Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to hem double faced wool

   This is the last of my tutorials about my double faced cape. Please read the previous ones to have a spherical view on the method I followed and this one will be a piece of cake, I promise!

   Let me remind you. This is how double faced wool looks from the side

I suggest you do the hemming last on your project, no matter what you pattern instructions says, because that's the only way I can think of, to have a neatly finished garment with fully enclosed seams.

So you already have basted your pattern pieces at double the seam allowance distance

and you have separated the two fabric layers up to the basting thread, be careful not to go any further.

Now all you have to do is fold inwards both fabrics (grey and red) until their edges meet the basting thread.
Press, using a pressing cloth and cut half width the seam allowance, as you did when you prepared a basic seam. You don't have to check the width of the seam allowances, as long as your basting is at double distance the seam allowance your patterns suggests or you chose to use. By folding the edges inwards you are folding the seam allowance.

That was all! Now sew, catching both the grey and red fabric with the needle, creating a smooth edge.
When reaching a corner try to make a pointy edge (if your pattern calls for one) and cut any excess fabric you have to fold inwards, to avoid bulk.

Press and run to the mirror to admire your garment on! Told you it was easy!

Feel free to contact me if you need help.

See you around

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Crafty Daddy

     Sometimes there comes a moment when your whole sewing life passes by your eyes. When you see everything you've ever made and piles of fabric for the dresses you never got to sew. Ok let me explain. It's been too long since I last made anything. I miss sewing. I have to many plans, but lately I was too busy and traveled a lot, so sewing was on the hold.
     Yesterday I decided to start on a new dress. I've had the fabric and lace trim since last year. There's always a lining I can use, appropriate for summer dresses and I did buy a zip last week. So I'm all ready to go! I've cut my fabric, cut my lining, pinned the darts, sewn the darts, pinned the side seams, I' m sewing, sewing, clap... the needle has jammed the fabric in the tiny whole beneath it, between the feed dogs, I can see loops of thread where they shouldn't be. I tried to manually reverse the needle up but nothing is moving. The balance wheel turns alright, but nothing moves, not the feeding dogs, not the needle bar. Deap breath Maria, calm down. I unplug the machine and unjam the fabric, cut the thread loops, open the bobin case part, take the needle completely off, it's broken. So far so good, but still the balance wheel is turning and nothing else moves and I can't find the second half of the broken needle.
    Another deep breath. I take the little screw driver, that came with the machine and try to open it and see what I'll find in there. The missing needle part, something broken that gives move from the balance weel to the feed dogs and needle bar?... that damn screw is too tight.
    My dad just woke up from his siesta, I give him a few moments and I call for help. He unscrewed that stubborn screw so easily. Why does that always has to happen? He asked me what was going on. I was already thinking that if my machine broke again, I wouldn't take it this time. I would buy a new one. I can't be without a sewing machine, apart from refusing to imagine my self without sewing, look at all the money I've spent on fabric, still unsewn!
    I explained to my dad what was wrong. He slowly went to the other room, put this glasses on and took a close look to my machine. Took a screwdriver and tightened a screw, with a weird shape. That was it! It's been flowing like a river ever since! The crisis went over fast! Thanks dad!

See you around

Monday, July 16, 2012


    Being able to sew for oneself is an absolute pleasure. Being flattered about your talent to sew and make your friends jealous they can't have the awesome blouse you made for your self is even more awesome! What's a better thank you to a friend for all the good words, than a piece of your work? A friend of mine liked my Coffee Blouse so much I thought it would be only right to make her one too. 
    I couldn't find any similar fabric with an interesting print as mine has, so I chose this ombre satin, with shades of yellow and orange. This time I got to cut the front piece on the bias, as the pattern suggested and the results were more spectacular. The fitting and draping are lovely. 
This is me modelling the blouse before I gave it to my friend.

I'm so happy she liked it!
I suggested that she should wear it with white pants, then it will be sunset in Santorini!

