Monday, November 30, 2015

Bias Tape Heaven - A Clean and Polished Neckline Worthy of a Pro!

Many of the tops and dresses today suggest using commercial bias tape or fabric bias strips to finish off the neckline or armholes. There are many different ready-made bias tapes to choose from, though typically beginning sewists go right for the Wrights display in the fabric store. This hands-down favorite is very convenient and comes in a variety of colors, but it doesn't always work for sheer and soft fabrics or some knits.

As we advance in our sewing skills, we look for other alternatives. Cutting your own bias strips sometimes requires purchasing extra fabric and they can be tricky to get uniform.

We found a great sheer stretch "ribbon" by Renaissance Ribbons to try on our Burda Tee 7645, which we are working up in a creamy off-white ponte knit.  (Cutting bias strips of this knit would probably be too bulky when sewed to the neckline of the top.)

The ribbon is applied to the very edge of the neckline and sewn in place. Super easy!

Once the ribbon is sewn on the neckline, a quick turn under and 
some top stitching makes this tee-shirt neckline clean and polished.

We used the same ribbon on the armholes.  The results are a finished neckline worthy of a Pro!

What a year it's been for sewists and fabric lovers! I hope you have enjoyed seeing all the garments we are inspired to create here for my blog. Many of the garments are up in the store for you to see.

Please stop by when you can and see what's new in patterns and fabric!

Our classes are up on our website also if you wish to advance your skills or finally get sewing again!

Are you receiving our email newsletter from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics? If you wish to, please sign up on this link to receive them. We send them out every 3 weeks, and they have discount coupons!

Happy Sewing!

Future blog: Mytle Dress by Colette and Morris Blazer by Grainline!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Dahlia for Fall

We are in one of our most favorite sewing/creating seasons: 

I'm not sure if it's the warm colors or the rich fabrics or the pattern detailing that makes fall fashion designs so appealing, but we love being part of the fabric industry this time of year. Fabric colors and textures of fall seem to pull from the natural world than at any other time of year - everyone wants to embrace the earthiness of a rich brown wool, the coziness of a warm red plaid flannel, or the comfort of a soft dark green ponte knit.

I love the ease of wearing dresses for work, adding boots and leggings to them for the fall weather. I find I prefer dresses because they are uncluttered, less hassle, and more comfortable than a two piece outfit.  Our independent designers shine in the dress design arena, so I enjoy featuring their unique dress designs in my work wardrobe.

Colette has added to her easy yet visually interesting designs with the Dahlia dress. We love the detailing at the waist.

We chose a soft, but large scale plaid for the Dahlia...perfect for my fall season mood.  Be sure to check out the other colors this "Peppered Plaid" comes in!

Peppered Plaid - 100% Cotton Loveliness!

Whenever you are working with fabric where matching is crucial, like this large plaid, be sure to IRON/PRESS the fabric before you start your pattern layout.  Many cotton blends have wrinkles and creases caused by shipping and storage of the bolts that are easily steamed out.  

The Dahlia has a seamless center back and front with a narrow-at-the-waist fit, which means - you guessed it - the dreaded side zipper. To make it more exciting, Colette's instructions call for an invisible zipper.

In order to make this tricky installation process a little easier, Laurel changed up the order in which she assembled the dress. Instead of putting in the zipper after the side seams were sewn under the arm and in the skirt, she assembled the front and back sections but did not sew them together at the side seams, leaving her the freedom to perfectly match the two sides of the zipper, without having to fight/re-do/seam-rip/cry over the side "opening."

Looks good, doesn't it?  Laurel did a fantastic job pattern matching on this dress, and I can't wait to wear it again!  It even looks good with leggings underneath, which is perfect for work when it cools down a bit.

With a great quality cotton, Laurel's workmanship, and Colette's great pattern, this dress is a winner!

What are your fall sewing plans?

Creatively yours,