Pack your bags, we are heading out on a real-live-sewing journey. You will need a jacket, gloves, possibly a raincoat, walking shoes and clothes that can get sandy or wet. Are you excited?
When I first thought of this blog I thought, “What if I combined sewing, traveling and buying fabric?” (All things that I love.) Then I came up with the idea of Sewingjourneys. I haven’t introduced the concept until this week because I wanted to make sure I could figure out how to write a blog. I think I can. We are on week six, with ten posts. It is time to start journeying!!!
How Does it Work??
I am so glad you asked!!! I grew up in Richland spending most of my summer nights playing “Games with Rules”. The kids who lived on our block would gather on Hudson Street to play Backyard-Baseball, Kick-the-Can; Freeze Tag; Capture-the-Flag; and a game that involved kicking a rubber ball over the roof of our house without accidentally breaking in a bedroom window. We would play until dusk turned to dark and my mom (who had the loudest whistle in the neighborhood) whistled for everyone to go home and get ready for bed. Ever since, I have loved playing Games with Rules. I think most people love them. It explains the popularity of “Project Runway”; “Family Feud”; and “Words with Friends”. Games with Rules gives you structure and something to quibble about. It is the best.
Sewingjourney is going to be a game with rules. Here’s how it’s played. I/we travel to a destination with just a sewing machine; thread; and a few tools that can fit in a zippered pouch. Stuff like scissors, pins, needles, seam ripper, and tape measure. When I/we get to the destination the task is to find materials, figure out what to make and make it. I/we get two days to do this. Purchasing or using a pattern is against the rules.
Doesn’t that sound like the MOST FUN EVER????? Aren’t you glad you get to go with me????? I know we should have a scoring system because most Games with Rules have points. But I haven’t figured that out yet. Maybe on the drive. Do you want to know where we are going?? To the Oregon Coast; Bandon-by-the-Sea to be exact. This is a perfect first trip. It’s only a couple hours from my house. There is an awesome hotel by the beach that is pet-friendly. (Of course the Blog-Dogs are going.) I checked and there is a quilt store and thrift shop in town. I think we are set up for success. And, Google gets to go with us. I need help with directions.
Okay, what do you think? Are you in??? Wonderful. We leave tomorrow.
Marcy Jacket Update V9287
I was a little nervous about working on the Marcy jacket because it is a piece that requires concentration and focus. One side effect of the rotten cold-troll has been that my synapses’ are not all synapses-ing correctly. However I talked myself into giving the project a go by saying “Just one half hour. All you have to do is work on it for a half hour. If it is a disaster, you can stop. If it’s okay you can do more tomorrow.” Clever ploy. I spent at least a half hour preparing the fabric pieces and went over time to put them together.
Stitching in a Ditch and a Hong Kong Finish.
I picked up the project at step 14 where Marcy had me working with the facings. On the facings section I got to use two cool techniques: the Hong Kong Finish and Stitching in the Ditch. Do you remember the Hong Kong Finish from our last jacket update? We didn’t have enough room on the seams to do a “proper” version so we kind of “schmicked it in” and did A Hong Kong-Inspired Finish. Even though we flew by the seat of our pants, it worked perfectly to eliminate fraying on the seams. This time, we get to do the full treatment on the facings. I’m excited.
Prepping the Pieces. Before sewing, I prepped all of the pieces. This is not something I would normally do because it’s time consuming and kind of boring. However, I knew it would help keep the straying edges in place and save hours of frustration later. So I did it. Fortunately, Mitzie has recently taken an interest in sewing. She hung out and helped me.
To prep, I zigzagged and trimmed off the edges with pinking shears. This time I changed the zigzag to a denser length (1.0) and it worked like a dream!! However, after I pieced 3 facings together (getting to step 16) I had to stop. I was at a choice point….
Being Biased. Was I going to use purchased bias tape to finish the facings (aka: the “Hong Kong Finish”) or make my own from the basket of ties? This wasn’t a “good vs bad” decision. Or even a “good vs better”. It was an “unknown outcome vs unknown outcome”. I’ve never tried a Hong Kong Finish on facings and I have never made bias tape out of ties. I want to do both of those things. Should I do them together??? In the end, it came down to time. I needed to get ready for the Sewingjourney and I found a second package of purchased tape to finish the jacket with. Decision made.
Finishing the Facings. The rest was pretty easy. I looked up a Threads article entitled “Four Smart Ways to Finish a Facing” (#185 June/July 2016) and followed the directions. You apply the tape to the edge of your facing (I talked about it how to do that in the last jacket update). Wrap the tape around the edge of said facing and stitch it down. To stitch the tape down I followed Thread’s suggestion and “stitched in the ditch”. I mentioned this technique in The Travel Cloak post, but today I’ll give more detail.
How to Stitch in the Ditch. If you aren’t familiar with “stitching in the ditch” you should totally learn how to do it. First, it is really fun to say. Second it helps you hide your stitching lines and look like you are magic. If you are familiar with this technique, try not to roll your eyes as I explain it. Stitching in the ditch is when you place your stitches where two seams come together. Let me show you……….
See where the two seams come together and make a line? That is your ditch. You line your needle up so it falls right in that line. When you are finished, the stitching only shows on the back side, not on the front.
Now, stitching in the ditch has room for error. Because you are looking at the front you can’t guarantee that the back side of the tape is getting caught by all of the stitches. I just tucked everything in tight, used some pins and checked every once in a while. The great thing is, even if you have to go back and re-stitch, no one will see it.
I’m happy to announce that we got to step 20 today. Only 15 more to go! We still have more facings to put in and then we move on to the sleeves. During the sleeves section I think we should try French Seams. It is another way to eliminate fraying and it will keep us from running out of bias tape. Also, I think it will be fun.
Okay, it was a good day. We learned 2 new techniques (Stitch in a Ditch and Hong Kong Finish); we made progress on the Marcy jacket; and WE ARE GOING ON A SEWINGJOURNEY!!! Go get packed already. I’ll load up the car tomorrow.
I’m not exactly sure how the next post will turn out. It will be interesting. Hopefully we will connect together in Bandon. See you soon. And, I think you are wonderful!!!!