Archive | November, 2012

Thurlow Sew-Along: Attaching the Waistband

7 Nov

Holy shit, do y’all even realize what is going on today.


FINAL COUNTDOWN PANTS PARTY TIME.

Ha! But in all seriousness… we’re just a few steps away from being finished! Let’s get excited, yeah? :)


Today we are attaching the waistband, steps 15-19. You should have a semi-finished pair of pants at this point, all major seams sewn except the back extension. We will get to that today!

wb1
You should have two waistband pieces – a right side (with one square end) and a left side (with one pointed end) – cut in both your regular fabric and your lining fabric, and one set should be interfaced (I opted to interface the side with my fashion fabric, as it needed a bit more structure. Do what works best with your particular fabric, though!). Stack both left pieces together and both right pieces together, and sew along the top edge – the un-notched, concave curve – and the center front (the aforementioned square/pointed ends).

wb2
Trim, grade, and understitch the seam allowance.

wb3
You won’t be able to understitch all the way into the center front sections – that’s ok! Just understitch as far as you can :)

wb4
Open up your waistband pieces, and start pinning the main fabric side to the top of your pants, right sides together. Don’t worry about the lining at this point. Go all the way around, center front to center back (and yep, back extension is still open. We’re getting there!). Sew this seam.

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Trim your seam allowances.

wb6
And press everything up toward the waistband.

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Now for that pesky back extension! See my pretty, bright pattern markings? We are going to sew right over that. Pin along the marked line, all the way up through the waistband. I know, the marking doesn’t extend that far but do the best you can. The instructions indicate that you should baste first, check the fit, and then sew your permanent seam. However, if you already made a muslin, you don’t need to worry about basting first – unless you really want to fine-tune the fit. Personally, I always baste first. Even after multiple muslins :)
Be very careful to ensure that all your seams are aligned when you sew up the center back seam! If one side of your waistband is wider than the other, it will result in one side that has a little peek of lining popping out. So double-check before and after you sew!

wb8
Press open the center back extension. Those giant seam allowances are supposed to hang around – later, you can adjust the waist of your pants, making it bigger or smaller as needed :)

Sooo… pinning the waistband. Fair warning: this part is a bit fiddly and you will probably end up hating me for making you slog through it. I know, it sucks! But it’s better than unpicking a bunch of stitches, or having a janky looking waistband. Spend a little extra time up front making sure everything is lined up, and it will save you hours of banging your head against the wall when you realize that your third waistband attempt looks even worse than the first one.

wb9
Start with your lining all spread out and hogging the spotlight inside your pants.

wb10
Fold the lining under to the inside until the fold is covering the stitching underneath by about 1/8″-1/4″.

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Now flip the waistband over and pin through the front, right in the middle of the ditch between your pants and your waistband.

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When you flip the waistband back over to the lining side, the pin should just be catching the lining. The fold underneath the pin should be no more than 1/4″ – anything more than that will just look sloppy.

wb14
Repeat all the way around the pants, skipping the 3″ or so section of lining that covers the back extension. We aren’t going to stitch that part down, so just leave it open.

wb13
STOP PRESS. Are those chickens?? SHUT THE FUCK UP.

ahem.

wb15
With your sewing machine, stitch all the way around the lining, exactly in the little waistband/pants ditch that you pinned into. This is called stitching in the ditch. Yes, I know. It’s so clever.
Again, don’t worry about the section with the back extension is. Just skip over it and continue stitching in the ditch.

wb16
Afterwards, you can tack down the lining over the extension. The instructions call for just a few stitches worth of tacks, but I like to slipstitch mine down all the way so I know it’s not going anywhere. And also, I used yellow thread, because yellow is delightful.

wb17
Give the waistband a good steam press, both inside and out.

That’s all! That wasn’t so hard, huh? :)
Expect a wrap-up post in a couple of days – belt loops, buttons, and hemming. And then PANTS PARTY 2012, YO.

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Thurlow Sew-Along: Sewing the Fly Zipper

5 Nov


Today, we are inserting the zipper into our pants and making the fanciest of flys – with a facing and a fly extension! FANCY Y’ALL. This is my personal favorite part of the pants-process – when they actually turn into pants, and not just 4 giant pieces of fabric flapping around the sewing room :)

We will be sewing steps 9-13. I know it sounds like a lot of ground to cover, but this should actually go a bit faster than the welt pockets – plus, you only have to sew one zipper, not two!

