It’s Monday and boy was it hard to get out of bed. It was made a bit easier by the thought of Me Made Monday. If you’re new to MMM it is something the Sewing Blogging Community (SBC) does where bloggers will post on Monday something that they have made. The SBC also does a wildly popular Me Made May where bloggers will wear an item that they’ve made every day in May. I am not that together for a Me Made May, but I think I can handle a Me Made Monday! Plus, it’s fun on Sunday night to plan my outfit for the day.
Stay tuned for more details on Me Made Monday and how you can participate or just have fun seeing what we at Sew News have made.
I love elastic waist skirts. They are so incredibly easy to make and are perfect year around. This skirt is from Vogue 8981 with modifications.
I eliminated the pockets and the side slits. I also used a wider elastic to act as a bit of tummy control and I made a full lining instead of the half lining.
The fabrics I used for the main fabric is a red crepe de chine from Colorado Fabrics a local fabric store here. The lining is a light tangerine color China silk from Elfriede’s (again in Colorado).
Full disclosure: I did not sew these beautiful hems. As I was trying to even up the hem I kept cutting and cutting and cutting trying to even it out. I ended up cutting about 5 inches off. If I didn’t stop I was about to have a mini skirt. I took the skirt to a professional alterations person and she did an amazing finishing job. So glad I did.
The best way to develop your own set of slopers is to actually take multiple measurements from your body and draft them suited to you using 2-dimential paper and the addition of carefully calculated and placed lines. These lines will create the outer shape and darts that will make your sloper fitted exactly to you.
Through this 6 week long course Amber, Editor of Stitch magazine will guide you through the entire detailed process of developing a sloper library consisting of a bodice and sleeve, skirt, pants, dress, and knit sloper. Then to top it all off in the end you’ll get to see how these slopers transform into stylized sewing patterns that you will want to sew and wear (and they’ll fit you too!). This course will house video instruction of every single measuring and drafting step to help you along the way, and to aid your drafting process you can print off multiple handouts to have with you at the drawing table.
Amber will be able to answer any question you have throughout the course as she has much experience with slopers and developing them for both herself and others.
Knowing this information can also help you learn your body and address fitting issues that you may have with commercial sewing patterns and even clothes that you buy. So come join Meg through this extensive process and learn first hand how to develop and draft your own personal sloper library.
With these slopers in your sewing studio you’ll be more than well equipped for when you have a design idea and want to execute it quickly and efficiently!
Course Level: This course is for anyone beginner through advanced in pattern drafting.
What You’ll Learn
How to take accurate measurements on your body through video demonstration
Developing your bodice and corresponding sleeve sloper from your body measurements
How to draft a skirt sloper
Drafting your own pant sloper
Transforming your bodice and skirt sloper into a dress sloper
Making your new dress sloper into a torso knit sloper foundation with sleeve
Techniques for stylizing your sloper patterns
How to effectively store your slopers in your studio and how to use them
Who Should Attend
Anyone interested in creating a set of basic body patterns fitting to their body measurements
Sewers who in the past have had trouble fitting into “one” size pattern due to fitting issues
Designers looking for a template to develop garment styles on
At this point in the sew along, you have now experienced just how easy the Decades of Style Arches Skirt is to put together. It’s a beautiful skirt that has a lovely elegant look and because of its a-line cut, it’s also quite easy to wear.
A lovely skirt such as this really deserves to have a lining. A lining not only gives ease in wearing the skirt, but a lining also adds to the longevity of the garment by adding a buffer between the body and the fabric. Adding a lining to this skirt is really quite simple. Nothing will need to be done to the back skirt pattern, just cut it as it is. The front skirt needs a little tweaking as we really don’t want to deal with having the style lines or the pleats in the lining. Be sure to take a look at the video. In the video, I explain exactly how to create the lining and eliminate the style lines and pleats.
Once you have made your lining, attach it to the waist of the skirt, attach the waistband and fold back the lining along the zipper and hand stitch the lining to the zipper.
The final step is of course the hem. There is a little trick that I would like to share with you regarding the hem. If you have made an a-line skirt, you have probably experienced the hem being a little bulky and not laying flat when it is turned up. It’s really quite easy to compensate for this. As you can see in the picture below, I have not removed my basting stitches, which is okay as the stitches are just holding the interlining to the fashion fabric. Take note of the angled stitching line. If I sewed the seam as I typically would, the seam would run straight to the hem. In order to have a hem that will lay flat, simply angle the seam as you see below. Begin the angle at the point that you will turn up the hem.
Once the angle has been sewn in, simply trim the seam allowance and then press the seam allowance open.
A lovely finished hem is a must. A seam finish that I love and use quite often is the Hong Kong finish. With my wool skirt, I decided to accent the hem with a contrast binding. In order to do a Hong Kong finish, you will need bias tape. You can either make it yourself or purchase it as your local fabric store.
In order to have a smooth look to the front of my skirt, the hem is sewn with a catch stitch and the catch stitch is sewn between the inside of the hem and the backside of the skirt.
