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Jan 28, 2011

Ouch! + Sewing on Edge

Poor Freddy.  He had nine (9!) teeth pulled yesterday.  He's doing much better than when I picked him up from the vet but he's still a little sore.  I do like the more sculpted cheekbone look, however, don't you?

Where have I seen that face before...?

If you've never seen dog teeth without the dog attached you might just want to skip this next photo.  It's a little gruesome.

They don't smell so great but after they dry out, maybe I'll do something craft-related with them.  Mini toggle coat perhaps?

In other news, we are getting closer and closer to our Men's Shirt Sew-Along starting date next Tuesday.  I've heard it rumored that a few of you may have jumped the gun and cut your patterns already.  Bad, very bad. 

Sadly I have had to disqualify Mainely Dad.  When I asked him, via loudspeaker, to Step away from the Sewing Machine with your hands up and he resisted, things nearly got ugly.  How was I to know he wasn't wearing any pants?

Guys, you've waited this long, surely you can wait just a little bit longer.  Don't you have other projects to complete, children to raise, etc?  Have you performed your daily doggie dental hygiene?  Don't make the mistake we did or you'll end up with another Freddy on your hands and a drawer full of mini toggles.

A few of you have asked about the Sew-Along schedule.  OK, none have you have asked about this.  I'm guessing it's because, like me, you know that things take the time they take and what's the point anyway?  Is the train leaving the station at so-and-so an hour?  I don't think so.

I know some of you are sewing gifts for your significant others but to the best of my knowledge nobody needs a completed shirt before the end of the month.  Life is a long time and if it's not you probably won't need a shirt anyway.

One last thing.  In my topstitching video, I talk about the importance of being able to stitch right up to the edge of your fabric.  If you're using a zigzag foot, you may want the aid of an edge foot guide, sometimes called a "stitch in the ditch" foot, which can help you to maintain an approx. 1/16" straight edge.  For the edge of a sleeve placket you are going to want to be as close to the edge as possible without falling off.

This is also true for collar stands, the edge of a pocket, and the top of a cuff.

This is a great time to practice with some scraps if you have the time and the inclination. How close can you get, stitching accurately of course, to the edge? Are you able to turn corners (with needle down, please) and land the same distance from the edge?  If you have some time between now and Tuesday, give it shot.

Friends, that's it. We're expecting more snow here and as you can imagine, I can hardly wait. In the meantime I'll be nursing a sore dog and experimenting with tapering the back of my shirt patterns.

Thanks for all the fitting tips yesterday, btw. They were helpful to me and to many others as well.

Happy Friday, everybody!

I never get tired of this, though Nancy's about as supple as bendable leg Francie.


  1. POOR POOR BABY! I hope he feels better SOON. He looks so sad.

  2. Actually, I think some people do have a schedule to keep if they're making Valentine's presents for their loved ones!

    Have you seen the way Sewaholic has organized her Pendrell sew-along? At the beginning of each post he has links to previous steps which makes it uber easy to catch-up and TONS of photos!

    Winston had 8 teeth removed just after Xmas so I can relate, he was on antibiotics for a week and pain killers for 2 days. Poor pups.

  3. Sewsister, I doubt we'll be officially done by Valentines but you never know...

  4. Oh my gosh, poor little Freddy!

  5. Oh, dear, would a doggie toggle-coat toggled with his own teeth be too gruesome? Sorry, my mind just went there.

    I so want an edge stitch foot. Technically my blind hem foot does the same thing, but the keel adjusts with a rather loose screw and tends to wander to the right over long seams :(

  6. Poor Willy! With all those teeth now gone, I'm going to have to revise the treats he gets in my next shirt muslin package.

    I've stolen (with permission) one of my husband's old dress shirts and will be taking it apart to look at. It's white (BORing), so I can already see through to seam allowances and have noted that some are bigger than what I would expect. It's also got a buttonloop/button at the collar (for under a tie), which my husband has never liked because it takes him and his big hands too long to fiddle with it.

    While waiting for Feb 1, I have a RenFaire doublet, shirt and breeches to muslin this weekend, but don't disqualify me because Michael's shirt muslin #2 is going to be cut too - it's actually ON the cutting table ready for the rotary AS I type. I will be wearing pants as I cut. It's going to be a race between costume and shirt for February.

    One of my brocades arrived yesterday and that stuff is RAVEL-CITY. OMG. If I was closer to NYC, I would be burrowing my way through the snow and borrowing your Elna Press.

    Stay warm!

  7. Poor Freddy. He needs some warm milk.

    I do edgestiching my moving my needle over so the material stays over both feed dogs - not something you can probably do with your machine.

  8. so all that quilting experience will come in handy?

  9. Poor Freddy. I was miserable when my wisdom teeth were pulled. Imagine losing nine at once!

    On to sewing...

    Could you post a picture or more information your edge stitching foot?

