Gifts For The Seamstress – Scissors & Rulers!!!

The ultimate seamstress gift is a great pair of scissors. Gingher scissors are among my favorite and I have a nice collection of them – everything from the 8″ dressmaker shears to the 4″ designer embroidery scissors. The nice thing about the Gingher scissors is their customer service. I’ve had some of these scissors for many, many years, and have sent them back to Ginger regularly for service. Any Gingher scissors can be sent back to Gingher in Greensboro, NC along with a check for $15 and they will sharpen, oil & service them and they will be returned about a week later as good as new! (You can click on any of the links below to view the products mentioned.) Of course, the video presentation with explanations can be seen on YouTube!

An 8″ pair of dressmaker shears is the most frequently used scissors. These are also available as left hand scissors.

If cutting has become difficult due to weaker hands or constant use, the 8″ spring action shears are a great choice.

7″ scissors sit next to my sewing machine, though some prefer to use the nippers next to their machines. Both work well.

Pinking shears aren’t a necessity, but they do come in handy for using as a seam finish for seams inside a wool jacket or something similar when you don’t want to overcast.

The tiny snips are wonderful for hanging around your neck for traveling – they are readily accessible.

The 4″ kindergarten scissors are also great for travel or for keeping in your lap while working on a project. The blunt ends are a much better choice than the embroidery scissors as they won’t pick you. I also use these exclusively for trimming fabric from behind lace. The blunt ends work well because you don’t end up with a pointed scissors end inadvertently catching a hole of the lace and cutting it accidentally.

A particularly lovely gift of scissors would be one from one of the designer scissors series that Gingher comes out with from time to time. The green print set is called “Sara” and I have the 8″ dressmaker shears as well as the 4″ embroidery shears. I also have the 5″ “Tessa” scissors. The designer series come out as a limited edition collection from time to time.

The other scissors that I really like is the Dovo scissors. These scissors have teeny, tiny serrated blades that grip the fabric so that it doesn’t slide away. My favorite set is the set of 3 gold-plated embroidery scissors (far left) that my husband gave me. ❤️ These are generally available at specialty heirloom shops.

Along with scissors, rotary cutters and self-healing mats are a great addition to the sewing room. I use both scissors as well as rotary cutters, depending on the project and my mood at the time. These also come in a variety of sizes. The smaller mats work well for small projects and for travel while a larger mat is wonderful to use on top of a cutting table. Mine is 36″ x 72″.

Rulers and measuring tapes are a necessity for any seamstress. Having a basic measuring tape in the sewing room, and then a retractable tape to carry around in my purse is always best. Then rulers, which there are a plethora to choose from, are wonderful to have as well. Heavier rulers like the 6″ x 24″ size work well to use with the rotary cutters. A lighter weight 2″ x 18″ ruler with a grid is also a necessity for me. Quilters will use a wider variety of rulers than someone that sews clothing.

French curve rulers and seam allowance rulers (far right) are wonderful for anyone doing a lot of changes to patterns or someone delving into pattern drafting.

Magnetic pin cushions have to be one of the best inventions ever!!! I have several in my sewing room – one next to the sewing machine, one on my cutting table, one next to my iron, etc. I like the ones with the cover because they work so well for traveling – even from room to room. Of course, spilled pins are a thing of the past with these! I also use glass head pins and not the pins that come with the cushions. You can iron over a glass head pin, but ironing over a pin with a plastic head can melt the plastic and cause havoc with a project.

Unfortunately, seam rippers are a necessity in the sewing room for those mistakes that happen from time to time. The Clover one is a brand that has a nice shape and sharp cutter. A seam ripper with a magnifier works well for those that need a little help seeing the tiny stitches.

If buying sewing notions for the seamstress is totally out of your comfort zone, hand creams are always a welcome choice. Keeping the hands soft is imperative so that fragile fabrics won’t snag on hang nails or callouses. I like to use Camille Beckman’s Glycerine Therapy at night and then use the Nutrogena Hand Cream throughout the day, supplementing with Earth Theraputics Cuticle and Nail cream as needed.

I hope that this has provided you with plenty of gift ideas for the seamstress in your life. You will never go wrong purchasing a quality item that will be well loved and used!!!

