Kelly Hogaboom, Sundress Livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: a sundress!

Kelly Hogaboom, Sundress Livestream

It’s June, it’s heating up, and the studio is staying cool! We had a lovely time sewing up a t-shirt in June; this month we are stepping up and making ourselves a light sundress!

A reminder that for all sew-alongs in my Seams Legit series you need:

1. a machine with its manual; the machine needs to be tuned-up and sewing a balanced zig-zag

2. the supplies listed in the pattern, as well as a thorough read-through of the pattern you use

I demonstrate all my cutting with rotary and mat. You will need your fabrics pre-washed, and your fabric pieces cut by Friday the 28th at noon PST.

So! Let’s talk about this month’s project!

SUPPLIES:

Rotary cutter and mat

Sewing machine with balanced zig zag; sewing machine manual

Pattern

Thread and machine needle: universal or sharp
light woven fabric (lawn, voile, batiste or gauze)

Invisible zipper

Non-stretch interfacing (1/8″)

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, each project gets successively more complex. For this sundress, you will need to do the following:

1. read through this post, & purchase your pattern & supplies

2. create facings, pre-treat fabrics & cut your pieces (check here on the 20th)

3. sew with us live on the 28th (on
my FB page or my Twitch stream)!

For our pattern, we will be using a simple sleeveless dress pattern by Bootstrap fashion, featuring double box pleats at the skirt waist and very pretty chevron pleats in the fitted bodice. You can find the pattern here.

Like all Bootstrap, Tailornova, and Lekala patterns, you get to insert your own measurements and body proportions. This pattern therefore has a large size range:

waist: 17″ to 67″
hip: 17″ to 68″


We will be making a few changes: creating our own facings, adding pockets, and inserting a center back invisible zipper (instead of a side zip). I will be updating this post with a video on creating facings, on the 20th; set your calendar and check back to make sure you have time to do this.

You can either buy extra yardage, or print and cut the pattern out to determine your yardage (make sure you account for the facings we will be adding).

For this pattern, you first need to create your Bootstrap account if you haven’t already (I have a walk-through on this previous post). Then, you need to find the pattern, and take the following measurements to enter into the pattern generator:

Height
Bust
Underbust
Waist
Upper arm
Low hip

Belly protuberance

Each of these measurements has a little red asterisk (*) next to the input window, so you can see a helpful diagram of exactly how to take the measurement.

You may notice there are other measurements you can take; like the “Hips + Belly (Optional)”. Ignore these for now. Do make sure to select your seam allowance, and the PRINT option at 36″, to send to a copy shop (I use pdfplotting.com).

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them!

Please take your time making sure you have the exact measurements you need, and they are entered correctly. Make sure also, you have seam allowance selected and the correct PRINT format (36″).

This project takes more time to set up, than to actually sew. So do yourself a favor and get your pattern printed soon, calculate the yardage needed, buy your fabrics and notions, create your facings (on the 20th, here on this post), and prepare for our sewing date on the 28th!

I am always available here or through email. Any questions? Comment below!

2019 "Seams Legit" calendar
Kelly Hogaboom, T-shirt Livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: a t-shirt!

Kelly Hogaboom, T-shirt Livestream

It’s May (yay!), it’s sunny (wow!), and the spring spiders are visiting me in my studio (yikes)! We had a lovely time sewing up pyjama pants in April; this month we are stepping into another simple project in a knit fabric: a t-shirt!

A reminder that for all sew-alongs in my Seams Legit series you need:

1. a machine with its manual; the machine needs to be tuned-up and sewing a balanced zig-zag

2. the supplies listed in the pattern, as well as a thorough read-through of the pattern you use

I demonstrate all my cutting with rotary and mat. You will need your fabrics pre-washed and your paper pattern printed and cut, by Friday the 31st at noon PST.

So! Let’s talk about this month’s project!

