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SEWALONG SEWING TUTORIALS

LANDER SEWALONG DAY 5 – WAISTBAND / BUTTONS / HEM

September 22, 2017

Welcome back for the last day of the Lander sewalong. I am so excited to finish these up and see all of your versions. Let’s get started.

 

Step 20 – First thing we are going to do is baste the side seams and check for fit. To create a basting stitch, all you need to do is lengthen your stitch length as far as it goes so that it’s easy to unpick if need be.

Flip the back pant around so that the right side of the back and right side of the front are touching. Line up the side seams and pin.

Baste at a 1” seam allowance. The 1″ seam allowance gives you lots of wiggle room in case you need to let it out a bit around the hip etc…

Try the pants on, and adjust as necessary. Make sure that you pin the fly closed when you try them on to get an accurate idea of fit once the buttons are on. You may also want to try them on inside out so that you can easily pin the areas you want to adjust. (The seam allowance at the waist must stay at 1” so that the waistband will match up correctly, but you can tweak around the hips to get a perfect fit.) If you find that you need more room in the waist you will need to cut a new waistband. If you want to take it in at the waist you can make due, although your notches will not match up and you will need to trim some off of center front.

Return your stitch length to normal. Stitch each outside side seam. If necessary, unpick any visible basting stitches.

Trim the seam allowances down to 1/2”. Finish the seam allowances together in your desired manner ( I’m serging) and press towards the back pant or short. Turn the whole garment right side out.

 

Step 21 – Fold the long edges of the belt loop piece together, right sides touching. Sew along the long edge at 1/2” seam allowance.

Trim the seam allowance to 1/8”.

Using a loop turner or safety pin, turn the tube right side out. Press the tube flat so that the seam is along the center back.

Edgestitch at 1/8” along both sides. Cut the tube into 5 equal 3 1/2″ sections. Discard any extra.

Step 22 – With the right side of the belt loop touching the right side of your pant or short, pin one raw edge flush against the top edge.

One should be centered over the center back seam, the next two centered over the side seams, and the last two flush with the inside edge of the front pockets. Baste the belt loops to hold them in place.

 

Step 23 – Press the unnotched long edge of the waistband up by 3/8”, wrong sides touching.

With 1/2” hanging off of the center front edges and right sides touching, pin the notched side of the waistband to the top of the pant / short. The notches on the waistband will match up with the notches on the front pant / short, the sideseams, and center back.

 

Step 24 – Starting at the left center front edge, stitch around the whole waistband, ending at the right center front edge. If you get a little pinch in your fabric like I did below, unpick that area and then ease it back in. This can easily happen since the waistband is stabilized with interfacing and the pant which isn’t may grow a bit with sewing.

Grade the seams to reduce bulk. To do this, trim the pant seam allowance to 1/4″ and the waistband seam allowance to 3/8″.

 

Step 25 – Press the whole waistband up and away from the main pant, and over the seam allowance.

 

Step 26 – Take the folded edge of the waistband and pull it down (right sides touching) towards the waistband seam along the right center front so that it overlaps it by about 1/16”. Pin.

Stitch at 1/2” seam allowance so that it is flush with the fly. Repeat for left side and clip corners.

 

Step 27 – Flip the waistband right side out. On the inside waistband, make sure that folded edge covers the seam by about 1/16” and pin in place. Press the whole waistband so that you get a nice squared edge at each center front corner.

 

Step 28 – On the front of the pant, stitch in the ditch in the seam between the main pant / short and the waistband, catching the edge of the folded waistband on the inside of the garment. The goal is that this stitching is virtually invisible since it is hidden in the joining of at seam. If you don’t catch the inside waistband for small amounts, don’t worry as you will be edgestitching in the next step which will catch it.

outside

inside

 

Step 29 – Starting at center back, edgestitch at 1/8” around the entire perimeter of the waistband, pivoting at each corner.

Step 30 – Stitch on top of each belt loop 1/4” below the waistband seam. You want this stitching to be secure so stitch back and forth a few times.

Press the belt loop upwards.

Fold the top down by about 1/2” so that it is flush with the top of the waistband. Press and pin.

Stitch back and forth a few times, about 1/8” from the top, to secure.

 

Step 31 – Sew the buttonhole on the waistband according to the marking on your waistband pattern piece. If you have some, use fray check at this time to reinforce your buttonholes.

