Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Vintage Dart Tip

I love a good dart tip; I came across this one in 'Home Journal' (1954).


Fifties seamstresses were advised to use 'brown paper to press out smooth darts.' Admittedly, I haven't actually used brown paper, I didn't have any to hand, instead I just whipped some regular paper out of my printer.

Below I'm using paper to press a cotton linen mix. Despite pressing hard on a very high temperature, there were no telltale marks coming through on the right side. This also worked well on seams.



The most useful application is when you have those tiny, fiddly shoulder darts. Using paper allowed me to get the iron right over them without worrying that I'd be left with unsightly marks.



These pictures are actually of my final summer dress project, I'll be posting on the completed summer dresses next week.


Monday, 25 August 2014

Great Fabric Markers

Regular readers will know I have yet to find a fabric marker I like; I usually end up thread tracing everything. Whilst in an epic rush this morning, I made a useful discovery. Having totally lost patience with my tailor's chalk and only needing to mark a short straight line, I took a risk: totally unlike me! The nearest marking tool to hand was a bible Driliter by Swanson. Unbelievably, it worked perfectly: a clear, sharp line which didn't disappear and came off really easily when no longer needed.

This is my best random discovery since the whole hairspray buttonhole revelation.




Tuesday, 12 August 2014

What's The Story?

If you've missed previous instalments of our story why not catch up here?



Saturday, 9 August 2014

Elizabeth Takes a Break

Who's Elizabeth? Well she's the main character in a book I'm writing and the reason I'm behind on my sewing.

I've had a few emails recently from followers and fellow bloggers asking me what I'm up to so I thought I'd share. The book isn't really about sewing so I wasn't going to post on it but if you'd like to read it I'll be serialising it right here.


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Inserting a Side Zip

It has been too long: I've been very busy.

Lots of vintage patterns feature side zips. There are obvious advantages to having the zip at the side rather than back or front:

  • It can't be seen, from a design point of veiw this is almost always preferable;
  • If the fabric has a pattern it negates the need to pattern match the back seam;
  • It frees up the neckline to incorporate collars or other design features.

However there are two issues with having your closure at the side:

  • If your back is not the standard size altering the pattern will be more complex;
  • Altering the fit at a later date due to fluctuations in size is far more problematic.

5. Turn your dress to the right side. This automatically brings the zipper into its rift place. Baste the front edge of you placket to the zipper tape, basting 3/8" back from the seam.

6. Take out basting which is holding the placket together.

7. Assuming you are happy with the position of your zipper, stitch and remove basting.

Because we stabilised the seam, it should sit flat to the zipper.

I will be posting updates on our summer sew-along soon.



Sunday, 20 April 2014

Ball Gowns

It's been great to see all the contributions to our 'Summer Dress Sew-along' on Flickr and in our chatroom. There's still plenty of time to get involved as the big reveal is not until the end of August.

In addition to the day dress I'll be making, I'm also planning a rather special summer dress. I have a summer ball in August and have been sketching out different designs for the event. The sketch below shows my ideas so far.


The ballet Giselle which I'm currently studying.

The silhouette of the dress below really appealed to me but I'd set my heart on a more structured fabric, this powder blue shot silk dupion.



Although I'm fairly happy with the design sketch, I think I'll try to rework it into something a little more practical to wear.


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