Monday, May 30, 2011

Cat love!

    I'm a huge cat lover.
This video is all over the web.
In case you haven't already watched it, please do.
If you don't like cats (I wonder why), look at her as a mom.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Me made June around the corner!

    Here's the challenge I've been waiting for. Me Made June! Invented and hosted by Zoe at sozowhatdoyouknow.blogspot.com. Go over and take a look.
    What is Me Made June? She couldn't have said it better, so allow me to repeat her words :
    The purpose of Me-Made-June '11 is to encourage those of us who make and/or refashion clothes to actually wear them our their everyday lives. Rather than spend hours on projects that then languish unworn and unloved in the bottom of a drawer, I believe we should be proud of our achievements and creations. Let's show ourselves as well as everyyone else, that our efforts are more than just a pastime, that we have been slowly developing valueable skills that we can use to actually clothe ourselves, damn it! Let's learn to love our creations, to look past any flaws we can see in them (that probably no-one else would even notice). Why not take an opportunity to learn about what garments work best for our bodies and lifestyles so we can make more informed choices when sewing/knitting/refashioning etc. in the future? Participating in Me-Made-June '11 can do all of these things and more!
    There are already 114 persons willing to participate, my self included. Oh it will be fun. I unpacked the summer clothes two days ago and I'm planning on giving them a good press today. So I'll be ready to go! I'm lucky too, cause my summer wardrobe if full of me made garments. I luck in pants though mmm.... Lot's of alterations to do too, due to weight loss. I'll try taking photos often, thought it will be hard with my crazy working hours.
    Come along too. Wear your creations as often as you possibly can. Brag about them if you may. Feel proud for what you've accompliced and cherish this process. There's always something to learn.
    I'd love to hear your opinion. Do you wear a lot of you creations? How do you feel in them?
   
See you around
Maria

P.S.1: By clicking on the Me Made June '11 button on the right, you will be redirected to Zoe's post.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hemming stitch

    I've made samples of two kind of stitches I use for hand hemming. 
Let's start!

We have a double pressed hem, as shown in yesterdays post.


You may sew it double or reduce the bulk, by cutting off a piece of the first layer, 
like this.


Now take your needle and tread.
(I'm using oversized needle and heavy tread, which are not appropriate for this thin cotton fabric, 
but are photo friendly!)

Tie a knot to the tread and make a parallel to the hem stitch, catching only the double fabric.


On the second stitch, you are catching only one or two fibres of the single fabric layer, which also is the layer you can see from the good side of the garment.


You can barely see what I've caught with my needle here, cause it's just two fibres.

Repeat again and again.


That's how it looks from the good side of the garment.


With a matching tread you won't be able to see anything.

Here's a second way to make this stitch. 

Do the same steps, but this time go form left to right.


and then


you can see the stitches crossing


This is the right side of the garment.


Same result, but more durable.

Tips: a) As you go stretch the hem and let the tread sit comfortable.
 You don't want the tread to be too tight, cause then your stitches will be obvious. 
b) You may make big steps with this stitch! 
You can go from one stitch to the next, with 0,5 or 1 cm space between them.
The tiny stitches on the good side of the garment will end up with the double space between them.

See you around
Maria



Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to shorten pants

    Lot's of alterations going on these days. So here are the steps I'm following to shorten pants.

    1. First of all put them on, while wearing the pair of shoes you are going to wear them with and decide the desired length. Mark it with a few pins or tailor's chalk. One leg will do, you don't have to mark both. You may need the help of a friend in this step. I'm shortening a pair of black pants, which is a versatile garment for my wardrobe and I plan wearing it both with heels and flats, so I picked a medium length to work with any kind of shoe.

    2. Straighten you pair of pants in a way that you can measure the inner seam, just like that.


    Now measure up from the crotch to the mark you made and note down that length, because you will need it for the other leg too.

Tip: Always measure both legs. Sometimes there is a slight difference between the two legs, you can't tell while they are too long for you, but will be noticeable when you alter them to your height.


   3. Measure from the mark to he existing hem and use that measurement to make marks of the same length all over the leg.


      4. Pin the extra fabric upwards, like that


and try the pants on, with your shoes on too.
If everything is ok move to the next step. If not adjust.

5. The first mark you made is for the hem line to be.
So we need to add the seam allowance.
I always add 4 cm and I'll tell you why.
Make a new mark 4cm bellow the first one.


6. Measure the distance between the second mark and the existing hem. 


This will be how much you have to cut off.
Make marks of that specific length all over the leg. 


