Sunday, 17 October 2010

Inserting Neck Pieces

This is part of the Skill Bite section of the Simplicity Dress 3833 series. If you have missed any of the series please visit the Introduction page, where you will find all of the previous links.

The Neck Piece

This is the neck piece that I stitched together and added the interfacing to, as shown in my previous blog entry Interfacing.



Line up the notches to the notches on the top of the bodice and with the right sides of the fabric together, pin in place.



This is the back view of the neck piece that has been pinned in place.



And the front view.



Using a ⅝ inch seam allowance stitch around the top of the neck piece.


The back view of the neck piece now stitched to the bodice.



And the front view.



Understitch the neck piece, this is to stop the lining rolling over the fabric. A great video can be found on You Tube by Senseabilitypatterns where she explains clearly how to do understitching.


Tuck in the neck piece using your fingers and press with an iron.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Interfacing

This is part of the Skill Bite section of the Simplicity Dress 3833 series. If you have missed any of the series please visit the Introduction page, where you will find all of the previous links.

What is interfacing?

There are two types of interfacing on the market, sew-in and iron-on. I will be mainly working with the iron-on type. Iron-on Interfacing is a type of material which is rough on one side (this contains the glue) and smooth on the other. It is mainly white or black in colour, the white being used for light coloured fabric and the black for darker colours. Interfacing also comes in a variety of thicknesses. As a rule, the lighter weight is used for delicate fabric and the heavier weight for heavier fabric. When buying interfacing it will be found on rolls and sold by the metre or yard in your local fabric store.

Why use Interfacing?

If you look at your clothes in more details you will feel where interfacing is used. Its to strengthen button holes, make collars and cuffs stiffer and used anywhere to add body to a garment.

Using Interfacing

For my Simplicity Dress I needed to use interfacing for the neck pieces.


Firstly I cut out the amount required using the pattern template. Then I put the interfacing on top of the fabric pieces.


This pattern piece is the front of the neck.

Using a hot iron and a pressing cloth I fused the interfacing to the fabric.



I repeated this process for the back pieces of the neck.



I attached the back pieces to the front of the neck using a 1/4” seam allowance.


I pressed open the seams using a hot iron.


I measured a 1/4” seam allowance on the pieces and stitched the sides together.



The markings made it easier for me to follow when I came to sewing.


This is the finished piece.


In my next blog entry I will explain how I inserted this piece into the neck on the garment.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Zips

This is part of the Skill Bite section of the Simplicity Dress 3833 series. If you have missed any of the series please visit the Introduction page, where you will find all of the previous links.

Different Zips


There are many different types of zips out on the market, including invisible zips, zips with plastic or metal teeth and nylon zips.  They also come in a wide variety of colours and sizes, don’t worry too much about if the zip is too long - they are very easy to make shorter.

Inserting Zips

A while ago I made a Hobo Shoulder Bag where I explained in detail how to attach a zip and also to make one shorter, please visit my previous entry to see how I do them.
Here are the steps to inserting a zip simplified:
  • On the position where the zip will be placed use a baste stitch to make a seam
  • Press seam open
  • Line up the zip
  • Stitch the zip in place
  • Unpick basting

As I used a standard zip on the back of the dress it can be seen, if I had used an invisible one it would not be easy to see. The zip has not been finished at the top as I want to get it out easily for using on the final dress.

Useful Resources

If you prefer learning from watching videos I recommend Angela Kane’s Make Your Own Clothes. In particular, part 5 and 6 covers inserting invisible zips.
For  a quick tutorial on inserting zips visit YCMTTV video on How to Install a Zipper.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Darts

This is part of the Skill Bite section of the Simplicity Dress 3833 series. If you have missed any of the series please visit the Introduction page, where you will find all of the previous links.

What are Darts?

In the simplest terms sewing darts are used to shape a garment. You will find darts on tops, sleeves and skirts- anywhere that shape will be needed.

Sewing with Darts


This is a bodice pattern piece with a dart marking at the bottom.


When I see darts on sewing patterns they remind me of triangles.

To transfer the markings onto your fabric, please visit my previous blog entry on Transferring Pattern Markings.


Pinch the dart using your fingers to join the ends of the lines together, remember to match the dots on either side of the fabric.


When pinning the fold keep the pins horizontal.


Stitch the dart using a sewing machine, always sew from the raw edges of the fabric to the centre of the dart. Back stitch at the start of the dart and when nearly at the end of the dart change the stitch length to a shorter one. Never back stitch at the end, and leave enough thread to be able to tie a double knot. Darts are always finished this way to stop puckering.


Press the dart using a tailors ham to assist with shaping, always press the way it was sewn.


A pressed dart.

This is how the dart looks on the garment.

For a video tutorial on sewing darts visit The Craft Channel on YouTube.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Pressing Tools & Techniques

This is part of the Skill Bite section of the Simplicity Dress 3833 series. If you have missed any of the series please visit the Introduction page, where you will find all the previous links.

What is Pressing?

Pressing is a technique sewing enthusiast use to flatten areas where stitching has taken place. A great website explaining about the difference between ironing and pressing can be found on Love to Sew.

