Thursday, December 24, 2009

Method of stitching a neck with fitted facing

Using these drafts cut facing pieces (figure 1)

Method of attaching facing to the Garment

Stay stitch the neck of the garment and the facing,
Stitch shoulder seams of the garment and the facing keeping the same seam allowance. Open the seams and press. (Figure 2)
Fold the lower edge of the facing by ¼” and press. Keep the facing flat on the garment, right sides together, matching the shoulder lines and the contour of the neck. Baste them together. Machine stitch on the seam line. Trim the seam by ¼”. Clip the curved edges and cut the corners a little, taking care not to cut the stitching. (Figure 3 )
Press the seams towards facing secure them by under stitching on the right side of the facimg.Turn the facing inside on the seam line such that facing is not visible from the right side and it lies flat on the garment.Press.Secure the facing against the garment with short hemming stitches Figure 4

Method of preparing facings

Place the draft of front and back of the bodice on a sheet of paper as shown in the (figure 1)step 1 and mark the neck line and shoulder lines (green dotted lines). Remove the draft. Mark the other edges of the facing curve A-B-C .This curve can be of the shape of the neck as in step 2 or different as in step 2a. .If it follows the shape of the neck the width of the facing should be same all over. Cut along the line A- B-C. (Step 3)Open the folds (Step 4) we get drafts of front neck facing, right back neck facing and left back neck facing.

Fitted facings

Fitted facing is also called shaped facing.In this method, facing is cut in the same shape of the neck. We can tell it is the duplicate of the shape of the neck. The edge that is to be stitched to the neck line has the same contour of the neck .The other edge of the facing is usually parallel to the edge to be stitched to the neck. Sometimes it can be of different shape. Almost all the types of neck can be stitched by this method. It gives a very good finish.
It is better if the facing is prepared from the same material as the garment. If the material is not wide enough pieces can be joined taking care of the grains. Seams should be opened and pressed.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fabric tubes

There various methods by which one can decorate neck. Now a days decorating with” fabric tubes” are in fashion. Fabric tubes can be bent to take the shape of any curve (except for narrow curves) so it used in applique work for creepers Fabric tubes are used to make loops also.

Method of making Fabric tube

Cut true bias strip if the fabric 1 ½” wide. (Figure 1). Fold the strip in to half length wise. Keeping right sides together machine stitch as shown in the fig. 2, leaving ¼” seam. Thread a tapestry needle with a thick thread and knot the end. Take a stitch at the point A and secure it with one more stitch. (Fig 3) Insert the needle through the opening near the point A. (fig4) . comes through the other end. (Fig 5). Pull the thread slowly. This turns the tube inside out.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Prepare your own bishop dress collar guide continued.........


1 to5 =H-G. 5 to 2 = sleeve width =2½ to 3 times the curve J-J2
For distance H to G see    here    in figure 1
6 to 5 =distance H-J
3 to 6 = under sleeve length measured from arm pit to the required length
2 to 4 =1 to 6 +6 to 3. Shape the curve 6 -5 keeping armhole shape guide

Body front and back

Make four layer fold

7 to 11=H to G and 11 to 8 is 2½ times or 3 times the distance of the curve J –J’
11 to 12 =distance H-J
12 to 9 length of the dress from arm pit
Curve 12 to 11 is shaped using the armhole guide draft.
Open the fold and keep one layer for the front. Cut the other layer in the middle along the line 8 to 10.
Those two portions are right back and left back. While cutting the fabric an extra extension of 1¼” should be made at the opening (shaded portion) for button stands.


Prepare your own bishop dress collar guide

Measurements needed

Sleeve length
Sleeve width
Full length of the dress.

Method of folding the paper

Fold a sheet of paper twice making four layers as shown in the figure

Keeping B-F on fold mark B-F= ½ shoulder +½”
B-A =½ shoulder +½”
F-H =¼ chest +1½”
B-C =B-D=1/12th chest
From the point D draw a perpendicular line such that D-E = B-C.Join C-E
Mark the point G on F-H such that A-B = G-F

Join shoulder slope C-I

Figure 2

Shape the neck line C-D as shown. Front and back neck depth are same.
Join H-K and produce.This line meets the curve at J.
Shape the yoke curve A-F Keeping the width of the yoke same throughout.
This curve cuts line H-K-J at L
While blocking the smocking, sleeve seam should on the line J-L
Shape the armhole. A-I-K-H

Figure 3

Cut the yoke D-J-C-I-L-F and open the fold once . We get 2 layers .They are front yoke and back yoke .

