Tag Archives: sewing tutorial

Sewing- mini tutorial – CHANEL JACKET TRIMS

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Sewing- mini tutorial – CHANEL JACKET TRIMS

Creating A Unique CHANEL-style trim

Last year I made my first Chanel-style jacket.  Finding a suitable trim, a hallmark of a Chanel, proved to be challenging.  I decided to try making my own.

I began with a skein of ribbon yarn and number 9 knitting needles.  Four stitches provided a nice width and using a basic stockinette stitch  I created a long strip.  Stockinette stitches tend to curl at the edges which works to advantage for hiding  hand stitching when applying the trim to the garment.

Creating a trim from ribbon yarn

Creating a trim from ribbon yarn

I would recommend making individual strips for each pocket and a continuous length for the center front and neckline.  By doing this it will reduce the chance of the trim unraveling at the edges during application and can more easily be tucked in at seam lines or pocket edges.  Otherwise, apply Fray Check or a fabric glue to secure the edges.

Once the trim is completed it can be attached by hand-stitching into position along the pockets, center front,neckline and sleeve edges.

Creating a unique trim for Chanel-style jacket

trim applied to sleeve edge

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

Tricks of the Trade – A Pocket Flaps Tutorial

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Making An Invisible Pocket Flap Lining

I’m working on a tailored jacket that has welt pockets with flaps and I’m going to show you how to make a lining that will roll under and be completely hidden from view.  (I apologize for the poor quality of some of my photos…  think my camera battery may be going).

1.  Sometimes pattern guides will instruct you to cut four pocket flaps from the face fabric.  I prefer to cut two in lining instead, because lining adds less bulk allowing the finished flaps to be molded into place more easily.  This is an individual decision based on whatever fabric you are using and the look you prefer.  I have a thing about stiff pocket flaps that flare out… dont’ like that look.

2.  Once the lining is cut, trim away the edge at 1/16 inch on three sides making the lining slightly smaller than the face fabric.  Do no trim the top edge.

3.  Apply light interfacing to face fabric and pin to lining, right sides together.  Begin the pinning at the top corners first and then work down the sides and lower edge.

4.  Once pinned together there will be a slight bubbling effect caused by the variation in size of the two pieces.  This is to be expected and will self-correct when pieces are turned right side out.

5.  Stitch the two pieces together, slightly stretching when necessary.  Use small stitches as the points for added strength.  The small stitched also protect the fabric from fraying in the trimming process.

6. Grade away excess seam line leaving face side of fabric slightly longer than the lining side.

7.  Once excess seam allowance is trimmed away, trim corners to a point and clip off the end.  This will make it easier to turn and give a sharper finished point.

8.  Turn right side out and press.  You may understitch at this point if you wish.  I generally don’t understitch flaps unless the fabric calls for it (with a heavier coatings, perhaps).   I prefer to hand-roll and work the edges under by shaping with steam.

9. Press and shape, rolling face fabric slightly toward the back side.  Lining will not show on the front side (see photo 10).

10.   Baste across the top of the flap.  At this point, if you wish, you may apply top stitching.

11.  Finished pocket flap is ready for application to pocket.

I hope this is helpful and if you  have any questions, please ask away.

Sewing Tutorial – Making An Underskirt

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It’s a cold, gray and intermittently rainy day… so typical of April weather in the Pacific Northwest.  I am so tired of the damp and am dreaming of sunny days that will soon be here.  I will be ready for the warm weather once it arrives, now that I have completed my underskirt to go with my white linen dress.  It turned out just as I had hoped; it’s pretty, it adds interest and best of all it has the practical purpose of providing a lining to what is otherwise a very see-through dress. See-through dresses are… well… embarrassing and while wearing a nylon slip under a natural fiber sundress might sound like an option for some, in my world slips and sundresses somehow just won’t do.  And so you see, I really had no choice other than to make my own cool underskirt.

1)  I started by searching through my pattern library for something I could modify to my needs.  I found what I was looking for in this skirt pattern by New Look.

2)  I chose a rayon lining which is perfect for warm weather, because it breaths, and doesn’t cling, and is quiet (I don’t like to hear a rustle of fabric unless, of course, I’m in my tafetta gown at the cotillion).   I stitched the side seams and serged the edges for a clean finish.

3)  I determined the length and width of the “fashion” fabric (fashion fabric is meant to be seen) I wanted to attached to the bottom of lining (lining is meant not to be seen).  I didn’t want it to be a full ruffle, so I eliminated much of the width from the original pattern piece.

4)  Then the side seams were stitched and serged.

5)  After the side seams were completed, I stitch three rows of machine basting (the longest stitch setting on your machine).  The first row was stitched at  3/8″, then at 5/8″ and the last at 3/4″. Once the three rows of basting were in place, I began to draw up the threads to create gathers, securing the end threads on a pin.

6)  With the ruffle gathered to the desired width, I pinned it to the lower edge of the skirt lining.

7)  I then sewed the ruffle to the skirt lining using the 5/8″ gathering line as a stiching guide.  Once the ruffle was attached, I removed the 3/4″ line of basting .

8)  Next I created a casing at the top of the skirt to run elastic through.  I turned down enough fabric to allow for room to slide my elastic through plus a little extra so I could tuck the raw edges under the fold to create a finished edge.

9)  Then I stitched the casing leaving a space open for elastic insertion.

10)  Then using a bodkin (a sewing tool designed for pulling elastic or cording through a casing… a safety pin will work in a pinch) I inserted the elastic pre-measured to fit my waist.  Once the elastic was through the casing I stitched the ends together and stitched the casing closed.

11) And here we have the finished underskirt ready to be worn on the first warm day that comes along.  I think this might be quite a versatile piece and I may be able to wear it with some other things I have.  I’ll be making a visit to my closet to see what else it might go with.

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Sewing Tutorial – Creating a bias binding finish

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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.