Here is your background music for this task. It seems fitting, although I’m guessing Danzig’s fly isn’t exactly the same fly we are dealing with today :P

Steps 7-8 should already be completed at this point, FYI!

f1
Take your interfaced fly facing (piece 11) and finish the curved edge.
Sidenote: The pattern placement wasn’t intentional when I cut this piece out, but HAHAHAHA dude is totally going to be lurking the inside of my pants!

f2
Sew the facing to the right front, right sides together, stopping at the notch.

f3
Trim & grade the seam allowances, understitch, and press the facing to the wrong side.

f4
Get your fly extension (piece 10) and fold in half along the fold line, right sides together, and sew along the bottom. Trim seam allowances, turn right side out and press. Sew and finish the long side.

f5
Place your zipper over the long finished edge of the fly extension, face up, with the zipper stop matching the notch. Sew. If your zipper is longer than 4″ (and really – where the hell does one find a 4″ zipper?), go ahead and match up the end with the notch and let the zipper excess hang off the top. We’ll cut it off when we get to the waistband attachment.
Sorry that the left side of my zipper tape looks all chewed up, it is. We got in a fight.

f6
Sew the zipper to the left pants front, face down, stopping at the notch. You can sew directly over your previous stitching line, to make things a little easier!

f7
Turn the facing to the back and edgestitch close to the zipper teeth.

f8
Now this might be a little hard to see, so bear with me here! Zip the whole thing closed, and then pull your right front over to the left from until the fly facing seamline is matched up with the second notch on the left front. At this point, I like to pin the whole thing closed so it doesn’t try to get sneaky when I push everything under the sewing machine.

f9
Flip your pants over; the right (un-attached) side of the zipper should be lined up with the fly facing. Pin the two of them together as shown, being careful not to catch anything else in your pins – no pants front, no fly extension. Just the facing and the zipper tape! As you can see, the zipper tape won’t go all the way to the edge – that’s ok! It’ll end up somewhere in the middle.

Go ahead and sew the zipper tape to the fly facing, using two lines of stitching.

f10
Flip the pants back over – it’s time to draw the stitching line for your fly! Yeeeeahh!!
Keeping the pants pinned close, locate the zipper stop and mark it (I used a pin, but you can also use chalk or whatev). This isn’t totally necessary, but you do want to be careful that you don’t try to sew through the stop – it could break a needle (“Wah” you say) or throw off the timing of your machine (“FUCK” you say). So watch out!

f11
I like to start at the top and work my way down when marking my fly line (I know Tasia’s is the opposite, so do whatever you want, yo!). Measure 1.5″ from the center in a straight line, curving the line as you reach your marking for the zipper stop. Bring the line under the zipper stop to ensure that you don’t sew over it.

f12
Here is my fly all marked up.
Don’t you love my BRIGHT ASS NEON YELLOW marking!? Liz sent me a couple pieces of this marking wax and a brand new box of hook&eyes, after I lameted about accidentally throwing mine away right after I bought them in Chicago. It was completely unexpected and totally amazing of her to do, but what else do you expect from someone who brings macarons to a sewing meet-up? :) Thank you again, Liz!

ANYWAY, topstitch right over your markings, directly through the pants front and fly facing. Leave the fly extension out of this – you do want the zipper to actually work, no? :)

f13
Since the poor extension feels lonely, give her a couple of tacks to the facing so they can still hang out. You can do this by hand, or the lazy way like me – with a tiny zigzag on your machine :) This picture was surprisingly hard to take; look at the diagram in the instructions if you need more elaboration on where to stitch.

f14
And that’s it! You should have a beautiful fly zipper, with a gorgeous fly facing and an outstanding fly extension.

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Doesn’t that look professional as fuck?

Go ahead and sew up your side seams as indicated in step 14. We only have a few more steps left!

Thurlow Sew-Along: Welt Pockets

2 Nov

Moving on to the next part of our sew-along – the Dreaded Double-Welt Pockets

\
AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I will admit, this part gave me some serious hair-pulling when I first attempted it because the instructions run on the sparse side. Don’t worry, though – I took LOTS of pictures and even ran a few through my beloved Microsoft Paint, so hopefully y’alls first attempts will be a much smoother process :) The procedure itself it fairly simple, it’s just very precise. If the idea of welts is still terrifying – make a test welt pocket on some of your leftover scraps! No shame!!


Today we will be sewing steps 4-6.

Before you do ANYTHING with these pieces, take a moment to ensure that you have transferred all your pattern markings and notches to the fabric pieces. Like I said, welts are very precise, so the markings for this step are pretty critical. With that being said, the slash lines for the welt pocket should be transferred to the right side of your pieces; everything else should go on the wrong side.

If you have not already done so, go ahead and sew up your back darts and press them toward the center back (or, as Tasia writes: “centre.” Ehhheheehehe how cute, I wish I was Canadian sometimes lol)

WP2
Take your back pocket facing (piece 13) and finish the long edges with your preferred method of seam finishing.

WP3
Place the facing on the back pocket lining (14), both with right sides up, matching the notches. It took me a bit of head-scratching to figure this part out – see how the notches aren’t exactly centered on the sides of the facing, but rather creep up in one direction? The notches should be closest to the top of the lining (the end with the single notch). It’s hard to explain this without the ability to flail my arms around, so hopefully this picture makes a bit of sense!
You are going to edgestitch this piece down, in the same manner that you edgestitched the front pocket facings. Again, this piece’s job is to act as a little curtain for your welt pocket windows.

