Bought a tailor’s ham

Second hand. Online. I really don’t know what I’m doing, this thing is huge!
tailor's ham perskussen sewing
tailor's ham perskussen sewing

It is quality though. Linen with saw dust or horse hair in it. Really firm.
I guess I can dream about making a proper jacket one time in the future now?

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my first “Loes’ bloes”

A top with a scalloped front. No opening though, it slips over the head. Gathered sleeves.

Pattern drafted at course, based on my personal block.

topje patroontekenen schulprand French bustdarttopje patroontekenen schulprand French bustdarttopje patroontekenen schulprand French bustdarttopje patroontekenen schulprand French bustdart

Learned a lot. Still looking for a good arm hole + sleeve. This arm hole was cut 3 cm lower from the block. It’s about 1 cm too low at least. The sleeve should have been elongated at the underarm, I feel. Now it only allows for the arm to hang straight down.

Had to open the neck front more than initially drafted. I have a large head on a scrawny neck. The block is good for drafting tops with a wide neck or an opening (such as dress shirts) but it’s too tight when only regular drafting numbers are used for tops that slip over the head. Needs 5 cm more, on top of the regular numbers (1,5 cm at CF en CB here).

I feel the back has too much fabric lengthwise. The small of my back is not sufficiently accommodated. Yet my teacher showed that when arms are raised the back wil travel up. So fabric is needed. Perhaps additional shaping fixes the problem.

In the left front panel the bust dart is folded away: CF is not straight any more.

In the right front panel the bust dart is swivveled into a French dart. This one needs to have it end point about 5 cm lower, well below the apex. And at the side seam it needs to be lower too, about 10 cm.

used this tutorial form Sewaholic for the simple continious sleeve plaquet.

Untitled

the practise shirt I sewed last June

Last year, at my drafting course, we took our block and made it into a pattern for a dress shirt. Just before Summer break I sewed it. Out of a cheap cotton from the market. This is the blog post I wrote then:

PATTERN

There are few things I feel unsure about. I was told to swivel the bustdart into two waist darts. And the little dart that goes from the apex to the arm pit too, the one that most big busted women need.
It has left me with a rather sharp angled arm hole on the front panel:
Schijndel bloes

At the back I’m putting in a yoke and have brought the shoulder seam forward by cutting off a piece from the front panel and attaching it to the back panel, literally. But I wasn’t told I should ease the curve in the armhole. It has quite a dent in it:
Schijndel bloes

Never mind, don’t go changing anything. Just sew as is. It’s for study.

Sewing steps. Following David Page Coffin’s book: Shirtmaking.

1. CUTTING
cut with 1,5 cm seam allowance. Aii! this fabric is slippery!

2. STAYSTITCHING
at 1,3 cm from the edge:

3. CLIPPING
right up to the staystitching. All curved edges (neck, arm,) and things on the bias (yoke, shoulder seam).
Schijndel bloes

Due to bringing the bust darts to the waist my side seam is now on the bias too…. clip it? I don’t think so, it’s not supposed to add fullness… clip it a bit because it will add fullness and I don’t want the edge to interfere with the seam.

4. PRACTISE PRECISE STITCHING
long seams while guiding the fabric through, keeping it at a little tension. This is to avoid that the dog feeder at the bottom will take more of the fabric at the bottom than the fabric on the top.
I also have a Hemmed Seam foot on my antique Singer machine! yeah! Mr. Page Coffin really wants me to use it.
Felling foot on my antique Singer foot treadle sewing machine.

SEWING
– shorten stitch length. Seam stitch = 2 mm; top stitch = 3,5 mm. Edge stitch is close to the edge, 1,5 a 3 mm. Topstitching is done further from the edge.
– adjust seam guide on sewing machine: from 1,3 cm to 1,5 cm.

