Dressmaking Tension And New Start!

I’ve completed my 7th week on my dressmaking course and I have only just discovered that my tension on my sewing machine was all wrong and it could have been easily fixed by a little push on a dial that I never took any notice of before!

Yes, I have a Janome! Not sure if I mentioned that before, luckily it’s the same as my teacher’s. Mine is a 2090 which I think is about 7/8 years old as that’s how long I’ve had it. my teacher’s is much newer. But they work in pretty much the same ways. However, for both machines, I never noticed that there was a dial to alter the tension! I’d assumed my machine was broken or worn out or something. The stitches on the underside of my fabric were spaced wrong. Here’s a brilliant video that gives you an idea of what my sewing looked like and how to easily fix it:

What a name – Professor Pincushion!

It was all fixed by moving that dial! I had it on a 1 and it needs to be a 4 or 5. As easy as that. How embarrassing for me though! The teacher had commented on my tension and I hadn’t twigged what she meant. Hope this helps other beginner dressmakers feel less embarrassed!

This week I was attaching the waistband to my bodice, and I started to prepare the skirt for the zip! Yay, I am moving onto the skirt! I stitched the side seams. I unpicked the first side twice which was a bit of a nightmare, the first time it was because I’d gone too far in from the seam allowance, the second time was because I’d finally figured out how to fix the tension and wanted to do a better job with the stitches. Looked very holey when I finished! But this is all learning and hopefully I won’t make the same mistake on the next garment I put together.

Moving on to the new start!

Humungous square of white fabric with an orange edge can only mean one thing – a new full-coverage cross stitch start! It’s another HAED, Heaven And Earth Designs, and it’s 28ct as always, going to be stitched 1×1 as always, but this time I have gone with the old favourite of full coverage stitchers – lugana! This is Zweigart (I get Zweigart 9/10) Brittney Lugana Antique White, which is very common for people who stitch full coverage like me!

The design requires a 71x79cm piece of fabric (to include 3 inches each side for framing) and I could have got 70×100 or 100×140. So I ended up getting 100×140 from Lakeside Needlecraft – based here in the UK. More fabric is more money but I am hoping to do some smalls at some point if any catch my eye, so I’ll have enough to last me a lifetime!

The finished picture is this:

This is called ‘Magic of Christmas’ and it is by Nadia Strelkina. Isn’t it lovely? I have to admit, I love looking at all the images on HAED, they’re all beautiful, but there aren’t many of them that I actually think ‘I want to stitch that’. However, this one was released late last year and it speaks to me. The little girl looks similar to how I looked when I was little. And I would have loved a little cat as a pet when I was growing up. I wasn’t allowed pets sadly. But thankfully I have my feline companion now, the Housebound Forest Creature.

I have just started it!

I’ve got a long way to go and have 3 other HAEDs that are nowhere near finished. so who knows when this will be! Wish me luck, people!


Published by alicemowse

Writer. Occasional performer, stitcher. One book published so far, my collection of poems 'Saved by Porpoise' available on Kindle. Featured in the anthology 'Around The Mulberry Tree'

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