Two tips when sewing with fake fur:
- don’t pivot in one step at sharp corners, pivot in two. It makes turning easier and corners become more crisp.
- after turning rub the seam with something (end of scissors, a nail) to free up the hairs.
Two tips when sewing with fake fur:
COLLAR SURGERY because the collar was too wide, its base overlapped at CF.
determine points on stand where you want collar to end: on either side of the button band = 1,25 cm from CF
Plan: open up the collar on the raw edge, fold side inwards and fudge it so the angle of the points is steeper. Preserve the point but make the side come in faster.
A knitting WIP bag in the shape of a rabbit’s face and inside it has a gun.
The idea is that you tie the ears together if you want to really close the bag but there’s also a button hidden at the top.
For a knitter friend who loves bunnies, the colour black and who already has an awesome bag with the contour of a revolver in it, something like this:
For working with fake fur I got two tips from a good friend:
I made sure the “flow” of the fur works a certain way: you want to stroke these sideburns from the inside to the edges. The front and back panel of the bag are cut so you want to stroke it downwards when you put you hand inside. The two cheek puffs are also downwards (“vleug” in Dutch).
This gun just wouldn’t turn, the muzzle was too narrow. I made another, with a wider muzzle, and made the sewing mistake of sewing both WS together. But it looked ok so I filled it up and attached the purple leather cord. Here with half turned first gun:
Things to keep in mind before starting:
sewingsteps to take:
SEWING STAPS ACTUALLY TAKEN:
adding seam allowance, 1,5 cm, by marking important points with a fabric marker or following my measuring device when cutting or cutting by eye.
Adding some tailor tacks to apex and dart points.
at 1,3 cm from the edge, with cheap thread. Doing the top of the sleves, the armholes, the neck holes, the top of the yoke. Keeping that weird steep angled arm hole, just to try out with the sleeve I drafted:
postphoned until actual pieces are to be sewn
4. princess seams back panel
Trying out the felled seam foot on my sewing machine. Page Coffin is such a big fan of it, he says there’s no use trying to fell a seam by hand. I have no success in either yet, since this is the first time I try it.
My foot makes small felled seams: 5 mm wide. These are used on my commercial dress shirt on the side seams and the sleeve seams. The armhole seam is done with a very wide felled seam.
I have especially trouble in the second run.
5. yoke to back panel
done. It works very well when pieces are precision cut. Everything fits.
6. front facing
For treating the raw edge of the front facings I practised the rolled hem foot. It’s appalling. The round part cannot be done like this. Needs to be finished another way.
In fact, the facings are better off with rectangular shapes. Will amend pattern after this. Finishing: just tuck under, stitch, pink.
6.5 Button bands and zipper
This took some piecing and puzzling and making up my mind:
NB “roll of cloth” and have the outer panel dominate the inner panel at the seam. OR – reinforce the left front panel at the zip lap. use interfacing to catch the zipper and not have it touch bare skin, just like the right front facing does. Yeah, that’s more sensible. How to reinforce the left front then? iron on stuff = not my favourite… Is interfacing needed though? it concerns the 1,25 cm zipper lap… it is the weakest point of the shirt though both Page Coffin and my teacher recommend using it though. Iron on interfacing it is.
UPDATE: I got some brand iron on interfacing, weight 200, and it was way better than the brandless one I had before.
The lap differs in width from CF at the bottom. It ought to be everywhere 1,25 cm but I noticed that the print would give away that I haven’t cut the pattern piece on the straight grain. So I opted for visual straighness and not actual straightness:
Before all this I tried to have the zipper at a lower position, further from the collar. I also tried to fold back the zip guard a bit so it would align at the top with the front panel, where they both could be caught by the collar stand.
7. fronts to yoke
No problem. Sew, press, topstitch, pink.
(check fit back and whether the side seams need more waist shaping. Check that zipper fits. Don’t add the front panel waist shaping yet. Check height collar.)
Only checked the zipper and the neck opening.
9. add zipper and finish seams 10. sew and attach collar and stand
11. sleeve placket
I combined this tutorial by Sewaholic above with instructions from Page Coffin, page 103. I placed it 6 cm from the sideseam. WS placket up on WS sleeve, close to the front of the sleeve but with “tower” at the other side. plusminus 4,5 cm between side seam and placket slash. Not more.
