Sunday, 28 August 2016

Perfect Collar Points

This technique, courtesy of Pamela from Off the Cuff, is apparently used in industry shirt making. I have used it many times, always with great results.

Technique:

  1. Trim seam allowances on outer and short edges of the collar to ¼".
  2. Stitch the outer edge seam and press the seam allowance open.
  3. On the RS, lie a doubled piece of thick thread along the seam line with the loop hanging outside the collar.
  4. Sew the short edge of the collar, using a short stitch initially.
  5. Clip across the corner, taking care not to snip the thread loop.
  6. Gently pull the thread ends (not the loop) from inside the collar, turning the point in the process.
  7. Do the same for the other short edge

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Narrowing Sleeves

I often find that larger size patterns have a dropped armhole and baggy sleeves, particularly in knits. I came across this method for narrowing sleeve width and will keep it in mind for future alterations.

Technique:

1.   Narrow the sleeve

  • Measure the bicep length from the pattern and compare with your own. Divide the amount you need to shorten the length by 2.
  • Draw a line on the pattern from the Centre dot at the top of the sleeve to the bottom, on grain.
  • Draw a line on the pattern across the bicep.
  • Trace the sleeve onto a piece of paper.
  • Cut along both lines leaving a hinge at centre top and at each side.
  • Narrow the bicep by the required amount, overlapping the plates of the pattern and raising the sleeve cap height but keeping the lower edges on grain.
  • Redraw the sleeve, adding paper in-fills where needed (eg the sleeve cap).

2.   Redraw the bodice armscye

  • Adjust the front and back bodice by raising the armhole the same amount as that decreased at the bicep. e.g.. if you decrease the bicep width by 2", add 1" to the front and back armscye.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

French Seams

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina. It assumes a seam allowance of 5/8". Unlike most other instructions on sewing a French seam, there is no trimming after the first seam pass.

Technique:

  • With WS together, sew a ¼" seam.
  • Press the seam open
  • With RS together, sew a 3/8" seam.
  • Press.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Sew a Partial Placket


This technique is courtesy of Ashley. The partial placket is constructed after the neckline has been completely finished. ½" seams are used throughout.

1. Preparation:

  • Decide on the desired length of the finished placket opening. e.g. 6".
  • Cut 2 fabric strips, one longer than the other: Strip A = 6" + ½" + 1 ½"   Strip B = 6" + ½" + ½"
  • The fabric strips will be 3 x wider than the finished width. eg. for a 1" placket, cut strips 3" wide.
  • On WS of garment front, draw a CF line that is 5 ½" long and cut along it.

2. Construction

  • On WS garment, pin Strip A face down along the RHS of the opening with the top lying ½" above the neckline and Strip B face down along the LHS of the opening with the top lying ½" above the neckline. The two strips should line up at the top and be staggered at the bottom.
  • Sew each strip in place with a seam allowance of ½" (= half the finished width of the placket). Sew the strips the length of the finished placket (6") not the cut opening (5 ½")
  • On RS garment front, cut diagonally out from the cut opening to the ends of the stitching line. Cut through the garment front fabric only, not the plackets.
  • On WS, fold  B to the R along the seam line and press.
  • On RS, pull Strip B through the opening to the right side and fold the raw edge under ½".
  • Flip Strip B over to the right and fold the RHS of the fabric back on itself, exactly in half, with RS together and keeping the top and bottom edges even.
  • On WS, stitch across top at ½" through all layers so that it is even with finished neckline. Clip corners, turn RS out and press.
  • On RS, lift the bottom of Strip B up and fold the triangle fabric of the garment front down, then lie Strip B over it.
  • Sew all the way down the RHS and across the bottom of Strip B at ½" from the bottom, catching the triangle and keeping Strip A out of the way. This stitching line should be 6" long.
  • Do the same with Strip A on the LHS.

3. Finishing

  • To finish Strip A, fold ½" under at bottom edge so that it covers Strip B completely.
  • Sew a large cross in a box at the bottom inch of Strip A.
  • Attach snaps, buttons, whatever.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Clean Finish Neck Binding

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina. This technique can be sewn in the round.

Technique:

  • Measure the length of the paper pattern neckline and cut a 2" fabric strip to match. Sew the ends in a 5/8" seam so that the strip is 1 ¼" smaller than the neck edge. Cut the strip on the cross grain for extra stretch.
  • Stabilise the neck edge with ¼" fusible knit stay tape.
  • Sew the strip to the neck edge with a lightening stitch, stretching slightly if needed.
  • Press seam up towards the binding from both the RS and the WS.
  • Edgestitch the seam allowances to the binding.
  • Fuse ¼" Steam a Seam to the seam allowance then turn the entire binding down and fuse in place.
  • Topstitch at ¼" in lightening stitch.
  • Trim binding to the stitching line.

Hong Kong Finish for Necklines

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina. This technique can be sewn in the round.

Technique:

  • Measure the length of the paper pattern neckline and cut a 2" fabric strip to match. Sew the ends in a 5/8" seam so that the strip is 1¼" smaller than the neck edge. Cut the strip on the cross grain for extra stretch.
  • Stabilise the neck edge with ¼" fusible knit stay tape.
  • Sew the strip to the neck edge with a lightening stitch, stretching slightly if needed.
  • Press seam up towards the binding from both the RS and the WS.
  • Fuse ¼" Steam a Seam to the seam allowance then turn the binding down and fuse in place.
  • Stitch in the ditch with a tiny lightening stitch
  • Trim binding to the stitching line.

FOE - Fusing Method

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina.

Technique:

  • Choose either the matte or shiny side of the FOE as the 'Right' side.
  • Apply two strips of ¼" Steam a Seam to each side of WS of the FOE.
  • Remove the paper from one side.
  • Place the neck edge over the FOE, right to the centre fold and fuse in place.
  • Remove the 2nd paper, fold the FOE over and fuse. Shape over a ham.
  • Stitch in place with a lightening stitch (~ 1.0 x 2.5 stitch length).