Friday, December 31, 2010

Easy, Pretty Cornered Seams Tutorial

I learned this technique at FIDM in my Industry Sewing course and thought I would share it with you.  It rather straightforward and has worked every time for me.  It was one of those life-changing sewing moments!

Here's the Tutorial:

1.  Mark the pieces with any method you like at the corner.  Depending on the fabric, I use disappearing ink or tailor-tacks.  Here, I marked with disappearing ink.  For the tutorial only, I marked the stitching line and the Right and Wrong sides (RS/WS).  I used a 1/2" SA, but any SA will work.

2.  Place pieces RS together, matching up notches, stitching line and corner "dot."

3.  Stitch to the corner "dot."  This needs to be EXACT!

4.  With the needle down, lift the presser foot and rotate both pieces so the corner is facing you.

5.  Clip into the corner all the way to the needle.  It is OKAY to let the scissors touch the needle.  This step is really important.

6.  Rotate the pieces back to their original position so the piece on top (the inset piece) is back on the stitching line.

7.  Now here is the only tricky part.  With the presser foot still up and the needle in the fabric on the "dot,"  rotate the top inset piece toward you rotating it counter-clockwise.  At the same time, rotate the bottom piece clockwise, so the raw edges will meet.  The next two pictures illustrate this and the drawn on arrows show which way to rotate the pieces.   Because we clipped the corner, we can do this easily!

8.  As you can see, the pieces are still RS together and the raw edges are lined up on the correct line on the throat plate.  You can't see it, but all the excess fabric is pushed aside under the inset (top) piece so that when stitching the 1/2" seam, nothing is caught in the stitching line.  Then stitch to the end.

 Here is the WS, right after it is stitched.  By clipping and rotating the the pieces, it spreads that clip.

There is no need to clip the inset piece.  The pieces automatically lie toward the larger piece.  Press in that direction unless there is a reason to press the toward the inset piece.  If you need to press that way, you will need to take a wedge out of the corner.

Here it is pressed from the front and the back.

Try It...You'll Like It!

Let me know what you think :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jama Gifts!

We exchanged gifts with my older sister and her family on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning we were sent these pictures:

This is why I haven't sewn for myself :)

I originally only bought enough of the striped fabric for the kid's and doll pjs.  Then I decided to make a matching adult pair.  Went back to the fabric store and they were out of the stripes!  Luckily the solid pink matched.  

Merry Xmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Burrito Time.

The Burrito Method for clean-finishing a shirt with a back yoke.

Here it goes:

1)  With right sides together, sew yoke to back.  I like to just baste this seam.  After you baste,  sew the right side of the yoke facing (will be referred to as facing) to the wrong side of the back with regular stitch length.  Now, both the yoke and the facing are attached.  

In the picture below, you are looking at the facing and the wrong side of the back of the shirt.  The yoke and the facing are wrong sides together.

This picture illustrates better how the pieces are attached.

2)  Now attach the front pieces to the yoke, right sides together.  Make sure the front facings or the plackets are finished before you do this step.

In the pictures, the shoulder seams are sewn.  Actually, it is better to pin them in place (or baste if you like).

3) Now its time to fill the burrito.  Open the yoke and facing so the wrong sides are on the table.  Hopefully you can see that both the front pieces and the back piece were rolled up together all the way to where the back is attached to the yokes.  Sorry about the busy fabric, but can you see that the facing is at the bottom of the picture and the yoke with the front attached by pins is that top?

4)  Bring the facing up to yoke at the shoulder seams, enclosing the front and back shirt pieces in the burrito.  The yoke and its facing are right sides together.  Re-pin the shoulder seams so that you are pinning the yoke to the fronts to the facing, in that order from back to front.  Stitch the shoulder seams (5/8in. if home-sewing, 1/2in. if industry sewing).  Make sure you are not accidentally sewing any part of the burrito roll into the shoulder seam.

5)  Gently pull the shirt through the neck hole and, "Voila!" You have a beautifully made shirt!  You should not see SAs at the shoulder seams or the yoke seam.  Hurray!

Hope you find this helpful!  
I wrote this very late last night so if you need clarification, let me know :)

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WWKW? or What will Kate Wear?

I haven't caught the "Royal Wedding" fever, but what about you?  I had a Business class extra credit assignment to make a timeline of trends and shopping patterns that sprung from the wedding of Charles and Diana and then make a forecasted timeline of the trends that might occur as a result of the William and Kate wedding.  I chose not to do the assignment, but I have thought about it a lot.  Recently I saw an article on Women's Wear Daily containing wedding dress sketches that designers have submitted Kate.   Some of them are G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!  Here are my favorites:

Alberta Ferreti

Doo-Ri Chung

Tommy Hilfiger

J. Mendel
Monique Lhuillier  (she went to FIDM and sketches just like my instructor!)
Nannette Lepore

And finally, this one's just ridiculous!

Christian Lacroix
What are your favorites?

Via WWD.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cardiwraps Again?!?!

I made another one...for my sister this time.  The pattern and style is getting old, but oh well. Simplicity 2603 if any of you care to make one.  Everyone probably already has....two years ago.   I don't think my sister reads the blog so I'll post pictures of it now instead of after xmas.  My mom is the model :)

The front.

front again.

the back.  and yes, those are a vintage ceramic flamingo, a tea cup, and a pine cone  on my end table.

I made this pattern a couple of years ago for myself and the wrap is pretty much dead now. Also made two for my mom for the last 2 Xmases.  She wears them all the time.  Then I made a vest version here.
For some reason, this time the sleeves grew.  It's probably just the fabric I used, but they are super long.  You have to roll up the cuff.

