Notions: Hemming by Hand

I am afraid I am one of those dreadful bores of a teacher who insists that Hemming is done by hand! It just looks simply beautiful, & gives a truly professional finish to a garment that has been carefully stitched together, by hand. I have taken this Tutorial from my Simple A-Line Skirt Tutorial because this subject has come up …

Notions: Lapped Zip

Lapped Zips were a hot topic on this weeks episode of The Great British Sewing Bee. I know them mainly as a Vintage technique, and my Vintage Sewing Books are stuffed full of ways to work them! The following Tutorial is taken from McCall’s Complete Book of Dressmaking (which is delightful!). The important thing to remember when inserting Lapped Zips …

Notions: The Order of Sewing

As we have started to develop our Final Working Pattern, it is important to start thinking about the Order of Sewing.  I find it helps me work out what Pattern pieces are required, I am forever forgetting Facings, and Seam Finishings for some reason, but when I start to think about making the final garment up I remember all the …

Snippets from Pattern History

So, I thought I’d talk a little about the early history of the Dressmaking Pattern this week because, even through we are learning to make our own this month it is interesting and leads nicely in to tomorrows Tutorial all about scaling Historical and Vintage Patterns up.        Facsimile of the pattern pieces, Front instructions and Back instructions …

Notions: Herringbone Stitch.

Illustration from McCalls Sewing in Colour, 1960.  I know this seems complicated but I use Herringbone Stitch for all my hems. I first got taught this technique when I was working at the- now sadly closed down & sold off for parts- BBC Costume Department in West London. The reason it was being used on costumes was twofold… firstly it …

Notions: The Language of Patterns.

No doubt the sketch of the design on the front of the envelope will catch your eye first. From McCall’s Sewing in Colour    A beginning seamstress may feel Einstein’s theories are as easy to understand as the intricacies of a first pattern. Here is a place where first steps should be taken slowly […] &, whether you are a …