Summer blouse

I’ve discovered that taking progress photos detracts from the meditative nature of sewing, and since that’s a major reason why I sew in the first place, I’ve decided that meditation trumps pictures.

So, completed.

This photo came out bad, but whatev’s.

Instead of an elastic waistband, I’ve decided to use a belt for shaping.

Eyelet embroidery.

Split sleeves with buttons.

Ruffle bottom with a serged rolled hem.


Beginner draping project – probably not my future

I did some sewing, took some pictures, then ended up with this:

I think it’s ugly.

I can’t work in 3D very well.

Draping for fashion design is probably not in my future.

So let’s go back to what I can do.

Everyone is familiar with the blue seam rippers that have a red ball on them, that once upon a time in my young child mind, I was dead convinced was a drop of blood. I don’t use those anymore.

I prefer the hook seam rippers. Put a tailors ham underneath, pin one layer of fabric to it, pick a few stitches loose, then gently pull the two halves of fabric apart and slowly cut the thread in between. Even when you work carefully, it’s still faster than the blue seam rippers. Just don’t cut your fabric.

Since this fabric has a loose weave, I decided to cut off my serging instead of unpicking it. That’s the benefit of working with tons of extra ease.

Originally I experimented with the neckline having a curved grain line that did not work at all. Fashion students are probably grimacing at what I did, but I had to know.

So, I laid out my front and back pieces to know where I should draw my lines.

Lines measured and drawn.

Then I got into the zone and did a bunch of sewing without taking any pictures.

There’s a neat and tidy way of doing necklines that I didn’t feel like doing.

Advice: if you wanna go pro, don’t sew with your emotions.

This is my “I need to relax so I don’t kill everyone” hobby, so I can do what I want.

Anyway, I serged that sucker, and it turned out as puckery as a baby’s face after eating a lime. Cue embroidery thread and a basic running stitch.

Pull tight, distribute gathers, and steam, steam, steam!

The fabric will magically take the new shape.

At some point I’m going to add in more embroidery and embellishments, but that’s good enough for today.

Fabric draping beginner project

Pinning rectangles of fabric to my dress form. I’m using cotton bubble gauze fabric to make a breezy summer shirt.

I want it to look like this when I’m done.

Using my air erase pen, I marked where the details belong, such as the seams and neckline.

Then I took the fabric off my dress form and used my tools and water soluble pen to neaten up the marks I made. They’re now precisely measured and symmetrical.


And back on my dress form.

Caped-sleeve Bolero part two

We last left off with sewing on the facing . . .

Sew it on, clip seam allowances around curves, then press.

I ALWAYS understitch my linings and facings to keep them hidden from the right side. This step makes for a much nicer finished project.

Sew up the sides, finish the armholes, and onto the sleeves.

I finished the edges of the caped sleeves with my serger, then folded down and pressed the top edge. I basted it in place with a regular glue stick, and pressed it again to seal the glue. This will wash right out in the future.

Pin the sleeves into place and call it a day.

Caped-Sleeve Bolero part one

I’ve been really curious about those Japanese sewing pattern books on Amazon for quite awhile now, and a couple weeks ago I finally ordered Stylish Party Dresses. For my first project I decided to do:

Copy the pattern onto tissue paper . . .

I decided to go with a fairly thick black fabric that I’ve had in my stash for a few years now. It will probably be too warm for summer, but I have my hopes set on Autumn. The patterns don’t include seam allowances, so I decided to trace it onto my fabric and add the seam allowances there. 

Sew shoulder seams together, chain stitching to save time.

Press seams, then finish with the serger.

Thread number four was cut, not broken. I’m using only three threads so I can switch to a narrow rolled hem without too much trouble.

Pin the facing on and quit there, before the kids start exploding.