5. DARTS IN THE BACKPANEL. Important points are only marked with pins, doublechecked with pattern and then sewn. From the fat part of the diamond to the points.
Schijndel bloes

6. YOKE TO BACK. Back sandwiched between the two yokes. Ai, the backpanel is 1,5 cm wider than the yoke and the pattern. The fabric was so slippery when cutting. I’m putting in a pleat/gather. Making the back panel top fit the yoke bottom:
Schijndel bloes
Schijndel bloes
Sewn.
Grade the seams, keeping the one at the outer yoke the largest.
press upwards
edgestitch outer yoke to seam allowances (fold inner yoke back as not to catch it).
Schijndel bloes

I had forgot to clip the upper edges of the yokes so thought to do so when they were already seamed to the back panel. Only I clipped dangerously close to the seam! So I sewed another seam close to it.:
Schijndel bloes
Now pressing upwards and edge stitching. Letting the pressed seam run in the middle of the little foot prong, the one on the left. Doing so the edgestitch is 1,5 mm from the edge.

7. FRONTS: darts and facing.
These darts are huge. Are they meant to remain like this or should they be graded and the edges treated? I guess so but I’ve resolved to just do as I’m told on this blouse, to learn the most that way.

finish edge of facing: fold under and stitch.
Attach facing to buttonband. press, apply interfacing. Press again, remembering “turn of cloth”: don’t fold at the seam but allow the frontpanel to fold over.

8. ATTACH FRONTS TO YOKE
front to inner yoke. Grade seams.
Fold outer yoke over. One side doesn’t fit nicely… the staystitching is showing, even after getting it apart again and redoing it.
I’m adding a decorative seam to the other side, so they at least look a bit more similar.

9. COLLAR

Assemble collar and stand and attach them.
Argh! This fabric is way too slippery, I didn’t manage to cut decent collars.
Didn’t manage to draft decent collars either… I don’t understand the explanations we got in the lesson very well.

Just drafting them as the homework told me they should. Using sewaholic’s tutorial and Page Coffin’s book for guidance in the sewing. Here’s a nice video for another method, attaching collar to stand and then them to the shirt.

here’s a good tutorial for drafting a stnd andcollar! By pattern cutter Emily Tao in the UK

10. SLEEVE PLACKET
I don’t understand the bottom of the sleeves… they are curved. While the cuff is a rectangle. Where should I place the placket? Leaving it.
this is my template:
placket sewing shirt sleeve placket
this tutorial by Sewaholic

I then did sew it. I combined the tutorial above with instructions from Page Coffin, page 103. I placed it 6 cm from the sideseam. Ignoring biased cut sideseam and curved bottom edge, just going by grain of the cloth.

11. SET SLEEVE
The side seam is stil open. Placing sleeve in armhole, right sides together. High top is the point of reference.
Pinning sleeve cap in place, with sleeve on top. Pinning at the stay stitching (= seam line), not at the cut edge.
To the back side the sleeve fits perfectly. All the extra circumference is in the front. Trying to ease it in at only the top front, not the front bottom.
there will be pleats… but I’m not rotating the sleeve, the high point is meant to sit at the shoulder “seam”.

I clipped it way too much, I misunderstood Page Coffin about the staystitching. Cannot make this into a decent felled seam. Just folding it once, finishing it with pinking shears.

Hmpf. The upper yoke has a different dimension than the lower one. The staystitching and clipping is showing on one side. It’s ok, this will be a practice shirt.

12. Hem.

13. closure: buttons. I don’t have any. By now the shirt was so clearly a study-shirt that I didn’t bother putting in buttonholes, buttons, a zipper or snaps. I would just pin it shut along the CF for fitting.

FITTING at the last day of the class.

Bodice fits well. Nice and smooth across the shoulders, enough room at the bust. Waist darts look awful though. They also run right up to the apex.

The sleeve is uncomfortable at the shoulder, due to to shape of the armhole in the front panel. At the natural shoulderseam the dent was too obvious. Sleeve width down the arm is ok as is the cuff. A bit too long, the sleeve. Sleeve placket and all topstitching is neat.

Never ever work with this slippery fabric again for a dress shirt.

