Monday, March 26, 2012

Finished Daygown!

I have finally finished both of my daygowns.  This one is hands down my favorite though.  I absolutely love the tatting.  I am so happy I decided to learn how to tat - even though it took me quite some time to get the yardage required for this particular daygown.  I think the biggest problem I had was getting the collar to line up at the front.  This is the first time I've ever added any type of lace to a collar, so I found it a bit problematic lining it up straight.  I tried to just get the tatting to kiss right at the center, and it did right until I rinsed it and dried it.  My tatting shrunk just slightly but enough to have a small gap and really point out that it is just a smidge off center.  It also shrunk down the front.  I used a little steam in my iron to stretch it back out a little.

Here are some other views.

And I added this pretty embroidery to the bottom hemline on the back.  In fact, all the embroidery on this little gown came from Jeannie's book.

Oh, and remember the pintucks?  Here is the comparison with my machine Pintuck foot and hand tucks.

The white has the machine tucks, and the blue has the hand tucks.  I like them both for different reasons, but I'm really leaning towards the machine tucks.  I still want to get an edge foot and try it.  The white gown was made with Moda cotton, and the blue is a cotton batiste.  I like the batiste much better, since it's much softer and lighter.  The Moda cotton would be okay in the winter, since it's a little heavier weight.  It is really tough to find soft fabric for babies in my neck of the woods.  Both of these were made using The Old Fashioned Baby - Baby Layette Pattern.

I am finishing up my Go Fish quilt and have started another dress for my little friend, Gracie.  I found a gorgeous fabric and decided I needed to make a cute little dress with it.  It is full of strawberries, and I found some really sweet strawberry buttons for it too.  I have a strawberry smocking plate, but I don't like it for this dress, so I'll have to find another.  If you come across one, please let me know.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pintuck update.

I am making another day gown.  This time I thought I'd try my new Viking 5 groove Pintuck presser foot.  the blue one on the right is the day gown I made a few months ago, and the white one on the left is the new one.  The blue gown has manual tucks, i.e. pressed then stitched on the machine.  The white gown has machine tucks.

Even with the foot, it was hard to keep the tucks straight.  To help with that, I decided it best to first press the folds for the tucks.  In doing so, I was able to keep the fold right on top of the notch in that little piece that sits next to the feed dogs.  You can see it below.  In addition, it gave me a deeper looking tuck.

 I don't know which I like best at this point though.  I think I'd still like to try it with an edge foot.  It kind of defeats the purpose of having a "pintuck" foot if you still have to press the folds first.

Here is the blue one:

And the white:

I hope to be finished with the white one this week in between painting my house!  I decided it was time to touch up the walls and trim.  The walls were a breeze; the trim - not so much.

So which do you like?  I still can't decide especially since the new presser foot really didn't do what I had expected.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Using a Viking Pintuck presser foot.

I have a very old Viking sewing machine, and it has served me well over the last 20 years.  She is still going strong.   I have lots of presser feet for my machine, but I recently picked up a 5 groove pintuck presser foot.  The only problem was the store from where I purchased it couldn't give me clear instructions on how to use it.  Great!  So this weekend, I took it out to give it a try.  (Incidentally, I believe Viking has a 3 groove, 5 groove and 9 groove foot).

Here is what my 5 groove looks like:

I was a little nervous about that little piece on the left.  Sorry about the poor quality picture.  I have the suckiest camera on earth.  Is suckiest even a word?  Oh well, I digress.  I had absolutely no idea how to use that little guy.  So I kept playing around with it and realized that the little hump on top is what creates my "tuck".  Duh!!

Here is how I attached it to my machine:

If you look closely, you'll see two holes right beside the feed dogs.  That is where the little hooks on this little piece snap into place.  The little hump fits nicely right in the middle of the presser foot (not shown here).  This picture isn't great either, but it was hard holding the scissors so I could point to the little piece and hold the camera all at the same time.  I thought about doing a video.  Hahaha, I can't imagine how THAT would have turned out.

Here is another view of those little holes.

You also need a twin needle.  You can see mine above.  On the presser foot package, it will tell you what size twin needle you should use.  I believe mine is a 2.0.

You will also need two thread spools.  Like this:

I have an attachment that fits on the front of my machine that is holding the white thread.  I actually went back and changed out that color, since I used white fabric for this tutorial.  You thread both through the machine just like you would a single spool.  Except, each one will be threaded through each needle.  I put my first thread through the needle on the right and the second through the needle on the left.  You can see in the previous picture.

Now attach your presser foot, and you are ready to begin.  I went through several passes before I could get a decent looking tuck.  You should NOT be able to see the thread underneath the pintuck.

 This picture is a bit blurry, but I think you can see the tucks fairly well.  And only the red thread is showing on top of the tuck.  The brown thread underneath should be hidden.  The tuck will fold over that thread keeping it out of sight.

You can also see how you line up previous tucks with the next one.  You simply place the last tuck in any of the grooves of the presser foot.  In this picture, I used the second groove to the right.  You'll also need to play around with your thread tension.  I had to use a tension of 8 to get the tucks the right height.  Otherwise, you'll simply have a flat piece of fabric with two stitch lines like this:

The tighter the tension, the taller the tuck.

And for comparison, here is a baby daygown I did with manual tucks.  That is, where I marked the tuck line, pressed it, sewed it, then pressed it down.

I think I like the look of manual ones better, but I'll still be playing around with the new presser foot, because they are much smaller tucks, and I actually might like them better than these.  We'll see.

I am working on another daygown and plan to use my new presser foot, so I'll have a really nice comparison.  I'm using white this time with hand made baby blue tatting.  Here is a sneak peak.  The tatting will go on both sides of the front placket and around the collar.  I'm excited about this one.

So there you have it.  A tutorial on how to use your new Viking pintuck presser foot.  I hope I explained everything enough and that the pictures are good enough to see what to do.  Please feel free to email me if I've missed something or if I've confused you.

Good luck, and let me know how you fair.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Go Fish!

My little undersea creatures quilt top is finished!!  Yay!  I had a really hard time with this one.  The little swirly fabric was very stretchy which I did not realize until I started tearing it into strips.  Yes, that's right.  I tear my fabric.  I get perfectly even strips every time and it's always on the straight grain.  The one drawback is that you also get lots of strings if you use cheapo fabric.  And this was cheapo fabric.  But I liked the colors and the pattern, so I gave it a shot.

And here is a close up.

The swirly kind of looks like water with lots of seaweed don't ya think?  In hindsight, I probably should have done blue around my squares to really give it that "in the water" look.  If I ever repeat this one, I may try it.

So now it's off to the fabric store to see what color binding will look best.  I'll probably do just a blue backing.  I wanted to do mitered corners for my border but I didn't have enough fabric. :(  Maybe next time.  I'm not really that good with miters, but I found a really neat video on YouTube with very clear instructions, and it looks super easy.  You can find it here if you are interested.  Be sure and check out lessons 2, 3 and 4 too on the right side of the page.

Incidentally, in lieu of using the freezer paper, try the EZ fold pen.  I got mine from The Guild here in Pooler and it's made by Clotilde.  You can also find it here.   She has a video of how to use it on her website.  Perfect folds every time.

The recipients of this lap quilt have a huge fish tank and they love scuba diving.  I wanted it to be something they could both enjoy.

Happy fishing!