and go on to buttons. The Snaps are non-invasive, so to say, it can't hurt to try them out (with thin thread, that is).


Thanks Morzel, KathrynT and also DementedFairy,  I have some fur hooks on hand and I am probably going to try a snap and the fur hook at the collar neckline - then leave the front open.  If I end up not liking it before next winter I can redo with buttonholes.

I am going to find another new technique - or will try hand or bound buttonholes on one of the jackets. 

Stephaniecan - have you had any chances to wear your beautiful green silk blouse?


Ha the jokes on me.  I ordered a few different types of buttons to try out on my chiffon blouse and one set I ordered are the hugest buttons I have ever seen! They are almost two inches around.  They are shaped like little black shirt buttons and since there was nothing in the photo for reference I got confused.  It will be fun to think of something to use them on.


As I said before, I am meandering... I sewed a shift dress yesterday in linen to perfect my new pattern. I want to sew it up in wool crepe as an evening dress.

I also tried a new-to-me-thing (I won't say technique, as it is not really a sewing technique): I pretreated the silk I plan for a simple shell for it not to be so slippery. I used a Threads tipp and soaked it in gelatine. I dissolved two teaspoons of gelatine powder in 1/2 liter of cold water, let it soak for half an hour. Then slowly poured in 1 liter of boiling water while stirring. I added a bit more cold water because it felt too hot - don't know how silk reacts to hot water... let the silk sit in there for an hour and let it dry over the line. It is wonderful to work with now that the fabric is dry - not too stiff, not slippery. When I am finished sewing, I will just wash out the gelatine and am done!


I have heard about that gelatine tip before, @Morzel, but never tried it. Interesting.

@CCL : Sounds like a good temporary solution for your buttons dilemma! No - no wearing yet of the green blouse. I did put in the buttonholes in the hidden placket yesterday but I admit that I am a bit worried about messing up the buttonholes on the cuffs and so have been waiting on those. :)

I made progress yesterday in fiddling with a pants toile and my coat toile, although I am fussing a bit over the coat as I am not sure how much additional ease I might need. Am waffling between starting with a jacket version and just jumping in to cut the coat with wide seam allowances


Quote from: mahgret on March 01, 2020, 07:03:19 pmHa the jokes on me.  I ordered a few different types of buttons to try out on my chiffon blouse and one set I ordered are the hugest buttons I have ever seen! They are almost two inches around.  They are shaped like little black shirt buttons and since there was nothing in the photo for reference I got confused.  It will be fun to think of something to use them on.

Mahgret - half my current button collection started out like that!


@mahgret  thats a mistake I could have made... you start to look around at the right size buttons, and then click through to others and completly forget about size...

I sewed up the silk blouse on monday, and it was a charm to work with. The gelatine treatment work wonders - I highly recommend it, if you are willing to wash your silk, that is. The fabric is not stiff, just a bit firmer. Makes for nice baby hem finishes as well... so I sewed up slippery silk for the first time and did so with french seams (which I have never done before, it never felt neccessary and I don't really care about inside looks). Only the sleeve was sewn in the regular way, as I could not imagine doing such a curved seam with that technique - do people do that? How do you ease in that case?


Quote from: Morzel on March 05, 2020, 02:48:59 amOnly the sleeve was sewn in the regular way, as I could not imagine doing such a curved seam with that technique - do people do that?

Actually an armhole seam is not difficult to sew with a french seam.
A french seam works out well when the doubled part of the seam allowances is inside the final position of the curve.
What causes problems is when the the doubled part of the seam allowances is supposed to lie outside the finished final seam, as in the underarm of a cut-on sleeve.
I have a post on curved french seams.
Does this bring you joy, calm, confidence  :D  if not, try something else.

https://sewingplums.com - opinions on style, wardrobes, patterns
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/lisannebainbrid/ - useful style images
https://aimforquality.wordpress.com - links to good technique advice
https://helpwithsewingpatterninstructions.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/first-blog-post/ - listing of Peggy Sagers' sew-alongs
https://usingmybernina500e.wordpress.com - instructions for using my embroidery machine


March 06, 2020, 05:58:49 am #325 Last Edit: March 06, 2020, 06:02:23 am by Morzel
Thanks, @Lisanne , I looked up your link and eventually found a nice (a bit long, but very thorough) video on the armhole seam :  :clickhere:  I don't know why I never thought to search for info. But that's  what I like about SG: someone knows!

