Archive for the 'Sewing Tips' Category

Silk

May 18, 2011

Silk and wool keep you cool. They are all natural fibers, renewable, fast drying, moisture wicking. I enjoy sewing and wearing silk for summer, nothing compares to it, feels so airy and almost naked like. People worry about washing it, or are afraid of it thinking that it can only be dry cleaned. I prewash my fabric before cutting, so it handles great even after it is sewn together, a quick hand wash with hand soap and line dry does the trick. It is amazing how fast it dries. A great source for silk is online at the fashion fabrics club, really good deals.

Fabric: hammered silk charmeuse

Pattern: Burda 06/2009 model 123 with the 122 sleeves and no frills.

The blouse in the magazine has some great sewn beads around the collar and along the frills, but I could not get the frills to be as delicate. The pom poms are made out of fabric strips, wrapped around two round pieces of cardboard with a hole in the center, then cut in between the cardboard pieces and tied together through the center. I’m not going to write another tutorial for this, there are plenty online. Here is my favorite: http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-to-make-pom-poms.html Awesome blog by the way, the techknitting.

This magazine does have some other great patterns that I keep on my list of things to sew, like the 128 dress

the 102 top that I have sewn and love, that would look just as good as the 101 dress.

108 is also pretty nice as a top or a dress and I just have to match it with the right fabric.

113 is also on the list from a jersey I got a while back in Israel.

Plus, it has a shirt dress, from the cover and many great plus sizes patterns. Great Issue!

Do you sew from “old” magazines? I think Burda patterns are too classic to go out of style and use old issues all the time.

What is it?!

August 4, 2010

Hem, originally uploaded by fmirela.

It is my coat, or bits of my coat for the BurdaStyle Book. I hope I’m not showing too much, just the details of the stitching that went into it in 5 days. Actually a day and 4 evenings.

Back vent and hem details
Back vent and hem details

Lining Pleat detail
Lining Pleat detail

Hanger chain
Hanger chain

Hem facing
Lining

I did read a lot before sewing this coat, I posted some of the links already, but just to keep it next to the photo so I’ll know what to do next time.

Nameless tutorial 2 shows how the hem facing is done: http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/nameless_tutorial_2/

http://tanysewsandknits.blogspot.com/2007/12/o-casaco-leopardo-finalmente-finally.html

Have a look at Tany’s lining next to back facing and hem facing and lining.

Back vent and hem – should have sewn the hem by hand a little looser, I think I can see the sewing from the right side…
Back vent - right side
Piping and snaps
lining piping

Piping and Snaps

I made the piping myself and it is one quick and easy project: http://mirelap.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/seeeeewing/

Belt – I have to admit I’m not proud of this one…meaning, I would have liked to find some cool belt bucket or do some leather macrame, something special…oh well..
belt

Belt Look

Sleeves in this pattern were too short for me, problem solved thanks to the cuffs:
Sleeve cuff

Puffy sleeves:
Puffy Sleeve
Note to self: Leave a lot more hem allowance on the sleeves! Lot: like 15 cm more. When I added the shoulders, the sleeves got shorted with the thickness of the shoulder…Lucky my design called for cuffs, lucky I made them big.

All about sleeve-heads: http://thesewingdivas.wordpress.com/2008/10/09/sleeve-heads/

All about shoulder pads: http://tanysewsandknits.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-02-14T01:04:00Z&max-results=7

After all, I ended up buying mine, time was of the essence.

Hope there images do not give away too much and the design will still be saved for the book!

The A Plus A Line Skirt variation

October 15, 2009

The A Plus A Line Skirt variation

The A Plus A Line Skirt variation, originally uploaded by fmirela.

BurdaStyle contest entry based on free pattern from Burda Style.

Thanks to Twinkle by Wenlan! My inspiration came from the book The Art Of Manipulating Fabric thanks to Roberta for pointing this book out to me! Pretty cool!

I wanted to keep the fullness of the skirt, and apply a quick and fun technique of machine smocking. I used the same decorative honeycomb stitch to sew the hem and the topstitching on the yoke. Another change to the pattern is the lowered waistline (with about 5 cm).

Brief Instructions for the machine smocking

Wish me luck! ;)

No luck this time. here is the winner:

http://www.burdastyle.com/blog/the-winner-of-the-show-us-your-a-line-skirt-competition-is

And this out of 64 creations, some really gorgeous, a skirt with no hem at all and some lace over it wins, I have to disagree…I liked the third price winner more, and many others out there deserved it better, but oh well…cute stockings.

Silk Jersey

June 23, 2009

I got silk jersey, in a nude color, excellent drape.

