Thursday, 8 April 2010

Sewing tips from some talented people ......

I want to say thank you to everyone who left me a nice comment about my Burda skirt with the bow and flounce, featured in my last post. Readers, you are such lovely people! As an added bonus two very skilful sewists left me some sewing tips which I am reproducing here in case you missed reading them.

KayY, from The Sewing Lawyer, suggested that instead of hemming the flounce, it could be lined:
“Sew the lining and fashion fabric at the hem, turn, press, and then treat the lined flounce in the same way you'd treat it if unlined. A very neat, fluid hem results, and the weight of the lining helps with flippiness. You can then line the skirt portion shorter without fear of the unlined flounce getting caught on hose.”

Isn’t that an ingenious way of treating a flounce? I think it would be especially good if you are using a light weight or silky kind of fabric because it would give the flounce more body and prevent any unsightly puckering at the hem. When it comes to flounces, flippiness is definitely what we’re aiming for!

I made my skirt from wool crepe, one of my favourite fabrics, and Carolyn, from The Diary of a Sewing Fanatic, very generously offered the following tip for getting the best out of this fabric: “When I use wool crepe for a skirt, 9 times out of 10 I add a silk organza underlining. It helps with drape and wrinkling!”

I am now very keen to give this a try. I have read quite a lot about underlining and I have been thinking that this is a technique that I should be using if I want to give a garment more of a ‘couture’ look and feel. Here’s what the authors of Vogue Sewing (published by Sixth&Spring Books) say on the subject: “If you intend to construct a garment in the manner of the fine designers, follow their example of underlining your garment to give it beautifully controlled shape and body”. This definitely sounds like something I should be aiming for!

In the meantime there’s not much sewing going on here, couture or otherwise, because we’ve just had our kitchen ripped out ready for a new one to be installed. My sewing machine, which usually lives in the kitchen, has moved to the living room but the living room is piled high with boxes of kitchen stuff so there’s not enough room to turn around, let alone actually do anything constructive. When not involved in the madness of the kitchen construction chaos I have been spending time sorting and organizing my patterns (good!) and internet shopping for new patterns (bad!). I am, however, looking forward to getting back to actual sewing ……. oh, and having a kitchen again will be nice!

I hope you find these great tips from our 'virtual sewing circle' helpful and that your own sewing is coming along beautifully ........


  1. The tips do make good sense and I will incorporate them into my future sewing. Thank you all. I just finished a little girl's jumper for a gift and posted the picture on my blog. Now I'm thinking of making a few summer outfits for my almost two year old granddaughter. She loves Elmo and I just saw a few pieces of Elmo fabric on the Internet that I plan to check out. Good luck with your kitchen. Gita/Gigi

  2. Great tips - thank you for reposting them here. Love the virtual sewing circle. :)

    While I'm sad you're not getting to sew, that is so very exciting that you're getting a new kitchen!!

  3. Great tips - my sewing has been very slow going due to several busy things going on in my life! At least you're in your sewing break with a fab project to go out on!

  4. Very helpful!! I'm planning to sew this skirt soon, and I will most assuredly be using Kay's lining tip.

  5. Thanks for pointing out those tips!

  6. I'll be trying the underlining with the silk organza when I make my silk shantung mother of the bride dress.

  7. I agree, great tips. I am wanting my projects to have a more professional look as I move along with my sewing. Good luck with your kitchen project. We are having some people out to take measurements of our windows tomorrow so they can send the measurements to the factory.

  8. How exciting to have a new kitchen!

    I'm interested in learning about underlining for use with sheer farbics. Definitely post about it if you try it - even the beginner basics would be helpful.

  9. Thanks for posting those tips! I just added the skirt to my ever growing project list so this is very helpful. Also thank you so much for stopping by my blog.

    Hope everything goes well with the kitchen remodel!


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