Tag Archives: bias binding

Projects Revisited

Standard

From Start to Finish

IMG_3443I recently went through a box in my sewing room marked “winter projects.” The box contained the best of the best projects I salvaged during our sizing down move three years ago.  I have always found it difficult to start up work on old projects.  It is usually a lack of interest as whatever it was that got my creative juices flowing has long since dissipated and the prospect of picking up in the middle of an uninteresting project seems like work more than fun.  Fortunately, that was not the case with this piece.  It had been long enough that I had forgotten I had ever started this jacket.  The fact that I still loved the red quilted fabric was good and I still liked the striped douppioni… so far so good.    After studying the pattern and the pieces that were already cut, I decided I definitely needed a third piece to create additional interest.  So off to The Mill End Store I went with swatches in hand.

 It’s really quite remarkable that I was able to find a douppioni print that complemented the stripes so perfectly, but not without considerable effort.  I was in the store for at least two hours searching, searching, and searching again every piece of fabric at least five times.  I was finding nothing suitable and finally decided it was time to surrender.   Resigned to defeat, I headed for the exit pausing only to notice a silk display… and there it was.  It was exactly what I’d been looking for; the colors were right, the scale was right, it was perfection and obviously meant to be.   And so I begin the satisfying endeavor of resurrecting an old project to new life.    More to come…

Advertisements

Simplicity Sewing

Standard
Simplicity Sewing

Purple or Periwinkle

I’ve been on the lookout for the right shade of purple to go with a skirt I’ve had for some time.  I found this interesting piece of embroidered linen that seemed like it would work.  I call it purple, but maybe it is periwinkle… I think periwinkle has more blue in it.

embroidered linen

Either way, it has turned out to be a good choice to go with my skirt.   I picked up a yard for the tunic pattern I’ve been using this summer.  I really like the simplicity of this pattern; I can complete it in an afternoon… no problem!

linen tunic and skirt

I found a piece of purple duppioni silk in my fabric stash to use as bias binding for the neck and armholes.  It’s a good feeling to use up a scrap of something I have on hand.

silk binding

It’s always fun to give a little update to something you’ve had and make it seem fresh and new again.The unstructured look with nothing-to-bind is perfect for staying cool on hot summer days.  I like wearing skirts, but often don’t want to feel “dressed-up.”  This look works for me, because it blends casual easy/no-care (what I jokingly refer to as rag-bag fashion) with the I-made-an-effort-today discipline that I try to adhere to.

summerwear

Sewing on Velveteen

Standard

The Velveteen Jacket

(or How Clothes Become Real)

I recently purchased a pair of leggings.   I know leggings have been popular for a while now, but sometimes I am slow to warm up to current fashion.  Lots of women wearing  lycra and let it all hang out, but I’m not really comfortable with that, so I decided I needed something with a bit more coverage.  I thought about making a long tailored jacket (and I still may do that), but I have been short on time lately so decided to work with a relatively simple pattern that would be quick and easy.  With that in mind I decided to use my tried and true Tribeca jacket pattern with a few inches added to the length.

1.  I started with some printed black velveteen that I had in my stash. I found a nice black shimmery satin for the interior and a complementary rayon-acetate to use as a bias binding.  The rayon-acetate is quite subtle, although it looks less so in the photo below because of the flash on the silver threads.

2.  The Tribeca jacket has a neckline that opens back on itself and it is perfect for two-sided fabrics, but not so suitable to one-sided fabrics like velveteen.  Because of this feature, I had to find an interior fabric to face the velveteen with.  That is where the shimmery satin comes in.

3.  To secure the face fabric with the interior required careful basting of the two pieces so that they could be handled as one piece of fabric.  This step has to be done with care to ensure that the two pieces lie flat with no wrinkling occurring.   It’s not hard, just time consuming.


4.  Once the interior was secured to the face fabric, the darts were sewn in and French seams applied on all seams.  French seams are not the usual technique for most jackets t but I really like this finish for an unstructured jacket… it’s very clean.  Even the sleeve is inserted with a French seam application which not only looks great, but also provides structure along the seam line much like a mini-shoulder pad would.

French side seam application

French seam on set-in sleeve

5.  Once the jacket was constructed, I created a bias seam binding to apply as a finishing detail.  To find the bias of a fabric you fold a straight edge back on itself at a right angle; the folded edge is on the bias.  Bias is used in bindings because it shapes more easily around curves and contours.

6.  Apply bias to edge with raw edges of garment and bias together, mitering the corners.  Basting stitches remain in place until after the bias binding is applied.

7.  I applied the binding with machine stitching and hand stitched it into place.  I take the time to stitch by hand (and it does take quite a bit longer) because it allows for more control over the fabric, but this is optional, it can certainly be stitched down by machine if you prefer that look.

8.  I then made decorative buttonhole patches, and hand stitched them into position.

9.  I recycled buttons I had used on a coat I made serveral years ago.  They are a dark gray and silver combination and work perfectly for this jacket.

The loose style and all the handwork gives this jacket a certain Bohemian feeling that works well with leggings.  This jacket gives me good coverage, but still feels fashionable which is what I was trying to achieve.

Sewing Tutorial – Creating a bias binding finish

Standard

I started working on this silk jacket a long time ago.  It is finished except for finishing the interior seams of each armhole.   An unlined jacket should look as finished on the inside as it does on the outside.  A bias binding applied to raw edges creates a couture finish detail that is very pleasing.

1.  Begin by removing threads or fraying from the raw edge.

2. Create a 3″ bias strip out of left over fabrics and fold in half.

3.  Pin the folded bias strip around the armhole with the raw edges of the bias and garment together.

4.  Stitch using the armhole seam line as a guide.

5.  Trim the excess from armhole edge leaving a scant 3/8″.

6. Pin the finished bias edge in place along interior sleeve using seam line as a guide. (You could also use a basting thread instead of pins.)

7.  Carefully stitch the finished bias edge in place along pinned edge.

8. Finished seam looks beautiful and also serves as a little shoulder support giving shape to the seam line without the use of shoulder pads.

9. Finish the raw edges of the neckline using the same bias strip application.

10.  Pin the  bias strip in place with raw edges together.

11.  Stitch bias strip in place using the neckline seam as a guide.

12. Trim the neckline edge to a scant 1/4″.

13.  Pin the bias strip in place and stitch along finished edge of strip.

14.  The finished interior neckline creates a clean finish.

15.  Completed jacket with inside couture finishes.