Kelly Hogaboom, Hoodie livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: a hoodie!

Kelly Hogaboom, hoodie livestream

Update: both videos are up (#1 and #2)! They are linked at the bottom of this post.

It’s July – already! We had a great time last month sewing up a sundress. This month we are making a zip hoodie! I know, I know – for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere it might be hot as balls outside. But the thing is, this means it’s also evening bonfire weather – and believe it or not, fall isn’t that far off.

You can sign up for this livestream event on Facebook, if you want a reminder and updates!

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 26th at noon PST. I will demonstrate the homework/fabric prep, in a video at the bottom of this post.

SUPPLIES:

 

Rotary cutter and mat

Sewing machine with balanced zig zag; sewing machine manual

pattern (children’s, women’s, men’s, or a bundle!)

Thread and machine needle: universal or ballpoint

stable 2-way stretch knit (35% stretch)

drawstring fabric & contrast fabric for drawstring eyelet

separating zipper

non-stretch interfacing (1/8 yard)

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, each project gets successively more complex. This hoodie – especially as it’s sewn in a stable knit – isn’t difficult at all – just a few steps. And the absolutely gorgeous details – like the little welt pockets? – are going to make you feel like a rock star when you’re finished!

So here’s what you need to do:

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

2. pre-treat your fabrics & cut your pieces

3. sew with us live on the 26th (on my FB page or my Twitch stream)!

Children’s:
chest: 19 3/4″ to 32″
hip: 20 1/4″ to 33 1/2″

Women’s:
chest: 29″ to 51 1/2″
hip: 31″ to 53 1/2″

Men’s:
chest: 33″ to 56″
hip: 33″ to 56″

So if you look below – for an individual with a chest of 40″, waist of 37″, and hip of 42″, you will see this individual falls within the Medium size. This is the size I will print and cut.

Kelly Hogaboom, hoodie livestream

Once you’ve determined the size you need, you will be cutting out your paper pattern and your fabrics. Below, I’ve attached both videos in the series. By the end of the first video you will have all your fabrics and interfacing strips cut out. By the end of the second, your hoodie will be completed.


[ video 1 ][ video 2 ]

Two notes:

In the first video, I only cut out two pocket pieces; you should cut out four.

In the second video, I baste-fit the front of the hoodie for the zipper insertion, then I abandoned this method to pin instead. The zipper insertion is the most difficult part of the hoodie. When you get to my baste-fitting adventure, ignore that part of the lesson. Relax and have a sip of tea, or read ahead, or tidy your sewing space.

Any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments below.

2019 "Seams Legit" calendar
Kelly Hogaboom, Sundress Livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: a sundress!

Kelly Hogaboom, Sundress Livestream

Update: all three of our videos are uploaded! You can follow along here:

[Video 1]
[Video 2]
[Video 3]

"Seams Legit" June 2019: sewing a sundress!

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. In addition, you will want to do your homework: prepping your paper pattern pieces, pre-treating and cutting out your fabrics. I will demonstrate how to do this at the end of this post.

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 yard)

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 (video here);

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

[Video 2]
[Video 3]

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).

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, and prepare for our sewing date on the 28th!

"Seams Legit" June 2019: sewing a sundress!
We prepare our paper pattern, create our facings and pockets, and cut and mark our fabrics.

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

2019 "Seams Legit" calendar
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!

Kelly Hogaboom, Thermal Socks Livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: thermal socks!

Update: the streaming class is available here on Facebook. A little of the audio is muted but only here and there; you should be able to follow along just fine.

Happy New Year!

Dear readers, I have been working very hard on developing my streaming sewing channel – with loads of help from you all! I am still working on some of the tech assembly – lights, and additional cameras and furnishings – and to that end your donations help me a great deal. If you have the funds, any amount helps. Thank you for your support!

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!

The Old Singer

tutorial: my favorite methods

I’ve pointed out before that my first sewing studio was a closet – a closet with a shag-green carpet (occasionally redolent with cat piss; joy!); and a closet I shared with my partner’s computer and with our clothes! This was in an impossibly-small studio apartment! There wasn’t even enough room for my sewing machine (a cheap plastic Kenmore my mother bought me) – I had to store it on the porch in a cabinet.

So I know all about how hard it is to “make space”.

Tutorial: Sewing A Button

tutorial: sew a button

When people learn I sew they often tell me, “Oh I can’t even sew on a button!” – it’s an oft-repeated phrase that means, essentially, one has no sewing skills whatsoever. But I find this phrase funny because actually, sewing on a button is more difficult than it seems!

Here I’ll illustrate how to enact a button installation – in this case on a folded edge of felt. My method hides thread tails and creates a very strong, and very tidy result. It can be used almost any place you need a button – whether a new garment, or a repair!

updates

So life has been busy!! and I’ve had a couple small but significant professional setbacks. I’ve also several medical tests and appointments lately (all of them are coming up perfectly healthy), and I’ve barely been keeping on top of my schedule. Times like this I’m grateful for my volunteer work as no matter what, I set my other stuff aside for that. I think the volunteer commitments keeps me sane and makes sure I’m at least a little productive, in a way that isn’t entirely self-centered or about my own specific concerns.