WP4
Speaking of welts… take your interfaced welt pieces and fold them in half, wrong sides together. Press and baste the long edges closed.

IT IS TIME.

WP5
The welts start out on the right side of your back trouser pieces (so yeah, I sure hope you transferred that marking to the right side!). The welt gets placed along the pocket line, with the raw (ie, non-folded) edge just exactly butting up against it.

WP6
Here it is with both welts pinned down. I highlighted my pocket line in pink so you can see exactly where it is.

WP7
There should be a notch at either end of both welt pieces. These indicate where you will start and stop stitching.

WP8
Stitch down the center(e) of each welt, starting at one notch and ending at the second. Don’t forget to backstitch!

WP9
Grab your pocket lining, and place it face down, upside-down over the bottom welt, matching the raw edges. Sew the lining to the welt only, being careful not to catch the pants back in your stitches.

WP10
Finish the raw edge.

WP11
Ok, time to cut into those pants and set the welts free! Cut straight down your slash line (disregard that it looks like someone chewed on mine!), stopping about 1/4″ from the end of your stitching lines. From the end of your cutting line (the marked X) to the end of your stitching line (circled), you want to cut at an angle, connecting the two.

WP12
Here is a better picture. Be careful not to cut too far, but don’t be timid and not cut deep enough – you want to end exactly at the stitching line. This would be a good time to practice on those scraps :)
Do this to both welt pockets, top and bottom, on either end.

WP13
Grab your pocket lining and pull it through the hole until it’s on the wrong side of your pants back.

WP14
I like to give my welts a quick press at this point, just to make sure I’ve clipped far enough and that everything is looking good so far.

WP15
Flip the pants back over, right side facing up. Fold over one side to expose the end of the welts. See the little triangle there? We are going to stitch that down to the welts, exactly on the indicated stitching line.

WP16
When sewing the triangle down, a few things to keep in mind: keep the welts butted together. You can hand-baste the welts closed if you are having trouble with this. Also, you want to get as close to the edge as possible, without actually catching non-triangle fabric. Use a zipper foot, and hand-baste the triangle in place before you start sewing, to ensure that it won’t move when you’re at the machine.

WP17

WP18
Now take that bad boy over to the iron & give ‘er a good press!!

See? Hard part over! Now to turn those welts into pockets and not ass-windows.

WP19
Pull the top (aka, notched end) of the lining toward the top of your pants back, folding at the fold line. All the right sides should be encased in the pocket and you should be looking at the wrong side of the fabric.

WP20
See the top welt stitching line? We are going to sew right on top of the welt only, to make sure that our pocket doesn’t have secret back fat pocket space.

WP21
Be sure to catch only the welt & the lining. Again – the pants back isn’t invited to this party! SORRY.

WP22
Now sew up the sides of your pocket, and finish the edges.

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Then baste the top of the pocket lining to the pants back.

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Ta da! Beautiful, functional, double-welt pockets!

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? :)
If you’re caught up to speed, go ahead & complete steps 7 & 8. Next week: the fly & all it’s fly-glory, woohoo.

I’m Creepin’ All Over Your ‘Nets

1 Nov

Just dropping in to alert y’all of a couple guest posts that some of my favorite bloggers have been kind enough to dedicate to meeee.

First up, I’ve got a little Q&A with Joanne over at Stitch and Witter about my handmade style:
Guest post on Stitch and Witter!

Super fun stuff, and I’m so honored to join the ranks of all the other lovely ladies who have been interviewed! Here’s my interview if you care to know more about my handmade style :)

Second up, this is kind of old news (and I’m taking full responsibility of being a Shitty Blogger right now, ok), but I also had a guest post over on Lucky Lucille and this one is all about the Peony and it’s mysterious bust darts:
Guest post on Lucky Lucille!
A few people have already told me they found it very helpful, so do click over if you’re having trouble fitting your bust on this dress (or any dress with a similar dart setup, for that matter – I won’t judge you :)).

As a side kind-of-unrelated-but-not-really note, I just want to announce that today I paid off my credit card and I’m officially debt-free! AND FUCK YES I FEEL PRETTY AWESOME ABOUT IT AND I AM TOTALLY PUMPING MY FIST RIGHT NOW.

It took about a year, and it was pretty fucking shitty – remember when I said I wasn’t going to let myself buy new fabric in 2012 (with a couple of exceptions)? Well, now you know why. But it’s paid off – and I’m ahead of schedule, even, considering my goal date was 12/21/12 (yes. The end of the world). I’ve already blasted this all over the web & I’m sure people are real sick of hearing about it at this point – but I’m just so excited! And it’s totally relevant to this blog since I no longer need to take commissioned projects (which frees up time for LT-sewing), and I can actually spend money on sewing things that don’t come from the flea market. So yay!

To keep this sewing-relevant, this is what I wore last night for the Trick-Or-Treaters:
FACT: Skeleton pajamas always come in handy.
Me-made, of course :) I drew the template and stencilled it on a plain black sweatsuit. Everyone needs a skeleton costume, yes?

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