Thursday, October 31, 2013

Patchwork & Embroidered Waistcoat: Step 9 (contd) - Joining together ...

Today I've just finished joining the 2 patchworked waistcoats together along the lower edges. The first stage was to sew each continuous side seam through both waistcoats. To do this, match respective side seams together, pinning from above the side slit marker of one side seam, through across the underarm seam to the side slit marker at the other end of the side seam (ie. through the 2 separate waistcoat sections as a continuous seam). This is then repeated for the other side seam (at this point it's a good idea to check the correct seams have been stitched together & that the waistcoat is now one unit joined at the sides & is reversible.)

After this, each side seam is stitched. Clip side marker position to seamline, then press seams open above clip. The next stage is to stitch each of the 4 slits separately - match right sides together & pin together. Stitch from hem to slit marker (as per image left) to side seam position (the blue pin head shows the position of this).

Trim seam & corners & turn to right side - pin in position & press in place. The hemlines are then stitched (from the inside) across each panel, trimmed turned & also pressed.

The final stage is to complete the top-stitching around neck, hems, slits & armholes & add the fastenings. However as I need to speak to the customer to verify button colours etc, I am unable to complete this stage today.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Patchwork & Embroidered Waistcoat: Step 9 - Joining together ...

I'm currently continuing with the Patchwork & Embroidered Waistcoat - today joining the pieces together to make the single reversible one. Previously a 'lining' was made & used for the fitting 'toile' - today it was taken apart & will be joined to its embroidered counterpart.

Several weeks ago, my customer advised she had lost some additional weight & needed another fitting for her waistcoat. Knowing this was a possibility, fortunately I hadn't done any further stitching on it since July & on revisiting the customer, found it now needed a slight adjustment. All pieces were adjusted so the waistcoat can now continue ...

The first step was to interface the single fabric layers around the neck, armhole, front & lower edges. This done, the embroidered panels were joined to their single layer fabric counterparts - this results in 2 waistcoats (as it will be reversible) which are then placed right sides facing & pinned together to join.

Often with clothes such as this, I will stitch neck, front edges & armholes first then turn them inside out through the shoulder. It's quicker & easier PLUS it makes the edges neater for finishing ... the inside seams can be pressed open & when turned to the right side, it falls better into position. Below is this process at the stitching stage prior to its turning inside out. Next these seams are trimmed & all curves clipped (appx. every 0.75"/1.5cm) - this ensures all the curves lay perfectly flat when turned.

To turn inside out, pull the fronts through the shoulders from the back then pin or tack in place, then press. The waistcoat now has an inside (below left) & outside (below right) & is reversible.

The next stage is to join the side seams with side slits - I'll be finishing this over the next few days.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Curtains with Eyelet Rings (Step 3) ...

Today, I've just finished the first pair of curtains but run out of the Rufflette rings so need to get some more to finish all pairs. (As the room is being decorated, I won't yet be able to photograph them in situ.) The first job to do was open/split the rings into their 2 halves (rings at right in image). There is a small indent on one side of the joined rings that is used to open up the pair with (I found a letter opener easier & safer than the recommended screwdriver!). The next job was to stitch around each of the marked holes on the curtain. I found this easier by pinning with 3 pins around the hole (as I worked) to ensure all layers remained in place while stitching (essential when working with a slippery fabric). So ... continuing on from yesterday ... 

... After marking the holes, all layers of the fabric need to be stitched together. This holds the area in place when cutting out the hole & ensures it remains in position while the ring is being attached. (In reality, it's much easier to cut out the hole when all layers are held in place with stitching.) 

You can stitch ordinarily with the machine using a small straight stitch but I decided to have the machine set up for machine embroidery/free stitching. It allows the hole to be more easily stitched & ideal to 'get you in the mood' for more machine embroidery! As the hole is only being stitched for stability & easier cutting, a perfect circle is not necessary (as seen in the photo).

The eyelet rings are made up of 2 sections (see above image). The one with small spikes on the inside is the first one used (the spikes lightly 'pierce' the fabric to hold it in position). On an even & firm surface, place the fabric (wrong side facing) over the ring so that the spikes are next to the main fabric and underneath.

Here's the first ring in place with the hole sitting firmly around the ring's inner edge. Press down on the fabric so that it sits snugly into the ring.

