Sunday, October 24, 2010

The surly guide to french seams

I’ve never really liked doing french seams. I know that they look nice but the idea of having to sew a seam more than once annoys me (I know that yes that is what you are technically doing when you overlock the seam but there isn’t all that messing around with pressing and turning in between).

But some of the cotton voiles that I am using for my range simply had to be french seamed. They are too lightweight for overlocking, they are also slightly sheer so the overlocking could be seen through the fabric and I want all the garments to be machine washable so french seams were my only option.

The thing that has always bugged me the most about french seams are the little whiskers that sometimes stick out on the right side. You know when the fabric has frayed a bit before sewing.

Well today I had a light bulb moment about how to avoid the pesky whiskers without laboriously trimming them back when sewing.
The trick is to manipulate the needle position when sewing.

So on the first run, with wrong sides of the fabric together, I lined up the seam to half the final seam allowance (I am using ½ inch s.a so my first s.a guide is ¼ inch) and then move the needle position one click toward the cut edge.

Sew the seam, press flat and turn garment so that right sides are now facing.
Line up the seam at ¼ inch s.a again and then move needle position one click toward the garment (ie the opposite to what you did in the first run) and sew the seam.

Ta da! Perfect french seams with no whiskers!

So essentially you are sewing the first run with a slightly smaller s.a and the second run with a slightly larger s.a which makes sure all the fabric is neatly enclosed. And because you move the needle and use the same s.a guide it is pretty accurate.

Now of course lots of people have probably been doing this for ages but I was pretty chuffed with myself after sewing up 8 tops today and not having one whisker poking through!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Reliving a misspent youth

I think that I can vaguely recall about a fortnight in 1994 when I can actually lay claim to having lived a misspent youth – I am generally a well behaved, play by the rules kind of girl, but for one summer I had the (mis)fortune of living across the road from a 24 hour pub and well you don’t need to be a genius to figure out what went on that summer.

So what has triggered memories of my dim, dark, distant past you may ask?

Well today it SNOWED. In Australia. In October.


This time last year we were enacting our fire evacuation plan because of bushfire threats.

So today we battened down the hatches and had a bit of a boogie.

And a quick search through YouTube brought up these clips from my glory days of the Summer of 1994.

Probably not entirely appropriate for a three and bit year old but a nice change from the Wiggles.

What was the soundtrack to your misspent youth?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The samples are done, patterns tweaked and the production line has begun!

I have ended up with 4 styles, a skirt, tank top, smock and dress.
I wasn’t really looking forward to the production line sewing but am actually really enjoying it.
It has made me up my quality control, especially in the cutting and prep stage, and doing one technique (like applying binding to a neckline) repeatedly is great for perfecting my skills.
All to do now is set up shop online and reveal all!
I am setting up an Etsy shop but have to confess that I am a bit daunted by the enormity of it all – don’t suppose any experienced Etsians can offer some advice?!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ya gotta start somewhere

This weeks op shop trawl threw up this little gem......I actually bought it for the pattern, cute retro Chloe boxy style jacket that could be interesting for this season, and it wasn’t until I got it home that I recognised the model.....

Linda Evangelista....... “I don’t get out of bed for less than $100 a day”

I’m going to stick it above my sewing machine.