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Beginners Question And Answers / Re: sewing a pillow form
« on: March 10, 2018, 07:01:36 AM »
Yes, they are the same thing. Any other questions feel free to ask. That's what the forum is designed for - many others check these posts every day, so it isn't just helping you!

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Introduce Yourself / Re: Hello from Linda in Texas
« on: March 05, 2018, 10:13:22 PM »
Great meeting you Linda. Glad to be getting more and more experienced seamstresses joining the forum!

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Introduce Yourself / Re: Hello from Alberta, Canada
« on: March 03, 2018, 08:27:29 PM »
Wow you are experienced Alberta! Look forward to your comments and knowledge here. Good to have you.

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Sewing Machine / Re: Sewing machine feet
« on: February 28, 2018, 08:16:24 AM »
The Viking feet might be expensive (they are) but they are worth it. For some reason they seem particular engineered to do the task. Just my two cents worth, and I have had Kenmore, Janome, and Pfaff feet. Good feet, but the Viking feet are making thier particular tasks so much easier. Try some from SewingMachine221Sale where the prices are lower and the service is excellent.

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Patterns / Re: fitting jeans for curves
« on: February 28, 2018, 08:04:09 AM »
McCalls 5894 lets you adjust the back waist to eliminate the gap. It’s also a good lesson in fitting jeans, though the leg styles might be wider than you want. I have read that one individual had to take in an extra inch at the top of the back waistband— so that could be why RTW won't fit.

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Patterns / Re: Altering Trouser/Pant patterns
« on: February 26, 2018, 11:48:23 AM »
If you're doing a pattern that uses a full elastic waist, the alterations for waist are already done for you, because they've just made the top as wide as the hip, and are letting the elastic bring in that inch at the waist.

The major alterations you'll actually be facing are the shape of the crotch curve, the slant of the waist, and the fit of the leggings.

Have you located a pattern you want to try?

If so, here's how I suggest you proceed, after you choose a plain, preferably light colored, fabric similar in drape to what you want for the finished trousers, and procure a twill tape or piece of selvage or a bootlace large enough to tie around your waist. Elastic crawls, and for fitting purposes, you don't want it to do so.

1) Add 2"/5 cm of height at the waist for fitting purposes.
2) Increase seam allowances to 1" (2.5 cm)
3) Cut the pattern pieces meticulously on-grain.
4) Before sewing anything together, take each leg section and fold it in half lengthwise, matching the inseam/hem corner and outseam/hem corner. Press the crease you get straight up the leg, from hem to waist, or chalk it in on the fabric with something that will show up well in photos. Do that on both legs, front and back. That is the actual grainline of the pattern, despite the pattern company's offset wimpy little arrows.
5) Mark some horizontal balance lines at the fullest part of your belly and backside, at crotch level and probably about knee level (make a guess... exact placement is not critical). These lines must be perpendicular to the grainline. Chalk or mark those in with something you can see in photos.

Sewing order from here on out is going to sound like heresy, but it makes it easier to fit your pattern:

1. Construct any pockets that are part of the front design of the pants, like the J front pocket on jeans, and *sew them shut*. If there are pockets that will be inserted in the side seams, just ignore them for now. We don't want the pockets to gap open while you're fitting, giving you misleading information on ease, etc., which is why you sew them shut.

2. Sew the two fronts together at the crotch seam WITH THE CROTCH SEAM ALLOWANCE TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE PANTS*. Do not press or clip this seam allowance.

3. Sew the two backs together at the crotch seam, just like you did on the front.

4. **Sew the joined front to the joined back at the side seam and inseams, with the seam allowance to the inside of the pants. Press the seams open.

5. Press up the hem at least an inch shorter than you think you'll wear them. You don't want the hem touching the floor or your feet, so the legs can fall free.

5. Put on your very peculiar-looking pair of pants, with the crotch seam allowance on the outside, and hoist them up till they are comfortable. Tie the pants around your middle with the twill tape (selvage, bootlace...) -- you want the twill tape to be tight enough the pants aren't going to move without help, but not so tight you can't breathe or you feel like you're being cut in half.

6) Stand in front of the mirror and look at the results. If the pattern is perfect for you, the side seams will be straight up and down, the grainlines on the legs will be straight up and down, and the horizontal lines will all be parallel to the floor, front and back and in side view. The crotch will feel good, there will be no wrinkles anywhere, and when you sit, the waistline of the pants will not move and you'll feel comfortable. That's in a perfect world.

