alterations and mistakes

Posted 1 July, 2015 by perigrine
Categories: crochet, dishcloths, knitting, sewing

Tags: , , , , , ,

With the success of the extra length on the green thermals (of which the stitching on the torso part is breaking – I think I need a wider extra part, but its ok for now) I decided that tweaking the old waffle weave thermals was a good idea. To do this meant cutting them, and well…I might bugger it up. I convinced myself that, well..I wasn’t wearing them anyway, so if I wrecked them…tough.

I started with the old favorite regular t-shirt, and following this tutorial, I grabbed a thermal top that fitted nicely, placed it just so, drew the line near the edge that I needed, sewed on the line and then lopped off the edges. That felt good. I am yet to try the finished product on, but it looks ok, and has heaps of stretch in the fabric.

With that success, I grabbed the waffle weave thermals and started on the top. This one was trickier, since there were no side seams and it was huge, and stretched out of shape. The best I could do was straighten the sleeve seams and line up the shoulders. I followed the edge of the top and tried to make the line match the grooves in the fabric. Again, I sewed over the line before lopping off the excess. I dont recall what stitch I used, probably the over cast. It worked, and looked good. But…it IS a t-shirt. I never much liked the fact it was a t-shirt, so I decided to scrounge in the bag of clothes I’ve shrunk out of for ‘sleeves.’ I found a paler grey 3/4 length sleeve top and decided that would do. I hacked off the sleeves as far up as I could, which thankfully was about the right length to match the length of the sleeves on the black thermal I like. I took the sleeves in a bit so they would fit the end of the waffle sleeve and happily sewed them onto the waffle top….and promptly realised I’d buggered it up. I thought I had ‘right sides together’…but..well..they were both inside out, so tucking the pale sleeve into the waffle sleeve meant I had a right side with a wrong side. Oops. I left it a while, contemplating whether I could live with inside out additions, and decided that nope, I couldn’t. Unpicking overcast stitch is a right pain in the bum, so I don’t recommend it. A few days later I’d done both sleeves and reattached them. Yay! The seams look dodgy, but as ’emergency’ wear for camping, I really don’t care.

Next I had to be brave and do the pants. Man, that was hard. They only had inner seams, and a stretched out bum. The best I could do was make the inseams neat, wrangle the crotch to look ok, and then see how much had to come off. I couldn’t get a nice edge, so I decided to use the ruler and measured it. 2 inches off each outside edge until the ribbing, then 1.5 inches, down to 1 inch for the ribbing part. Lots and lots of pins were used. I tried to use the regular machine and, well..ended up breaking the needle…into three parts. :O I tried a new needle, but the machine just would NOT sew the waistband fabric. So, I dug out the overlocker and used that. Though I used the scissors to cut the waistband first. I don’t much like the sewn edge it makes, but since the regular machine is half dead..well..

I tried them on though, and despite looking WAY too skinny, they fit nicely. They are now in a ‘go bag’ for the car, along with spare socks and undies. If I ever need to sleep in the car, I have something to wear. Or if I need dry clothes after a road trip. I may not be able to go out in public, but I wont need to drive home in wet or muddy things.

Since the regular machine broke the needle in three places, its not been very happy. It skips stitches and is just being a right pain. The only way for it not to skip is to have the stitch length on 1. ‘Everyone’ says its the timing. I asked around to get a service quote, and I’m looking at 100- 125 for each one – I had thought to get the other one serviced too. Since one particular machine was 25 from the tip shop, and the other was free, I don’t think I want to spend that much. For not many more dollars I can get a BRAND NEW machine – here is one for LESS (I have a VIP card). Or for a saving of 250 I can have this Semco one. Or maybe I’ll smack the old one with a hammer to see what that does.

I bought an fabric apple from a $2 shop a while ago, to use as a pin cushion, but it always toppled over coz its top heavy. So, to stop being aggravated, I chopped a strip magnet in half and sewed it to the bottom. Its a good solution. It sticks to the freezer, but only just. It has enough grip for me to pull the pins out though.