Kathy

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

Pressing Gifts For The Seamstress

Since Easter has come and gone, the next significant holiday (for me anyway!) is Mother’s Day. I thought I’d offer some ideas for Mother’s day gift giving for those that need some help in this department.

I know I’ve already done a blog post about pressing tools, but this post compliments my YouTube video on pressing gifts for the seamstress. So often friends/family don’t know what to get for a gift, saying that I’m difficult to buy for. You may have the same situation. Well, after years of accumulating wonderful notions & pressing aides, I thought I’d share some with my YouTube watchers and blog readers in case you don’t have some of these and think you’d want them. You can share this blog post or the YouTube video with them and let them know all the wonderful things available. You may not even realize that you “need” some of these!!! LOL!

I have shared my 3 pressing units – my Rowenta Steam Generator Iron, which I absolutely LOVE!!! If I could only have one of the 3, this would be it. Also my Singer Press, which works so well for pressing lengths of fabric but also is especially wonderful for applying iron-on interfacings and/or foam to tote bags, purses & travel bags. The 3rd is my Rowenta Steamer – this is great for quick touch up jobs so that you don’t look like you slept in your clothes!

Various other tools for pressing, such as all the wood tools (clapper, pointer/clapper, tailor board & seam stick) are a must for me to get a good press on difficult seams. Of course, I wouldn’t be without a ham or sleeve roll. Sometimes you just need that for the perfect press – especially on the roll collars, as shown in the video. I couldn’t do without the ham holder for collar pressing!

So, if you have someone that has difficulty finding just the right gift for you, these ideas should really help out and get you something that you’ll love using rather than some random gift that gets put away and never used. All different price points are covered, so there’s something for everyone! You can thank me later!!!

Links to products mentioned:
June Tailor Cut N Press

Pressing Ham

Sleeve Roll

Clapper

Ham Holder

Point Press Clapper

Tailor Press

Rowenta Steamer

Rowenta Steam Generator Iron

Singer Press

Finger Guards

Press Cloth

Rajah Press Cloth

Sleeve Board

Wide Ironing Board

Stainless Lab Spatula

Quilter’s Bias Bars

Seam Stick

A few other tools that I forgot to mention but are also great to have:

Teflon Press Cloth

Clover Mini Iron

Dritz Hem Gauge

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

GET CREATIVE – WALKING THROUGH THE DESIGN PROCESS

My design process is pretty simple, but involve auditioning LOTS of different fabric choices as well as ribbons, rickrack, trims, piping, etc. In the YouTube video I show many different design options that were auditioned for this dress.

After choosing the pattern and base fabric, other co-ordinating fabrics are pulled to see which ones speak to me at the time as well as observing which ones seem to look the best and “pop” with the main fabric.

For this dress, I chose the Children’s Corner “April” pattern.

If you haven’t used Children’s Corner patterns before, these are great patterns to use. They are drafted well, have great instructions and fit well. It may be a challenge to use the 1/4″ seam allowance. If that is the case for you, you can always add to the seam allowance until you have a seam allowance that you’re comfortable with. When doing this, it is nice to use some seam allowance rulers. I prefer the 3/8″ size. You can see how to use the ruler on the video. You can also purchase sets of rulers with additional sizes included (1/2″, 5/8″). These work great if you are drafting patterns or making significant changes and need to add seam allowances.

Sometimes I will start by taking a picture or screenshot of the line drawing of the pattern and then will print the picture. This allows for a blank canvas to add details and color in.

Once a general idea for design has been sketched over the line drawing, then I pull out the matching trims, etc. and begin the audition process (see video).

Because I wanted a fuller skirt, I used a 42″ width rather than the width suggested in the pattern for both the skirt front and back on the size 5 & 7 that I made.

Play with different ribbons, trims, buttons, rickrack, etc. to see what works for what you have in mind. With the floral dress, I had difficulty finding matching trims. Lavenders are a hard color to match, so I made a fabric ruffle.

Also, if you want to use buttons and don’t have a good match, covered buttons work well. Rather than bows, yo-yo flowers or fabric flowers are another good choice.

I hope that you will find this process helpful for you as you plan your next outfit!

