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Thread: Expanding my repertoire

  1. #1
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    Expanding my repertoire

    I want to try new things in order to a) increase my skill set and b) used my rapidly growing stash of fat quarters,

    I have found this pattern I would quite like to try as a doorstop.

    https://www.thesewingdirectory.co.uk...t-toy-project/

    The seams in this project are 3/8 of an inch. Am I right in guessing that the seams are bigger than the traditional 1/4inch in patchwork so that it is stronger and less likely to fray?

    How would you advise ensuring that I keep a consistent 3/8 seam on my Janome? I usually rely on my quarter inch foot!

  2. #2
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Most machines have scored markings on the needle plate that you line the fabric up with. 3/8 is a pretty common one so check your machine and what the markings are.

  3. #3
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    This could be helpful. https://www.janome.com/siteassets/bl...g-basics-5.pdf

    I sew on Brother sewing machines. When I want to sew something other than 1/4" like 3/8", I use the general sewing foot and usually move the needle to the left until the edge of my sewing foot lines up on the edge of the fabric I am sewing and I get my full 3/8" that I need. Or you can use a seam guide like blue tape and just sew with the needle in the middle. Or on the feed dog plate, you will see measurements. These are small lines that have labels to tell you how big the seam will be if you run the fabric along the edge of the line and leave your needle in the center while sewing. (I get into trouble when I have to go around corners using this method.) If moving the needle, make sure you don't have a single hole plate on your machine. It's a great way to break a needle.

    All this sounds confusing, but it really isn't that bad. Get a piece of practice material and figure out which method works the best for you. For me, it is moving the needle and being able to line my fabric on the edge of my presser foot. Otherwise, I can sew a very crooked line. "smile"
    Last edited by Barb in Louisiana; 01-02-2019 at 12:06 PM.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  4. #4
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    The 3/8 inch seam allowance gives you room to clip or notch the curved seams. Here's a good explanation of which one you should do on the type of curve seam. https://byhandlondon.com/blogs/by-ha...-how-why-where
    Singer 66 treadle, Singer 15-91, JC Penney 6923, Kenmore 50, White 2334, Brother 920D serger. RIP Singer 1036

  5. #5
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    Easiest way to mark an odd seam allowance is to just put a piece of tape on the bed of your machine. That elephant is absolutely adorable! Good luck.

  6. #6
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    This tute originated in the UK where metric is commonly used. There is a good possibility that their sewing machines are geared to metric measured seam allowances. I would be careful of the type of fabric I choose and sew with a shorter stitch length as well.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  7. #7
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    3/8 seam is slightly stronger than the quilting seam of 1/4 and will hold up better when stuffing the elephant. To use this as a doorstop it would almost have to be packed so tightly to be heavy enough to hold a door back or be mounted on a small board. If this is the case you can put dowel rods in the legs to extend out from the bottom and then drill holes in the board to fit the dowels.

  8. #8
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    Just put a piece of tape along the line where the 3/8ths measure is on your machine to act as a guide.

    Very cute project.

    Watson

  9. #9
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Oh he is so cute! i have a cat as a doorstop.

  10. #10
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    Most of my sewing is now patchwork, so I really struggle with larger seam allowances. Blue tape did not help, as I just instinctively want to narrow down the seam allowance to 1/4". Now I use this magnetic gizmo:

    https://www.amazon.com/Dritz-626-Mag...tic+seam+guide

  11. #11
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Thanks for showing us this. My baby brother had an elephant toy similar in shape to this in 1952, and I think it would be fun to make one for my little grandson.

    I'm sorry I don't really know how to answer your question about the seams because I haven't worked with a Janome, but you do need to use the seam allowance stated in the pattern or parts may not go together correctly. If you can move your needle to the left, you may have a foot that has the correct distance at the right edge. When I want to test the distance I like to sew a few stitches along the edge of an index card. Then I can write on the card what my settings were for future reference.

    Using the elephant as a doorstop will be complicated by it's high center of gravity. Maybe you could wrap a brick with batting and fabric and attach the elephant on top of it.
    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou.
    One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  12. #12
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    I’m halfway through this project now. Hope to have it finished by the end of the day so I will post pics. I am UK based and it is rare to find UK tutorials/projects and even those that are, tend to use American measurements to make it easier. I found 3/8 measurement on the plate and also moved my needle so that from the edge of my foot to needle is 3/8 so hopefully will be ok.

    in terms of making it heavy enough for a doorstop. I have seen similar patterns which used rice or sand for the bottom half of stuffing so I’m going to use rice and see what happens. It is more for decorative than fully functional so should be ok... (famous last words!)

  13. #13
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    Well he’s finished. I would change the fabric placement next time as the bolder fabric I put underneath isn’t really visible at all. He has rice filled legs so stands on his own but wouldn’t be heavy enough to hold doors open - just stand in front of them and cover up a rubber wedge haha! Quite pleased for my first attempt at anything ‘3-D’
    Attached Images Attached Images


  14. #14
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    He's delightful!
    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou.
    One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  15. #15
    Super Member PamelaOry's Avatar
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    Adorable! I love the little heart on his hip/bottom.
    “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
    ~Mahatma Ghandi

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