Tag Archives: sewing

Round Patio Tablecloth with tassel trim

round tablecloth

Round is not such a difficult option for a patio table. Really it’s just a matter of trimming your fabric and sewing in a hem … of course, it will be a long hem, but worth the trouble!

unfinished tablecloth

Before: A square tablecloth is ok for a round patio table, but I wanted a neater look.

Cut a quick circle: Fold twice and draw a curved edge

Fold a big square of fabric in quarters and mark an arc along raw edges from centre point out. You can cut thru all layers at once if the textile is not too thick.

add tassel trim

Open up the circle, and hem up with tassel trim. It took 4 yards of trim to get around this 62″ wide tablecloth. I ironed a hem up and pinned the trim all around in place. The first pass of stitching caught the upper edge of trim and the raw edge of fabric. The second pass caught the low (tassel) edge of trim and the fold edge of fabric.

Widen a Narrow Bolt of Fabric with a side panel

In order to get a decent hang-down off my 48″ patio table, I needed to add an 8″ panel to the side of my 54″ blue checked fabric.

I added the panel using a flat fell seam, so both sides looked finished. (The panel is small checks.)

I added the panel using a flat fell seam, so both sides looked finished. (The panel is small checks.)

Amount fabric required:  

Tablecloth fabric:  2 yds

Tassel Trim: (for 48″ table) – 4 yds

How about a hole for the umbrella?

That will require some sort of a slit and an overlap. Next project.

Next tablecloth will need a centre opening for my patio umbrella

Next tablecloth will need a centre opening for my patio umbrella

Missoni zigzag shirt

Love lacy fabric? Try it with a lining (maybe a contrasting shade?) to make a terrific summer top!

Here’s my sleeveless blouse using a very open weave Missoni knit. I put in a thin, tricot (stretchy) lining in muted blue. The colour picks up the steely tones of the zigzag design.

Missoni knit shirt

The lining is so comfortable because the outer shell alone would have felt flimsy and was kind of sheer.

Begin by Tracing a pattern on bristol board

Use a top I that fits well, that way there is minimal adjusting. I just laid an old shirt down and traced two pieces: a front and back and added my 5/8″ seam allowances all around.

Cut a front and back of the lining, and an identical front and back of the Missoni fabric with the same cardboard pattern.

Simply sew up the left and right sides of the lining, leaving shoulders open. Do the same with the front and back of the outside fabric.

Now insert the assembled outside, into the assembled lining (which is inside-out). Be sure the side seams face away from each other. They will face each other when you turn the blouse right-side out. And snip the curves so everything will lay flat.

sew lining to outside

Baste and then stitch: along the back neck edge, along the front neck edge, and under the arms to within 5″ of the shoulders. Hold off sewing up the shoulder seams.

add lining to top

 

Sew the shoulder seams in a continuous path

 

Open the fabric at the shoulders and pin the lining and the outer shell all in one continuous path. Now a single shoulder seam can be turned and finished by hand.

 

Missoni Top front and back

 

Amount fabric required size 14:  

 

  • Outer fashion fabric – 1 1/8 yd
  • Inner lining: 1 1/8 yd

Sleeveless lined blouse

polkadot blouseRayon had the perfect drape for this sleeveless blouse with flounce; just one of the five co-ordinating wardrobe items you get in Butterick B5965. The blouse is lined, adding substance to a fine summer fabric. I found a mauve tricot knit to match my polka dot print. Alternately, you can make a dress from Butterick’s pattern, which is as simple as extending the flounce to a knee length. Continue reading

Easy Sleeveless Blouse with Facings

A great way to welcome spring is to make something in a floral print. Hello colour, so long snow! I found a red, green & blue cotton/linen blend for this sweet sleeveless blouse that sews up in four, easy pieces. Front, back and facings for both.blouse outdoor_w_hoseFacings are usually just a couple of inches wide and sit inside the garment along the neckline and armholes to make the edges neat and sturdy.
Normally they are a mirror image of the pattern contours they line, as in the photo below.blouse_with_facingsOne thing I like about good old burda patterns is they fit without too much pattern tweaking. Here’s how burda 8109 sews up in 6 simple steps.

  1. Sew darts in front.
  2. Join front and back together at left side.
  3. Install a separating zipper up the right side.
  4. Sew the front facing to the back facing at side.
    Install the facing by sewing along neck edge and along both armholes. Even if you have to adjust the seam allowance width here, be sure to keep all four un stitched shoulder edges (2 fronts and two backs) a consistent width because you must mate these up to make smooth armholes and neckline.
  5. Flip the facing to the inside.
  6. Sew up bottom hem.
f you modify the shape of your front or back in a pattern, remember to make the same changes to their facing pattern pieces.

If you modify the shape of your pattern front, remember to make the same changes to their facing pattern pieces.

Back in January, I determined to make a dent in my (big) stash of unopened patterns. To date, I have tackled three including this last one. Hurrah for me! So when my local fabric shop e-mailed me a 3-for-1 coupon for Butterick and Vogue, I figured I earned it and added a new trio to the still-high heap.