I got a transparent silk chiffon lying here, so the pretreatment with gelatine and the french seams - even at an armhole - is going to be done to that piece eventually!

Almost finished on another navy blue dress - not a shift, but an altered Cambie dress. Lacks a hem and sleeves.


Everyone has been busy!

I have been missing in action. No real reason, I just haven't felt like sewing. Hopefully today that will change, the sun is out, I have the day off, and I have a little plan to hem up some of my knits with my NEW Coverstitch machine! Hopefully end of day I'll have 3 finished items.  :D

Sew Ruthie Sews

I made some black trousers but haven't photographed them yet. I have been wearing them though, so perhaps laundry first then photos :-)

Ruthie in Derbyshire UK


No sewing this week. The sewing room is piled high after dealing with the basement.


I like both your dresses on you!! Well done.

Queensland Australia


Morsel, I like both your navy dresses. I agree, the second is more your usual style but the other is cute too.
CCL, your coat looks gorgeous with the stripey dress.
The weather here has definitely turned. Cooler mornings. Time for full length pants. Hopefully will get those done this weekend.


Great work on the blouse, Mahgret, with all of those firsts!


Agree with Stephanie, Mahgret, nice blouse!  Isn't it wonderful when we sew something and even if we are trying new techniques for the first time - it all comes together?

BoppingBeth - Here's to you getting your sewing space back and to you - Warpjr1965 -finding that mojo.

Ruthie, I have been meaning to post that I think your black and red SWAP is really lovely -

Morzel, I love your shirtdress...but I love that silk blouse best of all.  I am impressed that you made the gelatin trick work for you.  I did it once, it just seemed so weird, but I didn't do it on silk.  You inspire me!

KathrynT - Pants- you are smart to be sewing for the seasons.  And thank you.  I wasn't sure I would like the stripey dress - pretty bold colors for me - but I surprised myself.

Stephanie, good luck with the coat, I love the fabric you have chosen.  I am still dithering about the buttons on my coat.  Right now I have a set of self fabric covered buttons pinned to the coat while I practice button holes. I am inclined to go this route.

I am also going to sew up a solid red tie belt (just enough fabric to do it) to see how that works - just for fun and something easy. 


I have finally gotten some sewing done! it has been rather a week, I had no energy for it. I hope tomorrow to take a few pictures so you all can see what I've been up to.

This week sometime I think I can hem up at least 2 more tops.  I've really come to the conclusion that my sewing set up is bad news: cluttered and cramped. So I just took the machine out to the dining table and did my work there. I don't know if I can keep that up for long, we'll see.


Yay, Wendy!

@CCL: I can understand the hesitating re. closure options! The coat I am making only has one buttonhole, so I am thinking I might do one bound buttonhole and leave it at that. I love self-covered buttons, but a jaunty red sash could also be so charming!

I did some very basic pad stitching of the interfacing for the chest of the coat yesterday, so I didn't get much done, but I feel accomplished nevertheless! After work today I will do some more and start working on the lapel. I really am enjoying this stuff. I'm eager to get further along in the coat to see if all of my careful pattern matching worked out. :) There always seem to be nasty surprises, no matter how careful I am!!! :)


I've been stalled on sewing since World Book Day, taking the chance to make FIFTEEN masks for school presentation evening.  Which got postponed a couple of days ago.  Today of course we've been told that school is closing on Friday, for as long as the crisis lasts.
While this is causing agitation amongst the most serious students, as all exams for this summer are now postponed, I must admit I'll be quite happy staying at home and spending time quietly sewing through my stash, as the last couple of weeks at school have been very tense.
Stay well everyone.
Apparently I'm a quintessential Gemini- but I think that's a load of b.s. myselves...


