Thursday, 24 October 2013

Peacock wedding dress

I made this dress a little while ago with no intentions of it being my own wedding dress! We had a rather spontaneous wedding and I didn't want a traditional white wedding dress so I decided to wear this one as it meant so much more to me.

I used NewLook pattern 6123. As the fabric was a gorgeous double knit I didn't use a zip. In saying that it is not the easiest dress to get on as the waist seam doesn't have a lot of stretch and is relatively small. But it is worth the struggle to get into it to not have to have a zip.

My first mock up of the pattern was in a slight stretch cotton. This was disastrous. There was nothing right about the fit. I honestly don't know what happened. I was almost going to throw the pattern out when I gave it another go in a jersey knit. It was perfect. I still am not sure if I had done something drastically wrong the first attempt or it was simply the fabric. The pattern is not designed for stretch fabrics.
I fixed the neck facing in place with small amount of vliesofix as I didn't want it rolling out and the fabric showed up any stitching lines too much. I also did this for the hem line while also tacking it in place my hand in a few spots.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

How to: shorten cuffed sleeves

So you have to shorten a mens business shirt and you have no idea where to even begin. Take a deep breath. It is not as difficult as you are thinking! If you need to shorten the sleeve by only a small amount of 1 or 2cm then you can unpick the cuff and resew it higher. If you have to shorten the sleeve by any more than this you run into the problem that the placket (the nice opening above the cuff) can become too short and this will simply look odd. Here I will explain step by step the easiest way to get around this. 
Instead of shortening the sleeve from the cuff you we will be shortening it from the sleeve head.

Step 1. Unpick the sleeve from the armhole. Most mens shirts are finished off with loverly tailored seams. This is nice until you have to unpick them. The armhole and side seems are quite often sewn with welt seams and have chain stitching.
Depending on in which order the seams have been sewn you may also have to unpick a small section of the side seam of the shirt.
Make sure to mark the shoulder seam on the sleeve head when you are unpicking. This is more than likely not the centre of the sleeve head as most mens business shirts have the shoulder seams towards the front.
Tip: do one sleeve at a time then you have a reference point to go back to if you get a little lost.

Step 2. Sew up the side seam if you had to unpick it.
Welt seams normally use a 1.5cm seam allowance. As I like to use 1cm seam allowance I trim of the extra .5cm seam allowance from the sleeve head and armhole.

Step 3. Measure from the top of the sleeve head down the amount you need to shorten the sleeve by. Mark this all the way around the sleeve head. Most sleeves will not be symmetrical so you will have to do this on both sides of the folded sleeve. 
I needed to shorten this sleeve by 8cm. As I already have a 1cm seam allowance at the sleeve head, by measuring 8cm from the top of the sleeve head I have included my 1cm seam allowance needed.
Transfer your shoulder seam maker to your new line.
Cut in a single layer (not folded) along your new measured line.

I had not yet trimmed the extra seam allowance off this sleeve yet!

Step 4. Pin the sleeve back into the armhole matching up the shoulder seam and the side seams. 
Depending on how much 'puff' your sleeve has and how much you cut off you may find that you have to ease the shirt slightly to fit the sleeve. This is backwards to what should normally happen. 
Keep in mind that if there is too much of a difference you may have to unpick half the side seam of the shirt and take the seam in slightly. This can be fiddly if they are welt seams.

Step 5. If you can, overlock the seam. With the seam allowance towards the shirt top stitch the seam flat. Press.

Thats it, your done.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Sparrow Top Pattern

This newest pattern release is a gorgeous easy fitting top that drapes beautifully. Featuring a contrasting collar and finished off with French seams. The Sparrow Top can be made up in light weight cottons for a casual day look or choose a soft silk for a more glamorous style. 

The downloadable pattern includes easy to follow step by step illustrated instructions. 
Suitable for all sewing levels.
Sizes: XS-S-M-L

At this time the pattern is only available for printing on A4 paper, not suitable for US letter paper. All future patterns will be available for both A4 and US letter printing.

Head on over to our Etsy store to purchase your copy...

Liola Designs Store

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A Peachy version of the Natalie Top

Here is the Natalie Top in a gorgeous soft fabric with denim trimming and an added back neck tab and button.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

It's Arrived... The Natalie Top sewing pattern

I am very excited to anounce that the first PDF sewing pattern now available!

The Natalie Top is a loose fitted long sleeve top with a pleated front detail and optional pocket. The sleeves can be rolled or scrunched up with a buttoned tab. The neckline is finished with binding which looks great in a contrasting fabric.
With such a versatile design you will want to make several of the Natalie Tops in all of your favorite fabrics.

Included in the download are easy to follow instructions with full illustrations!

Sizes S-M-L

Hop on over to our Etsy store to purchase your copy......

Liola Designs Store

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

How to: French Seams

French Seams are fantastic. While they sound difficult and look intimidating, they really are easy.

French seams incase the seam allowance within the seam resulting in neat clean seams without the need for an overlocker. This is a great finish to use on sheer fabrics as you wont see any overlocking through the fabric. It can also be useful to use on fabrics that tend to fray easily. 
It also makes a garment feel that bit more luxurious!

1. With WRONG sides together pin and stitch your seam at 5mm. The seam will be on the outside of the garment to begin with, don't panic this is correct.

2. Cut half the seam allowance off. 

3. Press the seam to one side. Press both side of the fabric to make sure the seam is completely flat.

4. With right sides together pin along folded seam. Stitch 5mm seam. The raw edges of the previous seam should be contained within the new seam.

5. Press seam to one side.

That's it! It really is that simple. Just make sure that you press the seam as you go to ensure you get a nice clean fold. 

French seams can be used on most seams. If your pattern does not allow for french seams, not to worry,  all you have to do it half your seam allowance. For instance. If you have a 12mm seam allowance the first seam will be 6mm and the seam also 6mm.