If you were to check, you'd find an open toed embroidery foot on my machine. When I was creating textile art, I got used to seeing what was going on and when I started sewing fashions again, I continued using that foot. I've heard it doesn't work for regular fashions, that it doesn't give even enough pressure to the pre-stitched seam and will create issues. LOL - I haven't found that to be true. My clothes look pretty good.
Yesterday - just because I have it - I tried this foot whose proper name escapes me but whose purpose is to help you evenly topstitch each side of the seam line by following along nicely in the groove. However - reality is - the stitching will following wherever you guide the foot and if you don't guide it nicely through the groove, the stitching will follow your not so nicely line. Like all tools, it takes practice BUT...
... I didn't like it. My top stitching skills were developed using a combination of the edge of the (open toed) presser foot and adjusting the needle. I can see and I get better results. I'm happy with that. I don't feel a need to change. It reminded me of when Bernina came out with the built in stitch regulator for free motion quilting. The ladies at the machine shop were so excited to have me try it. And I did. And I saved myself five grand. I'd just spent twenty-five years building up those skills. I didn't need - or want - a machine to take over for me.
Developing new skills is important and so is picking and choosing what skills to develop. Right now, I'm working on sewing and thinking in leather. When I got to inserting the sleeve on Simplicity 2526, I thought I had a major problem, that there was too much ease that I wouldn't be able to tame so I tried Burda 9792 hoping for a flatter sleeve cap.
This pattern has very simple shapes that will be easy to work with in leather. The side seams are mostly straight as is the hemline and there is a facing that can be redrafted into a lining. The longer shirt sleeve has a cuff. My prototype is with a light-weight denim - like a shirt - but for the leather jacket, I'd lengthen the main sleeve pattern and eliminate the cuff.
What intrigued me was the sizing chart for the finished chest. There's very little difference between sizes widthwise and significant differences lengthwise. That's good news in relation to the zipper front I want to use because a 14" zipper is too short and a 16" zipper is too long and there isn't a 15" zipper in town and I am not shortening a metal zipper that's beautifully finished with a lovely zipper tab.... and I don't need to... because I can make the jacket ever so slightly longer and it won't be a problem since children tend to grow up more than out and my grandson is most likely going to be tall like his Dad. All good.
The jacket on top is the Ottobre version cut in a size 92 which on another chart was a size 3 but on the Burda chart is a size 2. The jacket on the bottom is Simplicity 2526 cut in a size 3. One thing that I've read over and over on sewing blogs is that the sizing of the big four children's patterns is way out of whack and European patterns are far superior. That's not what I found.
The bottom Simplicity jacket has 3/8" seams at the neckline and 5/8" seams elsewhere, a 1 1/4" hem allowance, and a cut on facing at center front. The upper Ottobre jacket has 3/8" seams, a hem band front and back that is laying at the back, a cuff on the sleeve that is represented by the paper pattern, and a zippered opening with a 3/8" seam allowance. There's more flare to the Simplicity design however, that is due to styling not sizing. Otherwise, these are very similar in size.
Months back when I placed an order with Silhouette Patterns, I received a free copy of this video - Leather is for Every Body. At the time, I thought not likely, when would I ever be sewing with leather. Well... times change... and last night I pulled it out to watch. The information wasn't extensive but it was what I needed to go forward.
I learned that leather has no grain so I can place my pieces on the leather in whatever way works and I learned that leather can be pinned and pressed which most of the other information I've read says not BUT... I watched Peggy pin and press and it was fine and this is good because I really like pinning and pressing.
I also learned that there's a difference between apparel leather and other kinds. Good to know. Since I'm cutting up an old coat, I'm assuming what I'm using is apparel leather. I learned that I should just sew the garment as per the instructions but I might want to glue the hem. I'm going to visit the leather shop today and see how many hems are glued versus stitched and decide from there. This is for a little boy.
AND... I learned that - just as with any other jacket - the sleeve cap can be eased using tie interfacing. I don't have any tie interfacing and I've now picked a pattern that I think can be eased in well without it but... good to know and I may need some if I'm bitten by the leather sewing bug. I did see some purple apparel leather on-line recently that I thought was FABULOUS. I was thinking purse but now I'm thinking purple leather coat for Myrna. You never know - LOL.
In terms off returning to teaching, I am working on my goals and action plan. Yesterday, I wrote an About Myrna page as a first step.There's a link in the upper sidebar. If you have the time (and interest) to read it, I'd love feedback. Is it too much information, not enough, too boring, too braggy, comes across as fun loving, makes you think I'm someone you'd like to know better or makes you want to run the other way? What should I delete? What could I add? THANKS.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - learning new skills