Ah, bliss! Sew much to sew.

Amount fabric required: 
one and a half yard off a 45″ wide bolt.

McCalls M6613 Shirt with Yoke

Pattern from the heap

McCall’s M6613 sat in my heap of unopened patterns for too long. I’m glad I finally made this as it is really comfortable and easy to make.

I'll wear the short sleeves rolled up, otherwise it looks like I'm wearing a man's shirt.

I’ll wear the short sleeves rolled up, otherwise it looks like I’m wearing a man’s shirt.

Because this is really a fitted man’s shirt design, you may want to customize it a bit so it suits a woman’s wardrobe. For my shape I added front bust darts, and I probably could have narrowed the back, now that I look at it on.

Wear it alone in a crisp broadcloth, or wear it open in front over a tank top in a lightweight cotton or sheer. Definitely intended for comfort, it’s a terrific wardrobe addition for physical folks who work in shops, factories, studios, gardens etc.

Mix and match the elements you like most. I chose the curved bottom hem, which I feel is more feminine, and took time to top-stitch detail on the pockets. You get a centre pleat on the back.

Mix and match the elements you like most. I chose the curved bottom hem, which I feel is more feminine, and took time to top-stitch detail on the pockets. You get a pleat on the centre back.

I also sewed my buttons closer together up the front to prevent any gaping gaps. Not likely, however, as the shirt is roomy.

This pattern includes excellent instructions on how to achieve a neat, curved hem.

This pattern includes excellent instructions on how to achieve a neat, curved hem.

Make a Twin Pocket Burlap Tote Bag

This tote started with a paper mock-up. I folded up a small sample out of standard letter size sheet and then scaled up its dimensions 3.44 times when cutting the fabric.

So, the pattern is basically a 16″ x 32″ rectangle of tight-weave burlap in brown. I used purple broadcloth for the lining and cut it one inch bigger all around.

A round of canvas strap is laid atop lining, burlap and pocket patch and it all folds up pretty much like a paper bag.

A round of canvas strap is laid atop lining, burlap and pocket patch and it all folds up pretty much like a paper bag.

Lay both burlap and lining together flat and pin or baste to keep together. Take about three yards of woven strap and lay this in an oval on top, just like a racetrack. Continue reading

Hem the spring coat plus lining

Before advancing to the final stage of hemming the coat, you need to put on the buttons. I chose to make vertical buttonholes for this spring coat; I figured it would look neater as they are big buttons.

A word of caution regarding the fabric:  Sadly, I liked the reverse satin side of this mock suede polyester so much that I used it as the "right" side for the collar. Since then, I have learned that it fuzzes up very easily, even with careful handling. Any roughness on your fingers will snag and pill up the sheen.

A word of caution regarding the fabric: Sadly, I liked the reverse satin side of this mock suede polyester so much that I used it as the “right” side for the collar. Since then, I have learned that it fuzzes up very easily, even with careful handling. Any roughness on your fingers will snag and pill up the sheen.

To determine the ideal placement for four buttons, wear the jacket. Place a pin first at the bust, and then the waist. Remove the jacket and lay it on the work table. Add the third button in between the first two, and then place the fourth the same distance away at the bottom of the row.

Hemming the coat and lining – Simplicity 4014

When hemming, I like to start off with an evenly trimmed bottom edge. Remember, we had to sew five panels together to make the jacket and it’s likely that they will stagger a bit once assembled. And if you are shorter than average, the coat may need a good clip.

So hang the buttoned coat, preferably on your twin sister or dress form but a hanger will do. Pin up the left and right fronts where you like, making sure they are even. Then measure up from the floor to where you pinned, and  keep that measurement consistent as you chalk mark all around the coat at each seam. I have tried to cut garments while they hang, but have had nothing but off-course disasters. So I forego the speedy snip, and only chalk or pin where I intend to cut on a flat surface.

Now put the coat on a table and pin up folding at your chalk marks. Try it on again. If you are bigger in the front or the back it may need a bit of adjustment.  But once you have it where you like,  gently press, and then sew.

I choose to hand stitch this hem so there would not be an obvious stitch line. On some coats you may like to see the stitch line, as in a trench coat.  Once the outer hem is up, hang it again, and chalk mark the lining (which will be visibly hanging lower) about an inch down from the now finished hem of the coat. Place flat to cut at the chalk mark. Turn up, making the folded edge a good 3/4 inch up from the bottom of the coat. There will be no chance of the lining drooping out.

Don't expect a crisp crease when ironing this mock suede polyester. Use a damp cloth, and press only on the wrong side of the fabric. Don't linger with the iron. You risk flattening the crinkle texture pattern if there is too much direct heat.

Don’t expect a crisp crease when ironing this mock suede polyester. Use a damp cloth, and press only on the wrong side of the fabric. Don’t linger with the iron. You risk flattening the crinkle texture pattern if there is too much direct heat.