7. Cut the extra off.


If there is any chance you've made any mistake, you have 4cm allowance, which should be enough to make things ok.

8. Turn the pants inside out.
Using a ruler make a hem of 2cm and pin it.


9. Now turn that hem once again, pin and press.


You just used all the 4cm allowance and the double layer hem you've made met your first mark.

Tip: Don't use pearl headed pins while pressing, cause the heads will melt and ruing your iron.

10. Now you have two choices. 
a) Sew your hem and get done with it, or
b) If you feel, two layer are bulky, you can reduce the bulk this way.
Cut off a part of the first layer, leaving about 0,3 cm.
In this particular pants I'd like some weight on the hem, so I'm not cutting. 
But if I did, that's how I would do it.


I would unfold the double layer hem.
The point where the scissors blade touches the fabric would be where I would cut the first layer. 
ONLY THE FIRST ONE.
(also shown here)

11. Now you should be ready for sewing. 
Depending on the style of the pants, you may machine sew or hand sew.
Sew and press well.

I'm hand sewing this one, with a blind stitch. 
That's how it turned out from the inside.


and the outside



Tomorrow I'll show you how to do that stitch.

See you around
Maria


Monday, May 16, 2011

Length Converter

   Nothing sewing related to report today, not that I stopped thinking about it for even a moment (!). I just wanted to inform you that, since many of you come from countries that don't use the metric system, I added a length converter, that instantly converts length and a link to a convertor site, in case you experience any problems with the instant converter. You may find them bottom left.

See you around
Maria

Sunday, May 15, 2011

BurdaStyle 6/2011 full preview

    The full preview is up. I really like this issue. Hip summery garments with so much potential. I hope I' have enough time to sew 3 or 4 models. In the French site of Burda you can already find the technical drawings. So let's pick a few and have a quick look.
 


No special design after all, but I still like it.


My wardrobe really needs some non jersey blouses and I think this one is a candidate.



So 60's! I love it! I like the clever pleats in front even more. 

  

mmm I like the dress, but not the drawing... 
I'll think more about this one.




Yeap I want this one. I think that yoke will do the work for perfect fitting.



This will be handy for the beach, after the sun sets. 
I'm thinking about embellishments, wooden buttons or beads. 



This is unique.
But I think I prefer this one, with the lovely bold sleeves.



These pants are lovely too



Ok enough talking. 
It's high time I do some sewing too.

See you around. 
Maria

 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mom's skirt

    I finally convinced my mother to model the skirt I made her on December, in her favourite green colour. 



It's an eight panel skirt with a flare.

For the waist seam I used my favourite pipping method, I'll show you one day.


 See you around 
Maria

How to fix the torn back slit of your dress/skirt

    When a girl in a pencil skirt tries to get on the bus this is what happens...


Yeap a torn back slit. 
This is a ready made dress, made of a thin fabric, that couldn't stand my clumsy-ness and got torn.
Fixing it is not hard. 

1.  Cut two strips of heavy woven interfacing. Their length should be 3 cm above the last stitch and 3cm below the last stitch.


You should use woven interfacing, because it's hard to be torn, if you slit get's stressed again and it has to be heavy to help keeping the fashion fabric together, while being stronger than the thread. 
If you observe a torn slit, you will see that, although the fabric gets torn, the seam remains untouched.
 That's because the thread was stronger that the fabric.

I'm going to shorten this slit a little bit, that's why my strips are that long. If you are too, use your measuring tape to measure how much you want to shorten your slit and add 3 cm below that and 3 cm above the existing last stitch.


2. Strongly press the interfacing to the inside side of the fabric, centering the interfacing strip to the fold of the fabric, making sure you placed your interfacing 3 cm above the last stitch and 3cm below it. 


3. Now fold and press, forming the slit.
Repeat with the other interfacing strip to the opposite side of the slit.

4. Open the two slit sides and align them, as you would if you wanted to continue the back seam. Secure them with pins.


5. Sew in the folded line like this


and stop at the desired length.
 As you can see I've marked where I want to stop stitching.

I suggest you use a triple seam like this one


because it is extra strong and hard to be undone.
Back stitch at the end.

6. Press your slit from both sides. 
Ta da !!!


Perfect!
You can't see the old tear and the new seam won't be torn. 

If you are making a pencil skirt your self, I suggest you make a back vent.
It's less trouble and you don't have to worry about your precious garment being destroyed.
This is by far the best tutorial I've ever come across. Thank's Sunni!

See you around
Maria



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