Open all four of your buttonholes. If you don’t have a buttonhole opener you may have a hard time opening them since there are so many layers. You might want to consider getting one in the future if you think you will be sewing a lot of pants or jeans. It makes life so much easier. Although I have also heard that razor blade and a steady hand do wonders in a pinch.

 

Step 32 – With your fly lined up, use a disappearing pen or similar tool to mark your buttonhole placement through your cut buttonholes. The marking should be on the inside (closest to center front) edge of your buttonhole.

Attach your buttons to the right fly and right waistband accordingly. If you are using jeans buttons and this is your first time, don’t fret. It’s easier than you think. Use a sharp object like an awl to poke a hole.

Put the male end of the button through the back of the hole and then place the female part on top of that.

Turn it upside down onto a hard surface and use a hammer to hit the back of the button so that it secures it in to the front section. You can kind pull on the button to make sure that it is attached, but you can usually feel it securing.

 

Step 33 – Fold the bottom raw edge of the pant or short up by 1/4”, wrong sides touching, and press.

For the shorts, fold up by another 1”. For the pants, fold up by another 3”. Because there is such a wide hem, this is a good place to try on the pants and adjust the length a bit. Pin and press.

Topstitch at 7/8” for the shorts and 2 7/8” for the pants.

 

That’s it, you are finished! Give the whole thing a final press and wear them proudly. I will take photos of mine and post them on the blog next week. Please tag me if you post yours so I see them. You can use the tags #landerpant #landershort and #truebias.

 

If you have any questions or comments, please comment below or send me an email. Thank you for sewing along!

SEWALONG SEWING TUTORIALS

LANDER SEWALONG DAY 4 – CROTCH AND FLY

September 21, 2017

Welcome back for more sewing today with the Lander Sewalong. Today we are going to tackle the crotch and also the fly. If you have sewn normal zipper fly before, I think you will love trying this button fly. It’s much easier. If you have never sewn a fly before all, this is a really good first one to start on.

 

Step 11 – First we are going to finish the seam allowances of each of the inner legs separately. I am going to serge them. They have to be done separately now so that they can be pressed open once stitched. Otherwise you will end up with a lot of bulk right at the bottom of your crotch which just isn’t comfy.( I accidentally serged the crotches first. Don’t do that. You can do that in step 12. Ooops.)

Pin one front to the coordinating back along the inner leg, right sides together. Stitch at your normal 1/2″ seam allowance. For Views B and C, you may find that the distance between the crotch and first notch is a bit longer on the back leg than the front, if so,  you will need to stretch it slightly to fit.

Press seam allowances open. Repeat for other leg.

 

Step 12 – Finish the seam allowances of the right and left crotch separately.

Pin the left leg to the right leg along the crotch seam with right sides touching. Starting at center back and backstitching, stitch until you get to the dot on center front. Backstitch at dot to secure.

 

Step 13 – Finish the outside curved edge of the left fly with either a zig zag stitch or serger.

With right sides touching, pin the straight edge of the left fly to the center front edge of the left short or pant. Let the back pant and right front fall down and out of the way during this step. I like to put one pin right at the dot to help me know where to stop stitching.

Stitch from the top down to the dot and stop, backstitching. It’s better to stop one or two stitches short, than to stitch too far. If you go too far and catch the right side, you will need to unpick. If you stop a bit too short, there will be more topstitching and such to secure that area in the next few steps so don’t worry too much.

Grade the seam you just stitched by trimming the seam allowance of the interfaced fly to reduce bulk.

 

Step 14 – Flip the left fly to the inside of the left front and press.

Fold in the seam allowance of the bottom section of the fly that was not stitched and press.

 

Step 15 – With your pant right side out, place the stitching guide provided with your pattern pieces on the left fly.

Mark along the outside edge for the curved topstitching and transfer the markings for the buttonholes.

Starting at the top of the pant, sew the curved topstitching down the left fly, backstitching at the end.

Next, stitch the buttonholes.

Turn your garment inside out and clip the seam allowance of the right front crotch curve 1/2” below the dot.

 

Step 16 – Fold the right fly in half with right sides touching. Sew along the bottom angled edge.

Clip the corner and trim the seam allowance.

Turn right side out and press.

Finish the long open edge with a zigzag stitch or serger.

 

Step 17 – Like you did for the left side, pin the right fly to the right front. Let the left side and back fall down and out of the way.

