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).

Friday, 8 July 2016

Fly Front Zipper

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina. Sandra recommends buying a zipper a couple of inches longer than needed so that when you are sewing the fly front the pull doesn't get in the way. Later, cut the excess off and bind the teeth with waxed thread to secure.

Technique:

1. Prepare the fly front:
  • Interface both sides of the fly with weft interfacing in the non-stretch direction.
  • On the WS, mark where the zipper stop will go.
  • Baste the CF seam down to the zipper stop mark, backstitch then sew the rest of the seam with a regular stitch length, stopping about 1" before the cut edge.
  • On one side of the fly, clip to the stitching line at the bottom of the curve so the fly's can lie flat.
2.  Insert the zipper:
  • Flip the garment and one fly to the R, leaving the other fly extended.
  • Place the zipper face down next to the CF seam line, lining up the zipper tape with the CF seam and checking that the zipper stopper is on the mark.
  • Stitch along zipper tape near CF seam, from the bottom up.
  • Turn the zipper under so that the seam just sewn is exposed and stitch from the bottom up at ⅛" from CF (same side of the zipper is being sewn).
  • Flip the garment to the other side so that the other fly is extended. Let the zip flop over onto it and pin in place. Stitch.
3.  Topstitching:
  • On RS, place a pin at the zipper stop.
  • Mark 1 ¼" from CF basting line down to the zipper stop then round the curve down to where the seam starts.
  • Stitch from the bottom up, missing the zipper stop. Note that it doesn't matter if the zipper isn't caught in the top stitching as it is securely fastened to the fly fronts.
  • Remove the basting and press towards the fold.


Make and Apply Fringe

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina. The best fabric for fringing is 'Chanel' tweeds. You will get different colours depending on whether you cut the strips on the straight or the cross grain. Always using fringing doubled up for a lush look.

Technique:

  • Cut a 2" wide strip of fabric and a 2" wide strip of silk organza.
  • Machine baste the organza to the fabric down the centre line.
  • Press both organza seams to one side and both fabric seams to one side.
  • Cut the organza seams down to 5/8".
  • Unravel the fabric to form fringing.
  • Add to garment edge. If it is to a curve, e.g. to a lapel, clip into the organza.
  • Baste close to the seam (to show placement when it comes to stitching e.g. facing in place).
  • Apply eg facing and stitch seam using the basting as a guide.
  • Press the seam allowances back on themselves on both sides.
  • Trim and grade the seam allowances, notch curves and turn right sides out.
  • Baste the facing to the garment near the seam so can then give a good hard press with a clapper /organza on WS.