Tag Archives: sewing tutorial

Skirt Sew Along Part 5: Waist Facings

The facings in this skirt are easy to put together, but we will take it one step at a time. You will follow the waistband steps as directed below until I let you know we will use different finishing methods.

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Your fusible interfacing should look something like mine. While the need to prewash your interfacing is debated, I will share that I do like to wash mine. I wash them as I would my garment and then hang them over the curtain rod to air dry. DO NOT put it in the dryer when pretreating as the fusible interfacing is covered and heat activated glue dots. I don’t know exactly what would happen, but I doubt it would be good. Some people don’t treat theirs at all.

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It was hard to catch this shot, but you will cut your interfacing as you would your fabric. I like to cut mine in a way that uses as little space as possible because I buy the fusible interfacing in large amounts when it is on sale. To make a fold, I just fold the interfacing wherever I think it will fit best. Your pattern piece tells you how many pieces you will need of interfacing. You will cut pieces for both the front and back facing pieces.

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I like to lay my fabric face down first. Then I examine my interfacing to find the side that has bumpy dots; that is the glue. The glue side of the interfacing needs to be against the wrong side of your fabric. If you put the glue side up, it will stick to the iron. Next, Use the iron on the setting you use for your fabric and press the interfacing into place. Go slow and really let that glue melt. After that your fabric and interfacing should be stuck together like one piece of material.

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Next we will sew the pieces together. I use my notches to help me get it right as shown in the blurry picture above. Match the notches on the end of the waist pieces and sew using 5/8 inch seam allowance. Repeat on both sides.

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Go press your seam allowances open.

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Your waist facings should lay out and form a smile, Or that is how I think about it.

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If you are pinking shear finishing your edges, trim along the bottom of your smile (facing piece) as shown above.

If you are zig-zagging your edges, You will zig zag along the bottom of your smile.

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Select your zig-zag stitch and catch that bottom edge of your smile.

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Your zig-zagging, should look something like mine above. You have finished your facing pieces!

Skirt Sew Along Part 1: Fabric Cutting and Marking

I was wondering how far into detail I should go in this sew along. I decided since we were doing a beginner’s skirt version, we should be considerate of beginners and really get into the nitty-gritty of making this skirt. Some of this may be too beginner for you, but maybe we can get some tips from each other.

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This is your view of the back of the pattern envelope. The top flap has a guide to help you use your measurements to choose which size to make.

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This section gives you a description of the garment you are about to make. Under the Notions section you are told of any extras you will need to complete the garment, in this case you will need a zipper and maybe ribbon depending on the version you are making. The Fabrics section tells you which fabrics and weights of fabric will work best for this particular pattern.

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This section tells you how much fabric to buy. Most fabrics come in 44 inch and 60 inch widths. I used a 60 inch fabric that did not have any nap or directional print to worry about, so I needed 7/8 yards. You can also see you need fusible interfacing here which comes most typically in 20 to 22 inch widths. For this skirt a light weight fusible interfacing works fine.

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The directions that come inside the envelope are very helpful. In this shot it is showing you how to lay out your pattern pieces to best fit the width of fabric you bought.

Go ahead and cut out your fabric pieces along the line designated for the size you chose to use. In my case I am following the line for a size 20. By the way, don’t let the sizing turn you off. It was disheartening to need a size 20 pattern, but pattern sizes are different from your ready to wear sizes. I wear a size 12 in ready to wear clothing, but if I tried to make a size 12 in this skirt to save my pride I probably wouldn’t be able to fit the skirt over my hips!

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After I have cut out my pattern pieces I like to iron them on a very low setting to help flatten them out. At this point I also iron my fabric I will be using to remove any wrinkles. Creasing and wrinkles in pattern pieces or fabric during this stage can really affect the fit of your skirt later on.

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Here is how I laid out my pattern pieces on my fabric. I like to lay them all out before I cut or even pin just to be sure they fit.

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In this photo I have placed a few pins just to keep the fabric and pattern from moving while I cut them.

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As I cut out pieces I like to cut little notches where you see these triangles. These are used later to make sure your pieces are lined up as you are sewing.

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This marking here shows we will have a dart. There will be a dart in both sides of the skirt front and back pieces. It is important to mark these before you begin to sew because they are the very first thing we will sew. There are several ways to mark darts depending on your preference.