My teacher drafted a new collar for me, as I had not understood the directions well enough. We amended the armhole a bit.

See next post for pictures.

Skirt-Sew-A-Long Inside Number 23 Finished

A self drafted pattern of a skirt with waist band, zipper at the side, lining, and nice deep pockets. Inspired by the Hollyburn skirt by Sewaholic which is used for the sew-a-long by Inside Number 23 in which I participate with this skirt:
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

Sideview:
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

It’s a fitted skirt because I have no hips and no bum. No waist either. I do have a belly. And a sway back (curved lower back). I accounted for all of this in the pattern. Straight skirts are most flattering, with a flare at the hem so I can move my legs. The flare is done with godets in this skirt.

Look how much ease for striding these godets give me. I feel victorious!
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

Using the selvedge as the edge was very handy. Less finishing to do.

Now there’s a nice IKEA print just at the front of my skirt. Also: This skirt is lined.
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

I’m very happy with my skirt. It’s made of sturdy canvas so it can stand my way of living. It is in all the right colours that fit my shirts and this grey vest that I just knitted.
The fabric has a bold print and it will disguise the stains I undoubtely will make on it.

And now I have a good pattern from which I can make multiple skirts. The video tutorials Inside Number 23 posted gave me the courage to make this skirt form beginning to end. French seams in the lining. A kind of lapped exposed zipper. Pinked seam allowances in the canvas.
The only thing I didn’t take from the video’s was a level waist band. That’s for next time.
Untitled
I did use the zipper to take away the excess width in the waist band. There’s a hook and bar in the waist band.

Onward to other sewing projects!
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

Skirt-a-long: hem, details, not finished

Hem: catch stitch on the hem which uses the selvedge edge of the fabric, blind stitch on the godets which do not. Great tutorial  showing the different stitches and how to start and end with your thread.

Sewing skirt details Ikea gabric
Sewing skirt details Ikea gabric

On the waistband I didn’t follow Inside Number 23’s tip to match the height of the band on both sides of the zipper. I just had too much going on trying to fit in the zipper and the lining and folding all the waist band pieces neatly. Lapped zipper hiding into the pocket:

Sewing skirt details Ikea gabric
I did give the base of the pocket reinforcement.

The inside:
Sewing skirt details Ikea gabric

The zipper hides the selvedge of both the lining and the fashion fabric in just one go.
I have not yet mastered how to fold in the ends of the waist band neatly while sewing. I attached the band to the skirt first, to allow for fitting, which is a different sequence than Inside Number 23 advised.

This band was too sturdy to work easily, what with the horse braid inside and this stiff canvas. I think this might be a good finish for my future sturdy skirts (which I wear a lot) though: just attach an extra piece on top to hide the edges.

The topstitching of the band didn’t work out so well, unfortunately. I love top stitching. But this one is wonky. Probably because of all the layers and mounting the bulk where the pockets meet the waist band.

Finished!

Put it on!

Sewing skirt: waist band front too wide.

What? waist band too big! how can it be? I fitted before inserting zipper.

back of waist band is 44 cm long, front of band is 47!

91 cm in total. should be 84+wearing ease. Or just 82 at the top.

Pattern pieces are 22 each, 88 in total, and that’s a tad too wide already.

sewn waist band front is 45,5 at the top; 47 at the base.
patternpiece waist band front is 23 (46) at the top; 24,7 (49,4) at the base.

The skirt pattern from which the waist band pattern piece is derived is 22 cm at the top (including a 1 cm dart); 22,8 at the base (including a 1 mm dart)
That’s 42 at the top; 45,4 at the bottom.

The pattern piece is incorrect.
It’s 46 at the top; 49,4 at the base and it should
be 42 at the top; 45,4 at the bottom. That’s 2 x 2 cm too wide. That’s a clue which pattern piece matching just has confirmed.
When making the waist band pattern piece from the skirt pattern and folding away the darts seam allowance was added at the sideseam. But it was already in the skirt pattern.