    I bought a "stitch in the ditch" foot once because it said it was also good for edge stitching. When I got it, the printed instructions said to move the needle to the "left position" for edge stitching. You guessed it... My machine doesn't have that capability.

    My gut feel is I need something more like the one at Sew Fancy, ( Any recommendations?

  10. When I was in college I had my wisdon teeth removed - all four came out intact so I made a necklace out of them. It was very stylish for the college crowd!

  11. Sondra, before you invest in another foot, try lining up the fabric with a point on your regular zigzag foot -- perhaps the inside edge of the right side, and see how that works. You don't HAVE to use an edge guide if you can do it by eye, which just takes practice.

  12. Dawn Young CunninghamJanuary 28, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    I just love this video! We used to play this album after school in elementary school. I want those boots!

  13. @Sondra, in connection with what Peter says, get yourself a little stack of Post-It notes and "stick" them to the bed of the machine exactly where you want your fabric to line up. Use a new bottom sticky note each time for maximum adhesion.

    This photo is with my coverstitch machine, but it's the same general idea. The pad acts as a "stop" for the fabric to keep it in place.

    There are also magnetic seam guides for sale, but I don't know if your machine is OK with magnets.

  14. peter, you topstitch so beautifully and now i know how you do it! am digging through the box-o-feet to see if i can find one that does edges as well as you do. i'm sitting this one out (too much crap to finish before starting anew) but wish you all luck.

  15. Thanks, Debbie.

    Fitz, I topstitch with a straight stitch machine; I feel like I have better control. But the edge feet do work well with zigzag machines.

  16. Aw, Freddy. Wish I could give you some snuggles.

    I am excited to get started with Hub's shirt but promise not to start early. All I've done is dig out my old half-finished muslin from last spring. I figure I've made it this long without following through on my plans to make him a shirt... I can wait another week.

  17. i'm so excited for this sew-along! it's most of what i've been talking about for the last week, and my copy of coppin is arriving today! i have a question about buying fabric - will we be making muslins first and then using our fashion fabric? i haven't yet been able to drag my sweetie/shirt recipient to the fabric store yet (it's a bit of a trek), but i've got muslin on hand. i'm trying to figure out how much time i have to play with before going shopping for fashion fabric. thanks!! :)

  18. Peter, I love your posts! I'm not sewing along, but you're very entertaining.

    Not sure if someone mentioned this, but for edge stitching I use my 1/4" foot. I just move the stitch length to between 0 and 1 (or 1 and 2, I'm forgetting) and then align the foot guide with the fabric. Works beautifully!

  19. This is such a funny post, thank you!

    Odd about pet teeth and snow: my cat had teeth pulled before a snow storm. It took an hour to drive the 5mi home :/

  20. Anne from Snowy MaineJanuary 28, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Ha! My brother broke my Francie's leg so that we could then bend it forwards and upwards!! It made all sorts of satisfying clicking sounds. (I have some vintage Barbie sewing patterns tucked away: I'm going to conduct my very own Lilliputian 'Sew-Along'!)
    Sorry about Mr. Fred. 9 teeth! Is he being fitted with any sort of bridgework or doggie denture?

  21. Just last night I was doing a little edge stitching and tried using my zipper foot as a guide, which worked pretty well. Good visibility and got very close to the edge but never slipped off. And it's adjustable to either side depending on whether you need the guide left or right.

  22. Peter, I'm far too terrified to start without you leading the way! So much so that I'm using the Negroni pattern to make my hubby a Hawaiian style shirt, instead of the McCall's pattern I had originally chosen. I figured the best way to set myself up for success was to use the same pattern as you. :)

    Please give our regards to poor Freddy. :(

  23. Thanks for the tips on top stitching. Now I have something to do before Peter starts us on shirts!

    I have post-its, and will Debbie's your approach. I also have a zipper foot, so I can try Jane's idea, too.

  24. But the shirt I am currently sewing for my husband (using the Negroni pattern) is just a PRACTICE VERSION for the much better one I plan to do with the sew-along crew! Ahem. Cough cough.

  25. I kept my wisdom teeth when they were extracted, cleaned them up, and have fond hopes of eventually turning them into cufflinks a la Meyer Wolfshiem.

  26. Forgive me, Father Peter, for I have sinned, but I swear the sewing machine was not involved! What can I say..... it was cold snowy day in Maine, and my new steampunk cufflinks tempted me to make a pattern. Tomorrow I have to go to JoAnn Fabrics to buy thread. That should be penance enough!

  27. To err is human, to forgive divine, that's what I always say. You are forgiven.

  28. Poor fella! I hope Freddy can eat after all that!

    Thanks for including the teeth photo; it reminded me of something cool. When I was fifteen I got to watch a German Shepherd police dog get root canals and stainless steel crowns on his canines (you know, the pointy teeth). He looked super tough. :)


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