There are many types of t-shirts out there; the one I’ve selected is about as simple as can be. This is Ellie & Mac’s “Everyday Tee”, and it features dolman sleeves (therefore no shoulder seam), a scoop neck, and a curvy shape (fuller in the bust and hip). Ellie & Mac has been so gracious as to offer us a 50% off coupon; simply enter the code Seamslegit to receive!

For our class I will be sewing on my domestic Pfaff, and finishing seams with a 3-thread serge; that said, I will also demonstrate how to construct the garment using a sewing machine only.

Kelly Hogaboom, T-shirt Livestream (Everyday Tee by Ellie & Mac)

Size range:

waist: 29″ to 60″
hip: 33 1/2″ to 63″

My advice is that you acquire the pattern, print the instructions off, pour a cup of coffee or tea, and read through it.

SUPPLIES:

   Rotary cutter and mat

   Sewing machine with balanced zig zag; sewing machine manual

 Thread and machine needle: universal, ballpoint, or jersey

 knit fabric with 50% 4-way stretch

The exact quantities of each material are detailed in your pattern, which is why it is important to read through the instructions before purchasing supplies. The Ellie & Mac pattern I chose is very beginner-friendly in that it goes through everything you could possibly want to know, before starting! The downside is that this can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner, so really take the time to read it through. If you have any questions, you can write them below.

Most people will sew this top up with a cotton lycra, or a bamboo, modal, or rayon lycra. Both options are wonderful; I personally love bamboo, and I further think that Nature’s Fabrics’ bamboo spandex jersey cannot be improved upon.

This is a simple and fast sew, but it’s a pretty fantastic one. Tweaking a t-shirt pattern to our exact favorite fit, is both a joy and an obsession of mine!

I am always available here or through email. Any questions? Comment below!

2019 "Seams Legit" calendar

Kelly Hogaboom, Pyjamas Livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: pyjama pants!

It’s April, and spring is well underway here in the Pacific Northwest! We had a lovely time sewing a bralette in March; and this month we are stepping into woven fabrics (literally) by creating a simple pair of pyjama pants with pockets!

Let’s talk about this month’s project!

Whether or not we know it at the time, most of us first start our sewing exploits with woven fabrics. They are stable, they are more generally available (many of us small-town stitchers get our start by using the quilting cottons from local shops) and for a variety of reasons they are used in more beginner projects and classes.

This has been changing of late, though. With the advent of more independent sewing pattern designers we are seeing far more patterns designed for knit fabrics. This has led to a larger baseline knowledge of knit-sewing in the DIY community, as well as many knit custom fabric suppliers – a wonderful change indeed!

For March: Bralette Sewing (Livestream)

“seams legit” sewing lesson: a bralette!

It’s March – already! We had a lovely time sewing briefs last month; this month we continue our lingerie efforts by making a bralette.

A reminder that for all sew-alongs you need:

1. a machine with it’s manual, tuned-up, that can sew a balanced zig-zag
2. the supplies listed in the pattern, as well as a thorough read-through of the pattern you use

From here on out we will be cutting with a rotary cutter and mat. March 15th I will also list some preparation work we can do for the bralette sew-along, to make sure our livestream class goes smoothly!

So! Let’s talk about this month’s project!

2019 "Seams Legit" calendar

“seams legit” calendar & schedule

Today we went live on Facebook and made up our Jalie socks; we had a great time! I was especially pleased that several people sewed their own socks along with me, and others gave feedback on the stream. This kind of participation really helps me create a helpful and coherent stream.

If you are just finding this post, but want to make the socks yourself, you can start at my materials list, and continue on.

Merlo Field Tee In White And Gold Velvet

the merlo field tee (a quick-and-dirty sewalong)

Merlo Field Tee In White And Gold Velvet

Look, I get it.

 

The holidays are intense. For those of us who celebrate – or who are shoehorned into celebrations – it gets hectic. We are barely staying afloat – balancing family responsibilities, meal-planning, travel and party arrangements – while struggling with all the regular bill-paying, job-holding, schedule-wrangling stuff we are used to.