Here's the pattern review:

Pattern Description:

Misses knit top and cardi wrap with front variations

Pattern Sizing:

xs-m, I made the M this time.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


Were the instructions easy to follow?

Very, very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love how easy the pattern is to make up. I hate that it is a fabric hog.

Fabric Used:
Drapey, poly knit.  I'm not sure what the fabric is.  It is very stretchy, but not slinky.  It rolled like crazy.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

The sleeves were really long for some reason. I've made this variation before, and the sleeves have never been this long. Maybe I cut it out wrong. Oh well.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Maybe one more time for myself. I made the first for myself a couple years ago? and it has been worn to death.   I've made a ton as gifts.


Easy to make and wear.

A Very Merry Hawaiian Shirt

In July, my family and I went to Maui.  I dragged my parents fabric shopping with me and bought these fabrics:

My dad really wanted me to make him a Hawaiian style shirt so we bought this pattern and he picked out the top fabric in the photo above. It's a Kokka quilting cotton.  It was the best quality quilting cotton I've ever sewn with.  It was dreamy.  

I used this pattern:

Here is the result!


up close.  dammit! the fronts almost match!

back yoke with box pleat instead of 2 side pleats.

still have some gapey arm problems, but i realized i haven't ever seen it not happen on a men's "hawaiian shirt"

can you find the pocket!?

Inside view, clean finished, topstitched from the front.
Overall, I'm pleased with the shirt.  

Here is the PR:

b>Pattern Description:

Loose fitting, casual aloha shirt has camp collar, back pleats, faced back yoke with forward shoulder seams and and straight hemline with slits.  Choice of rounded or pointed pocket.  

Pattern Sizing:

S-4XL.  I made a Large. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


Were the instructions easy to follow?

I did not use the instructions really. I chose to do the "burrito" method for clean finishing the inside, which was a mistake because the camp collar did not extend all the way to the edges of the front "placket."  I had to do some finagling to fix the problem, but it worked out. I ended up cutting down 5/8" at the point the collar attaches to the front and flipping the placket into itself and edge stitching it shut.  Instructions looked okay though. I should have used them, but I wanted to try out my new "burrito" technique.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

The pieces were really well drafted.  

Fabric Used:

An EXPENSIVE Japanese quilting cotton my Dad picked out in a fabric store in Hawaii.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I did a 1/2 in. sloping shoulder adjustment.  I also moved the two back pleats on the sided to one box pleat in the CB.  I needed to do some sort of rounded back adjustment, but decided it was too much work and not worth it.  I also shorted the sleeves and the torso because my Dad is on the short side.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

If my Dad really wants another one, maybe for his birthday.  I would recommend it, but follow directions! Don't be like me :)


My Dad is very happy.  He collects vintage Hawaiian style shirts and he says this one fits the best.  

Why I've Sucked at Blogging...

Hi Everyone!

I schooled School! I going to brag a little because I got straight A's my first quarter.  Even in Sketching.  Yuck!

This is a small part of the reason I've been a sucky blogger these last few months:

Front view.

In my Industry Sewing class, we had to put together a techniques binder and then use those techniques to sew a blouse.  It is a princess seamed blouse with collar and collar stand, faced yoke with foward shoulder seams, and short set-in sleeves with sleeve placket and gathered to a cuff.  It forced us to use a ton of different techniques, but wasn't that difficult to make.  I did most of it in class (therefore no process pictures were taken).  

Back view.

Sleeve placket and cuff.

Undercollar and collar stand.

Repeat picture.

Back yoke (with strange threads hidden inside. weird.

I think the coolest thing about making this was the yoke "burrito" method to clean finish the inside. No hand stitching was done on the blouse.  All exposed seams were overlocked.  There was a ton of topstitching.  I lost 2 points only because one cuff was not equal in width on either side (it didn't match up by less than 1/8th of an inch!)  

Most of my time this quarter was spent sketching though. I may post some before and after sketches, but my teacher still has my best ones because he wanted to show some student work in a departmental meeting and I never got them back.  

I'm on break now and have been sewing Xmas presents like crazy! I'm a sewing machine!  Hahaha. I'm tired.  

I'm finally going to post pictures of how to do pinless curved seams (once I get a tripod set up),  and the coolest, easiest method for inset corner seams.

I'm going to show you (to the best of my ability) how the burrito yoke roll works, my Dad's finished Hawaiian style shirt, my sis's cardiwrap, and a behind-load of pjs and doll clothes.  

You must hold me to these promises.  

Also new Follower thank you's!

Thanks Virginia and Michelle.  

I love Michelle's blog, Cheap and Picky.  She was one of the first bloggers I started to follow well before I started blogging.  Always full of useful tips and tricks like sewing with slippery charmeuse. Vote for her wardrobe at the PR contest!

Pearl says  "Leave me alone, I was sleeping!" and "Hi" too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hawaiian Shirt Help!

Can anyone help me with this problem?

I hate the back/underarm shirt wrinkle!  I started working on Victoria Jones pattern 220 for my Dad's Christmas present:

I made a muslin and its a little small.  That is easily fixed, but I hate the back arm wrinkle.  The picture above is actually from a RTW shirt my dad owns.  The muslin did the same thing.  I read somewhere that it is because the armsyce is set in too low because of the drop shoulder.  

What do I do to fix this? Is it even necessary? My dad has a rounded back too. Could this be amplifying the problem?  How would I fix this in a shirt with a back yoke?

 I realized that I see this men's shirt wrinkle everywhere, on mostly hawaiian style shirts.  My Sketching I instructor has the same problem :)  

Any thought/comments would be most appreciated.  I need to get this thing made before Christmas.  He's been waiting for this shirt since our trip to Maui in July when we bought this fabric:

The top fabric.

Thanks Blog Readers!