In the real world, you'll start by straightening the pants so the grainline on the legs are vertical and the horizontal lines are as horizontal as you can manage just by pulling the pants up and down at the waist under the twill tape. Now sit. Does the back waist remain where it was, or does it want to pull down? If it pulls down, we need to tinker with the shape of the crotch seam, and possibly with the amount of crotch extension. I'm going to stop there on fitting instructions till you've had a chance to tell us what you discover.

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*Crotch seam allowance sewn to the outside lets us tinker with the shape of the crotch seam without needing to trim and clip the curve, which can be useful.

** Sewing the complete front to the complete back lets us tinker with the amount of crotch extension easily.

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Fabrics / Re: Toddler leggings and sweatpants material?
« on: February 22, 2018, 09:44:48 PM »
Try using cotton/lycra blend for leggings. The knees won't bag out and they are comfortable to wear.

For sweatpants there are so many options. Some are french terry, regular knit terry, fleece, velour (love!) and sweatshirt fabric. They have all held up to the crawling stage. They will last and can be passed down to other kids! You don't have to worry about them wearing out except maybe jammie pants made out of normal shirt type knits. Those end up shredded at the knees usually for boys being crazy kids. I have to rehem to shorts before handing them down. They last for several months for an 8 yr old. For a toddler they grow too fast to wear out.

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Fabrics / Re: Micropleated fabric
« on: February 22, 2018, 09:39:50 PM »
It definitely takes some getting used to working with it. If you have good results be sure to post them or send them to me to post them! I look forward to hearing how it turned out. All the best to you on it.

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Fabrics / Re: Micropleated fabric
« on: February 21, 2018, 12:00:27 PM »
The spray might work, but I'm skeptical - the spray would hit only the top parts of the pleated fabric, and that might not be sufficient to keep the pleats in place as they move under the presser foot.

The greatest problem is stitching seams perpendicular to the direction of the pleating/crinkling.

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Fabrics / Re: Micropleated fabric
« on: February 21, 2018, 11:55:33 AM »
Micropleated fabric is very beautiful but you have to get used to working with it, and some never do.

The zig-zag stitch and sharp needle are essential as you already seem to know. The walking foot should help as well.

What type of thread are you using? Keep in mind that micro pleated fabric doesn't work with cotton thread. You can use polyester, but it really was created for the use of silk thread (yes I know, expensive.)

Try to stitch the seams in the "valley" of one of the pleats. Then press the seam as it was sewn (to meld the stitching) and trim to a narrow width of ¼ inch or less. Overcast by hand or with the zigzag stitch. You could also create your seams with a three-thread serged stitch if the stitching does not show through to the front side. Test your fabric first for best results.

Note that hems are best avoided in this fabric. Cut your garment so the hem falls on the selvedge of the fabric. If you must clean-finish a hem, cut bias strips of the fabric and press them as flat as possible. Then use these strips as a narrow edge binding.

Hope this helps, many seamstresses won't touch micropleated because it can be difficult to work with unless you do so properly.

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A dart is no place for anything other than a smooth, straight, no puckered line. Plus, it's easier to pick out the stitches if you have to do that. So straight stitch is best.

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SewPoplular.Com Questions / Sign Up As A SewPopular.Com Member FREE!
« on: February 18, 2018, 05:26:36 PM »
Many have heard about my membership site where I have great instructional videos, tip videos and techniques. There are also new articles that will be added regularly, in addition to tools - all dealing with sewing!

Then there is the bonus section of SewPopular. This area is for those that want to learn to turn their sewing talents (whether a newbie or experienced) into a money making venture. There is training videos, plenty of business tools, and you can even run your entire sewing business from the members area if you like!

Sign up below, ABSOLUTELY FREE!:

https://sewpopular.com

Any questions be sure to ask here in this section of the forum.

Shannon Leger
SewPopular.Com

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Beginners Question And Answers / Re: dress forms
« on: February 18, 2018, 09:55:47 AM »
I actually posted an article about dress forms on my blog. The link to it is below - In my opinion dress forms are great to use even as a beginner. It will get you used to fitting the dress better, for yourself or even if you eventually have customers.

http://shannonssewandsew.com/2018/01/11/should-i-buy-a-dressmaker-form-mannequin/

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Introduce Yourself / Re: Jamie
« on: February 18, 2018, 09:26:44 AM »
So glad that you joined us Jamie. Any questions let us know, and myself and others will do our best to help!

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