Useful Pressing Tools


An iron is essential to be able to press. It does not have to be top of the range, the one I use is the cheapest on sale in Wilkinson’s for about £5.00.


To press darts and anything that needs to be curved, its best to invest in one of these or make your own. If you want to have a go I recommend following the instructions on Burda Style, created in only 5 steps.



To use a tailor’s ham place the fabric on top and apply pressure with the iron.



A sleeve roll is used to flatten the seams on making the sleeves and also makes it easier to make the hems.


To use a sleeve roll insert the roll into the sleeve and press the seam with the iron.
Richard654w from YouTube shows you how to press using a tailors ham and also a sleeve roll.
Next week I’ll explain what darts are and how they are used in constructing garments.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Stitching Seams

This is part of the Skill Bite section of the Simplicity Dress 3833 series. If you have missed any of the series please visit the Introduction page, where you will find all the previous links.

What is Stitching Seams?

To stitch seams is to join pieces of fabric together. There are a variety of different ways to stitch seams.  The most common seam I use is the Flat Seam, which is the simplest one to create. 

Tutorials

On the Alternative Windows website they have a good brief description explaining what flat, princess and gathering seams look like complete with diagrams.
For video tutorial I recommend the YouTube video from PandemicApparel where she clearly explains lots of different types of seams.

Using Seams


Measure a ⅝ inch distance for the seam allowance and pin the side seams.


Use a standard straight stitch to create the seam.


The seam is now ready to be pressed.


Open the seam and press in place.

Next week I will explain the pressing techniques and tools.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Skill Bites – Stay Stitching

This is the start of the new section ‘Skill Bites’ in the Simplicity Dress 3833 Series, where I shall explain sewing terms used in this pattern. If you have missed any of the series please visit the Introduction page.

What is Stay stitching?

When I first started to read pattern instructions it took me a while to figure out what this sewing term actually meant. In basic it is a stitch done on a single piece of fabric which prevents the fabric stretching while sewing and handling. For a more detailed definition of the term Stay Stitching visit About.com.

Tutorials

When it comes to explaining techniques I always find videos are the best way to go. On YouTube I came across Krissajojo’s video where she explains very clearly what stay stitching is.
Sometimes watching videos may be difficult when you are sewing if you need to keep referring to the information. I keep my pc in the bedroom and my sewing room is downstairs, which means I do a lot of running about in the house. In this instance I find a PDF reference sheet is ideal to keep near my sewing machine to refer to, on Sewing.Org they have a great selection to download.

Using Stay Stitching

For the Simplicity dress 3833 I needed to use stay stitching anywhere that the fabric may stretch. In the following example I will show how I used stay stitching on the skirt piece.

*Please note the measurement should be ½ inch distance from the top, not ¼ inch as shown in the picture.

Measure ½ inch from the upper edge of the skirt piece and mark.

Set the machine to a standard straight stitch and stitch along the marks.


This is how stay stitching will look on the fabric piece.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Transfer Pattern Markings

This is the 6th entry in the Simplicity Dress 3833 Series . If you have missed any of the previous entries please visit the Introduction Page.

Equipment Needed


There are a variety of tools available on the market to assist with transferring pattern markings onto  fabric. The tools I use for achieving this purpose are dressmaking pins, dressmaking wheel, tailors chalk, dressmaking marker pencils,  and an ink correction pen. Which ever tool you work with it is best to try them out on scrap fabric before using on the finished garment. My favourite tools are the dressmaking pins and an ink correction pen for quickness and precision. I find the chalk to be messy and can be rubbed off too quickly when handling the fabric. The dressmakers wheel creates tiny dots which are difficult to see. For more ideas on which tools to use for transferring pattern markings visit the  CyberSeams website.

Pattern Symbols


On each pattern piece there will be a variety of symbols which will help in making up the garment. On the instructions sheet that is provided in the pattern envelope there will be a General Directions section which explains what they mean. For more information on pattern symbols visit Diceyhomefree online.

Pattern Markings


On this bodice pattern piece I have circled the markings which will need transferring over to the fabric:-
  • A – Notches
  • B – Dots
  • C – Darts

Notches


Notches are used for lining up pattern pieces when constructing the garment. These should be transferred over in the cutting stage, please visit my previous blog entry for more information on notches.

The picture above shows how the notches look when they have been transferred to the fabric.

Dot Markings


Dots will be used to match up other pattern pieces. Stick a pin in the circle and draw around the area where the pin is sticking into the fabric.



The markings on this piece are showing where the sleeve will be placed.

Dart Markings


The quickest way to transfer the dart pattern onto the fabric is to stick a dress making pin into each circle and push through  all the fabric pieces. Remove the pattern piece carefully and push the pin heads through the pattern paper. Use a marking tool to draw a dot where the pins are, remember to do it on the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric on all the pieces. Use a ruler to join the dots together. For a more traditional way on making darts the Tailor Tacks method on About.Com Sewing has a great article explaining how to do them.


This dart is on the sleeve of an arm.

Next week I will be starting my Skill Bites Section in this series, where I will share tips and links to videos on how to make sense of sewing terminology.