11

Weekend Reading: Goodbye Worn, Wonder Woman, and the Bechdel test

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It’s been an exciting week.

As you read this, we’re likely packing up the last of our studio in preparation for the big move on Monday!

Even more exciting, we have a new team member this week! Meg has joined us as our new inventory and office manager, so the next time you buy a book or pattern from our shop, you’ll likely have her to thank for getting it to you.

Since things are a bit hectic, I’ll save more on these big changes for another time and dive right into what I’ve been reading.

Weekend Reading:

For more links every week, you can follow me on Twitter, where I’m always posting interesting tidbits I find.

image above via colettepatterns on instagram

Like what you read here? Subscribe to our blog via email so you don’t skip a stitch! And sign up for our weekly Snippets email for even more sewing tips and tricks.

25

How to sew a baby hem

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A baby hem is essentially a very small rolled hem done on the machine without a rolled hem foot. It’s a pretty and delicate hemming option that is perfect for lightweight and sheer fabrics. (A baby hem isn’t really suitable for thicker fabrics, as they would be too bulky to create the small folds.)

How-to

Stitch 1/8” below your hem allowance all the way around the edge to be hemmed. (Ex., if your hem allowance is 5/8”, stitch at 1/2”.)

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Press fabric to wrong side along stitching line.

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Stitch a scant 1/8” in from the bottom folded edge all the way around.

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Carefully trim the excess fabric as close to your stitching line as you can. You may wish to use smaller scissors for this step. As you trim, try holding the bit you’re cutting in your non-cutting hand to keep it taut.

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Roll the bottom edge towards the wrong side of the fabric to create a tiny fold. Press.

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Stitch down the center of the fold all the way around.

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You will see two lines of stitching on the inside…

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…and one line on the outside.

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Voila! A cute little itty bitty baby hem!

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8

How to sew a faced or shaped hem

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Using a facing for a hem is a fun way to customize an edge. Add scallops, zigzags, or whatever else you can dream up!

Before we can sew, we’ll need to draft a pattern piece for our facing.

On your skirt piece (or whichever piece has your hem), draw the finished hem edge at the length you’d like. Use a ruler to add a seam allowance.

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Trace off the bottom and side edges onto new paper.

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On the sides, measure up from the bottom the width you would like your facing to be, plus seam allowances. Use a ruler to connect the marks. If your pattern piece is curved, mark several points up from the bottom and use a ruler to connect them.

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Mark any grain lines, folds, labels etc. Repeat for any pieces involved in your hem (ex. skirt front and back).

Cut out your paper and fabric pieces. Apply interfacing to the facings. Before you fuse, trim the seam allowance off the bottom edge of the interfacing to get an extra clean edge when you turn it.

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Sew side seams of skirt and facings and finish. Grade facing seam allowances. Press all seams open. Finish top edge of facing.

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Pin facing to outside of garment, right sides together, aligning bottom edges.

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Stitch all the way around the bottom edge. Notch any outer curves and clip any inner curves and corners.

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Turn facing to inside. Use a point turner or chopstick to push out corners and edges. Press.

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Stitch along top edge of facing to secure using desired method.

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To switch it up a bit, make your facing out of a contrast fabric and attach it with its right side to the wrong side of the garment. Turn it to the outside, tuck in the raw edge and topstitch around the top.

What hem shape would you like to try?

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16

Weekend reading: girl groups, a new sewing book, and saying no

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This post almost didn’t happen today.

After coming back from our trip to Panama, I’ve been catching up on work all week and putting long hours into the free hemming ebook (which is clocking in at over 100 pages, be sure to sign up so I can send it to you because it is looking AMAZING). AND we have a photo shoot today.

So in all that fuss, I completely forgot to write today’s weekend reading post.

But I had some really great links to share, so I’m up at 6am to put it together.

Ok, I know that sounds like wah, I work too hard, but actually it’s led me to the opposite realization. I could easily have skipped it, but I really like writing them. It’s fun. And that’s made me realize how very lucky I am.

Enjoy the links!

Weekend Reading:

For more links every week, you can follow me on Twitter, where I’m always posting interesting tidbits I find.

image above via colettepatterns on instagram

23

How to sew a machine rolled hem

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Today, we’re going to tackle one of the trickier hems you might want to sew – the machine-rolled hem.

I struggled with this hem for a long time. I consider it to be a little on the advanced side, because it requires careful handling of the garment while you sew. If you’re new to the technique, I recommend practicing a bit first, and sewing very slowly to start.

We’ll be sewing this hem using a rolled hem foot. There are many rolled hem feet out there. For my machine (a Bernina), there are several. I am using one that creates a 4mm finished hem (the #69, if you’re curious).

Be sure to use the correct needle when sewing this hem. Using a heavy needle with lightweight fabric and sewing close to the edge like this is a recipe for disaster. A heavy needle will push the fabric into the machine and cause it to be “eaten”. Believe me, I know.

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When to use it

  • This hem is a great choice for lightweight fabrics. You can use it on slips, skirts, and pretty silk blouses.
  • It is often seen on blouses and shirts.
  • It’s a great choice for sheer fabrics, because the hem is less noticable than a wider one would be.
  • The rolled hem is perfect for curved hems like circle skirts because there is so little bulk. Remember the rule of thumb, the curvier the hem, the narrower it should be.

How to sew a rolled hem

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1) Place the fabric under the presser foot, with the edge of the fabric aligned with the edge of the foot.

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2) Stitch a few stitches.

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3) Raise the presser foot. Without cutting the threads, lift the fabric and pull the thread to get some slack. Move the threads to the back.

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4) Lower the presser foot again. Hold onto the excess thread. This will give you something to grasp as you position the fabric. Position the fabric around the curve of the foot. This curve turns the fabric edge under twice and holds it in place as you stitch. If you have trouble getting it in, try using the tip of your seam ripper to help guide the fabric into the crevice.

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5) Stitch slowly. As you stitch, make sure the edge of the fabric remains turned under the curve of the foot. This can be tricky and requires some practice. Hold the fabric slightly taut, and position it slightly to the left so that it continues to curl under as you stitch.

That’s it! You now have a tidy little hem, all stitched by machine.

Don’t be too frustrated if you don’t get this at first. It really comes down to handling in this case, and mostly you will just need practice to figure out the position that works best for you with your machine and presser foot.

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Any other tips or experiences you have to share?

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