Figure 4

Keeping one portion aside which is the front, cut the other portion along the line D-F .These two portions are left back yoke and right back yoke. Mark sleeve seam line position on all the yoke pieces. (Pink lines)

Figure 5

Join the yoke pieces at shoulders with cellophane tape as shown in the figure . This is bishop dress collar guide
1 to 2 and 3 to 4 = shoulder lines
5 to 6 and 7 to 8 = front sleeve seams
9 to 10 and 11 to 12 = back sleeve seams
While cutting the fabric an extra 1/2" of extension to be made for attaching button stands ( shaded area)
After separating the yoke from the paper draft the remaining portion A-I-K-H is used as armhole shaping guide.

(Please note that the drafts are not to scale)



Friday, December 11, 2009

Stitching neck with bias flat facing

Stitch bias binding of width 1"to the neck keeping right sides together. While stitching ease the edge of the binding against the curve of the neck, at the same time stretch the other edge of the binding. Trim the seam. Clip the seam at intervals taking care not to clip the machine stitch. Turn the bias binding towards the seam and press. Stitch on the right side of the facing very close to the seam line. This is called under stitching. This holds the facing and the seam in place. Turn the facing on the seam line such that facing is not visible on the right side and it lies flat on the garment. Turn in ¼’of the other edge of the bias binding and stitch in place against the garment using small hemming stitch.


Methods of stitching neck

Neck can be stitched by giving piping or bias facing or shaped facing
As soon as the fabric is cut stay stitching should be done at the curved edges of neck and arm hole. This prevents the neck and armhole from losing their shape while handling.

Piping method

Piping is suitable for neck designs with wide curves.Neck designs with narrow curves are not that suitable.
Cut Bias binding four times the width of the finished binding .Press the seam allowances of ¼” on the longer edges of the binding. Stitch the bias strip to the neck keeping right sides together and having a seam allowance of ¼”. Turn the bias binding over the raw edge to wrong side and hem in the line of the machine stitch. If you want to machine stitch, turn the bias binding over the raw edge to the wrong side such that the binding just covers the machine stitch and tack. Machine stitch from the right side. Stitch in the seam joint of the neck and bias binding.

Under stitching

Under stitching is done on the right side of the facing very close to the seam. It holds the facing and the seam in place


After attaching the facing to a curved edge seam is clipped at intervals before turning the facing towards wrong side .By doing so curved seam will lie flat when the facing is turned inside. This gives good finish to the garment.


Easing is done while joining two cloth pieces in such cases where one of which must be longer than the other to get good finish. While attaching bias strip to a curved edge easing is done.


Basic stitching terms

Stay stitching-

Stay stitching should be done as soon as the paper draft is removed from the fabric .It is a line of regular machine stitch done on curved or biased edges. It prevents the curved edges from losing their shape. Stay stitching is done on single layer of the fabric. It is usually done 1/8” from the seam line with in the seam allowance. On deep curves it should be done on seam line

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I did it !

To day at last I managed to bifurcate my blog in to two,one for sewing and the other for embroidery. Thanks for "cute n cool blog stuff" by Itkupilli which helped me to do this.


Basic stitches that one should know


Tacking is a temporary stitch used to hold two or more layers of fabric. Length of the stitch need not be small. It can be of ¼” or ½”It is removed after permanent stitching is done. It should be not done be where the permanent stitch .It should be done close to permanent stitch line but behind .Tacking can be removed by clipping the stitch 3 “ or4”intervals. Care should be taken not to put permanent stitch on the tacking. It can be stitched with single or double thread, knotted at the end; evenly spaced stitches are made by taking the needle in and out of the fabric. Line of tacking is ended with 1 back stitch or a knot.

Running stitch

Method of doing running stitch is similar to tacking. End of the thread is knotted. Small stitches are made by passing the needle in and out of the fabric. Stitches should be small and evenly spaced. It is used to make gathers.

Overcast stitch

Overcast stitch is used to keep raw edges from unraveling


Hemming is used to finish the hems.

Catch stitch

Catch stitch is used to hold a raw edge against a layer of fabric. It is worked from left to right.Take needle out at the point A on the fold. Take a small stitch at BC on the single layer .Once again take a stitch DE on the fold. And continue.

Slip stitch

Figure 1

I like this stitch very much.It gives perfect finish for the hems.Slip stitch is used to make invisible hem. It will not unravel as most of the stitch is hidden under the layer if fabric. It is worked from right to left with a single thread fastened with a knot hidden inside the hem. Bring the needle out through the folded edge at point” a “; pick up a few threads of the flat single layer of fabric at “ bc ” and then work through the fold again at ” d “ . Slide the needle along, come out of the fold at “a’ “ to make the next stitch. This stitch is very useful in attaching sari fall

Back stitch

Back stitch is the strongest stitch which can be used when garments are hand stitched
Bring the needle out at A insert needle at appoint B, behind A (1st step).Bring the needle out at the point C (2nd step) one stitch AB is formed. Once again insert the needle at the point A (3rd step) and bring the needle out at D (4th step) 2nd stitch CA is formed. Continue like this. Dotted line signifies the thread behind the fabric.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fairies costume

Fairy’s costume is nothing but a skirt with plenty of gathers with wings .It can be mini, midi or maxi skirt. It can be with puff sleeves or sleeveless. It looks good if it is stitched with thin material with matching satin lining. Pastel colors are suitable. Bodice is stitched first .Then the skirt portion is attached. Gathers should be more .It will be nice if the width of the skirt is thrice the chest.
Wings are prepared separately.

