|FrankenWhiggish Rose Meets YLI Silk Thread|
|Oren Bayan Mercerized Cotton Machine Embroidery Thread|
I know that some people do use Mettler 60/2 cotton thread successfully for hand applique, but I also know that I tend to make really tiny stitches when I get my groove going (some have told me that my stitches are TOO small) and that means that my length of thread might be pulled through the fabric twice as many times as it might be for someone else. I'm pretty sure that my thread breakage is due to my Mettler thread not being strong enough to withstand that repeated stress and friction. I briefly considered that my needle might be the culprit, either due to a microscopic burr in the eye of the needle or friction at the eye from a too-small needle eye for the thread diameter, but if either of those scenarios were to blame I would be seeing thread breaks happening right at the eye. I'm using a length of thread roughly the length of my forearm, and I'm having my thread break approximately halfway to two-thirds of the way in after I've taken at least a hundred tiny stitches without a break. The kinking and snarling tendency happens throughout stitching.
|My Successful Applique Combo: YLI #100 Silk Thread and Size 12 Bohin Applique Needles|
So, one sewing problem solved for me this week. Hooray! I'd love to tell you that my skirt project was coming along just as nicely, but...
|Tracing Skirt Pattern onto Pellon Sew-In Interfacing|
|Traced Pattern Pieces, Ready to Go|
|Yikes! Why Is There Extra Fabric???|
|Pins, Pins, and More Pins|
However, when I sewed those drunkard's path blocks together, I put the convex outer curved piece on the bottom and then pinned the concave inner curved piece on top. I think that was a lot easier to pin and sew accurately. Does anyone know of any reason why I shouldn't sew my skirt the same way -- with the contoured waistband piece on the bottom, next to the feed dogs, and the concave curved top edge of the skirt pinned to fit along the edge on top of the skirt? I'm going to pin it just like I did in the photo above, and I do have Dual Feed on my Bernina 750 sewing machine, if that makes a difference (I know some people like to sew with any fullness on the bottom so the feed dogs can help ease it in). The curved seam came out just fine regardless, but when I tried on the muslin skirt to check the fit --
|Custom Fit? Hah!|
So, half hoping this was evidence that I had lost weight since I'd measured myself, I grabbed my tape measure and measured my waist AGAIN. I still got 30", the same as last time, which is a size 16 according to the pattern sizing chart. So why is the skirt so HUGE??!
Obviously this means I should make the skirt in a smaller size, and it's a good thing I made the muslin first, but it still bothers me that the skirt is so big because now I have zero confidence in my ability to use a tape measure. If I had chosen a pattern size by my hip measurement instead of by the waist, I'd have made the skirt in a size 14. But I don't know -- this test skirt is SO big. Will a 14 be that much smaller? Should I make a 12? I did pull the tape measure snug when I measured, but does the pattern company expect you to suck in your gut and hold your breath, and pull that tape measure as tight as a tourniquet?
The only good news from this muslin misfortune is that I'm pretty sure the skirt has enough fullness for my cotton voile fabric to hang nicely. I wasn't sure based on the pattern photo and I was a little concerned that my lightweight voile might hang too limply if there wasn't enough fullness at the bottom of the skirt. I think the length will be good, too, when the top of the skirt is up where it belongs and the hem is turned up at the bottom.
SO... I'm going to wait until my Mom comes over tomorrow to find out what size SHE thinks I should make. Mom to the rescue yet again!
Meanwhile, back to my hand stitching! I'm linking up Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts, Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, as well as with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, because Sarah is a sweetie and she understands that sometimes we need encouraging feedback (and advice!) even more when we're struggling than we do when we finally hit that finish line with a completed project to show off. For those of you in the United States, happy Independence Day weekend!
This is my first time to your site so I'll first say I am sorry about the broken thumb. Even after it has healed it takes time to get back to normal. Have you tried gluing your appliqué down to decrease the pressure of holding it? I love using Elmer's school glue on stuff like that and it washes out completely and doesn't hurt the fabric. Put a light bead of glue near the creased edge and iron it down. Then sew. You can get a very skinny spout top for the bottle from Sharon Schamber's website or that of her daughter, Christy Fincher. Take care.
Wow, I feel for you! I've been having lots of problems also. As to the Mettler, it's actually a shorter staple cotton thread that has a "silk finish" which means it has gone through a process which burns the little fuzzy ends off. This gives it the appearance of a high quality cotton but it's actually a shorter staple cotton thread. I'm not surprised you had trouble.
As to your skirt, pattern companies vary wildly in their slopers. The recommended ease for a skirt is 1/2-3/4" at the waist and 2-2 1/2" at the hips. So you can add those to your measurements and compare them to the pattern to get the right size.
You already figured out the yoke seam! I'd put the waistband on the bottom too, next to the feed dogs. I enjoyed your post-you write engagingly. I see I am not the only one encountering problems lately!
