Monthly Archives: January 2013

Fashion – The Power of Color

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There is nothing like a splash of color to brighten up a dreary winter’s day.

Think boldly… think fuchsia and orange!

I had an hour to kill today and decided to go shopping at the local Macy’s.   I happened to be wearing a nice orange turtleneck that I received as a Christmas gift.  I really like the orange color, but don’t have too many things to wear it with.  I found some lovely scarves in the right color-range on an unbelievable mark-down price and couldn’t resist buying one.  I love the combination of pinks and orange together with a bit of green and gold sparkle … it was so pretty!

turtle neck and scarf

As I stood admiring the scarf against the orange sweater I was seeing it definitely needed a hot pink skirt to round out an outfit. My next stop was a browse through the fabric store where I  found the perfect piece of coordinating fuchsia fabric.  It’s a boucle wool with a little nubby texture that adds a bit of interest.  I picked up lining and a zipper and I’ll be ready to stitch it up in the morning.  Can’t wait to get started!

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Alternative To Pad Stitching – A Sewing Tutorial

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For The Busy Seamstress

Pad stitching is a method used to secure two or more layers of fabric together to give firmness and shaping to a tailored garment.  Traditionally, a hair canvas interfacing is used in pad stitching and applied to areas such as lapels and under collars to give support and provide structure; it is applied along the roll line of a lapel and on the collar stand.

I’ve done my share of pad stitching in my life and there are rare circumstances when it may still be the best option.  I was taught that pad stitching was the only correct way to shape a tailored garment and I labored under that dictum for years.  Today, however, with all the new fusible technologies I rarely pad stitch preferring to use modified speed methods which get the job done in half the time with great results.   Knowing how, when and why to pad stitch is not a bad thing, but the same is true for “alternative” pad-stitching techniques.

1.  Begin by cutting out the undercollar and fusible interfacing.  Both undercollar and interfacing should be cut on the bias to ensure desired rolling effect.

under collar and interfacing cut on bias

2.  Fuse bias interfacing to the undercollar fashion fabric. Some patterns will mark the roll line on the pattern piece, but when no roll line is indicated you will need to determine where it is.  To do this, pin undercollar into position on the garment carefully matching placement marks.

pin under collar to neck edge

3.  Hand baste undercollar onto garment.

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4.  Roll the undercollar into position making sure the back edge extends a 1/4 inch or so over the seam line.  (The reason for this will become apparent later.)

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5.  Once the natural roll line is determined (the fabric will tell you where it wants to roll) mark position of  the line with a fabric marker.

mark roll line with fabric pen

6.  Remove the undercollar from the garment.  Cut a separate piece of interfacing the shape of the area below on the roll line known as the collar stand.  This interfacing for the collar stand is cut on grain line to give added support to this area.

under collar with roll line

7.  After applying interfacing to the collar stand, cut a piece of 1/4 inch twill tape the length of the roll line curve.

under collar with interfaced collar stand and twill tape

8.  Stitch the twill tape into position keeping tape taut while stitching.  Stitch successive lines in the shape of the roll line at 1/8 inch intervals.

apply twill tape and stitching lines

9.  These stitching lines will be concealed when the collar is applied, provided the roll line was correctly placed (reason for step 4.).

collar stand stitching

10.  Once the collar stand has been stitched, press the under collar along the roll line over the curve of a pressing ham.

press under collar along the roll line

11.   Pin under collar to a pressing ham and steam thoroughly.

steaming under collar

12.  Let undercollar rest over night on  pressing ham to set the shape permanently.

setting under collar shape

13.  Once the shape has been set, sew under collar to the garment neck line.

sew stitched under collar to garment neckline

14.  With tailoring completed, the collar stand should support the roll forming a gentle curve around the neck line.  completed under collar

Adding Value To Others – Share What You Know

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Taking Requests

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Part of what I like about blogging is the ability to connect with those who share my interests.  We all have gifts and talents that are inspiring to others; I get inspired all the time by the awesome and amazing creativity of other bloggers.   I think sometimes we take for granted what we know within our area of expertise;  we incorrectly assume that everyone knows it.  Of course, this is not really true;  what may seem a small or insignificant thing to me might be a great assist to you and vice versa.  With that in mind, I have decided to start taking sewing tutorial requests. If  you have a special technique you would like demonstrated or if you have a question about anything related to sewing, please feel free to ask.  If I know how to do it, I’ll publish it here in Sewville, that happy place,  just beyond the rainbow.  🙂

Home Decor Sewing – The Well Dressed Bed

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A Pleated Bedskirt

pleated bed skirt and coverlet

 I made the quilted twin-sized coverlet several years ago; I had additional fabric for a bedskirt, but never got around to making it.   I don’t much care for the ruffled look of most bedskirts preferring the softly tailored look of simple pleating.

soft pleating

I had everything I needed to complete this project on hand, which was very nice, because it was cold and gray yesterday and I really didn’t want to go out.  I  just happened to have a roll of drapery lining which I used for adding structure to the skirt along with providing a nice finished look on the underside.  I think it looks great and hides the storage boxes under the bed very nicely indeed.

bedskirt lining

Tigger looks quite pleased with his new situation.

Resting Tigger

St. Hildegard – fabric mosaic art

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A Vision Of A Visionary

I am putting the final touches on my latest fabric art project.   For those of you who may not be familiar with Hildegard von Bingen, she was a 12th century German visionary.  She first came to my attention probably ten years ago now, when I was introduced to her ethereal music.   This past year I happened to watch a film on her life which renewed my interest in her; she was a remarkable woman, a musician, a poet, a botanist, a dramatist, a theologian, and a Benedictine abbess who recently (October of 2012) was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI.  In my research I could find few contemporary images of Hildegard and so I decided to create my own vision of her.

Hildegard, Sybil of the Rhine

fabric mosaic by

RemnantWorks – Kerri Jones

Hildegard von Bingen

I’m putting a final press on her today and will then pin her to a board and take her in for a high-definition scan.  I hope to have this done in the next week to week and a half and then will have a clearer and brighter image to show you.

 

Sewing A Tailored Coat

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Steampunkin’  into 2013

Christmas has come and gone, well… almost, (Happy Epiphany ) and I’ve been a been a bit lax about working on my coat-making tutorials during the holidays.  I’m finding that composing a tutorial is kind of like making the coat twice and not all that exhilarating especially after the fact.  🙂   I may write more later… if the mood strikes me, but for now I am happy to publish a photo my son took on Christmas Eve of me in my new coat.  His photos were much better than the ones I took,and I had to wait for him to send me copies, thus the delay in publishing.  

I am very pleased with the result of my labor and especially happy with the alteration I made to the collar shape.  The gray and silver have a certain refined-steampunk-Prussian military look that  I find rather fun.  It was an unexpected result, but it works for me! 

Charcoal Coat Completed