 

Many of us are celebrating Thanksgiving – or some form of communal meal – this month. My suggestion for this very quick sew-along is to carve a little space to sew something cozy. Whether you are making this for a friend or your own enjoyment – a holiday gift or something warm and snuggly for yourself – this is a relatively quick project but a satisfying one.

Ban-Roll Tutorial

tutorial: ban-roll finishing

Ban-Roll Tutorial

I often get questions about teeny-tiny hems – on men’s shirts, baby clothes, or frocks. I tell them: use a ban-roll. They ignore this advice. They struggle. They have ripples. They ask for advice again. I say: use a ban-roll.

So, ban-roll is sewing notion, a a waistband stiffener used to provide structure inside a garment. It is also a notion we can cleverly repurpose as a teeny-tiny comb. I have yet to meet the fabric it cannot conquer! Shown above a semi-sheer dress in a single gauze. I not only finished the v-neckline with the ban-roll technique, I finished the highly-curved armscyes – without a ripple in sight. This was done to avoid facings – which are fiddly and would have shown through – and a lining, which would have changed the entire appeal of the garment.

You want to purchase ban-roll that is at least an inch wide, and make sure it has a weave to it; not all items advertised online have this weave. Cut a fairly long length; for necklines and armscyes about three feet is plenty. You will want more, if you use the ban-roll for hems.

After you cut your ban-roll strip, carefully cut the thick “selvedge” edge strand at one long edge (you can see this long edge at the top of the strip in the photograph below). Then peel more of the long strands, until you have a depth you like. Shown at the bottom of the strip below: about 3/16″. This corresponds to the 3/8″ hem allowance I have for these seams, since the depth of the ban-roll comb will be half the depth of the seam or hem allowance. Adjust your allowances, or your ban-roll comb, accordingly.


This is the armscye we’ll be tackling! Please note, there are tons of ban-roll tutorials out there that show how to do straight seams or very subtly curved hems. We’re about to tackle a deep curve.

Ban-Roll Tutorial

Place your ban-roll right up against the right side of your fabric, with the free end of the comb touching the raw edge of the fabric. The needle will magically travel over the comb. Now, stitch carefully – right up against the base of the comb. Your needle should just kiss that first long fiber on the left. Go slowly! If you stitch over the long strand, it’s kind of a pain and will muss your finished product a bit.

Ban-Roll Tutorial

Now here’s a bit of a tricky part. Look how severe the curve is, that I’m approaching. Instead of pulling the raw edge straight – as if you were serging a curve, say – simply sew slowly, take your left fingers in between the ban-roll and the fabric, and push (gently) the fabric into the foot. This finesse is how you avoid ripples in the final product!

Ban-Roll Tutorial

When you get to the end of your seam, you can carefully backstitch, or pull the work off the machine while making sure to snug the stitching line right up against the base of the comb. You can see below, how my stitching line has drifted off the comb base. Simply snug it right back down. This is important, before the next step – making sure the stitching line is right up against the comb base.

Ban-Roll Tutorial

Ban-Roll Tutorial

Next, you are going to fold the fabric over the ban-roll until the teeth of the comb are nestled in the fabric fold! Some people consider this a two step process. But when you’re done, you will have a nice double fold, and the wrong-side of your fabric will be facing the body of the ban-roll strip.

Ban-Roll Tutorial

Ban-Roll Tutorial

Next, stitch with the wrong-side of the fabric facing up, right on the inner fold of that baby hem. This essentially means you are turning the work and stitching back against the direction you came. Keep about 1/16″ in from that fold, and stitch slowly. If you come to a curve again, repeat the gentle – very gentle – pushing motion with your left fingers between the ban-roll strip and the fabric.

Ban-Roll Tutorial

Now, remove the work from the machine. Here is my curve – before pressing, it already looks pretty good!

Ban-Roll Tutorial

This is the fun part – you get to haul that ban-roll out of the finished hem – and you can reuse the strip many times! Gently tug it out of the seam. Even on very fragile fabrics, this has always gone beautifully.