This is how it should fit:
Sewing skirt: waist band front too wide.

Sideseams are at their proper place, it’s solely the front band that’s too wide.

This is what I have to do to make it look like that:
Sewing skirt: waist band front too wide.

This is how much I need to take out…. that’s a whopping 7 cm.
Sewing skirt: waist band front too wide.

I’m going to see if I can fix it. This zipperside is where the solution has to be since the rest of the waist band is made too sturdy to amend:
Sewing skirt: waist band front too wide.

This is how much needs to go:
Sewing skirt, adjusting wide waist band

It’s doable but it will make the front a-symmetrical:
Sewing skirt, adjusting wide waist band

A-symmetrical but wearable.

Luckily it’s only the front of the waist band. The side seams are at their proper place. So hopefully the only awkwardness will be when I try to put both hands in my pockets and have to stand with a twisted torso. The fabric print will probably distract enough for people to notice the a-symmetry of the pockets. People do not pay attention to that sort of thing anyway.

Finished: a sturdy canvas skirt

Sewing skirts, learning to.

Using the same pattern as the Lilac Skirt on the Bias, with the straight pockets I’ve come to love and a VERY sturdy waist band. No lining. Double stitched side seams (lapped seams) with a zipper. A sturdy waist band with a sturdy hook and bar for closing.

Again below the knee.

The waist band is extra sturdy: it has curtain band in it. Talk about non-stretchy sturdy stuff! I sewed it on the inner panel and then topstitched through it from the outer panel.
Sewing skirts

The inside of the waist band takes “roll of cloth” into consideration. I prefer the fold not to be on the outer top of the edge, but just on the inside. I think it’s a neater look from the outside. Inside:
Sewing skirts

When sewing the waist band to the skirt I made a mistake. It doesn’t meet its other end at the same height:

Sewing skirts

Will have to redo one side (at least).

After readjusting the waist band all that had to be done was to attach the hook and bar:

Sewing skirts, learning to.Sewing skirts, learning to.

Not sewn in very neatly because I was done with this waist band and this is a usable garment primarily, not for pretty details. Prior to attaching the hook and bar I reinforced the ends of the waist band by machine stitching and pivoting and stitching some more.

The reinforced pocket openings and the sturdy waist band work like a charm. The sturdy side seams have proven useful too. I wear this skirt with confidence, no matter where I sit down or when I crouch down and put quiet a bit of strain on the seams.

Only one thing I’ve learned after wearing this skirt a couple of times: reinforce the point where the pocket opening meets the side seam:
Sewing skirts, learning to.

And something weird happened during pressing: the black thread melted. I had to restitch some parts of the hem and now the molten bits scratch against my calves when I wear it.Sewing skirts, learning to.

Don’t press too hot. Your cotton, linens and silk fabrics might not care but these polyamide threads do.

Finished: lilac linen skirt cut on the bias.

Tour de Fleeve 2016Tour de Fleeve 2016

Here still in progress, with its waist band not yet turned to the inside.

It’s a straight skirt which flares at the bottom. This is a look that suits me very well as I am a chandelier? a candle? I don’t know. I have no waist and I have no hips.

The pattern is self drafted, inspired by a commercial skirt I have (linen, on the bias) and with my previous self drafted patterns as starting points. I have inserted pockets into the front panel. The inside of the pockets is not on the bias.

The pictures show I have a problem with pointy darts on this skirt. None of the usual measures helped (run the foot as slowly from the fold as you can; shorten the stitch; don’t make a knot). This is because the cause probably lies in the fabric being cut on the bias. It stretches different from fabric cut on the grain.

Things that might work are the use of shrinking thread or to stitch a non-stretch fabric or silk paper together with the dart on the WS.
Or don’t use darts in bias patterns. Just loose them into the side seam. Biased fabric stretches anyway. That’s what I’ll do on a next skirt. My commercial skirt on the bias doesn’t have darts either. A clue.

the skirt:

  • 40 cm wide at the waist
  • 50 cm at the hip
  • proceed a bit straight and then flare.
  • front and back panel are the same. Previous skirts have shown me I don’t care for a slightly lower CF.