Things have sure gone to hell fast. Not much sewing as work has been very tense and sucks all my energy. DS is coming home this weekend from college, so that's the end of my weekend before it even started. Still, once I set up the machines I can get a few things done fast, so maybe I'll snag some time to hem up a few more items.

Stay well.


March 23, 2020, 08:06:16 pm #337 Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 08:10:53 pm by sewordinary
Dropping by to say hi! I'm in the same situation as @warpjr1965, work has escalated as we try to keep up with the ever changing situation. Hope everyone is hanging in there and staying safe!

On the sewing front, I managed to sew bound buttonholes and buttons to my jacket. Will be thinking what to sew next. It's unlikely that I will meet the SWAP deadline, but it's ok, I will sew along slowly on my own  ^-^

@Medea your tshirts are lovely! Is it self drafted or did you use a pattern?


 :wave3: I'm finally back again, between the current COVID pandemic and recovering from my periodontal surgery* it has taken me a while to find my balance with "new normal" we are all living with in one way or another. I've not done any SWAP sewing at all this month, and currently the only sewing I am doing is sewing masks that a local women's clinic has begged for help with, instead. Eventually I know I will get back to my own SWAP, but right now I am allowing myself to just do what feels right.

I am considering extending the SWAP timeline, in reflection of what is happening in the world right now... what do others think? I think we did something similar during Hurricane Sandy?

*I had surgery including bone graft on March 9th, did a massive shopping on March 12th, and have been in total seclusion at home ever since. Only was able to stop taking pain meds yesterday. The OHSU dental school and all associated clinics are closed for the indefinite future, so there are none of the usual followup visits. 
The Things that Make us Happy Make us Wise.

Read about my daily life at Acorn Cottage ~ Acorn Cottage Artisanry

"It is known (to some) that by dwelling in the present, conceding what is necessary to past and future, but no more than is necessary, it is quite possible to live happily ever after"      - Edgar Pangborn


Quote from: sewordinary on March 23, 2020, 08:06:16 pm@Medea your tshirts are lovely! Is it self drafted or did you use a pattern?
Thanks Sewordinary! I used a pattern from Ottobre Design 02/2013, mod.2. I've sewn this in many different fabrics and I really like the drape around the hips.
I'm at Instagram @ medeasgarderob (Medea's Wardrobe)


Sewordinary: Your jacket is beautiful and the color of the skirt is in my favorite color <3

Mahgret: Your chiffon blouse is really beautiful. Smart to use snaps to get around the fraying.

Indigotiger: I think it's good to extend the SWAP timeline so a few more will be able to finish their collection.
I'm at Instagram @ medeasgarderob (Medea's Wardrobe)


@mahgret LOVE the colour of the new shirt - one of my favourites! I am smiling at your comment about the book. My mother's friend translated the book into german and gave me one of the copys she got from the publisher later. I used the instructions for the V-neck last year for my sweater and felt also a bit lost somewhere in the process... but it worked out in the end, I think I just had to have each step 'in my hand' so to say as I was going along. Which is unusual, as I am usually good at thinking steps through. So, in the end I liked the way she was doing it but it needed a 'hands-on' experience.

@Medea happy to see you post - lovely items you made! Yes, wearing something made from fabric in your store certainly is the best way to promote - I once bought some fabric (that I had dismissed just 5 min earlier) when the salesperson turned around the corner in a beautiful dress made of that fabric.

@sewordinary what a cute jacket that is!! I want one like that. Would work as a blouse type top as well, would't it?


@warpjr1965 and @stephaniecan  hang in there with your work. Sending power vibes! Your change in workload is obviously in inverse proportion to my workload. ::) (At least the workload at work - the things asked of me at home have been increasing ;)


Hi friends. Just back today and I see there has been activity! Off to check out everyone's work. :)

@indigotiger: I am glad to hear you are recovering from your surgery! I would embrace an extension to the SWAP deadline. That would be great!


