The Feed Dog Sewing and Fashion Blog

Project MyWay #14–Theory Knock-off Skirt & Top

  I wanted that Theory skirt, in a different color which I showed you in Fall Wardrobe ’08–Part 5. I decided on fatigue green (again!)–the color feels fall-ish and I love how it looks with black. (more…)

Fall Shoes and Boots

I have a love/hate relationship with shoes and boots. I won’t buy shoes or boots unless I love them and they have to pass rigorous scrutiny to be loved. They must be: (more…)

Instuctions for Sewing Felt Undercollar

  1. Before you cut into the felt, suede, or ultrasuede trim away all the seam allowances  surrounding the undercollar pattern piece
  2. Cut out one whole undercollar on the fold
  3. Pin this undercollar to the interfaced uppercollar, which has the seam allowances turned under (miter the corners of the upper collar), and catch-stitch the undercollar to the interfacing at the upper and side edges about 1/2″ inside the seam lines
  4. Baste the lower edge of the undercollar to the neckline seam allowance, placing the cut edge of the under collar along the stitching line
  5. Baste the undercollar to the uppercollar about 1/4″ (6mm) from all edges, then trim a scant 1/8″ (3mm) from all the raw edges
  6. Using a small blanket stitch, sew the undercollar to the uppercollar and neckline seams. (See diagram below:)

How to Use a Narrow Hem Foot

I’ve had a wonderful top-of-the line Bernina for 15 years and I had never purchased a narrow hemming foot! The problem with narrow hemming the other way (turning and stitching, trimming and turning and stitching again) is that by the time you stitch around the hem twice on delicate fabric, it almost always starts to flutter.

Here is a narrow hem technique I saw on a very expensive designer silk skirt (Project MyWay #1):  The skirt front was narrow hemmed, the skirt back was narrow hemmed, then the side seams were sewn. If you’re careful to have the side seams of the fronts and backs end at exactly the same place, this gets around the fact that the first half inch in of a hem using a narrow hemming foot looks horrible, as it’s hidden in the side seam.

Here is the best tutorial I’ve found for narrow hemming from Jan Andrea, at Home on the Web., it has great pictures and instructions:

http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/hemming.html

Even with this great tutorial, I was still having trouble catching my stitching on the folded hem. Finally, I changed from my single hole sole plate (which I always use on fine fabrics–keeps the fabric from getting shoved down into the throat plate) to the zig-zag throat plate and set my needle position to the right. This worked pretty well for light weight fabric.

How to Insert an Invisible Zipper

I don’t think I’ve ever installed a “perfect” invisible zipper. My Achilles tendon is the bubble that wants to form at the bottom of the zipper, I think  because the fabric stretches in one direction when you sew the first side of the zipper and then stretches in the other direction when you sew the second side.

That said, my invisible zippers look pretty damn good and by far better than lapped or centered zippers.

Here is the best tutorial I’ve ever seen on inserting an invisible zipper. It has clear pictures and instructions.

One thing I can add, if you can’t find the perfect color zipper, the zipper stop (the only part that shows on the right side) can be painted with model car paint available at hobby and toy stores. This gives many more options to match the color of the zipper stop to your garment.

Here’s the article:

http://sewiknit.blogspot.com/2006/03/invisible-zipper-tutorial.html

Project MyWay #13–Ella Moss Knock-off Dress

It’s time to stop dreaming and get sewing! The first project on my list is a season spanning dress. I liked both of these designs from Ella Moss’ Fall 2007 so I combined them into a dress I know I’ll wear a ton–with a scarf and cami now and later with black tights, booties and a black leather jacket. (more…)

Tailored Jackets for Fall

As I’m perusing the media (magazines, web, movies and t.v.) looking for fall fashions to sew, I’m uninspired. Usually fall has me drooling over beautiful clothes done up in sumptuous fabrics. Haven’t found many worth passing on at this time, but I will share what I do find.

Here’s an article from Fabulous Over 40 with their picks of the top jackets of the season. For the most part, I agree, though I’ll add more ideas as I find them. (I do love the Armani pictured above–perfect to dress up or down.)  (more…)

Fall Wardrobe ’08–Part 1

Even though I still have dozens of summer fashion I hope to stitch up, I guess it’s time to start gathering ideas for fall. At least I’ll have a place to start when the weather starts turning (because you know I’ll probably wait that long to start my fall wardrobe–I need to get in the mood).

Here’s an article from You Look Fab that outlines the major trends for fall. The photo is a new Donna Karan outfit at Neiman Marcus–a good season spanning look.

Hints of Autumn from You Look Fab

Project MyWay #10–Silver Linen Blouse

On Friday night I met some old High School friends for “tennis” (I haven’t played in 10 years or more, plus, I’m still on crutches, so I was the audience) and drinks at the country club. I grew up doing things like this and don’t have much interest in it any more, but I wanted to see my friends and look nice.

I pulled this picture of Ellen Pompeo in a J. Mendel blouse out of In Style magazine’s June issue. I thought it was really classy looking. I’m so tired of poofy clothes! I think women over 40 look ridiculous in empire waisted billowy tops and dresses.

Unfortunately, the pattern I used for this blouse is a discontinued Style pattern. You can re-create the look with any sleeveless blouse pattern.

I cut my own collar from the collar stand pattern piece included with the pattern. As long as you have the correct neckline shape from any collar pattern piece, you can redraw to your heart’s content! This is how my change looked (I tapered it at the upper edge):

I bought a gorgeous piece of white silk organza with the idea of making a sheer blouse, but I keep whacking off hunks of it and using it as interfacing! It’s great to use inside light weight fabric when you want some stiffness, it makes my collar look nice and crisp.

I wanted a really clean look, like the Ellen Pompeo blouse, so I finished the fronts with a 1″ topstitched facing and then sewed the fronts together (topstitched) instead of using buttons or snaps:

It really turned out great and looks chic and casual with a pair of white pants.

Ta-ta for now!