Stitch from the waistline down until the dot. Backstitch to secure. Just like the left fly, it’s better to be a few stitches too short than too long. Make sure that you are not catching the edge of the left fly in the process.

Flip the right fly to the inside of the short or pant.

 

Step 18 – Press the seam allowances below the clip towards the left pant. I like to use a tailor’s ham to help get all of the seam allowances on the crotch towards the left leg without making any creases.

Topstitch at 1/8” through all layers from the right side, starting at the dot, backstitching, and ending at the top back waistline.

 

Step 19 – Pin the fly so that everything is laying flat and lined up. To help secure the fly, sew a small (about 1/2” long) bartack through all layers at the bottom of the curved stitching and another at an angle just below the first buttonhole. I like a zigzag width of about 2.5mm and length of about 0.2mm for my bartacks, but that is preference. You may want to try a few on some scrap fabric to figure out your preference.

 

That’s it for today. Tomorrow we will completely finish our pants and shorts which includes sideseams, waistband, hemming, and buttons.

PATTERNMAKING SEWALONG SEWING

LANDER SEWALONG DAY 3 – DARTS AND POCKETS

September 20, 2017

I am super excited to get started today on actually sewing up our Lander Pants and Shorts. If you havn’t done so already, go ahead and cut out all of your pattern pieces from your fabric. Make sure that you also transfer all marking from your pattern pieces to your fabric. There are quite a few ways to do this. Generally I just make a small snip for all notches and use my Chalk pen for everything else. It keeps it simple. The darts should be marked on the wrong side our your fabric, and the back pocket markings should be marked on the right side of your fabric.

OK, let’s get going.

Step 1 – Fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of the curved edge of the front pocket pieces, the waistband, and the left fly. Make sure that your fly looks like the diagram in your instructions with the interfacing facing up. Otherwise you might fuse it to the wrong side of the fly and then the left fly will be backwards.

 

Step 2 – Before sewing, make sure that you have the correct needle in your sewing machine. Especially if your fabric is on the heavier side, you are going to want to use a heavy duty or even a jeans sewing machine needle. It will really make a difference when you are sewing through multiple layers of fabric.

Sew the darts on both back pieces and press the excess in towards center back. I really like using a tailor’s ham when I press darts because it supports the bulge that you just sewed. You can also use a rolled up towel.

 

Step 3 – Prepare your back pockets by folding the top down by 1/4”, wrong sides touching, and pressing.

Take the pressed edge and fold it again, right sides touching, at the two notches. Pin and press.

 

Step 4 – Starting at the top folded edge, backstitch and sew down one side of the pocket at 1/2” seam allowance. Once you get to the bottom corner, leave the needle down and pivot to sew along the bottom of the pocket, pivot again and sew up the other side. Backstitch at the end.

I know it is hard to make out in my navy fabric so here is a closeup of the top corner.

Clip the top corners to reduce bulk and flip the folded area right side out.

Once you turn the top, the two sides will begin folding in as well. Press each of the two side edges and bottom in at 1/2”, using the stitch line as a guide.

 

Step 5 – Make sure that the folded section on the top of the pocket is an even width and that each corner has a nice point. Pin and press. Edgestitch 1/8” from the fold.

Step 6 – Pin the side and bottom edges of the pockets to the back pant pieces where the markings indicate.

Judge me if you will, but I really like using a gluestick for this step. You can get fabric gluesticks or be like me and steal your kids washable gluestick from their art box. (I am going to edgestitch like the instructions tell you to do here, but I actually recommend that you baste the edges at this time and do the final edgestitching once you can try your pants on to make sure that you like the placement of the pockets). Edgestitch around the sides and bottom at 1/8”, backstitching at the beginning and end. Set your back pant pieces aside for now.

 

Step 7 – Trim about 1/16” off of the curved edge and two straight interior edges of the front pocket lining pieces. This will help the lining to roll to the inside after stitching, making sure it is not visible on the finished garment.

 

 

Step 8 – With right sides touching, pin the curved edge, and the two straight interior edges of each front pocket to its coordinating pocket lining. Since the lining is a bit smaller, the main pocket will bubble a bit. Don’t worry about that.

Stitch. Leave the top and outside edges unstitched. Don’t worry if it’s still pulling a bit at this time. Once turned right side out it will be fine.

 

Step 9 – Trim the stitched seams to reduce bulk. Clip the corner and curved edge so that they turn well.