Happy designing and sewing!!!

Kathy

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

Heirloom Sewing 101 – Sewing Flat Lace To Fabric

Working with heirloom laces is easier than you think. For these instructions and the corresponding video, I will be working with the Tapered Smocked Preemie Bonnet by Laurie Anderson. If you are a Facebook member of the SAGA Wee Care group, she has generously donated this bonnet pattern to the group and it can be downloaded there. I am making this bonnet to match one of the Wee Care gowns completed in a previous video.

For this technique, I am using Imperial batiste, heirloom lace, 60 wt. thread, sz. 70 Microtex needle & Faultless spray starch.

After cutting out the pattern and pleating, per the instructions, flatten out the bonnet in order to attach the lace. Pull one of the header threads of the lace in order to go around the curves, as shown on the video.

Place the lace 1/8″ from the edge of the bonnet front, with the scalloped edge of the lace facing towards the bonnet (right sides together). Set the straight stitch of the machine to a 2,0 length and stitch the lace to the bonnet, stitching on top of the header threads. Go around the corners carefully, ensuring that the gathered portion of the lace isn’t caught in the stitching.

After the lace is attached, switch to a zigzag stitch (4.0 W & 1.0 L) and zigzag the seam allowance of the lace to “roll & whip” the seam, which will give it a nice finish. The left swing of the needle should be on top of the header lace/stitching line and the right swing of the needle should go off the fabric.

Once the roll & whip has been completed, finger press the seam allowance towards the fabric and then change the zigzag stitch to a 1.5 W & 1.0 L. Stitch this zigzag stitch on top of the lace with the left swing of the needle going through the bonnet fabric & seam allowance and the right swing of the needle barely going into the lace. This keeps the seam allowance from flipping forward and showing through behind the lace. While this is an optional step, I always do it to keep the lace in place.

All of these steps are shown in the video, so you can refer to that to see the steps completed.

I hope that this will help you in your quest to learn more heirloom sewing techniques!

Happy Stitching!!!

Kathy

Links to some of the supplies mentioned:

Imperial batiste

60 wt. Mettler thread

Size 70 Schmetz Microtex Needle

Starch

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

Machine Granitos

Machine granitos are simple to make and can be finished much more quickly than hand-stitched granitos. To prepare for stitching the granito, use a circle template and a blue wash out marker to draw the circles where they are to be stitched on the fabric.

Cut a small piece of Totally Stable stabilizer and iron it to the fabric behind the drawn ccircle.

Thread the machine (top and bobbin) with 50 wt. DMC cotton thread in the color desired and use a size 70 Schmetz needle and an open toed foot. Set the machine for a .3 – .5 stitch length.

Take 1 stitch in the center of the circle. Gently pull on the top thread so that the bobbin thread comes to the top and pull it through. Holding both threads, take a couple stitches to secure the threads, then trim away the tails next to the fabric.

Set the machine to a zigazag stitch with a stitch width of 1.5 and a stitch length of .2. Stitch 12 – 20 stitches. Be sure to count the stitches! Stitch the same number of stitches forward, then backward, then forward again and backward again. This completes the machine stitching. For the granito stitched in the video, I stitched 13 stitches.

Gently pull on the bobbin thread until the top thread comes to the back. Tie a square knot to secure the threads. I generally will tie 3 knots.

With your thumbnail, push back and forth a few times on the wrong side of the granito to push the threads towards the front. Then pull away the stabilizer. Your granito is complete!

If the granito doesn’t look completely round, the shape can be pinched between finger nails to help round it out (see video).

Granitos are a lovely way to add visual interest to garments, pillowcases, doilies, etc. Have fun stitch some!!!

Kathy

Supplies needed:

Circle Template

Fine Tip Blue Wash Out Marker

Totally Stable Stabilizer

Schmetz sz. 70 Microtex needle

DMC 50 wt. Cotton Thread

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

Heirloom Sewing 101 – Gathering Lace and Application

There are a couple different ways to gather lace for attaching to flat lace. Both render slightly different results. The top of a lace edging will have “header” threads. These are threads that can be pulled to gather up the lace. The majority of heirloom sewists will pull the top thread, which is generally the strongest thread, to gather the lace. This works, but can be a challenge when zigzagging to the flat lace or entredeux since there will be places where the lace wants to fold over and likely will be stitched in with that fold.

The other method is something that I learned when taking a class from Debbie Glenn, and that is to pull ALL the header laces. This results in gathered lace with the entire header thread being smooth and flat, much like a ribbon, and makes both the gathered lace look prettier (no folds or puckers) and is easier to stitch to the flat lace or entredeux.

The picture above shows the different results. The lace on top has only the top header thread pulled while the lace on thee bottom has all the header threads pulled. You can see how flat the header area is on the lower lace, making it so much easier to stitch the gathered lace to another lace. The top thread has gathers, but also has areas where the lace creates a fold/pucker that is difficult to work around and NOT get caught when stitching it to another lace.

To pull all the threads, begin by pulling the top thread, then locate another heavier thread and pull it, etc. There will likely be some very fine header threads, I tend to pull those in pairs (see video).

To join the gathered lace to another lace, use either 60 wt. Mettler thread or 80 wt. Aurifil or Madeira Cotona thread. The machine needle can be a 60 or 65 Schmetz Microtex needle if using the 80 wt. thread, or a 65 or 70 Schmetz Microtex needle if using thee 60 wt. thread. A universal needle can also be used.

For better viewing, it is advisable to use extra magnification. I like to use the Mag Eyes for this. The lens come in different strengths and it is easy to use especially if you already wear glasses. You can purchase extra lens in different strengths to use for different projects. I prefer to use the largest magnification to get the best results.

Set the machine to a zigzag stitch with a length of 1.0 and a width that is wide enough to encompass the header threads of both laces. You will likely need to hand crank the sewing machine to get the correct setting before starting to sew.

Be sure and give this a try – you will be glad that you did!

Kathy

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

Heirloom Sewing 101 – Joining Lace To Lace

This simple tutorial goes along with my YouTube video about joining flat lace to flat lace. It’s a simple process. The first thing that you want to do is to starch the laces. I prefer to plan ahead and cut the lace lengths needed (cut about 2″ longer than what the finished length will be) and then place the lace in the bathtub on top of a white towel and starch – REAL starch, NOT Mary Ellen’s Best Press – them until they are dripping wet. Then I hang them over the shower bar to dry – it only takes about an hour and it keeps the iron from getting gunked up.

Once the laces have dried, give them a press. If pressing them makes them too soft to work with, repeat the process.

To join the laces, you will want to use lightweight thread & machine needles – Aurifil 80 weight thread or Mettler 60 weight thread can be used. With the 80 weight thread, a size 60/8 or 65/9 Microtex or Universal needle should be used. With the 60 weight thread, a 65/9 or 70/10 Microtex or universal needle should be used. The 60 weight can also be used for construction. The 80 weight is only for lace joining – it is not strong enough for construction

It is most helpful to use either an edge-joining foot or an open toed foot for joining laces. Try them out and see which one works best for you. Both can be seen in action on the video along with the end results.

When joining flat laces, set the machine to a zigzag stitch with a stitch length of 1.0 and a width wide enough that both header threads of the lace will be encased (shown in red).

If trying the different feet for this technique still results in difficulties, you can try using OESD Wash-Away Tape behind the lace. This will hold the lace in place as well as stabilize behind the laces for stitching. The end results will be slightly different than stitching without the stabilizer (seen on video), but if it is the way that you can make it work for you, then use it.

You can join as many laces together as needed for your fancy band. For more detailed French Machine Sewing techniques, I do have a book available (with bonnet pattern) in my Etsy shop.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/586348280/french-machine-sewing-primer-with-bonnet?ref=shop_home_active_15&crt=1

Below I will add links to some of the products that I use, should you need any of these.

Aurifil 80 weight thread

Mettler 60 weight thread

Schmetz 10/70 Microtex Needle

Faultless Heavy Starch

Edge Joining Foot

I hope you’ll enjoy trying out some French Machine sewing!

Kathy

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

My Stitching Spot – Lighting and Magnification

I wanted to share with you some of the items in my stitching spot that have made my stitching so much easier and more enjoyable. Over the years, my eyes have “matured” and I have needed to accommodate that and make some adjustments. I suspect that there are others that may benefit from some of the same stitching “aides”.

My desire is to have a calm, peaceful and comfortable spot for stitching. Of course, it also needs to have excellent lighting as well as sufficient magnification for whatever project I may be working on.

My living room has wonderful lighting when the sun is shining. However, on cloudy days or in the early morning or late evening, the lighting isn’t sufficient for stitching. Needless to say, I don’t plan to slow down on my stitching projects, so, thanks to wonderful technology and sewing aides, I have been able to continue stitching along happily.

The first sewing aide that is used quite regularly is my magnification lamp. It is a floor model with adjustable arms and a swivel head. I purchased this many years ago when I was having difficulty with shadow work embroidery – getting back into the EXACT same hole with the needle. This exact model isn’t still available, but there are newer ones that are new, improved and will work fabulously for any seamstress!

These lamps for for magnification for handwork, but if magnification isn’t needed, but excellent light is required, these fit the bill – they can be adjusted to be overhead. The ability to wheel this lamp from room to room makes it a wonderful choice for anyone! I love the clean white color, but it seems silly of me to buy yet another one just for a different color. 😜

Floor lamp with magnification Of course, there are many models at different price points – just make sure that what you are looking at has enough magnification and lighting for your needs!

The next item that is invaluable to me is actually 2 items – my Ipad Pro and the stand for it! I have linked to both of these, but if you already own an Ipad or tablet, just make sure that the stand will accommodate the size that is needed. It is wonderful to have the adjustable stand and the gooseneck allows it to flex forward any way that is needed for optimal viewing.

The Ipad is wonderful! The ability to zoom in closely in order to see stitches as large as needed!!! I use this all the time for smocking picture smocking designs. I also like the fact that the lighting/brightness can be adjusted – I keep it set higher than average so that there is plenty of contrast.

Of course, no room is complete without music – at least, not as far as I’m concerned. I have 2 fabulous Sonos speakers that provide whatever type of music I’m in the mood for at the time. They connect to Pandora, my own music library, etc. Having a husband that loves technology and loves a good sound system is a real bonus!!! I have a pair of these in my sewing room as well.

Then there are the stitching necessities – the sewing caddy, a pattern that I sell in my Etsy shop, is always with me when I’m stitching. I carry it from room to room and it holds my scissors, pins, needles, rulers, marking tools, etc.

The current project I’m smocking uses beads, which make any project so elegant! I have the most wonderful way to manage the beads while smocking. I have a gift card tin that I have fitted with a tacky mat. The beads stay put until you remove them – even if you drop the tin!!!

This little tin works great for carrying your work around from room to room or even for traveling since the beads stay stuck to the mat. This was one of my best finds in recent years! Of course, smocking with beads requires a milliner needle. I found that the size 8 milliner needles worked best with 3 strands of floss and the size 11 beads.

When smocking with beads, you want to add the bead when you meet up with the final pass on a smocking design. So, in the picture below, the cable row was smocked first, then the 2-step trellis. When the trellis stitch meets the cable row, add a bead there. The bead at the lower point of the trellis will be added on the next row of smocking.

This bonnet matches the Wee Care gown that I finished recently. I will share the smocking design for you to download.

Be sure to pleat half rows for these tiny Wee Care gowns! I used DMC#818 for this gown. The video for this post can be viewed on YouTube.

Happy Stitching!

Kathy

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

Wee Care Sew-Along 4 – Madeira or Alternate Hem Treatment

In this sew-along we will be finishing up the gown by doing the Madeira hem or alternate hem.

First, I have to apologize as I’ve created a minor problem with the construction. For the original gown, I sewed the sleeves, inserted them into the gown, pleated the gown, did the hem treatment and finished with finishing the back of the gown and attaching the bias band. It seemed to me that it made more sense to do the hem last, as is done on most dress/gown projects. Obviously, I didn’t consider the full implications of changing the construction order. 🙄

To create the Madeira or alternate hem treatment, the back of the gown needs to be unfinished. So, for those that have finished the back of the gown already, you will need to remove the stitching in the hem area so that the Madeira hem can be sewn. I’m sorry for the un-stitching required, but thankfully, it’s a small amount. You will also need to add that hem allowance to each side of the pattern piece that you’ve created so that the contrast band pattern and fabric will be the same width as the unfinished gown.

The first step will be to cut 2 contrast bands of fabric, at least 1″ deeper than the highest point of the hem pattern created and as wide as the gown. Starch the bands as well as the skirt fabric. Then place the scallop pattern of your choice on top of one of the contrast bands, and trace around the scallop shapes with a blue wash-out marker.

Place the 2 contrast bands with right sides together and pin to secure. Put the water soluble thread on the sewing machine (top only) and stitch along the blue lines with a 2.0 stitch length. Be sure to take one diagonal stitch across each scallop peak before continuing stitching along the scallops. The diagonal stitch will result in a better looking point at the peak. Accuracy is essential – the way that the scallops are stitched now will be the way that they look on the finished garment.

After stitching the scallops, trim away the excess fabric from above the stitching line with an even seam allowance. Clip across the point. Then clip the seam allowance of the curves at 1/4″ intervals.

Turn seam allowance to the back (see video) on each side of the point, insert the long tweezers, pinching the folded seam allowances, and turn the point/fabric right side out. Press with a dry (NO STEAM) iron. Do this along the length of the contrast band until all points are turned and pressed. Ensure that you are satisfied with the points along the band, if not, make any adjustments.

IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT THIS TECHNIQUE IS PRACTICED ON SCRAP FABRIC PRIOR TO WORKING ON THE CONTRAST BAND!!! Use some of the leftover fabric from the project to try the techniques and then save the practice piece to practice the pinstitching on.

Place a damp linen press cloth on top of the fabric and press until COMPLETELY dry. Once it is completely dry, the 2 layers can be separated easily. If some places are still stuck together, repeat the process with the damp cloth.

Change the sewing thread to 60 wt. thread. Sew the contrast band to the gown with the right side of the contrast band to the wrong side of the fabric. Trim seam allowance. Understitch. Then press the contrast band to the right side of the fabric and pin the band to the gown along all the scalloped edges/points.

With 80 wt. thread in the top and bobbin, stitch the contrast band to the gown along the folded edge.

PINSTITCH HEM TREATMENT

To prepare the gown for the pinstitch, heavily starch (NOT ELLEN’S BEST PRESS) the hem of the dress. Allow to dry. Then press.

Cut 2″ strips of water soluble stabilizer (Sulky Fabri-Solvy) to the wrong side of the dress centering over the scallops and overlapping the stabilizer as needed.

Set the sewing machine to a pinstitch/hemstitch. The correct stitch will go back and forth 2x and then zigzag once. Use a #110 needle, 80 wt. thread on both the top and the bobbin and the open toed foot. Set the stitch to 2.5 L and 2.0 W. Stitch along the scallops, pivoting as needed and pivoting at the points (see video).

(optional) Trim away excess stabilizer carefully.

ALTERNATE HEM TREATMENT

If you machine doesn’t have a true pinstitch, a double needle hemstitch can be done using a double top-stitching stitch on the sewing machine. This stitch will go forward one stitch, go back one stitch, then go forward again in the same hole, repeat (so forward one, back one, forward 2). I have always called this a double stitch. Some call this a lightening stitch. Again, it is recommended that this stitch is practiced on scraps of fabric before doing it on the gown.

Starch the hem of the gown before beginning. Cut 2″ strips of water soluble stabilizer and pin them behind the scallops of the gown, overlapping as needed.

With 60 wt. thread on top and in the bobbin, the double hemstitching needle and an open toed foot, center the fold of the scallops between the 2 needles and stitch the double top-stitch, pivoting as needed. When the peak of a scallop is reached, leave the needles down, raise the pressure foot, pivot, set the pressure foot down and continue stitching. The fabric will look distorted when you pivot at the point, but as soon as the stitching continues, it will flatten out and look right.

Trim away excess stabilizer.

Regardless of which hem treatment was used, the remainder of the back of the gown can now be finished with a narrow hem.

Soak the gown in cold water for 5 minutes to remove all of the blue wash-out marker. If this doesn’t remove all of the stabilizer, then hand wash the garment in warm, sudsy water and agitate a bit. Rinse completely. Hang to dry and press as needed.