I cannot decide what to sew. My intention was to sew a PJ with long sleeves and pants to have something that breaths well in the sleeping bag and dries faster then cotton… but just can’t decide…I’d like to be able to also wear the top as is, not just as a PJ…

04/2009

04/2009

05/2008

05/2008

04/2008

10/2008

10/2008

03/2008

03/2008

The last two are my favorites…so far…
Or should I simply stick to the drape neckline of the simple yellow top?

What do you think?

Crochet Belt Loops

June 6, 2009

just one more trick my mom taught me

This is useful for the side seams on blouses or dresses for keeping the belt from sliding down.

1. Thread you needle with 2 threads, so you end up having 4 threads that you sew with. Knot the ends together. Insert the needle from the wrong side of the fabric towards the front. Make a small stitch and create a loop.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

2. Pull the thread with your fingers through the loop, to create a crochet chain stitch.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

3. This is the second loop that forms and the initial loop is now sitting at the base of the chain.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

4. Continue until you read the desired length.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

5. Insert the needle through the loop and pull to finish the chain.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

6. Finished chain.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

7. Sew the end of the chain to the fabric. Pull the needle to the underside and secure the thread with a knot.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

8. An almost invisible thin yet resistant belt loop.
How to make a hand crochet belt loop

Ellinor Tunic Sneak Peak

June 6, 2009

Pattern: Ellinor from BurdaStyle
This pattern is also included in Burda WOF magazine 04/2003

Fabric: Cotton with silver metallic thread JoAnns

Woven Ribbon: with gold metallic thread JoAnns
This ribbon was kind of stiff and hard to curve.

I’ve very pleased with this pattern.

Here’s how to apply the woven ribbon to the neckline:
Tip: to create an invisible seam for the application, I used a metallic thread with a special machine needle that has a large eye.

1. start by pining the ribbon along the neckline, then fold it right sides facing
1. Apply a non stretch woven ribbon to a curved neckline

2. sew in a dart with the wider base to the inner side of the neckline, the V tip of the dart away from the neckline
2. Apply a non stretch woven ribbon to a curved neckline

3. unfold the dart and see how the ribbon now lays curved along the neckline
3. Apply a non stretch woven ribbon to a curved neckline

4. You won’t be able to see that dart unless you look for the needle in the hay sack
4. Apply a non stretch woven ribbon to a curved neckline

Here’s how to create the corners in the woven ribbon:

1. fold the ribbon right sides facing, sew a dart at a 45 degree angle. I ususally pin it first to see which direction it will lay when unfolded. To make it unfold the other way, simply sew the dart the reverse side, with the V tip pointing the opposite direction.
1. Create a bent corner in the woven ribbon

2. unfold the dart
2. Create a bent corner in the woven ribbon

Tunic Neckline

Tunic Neckline

Tunic Neckline

3. the ends of the ribbon are turned to the underside and sewn with the seam allowances
Tunic Neckline

Crochet Collar Top and Outdoor Fabrics

June 5, 2009

I had one of those moments of inspiration yesterday followed by the sewing addiction and sleepless hours in front of the machine. You know those moments? I’m sure all of us sewing addicts have them often.

My sister in law visited us this weekend and she is always very stylish. She wore a breezy light cotton, had a band a woven band around the neckline, the fabric was gathered on this band.

if A -> B -> C then A -> C

woven band -> crochet collar

light breezy cotton -> embroidered cotton gauze

There I was putting the pieces of the puzzle together, pinning the fabric on the dress form, marking, cutting and sewing till after midnight. The collar was already crochet just looking for a match.

The whole top is underlined using the same fabric, the fabric is cut in a double layer so it eliminates the sheerness. The helped a lot with the finishing of the seams, the right side was first sewn to the underlining at the neckline and armholes, for front then the same for the back. A topstitch seam creates a nice finish and keeps the underlining from rolling up to the right side. The back has a cut in the center, the lining and underlining were sewn together, just like when you are working with a facing, but this time the facing is as long as the top.The side seams are sewn like a tube, the underlining side seams and then the top’s side seams all in one long seam. Turn everything to the right side, sew the crochet part onto the top. Sew a little further away from the crochet’s edge, I like to leave the edge of the crochet hang freely over the fabric, so the seam doesn’t even show. Or it can be attached by hand…but I’m too lazy.

I didn’t know what to do with the hem, since I had two layers of fabric now. I had the chose of cutting the top layer shorter and let the bottom layer visible, but I sewed them together over a folded band.

The next morning I woke up to wear my breand new top :) Thanks Ioana for the inspiration.