To create the Hong Kong seam finish, lay the bias tape along the edge of the hem. Sew the bias tape to the hem with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Fold the bias tape down and press. Now fold the bias tape to the back.
On the front side of the garment, stitch in the ditch.
You now have a clean finish on the front of the garment.
To do a catch stitch, using a needle and thread, take 1 stitch in the bias tape. Your needle will be facing to the left, but you will be working to the right. Now, pick up a thread in the fabric. This forms the catch stitch.
Now come back down and pick up a few threads in the bias tape.
Continue in thse manner around the entire hem of your garment.
By sewing the catch stitch between the back of the hem and the garment, the edge of the hem is not against the garment. This will keep the hem from making a mark on the front of the garment when pressed.
At this point, I think you now possess all the knowledge that you need to create an incredibly beautiful skirt!
Please be sure to check out the video for more tips and tricks!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the sew along as much as I have enjoyed sewing with you.
I’m sure the last thing you’re thinking about in the midst of spring is getting into a swimsuit, but as the weather gets hotter we’re focusing on summer style and getting ready to jump in the pool! It’s time to think about revealing a little more skin in sweet shorts, simple skirts, frilly dresses and sleeveless tops.
Shades of purple, pink and coral are prevalent this season, and they’re perfect for venturing outdoors while making a statement. Choose fabrics featuring these colors and vibrant prints to emerge from rainy spring weather like a flower in bloom.
Here are some of the things you can expect this month as we delve into the June/July issue of Sew News—on newsstands May 19. Plus, find new offerings at shopsewitall.com and shop.sewdaily.com that will help you embrace the warmer weather. Reveal a little skin in a cute pair of shorts! Join our June/July Sew-Along to watch videos and learn from others while you create your own pair. Contrast piping gives a great pop of color and interest to these one-of-a-kind shorts.
Skirts have a forgiving fit and require little yardage, so they’re affordable and easy to sew. Find the Striped Paper Bag Waist Skirt from Stitch Summer and make your own to wear cinched with a matching or contrasting skinny belt.
Making your own swimsuit ensures a proper fit and desired coverage, so why not give it a try? We have a great pattern made by Michelle Lesniak of Project Runway fame. Michelle made this swimsuit exclusively for Sew it Allfans, and it’s now available as an e-Pattern.
If it’s not your style, perhaps you’d be interested in our vintage swimwear feature in the June/July issue of Sew News instead. The top and bottom both have fuller coverage and will have you looking like Marilyn Monroe.
Happy Monday seamstresses! To ease you into the week, we have a great book giveaway for you!
Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking by Tilly Walnes
Tilly Walnes breaks down handmade clothing in an approachable, fun-to-read way. Each chapter contains a project, beginning simple with a scarf and ending with an impressive lined dress. Plus Tilly provides variations to make the project your own and suggestions for making sewing not only a hobby but a lifestyle and incorporating sewing into a busy schedule. These helpful sections outline how to approach your trip to the fabric store for the most organized and least stressful results, and sewing for your personal style and wardrobe. Tilly walks through the basics, from sewing lingo and supplies to more advanced techniques, such as staystitching, invisible zippers and facings. With seven projects, including pants, skirts and dresses, and the full patterns in eight sizes for each, sewists of all skill levels will enjoy this beautiful book.
Enter to win a copy of Love at First Stitch by answering the following question in the comments section below: “What’s the most difficult part of garment sewing for you?”
SewNews 35th Anniversary Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes – Week Three – Coats & Clark
Happy Monday! We’re hoping we can help cure your Monday blues with a new prize to be won through our 35th Anniversary Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes.
This week, we’re giving away TWO prizes to one lucky winner on behalf of our sponsor, Coats & Clark! The first is a 50-piece assortment of Coats & Clark’s Dual Duty XP Thread (pictured).
This medium-weight thread is sized for most hand and machine sewing. It can be used on all fibers, knits, and wovens. Dual Duty XP is a strong, smooth thread for consistent tension and excellent stitch formation.
Coats & Clark’s second prize up for grabs is a 20-piece assortment of Bold Hand Quilting™ Thread. Coats Bold Hand Quilting™ provides quilters with a thread that has the luster of natural cotton and the strength of polyester, perfect for the “Big Stitch” handwork trend. The Glace finish prevents knots and tangles.
To view the scavenger hunt questions and get started, click here. The answers to the questions are hidden throughout www.coatsandclarksewingsecrets.com. You must answer all questions correctly in order to be entered to win. Good luck, and have fun!
Looking for a last minute gift idea for mom? Shame on you for your poor planning, but we’ve got you covered! Purchase ePatterns from shopsewitall.com and use fabrics from your stash to stitch a handmade gift Mom will love. Like this belt bag:
Ah, Mother’s Day. If you’re lucky you get to spend it doing what you love and NOT doing anything you don’t like (how’s that for a double negative).