With the remaining ring half (the one with inner grooves), position it over the previous ring (grooves to the inside & facing the wrong side of the curtain).

(It should now be looking similar to the image below.)

Remain working on a firm & flat surface, carefully press down on this upper ring & it should snap down firmly in place.

(It's tempting to 'work in the hand' but I found it much easier & quicker to work flat on the table).

Repeat the process for all rings across the width of the curtain (any mistakes or puckering, remove the ring from the wrong side as per original 'splitting them in half' & start again in attaching it).

SPECIAL NOTE: Overall I was very impressed with using these Eyelet rings & would recommend their use. Although the packaging states for light to heavier weight curtains, I would suggest that a test is completed on thicker fabric to verify/confirm that the fabric is securely attached into the ring.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Curtains with Eyelet Rings (Step 2) ...

This morning I'm on to the next step - preparing the fabric for the rings.

After pressing the seam as well as the interfacings together (all on the wrong side of the curtain), the curtains were turned & given a final press along the upper edge.

Image shows right & wrong sides.

Here are the Rufflette Jupiter rings - at left is the entire ring (right side facing) - at right the ring split into its 2 sections. The one with 'spikes' fits to the main fabric on the front; the other ridged one to the back, against the lining.

Here's the old curtains with rings slightly larger than mine. On checking the size (in relation to the new ones), they appeared to have an ideal 'hole' size for the new ones + the curtains are exactly the same width as mine. If the hole was the right size, I would be able to trace their outlines straight on to the new pair.

To test: The hole is traced over onto a sample fabric & interfacing swatch. The hole is stitched around (just to the outer edge) & then cut away. After tryibng the new ring, it fitted perfectly.

The old curtain is positioned on top of the new one (right side of old facing wrong side of new one).

Ensuring edges are matching, carefully draw around the inner circles across the width of the curtain.

(Circle outlines just visible in image at right.)

The next step of fitting the rings can only be completed when the stitching is finished & the holes have been cut away (as per sample above).

That's my next job .......... I'll be using the machine set up for darning/free machine work as it's easy & quick to do PLUS the machine will then be set up for me to get some initial samples underway for my creative 'cell' project (click if you want to know more about this stitching).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Curtains with Eyelet Rings (Step 1) ...

Some pre-made curtains I liked were only available with a tape heading. As I wanted to hang them on a pole, I've decided to alter them for use with rings. I'll be using Rufflette Jupiter rings but not the tape as recommended - the curtains have attached linings & are medium-weight polyester ones. (If you're interested in having a go too, you'll also need a length of medium sew-in interfacing as per the width of the chosen curtain. This is being used to stabilize the upper edge.)

This is the reverse side of the original headed curtains showing the tape stitched across the upper edge.

Carefully unpick this & remove it, discarding any loose threads from the curtain.

Here the tape has been removed & shows the folded upper edge which will be retained & later used for seaming.

(The curtain SHOULD NOT YET BE PRESSED - the old fold lines will be used as stitching guides.)

Turn the curtain inside out with right sides facing one another. 

Cut the interfacing into a 8"/20cm wide strip - length to be the width of the curtain.

Mark a line down the centre of the entire length of the strip (shown here in red).
This line will be a stitching guideline.

Position the curtain with main curtain fabric uppermost. Matching the fold lines of both curtain & lining, pin them together, ensuring both fabrics lay perfectly flat.

Place the interfacing along the upper edge of the curtain, matching the marked centre of the interfacing to the foldline of the curtain.

Ensure the interfacing is perfectly flat & pin in place.

Stitch through all thicknesses, following the marked guideline on the interfacing.

Fold the upper layer of the interfacing back on itself, to reveal the upper seam allowances.
This double layer of interfacing will ensure the upper edge of the finished curtain remains flat in hanging. Additionally, it will provides firmness for the rings when stitching the holes for them & when securing them finally in place.

Trim the seam raw edges to appx. 0.5"/1cm.

Turn curtain to right side & lightly press upper edges in position.

The NEXT STEPS are to add rings which I'll be doing in the next few days. I'm ALSO hoping to get some experiments with machine embroidery started & the curtain off-cuts & non-woven interfacings are ideal to start with ................... they're ideally suited to the "cells project" which can be seen here.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

New background from 'cells' ideas ...

Have just uploaded these latest computer-aided imagery (see other work here)  to use as the background of this blog - although it would also work up well for patchwork.