Turn the pockets right side out and press. The lining should not be visible from the right side.

If you are still having problems with the lining being visible, you can pinch a bit of the lining out using a straight pin and then press. It will leave some extra fabric in the lining, but once it is all stitched down you won’t notice at all. It’s more important that you don’t see the lining on the front of the garment.

Edgestitch the curved edge of each front pocket at 1/4”. Press.

 

Step 10 – Pin the pockets to the fronts, matching notches.

Edgestitch around the two straight edges of the front pockets at 1/8”.

Increase your stitch length and baste the top and side of the pockets to the front pant just to make it easier when assembling the rest of the pant or short.

 

OK, that’s it for today. Lot’s of fun progress already. I hope you are loving how they turn out. Comment or email me with questions and tomorrow we will pick up where we left off and we will tackle the crotch and fly.

 

PATTERNMAKING SEWALONG SEWING

LANDER SEWALONG DAY 1 – PRINTING & ASSEMBLING YOUR PATTERN

September 18, 2017

Hands down the most frequent email I get is about printing pdf patterns. I know that for some of you this is redundant, but indie sewing has come a long way in the four years I have been doing this, so I figured it was time for a refresher.

Download and Unzip

The first thing to remember when downloading your pattern is to do so on a computer and not a phone or ipad. I know that you may have been able to do so with other pattern designers, but all True Bias patterns are zipped and ipads and phones are not able to open zipped files. And if you try you will likely run out of your downloads. Once you are at a computer, download the pattern to a safe place (I like dropbox myself). If you don’t know where the file downloaded to you can always search your computer for “True Bias” and you should be able to find it. Next you need to unzip or extract the file. Once you do you will have a folder with all of the files in it.

Making Sense of the Files

Now that you have all of the files in front of you, what do they all mean? Let’s go through them all.

Instructions

First you will look for the one with Instructions in the title. This is going to have all of the sizing, fabric layouts, and step by step instructions for sewing the pattern. It is set up to be printed on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper on your home printer, but a lot of people choose to save on ink and just keep this on their computer, or email it to yourself so you can access it on your ipad or phone.

Copy Shop – A0 or US

Next look for the files labeled Copy Shop. These patterns are for those of you who do not want to tape together the pattern at home and want to send it to a copy shop so that it’s printed on one large sheet. There are two different types of Copy Shop files to choose from. If you are in the US use the US Copyshop files which will fit on the standard 36″ width of commercial printers and will be delivered in one long sheet. You can send it to Kinkos or Staples or your local print shop. Although if you have a week to wait for shipping, I highly recommend using PDF plotting. I put an order in with them every month or two for the next few projects I work on and it’s much cheaper than the alternative. Cashmerette has a great blog post on sending out Copy Shop files you should check out. I’ve also learned recently the Pattern Review will make print on demand Copy Shop files. Check out this post for more information.

If you are out of the US and your local printers use AO sizing then pick the AO Copy shop files. Just like the US version, you can send it to your local printer of choice. The files will fit into the standard 841mm x 1189mm size. Depending on the pattern these either come as one sheet or may come as multiple AO sized sheets that need to be taped along the top and bottom edges.

If you want to know the size of a Copy Shop pattern you can open it in Adobe Reader and move your cursor to the bottom left hand corner. The dimensions will pop up. You will need this when using an online printer so that you know what size paper to print it on.

For the Lander pant and short pattern, the Copy Shop files are divided into shorts (View A) or pants (Views B and C). You can print just one if you think you will sew only that view.

Since the Copy Shop files can be pricey, a lot of sewists choose to trace their pattern pieces at this point. This allows you to use the pattern again at a future date if you want to make another size or make adjustments.

Print at Home

The last option is the Print at Home Pattern. Use this if you want to print and assemble the pattern yourself. It is certainly the cheapest way to go. Yes, it takes some extra time, but I personally love being able to reprint the pattern if needed to down the line. And it’s pretty simple to do it once you get the hang of it.

Open the Print at Home file in Adobe Reader (it’s very reliable and free!). File -> Print. Your settings should look something like this.

My patterns are all black and white so you can check Print in Grayscale. Next, under pages to print, check All. Continuing down, under Paper and Sizing check Actual Size. This is very important. If you tell it to fit, it will make your whole pattern too small. Lastly, under Orientation you can leave it on Auto. Now you can print.