I’ve been writing and recording, too – and I don’t always make the time to post those updates. So – here you go!

My latest two podcast recordings:

Co-hosting with Tim Turner on The Bitter Bastard Nerdcast; The Last Jedi, Black Panther, Sleepaway Camp, and Gymkata.

Guest casting with Eric Moore on Effectively Speaking, discussing the medusa creature effects in both version of Clash of the Titans.

In writing: last week’s Weekly Roundup on B-movie BFFs: talking about two cheesy 80s action films.

In the studio: an 80s-style t-shirt, a tunic, and a pair of jeans (shipping overseas).

So life is pretty packed, but also fantastic. A few days ago we bought Nels the latest Switch game, and he is focused on dominating the game and honing his proficiency. Beeps is immersed in Splatoon2, tweeting about racial injustice, and drawing fan art on their new tablet.

Family life is incredibly busy, and I’m so grateful for such a creative and healthy foursome here.

 

 

vegan tailor, tying a bow tie

tutorial: bias-cut bow tie

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie

Bow ties never went out of style, but they are enjoying the spotlight again at the moment. My sons and partner all enjoy wearing this type of neckwear and it is not only satisfying to make them, it is the absolute perfect opportunity to add some panache to the wardrobe.

In order to make a bow tie, ideally you’d have a properly fitted one (or a mockup cut out of a piece of woven fabric) to make your pattern. If you are starting without a tie to trace, you will need to draw up your own. The shape of the tie is a long straight stretch for around the neck, ending in the trademark fish-like shape at the ends (there are doubtless many templates online). The bow tie shown here has a straight stretch of 5″ longer than my son’s neckline; that accounts for the knot to tie.

It can be fiddly getting the right length, but remember once you have it down you have the right tie for life. I recommend you purchase a high-quality adjustable tie (like the red swiss dot version shown below), tie it on your intended client, and make the pattern from there.

Shown below next to the tie I’m copying: the fabric I’ll be using – a gorgeous rayon faille – and a very lightweight knit interfacing. You will only need a feather- or lightweight interfacing and make sure it has stretch, or the loveliness of cutting on the bias will be for naught. If your interfacing is too thick the tie will be hard to turn.

You will also need blank paper and pencil, a transparent ruler, and tracing wheel and paper. We will be folding the example tie in half and tracing only 1/4 of the tie, then folding our paper and using our tracing implements to get the symmetrical shape.

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie

Below, I draw a “T” shape a little longer than 1/2 the length of the tie:

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie

Folding the tie in half, I place the short folded end a the base of the “T” with the wide end at the leg of this “T”, bisecting the entire tie. Then, I trace. Beware you don’t make the straight stretch of the tie any thinner than about 3/4″, or you may have trouble turning it.

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie
After tracing add your seam allowance to this 1/4 of the tie (I used a 3/8″). Then fold your paper down that long center line and trace both the stitching line and the seam allowance, using your carbon paper. So when you are finished, you will have half a tie traced, including seam allownaces.

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie

Instead of having a bulky center seam down the middle of the tie, I drafted a bias-seam for the join. This can seem confusing but it is quite simple. The short end of the tie (the top of the “T” I drew above) represents the center line (back of the neck) of the tie. Simply draw a 45 degree angle through the center of the tie, and add your seam allowance to that line.

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie
Now, take your fabric and fuse your stretch interfacing:

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie
And place the tie pattern piece on the fabric; remember, you will want 4 of these pieces in total:

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie
Now, we get to sew. You want a fairly firm stitch – say 2.0 mm or so – as you’ll be trimming these seams pretty closely before turning. Take the tie pieces to the machine and sew the short bias ends together; joining your four pieces into two:

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie
Press these seam allowances open and grade them. You can use this opportunity to tie the tie around the neck of your recipient, to make sure the length is appropriate.

Now, place your long tie pieces right sides together, and stitch, leaving a 2″ or so gap in one of the long straight edges (but not where the bias seams are joined):

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie
Go slowly around the curves; this is going to yield a beautiful result!

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie

Cut the corners of the tie ends, and then trim the entire tie down to about 1/8″. Again, this is where you need to make sure your stitches are tight and firm enough the seams will not unravel later:

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie
Now, we get to turn the tie! This can be tedious, but is best accomplished gently and with a chopstick or similar high-falutin’ turning tool:

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie
Now press, carefully! I was so pleased that my tie is the precise length I was aiming for, even with my fancy little bias-cut seam:

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie
Next, all we have to do is slip-stitch our little gap closed:

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow TieTutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie+
And – all finished! Provided our finished accessory is the right size, we now have a paper template and can make as many gorgeous ties as we like.

Tutorial: Bias-cut Bow Tie
And of course: how to tie it:

vegan tailor, tying a bow tie