I’m now using the basic pattern I’ve devised over the last couple of skirts. In this skirt I placed the front/ back panel 1,5 cm away from the fold, but only at the hem. To give myself a bit more ease around the calves when walking. This skirt is below the knees.

the sewing:

Cut and stay stitch everything.

Add the pockets to the front panel, reinforce the opening with non stretching band.

Temporarily baste the pockets, especially at the waist edge, to prevent skewing.

Sew side seams but only once.

Try for fit. If good: finish side seams: fold to the front and add topstitching. This is a lapped seam? Felled seam? At the pocket I reinforced the side seam. Finishing seams with pinking shears.

lining

has 2×5 cm more width than the skirt

Pressed lining. Sewed the side seams with french seams. Where it meets the zipper I gve it a rolled hem. The lower hem was a rolled hem too.

Now the lining can be hung into the skirt. I pinned it to the waist.

Catch zipper and lining together in the seam allowance of the fashion fabric.

I reinforced the opening of the pocket with a non-stretchy band:
Sewing skirtsSewing skirtsSewing skirts

It has a lapped zipper. I like those.
Sewing skirts

A strange problem occurred during wearing: when walking the skirt swivels around and brings the sideseam to the front. Might have to do with the chiffon lining being tacked down onto one sideseam (the one with the zipper) but not the other.
UntitledUntitled

Yes, I still need to attach a hook and bar. But I’m already wearing this skirt in public 🙂 It wears wonderful, apart from the swiveling. It’s nice and light and a good colour and there is indeed enough room around my legs for fierce striding. The pockets hold up well.

The pattern works well for fabric on the bias. The darts are less pointy then on the first pictures but in a next skirt I will take them out (of the sideseams). Would add more sturdiness to the waist band though. Perhaps a second line of (top) stitching, about 1,5 cm from the top. Catching that non stretching band. It’s just that in previous attemps I have not succeeded in making this neat.

Finished: a straight linen skirt

linnen bloemenrok rechht

The pattern is self-drafted and fit the fabric just about. It’s light summer linen. I added a lining of silk shiffon.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

The side seam is sewn, folded down and sewn again.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

Raw edges of the side seam are then pinked. Lining is shorter than the fashion fabric and has a rolled hem. It’s chiffon silk.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

A handpicked zipper. The sides are uneven on purpose as I needed more wearing ease at the hip but less so at the waist and below the hip:
linnen bloemenrok rechht
After wearing a couple of hours the skirt grew wider and I didn’t need this solution. I even had to put in extra waist darts both at the front and back.

A non-stretching satin band reinfores the waist. It catches both the fashion fabric and the lining and both their edges:
linnen bloemenrok rechht

Same spot with the extra darts, needed after a few hours of wear:
linnen bloemenrok rechht

Zipper shows where I needed more wearing ease and where not. After thought front darts bulge a little.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

New front darts, on top of the old ones. They bulge a bit:
linnen bloemenrok rechht

I’ll get someone to take a picture of me wearing it, it looks quite elegant I think.
I now have a staple pattern for a long skirt that fits my body type. It’s quite slim fitting so very usable for fabric cut on the bias.

finished a lined linen skirt, on the bias

paarse linnen rok
Linnen, cut on the bias.
First picture shows accurate colour.

Waist band, pockets in side seam, lapped zipper in side seam:
paarse linnen rok

Lining with a rolled hem and french seams. Attached at waist band and zipper.
paarse linnen rok

Sideseams sewn, folded flat and sewn again. Finished with pinking shears.
paarse linnen rok

Pockets weirdly low as I tried to stay clear of the zipper. Next time trying to combine the two.
paarse linnen rok

There’s tape in the side seam, to prevent stretching. It has a double function in catching the lining. Later on the waist band is put over these three layers: fabric, lining, band.
Sewing skirtspaarse linnen rok

Everything was staystitched too, as soon as the fabric was cut. Fabric cut on the bias will stretch otherwise.