Oh, and I did it all by draping on the dress form, no pattern for the crochet part either. It has matching pineapple earings to go with it! Photos pending of course.

***************************************************************************************

My fabrics are nicely packed inside a box that arrived the same morning from the Rocky Woods online store.

Just waiting to be cut.

Polartec Windbloc Laminate – Graphite/Brick
Woven poly face (brick)
High pile grid velour back (graphite)
2-way stretch
Polartec Windbloc Laminate - Graphite/Brick

Gore® Soft Shell with microfleece liner – Grey
Water repellent, smooth woven face
Waterproof Gore-Tex membrane
Microfleece back
No stretch
Gore® Soft Shell with microfleece liner - Grey

Reflective zippers:
Zippers with Silver Reflective Stripes

The others are the UV protection fabrics for the shirts. The red and green are a little fuller but will be great for the long sleeved versions, the plaid ones are very soft to the touch and thinner, looking forward to sewing those. The colors for me are not really muted, red and pink, but oh well…why not be a little girlie…even if it is sports wear.
Sun Protective Fabrics

I wish that Rocky Woods would have better pictures of the actual fabric, like the fashion fabrics club has. That would make the whole buying stuff online an easier choice. They do offer samples, I just didn’t want to wait that long.

Now I have to carefully choose a pattern for the softshells and already have some patterns in mind for the shirts.

I do need more advice on the seam sealing process. Will the seam tape that is ironed on hold over the fleece backing? Will the SeamGrip work? hmm….

after some more reading…I found this link that explains a lot about sealing and seaming http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/DIY_RNCSeams.htm

Updated: After all the research, I decided to call Rocky Woods, actually spoke to a nice person, no robots, and she told me that the iron on tape will probably peel off from the fleece backside, as I suspected. I will try the shoe goo on a scrap piece, since I already have that at home and they say it is similar to SeamGrip. If that doesn’t work either, I will simply sew a double seam, maybe a french like seam…that will also look good on the inside if it is not too bulky, or use some bias tape, maybe reflective…or who knows, I’ll play a little with the scraps…

P.S. After everything is sewn, here is how to take care of it:

http://www.rockywoods.com/Fabric-Information-Help/App-Notes/Outerwear-Repair

How to sew outdoor fabrics:

http://www.questoutfitters.com/tips_and_hints.htm

Drape Neckline on Yellow Top

June 3, 2009

A basic top pattern can be altered to create a drape neckline.

http://www.burdastyle.com/howtos/show/1891

To obtain the drape effect on the front neckline, I’ll draw some lines on the Lydia Top from BurdaStyle to make it similar to the pattern I used. I haven’t tested this, but I’m trying to give you an idea of how the pattern actually is.

Discard the neckline facings. These will be cut in one piece with the front and back.

Raise the inner corner of the shoulder seam in the back just a little, and also the center back line. Create a V shaped line at the outer corner of the shoulder seam, to create the back facing, that will fold in when sewn. Cut in a small pinch at the tip of the V line, to stitch the shoulder seam and the facing line when sewing the front piece to the back piece. The facing will be folded inwards, thus visible finishing seams will not show on the right side of the fabric.

For the front side, elongate sideways the pattern at the shoulders, draw the same V line and create the facing by raising the neckline.

I hope this is useful, and you get an idea of how the drape in the front can be created. The drawing is similar to the pattern I have used, and I think that Lydia can be adjusted this way.

Drape Detail

Yellow Drape Top

May 12, 2009

Yellow Drape Top, originally uploaded by fmirela.

Pattern: Burda WOF 10/1998

My favorite pattern for drapy fabrics again and again. Not much to say really, a simple fast serger project. Not a stitch done on the sewing machine, everything in this one is serger, so speed. Simple cut, drapy fabric, 15 minutes cutting out and about an hour of sewing.

Here are some details so you can see the fabric. My mom got this for me in that little dusty Italian fabric shop back home in Cluj, Romania.

The drape at the neckline:
Drape Detail

The coverstitch hem:
Coverstitch Hem

Blue Shirt

May 12, 2009

Blue Shirt, originally uploaded by fmirela.

Pattern: Burda 06/2008
Fabric: Embroidered Cotton from JoAnns
Accessories: Pearl Snap Fasteners

I like this top, but wish it was a little more fitted, I should have taken it in at the side seams.
Blue Shirt

I adore the snap fasteners, they were really easy to apply, so much faster even compared to the machine made automatic button holes.
Blue Shirt
Blue Shirt

I spent a lot of time laying out the pattern pieces over the fabric for the stripes to match.

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