Sunday, December 15, 2019

Cutting Line Designs has wools on sale this week, but no matter when you make some wool into smart, wrinkle-free pants, you might be venturing into chilly temps.

If it's freezing, you might want honest-to-goodness long underwear.  But to be comfy in a mild chill--or even colder--I like to wear a pant liner.  I made mine in nylon tricot.  

Here's what they look like:

They're about the same color I am, so I can wear them under light-colored pants, but they also work fine under dark colors because they are a few inches shorter than my actual pants.

I made these using the One-Seam Pants pattern.  They're really comfy, especially if you don't quite like the feel of wool next to your skin for extended periods of time.

I cut them in the same size as the pants I always make, and my pants just slide right over them.  

A liner doesn't have the same wide casing as typical One-Seams.  Let's take a closer look:

You can see that the bottom line of the usual casing on One-Seams is actually your natural waistline.  So you can fold down the entire 4-1/4" casing out of the way when you cut out pant liners.  Then sew lingerie elastic to the natural waist, hem the liners if you think they need it, and TA-DAAAA! (I cheated--mine aren't even hemmed.  I thought a hem might make a ridge.)

I've also thought about making liners out of Ambiance, also known as bemberg rayon.  It's widely available on the internet if you can't find it near you.  It's usually labeled "Dry Clean Only", but that's only because it water spots.  If you wash it, the whole fabric is water-spotted, so it looks fine.  It will shrink a bit and wrinkle, but press it and move forward.  It's a natural fiber and will be comfy.

Monday, December 9, 2019

We had a request for more information recently.  Someone had seen this photo of a shirt and vest and had some questions, so I thought I'd let you know about the thought process and sewing techniques that went into it.

First, this shirt and vest were made from the By Popular Demand pattern, using the jacket pattern pieces.  
For the shirt, I obviously omitted the jacket's pockets.  I also lengthened the pattern by about 3" so that the orange shirt would show not only at the sleeves but also at the hem.

For the vest, I left the pockets off again.  I shortened the collar by 3/8" so that a rim of orange would show above the blue vest collar when the outfit was worn.  Of course, I left off the sleeves, which meant that I needed armhole facings.  Below, I'll show you how I came up with those.  

Finally, I used 2 threads through the needle to make really prominent orange edgestitching and topstitching on the vest to further tie the outfit together.  I wrote an explanation of that stitching technique in the third blog published in June 2019.  You can find it by clicking on June on the right hand side of the page.

Drafting an armhole facing pattern piece is pretty simple.  Begin by pressing the Front, Yoke, and Back pattern pieces for the jacket.  Use a dry iron on a low temperature.  That gets the pattern pieces to lie flat and ensures that your work will be accurate.  Then overlap the pieces at the shoulder and at the back/vest seam by 1-1/4" (2 seam allowances).  (Ignore the other alterations I've done on these pattern pieces.)

Lay a piece of tracing paper (I use medical exam paper--it's cheap and works fine) over the armhole area of the overlapped pieces.  

Using a fashion ruler, trace the armhole edge of the overlapped pattern pieces.  Also, mark the front armhole clip.  Be sure to also trace the top of the side seam edges.

Move the tracing paper away from the pattern.  Decide how wide you want your armhole facing to be, then add 5/8" for seam allowances.  In this example, I used a total width of 2-5/8", which will result in 2" wide facings.  

Use a seam gauge to mark the width of your new armhole facing.  In the illustration below, note how I have positioned the seam gauge so that both sides of the little blue tab (slide) are lying on the traced line.  Making the seam gauge extend straight out from the original traced line ensures that the facing will be the same width everywhere.  Make marks as you move the seam gauge along the facing.

Using a fashion ruler, connect the marks in a smoothly curved line.

Be sure to mark the front and back of your new facing pattern.  (Now you can see that front clip.  I had to reposition the facing on the Front to mark it.  You can do it in the first step above, when I mentioned it!)

You can adapt many shirt and jacket patterns to make vests using this technique.  Have a good time!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Hello, everyone!  At last, I'm back to bring you ideas on the blog.  It feels good to be able to continue my conversation with you.

Today, I want to bring you part 2 of my information about miters.  Previously, I showed you how to create regular miters.  Now I'll show you irregular miters.  They can seem a bit funny, so let's look at a diagram.  Then we'll sew one to see what it looks like in fabric.

This diagram assumes a 1" seam allowance and a 2" hem.  The diagonal line that extends through the corner dot is the miter stitching line.  (Remember that miters are already drafted for you in CLD patterns, but this will help you with other situations.)

The dimensions can differ.  The process will work if you follow the fabric example below for the pressing, marking, and stitching.

Here's a simulation in paper.

The dot at the corner of the lines marks the point of the miter.  You can also see 2 little dots on the left and bottom edges, designating the match points for sewing the miter.  I folded the 1" and 2" edges, then marked little dots right where they came together. 

Below is the starting point in fabric, with the edges pressed and the dot marked at the corner where the pressed lines cross.  That's the point of the miter.

The pressed edges are folded to meet.  I marked dots where they crossed very precisely (lower left of photo).  They indicate the starting point of the miter stitching.

Here's where things start looking funny, but you have the dots to guide you.  Right sides together, match the 2 dots on the fabric edges marked above.  The first dot at the corner is the point of the miter.  I've marked the stitching line in blue.

Here's what the other side of the folded miter looks like.  

Stitch the miter from the matched dots to the corner dot.  I use a slightly shorter stitch length (2.0).  Secure your stitching at both ends.  (I just stitch in the air off the point and leave that stitching folded into the miter.)

Here's the stitched miter.

Trim the miter, especially the corner.

Press the seam allowances open over a point press.

Turn the miter right side out, using a point turner to walk out the corner.

And there you have it!  I hope you find this useful.