Friday, March 24, 2017

How to Make Piping

Piping is a decorative trim stitched into a seam. Often seen on a cushion edge, it adds sophistication and strengths the seams. Ready made piping choices are limited, making your own gives you the freedom to choose your own colours and patterns.
To make your own piping you will need the following items- cotton cord, fabric and a zipper foot.

Step 1. Measure the cords circumference and add 3 cm (1 1/4 inch) for seam allowances.  This is the width of you fabric strips. ( The length is determined by the project. On how to join fabric strips see below)
Step 2. Find the bias of your fabric and cut fabric strips using the width measurement from step one.
Step 3. Wrap the wrong side of the fabric strip around the cord, align the raw edges.
Step 4. Using a zipper foot and a long stitch length, sew close to the cord.
I have positioned my needle to the far left, to get close to the cord.
piping is now ready.

To Join fabric Strips 
Place fabric right sides together at a 90 degree angle. Pin and stitch diagonally from lower left corner to upper right corner. Trim seam allowance to .5cm (1/4in). Press seam open.
 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review- Bag Boutique

Bag Boutique- Making Fabulous purses and totes by Amy Barickman was published 12 years ago, its out of print now but last week I picked up a second hand copy for $1.
The book covers general bag making information on different closures available(a new to me closure mentioned is a hex-open frame), handles and straps , interlining a bag and how to transfer an image to fabric. It also has 18 projects plus variations for each projects.
I made the pocketbook purse. The template instructions stated to enlarge by 111%, I did not, what I did instead was to add a 1/4 in seam allowance to the template. My bag measures 13 x 8 in. A little smaller that the project bag but still a good size. I went with variation 2 without the patches or quilting. My favourite feature of this bag and the reason why I made it is the bias binding handles, so easy to sew.  I found the instructions concise and easy to follow.
What I like about this book is that  each bag is shown in a least two different fabric variations. What I don't like is having to enlarge templates. Some of the bags appear a little dated and fussy, however the bag making  techniques shown make this a good book to add to my collection.
Bag Boutique is great for someone with  some sewing experience and bag making knowledge.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Cording Foot and Couching

This week I have been experimenting with the cording foot to embellish plain fabric. The cording foot  has 3 grooves that are covered with a metal clip, this forms channels in which you can feed cord or embroidery thread through. It is an easy foot to use.
I used a zigzag stitch to stitch cord onto the fabric surface. This technique is called couching.
 
In this sample I have used pink metallic thread and cord on linen fabric. the length of my zig zag stitch is 2 and the width 5. (Left to right- a simple straight row, a wave, exposing cord by stop and start stitching, form loops in a simple straight row by pulling cord)
 
following a drawn pattern



on denim fabric using neon embroidery thread, stitched with all purpose white thread.

the Singer Cording foot

 

 

Friday, February 24, 2017

The 2017 Challenge

The 2017 challenge is coming along nicely, this month I made 'The Walkey' dress and a  toile for 'The Overture Set'. The collar in 'The Overture' was a first for me and a colossal learning experience.
I have ordered fabric to make 'The Daisy Dress' in and I have also invested in an invisible zipper foot as most dress patterns use an invisible zipper.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Case for Pockets

Gathered skirt with in seam pocket
Pockets are essential, if I make a bag and don't include pockets I later regret it. sometimes carrying a bag  with or without pockets is not practical, like when visiting amusement parks, with their no bag on ride policy or at the entrance waiting in a long bag check line. That's when a pocket on clothing is necessary to carry essentials like keys, cash and phone.  Sadly its rare to find pockets on ready made skirts and dresses, my main summer wear.
So I made a skirt with pockets. Making this skirt is easy enough, and there are many tutorials on the internet and in magazines. I consulted a number of books  and magazines before I started and consolidated the techniques I liked to make the skirt, my instruction follow.
The in seam pocket pattern you will find in issue 26 of Simply Sewing magazine or draft your own.

Gathered Skirt with Pockets in 10 Easy Steps 
1. Measure waist and multiply by 2.5 for fullness. Divide by 2. This is the width of the front and back pieces.
2. Measure from waist to knee  add 3cm (1 1/4 in),  this is the length for the front and back pieces. (my width measurement was less than the width of fabric, so when calculating how much fabric I needed I multiplied the length by two)
3. Cut 2 piece of fabric using waist and length measurements.
4. Cut pocket pieces from fabric scraps.
5. Place pocket 15cm down from top, Right side down on right side of skirt front, align pocket straight edge with side seam and sew with a 1/2cm seam allowance. Repeat with corresponding back piece.

6. Open pocket pieces away from skirt, press flat. Place front and back pieces right sides together with pockets extended away from skirt. Stitch down side seams and around pocket using a 1cm seam allowance. Clip into seam at top and bottom of pocket. Press seams open. Repeat with other side. Neaten raw edges of sides and top with zig zag stitch.
Do not stitch the section with red pins.
 7.Cut elastic to waist measurement plus 2 cm. Join short ends using 2cn seam allowance.Measure width of elastic add 1.5cm to measurement, fold under towards wrong side top of skirt by that measurement. 
8.Edge Stitch close to fold. Place elastic within fold area. Stitch casing closed without catching elastic. A zipper foot is helpful here. As you stitch shift fabric around elastic. It will gather up.

9. Distribute gathers evenly around waist. When you are happy with gather distribution stitch in the ditch at side seams to hold elastic.
10. To hem skirt fold towards wrong side  1/2cm, press, fold again 2cm, press. Stitch hem.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Pot Holder Make


I used Sedef Imer's Pot Luck project (from issue 25 of Simply Sewing)to make this pretty and functional quilted potholder.
However I did a few things differently:-
1. I machine appliqued the flower design using a narrow zigzag stitch.
2. I did not round off my corners.
3. because of reason two I did not need to cut my binding fabric on the bias.


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How to Make Piping

Piping is a decorative trim stitched into a seam. Often seen on a cushion edge, it adds sophistication and strengths the seams. Ready made p...