Tip: It’s not a bad idea to print off the first page by itself, measure the 3 x 3 inch square, and make sure everything is correct before printing the entire pattern.

Assembling Your Print at Home Pattern

If you chose to print your pdf pattern at home, you will need to print and assemble it. There are lots of ways you can do this, but here is the method that works for me. I take 5 pieces of paper at a time and trim the top and right sides off only.

If you don’t have a paper cutter you can do so with scissors, but if you think you will be assembling a lot of pdf patterns in your future, I highly recommend getting one.

Next, assemble the first row by by overlapping the the trimmed right edge of one piece of paper over the untrimmed left edge of the next piece.

You need to line up the gray circles and tape in place.

Once you make an entire row, set it aside and do the same thing to the next row.

Now tape the trimmed top edge of the second row over the untrimmed bottom of the first row. Match up those circles and tape into place. Continue to do this for the entire pattern until it is all assembled.

Every once in awhile you may find that something is off by 1/32″ here or there. That is inevitable. It may be an error when cutting or it might just be that your printer interpreted a line a bit differently than intended. Please don’t fret about it. That small amount of difference will not change the outcome of your finished garment. Instead, just interpret where the lines connect accurately and keep going. I promise it will be fine.

 

When choosing which size to cut out, refer to the sizing guide below or on your instructions.

Measure your full hip and natural waist (smallest part of your waist at the bellybutton). There is a bit of wiggle room in the hip (the seam allowances on the side seams are extra wide and there is a step in the instructions to baste and then adjust the fit of the side seams), but the waist measurement needs to be pretty close to accurate. If you need to grade between sizes or you think you will need to make other adjustments, wait to cut our your pattern pieces.

Tomorrow we will be covering the most common fit issues and how to solve them. In the meantime, if you need to purchase the Lander Pant and Short sewing pattern, you can do so here.

SEWALONG SEWING

LANDER PATTERN FABRIC & NOTIONS

September 14, 2017

With the Lander Sewalong starting on Monday, I wanted to jump in and give you some information and inspiration when it comes to fabric and notions for your pants and shorts. The pattern calls for medium to heavy bottomweight fabrics with little to no stretch. Keep in mind your machine and how it handles multiple layers of heavy fabric when considering the fabric you choose. I sewed all of my samples up in the Robert Kaufman Ventana twill which is a great fabric for this project. There are tons of colors which you can find here. But don’t limit yourself to just twill for this project either. You can also use corduroy, heavier weight linens, and denims to name a few options. I really like using linen for a more spring/summer look and denim for something more fall winter. I’ve grouped some great options below into solids and prints.

Solids

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

 

Prints

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Lining

You also need to source some fabric for your front pocket linings. I think that most of us already have scraps big enough for this so dig through your stash, or even cut up an old buttonup that you no longer wear, to save some cash. You need about 1/2 yd and it can be voile, quilting cotton, linen, rayon bemberg, or really any typical lining fabric. This is always a fun way to add interest to the inside of your garment by playing with fun prints, but an added bonus is if the color of your lining coordinates with your main fabric just in case a bit peeks out.

 

Notions

I will be talking a bit more about notions during the actual sewalong, but you will want to source a few items.  You will want some all purpose coordinating thread, medium weight fusible interfacing (1 yard), a heavyweight sewing needle, and 4 buttons. The buttons can either be jeans buttons – which are super fun and professional looking, or regular buttons. They need to be about 5/8″ wide (also called size 27L for the jeans buttons) . I will be talking more about attaching jeans buttons during the sewalong (I promise they are not as scary as they seem), but for now just make sure that you source quality ones. I highly recommend buying some from wawak or Taylor Tailor if you are in the US. I have ordered through both and they are high quality and won’t pop open once attached. Most of the ones you find at the big box stores are going to have plastic parts that just don’t hold up over time. And there is nothing worse than your buttons popping off when you sit down. If you have good sources outside of the US please comment.

 

Ok, I think that is it for now. I can’t wait to get started on Monday. The schedule for the sewalong is as follows:

Monday – Printing / Assembling your pattern

Tuesday – Common Adjustments / Cutting / Marking

Wednesday – Darts and Pockets

Thursday – Crotch and Fly

Friday – Waistband, buttons and Hem

 

If you still need to buy the Lander Pant and Short Pattern you can buy the pdf here or preorder the paper pattern here.