Lapped zipper, my first.
I’ve worn this skirt a couple of days now and some of the bits need refinishing. The end of the waist band popped loose, for one:
paarse linnen rok

Fabric cut on the bias wears very pleasantly. I want to make more.

Finished: Hoezee skirt.

self drafted pattern, based on a trousers block I learned to draw at Modevakschool Internationaal in Schijndel.

hoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvashoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvashoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvashoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvas

With the yoke at the back I managed to fold away all waist darts (and they were long! Because of skinny ass and sway back). The back panel is one piece, cut on the fold, which works well for such a bold printed fabric. The yoke and front panels look a bit weird, with the CF seam and the print repeat..
Sewing Hoezee skirt

I don’t know how it happened but the skirt is too wide. The trousers weren’t. Even though I cut precise and I fitted it before sewing I must have done something wrong. It’s not very flattering. But it does sit very comfortable and is a good skirt for daily use.
hoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvas

I prefer my skirt silhouettes more figure hugging:
hoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvashoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvas
I can wear this silhouette because I’ve got no hips nor upper legs. It’s not something to be desired particularly, it’s just the way I’m shaped and you have to work with what you’ve got. Skirt will need to have a vent in the back though.

NOTES ABOUT THE SEWING
Sewing Hoezee skirtSewing Hoezee skirt>

I indeed missed two pattern pieces: the upper inside of the pocket and another zip part.

Sewing Hoezee skirtSewing Hoezee skirt
I fumbled the zip until it looked like it does on commercial jeans we’ve got in the closet. There was a lot of crotch inspection last week…
Sewing Hoezee skirt
Fly zip, I’m not a big fan. Although I see how all seams are reinforced and how functional that is. Also the zip guard prevents the cold zipper from touching your skin and that’s a pre in any garment.
However, the position of CF and zipper threw me off completely and I still don’t have a clear idea of what goes where and in which sequence.

Oh, well. Next time I’m looking into lapped zippers as I have a feeling that’s more my cup of tea. A lapped zipper with a zip guard if need be.

Sewing Hoezee skirt
I caught the edge of the pocket in the zipper seam allowance, as instructed by my teacher. I had to cut off a large part of the pocket to make that happen. This shows me that when positioning the pocket parts, especially the little piece that’s still in shell fabric, it’s very important to use the paper pattern as a template. You want the top part, which attached to the waist band, to be very accurate positioned:

Sewing Hoezee skirt

Topstitching the left front panel, securing the zip piece. Not going all the way to CF though:
Sewing Hoezee skirtSewing Hoezee skirt
Then topstitch from the right side, this time catching the zipper guard at the back.

The waist band is so much more shaped than any of my bands before! Still it should be more narrow in my waist.
Sewing Hoezee skirtSewing Hoezee skirt
I put in a non stretching piece of band, because parts are on the bias now, with all that curving.

After finishing the waist band it became clear that the yoke from the pattern was way too high (sway back!) I had to unpick its seam with the waist band. Putting it back together was not that easy because now I had to secure it with one seam instead of sewing it into place from the inside, fold over, topstitch.
Sewing Hoezee skirt
I stitched it from the inside, to make sure I caught everything there, but used a purple thread that would stand out on the outside. With everything in place I could sew The One Line from the outside, being assured I would catch all the layers and all the parts.
Afterwards it was time to unpick the purple (and the staystitching that was visible here and there).

All seams were pinked and stitched twice (once when folded down). That’s one thing about jeans and canvas fabric: you want your seams to be sturdy.
Untitled

In the waist band I put a hook and eye and the shop only had these ugly ones. That’s ok, by this time I was so done with this skirt I just wanted it finished.
Untitled
I learned that I should draft the waist band longer at the right top. Luckily I had used the selvedge for this part and could work it right up to the very edge.
I’ve since changed the pattern.