Santorini sunset

See you around

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Burda 7/2012

     I was trying to find the right words for this post for days now. I didn't! I'm not thrilled by this issue either. There is only one dress I like and it's the main reason I did buy the issue. I got to like that dress more because I found this ideal fabric for it. I hope I'll have time in the following to sew it. Lately my time has been so limited traveling and taking exams. I have not sewn for at least a month and a half and I have not found time to show you all whan I sew before things got so tight. I'm optimistic about the rest of the summer. I have two more summer dresses to sew. At least two, that's my main goal. I'm also going to make a navy style purse and couple of things for presents. If I meet these goal I'll be very happy and by the end of August I'll start planning for autumn and winter sewing.
    So here are this issue's models that might interest you, starting with my favourite one.

Modell Photo

I know it probably doesn't look like anything to special, but with the right fabric it can become! It's a vintage pattern, from the 50's, supposed to be a working out garment, accompanied with shorts, but they altered, omitted the shorted and lengthend the hem.

I really really like this one too, probably most because of the colour combination...

Kleid - Schluppe, Nahttaschen 109 0712 B

...but I know it wouldn't look good on me. The pattern is boxy and my curvy back would look weird, I would end up adding darts and it would be a totally different dress. I'm keeping the inspiration though.

Here's a few vintage looking dresses too. Don't get me wrong, I like the style, I adore anything vintage, but I probably wouldn't sew them. It's nice to have the patterns though.

Kleid - tiefe Taille 101 0712 B
Kleid - Godets, Chiffonbänder 112 0712 B
Kleid - Wasserfallausschnitt, Godets 102 0712 B 
If by any chance you are a tango dancer make the last one,
 I'm sure you would look fabulous on the dance floor

This is a quite interesting dress

Kleid - Puffärmel 131 0712 B

and there's a skirt with interesting darts that I'd like to try some time
Rock - figurbetont, Gehschlitz 120 0712 B

I totally adore this top's colours and style, but it's nothing more than two scarves, which I would be luckier than Gastone Mc Duck if I could find them anywhere, so...

Modell Photo

The plus size collection is much more interesting and quite lucky girls!

Rock - sichtbare Abnäher 134 0712 B
Kleid - Ausschnittblende 139 0712 B
Rock - Volant 138 0712 B
I loooooove this skirt, so summery, so simple yet so special!

See you around

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer dress 1

    I'm very proud of my self, because this is the first time that I've been sewing summer garments ahead of summer! Usually I start sewing the season's look while deep into the season and as you can imagine I'm rushing into things and never meet my goals. So right after finishing my wool cape I picked up this half finished dress from last year. It was left half finished because I started it in late September and since the weather got all chilly I left it half done. 

   It is made of linen with embroidered hem. I didn't want to mess with the hem so I eliminated the side seams and made them as darts! In order to achieve that, I placed all 3 pattern pieces (one front and two sides) right next to each other and created a continuous hem line. So that way I managed to have only one back seam.

(the back zip is not twisted all the time...bad moment I just found out, sorry)

I used the pattern I had used for my blue lace dress last year, lowering the back a little.

     I can't understand why, but when I added the lining, a light beige loosely woven cotton, the fitting kind of changed. I don't mind any way, but I'm still wondering why!
    I didn't really want to use lining, but I had too, because do these little windows over here. And who cares when I'm standing, but when sitting down... not a good point of view... not at all!

    The embroidered hem of course is that made me buy this fabric. Firstly I thought about making a circle skirt, but then I came to be very fond of this look, a simple dress with a little something.

This is the back seam. I tried to have the motif continuous, but I didn't have enough fabric and that was my best choice.

This is the darted side seam.

and these are all vertical seams

front in details
 (those american shoulders make my arms look muscular haha)

back in details

I used my favourite bias finishing method.

See you around

P.S. This is summer dress one, because I have planned 2 more. This is the basic plan and I'll very happy if I get to stick to it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Burda 6/2012 full preview

     This issue has really few interesting patterns and I remain disappointed. The one that caught my eye is this beautiful dress.

Modell Φωτογραφία

   Surprisingly a few more patterns popped in my head, from old Burda issues. Surprisingly because I have the memory of a goldfish! 

This is pattern 126 for issue 6/2010

BM1006 burdasty 2  8-050

Pattern 127 from issue 5/2008
I remember falling in love with this one...
It has an attached neck scarf.

