Expand Your Knowledge Through Patterns to Get a Professional Finsh

How are those Spring and Summer Wardrobes coming???  I would say I am about half way through my list - WOHOO!!!!!

We have some super fun things going on this week that you do NOT want to miss out on - they will certainly get your creative juices flowing.

1st - Here on the main blog we are going to be looking at patterns that teach you new techniques and expand your skill set to achieve professional looking finishes.

2nd - On the Featured Designers Page, we have a week of Designer Pattern Swaps.  These designers have sewn up each others patterns and are sharing all the fun with you - plus there are giveaways and TONS of SALES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3rd - On our Sew Along Feed, we will be sewing along with Kids Clothing Week Challenge.  This is an awesome week long event that encourages you to sew for one hour each day to see what you can create for your kiddos.  This is the perfect time - since is corresponds with our Spring Summer Wardrobe Collections.  And there is a fun theme: Wildthings!!!


It has been said that patterns are not meant to 'teach' sewing.... and while it may be true that not all PDF designers embrace the idea of being a teacher, you can still learn a ton through the patterns that you select and sew. 

To kick off this week I am sharing one of my own patterns: The Bateau Garden Dress.

In this pattern there are a few techniques that may be new to you(invisible side zipper, bias tape hem on a circle skirt, double box pleats, and a fully lined bodice with no top stitching) , but are great to add to your repertoire.  Once you have mastered a new skill or technique, you can then use it in other patterns you own as well expanding what you can do with your pattern collection.

Today we'll look more closely at the invisible zipper and the bias hem.

Invisible zippers are probably one of my favorite types of zipper- they go in fairly easily and give a clean professional finish.  And I am big on finished garments looking professional.  I'm going to tell you a few of my zipper secrets to getting a perfect zipper every time.

1 - Pick a zipper that matches your fabric color as closely as possible.  Now I can be my own rule breaker - right, but I get annoyed every time I look at my gorgeous cover dress because the zipper is white and stands out to me (this is what happens when you can't get to the store and have only one color on hand) - the whole point of an invisible zipper is INVISIBILITY!  So for my latest dress I finaly got out and got some more colors - including black to go with this stunning new fabric from Carol Van Zandt - Luna Lounge.  Yay a zipper that blends!

2 - Get close to those teeth!!!!  As I sew, I roll the teeth out of the way with one hand to get even closer.  The closer you are to those teeth, the more invisible your zipper will be.  Practice with a super long basting stitch on scrap fabric to get the hang of it.

3- After you pin the second side in place, zip up your zipper to make sure everything is lined up. This is soooooooooooooooo important!!!  Nothing makes a garment look 'home made' faster than a zipper that doesn't match up.  So adjust and re adjust until things are lined up just as they should be.

Zippers may seem daunting, but they are a skill that is important to learn, and learning how to do them will open up a world of projects to you!

Now how about that bias hem?   This one is soooooo easy and will change the way you look at hemming and circle skirts forever!!!

1 - Have fun with your bias tape.  It can be store bought or hand made, just know that it is going to show!

2 - sew the second row of stitch carefully, making sure that your bobbin thread matches your main fabric and your top thread matches your bias.  Nothing cheapens a look like thread that doesn't match (a design choice of contrasting thread is fine, just make sure it is consistent through out your project).

3 - the reason a bias hem makes a circle skirt so much easier is that the bias stretches around the curve giving you a crisp clean finish, rather than fighting the curve with a turned hem and ending up with puckers - ewwwwwww.

I hope you have enjoyed this look at some techniques that will help you achieve the perfect professional finish for your garments.  Stick around all week for more, and keep working on those wardrobes, I'll have a fun surprise to announce soon!