I found a ‘pointy’ pad picture somewhere and decided to try that out. But first I had to make a design, which I did. I made one end longer than the other on purpose. Having all straight lines worked well for designing, and then transferring to card. The machine not behaving is an issue though, and ruined the whole construction fun. I’ve made the pad, but not top stitched it yet. I don’t have the nice neat lines or sharp corners I wanted, but it should still work.

Because the machine is being a pain, sewing is no longer fun, so I’ve started knitting dishcloths again, and started in an Iaia hexagon as well. The hexagons (currently planned to be a ‘natural’ color for the centre with chocolate for the rest) will probably be frogged anyway, but the dishcloths I’ll toss in the drawer for ‘later.’

Don’t be an ass

Posted 19 June, 2015 by perigrine
Categories: craft, sewing

Tags: , , ,

as some readers may know I make pads, but I don’t actually use them 24/7 during periods. I make them for the ..’fun of it’ and to see what works. Well, someone was here yesterday, and saw them all. Like, all 124 or whatever there is. I had told this person previously, due to her ..’entitled’ attitude towards them, that she could buy winged ones for $5 each.

However, yesterday, with the pads out in the open she swooped on them and basically well, ‘wanted all the pads!!!’ Ok, great. I don’t need them all. She chose maybe 10 of them, including ones *I* wanted to keep (I didn’t see a need to separate out ‘mine’ and ‘ones I’ve made but can rehome,’ I live alone after all) and ALL the neat liners (7). I had made some for her with materials she provided for the fun of it, but I have improved greatly since then. She asked how much I wanted for them. I put my foot in it and said if she covered the last lot of ingredients, I’d be ok. She gave me $10. This is what I did spend at the op shop. I feel that she should have at least said $2 each or something. 

For some reason, I am annoyed. I’m not sure if its because I caved in to a huge price drop, her entitled attitude, her negativity towards the previous pads I made her (she’d linked me the pattern she wanted when she asked me to make them for her, but decided she didn’t like the wings, but hey, can I have wings next time, and complained about the absorbency), the fact she didn’t ask if any one pad was ‘for sale’ OR took all the liners.

But yeah, I’m not happy. I now have to recreate the liners…the one thing I actually planned to use! So please, if you are rummaging through someone’s finished items, don’t be an ass about it.

Yay! It worked

Posted 17 June, 2015 by perigrine
Categories: ideas, sewing

Tags: ,

Well, I am pleased to say, it worked! The body part could possibly be better by unstitching the hem of the actual top, but overall I would say this is a success.

In fact, this seems so successful that I might find the old black long underwear (spencer type) and do the same thing to them, since these are also in the ‘too short’ realm. I mean, why is this? Is short sleeves and legs so they don’t *gasp* show??

But before I hunt down the missing part (the leggings are in the cave bag), I might test out this link on my favorite t-shirt. Its a grey mens Urban Supply one that is a wonderful length, heavy weight too big. I am not wearing it now, so if I wreck it, its no big deal. If I can take it in though…yay! If that works..I might work on the mens grey waffle weave thermals too. They need taking in as well. If I get clever I can add sleeves to the top! and and….the possibilities!

It must be said that none of this would be happening if someone hadn’t sorted the overlocker and gotten me sewing. Just doing that has saved me 25 or so just on the green thermals which weren’t a ‘favorite’ to wear due to the shortness. I like to enjoy wearing clothes, you know? I’ve worn the green overnight while camping and having things ride up is no fun.

Time to be brave. I’m starting with the grey long underwear. Fun fun.

Adding length to thermals

Posted 15 June, 2015 by perigrine
Categories: challenge, ideas, sewing

Tags: , , ,

I have a ‘pair’ of Wild Country thermals that are just too short everywhere, unlike the other pair (same size even) that fits nicely. These thermals were sold as unisex, so I don’t know why the green is shorter. Since it is now winter and I want to be able to wear them, I decided to dig out the paisley stretch knit I have and add some length to the top at least. I wasn’t fussed about the color, as long as the extra fabric was stretchy. Thankfully the fabric does, sort of, match, and is also stretchy.