Ban-Roll Tutorial

Gently press your hem/curve – and admire your results!

Ban-Roll Tutorial

Ban-Roll Tutorial

This technique is a lot of fun and provides lovely finishes. With practice you just get finer results each time.

Enjoy!

Ban-Roll Tutorial

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

tutorial: clean finish inseam pockets

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets
I can’t be the only person irritated by the fairly untidy nature of inseam pocket finishes. Often we are lining garments, and in that case there is no need for pocket finishes to be perfect. But for other articles of clothing – like hoodies or simple pants – these pocket finishes will be visible when the garment is inside-out.

I fiddled around and finally came up with a very quick, reliable, and easy method for a good pocket finish. This method uses a sewing machine for the stitching line and a serger for the finish, but you can also zig-zag and trim in place of serging.

Enjoy!

So first: cut your pieces as per usual, except use thread-tails, chalk or washable marker to mark your pocket position in the side seam, rather than clipping into the seam allowance.

Now, we have the four pocket pieces – I call them “kidney-shaped” although that’s not perfectly accurate:

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

We are going to serge-finish the curved edge first. Go around the very edge, careful not to trim any of the piece:

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

 

Now, we are going to serge the straight edge, leaving long tails:

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Next, take these long tails and, using a blunt darning needle, thread them through one of the curved seams and trim. You will end up with a perfectly-finished pocket seam:

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets
Now, finish the side seams only of both the front and back piece. Below you can see my black thread tail marking the pocket position:

 

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Pin your pocket to your side seam, right sides together:

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Stitch 1/8″ from the seam allowance, starting right at that pocket piece and performing a firm backstitch at the beginning and end of the stitching line. This garment is made with a 3/8″ seam allowance, so I stitched at 1/4″ from the finished edge:

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Now, either steam-or finger-press this last seam, then press it open such that the seam allowance faces to the pocket. Press again, if you like. Stitch 1/8″ from the seam along the full length of the pocket, catching all layers:

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Here is the underside of that understitching – it looks great!
Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

And here is the view from the public side of the garment:
Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Once you’ve completed the pocket join for all four pocket pieces, it’s time to join the shoulders and then the sleeves. Finish the sleeve long edges before joining to the body, join the sleeves as the armscye, and finish the armscye seam leaving long serge tails.

Next, pin the side seams of the garment together:

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

You want to really get your pocket pieces lined up exactly. Sometimes that understitched seam allowance will want to push towards the body of the shirt while you are sewing the side seam and pocket closed. To keep this from happening, I usually sew this long side seam from the sleeve hem, and then stop in the middle of the pocket curve. Then I flip the garment over, and sew up from the shirt hem, meeting in the pocket curve. This keeps the seam allowances from trying to push away from the pocket.

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

When you get to pinning your pocket curve, really make sure the pockets are lined up perfectly with one another. If you cut accurately and you did not trim anything with the serger blade, they will line up beautifully:

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Now, it’s time to sew that side seam. Take your time and really make sure your finished edges line up well together.
Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

When sewing toward that pocket I usually “cut over” from the side seam allowance, to stitch right on the finished edge of the pocket kidney pieces. You can of course maintain the garment seam allowance instead, and then go back over the serged edges with a stitching line on a second pass, if you like.

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Here is that underside of the pocket – it’s perfect!

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Finally, those long tails we have at the armpit? Knot these and then slip them into an inner serging channel. A firm finish, and a good-looking one too!

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

Those are some sexy pockets!

Tutorial: Clean-Finish Inseam Pockets

So to sum up, the method is fairly simple:

1. use thread marks, not clips, to mark pocket location
2. clean finish the entire kidney-shaped pocket piece
3. finish the side seams, leaving long serge-tails at the armpit and hem
4. sew the pockets to the side seams, right sides together
5. understitch the pocket side seam to the pocket
6. join the shoulders, sleeves, and then side seams of the garments, keeping a very exact seam allowance
7. continue to finish the shirt

Enjoy!