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These are the three methods I use most:

  • Frixion Pen – this pen is sold in office supply stores. It irons invisible and washes out.
  • Tracing paper and wheel – the paper comes in several colors and makes a light mark that fades away or is washed out over time.
  • Tailor’s Chalk – This is a waxy type of chalk that washes out.

For this project I am using my tracing paper and wheel, but there is no one right method to marking fabric. It all comes down to personal preference. When I was first starting, I even used regular pencils and ball point pens, so don’t feel like you have to go buy something fancy.

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To use the tracing paper, I slid the folded paper in between the layers of fabric with its chalky sides out. I then used my tracing wheel and heavily went over the lines of the dart to insure the markings would be visible.

You have officially marked and cut your fabric! Please feel free to share if you have another method that works for you or if you have any questions.

Easy Potholder for Newbie Sewers! Crafty Fun for All!

I have loved this chicken fabric since the first day I “laid” eyes on it.  And, at last, it has become something wonderful!

A potholder!  Yay!  (You can click on the image to see a closer view.) Anyway, if you’d like to make this quick and easy project yourself, then read the illustrated tutorial I’ve provided here.  This is a great project for the new & experienced sewer alike.

Potholder Tutorial (Finished Size is 7″x7″)

Supplies:

  • 6″ piece of 3/8″ wide grosgrain ribbon
  • 3 coordinating fabrics 1/4 yard of each – or you could use 3 coordinating fat quarters or even scraps
  • one 8″x8″ piece of Insul Bright (this is found at local fabric stores and also online:  insul bright)
  • one 8″x8″ piece of low loft batting
  • coordinating thread
  • masking tape or painters tape

Instructions:

  1. You’ll have 3 fabrics.  We’ll call them fabrics A, B, and C.
  2. Cut two 8″x8″ squares from fabric A.  Repeat for fabrics B & C.
  3. Fabric A will be the back of the potholder.
  4. Lay one 8″ square of fabric A in front of you with wrong side up.  Next, lay your 8″ square of insul bright on top of fabric A.  Then, lay your 8″ square of batting on top of the insul bright.  Last, lay your remaining square of fabric A on top of your stack with right side facing up.  It should look like this:

5.  Next, take your piece of 6″ ribbon and fold it in half.  Tape it to one of the corners of your stack.

6.  Now it time to use fabrics B & C.  These will become the front of your potholder.

7.  Fold one square of fabric B diagonally.  Press it with your iron.  It should look like a triangle.  Repeat for the rest of your fabric B & C squares.

8.  Place the corner of a fabric B triangle on top of your stack, aligning with the corner that has the ribbon.  Like this:

The raw edges of the triangle should be aligned with the raw edges of your fabric stack.

9.  Working counter clock-wise, lay the corner of a fabric C triangle on top of your stack, aligning with the corner to the left of the ribbon corner.  Like this:

Again, the raw edges of the triangle are aligned with the raw edges of your stack.

10.  Still working counter clock-wise, lay the corner of your remaining fabric B triangle on top of your stack.  (My finger is pointing to your third corner.)

11.  Now we want to put our last piece of fabric C on our 4th corner, but first, we have to peel back part of our very first triangle that we laid down.  The 4th corner is a red/black split.  Like this:

I peeled back the tip of the first triangle I laid down. See the ribbon in the corner?

I laid the last fabric C triangle on top of the red/black split, keeping the raw edges aligned with the raw edges of my stack.

Now I can lay the fabric A triangle back down on top of the 4th corner.

12.  Pin through all the layers to keep fabric from shifting.  Stitch all four edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  It was thick, so I decided to back stitch at the beginning and end of each edge.  You could also try the pivot and turn method as well.


13.  Clip the corners diagonally. Be careful not to cut through your stitches.

14.  Turn the pot holder right side out by opening up the area where all the triangles intersect.

Turn this potholder right side out. That black fabric you see in the middle is going to become the back of your potholder.

Use a point turner or your finger tips to shape each corner as your turn the potholder right side out.  Press potholder to help it lay flat.

Pot Holder Front View

Pot Holder Back View

Thanks for reading!  Send me pictures of your potholders!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny