Tuesday, 20 January 2015

These are a few of my favourite things...

I was thinking today, aboout some of my favourite sewing "things" at the moment so have compiled my top 5 below:

1. Zip Fly

I'm just loving inserting flies into projects at the moment! In fact I'm seeking out patterns because they have a fly to insert. I think it's a satisfaction thing; they're a fairly fiddly technique to get right and when done well,they look really good.

My first exposure to a zip fly was in the Thurlow Pant pattern from Sewaholic and whilst I found the instructions generally easy to follow I needed some visuals to get it just right. I stumbled across the Thurlow Pant sewalong on Lladybird's blog which is utterly fab and made the whole process straightforward and dare I say enjoyable!

2. Moss Skirt by Grainline Studios

In my zip fly obsession I purposefully sought out a skirt with a zip fly and came across Grainline Studios Moss Skirt pattern which ticked all my boxes.Not only does it have a zip fly but it has a curved waistband which sits higher at the back and dips at the front. This style seems to really suit my figure and I love it! I also love the fact that the skirt is lengthened by adding a band around the bottom rather than just lengthening the front and back. I've made two Moss Skirts now, a lush purple velvet mini version and a more smart casual beige linen knee length version. I've got at least a dozen other versions up my sleeve!

3. Automatic Buttonholes

I have a Janome 525S Sewist sewing machine so am lucky enough to have an automatic buttonhole function. It's the best thing ever! I was a bit nervous about my first button hole but automatic really is automatic - it does the whole thing for you, you just pop the button in one end of the special foot so it calibrates the start and end of the buttonhole, and it does its thing when you depress the foot pedal. Voila - awesome buttonhole.

4. Blind Catch Stitch

As I've described in a previous blog post I have real problems with hemming, however I'm one problem down, now I've learned how to blind catch stitch! I used to lazily hem with a straight stitch on the machine but was never really happy with the results.The times when I did hem by hand I would use a slip stitch which I find soooooo dull to do (don't ask me why, I've no idea). When searching for tips on hemming I came across this tutorial on the By Hand London blog which clearly shows what a blind catch stitch should look like, and a simple step by step instruction on achieving the result. I actually look forward to hand hemming my makes now! I sound like such a swot but, again, I think it's a satisfaction thing as it's a slightly more involved stitch than your usual run of the mill. 

5. Pressing Stuff!

Very briefly, I never bothered ironing seams in the middle of construction. HOW WRONG WAS I? I now press everything, all the time and it makes such a massive difference to the way pieces come together; pre-sewn seams and hems stay where they should, sewing lines are easier to follow, things just look better - I could go on, but if there's one thing you don't scrimp on, it's the pressing.

So that's it for now, I've no doubt the more techniques I get under my belt the more favourites I will acquire, but for the time being I'm cooking up another pair of Thurlows so I can get my fix of zip flies and buttonholes!

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