So, Zo… for My Sewing No-Jo

Big Thanks and a Round of Hugs

First off I wanted to thank everyone for your encouragement and tips on getting through my no sewing mojo aka sewing no-jo slump.  I wasn’t sure about announcing my pity party on my blog because… well… there are a gazillion worse things than having a major case of no-jo.  I’m glad that I did because everyone’s comments really lifted my spirits.  Looking back at my blog posts I looks like I lost my sewing mojo over 2 months ago.  Though it was at a low level for about 5 month prior to that.  Aleah, you’re probably right that I coincided with our move.  I’m getting back in the saddle with some quick projects that I can enjoy immediately.  Thanks everyone!

So Zoe Camisole Front

So Zoe Camisole Back

So, Zo… Vest/Camisole/Singlet

From everyone’s suggestion the remedy for no-jo was to pick a simple project.  What could be more simple than the So, Zo vest, camisole, singlet or whatever you call it in your part of the world.  In the US we call them camisoles.  It has 2 pattern pieces, and very little fitting aside from getting the circumference right.  A warning on the sizing: it is a camisole so it’s has very little ease, think Spanx-like ease.  So I went up 1 size because I wanted mine to not be so figure hugging.  I should probably have gone up another size or 2 in the waist and hip areas.  I picked the bicycle print from my recent swap meet shopping because the small amount of yardage I had was perfect.

I lined the camisole with a nude lightweight knit because the bicycle fabric was incredibly see through.  Like see through to my belly button, see through.  To make the lining I cut the front and back the same as the fabric but just a smidge less ease but not at the very top where the layers meet.  I put the layers together with the seam allowances facing each other.

Insert Lining

For the straps I only had enough fold over elastic yardage in white or black so I went with black.  Unfortunately it’s a skimpy 1/4″ when folded which looked really unbalance.  I ripped it out using my unpicking a cover stitch tutorial and ended up not folding the elastic.  I placed it on top and did a triple cover stitch.  I’m definitely not the neatest sewer.

Fold Over Elastic

Lastly since there was already a lining, I attached some bra cups to the lining for another no-bra-needed garment.  I was too lazy to take out the machine so I sloppily handstitched the cups in.  Mr. Detective Houndstooth did a great job pinning the straps on so that it would blend in with my bra straps if I chose to wear one.  I like option of not having to worry about if my black bra was in the hamper or not.



Jumping for Joy (Literally)

To work on my modeling skills I decided to add some action poses.  It was really hard to time it correctly and keep my face from looking horrid.  It ended up being pretty fun and good exercise.  Here are some tips of you want to try this.  I used a self timed shot with the camera on a tripod.

Tip #1:  Start your timer a few times to figure out when the picture was taken.  My camera had 7 slow beeps and 7 quick beeps, snapping at the 7th quick beep.  I would start my jump at the 6th quick beep.
Tip #2: Look down.  Since you’re higher up, you need to look down at the camera or you get that unflattering up-you-nose shot.
Tip #3: Let your hair down.  I think if my hair was down it would have given the photo more dynamics and movement.
Tip #4: Have fun.

I use to be a dancer but I’m way out of practice so I went with an easy jump.  Here is my best take.

Jumping for Joy The walls of my sewing room is a leaf green.  It reminded me of a green screen, so I decided it would be fun to add some fun backgrounds from our vacations.


This is me over a glacier water lake in Canada.


This is me in Versaille.

If anyone else wants to put me jumping somewhere fun, here a pic of just me with a transparent background. Right click and save as.  If it doesn’t download as a .png with a transparent background, e-mail me at detectivehoundstooth at gmail dot com and e-mail it to you.

Cut out

I hope that was as fun for you as it was for me.  Anyone have any other super simple patterns I should explore?

Happy Labor Day Weekend (for those in the US)
and Happy Sewing to everyone worldwide,

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Link to my pattern review.

Unpicking 3 different stitches

Unpicking 3 Stitches

Sleeve sewn into a armhole?  Collar sewn on upside down?  With all the late night holiday gift sewing going on, sewing mistakes are bound to happen.  Sometimes repeatedly.  Have no fear, most stitches can be unpicked without any permanent damage.  Here are my go to methods with video!  The videos were another brilliant idea from Jill of Oh Crafty One.  Let me know in the comments if they’re helpful.


Unpicking a Straight Stitch

I’m a fan of the pull and gather technique.  I use a dull tweezer to unpick enough stitches for me to grab with the tweezer.  Then I use the tweezer to grab one of the threads, pull and gather down the fabric.  I scoot the gather down the stitch until it breaks or comes out.  This is really quick to do and it saves me from potentially poking holes into the fabric with a seam ripper.  It doesn’t work on stiff or very thick fabric or really short stitch lengths.


Unpicking a Serged Stitch

I usually serge with a 3 thread serge but this example I’m using a 4 thread serge because it seems to be more commonly used.  To unpick, I grab the straight stitches and do the same pull and gather as the straight stitch.  Once the straight stitches are removed, the other 2 threads come right off.  With a 3 thread serge, it’s even faster because you only have one straight stitch to remove.


Unpicking a Cover Stitch

This one was the trickiest to unpick and took me a bit of trial and error to figure out.  Side note: I’m not sure if this can be done with all cover stitches.  I have the Brother’s 2340CV.  If anyone tries it on another machine, please let me know in the comments if it works.

Starting at the end where you finished stitching, slip your seam ripper under the set of vertical blue threads, under the diagonal blue thread and through the tiny red thread loop.  Cut the threads with the seam ripper.  Now you want to gently pull on the looper thread until you get a magically unraveling of the stitch.

Close Up

Thread 1 (vertical blue) Thread 2 (diagonal blue) Thread 3 (red loop)

3 Easy Steps

3 Easy Steps

We all can use less unpicking in our lives but hopefully these tips will help you get through it quickly.

Happy (un)sewing,

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