Yes, I said perfect. I’ve made a lot of turned hems over the years. The official Right Way To Do It(tm) involves ironing. While that’s a great habit in sewing, it takes time and it’s a little risky when you have two cats in the room. I forget where I stumbled upon this technique, but it works like a charm even for those of us who suffer from advanced iron-itis.
Month: August 2010
Sometimes, fabrics don’t play nice. Like, you have a wonderfully soft, light weight, breathable, utterly perfect fabric you want to use for a chemise, or you found the perfect silk chiffon for a veil, and it’s all wonderful-roses-happy-puppies-GLORIOUS… Until you try to cut it, and shifts all over the blasted place and you can’t get a straight line. Oh, bother… Time to pull a thread. I find this the most tediously annoying process in the entire history of ever*, but there are times when it is the only way you’re going to cut a straight line.
“Stay Stitch inside the seam allowance” is a fairly common instruction in patterns. Generally, stay stitching is used to make certain that the fabric of a garment will not stretch out during the sewing process. It’s also a dandy cheater hem, which will fray (but only so far – it’s a controlled fray). Sometimes, that’s exactly the look you want.
The “selvedge” (not “salvage”, which is what I always thought my mother was saying) edge of the fabric is created as the fabric is woven on the loom, as the weft is taken back and forth. It’s a completely finished edge. Wise use of selvedge edges can make your costuming life much easier, but you need to know when you can and can’t use it.
The machine rolled hem is, of course, completely not period before the advent of sewing machines and special task machine feet. But it’s neat, it’s quick once you get the hang of it, and it’s a fantastic way to finish simple linens.
I wrote this a little while back. It’s simply a chart of hoop sizes to mimic the shape and angle of the Alcega farthingale. The chart is indexed by waist size and waist to ground measurement. The full story of all the maths used to create this chart is available here.
I realize that instructions are far more helpful when you can print them out and put them on the worktable while you’re using them. I also realize that pages upon pages of full color photos do not a happy printer make. I’ve made a not-so-chatty (yes, I actually can edit) PDF version of the Basic Conical Draft directions, redone with black&white line art.
…she has another website.