This places the slash at about the highest point of the “wave” shape in the bottom of the sleeve. I put the placket on the wrong side 😦
UNFORTUNATELY I sewed the placket on the wrong side of the sleeve, it should have gone to the right on the right sleeve. I will decide later on wether I’ll cut and sew a new sleeve+placket or wether to call this one a design feature and wear it as is.
First sewing around the slit and cutting the slit and pressing the placket to the right side. Then I secure the placket on the WS.
When cutting the slit I’ve clipped through the sewing by mistake!
I try to fix this by starting the securing seam on the WS above the fold I want to secure. It ventures a bit into the part of the little folded triangles that are now not secured at their base (because I clipped through the thread by mistake):
Oh. I see I forgot to sew all the way to the bottom. Must return to the sewing machine. In the little “house” I let the stitch length determine where the seam would fall. You see the upper part is not at the very edge of the outline.
Backside. Ugh. I caught the fabric. Luckily just in the SA. Can clip it free.
As you see I tucked away all threads as I went. I pull the thread to the side (WS/RS) where I can hide it and then I hide it under the fabric that’s sewn in place. Sometimes I first tie a knot. I did so with the securing stitching I did on the WS. Now off to sew that seam I forgot. 10. collar and stand I’m contemplating a loop and a button for closure at the stand. But first I’ll construct the collar and the stand. COLLAR: DPC is a fan of non-sticky interfacing. I’m using cotton from a new sheet. Following Sewaholic’s collar-tutorial.
COLLAR STAND: tutorial http://sewaholic.net/sewing-a-collar-stand-the-shirtmaking-way/
I’ll stop sewing now. This post shows two days worth of full time sewing. Collar with sewn in interfacing. Sew from the centre outwards:
I trimmed that itty bitty of excess interfacing before cutting the corner and turning it.
Folding the seam allowance as per instructions from both DCP and Sewaholic. The outer edges of the various fabrics are not meant to line up and they don’t because one fabric has to travel the outer side of the fold whilst the other travels the (shorter) inside:
Checking to see that both collar points are the same. Fudging a bit with where to place the fold to make sure:
Fitting. Gargl! The neckline is too high:
Caused because in the previous shirt it was too low. We thought it was the pattern but in fact it was the slippery fabric and the way I cut it. Now the zipper is too high also. In white a staystitch line too indicate a new, lower neckline:
She then says it’s better to sew it from the other side, where all the clipped parts are, because that’ll be easier to prevent them from getting caught. So I had to shift all these pins to the other side. (btw, I don’t sew over pins. My sewing machine bends all pins it can get its foot on.)
I unpicked (only) the naughty bits and resewed them.
This will cause all kinds of problems… I also forgot to stretch the under collar stand while sewing. Made more difficult even since this was the interfaced part. Should have interfaced the first part, I’m sure.
First shirt from self drafted pattern from beginnersclass Patroontekenen from Modevakschool Nationaal. Unfortunately sewn in a very slippery cotton which caused a few mistakes in addition to my inexperience with sewing and shirts and collars.
Self drafted pattern: yoke in double fabric, button bands, front facing, sleeve plackets, bust darts swiveled into waist darts at the front. Back darts.
Puckering because of the dent at the natural shoulder seam:
Should have smoothed the dent when putting together front panel and back panel for the yoke. When I do so I should recheck the circumference of the armhole and fit it to the sleeve head.
Front button band looks good. Facings could perhaps be wider to give beter support, Off the Cuff blog is a fan of that. Collar could have a different shape, this is too docile. Should be placed higher up the body too:
CF lies straight. The fabric lies smooth across my upper torso. A good fit.
Caused by swiveling away the little bust dart from armpit to the apex, resulting in a steep arm hole:
It sits nice on the body though, so I opt for adjusting the sleeve head, not the arm hole.