My favorite Mother’s Day would be spent with the entire house cleaned by a cleaning crew, while I shop and sewed all weekend long. My favorite meals would be cooked and then little faeries would clean up every scrap, do the dishes and have the entire kitchen back to order.
Next, I would stay up really late doing whatever I wanted and then wake up to a peacefully quiet house. Oh, and I would have fresh, beautiful flowers in every room of the house.
A girl can dream can’t she? Well here are a few things that I think would be great under the Mother’s Day tree. How about you? What would your perfect Mother’s Day be like?
Today’s post is a special edition for waistband construction and the use of buckrum in garment construction. Also, please note that the You-tube video has a grey screen, but the video portion is there, just click to play. We hope you are enjoying the Decades of Style Sew Along! Now let’s have Rhonda get to it.
In today’s modern world of dressing, we seem to be getting more and more away from a traditional waistband. But a waistband should not go the way of the dinosaurs!!! A waistband offers lots of design possibilities as well as a foundation for a belt that can give the illusion of a tiny waist. Notice, I did say illusion!!!
In the accompanying video, I tell a story about a skirt that I had the opportunity to purchase when I was in high school. Believe it or not, it was an actual Yves St. Laurent wrap skirt. The wool was the most beautiful wool I had ever seen and the skirt was impeccably crafted.
It was that skirt that inspired me to take my sewing to a level that prior to that, I didn’t know existed. What intrigued me the most was the construction of the waistband. It had a hard substance inside that no matter what I did with the skirt, the waistband held its shape.
What was inside was something called waistband buckrum, not to be confused with ban roll. At the time, I was able to purchase waistband buckrum from my local fabric store. Sadly, that is no longer the case. But if you do a search for waistband buckrum, you will find a source for it on Etsy.
When I cut my waistbands, I always like to cut them on the selvage edge of the fabric. The selvage is the most stable part of the fabric and by cutting the waistband on this edge, you will be able to ensure that the waistband will hold its shape.
Since I am using the waistband buckrum inside the waistband, I did not interface my waistband, but I did add a layer of batiste, just as I did to the body of the skirt.
Once I have inserted the buckrum, the waistband is folded over and stitched in the ditch between the waistband the the skirt. As you can see, the stitches are very difficult to see.
Inside, the waistband has a finished edge thanks to the selvage edge and there is a stitching line that helps to ensure that the waist will not stretch out of shape with wearing.
For my cotton skirt, I cut the waistband on the selvage edge, but I added a layer of fusible knit rather than the cotton batiste. This gave my cotton just a little more body. Once the waistband is finished, I will go back and trim off the eyelashes from the edge of the fabric.
Waistband buckrum comes in various widths. I like the 1 1/4″ width. Once the waistband has been sewn to the skirt, simply lay the buckrum along the stitching line and stitch to the seam allowance.
The buckrum will be stitched from one end of the waistband to the other.
To finish the ends, simply fold the waistband over and stitch the end. Clip the edge prior to turning.
Fold the edge under on a 45 degree angle on the back side so that the selvage will not interfere with the zipper.
The same will be done on the opposite end.
Take note that while I was stitching the waistband, once I came to the extension end, I simply turned and took 1 stitch in and then stitched to the end of the extension. Other than the stitches that you see on the extension, the stitches that are in the ditch of the waistband are virtually impossible to see.
Not only was the waistband finished beautifully on that Yves St. Laurent skirt, the hooks were as well.
To stitch a hook in this manner, I begin by tying a knot that I hide underneath my hook.
I then come through the hole in the hook and form a figure 8 with my thread. I then insert my needle into the back of the top loop of the figure 8.
Once the first stitch is established, insert the needle, form a loop,
and then insert the needle into the loop.
Continue all the way around the hook and pull tight.
Your finished hook will be lovely and even better, you won’t have to worry about the hook threads unraveling.
In our next post, we will talk about how to create a lining for the Arches skirt. It takes just a little extra time, but it is time well spent!
A New Day, A New Chance to Win…A Sewing Cabinet!
Happy Monday! We hope you had a wonderful weekend. Today’s a new day, with a new scavenger hunt and cool sewing prize to win!
Our next scavenger hunt sponsor is Arrow Cabinets, maker of diverse and stylish furniture that’s suitable for your sewing needs. From tables to cabinets to chairs, Arrow’s furniture caters specifically to the avid sewist, as well as quilters and embroiders. No more sewing on your kitchen table!
Arrow has been kind enough to provide their Olivia Cabinet as the grand prize in this scavenger hunt! Valued at $660, this vintage-inspired cabinet comes in a stylish pistachio color and features a 64-inch-wide table top, as well as ample storage space to keep your area organized. An adjustable mechanism allows you to move your sewing machine to your liking, so you can sit comfortably as you work.
To view the scavenger hunt questions and get started, click here. You’ll find the answers to the questions at www.arrowcabinets.com. The scavenger hunt begins today and ends on Monday, May 11, and you must answer all questions correctly in order to be entered to win.