Thanks, Mardi! I did the starch-and-press method with preturned edges, glue basted in place, on my Jingle BOM applique blocks. I liked the results of doing it that way, and I'm continuing to do the little stuffed berries that way on my FrankenWhiggish Rose blocks, but my main objective with this project is to learn how to do needleturn applique so that my applique projects can be totally portable and "unplugged" -- no need to iron the edges. Without starching and pressing over a template, I don't think I could get my curves turned smoothly enough before I glued them under, and I wouldn't want to be fiddling around with a messy glue bottle when I'm stitching in the waiting room at the doctor's office or at my son's violin lesson... Or have a bottle of glue leak all over everything inside my purse!! My thumb is getting better every day and the doctor said that from here on out, using it will help it to heal. :-) But I do have that skinny glue tip from Sharon Schamber's web site and I absolutely love it!! For these blocks, I used Roxanne's Glue Baste It for the skinny bias stems and to glue down the preturned stuffed berries and the broderie perse rose buds circling the center of my flower, but I'm going to try Elmer's when I run out of the Roxanne's glue. Thanks for your kind words and suggestions, and thanks for stopping by.
Beautiful work on the applique-the silk thread sounds heavenly. I grew up sewing clothing and have just lately come to quilting. My waist also measures 30" (though I'm short and more dumpy looking than you!) and a size 12 pattern, or even a 10, depending on hips, is what I use for skirts and pants. Dress patterns run on the very large size in my opinion. When buying pants or skirts, I usually wear an 8 or 10. Good luck-you'll figure it out, and wonder why you ever paid money for skirts in just s0-so fabrics before!
Oh, you poor thing. So sorry about your accident. I'm glad to see that you are able to stitch again. Your block is so lovely.
I'll bet that you end up making a size 12 :)
Lovely applique...glad that you can enjoy it again.
Oh so sorry about your thumb! They take forever to heal - ask me how I know. I broke my left thumb twice a year apart to the day by slamming a car door on it. Ow! The good news about your skirt is that it's too big! Imagine if it was too small. Your Mom and you will figure it out. That is a beautiful applique block.
Love your whiggish rose block. The pieced background really adds a lot. I like to use Masterpiece for applique. I have tried silk and it is just too slippery. I hope it works great for you.
That whig block is beautiful! Sorry about your accident but happy your are healing. As for the skirt, I find that patterns run large and generally make a size smaller. That said, it is great that you have made it too big. Now you just need to figure out how to get it down a size or two. Good luck.
Love your traditional whig rose on a pieced block. Adds interest. Appreciate the tips on needles and various threads as I have applique plans in the near future. You explained your reasons for your choices very well. Glad you can return to hand stitching.
Beautiful applique! Have you tried running your cotton threads through a block of beeswax (or a candle)? It can really help, but it sounds like you've found a great solution in the silk thread :) I make my own clothes and draft my own patterns - commercial patterns are similar to buying clothes in that they conform to standard shapes and measurements that have nothing to do with how our bodies really are - and they'll also vary from one company to another. One of the simplest ways for you to work out what size you need to cut from your pattern will be to put the muslin on and pin it so that it fits, then mark a pencil line along the pins and cut out the pieces along these pencil lines. Lay the muslin pieces on the paper pattern (not forgetting you no longer have a seam allowance) and check to see what size it's closest to. Hope this helps! x
Hope MOM was able to help. I use to make clothes but after discovering quilting...I never looked back. I hated trying to fit everything and that is just not necessary in quilting. Good luck!!
PLEASE enable email subscriptions to your blog. I hate missing your postings!! Thanks in advance, Paula Donn
Hi, Paula! I do have an email subscription feature. You may not be able to find it if you're looking at the blog from a mobile device, but if you choose "view web version" at the bottom of the mobile version, or if you are looking at my blog from your computer, there are sidebars full of stuff on the right and left sides of the page. On the right sidebar, just below the photos of the Networked Blog followers, you should see "Follow By Email" and a field where you can enter your email address to sign up. If you can't find that or it's not working for you, send me an email and I will sign you up for an email subscription from my end: rdrumpf(at)gmail.com. Thanks!
Hi Rebecca - I know this probably won't help with your needleturn applique project, but for all hand stitching I have started using Superior's #50 weight So Fine thread. It is polyester that looks like cotton. The fact that it is poly for some reason makes it not tangle at all for me anyway and it does come in lots of colors. Claudia W
Rebecca, I use Kimono Silk Thread from Superior for my hand applique. It's strong enough to hold through multiple layers when I applique Dresden plates and I haven't had any breakage problems. (My only "problem" is being able to thread something thinner than hair through a tiny needle, but never mind that...) Shabby Fabrics has a thread card, thread packages and individual spools.
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