Corded Seam: Step by Step
April 12th, 2013 by Sheila.Wong
A corded seam can add that special detail to your next sewn garment. Here is a quick step by step on how to sew one. Its easy!
Personally I want a corded seam on the side seams of short shorts for the summer. Now to just wait for mother nature to give me the summer part.
- Any width cord, cut to the length of your seam. You pick the width as you see fit. I picked a 1/8″ width for a more delicate look.
- Strip of on grain (Cut fabric strip parallel to the selvage edge) fabric. To calculated the width you require take your cord width and multiply by two (1/8″ x 2 = 2/8″). Then take your seam allowance and multiply by two (4/8″ x 2= 1″). Now add the totals (1″ + 2/8″= 1 1/4″)
Change your machine to a zipper foot. Sandwich the cord in the middle of the strip. Sew as close to the cord as possible to encase the cord. Remember to backstitch as usual and ensure you raw edges are lined up. Right sides of the fabric should be facing out.
After you are done encasing the cord, it should look something like this.
Right sides facing each other sandwich your encased cord between your fabric. Line up all four raw edges and sew as close as possible again to the cord. Throw a few pins in so the corded strip does not move around while your sewing.
Trim away half of the seam allowance on the corded strip. This will remove any unnecessary bulk.
Press all seam allowance to one side. Your now done a corded seam!
DIY Sewing Tutorial: Faux Fur Stole
February 19th, 2013 by Sheila.Wong
Hope you all had a happy Saint Valentines day. I kept warm with my DIY faux fur stole this Valentines. Here are the step by step instructions on how to sew one. By the way, I kept it super chill this Valentines by going to Costco for pre-dinner fries with the man then delish sushi for real-dinner.
- 1M of Faux Fur fabric
- 1M of Jersey Rib Knit fabric for lining
- Matching thread
- Sewing machine
- Fabric scissors or rotary cutter
- L Ruler
- Measuring tape
- Chalk or marking pen
Cut out one piece of faux fur and one piece of lining in the following measurements. I have used a jersey rib knit as it stretches nicely and is soft when wearing. You can also use a silk for lining.
Your seam allowance is 1/2 inch. Please take note of the grain-line. Your grain-line should be running parallel to the selvage edge of the fabric.
Cut out slits on fur piece as shown. This becomes the holder area for the other end of the stole to sit in. I recommend cutting from the wrong side of the fabric that way the fur pile does not get in the way.
Keep your vacuum handy! Vacuum your project after you do any cutting to the fur.
Place fur and lining right sides facing each other and pin. Leave a 3-5” opening to flip inside out.
Sew all the way around the stole, leaving your opening, un-sewn. Be sure to backstitch at the opening area so the opening does not rip open while flipping later. Your seam allowance is 1/2 inch. Red line below is your sew line.
Trim away any excess bulk fabric in your seam allowance area. I always trim away excess fabric at the corners, that way your corners actually look like a corner.
Flip inside out. FUN TIMES!
Slip-stitch shut the opening by hand.
Hope you have enjoyed this fur filled tutorial. Its time for me to brave the cold night, but at least I have my fur stole.
All photos taken by Christian V. Thanks a ton, you make my sewing skills look good.
Sewing with Silk
January 9th, 2013 by Sheila.Wong
Some fabrics are just plain difficult to work with, silk being one of them. This post I will show you my simple tricks I use when designing with silk. I will focus on slippery and hard to handle silks such as Silk Charmeuse and Silk Chiffon type fabrics.
I try not to use any pins when working with silk. If you insist on using pins, use silk pins and ensure they are not dull. One dull pin can create a run in your fabric so fast! I like using silk pins by Clover as they glide through Silk Chiffons and don’t leave a big hole.
Also, if you can only pin in the seam allowance area if possible. By pinning only in the seam allowance area, it will take away from any unwanted holes on the visible side of your garment.
Put away your fabric shears! I use a rotary cutter as it gives you a more precise cut. They less you need to fuss around with the fabric the cleaner cut you will get out of silk.
Again, I am not pinning my pattern onto the fabric. I place weights and carefully cut with a rotary cutter.
Machine sewing slippery silks can be a nightmare. After sewing several silk garments I have realized that machine backstitching can pucker your beautifully sewn seam even if your tension is perfect. Do not machine backstitch. Just sew your seam, press, and then hand stitch in your backstitches. This ensures you have a flat seam with no puckering.
When sewing a seam the two layers always find a way of sliding away from each other. To remedy this I hand baste a running stitch on the sew line prior to machine sewing it. I know your thinking this is an extra step you rather not do. But don’t be lazy! It is worth the feeling of a perfectly sewn seam.
Number one thing sewers forget to use is a press cloth when working with delicate fabrics. A press cloth is placed in between your garment and the iron to avoid direct heat contact. You can make your own press cloth by cutting out a rectangle piece of fabric made of sheer light weight cotton.
Silk is very sensitive to heat, when pressing a new seam try to use only the tip of the iron. This will avoid the raw edge of the seam allowance being permanently imprinted onto the right side of your garment.
Hope you have enjoyed these tips on working with slippery silks. If you would like to learn more come see me in my studio, or if you would like to share your tips on working with silk please post on our Facebook or Twitter feeds!
Tags: cutting silk fabric, press cloth, pressing silk, rotary cutter, sewing with silk, sheila wong, silk, silk charmeuse, silk chiffon, silk pins
December 25th, 2012 by Sheila.Wong
Hope you are all having an amazing holiday time!
Please note the studio is closed for the holiday season from Dec 24 2012 to Jan 2 2013.
See you in the new year!
DIY Tutorial: Kimono Inspired Top
August 24th, 2012 by Sheila.Wong
This tutorial is inspired by my silk chiffon Propaganda top recently photographed by Desmond Cheng below. I was on a double date night with my fiancée. PS- I won at bowling that night!
There is a bit of kimono inspiration mixed with a cocoon silhouette. This tutorial is a bit more detailed oriented then normal but its well worth it. You will learn how to finish off silk in a clean way with a French seam. If you have a serger that can do a rolled hem, you can sew the entire top this way. If not, then follow my steps below to completing each seam.
- 1.5 to 2 M of Silk or a Silk Chiffon fabric
- Matching thread
- Sewing machine
- Serger machine for a rolled hem (Optional)
- Fabric and paper scissors
- Pattern paper
Draft Front and Back patterns based on a fitted t-shirt. Lay your t-shirt flat on pattern drafting paper (If you don’t have use newspaper or packing paper).
Trace out the following Front and Back patterns similar to above. Add ½” seam allowance around each traced out pattern piece. You do not need to add seam allowance to the center back seam as it will be cut on fold.
Pin and cut out fabric pieces. You should have 1 Back piece (cut on fold at center back) and 2 Front pieces (left and right).
Sew side seams and shoulder seams with a French Seam.
Steps to sew a French Seam:
1. Bad sides facing each other sew at ¼ seam allowance.
2. Press seam allowance to one side. Then good sides facing each other press sewn seam flat so it’s like a book.
3. Sew from folded seam in at 3/8 seam allowance. This will sandwich the raw edge thus creating a clean French Seam.
Your French Seam should look like below. Here is an inside and outside view for you.
Press front neck seam by folding in twice at ¼ inch each.
Sew down at just under ¼ inch.
Hem bottom of shirt and sleeve the same way as step 4.
Press all seams.
Here is my completed top! Let me know what you think of this tutorial. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Tags: bowling, desy cheng, diy, french seam, kimono, scissors, sewing, sewing supplies, sewing tutorial, sheila, sheila wong, silk, swfds, thread, vancouver