Tip & Tutorials

Tips & Tutorials

[Vita] Professor Pincushion's tutorial for making patterns from finished garments

I thought this was pretty helpful for reproducing some of the "fave" garments we love. 


[Lynn's] Referral video for pin tucks
This link was mentioned in Lynn's post on Simplicity 2365. It's from the Grosgrain Fabulous blog. 


[Lynn's] Complete Jean Tutorial 

These are links to Lynn's Jeans tutorials at You Sew Girl.  Each link will connect to her original post.  These are great tutorials, and we think you'll be inspired to challenge yourself and increase your sewing skills!  Go ahead...have fun!!!

[Lisa] Jean Pocket Tutorial
Lisa has a great jean pocket tutorial on a post on her site as well.  Great detail and photos.  

[Stephanie] Another Jean/Denim Tutorial
Stephanie mentioned this site in her cordouroy pants via Kenneth King's Jean-ius tutorial.  It has some great photos as well.


[Faye's] Essential Tank Tops (link to original post for comments) 
Several weeks ago I started craving some simple tank top additions after being inspired by another blogger's  use of Simplicity 2599.  I even rushed out to buy some brightly colored drapey fabrics that I thought would work well in making tanks. (blogged about here)  I finally got around to making two of them, but decided to switch patterns. I'd used McCall's 5977  several years ago and felt it would be a better fit for me now.
 Who can't make a simple tank - right???  Well, I certainly can; but felt there was just a little something missing in mine even though it's a really simple design.  I decided to watch Peggy Sagers webcast "All about Tops" and was able to pick up the following simple tips that made my tank top even better than before:
  •  how to adjust the shoulder seam for a better armhole fit
  •  how to adjust center front to eliminate gaping at the neckline
  •  how to insert a tiny self-binding at the neckline that is more like upscale RTW
Maybe these were things I should have already known, but I didn't.  For me sewing is all about continual learning in the quest for better fit.

This tank in the closest thing I could find to Pantone's African Violet spring color.  Not sure if you can see my tiny neck binding, but I really love the fact that it's so small.  Peggy Sagers suggests using a self binding that is no wider than 1", and if I can remember correctly, it does not need to be cut on the bias. My pattern piece for the neck binding was 1 1/2" wide.  Using the smaller width gave me the finished look that I am really pleased with.   She also suggests that the binding begin and end at the left shoulder as does it does in most RTW garments. 

This tank is Army Green, although not a Pantone spring color for this year.  But it's one of   my favorite colors (for some reason).  For this top I did adopt an element from Lula Louise, the rounded baseball style hem.  I just think it's cute.  I used a dinner plate to get my curve edge and it worked out just right.
 I want to do some more (playing around) with this simple pattern.
  •  adding a tiny pocket
  •  rotating the bust darts to the bottom hem
  •  adding side slits
Just a few ideas because I do like playing around with pattern design...


Jeans [Lynn] (link to original post for comments)
I'm still working on the jeans, but I had to break to handle some mechanical failures around the house.  In the meantime, I'd like to share some resources for sewing jeans.  I am by no means a guru and pick up ideas from the vast amount of information that's available online.  

  • For a good collection of general sewing tips, visit the first page of the Jeans Tips and Tricks thread on Pattern Review.  The link provides information about types of denim fabric, patterns, notions, and construction.  You can find a list of jeans sew alongs that were hosted on Pattern Review by searching "jeans sew along" on the message boards. 
  • There are a couple of pairs of PR members whose jeans I simply adore.  I love the details added to make their jeans unique.
  • Elizabeth made this:  Check out the button placket on the leg!  Elizabeth's review is very well written and has lots of good information.
  • Raye Anne:  The piping around the pockets is SO cute!  The shaped back pocket flap is something I definitely want to try.
  • Margaret:  Margaret always writes the most informative and helpful reviews.  She has a great eye for fit and documents the process very clearly.  Her clothes are impeccably made and fit her well.
  • Scheryka:  I like how Scheryka mixed mediums to create an interesting back pocket design.
  • When thinking of designing pockets, I do a Google search on "jeans pockets" and look through the photos that pop up.  Sometimes I search for simple geometric designs and improvise from there.
  •  I buy a lot of my sewing supplies from Cleaner's Supply.  The prices can't be beat and the customer service is great.  I order by mail since I find their online store to be a bit cumbersome.   Shipping is only $3.83 for orders under $100.  They sell a wide ranges of zippers, Gutterman thread, buttons, needles, industrial sewing machine feet, seam rippers, etc.  If you buy in bulk, the price per item is less. 
  • For jeans, I like to use the 4.5" metal pant zipper, though I have used the 5" metal jeans zipper.  The 5" zipper is a little wider and heavier than the 4.5".  The pull tab is slightly bigger too.  I've not had a problem with either zipper, though I tend to favor the 4.5".
  • Both of Gutterman's regular and topstitching threads are reasonably priced and quite strong.  
  • I use mostly MaxiLock serger thread and find the prices and availability of colors quite reasonable here.  
Hmm...the hazard of writing a blog post and not publishing it on the same day it is written is the tendency to forget what to say!  So this is all all for now.  The front pockets are almost finished and I hope to have a new update soon.

Until next time, peace!


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