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Waistbands o’ steel

2013 June 28
by elizabeth_admin

I’m back and so are my machines.  The service was ok, but not great.  The tension on my serger was all out of whack when I got it back and it wasn’t on the normal settings.  A little weird.  I am still fiddling with all the thread tensions and settings.  My Featherweight seems pretty good, although I had to adjust the bobbin tension a bit.  But they are both cleaned and oiled up and that was the main thing.

Of course I have dirtied them up already.  I finished two projects since I brought my machines home last week.  I made another New Look 6035 skirt and another Kwik Sew 3614 shorts, both from the fabric I bought recently at Yardage Town in Encinitas.

Things I’ve learned with these iterations (again, because I can never learn something the first time I come across it):

  • If you use a stretch fabric, you may have to go down a size.
  • If you use strong interfacing, you might not need to double up.

Before I move on to the show and tell, I need to offer up a mea culpa.  Back when my machines were gone and I was bereft without them, I cut out these two projects.  I got the great idea to use a stronger interfacing so my waistbands would be more substantial than they have been in the past.  I always use Pam’s interfacings from Fashion Sewing Supply.  Always.  She’s got some quality sh*t.  I decided that, instead of the Pro-Weft fusible that I usually use in most projects, I would use the Pro-Woven Shirt Crisp interfacing.  It’s stiffer and I thought it would give me the substantial waistband I desired.  The mea culpa has to do with the fact that I couldn’t get the Pro-Woven Shirt Crisp to fuse to my fabric.  I tried high heat, steam and more steam, and spray bottles.  I couldn’t get it to fuse to my fabrics.  I went, as I usually do, to my Facebook sewing group to see if there were any other interfacings out there I could try.  Of course, everyone in my sewing group said to use Fashion Sewing Supply interfacings.  After many people commented thusly, I finally had to admit that I couldn’t get my supply to work for me.  Of course Pam finally saw my post and suggested that I use the highest heat setting and no water.  She even offered the best in customer service, a refund and a free sample.  I turned her down.  I knew it was probably user error.  No one else has trouble using her interfacings.  *embarrassed*  I left the projects to rest on my table for a few days and then thought to try fusing the interfacing one more time.  It was at this point that I realized that I had NOT used the highest heat setting on my iron in my previous attempts.  Apparently, my new iron, the Reliable Velocity, has four heat settings.  The first three are marked by three dots.  Unbeknownst to me (because I don’t read instruction booklets), this iron has a fourth heat setting, the highest, denoted by the word “Max”, heretofore unnoticed by me.  *facepalm*

Of course, as soon as I set my iron to the “Max” temp setting, my interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply behaved beautifully.  *big sigh*  So Pam, please accept my humble apology.

My “great idea” to interface both the waistband and the facing, however, turned my waistbands into the now famous “Waistbands o’ Steel”.  These waistbands are probably bulletproof.  They retain their shape, they do not bend.  In fact, I think they could walk on their own if they had legs.  So yeah, this interfacing is the sh*t.  Provided you read the instructions kindly provided, know your iron’s capabilities like any normal person, and don’t get goofy ideas about interfacing both sides of the waistband when you’re using interfacing that has the word crisp prominently in the name.

Now do my waistbands o’ steel detract from the looks of my new shorts and skirt?   Not at all.  In fact, you wouldn’t notice unless you touched them.   Just slap a lock on my zippers and I have handy chastity belt.

But enough wordy words, here are my new clothes.

First up, Kwik Sew 3614 shorts in a dark pea green/brown, brushed cotton twill.




I used hook and eye pant closures for these shorts instead of snaps.  I thought the fabric deserved a classier treatment this time.


This fabric was not a stretch fabric by any stretch of the imagination.  It’s a very fitted fit.  I like it though.  I haven’t worn them any longer than just trying them on mid-construction and for these project photos, so I don’t know if the fabric relaxes at all yet.  I will report back after wearing them tomorrow for the day.




Isn’t that a great color for shorts?  So neutral.  It has a beautiful hand too.  This was a fairly straightforward make.  No surprises, no real problems (once the user error on the interfacing was corrected).  I think these will be really useful in my summer wardrobe.

And now for the New Look 6035 skirt.  Now this was a stretch fabric.  I have decided with this third skirt that, if I make it again in a stretch fabric, I need to go down a half-size to a full size.  This skirt and the other two I made previously are just a bit too large.  They hang lower on my hips and are a little too full around the thighs.  Not enough to retire them from my wardrobe though.  Most people wouldn’t notice probably; maybe a sewist would.  But I love the print of this fabric.  It looks so crisp and fresh.  The only thing I changed with this iteration is to cut the back on the fold.  I didn’t want to add a CB seam to the print.  I thought a seam would disturb the feng shui of the print.








I’ve already worn this skirt a few times since I made it, I love it that much.

Next up are some little girl dresses or skirts for my nieces in Madison, and for me… probably another New Look 6305 skirt; this time in madras.

Happy sewing!

12 Responses leave one →
  1. Karla permalink
    June 28, 2013

    I’m glad your sewing drought is over. Both your projects look great, but those shorts….The fit is fantastic and you look wonderful in shorts. Wear them all the time.

  2. June 28, 2013

    Elizabeth your new shorts and skirt look great – perfect for summer 🙂

  3. June 28, 2013

    Those shorts really are superb! Is it me or is it a little awkward to be checking out someone’s bum? But that’s where the fit issues usually are! Not with yours though. Great fit, great color, great length. Now, sorry for being thick but do you like the waistbands of steel or is it too much? Would you do it differently? My waistbands are quite floppy and I’ve been trying ti think of a way to improve them.

  4. June 28, 2013

    Love the shorts – the detailing is impressive, and the fabric looks great. As do you in them!

    The skirt fabric is really fun – and the length seems perfect.

    So glad that all your little machine friends are now back under your roof and behaving well once again. Sewing therapy really is so much cheaper than the alternative…!


  5. Laura permalink
    June 28, 2013

    Fantastic fit! Keep up the good work, and start looking for a GOOD USED Bernina…..sewing will be a dream…..

  6. June 28, 2013

    both items look great and perfect for summer. I think you have convinced me to try that shorts patterns, the fit is very nice.

  7. June 28, 2013

    Awesome shorts, and I love that camo-y fabric for the skirt! I’m glad you have your machines back.

  8. June 28, 2013

    Great looking shorts and skirt, thanks for the tips on the interfacing

  9. June 28, 2013

    Both of these projects look great – but I’m especially impressed by the very flattering (and very RTW-looking) shorts. You could have bought them in a high end store!

  10. Jane Saxton permalink
    June 28, 2013

    Thanks for the laugh! The skirt & shorts look great!!

  11. Ellen permalink
    June 29, 2013

    I love your shorts and skirt! The finishing on them looks so professional, and the color of the shorts is perfect in its neutrality. So glad you’re back to sewing once again.

  12. June 30, 2013

    That waist band might be stiff but it sure does look like if it was sewn by a professional ! The pockets are perfect. Lovely skirt as well. Me want one as well 😉

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