Saturday, 28 May 2016

Zippered pocket by Sandra Betzina

  1. Prepare the zipper box.

  • Baste the line where the zipper will go.
  • Interface behind this line.
  • Cut a silk organza rectangle about 2" wide and the length of the zipper +2" long and pin it over the basting on the RS.
  • Sew with a short stitch (1.5) about ¼" either side of the basting, making a ½" box around it, starting mid way along one long side. At the corners, hand walk the stitch diagonally across the corners for 2 stitches with 7 stitches along the short edge.
  • Cut along the basting line, forming Vs a the short ends and turn through to the other side. Remove basting.
  • Press the silk organza away from the seam from both sides so no silk organza shows.
  • Press Steam a Seam on the WS of the long edges.
  • Shorten the zipper by pulling the zipper pull down then bar tacking at the end and chopping off the excess. This method keeps the zipper stop intact which looks good on the finished pocket.
  • Place the zipper under the box, making sure the zipper stop is exposed and press to hold.
  • Sew along the initial stitching line, down each long side on the WS so the the SA is sewn to the zipper tape. Sew the short side at the zipper stop end.2

2. Add the pocket bag

  • Cut a 10" x 12" pocket bag.
  • Press Steam a Seam on long edges of WS and press the edges in.
  • Pin pocket bag on WS, behind zipper box and stitch in place from WS.

Monday, 25 April 2016

V-Neck Band by Sandra Betzina

Prepare the neckline
  • Sew the shoulder seams
  • Staystitch the neckline at exactly ½"
  • Trim the neckline to within ⅛" of the stay stitching

Prepare the neck band
  • Cut the band with cross-wise stretch, 2" wide x (length of neckline - 2")
  • Fold band in half, lengthwise, WS together and press
  • Form a loop with the cut ends overlapping and forming a V. Sew the two edges of the lower V together at ⅛".
  • Mark the band at ¼ intervals.
  • Marck the neckline at ¼ intervals.

Apply the neck band
  • With RS together, apply band to neckline. Start with the V and stretch the band to match the 4 marked points, not stretching much close to the V.
  • Sew the band in place with the neckline on top, using the stay stitching line as a guide and sewing ⅛" inside this (forms a ¼" seam), starting and finishing at the V.

  • Press the seam towards the neckline, away from the band and press with a clapper. If it still wants to sit up, topstitch the seam in place.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Double Welt Pockets by Sandra Betzina

The following information is my notes from Sandra Betzina's demonstration with Ron collins, the most common-sense method for creating a welt pocket that I came across when researching the topic.

  1. Pocket piece = lining fabric. Pocket piece size = from side seam, 3/4 or so along the waist and down twice as far as you want the finished pocket to be (or cut on fold at bottom). At one end, on the back of the pocket piece, overlay a piece of fashion fabric about 4” deep and the width of the bottom of the pocket piece, over the lower end of the pocket piece and zig zag into place along the long edge. This will turn through the 'window' and face the pocket opening.
  2. Lay pocket piece over garment with back of pocket piece/overlay facing the RS of the garment, matching waist and side seams. Draw the window onto the RS of the pocket piece using chalk and interface behind the window on the garment. Use a grid ruler for accuracy. The window is usually about 6" x 1" long.
  3. Sew along marked line, using small stitches before and after each corner. Cut midway between the stitching lines, forming a V before each corner and clipping right into each corner, making a nice, fat pie at each end. If fabric is ravelly, dot a spot of Fray Check at each corner.
  4. Turn fabric through. From RS, finger-press seams in place, slightly favouring the RS and then iron in place. 
  5. On long edges of box, on WS, press Steam a Seam. Put the 2 interfaced welts - 8 x 4” - RS together and baste down the middle. Turn so that each welt is folded back on itself, with the basting in the middle, and press hard. Position the welts under the box, centred, and press lightly under a press cloth. Lift edge of one side of window and position a fabric loop or ribbon loop under the edge then press hard, with a cloth, from both sides. The Steam a Seam keeps the welts and the loop in place.
  6. Can topstitch around the edge of the window OR can sew invisibly - to do this, lay garment RS up and then fold fashion fabric ONLY back to reveal the stitching line on the interfacing. Sew along the stitchin line, pivoting at the corners and keeping other layers OUT OF THE WAY! This will sew the button loop at the same time. Press.
  7. Remove basting line to open up the welts.
  8. Fold the pocket pouch up to the top, matching side and waist seams. Sew the free inside edges together and finish. Machine-baste along the waist edge. Press over a ham to get the body curve, not caring one whit if the side seams are out of whack. Machine baste the side seam.
  9. Sew button on seam for better anchoring.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Design Idea

