Thursday, May 19, 2011

Funky Bound Buttonholes

I made fun buttonholes for this jacket and I thought I'd share how I made them.

Here is a close-up of the buttonhole....

and the facing....

I first decided on the shape and drew it on rectangles of silk organza....

I positioned these on the jacket front. ( I forgot to take a photo but here's one for the facing)and sewed around the shape....

Next step was to cut through both layers....

I then turned the organza to the inside and pressed....

For the lips of the buttonhole ,I took two rectangles of linen and sewed them together down the middle....

I then pressed them like this....

and positioned them behind the buttonhole opening using Wonder Tape to hold them in place and top stitched them in place....

This is what the back of the buttonhole looks like.....

I trimmed off the excess....

This is how I faced the buttonholes.... It's self explanatory so I'll let the pictures do the talking

I used Wonder Tape to hold the facings in position while I stitched around them....

I hand stitched around the buttonhole.

I added a rectangle behind the buttons to support them.

I love these buttons! I stole them from this jacket and will have to replace them this fall.

So that's it. Now you try it!!

More later from

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Set IN Sleeve Method That Really Works

Years ago, I watched Sew Perfect with Sandra Betzina faithfully and I learned so much that helped me to sew more professionally. I taped many segments and still watch them on occasion.

One of the things I learned is that when sewing a set-in sleeve, it helps to put the sleeve down against the feed-dogs because they eat up the extra length for you. I used that method and still do with great success but one time Margaret Islander was a guest on Sew Perfect and this is what she did.I'm explaining it as I remember i tand hope I'm not misquoting her

1.Run a line of moderately longer stitches all the way around the sleeve at exactly 5/8".

2. Pull the thread as usual to distribute the fullness but distribute it all the way around and not just between the front and back notches.

3. Work the gathers with your fingers so they don't form any pleats or puckers.Take your time with this step as it will be worth it in the end.

4. Pin the sleeve to the armhole at the center top and under the arm. Those are the only two points that really need to be exact. Perfect the distribution of fullness if needed.

5. Sew as usual but on exactly the line of basting.

If you've made sure to smooth out all puckers in advance your sleeve should turn out perfectly set and pucker free!

I used this method on this jacket for my grand-daughter because the sleeves had too much ease and it really helped. I blessed Margaret Islander for showing this wonderful way of solving the set-in sleeve issue.

Now go ahead and give it a try. You'll be glad you did!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My New Love...Wonder Tape

For years,I've been looking for Wonder Tape by Dritz everywhere I've gone..Montreal,Ottawa,Vancouver, Paris (well not really.Wonder Tape was the last thing I thought of in Paris ).But I've searched in vain for this much coveted notion.

I first heard about it on Sandra Betzina's Sew Perfect on HGTV many years ago. Can you believe it that I found it finally at of all places Fabricville!!They certainly didn't have it when I worked there part-time for 6 years!

And even more delightful is that it washes away! Oh my goodness! You have no idea how I'm loving my wonderful Wash Away Wonder Tape.I've only had it for a week and I've already used more than half the package. I love it even more than Steam-a-Seam which ,like Ron Collins of Power Sewing Web TV Show fame ,I use all the time.

I used it on this little cardigan to hold the hem and facings in place before sewing them.Afterwards I used Steam-a-Seam to add grosgrain ribbon to cover the serged edges.

On this jacket,I added a 4&1/2 bias cut piece to the bottom because it was too short. I used the Wonder Tape to hold the facing in place before doing the top stitching .

Oh MY! The sky's the limit for this little gem!! Maybe they'd let me make a commercial!Lol.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Invisible Stitch Patch Pockets

First of all, I want to give credit for this method to Sandra Betzina and Ron Collins of Power Sewing. I learned to do this by watching their Web TV video. I highly recommend this site and enjoy my subscription for the web shows immensely.

I used this method on this jacket and enjoyed learning the process. I really encourage you to try this couture touch.

Step 1- Sew your pocket lining to the pocket at the top.

Step 2-Press seam and fold at top of pocket.(My pocket facing isn't as deep as it should be.)


Step 3-Pin pocket lining in place on garment and carefully mark a seam allowance of a little more than 5/8".

Step 4-Sew around lining.

Step 5-Press seam towards middle for both the lining and the pocket.

Step 6-Fold pocket over lining, pin in place and hand stitch the pocket in place over the lining carefully from the inside of the jacket.

This method is so much easier than the method described in Threads January 2011 issue.

I'm really sold on this way of sewing patch pockets and I think you will be too. So go ahead and try it!

Please let me know what you think and thank you for looking in on my sewing lessons!!