But how to do it? Logically my brain says ‘unpick the hem and sleeve band,’ but I am too lazy for that sort of caper. It might not work after all! Google wasn’t at ALL helpful in finding how to add length to tops, pants or sleeves. Sure, sure, I can add lace and frills, but that isn’t what I want, let alone need. I just needed to find out how to add length to stretch knits, with no fancy stuff.

So, I winged it. I knew I needed at least 2 inches of extra, so I lopped 7 inches worth of fabric off, then straightened the shop cut edge. It probably ended up about 5.5 – 6 inches all up. I cut off the right about for the body, unstretched, and used the overcasting stitch to seamed the edge. I probably could have gotten away with a straight stitch, but, just in case. I don’t want it breaking OR unraveling out bush.

I pinned it all on to the top and then realised with the last two pins that it wasn’t very even. so I unpinned it and started again, doing it more ‘square’ both sides, folded in half and the front/back, and between all of those pins. I used the ‘elastic stitch’ on the sewing machine and sewed it on. Stretching both out shows they both stretch about the same amount, and it doesn’t look like the stitches will break.

I measured out the sleeve extras, seamed those and seriously thought about taking the sleeve bands off. They are a bit ‘tight’ but not too bad. I can always take them off if the extra length works I guess.

Google still isn’t helpful for adding length to pants, let alone height to them. The body/rise of the leggings is also too short. This might be a bit trickier to add on to, since there is a proper waistband with elastic. Do I take that elastic out? just add on the extra bit? Maybe unpick the elastic seam and get an extra inch that way while the elastic is still sewn to the edge? I’ll do the legs the same as the sleeves, and try not to think about adding a heel to keep the legs ‘down.’

Of course, I probably should have tried these on again before doing anything! Maybe I am remembering all wrong! That would suck.

ETA: the rise of the pants looks long enough. I’m wondering if it was the shortness of the top that made for a cold back when I wore them as Pjs for camping. We will see how things are, length wise, when I try them on to see if the stitching holds.

Pads and drafting

Posted 13 June, 2015 by perigrine
Categories: challenge, craft, mypattern, salvage, sewing, thrifting

Tags: , ,

I decided to make some liners, for the hell of it. First I tried the Little House Living tutorial, and somehow or other totally buggered it. Well, maybe I didn’t really, but it feels like it. So them I looked around and found the She Who Runs In The Forest one and for some reason that one made more sense. I’m not sure if it was the ”draw the outline and sew on the line, then trim to quarter inch” made more sense in my brain or what, but they ended up looking neater.

Unfortunately, the liners I made still looked crooked. So I decided to start again from scratch, not having a printer and the ‘trace from the screen’ version apparently not coming out right. I measured the screen one and marked the length and width. I determined what sort of arc the wings and ends had and used the compass to mark them out (3.5cm for the ends, and 4cm for the wings). I used the previously marked external dimensions to line up the compass. While making things on the paper worked ok (I had lines to help with the inner curves, trying that on the card was trickier. I used the half circle set square and copied the angles from the paper. Crossed them and marked the end of the arcs. Then using the 4cm arc, marked the inner curves. This worked quite well.

Taking a bit of care I cut out the card version and made new liners, following the second link – sew on the line. This worked well. But they still looked crooked! I washed and dried them and after folding in half lengthways and widthways, the crookedness seems to be an optical illusion, especially with the stripy fabric! Only one of all 6 that I made is badly out, and that was the one with the Little House Living tutorial. I’m not sure whether to make more. I might, just for something to do.

I made another 3 with my new and improved template. One has very lopsided wings – more reason to make sure you don’t cut too many layers at once. I think that was a stack of three I did. I used flannel in them, but I don’t remember how many any more. 5, 5, and 6 maybe. Not that I really care either way, I think you change when needed, rather than when the ‘absorbency’ tells you to.

I have been encouraged to list them on eBay again.

Since it is 5° I think I will head to the lounge room and try to ignore the fact I need onions. (I want to cook something ‘warm’.)

Northern Caverneers

Caving club webpage


my (sometimes) crazy explorations of Tassie wilderness and mountains


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