Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bond Knitting Machine Links

I have been looking at a used Bond knitting machine that is a 4 hour drive from here. I started looking on the internet for what should be in the case and what extras can I purchase if I want to.

Next, I looked up websites on using the Bond and the further I dug, the deeper I went. All I can say is WOW!! Not only for machine knitting but for hand knitting.
Bond’s website has a lot of videos to watch. Some are good, others are short. Combined, they do tell a good story.

Then I clicked onto Cheryl Burnette’s How to Knit A Sweater book. I may have to buy that one. Then I looked at her How to Knit a Sweater Workshop for both hand knitting and using the Bond.

I was digging deep and exploring a lot just in that area plus her You Tube videos. I realized I can hand knit and improve my techniques in sewing my garment and I can learn more about using the Bond knitting machine.

If that wasn’t enough, I discovered the blog Diana natters. Another lady full of knitting machine information. Almost to overload. Really, I had to stop there.
 I saw how to do ribbing without a ribber, do short row knitting, and to add a ribbed band to a beret. Way too cool.

Until tomorrow………………………….

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Review of Sewing Part 4

The last creation had it trials and tribulations. It was actually nerve wracking.

I ordered the leather at the end of September and it was shipped promptly. But there was a mistake on the postal code. That shipment of leather arrived somewhere else. Was it Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan? We will never know. The order had to be refilled and shipped as fast as it could.

Having it come late was stressful as the pattern got changed. I do like the pattern choice much better. I started of making the lining to get the fit at the side seams correct.


I rounded the corners on the lower fronts and set in the sleeves of the lining. The leather was cut and sewn with the saree glued down in the centers of the flowers. The chiffon was later cut away so the design was left.

I cut the edging from the saree, stiffened it, and trimmed it for the outside edge of the jacket and the sleeves. I glued it on and then we started to cut away the saree.

The back


The front


It was finished in five long days of sewing. It was an exhausting time but I came out smiling. I was done!! Five days after the deadline I had set.

It is now time to move on to other things. To balance my life between sewing, literacy, and fun. One should not take precedence over the other unless it is fun.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

A Review of Sewing–Part 3

In the box sent to me was a fuchsia saree and a pant suit. The saree was to be used in a dress and the pant suit was to have embroidery on it. There was a compromise on the suit but that will come later.

Daughter and I had spent most of a day figuring out dress designs for several clients that would be wearing dresses at this  year’s Miss Rodeo Canada event. No two dresses could be the same as the other. As this girl is one of two competing, her two dresses (and one other) got the best of designs.

Once the design was chosen, the fabric purchased, and patterns traced, the saree would not talk to me. I really struggled getting this dress done. I started on the sleeves as they spoke first. The appliques are the same and placement is

One up
And one down


I sewed the dress to hemming it before the neckline applique spoke and I finished it.


To add to the dramatic effect of this dress, an overskirt was decided upon. I got it cut out and the biggest applique laid on to it. It wasn’t talking to me. It was actually ignoring me. And it ignored Daughter too.

This is one of many layout designs we tried.
This looks like it has wings on each side so the overskirt can open up and fly away.

As you can see, the dress does not have an applique on it other than the sleeves and neckline. That started after we got to this stage and Daughter and I talked. That talk led me to cutting the flower out of the large spray I had laid out on the back of the skirt. That was 24 hours after the last design layout.

Once that was done, the outfit fell together. The large spray was discarded from the picture and once that was done we boogied. It wasn’t only speaking to us, it was yelling at us to get busy.


And we were thrilled to be creating. In the process of it speaking, we found crystals that were for an other project that died in the water. So we used them. Volcano stones but these are pinker than the ones used on the velvet jacket.

We decided that the overskirt would be quite plain. All the appliques got hidden in the gathers. Only the edging was used and hand sewn on. It’s simplicity is perfect.


It was done with about 40 hours of hand sewing.

As there was enough of the fuchsia fabric left over, I made a short jacket. It did not work with the dress – curves and straight lines were clashing. In fact is was reminding me of something from you know where.


No matter what we did, it wouldn’t work for us. So we used another idea so it be worn with a lace top and black jeans. It is cute.


The compromise. The black pantsuit was suppose to be embroidered and that meant ripping it all apart to major dollars. The compromise was to add red, black, and gold appliques to it. They were in the stash and ready to go.


Each one of those pieces had to be sorted to mirrored pairs, pinned on and hand sewn down without coming through the lining. It was a huge task. What was left over was carefully put onto the pants to look balanced with the jacket and then hand sewn on.


The fashion show. All three dresses were made in BC.

nicole fashion 2

Nicole fashion 6

The last project is a leather jacket. Stay tuned for Part Four.

Friday, November 08, 2013

A Review of Sewing Part 2

In mid June, a client sent me three sarees to make two dresses and a jacket. Also in the box was two ready made outfits to add embroidery and bling to.

On the first outfit they wanted crosses embroidered onto the vest and jeans. A lot of work that I wasn’t ready to do. I had to come up with an alternative and come up with one quickly.

Each of the crosses was embroidered onto organza and water soluble stabilizer. When done, I rough cut the cross, soaked it in water, dried it, added steam-a-seam to the back, and cut out each one carefully. I placed them, ironed them into position and then hand stitched each one down with invisible thread. Silver studs were added to the outfit.
The second outfit consisted of a dress and a jacket, which is a muslin on steroids. A saree was sent that was the starting point of the dress.
Purple Velvet
To get a good colour match, stretch velvet was purchased. To stabilize the stretch, the dress and jacket were both underlined with a nice lining I found for 2.00/meter in the bargain center in Fabricland. The patterns used for the dress were McCalls 2401 for the basic dress pattern, Vogue 8766 for the scoop neckline, and McCalls 6770 for the skirt. The jacket pattern is McCalls 5668.
The dress came together quite nicely. The appliques from the saree were placed so the two joined together on the body and the third one was placed on the sleeve. I used two pieces from the bodice of the saree for the cuff. All were hand stitched down. The edging from the saree was sewn around the bottom of the skirt. Again, all hand sewn down. The dress has 20ss clear crystals put on it.

As there was enough fabric left over from the dress, I decided to try out the jacket pattern. I lengthened the sleeves and took them in some. I lined the jacket and had some issues to work out and they are now recorded for the next jacket. Once done, it was good enough to gift to the client and needed some jazzing up. There were pieces left over from the edging which included where the saree turned corners at one end. When the jacket was done, I threw those corners onto the jacket and voila. I got a unique look. I handed tied off the beads at the shoulder edge and started to sew the edging onto the jacket. I worked the edging so they met and looked like they were part and parcel of each other. The closure is two large hook and eyes. I used two more pieces from the saree bodice on the cuffs of the sleeves. The crystals are 20ss volcano crystals.

Stay tuned for Part 3.