Having spent the last few hours trawling through Spotty Dog Social Club, the blog, I wanted to bookmark this idea for casual tops, to add an interesting detail. Basically it's a square of sheer something and some gathered fabric sewn into the band of the top. Thankyou, Spotty Dog, for a lovely afternoon!

The lower photo shows an interesting use of a label, courtesy of Five and Counting.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Turning Fabric Tubes

These are the instructions from Sham's (Communing with Fabric) video post on how to turn a fabric tube using a bobby pin. I'm posting it here in the hope that next time I need to do this I'll know where to look!


  1. Sew the fabric tube, right sides together. Make it at least an inch longer than it needs to be.
  2. Fold the top ½" to the inside of the tube and cut diagonally across one corner forming a cut-out diamond notch
  3. Insert the shorter leg of the bobby pin into the top of the tube (the core) and the longer leg of the bobby pin in through the cut-out notch. Start turning.
  4. Once the tube is fully turned, chop off the dodgy end with the notch.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Make a Slouchy Pocket

First of all, this pocket was inspired by the fabulous work of Gayle Ortiz and drafted by me with much trial and error. It is designed to be attached to the outside of a top, vest, jacket, etc. and the finished pocket measures approximately 51/2" x 71/2". Note that the wrong side of the fabric forms the front gathered pocket.

Draw a paper template
  1. Draw a rectangle 6 x 16".
  2. At 9" down, draw a diagonal line ending 2" out from the lower corner of the rectangle, ending 1" above the lower line. Mirror the angle for the last 1" and do the same on the other side.
  3. Draw horizontal lines at 1½" and 3" from the top.

Construct the pocket
  1. Cut the fabric out and make snips at all the horizontal lines which are either fold lines or placement lines.
  2. Overlock each short edge, without trimming
  3. Interface the rectangle, not quite to the edges.
  4. With RS together, turn the top of the rectangle down 1½" and sew this short seam in ¼" seam. Turn and press.
  5. With RS together, turn edge of wedge down 1" and pin sides. Don't sew and turn.
  6. With WS together, pin one edge of wedge to one side of rectangle, lining the folded edge of the wedge along the overlocked edge of rectangle. Pin other side (there will be a lot of bagginess).
  7. Sew each side with a ¼" seam.
  8. Sew 2 lines of basting at ½" from the folded edge of the wedge.
  9. Gather the folded edge, secure ends and distribute fullness evenly.
  10. Sew 3 buttons onto the top flap.
  11. Edgestitch the pocket to the top, vest, jacket, and voila!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Make a 1950's Bow

Make a pattern

  1. Cut 2 pieces of fabric on the straight grain, making the main piece twice the length and twice the width of the finished bow, plus ¼" SA all around on both pieces. The bow will be about half the length of the main piece.
  2. Interface if the fabric is very drapey.

Sew the main piece

  1. With RS together, sew a ¼" seam on the long edge. Press the seam open over dowel and turn. Position the seam line in the middle and press.
  2. Make horizontal pleats on the CF and sew them down using a wide zig zag, about as wide as the centrepiece
  3. Pleat the raw ends of the main piece and tack in place.
  4. Fold the ends under so that they meet at CB. Sew through all layers using a wide zig zag (won't show -  will be covered by the centrepiece).

Sew the centrepiece

  1. With RS together, sew a ¼" seam on the long edge. Press the seam open over a wooden chopstick and turn. Position the seam line in the middle and press.
  2. Finish the raw edges and press.
  3. Topstitch, if desired.

Assemble the bow

  1. Wrap the centrepiece around the main piece, overlapping raw edges at CB and hand stitch in place.
  2. Using teeny weeny stitches, stitch the folded edges of the centrepiece to the main piece - this puffs it up.
  3. 1950s Bow