Modell Φωτογραφία

and pattern 121 from issue 3/2009

Modell Φωτογραφία

    Can you spot the differences? They are slight and they are the king that all of us would make, by using different kinds of fabric, lining and embellishments.
     I would prefer sewing any of the old dresses, lucky me I have those back issues, because I would use so much less fabric. They yellow one for example takes 2,50 meters, the pink one 2,20 meters for my size (great issue that one, get it if you don't have it already, you may take a look here). But the dress from the current issue requires 7,20 meters!!! Plus you have to have the fabric pleated. I don't know how that works to the rest of the world, but here in Greece, this is a very expensive thing to do (don't get why, but it is). Also if you have wide hips pleating don't always flatter them. Gatherings may be more gentle to your appearance. So I'm sticking with the back issue pattens!

    I also consider this pants pattern to be interesting, especially because of it's unique side seams and pockets.

109 0612 B

    This plus size, cargo style skirt is beautiful.

144 0612 B


That's all folks!

See you around

Monday, May 28, 2012

How to make bound buttonholes on double faced wool

    Now we're making business! This is by far the most difficult part, but if you've tried out the rest, if you've already opened and sewn a seam using my method, you will see that this is based on the same principles, but it takes a bit more of your attention and time. So let's get started.

1. Use an accurate ruler to determine the diameter of the buttons you selected. 

Tip : make sure that the buttons you will use are the same size for both sides, because they will be using the same button holes!

2. Mark the buttonhole on your fabric, according to the pattern, taking of course into consideration the button size. I used heat disappearing markers.
    Making a sample is always helpful, not only for mastering the method, but also for determining you're using the right measurements for the buttonhole.
     This particular buttonhole is 1cm wide, so the middle line stands at exactly 0,5 centimetres. 

3. Now you have to cut the buttonhole open. 
I found it useful and more safe, using my rotary cutter for cutting the middle section and a pointy pair of scissors for the diagonal lines.

4. Now's the tricky part. Open the two layers of the fabric using your fingers and carefully cutting the threads that hold them together, following my first tutorial on seam allowances
    Remember that this buttonhole is 1cm wide, so after cutting it, on step 3, I ended up with 0,5 cm edges, on the long sides. That 0,5cm edge will but turned inside, so I have to make sure that I open the two fabric layers at least 0,5cm. But that may lead to bulkyness, so I will open it more, about 1cm or a bit less, because remember that this will be a bound buttonhole and not only the edges will be sewn inside but also the welts.
    It looks a mess right now, doesn't it? Don't worry, it will be pretty in a short while!

5. Now let's prepare the welts. The welts have to be one piece, but also be red on one side and grey on the other side. At least that's what I wanted. You may have them multicoloured, as in all red on both sides, or one welt grey and one red. What ever you want. 
   For my way, cut strips of the fabric and totally separate the two fabric layers, to end up with one grey and one red. For my 4 buttonholes I need 8 welts, which means I need 8 pieces of red and 8 of grey. The welts have to be wider than the actual buttonhole size, wide enough to allow me to sew them into the buttonhole and narrow enough to fit in the opening I made in step 4. Half a centimetre on each side is enough. 
   Take careful and accurate measurements and cut the welts. Sew the two sides together, one grey one red and interface them. This is the only part of the cape I used, to be more accurate, I could use, interfacing.

6. Back to the buttonhole now. Use basting thread to baste exactly on the marking. Turn the edges inside and give it a good press. Half a centimetre edge is small enough to give you a hard time while sewing the small welts in, so by predefining the edges of the buttonholes you gain time and patience!

7. We are very close to the end! Take the first welt, place it in the buttonhole, making sure the the free edge is 0,5cm. You may find it hand making a marking on the welt at exactly 0,5cm to align it with the buttonhole long edge. 
   Now it's time to start sewing. Catch the folded buttonhole edge and the welt. Be very careful at the corners. They have to be pointy to look pretty and they have to be strong, to last the longest while using them.

    Sew one side and then move to the other side of the fabric. Every welt has to be sewn from both sides of the garment. Use different thread and needle and have it resting there, while sewing the other side. 

8. Repeat for the opposite welt. Give the buttonhole a good press, with a pressing cloth and you're done!
Don't forget to sew the buttons back to back. 

I measured my time. It took me 20 minutes to complete each buttonhole. I consider this to be a good time!

See you around 

P.S. Let me know if you ever try this.

Next : How to hem with double faced wool

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