Thanks @Morzel. Hang in there, Wendy @warpjr1965!

What a crazy time for all of us. Now that I am starting to adapt to the weird situation we find ourselves in (my partner in Italy noted this to me: at first you are shocked and then it becomes the new normal, because that is how humans are. We adapt. Touché).

The buttonholes on the jacket look great, @sewordinary! @Medea I love your cheerful blouse and tees! @mahgret You are motoring!

Now I am going to collapse on the sofa for a while. :)


Thank you, @indigotiger and DL. I could hug you for extending the deadline. Well, I would have hugged you before anyway! (At least virtual hugs adhere to physical and social distancing principles.:) ). I so very much wanted to follow through on this SWAP as it is giving me something to look forward to in a very lonely and stressful time.

Take care everyone.


March 25, 2020, 07:35:07 am #346 Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 12:15:18 pm by CCL
Hugs to you, Stephanie.  You have a lot of friends here, and we're thinking about you.

Your coat is coming along beautifully.  The plaid is wonderful.  Like you, I kind of enjoy pad stitching.  I have the red thread on my sewing machine - waiting for me to get my act together on the buttonholes for the red coat.  So I pulled out my older mechanical Janome and sewed up a bunch of the Olsen/Olson masks.  They are a little more time consuming, but that has sort of helped me focus - instead of having my mind wander.

Thank you, IndigoTiger, for the extension. As the masks are in the mail, and the Janome is back under the table, perhaps I will be inspired to cut out the next piece. Or seriously attack those buttonholes.

Hope all your medical and dental issues are safely behind you.


Thanks @CCL. A big hug to you, too.

Good for you for making masks!

I really struggle to make nice buttonholes with the machine that I have. It is unreliable at best. As my current coat only has one buttonhole I think I'll do a bound buttonhole as it is safer, although if I had the materials I would love to learn how to make handmade buttonholes. For now I think I am going to skip the buttonholes on the sleeves and maybe make hand buttonholes later on.

My other issue with my coat is the top-stitching. I would love to have opinions. I was thinking of skipping the top stitching around the lapels and pockets and instead do pick stitching or stab stitching. My issue is that I find it difficult to like my top-stitching. I hate it when it is not perfectly even (though I try my best). Also the coat material is maybe slightly thicker than would be ideal for this design so I am somewhat concerned. Would love to have thoughts.

PS I second the wish that indigotiger is beyond all of her medical/dental issues.

Please take care everyone. We are definitely all in this together and it is nice to stay in touch with the sewing community to retain some semblance of normality. :)


Hope everyone is staying safe
Stephaniecan- pick stitching is  a perfect, couture finish for those of us cursed with wonky topstitching!  As for buttonholes- piped buttonholes are easier than bound, and work well with bulky fabrics.  If not, a vintage singer and its buttonholer would amaze you [cheap too]  I dodged buttonholes for years because my machine would not play nicely, now with my vintage Singer AND the Pfaff I won last year, I love making them!  Spoiled for choice
Apparently I'm a quintessential Gemini- but I think that's a load of b.s. myselves...


Thanks for your advice @dementedfairy. I really appreciate it. I am going to have to look up piped buttonholes! I was thinking I'd do a bound one for the front buttonhole, as I've made bound buttonholes before with success. For the sleeves, I'd truly like to make handmade buttonholes the traditional way, just for the experience. I made some once years ago and they turned out reasonably well, but it has been a long time. I envy you your machines! Just today I was thinking that when this is over with I am going to go out and buy myself some nice machines! I'd love one of those Singer machines. What vintage do you have in mind? I learned to sew on a Singer from the 60s or 70s but unfortunately it is no longer in the family! Thanks re the vote for pick stitching. I'm definitely leaning in that direction. Would it look OK about a quarter inch away from the edges or is it best at the very edges?