This much additional fabric is needed at the sleeve. This will distort the smooth look of the sleeve which is a ladies’ sleeve, not a typical shirt sleeve:
Side seam is straight. But way too much fabric at the back. I have a short torso and a sway back. A petite frame:
I will address this in the next shirt, the Beige Winterbeestjes, by having two princess seams at the back. A better solution would be a Centre Back seam that’s not a straight line. My teacher has a sway back too and all her fitted patterns need a CB seam and it isn’t straight. This may be the case with me too. But because of the slippery fabric I cannot yet say how much is sewist error in this shirt. There shouldn’t be any faults in the pattern because this is a tailormade pattern drafted to my specific measurements.
Either way I plan to explore my sway back more with other things such as a yoke at the small of my back or a bow like the Deer&Doe dress has. It’s one of my key features and it could be emphasized, I feel.
Too much fabric in the lower half. Ugly dart endings. Should also be solved by making them into princess seams, going into the back yoke.
The yoke works nicely: good shape, well fitted. The sideseam could have way more shaping. Something to check out in the next dress shirt, which will be of a better fabric and will have front shaping done at the end, while fitting the shirt. Then we’ll know whether the side seam needs additional shaping too. For now it could be caused by just the slippery fabric, not the pattern.
PS this nice tutorial just landed in my inbox: 3 ways to adjust for sway back! by InhousePatterns.com
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:
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:
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:
Never mind, don’t go changing anything. Just sew as is. It’s for study.
cut with 1,5 cm seam allowance. Aii! this fabric is slippery!
at 1,3 cm from the edge:
right up to the staystitching. All curved edges (neck, arm,) and things on the bias (yoke, shoulder seam).
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.
– 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.
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:
Grade the seams, keeping the one at the outer yoke the largest.
edgestitch outer yoke to seam allowances (fold inner yoke back as not to catch it).
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.:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
My drafting lessons this Summer ended with a final fitting of my practise trousers. CB had to be taken in a lot at the top. My teacher divided some of this to the side seams which have now become too shaped to my liking (I’m very straight at my sides).
Therefor I have taken the skirt pattern, which I developed over the Summer and which fits me well now, and have laid it on top of my trousers pattern. I’ve taken the main lines and measurements from my skirt and only the CB and CF and width of legs from the trousers pattern. I then drafted all the pattern pieces from that: yoke, waist band, pockets.
Over the past few weeks I took these SEWING STEPS:
The pocket openings “lubber” terrible… even though they are reinforced.
And the waist band… is too wide. Again?? I keep keeping trouble with the width of my waist band. Even though it too is reinforced and shaped checked and double checked and fitted onto both the pattern and my body.
It can be the woven cloth that duped me, stretching. I also remember sewing Centre Front, at the zip flap, freehand. Perhaps I veered off to one side, adding wearing ease. The sideseams of the waist band do not match those of the legs precisely either. All of the above together?
The back sits alright. That yoke is designed while drafting, just a straight line getting rid of waist darts. Not sure about its succes in real life:
The fabric is woven linen, meant for curtains. It frays quite a bit. So I was careful with handling it and I enclosed most of the seams with biais band:
The back yoke, the side seams, the inner seams. Pretty much everything is enclosed.
I sewed a jeans zipper successfully, following this tutorial by Itch to Stitch. Very good. I feel confident about jeans’ zippers now.
The inside before installing zipper. CF is closed (basted at the fly) and the seam is enclosed in biais band.
I’m laying this aside for now. I want to start on a shirt. I think I’ll take these trousers to a sewing teacher to see if it can be salvaged. The waistband is not fixed permanently yet and can be easily ripped free. Then we can rearrange the front parts, while I wear it. Perhaps it can still become something wearable.
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:
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.
Using the selvedge as the edge was very handy. Less finishing to do.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Put it on!
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.
Sideseams are at their proper place, it’s solely the front band that’s too wide.
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.
For interfacing there’s non-stretching tape which can be laid across the band, in overlapping pieces (yellow band or unconventional stuff like curtain band). Then there’s woven interfacing which can be something like sturdy cotton (twill) or something specifically used in jackets such as horse hair braid. I had never seen it. I like it!
What’s that in the background?
It’s my new pin cushion!
From Dangerous Jane on etsy. Very warmly recommended!