Playing with Fire

That’s an odd post title. So, I’m still working on the Mathilde Blouse I linked to yesterday. And if you browse around on that website you might come across a warning that beginners should avoid slippery fabrics. I don’t really consider myself a beginner but I also wouldn’t say I’m advanced either. I don’t know, I’m not the best judge of my skill level. But obviously I didn’t head that warning because I had already fallen in love with my ridiculously slippery fabric.

I’ve finished everything but the sleeves and picking out buttons but this post is really about how much this fabric frays.

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To start it’s a real pain to cut because it’s so slippery it slides around under the pattern making it difficult to keep everything straight. But then after I got everything cut out I was worried that my seam allowances would get all messed up as the fabric basically fell apart.

Now, I feel like I have to add a disclaimer here because this is when I broke out the fire. This will only work on synthetic fabrics! If you have real silk please DO NOT set it on fire. Because it will just burn. You could mail it to me though…

Because my fabric is synthetic I could seal the edges with a quick touch to a flame. The synthetic fabric melts instead burning. Although if you were to leave the flame touching too long I have no doubt it would also catch fire, I’m talking about just a quick second. And because I like to live dangerously I took pictures (I don’t recommend holding the fabric and lighter and camera) to make a gif to illustrate!

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If you’re not sure about your fabric type, test a scrap piece first. Over the sink. Or with a glass of water near by.
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Working on a Mathilde Blouse

After the flurry of Kids Clothes Week there’s not many things we’re short on in the kid’s department. But I’ve had this really pretty silk like fabric for a while now and have been looking for the perfect pattern to use with it.

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I finally settled on the Mathilde Blouse by Tilly and the Buttons. I love it but I had to cut my sleeves short since I only have a little over a yard of the fabric. And I had to throw cutting on the grain out the window pretty quickly.

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I don’t actually know what type of fabric this is because I bought it in a thrift store but it feels so nice! Don’t let that fool you though because man was it hard to cut.

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Hopefully I’ll have it done by tomorrow!

(Sorry for the cell phone shots, late night sewing!)

Missing Pictures

I realized late last night that in my haste to post the tutorial yesterday I never added a picture of the final dress. It doesn’t really affect the tutorial not to have it since the directions are the same either way but I still wanted to share it.

FullDressFront

Pockets! I don’t have a pattern piece for these but they’re pretty easy to eyeball. Just piece together two rectangles and top stitch it down.

Back

You can see how my back collar pieces are a little funny looking. I had to fold the ends in on themselves to get them to fit and one side is a little shorter than the other but it’s not very noticeable when she’s moving around.

Sideish

I almost used a different fabric for the top because I was worried about it looking a little beetle juice-y but I’m really glad I plunged ahead because I love how it turned out. And I have five yards of that striped fabric so I’m sure you’ll be seeing it again.

AllDone

Trying to sign ‘all done’!

Tutorial and pattern can be found here.

Linked to:

Sew Much Ado

 

 

 

Friday Favs Party

 

 

 

 

 

Sundress Instructions

One thing of note, the pattern I uploaded yesterday had a small flaw in the collar length. I originally extended it from the first dress but forgot to account for when I shortened the front neck opening a bit. So it ended up too long, but I’ve (hopefully) fixed that and uploaded the corrected pattern. None of the other pieces were changed so if you’ve already printed the other pattern you can just download a new copy and only print off the collar page.

Onto the construction! If you have one, pull out a ball point needle and put it on your machine. If you don’t have one you should really look into buying one. With thicker knits you can sometimes get away with a normal needle but especially with the thinner stuff a regular needle will rip little tiny holes into your fabric when the thread goes through. This essentially makes a perforated line just ripe for the tearing.

Layout

Here are what your pattern pieces should look like when they’ve been cut out with the bottom band pinned to the tops of the dress. Most knit fabrics will stretch in all four direction but will stretch more in one particular direction. You want the stretchiest direction to lay horizontally. Sew where you see the pins.

TooCloseExample

Something that took me a while to figure out with knits is how to keep the machine from “eating” the fabric. If you start very close to the end of the fabric the needle will pull the edge into the machine and keep trying to sew. Making a big tangled mess. But if you move the fabric up a little and start sewing further from the end the presser foot will help to hold the fabric taunt more and the needle will slide through the fabric better. It’s hard to see in the picture but the one on the right is sewing further from the back of the fabric. It’s a small difference but it really helps.

