crafts · Sewing

Your stitching links of the day

I’ve embarked on a new experiment – I’ve traced 2 patterns from Burdastyle magazine, and I’m going to try them out!  This week I’m going to try out a muslin of a pair of pants (from the April issue) and I’ll make this fabulous blouse:
This also marks my first time using silk charmeuse – certain to be a fun experience!   Any tips are welcome (for instance: how am I supposed to mark the darts?  Thread tracing?  Tailor’s tacks?  I’m sure as heck not writing on this stuff, and it isn’t exactly machine washable.)   I had to grade the blouse pattern down to a 34 (it only went to 36) but found the experience to be rather easy, using the “trace and shift” method (note: not an actual method, just what I made up that seems to work!)  I read a lot of complaints about Burda increasing the number of patterns per sheet, so I guess it’s good that I started out with the new style – that way when I use an older one it will seem easy!  I actually don’t mind tracing at all (I do it for vintage or expensive patterns also) since I broke down and bought a roll of artists tracing paper from the art supply down the street.  It’s very transparent and I can iron it, plus it’s more study than tissue.  Stay tuned for my Burda experience report!
Stitching links for your enjoyment
Gertie gives a great tutorial for using horsehair braid to shape a hem.  One of the 60s patterns I just bought calls for the stuff, so I’m glad to have the info!
– There’s a big sale at Gorgeous Fabrics for the 4th – go do your part to buy fabric so that I can’t!
– More quilting fabric designers try apparel fabric – a sign I am very encouraged to see! Patty Young’s upcoming line of cotton interlock knits are up for preorder here.
– Tasia’s fellow should win an award for organizing her sewing space for her… meanwhile, my husband’s idea of organizing involves making stacks of similarly sized objects.
– Have you been following Ton & Lorenzo’s series on the fashion of Mad Men?  It’s a must read for fans of the period!
– The Selfish Seamstress makes me jealous with her awesome polka dot skirt!
Happy sewing!

6 thoughts on “Your stitching links of the day

  1. It’s a nice blouse! I “almost” made it sans the flounce and with a tie-collar, which turned out to be a disaster. So to the garbage can it went.

    Thanks for Patty Young link, I’ve been wanting a stripe knit fabric to make a Brenton shirt, but couldn’t find any good ones. So I bought some t-shirts from LL Bean (oops) 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. For tracing patterns I would also check you fabric shop for a product called “pattern ease” or something similar. It is awesome, like a very light fabric that you can iron and everything, and it doesn’t rip like paper. I use it to trace any patterns out of books that I want to use.

  3. I recently finished a Sencha blouse in silk charmeuse, and the fabric for me was slippery and hard to work with. I used tailor’s tacks to mark, switched to a 60/8 needle (much finer for silk) with polyester thread, and sure never ever to rip out, since silk charmeuse frayed very easily. I also made sure to sew very slowly and serged each seam shut as I went along. Hope that helps!

  4. (It’s so interesting to me to see cultural differences in sewing – for me, Burda patterns are the norm… I thought you might enjoy seeing the other side.)

    My mother taught me what I suppose is the ‘normal’ method in the Netherlands: put a towel on the table, put a sheet of newspaper underneath the pattern sheet, then use one of those barbed-wheels-on-a-stick (they look sort of like spurs) to press the pattern into the newspaper. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to tear out the pattern without even needing to cut it. (I wouldn’t say this is the best method; old newspapers don’t cost a thing, though, so I guess that might be why it appeals to us Dutch people. 🙂 )

    I was also taught to mark not just darts but all lines (the entire outline of the pattern piece) using something like tailor’s tacks. (I find this tedious and tend to use chalk instead.) I never understood why a pattern piece would be drawn with seam allowances included (I’d always just cut a generous seam allowance, not necessarily a straight line), until I realized that this makes most markings unnecessary.

  5. Thanks so much for the sewing inspiration! I’ve just started up again and your posts have been so helpful and reassuring: a knitter can learn to sew!

  6. I just tried my first pattern from Burda – a silly easy one dot dress. But, gave me tons of confidence to move forward and try more complicated stuff. Good luck!!

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