To finish the back of the gown, cut a length of 1/8″ ribbon (32″ – 40″, depending on size). Thread the ribbon into a tapestry needle and insert into the bias band at the neck. Begin at the edge of the bias band at one end and come out at the end of the smocking at the opposite end.

Sew 2 snaps on the back of the gown, the first snap 1″ below the bias band and the second snap 1″ below the first.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the sew-along and have gained some new tips and techniques that can be used in future projects! Please ask any questions you may have and I’ll be glad to answer!

Happy Stitching!!!

Kathy

YouTube Links:

Sew-Along, Lesson 1

Sew-Along, Lesson 2

Sew-Along, Lesson 3

Sew-Along, Lesson 4

I am adding links to the complete list of the products I’ve used throughout the series should you decide that you need any of these.

Gingher Pocket (Kindergarten) Scissors

Point Pusher with Ball End

Imperial Batiste

Schmetz 70 Microtex Needle

Schmetz 110 Jeans Needle

Schmetz Double Hemstitch Needle (if your machine doesn’t have a pin-stitch)

Long Tweezers

Rotary cutter

Press and Cut Board

Ruler with Grid

Starch

Water soluble thread Vanish Lite

Blue Wash-out Marker

Freezer Paper

Long tweezers

80 weight thread – Aurifil or Madeira Cotona

60 weight Mettler thread

Sulky Fabri-Solvy or other water soluble stabilizer

Plastic Snaps

White 1/8″ satin ribbon

Tapestry Needle

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

Wee Care Sew-Along 3

This segment of the sew-along will cover putting on the bias band, tying off for smocking and then designing the scallop hem design.

Before attaching the bias band, finish the backs of the gowns. It is recommended that you turn in a narrow hem that is approximately 1/4″ finished – wide enough to sew a snap onto. Next, count pleats between the front armhole seams to find the center of the gown and mark the center with a blue wash-out marker.

Cut bias band 1-1/8″ wide and about 1-1/2″ longer than needed. Mark the band at each end with the finished neckband size and also mark the middle of the band.

With right side facing up, tie a knot in the top 2 pleating threads. Pull the knot to the fabric. Pin the bias band (right sides together) at each end and at the center.

Sew the bias band to the gown with a basting stitch (see video). The stitching line should be between the top 2 pleating threads. If it needs any adjusting, fix and re-baste. Then sew on top of the basting thread with a 2.0 stitch length. Stitch again a scant 1/4″ away from the first stitching line. Cut away excess fabric at the second stitching line.

Fold the bias band to finish the neckline (see video), trimming the bias band if needed.

To create the scalloped hem, measure across the width of the gown at the hem. Cut a length of freezer paper the same length as the width of the gown hem. The length can then be cut into 6″ wide strips so that you can practice with 3 strips of freezer paper as you design the hem.

Fold the freezer paper in half to find the center, then fold in half again – those folds represent the side seam of the gown. Watch the video to see how simple it is to create pretty scallops.

Link to video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84bPcgjmemA&feature=youtu.be

Stay tuned for the next lesson, which will be the Madeira hem application. This can be done with a sewing machine that has a pin-stitch or a second method that doesn’t require a pin-stitch will also be shown – that one requires a double hem-stitch needle. Be sure to have your supplies ready for this segment. You will need a blue wash-out marker, water soluble thread, water soluble stabilizer, #110 needle, #80 weight thread, and the kindergarten scissors (optional, but very helpful).

Water soluble thread Vanish Lite

Water soluble stabilizer Sulky Fabri-Solvy

Blue Wash-out Marker

Freezer Paper

Kindergarten scissors

#110 Schmetz needle

Schmetz double wing needle (if your machine doesn’t have a pin-stitch)

Long tweezers

Point Pusher with Ball End

80 weight thread – Aurifil or Madeira Cotona

60 weight mettler thread

Schmetz #70 microtex needle

Sulky Fabri-Solvy or other water soluble stabilizer

Double Hemstitch needle (for technique if you don’t have a pin-stitch on your machine)

Enjoy putting on the bias band and designing your unique hem scallop!!!

Kathy

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.