Hot Topics - The Sewing Poll

Hi Everyone!
I'm celebrating Martin Luther's King's Day, today, the day the entire Nation observes.  The Power of One.


Sew today :) we are going to discuss some Topics that you, the Reader has asked in the Sewing Poll.
  • Buttonholes - Buttonholes are really only tight zig-zag stitches and are really not that hard to stitch, but you do need to mark where you would like them to be placed before stitching, which can be done w/a fabric marker or Tailor's Chalk which erases off w/the iron. Horizontal Buttonholes should be placed 1/8" from the Center Front Line (if it is a Button Front Top). Vertical Buttonholes should be placed exactly on the Center Front Line. The Length of the Buttonholes is determined by the diameter of the Button + 1/8" in order to get the Button through the Buttonhole. If you are using a decorative Shaped Button, such as a star or diamond shape, practice different Buttonholes sizes on a scrap piece of fabric first to determine the correct length. Now most machines come w/automatic 4 step built in Buttonhole maker & a Buttonhole Presser Foot. So all you need to do is turn the knob to A or 1 & stitch the first line following your marked Buttonhole to the desired length, following the diagram as to where the needle point position should be in your fabric for each step because the needle remains in the fabric while you pivot the fabric for each step; then turn the dial to B or 2 for the Bottom of the Buttonhole; turn the dial to C or 3 for the second length line & and lastly, turn the dial to D or 4 to finish the top of the Buttonhole. If you miss a step, then you would need to take out those stitches & redo. Now of course, there are always alternatives :) Jonathon's Embroidery in N.Y does Buttonholes for $1.00 per Btnhole. (may be a little more now, since inflation, but it may be worth it to you especially for Coats).


  • Understitching - Understitching is a stitching technique used to prevent Facings or the Under Collar from peaking out or rolling out to the outside of your garment. The Seam Allowances that are stitched together are pressed open (you always want to press your seams open first for flat seams) then press the Seam Allowances Under the piece you do not want rolling out. For instance, if it is a Facing, stitch the Facing to the garment piece or pieces, press seam allowances open for a nice flat seam & then press those seam allowances so it is Under the facing & stitch close to the edge.


  •  Seam Allowance defined is the distance  from the Raw Edge of the fabric to the Stitching Line.


  • Controlling the Fabric or Seam Allowances - The Sewing Machine comes w/a guide known as a Seam Guide. The Seam Guide has Lines that are guides to keep your Stitching lines straight. The Lines are in 1/8" increments from each other, but 3/8" away from the needle point. So the first line is 3/8" (for most machines, others may start w/1/4") then the next is 1/2" (3/8" + 1/8" = 1/2"), the next is 5/8" (which is the common Seam Allowance for all Woven Fabricvs, the next is 3/4" etc. etc. What you have to remember when sewing is to keep your Eyes on the Guideline & Not on the Needle in order to maintain the Seam Allowance you are using & a Straight Stitching Line. You really just have to go slowly when going around Curves keeping your Eyes on the Guide.
 
  • How to choose the Right Fabric? Now if you are making your own Patterns, learn how @ Soul Collections ;), we normally draft for Woven Garments, however I do also offer Patternmaking for Knits. And in this case, you would need to go Fabric Swatching, (you choose fabrics your interested in @ the Fabric Store & ask for a swatch), then bring your swatches to class & I can advise which would be the best for your project. If you are buying a Commercial Pattern, such as Vogue, McCalls, Butterick, on the back of the Pattern Envelope, it list Suggested Fabrics to choose from. The Suggested Fabrics will be specific whether it is a Stretch or Woven. Some of the Patterns will indicate not recommended for Stretch Knits. All other fabrics that are Woven (non-stretch) you really just need to spend some time in the fabric store & look to see what grabs your attention. Silks, Satins & Chiffons, I do not recommend unless you are experienced in Sewing. Jean Fabrics you know are going to have the least amount of movement which is known as Drape. The same w/Cordorouy. Rayon & Rayon Blends are nice, Cotton Lawn Fabrics are thin, but usually have nice prints.  And don't be afraid to ask the fabric specialist in the fabric stores for their recommendation.  And don't forget to bring the Pattern to the store w/you, which will give the attendant a better idea of your needs.
Thanks Everyone! Classes are in Session @ Soul Collections & I will talk to you soon!

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