Sunday, 29 June 2014

Tie-making tip: pointy end

During my tie-making course, the biggest revelation to me was sewing the pointy tip. In the past I sewed a dress with lots of corners and was taught a very valuable strategy for corners from Susan Khalje. But to my big surprise, making a sharp tip was simpler than I thought.

When you sew a sharp corner on a tie, a blouse placket, on a waistband etc, do the following.

1. Place the two pieces of fabric together, matching the corners.

2. Instead of sewing a sharp right angle, make one or two stitches on the diagonal as shown on the picture below.

3. Once stitched together, it looks like so from both sides

4. When I turn my corners, I do not trim the excess of fabric. I fold both seam allowances towards the wrong side of the garment and turn them.

5. Use an awl to help turn the pointy end.

6. Here you go! The point of your garment is sharp as a knife!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Venturing into tie-making

In Dublin you may not find an equivalent of the Garment District or Textile Town. But the National Tailoring Academy was quite a discovery! I first heard about it from Sewing Princess when I still was in London. Of course, princesses know everything! When I checked their website, I realized that I want to take most of the sewing classes at this place! And my Dublin sewing adventure started with a tie-making class.

Our instructor Sinéad was very nice and extremely knowledgeable. She had been working in the industry since graduation. One would never guess that this small and fragile-looking woman stands behind own fashion brand, has a few years of experience as a seamstress in an Italian couture house, teaches corset-making classes and runs a series of programs in the Tailoring Academy. During the workshop, on top of getting some extra sewing tips, we enjoyed a few industry anecdotes. Who doesn't like gossips?

Back to the class. Sinéad promised that it would be easy. But she has either made too many ties before or was over-optimistic: it was a garment which required so much patience and precision that I was completely knackered by the end of it. Having said that, it doesn't mean that tie-making is anything like a French jacke,t but a fair amount of diligence was absolutely necessary. 

If you don't follow me on Instagram, here are some of the photos taken during the workshop.

Pattern layout

Pointy end
Adding interfacing
Almost finished
Did I give you a taste of tie-making? Next week I will share some tips learnt at this workshop. 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Let the summer sewing begin!

This is not Spain, Italy, Greece, France or Portugal. This is Ireland! And we even swam in the Irish sea with water being +11C.  But before the swim, my friend took a few pictures to show off my new wrap skirt.

After reading Sarai's Wardrobe Architect series of blog posts, I, like many of you, took some time to reflect on my clothes and I decided to create a capsule wardrobe for this spring/summer period.But instead of choosing silhouettes and colour palette, I focused on my lifestyle and the weather as main factors.

We do not have a dress code at work, so my office and after-office clothes are always the same. But I often go out with friends after work, ride a bike and, in general, move around the city a lot . Besides, I am very lazy in the mornings and I prefer garments which are easy to match or quickly to put on.

As for the weather, Dublin requires layering! Regardless of the time of the year, sometimes we experience four seasons in one day. I remember super shitty summers and great winters and vice versa. So, yeah, you never know! And that's the worst part of living here, unless you turn it into a nice personal sewing challenge.

This pattern from the January BurdaStyle perfectly matched a cut of crêpe-de-Chine from my stash. At the very beginning, I hesitated between using silk and knit fabric but I am glad that I did not take the latter: the waistband folds would be extremely difficult to sew.

A few words about the waistband. It is constructed from two separate waistbands, narrow and wide,  attached by hand in the middle. Both pieces of fabric have to be folded in half with their edges sewn beforehand.  First, you have to attach the narrow waistband to the skirt, wrapping the folds around it. The wider waistband is then sewn to the seam allowance of the narrow one. After that, I attached the narrow waistband to the wide using a catch stitch.

To be completely honest with you, I did not quite succeed with the waistband as I'd like to, but I learnt a lot!

When the skirt was finished, I could not find any t-shirt in my wardrobe which would look nice tucked in. And so, the Nettie Bodysuit was added to my capsule wardrobe too!

Have you followed Wardrobe Architect? What is your experience with creating your capsule wardrobe? Did it work? Do you find it useful at all?