Bodice front and back

Keep A-C on Fold. A-C = Waist length + ½”.
A-O =¼ chest-½”.
From the points A, O, and C draw perpendiculars.
A-B = ½ shoulder width + ¼”
A-N =1/12 th chest +¼” or to taste
A-I =1/12th chest +½” or to taste
A-H = 1½”. Shape back neck N-H and front neck N-I as shown in the figure
O-D =¼chest +1½” .O-D =C-E
M-E =1/2” .Join D-M.
B-G =½”. Join N-G
F-J =1”.Shape G-D back armhole and G-J-D front armhole as shown in the figure.
L is half of C-M.A dart of 1/2” is taken along the line K-L as shown in the figure.
Add 1"+ 3/4"extension along the line A-C at centre back of the bodice for button stands.Shown by shaded portion in the layout.


M-N= ¼ chest +1½”.N-P =sleeve length+2” for puff +½ for folding
N-P =M-O.
M-Q = 1/12 th chest+¾”.Join Q-N
O-T=¾”Join Q-T
S-T = ½”M-R = 1/12th chest. R-U =¾”.
Shape Back arm round Q-R-N, front arm round Q-U-N and P-S

Skirt .

Gathers should be more .It will be nice if the width of the skirt is thrice the chest. You can stitch full length skirt or knee length skirt.


Take two aluminum hangers. Cut and remove the hooked portion and straighten the wire. Cut a template of a wing with a card board. Keeping this as a model, shape the aluminum wire. Prepare two wing shapes with the wire. Cover the wire with thin gold ribbon with the help of glue. Cover the shapes with tissue material or netted material. Join the two wings in the middle. Two straps stitched with the material of the dress are attached to the wings as shown in the figure( purple one in this figure), distance between them being equal to shoulder width. After wearing the dress tie the wings at armholes. Take one end of the strap under the armhole and take the other end above the shoulder and tie in front it like a bow. Do the same thing for the other side also.


Stitching peasant top

Join front and back of the bodice to right and left sleeves as given 1-2 to 3-4,5-6 to 7-8,9-10 to 11-12 and 13-14 to 15-16.Attach 1½” bias binding to the neck keeping right sides together .Fold over and stitch .This is the casing to pass draw string. Make a small button hole in middle of the front to pass draw string. Fold over the edges of the sleeves to make the casing for elastic, Pass elastic of the length equal to sleeve round and secure the ends to the sides of the sleeve by 2 or 3 back stitches. Join sides of sleeves and bodice .Fold the bottom by ½” and stitch. Pass a draw string through the neck casing

Make your own peasant top

Bodice front and back

A-B= ½ shoulder+¼”
A-P =length of the top +1½’
A-O = 1/12th chest
A-H =1½”
A-L =1/12th chest+1½”
A-C =¼chest-1”
Draw perpendiculars from C and P
C-E= ¼ chest +1”+½”
C-D =A-B
Join B-D
Mark F on the line B-D such that D-F =1”
Join O-H and O-L back and front neck shapes as shown in the figure. Mark G such that O-G = 1”
Join G-F and produce. From the point E draw a perpendicular E-N to the line G-F produced.
Produce E-N to M such that N-M =E-N
Shape E -F-G as shown in the figure LIPK is extra material 2” wide for gathers in front. And HIPK is extra material 2” wide for gather at the back. Width can be increased or decreased according to taste.


A-B= ½ shoulder+¼”
A-O = 1/12th chest or to taste
A-H =1½”
A-L =1/12th chest+1½”or to taste
A-C =¼chest-1”
Draw perpendiculars from C
C-E= ¼ chest +1”+½”
C-D =A-B
Join B-D
Mark F on the line B-D such that D-F =1”
Join O-H and O-L back and front neck shapes as shown in the figure. Mark G such that O-G = 1”
Join G-F and produce. From the point E draw a perpendicular E-N to the line G-F produced.
Produce E-N to M such that N-M =E-N
B-R = sleeve length +2"
R-Q = sleeve width+1/2"
Join M-Q.
Shape M-F-G as shown in the figure
SRTO is extra fabric ,O-T =S-R= 2" wide for gathers. It can be varied according to taste.