SewnCollar

Another thing that I really have to force myself to do is pressing seams. The collars on the left are right after I sewed them and on the right is after a quick pressing with the iron. It really helps to flatten out your seams but it’s something that I always try to skip since it takes a little longer. After you’ve pressed your collar pieces you’ll need to clip notches around the curves, turn them right side out, and press them again.

Pleat

The markings on the front dress piece are for the little pleat. Fold the fabric in half and sew down the length of the marking.  Then fold the pleat down to flatten it out and sew, on the front, a small rectangle surrounding the seam of the pleat.

I didn’t take a picture of this step but now you’ll sew the shoulder pieces, right sides together.

PinningCollar

I like to pin the collar and facing separately. Since the collar will show from the outside I like to have more control of it’s placement but you can pin the facing and collar all at the same time. I’m working with the old collar pattern piece so just ignore that it doesn’t fit properly.

CollarOverlap

The front collar pieces will need to overlap just a little. since the top 3/8s will fold down you won’t see the overlap in the final product but if it weren’t there your collar pieces would be too far apart. It doesn’t matter which side is on top.

PinningFacing

Pin the facing on top of the collar. I find it easiest to work with if it’s draped over something like a chair or my arm, mimicking how it will be worn on shoulders.

SewingFacing

Sew everything down using a stretch stitch. It should be listed in your manual but it’s also the stitch that looks like a little lightening bolt. I like to increase my stitch height by .5 but since your default settings may be different it would be best to try it out on a scrap piece of fabric first. If you’re using an older machine that doesn’t have this stitch you can also use a wide, close together zig-zag stitch.

TopStitchFacing

Once the facing is sewn you’ll need to clip it, turn it under, and press again. Then come back and top stitch under the collar.

TopStitchStartStop

When you’re top stitching you don’t want to go all the way around since you want the stitching to be hidden by the collar. You’ll have to sew two separate lines starting and stopping before you get to the ends of the collar pieces. I’ve also been known to add a few pieces of hem tape on the inside, underneath the facing just to be extra sure it won’t flip up. When that’s all done, sew up the sides of the dress.

AttachingBinding

If your fabric has a right and wrong side you’re going to sew the binding pieces together, right sides touching. If it doesn’t then it doesn’t matter which sides are touching! With both the dress and the binding inside out you’re going to slip the arm hole into the binding. You’ll have to stretch the binding a little to get it to fit. I like to align the binding seam with the bottom of the opening, where the side seam begins. Once thats sewn you’ll turn the whole dress inside out, fold the top of the binding down to meet the raw edges, and then fold the whole thing in half again; pulling it down to encase the raw edges and far enough down that it hides your first seam.

You should know that I hate arm binding. I find it really difficult to work with since it’s such a small area and the pins get in the way and it’s just a general pain in the butt. So good luck!

All that’s left is to hem the whole thing up, unless you were smart and used an old t shirt for the bottom of the dress just to get out of hemming. There is nothing better than getting to the end of a project and knowing it’s already hemmed!

And one more time for the pattern link!

Here Comes the Sundress

The Kids Clothes Week finale! I spent most of the weekend making little tweaks to this pattern and printing it out a bunch of times and I think I’ve gotten it to where I like it. And you can download a copy here!

ADressFront

Now, I’m not a professional and I’ve never actually made a multi-page pattern before so keep that in mind. If there are any mistakes I would love to here about them and will be glad to answer any questions. I tried to make it so it would use the least amount of paper when you print so some of the pages are landscape and some are portrait.

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I’ll have better pictures tomorrow but here is a cell shot of what the layout will look like once you’ve cut everything out.

I tried to get pictures of the dress outside but the only day it was warm enough was also ridiculously windy. There was one picture though that I knew I wanted to use.

Beatles Abbey Road

If you click on the picture it will take you to the original image.

I can’t help but love all things cheesy! This was also how the name of the dress came about. When I was photoshopping the picture I kept getting Here Comes the Sun stuck in my head since it’s from the same album as the picture. And the dress feels a little 70s vintage to me so I think it fits.

Like I mentioned before this is made for knits and a 3/8″ seam allowance is included. I’ll have the full tutorial tomorrow to show how to put it together and maybe some tips on working with knits.

CollarOnDress

I brake for peter pan collars. I would buy that bumper sticker.

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Updated:Click here for the tutorial!