Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Sew Along New Look 6871 - Week 4. Finishing.

Welcome to week four, our final week together for this Sew Along.

This week we'll be finishing our garment.

Rightio then.  Off we go again.

Lower Band.

We're up to step 23, the lower band.  
Firstly, measure the width of the lower band accurately to see if it will fit the bottom of your garment.  If you have lengthened the top into a dress or tunic, the band width from the original pattern is not going to be wide enough, so just double check that.

Once you have worked out the width, sew the side seams of the band and machine stitch on to your garment, right sides together.


Step 24.  This is the last step.  Read any further and you'll be sewing in Spanish. 😊

Try on your garment and pin where you'd like the hem to be.

As the finish of our Sew Along was looming so close, I thought I'd just quickly sew the hem up by machine. The following morning I decided that I didn't like it and I had to go outside so I could see to unpick it all!  I've done that more than once so you'd think I would have learned by now, not to rush.

In the following photo you can see the line left from the unpicked stitching (which will disappear with the first wash I hope) and my hand stitched hem in progress. Did I mention I like hand stitching?
Hand stitching the hem also gave me some quiet time to think and plan while enjoying the slow repetitive movement of the needle. 

........and seen from the right side.

If you'd like to have a bit of fun with the lower band, perhaps make a pieced, embroidered or patched one?  This image shows the bottom of my pinny made out of two men's denim shirts from the op shop.  I pieced the bottom band as I didn't have enough fabric to cut it in one length.  I'd like to do a bit of hand stitching 'boro' style on it as well when I get a chance.

At this point your garment is finished......unless you'd like to add.........


The pockets on my blue linen dress have a little inverted pleat and a finished measurement of  6 1/2". Here's how they have been made.

Cut the fabric 7" high, 7" wide across the bottom and 9" wide across the top.  Cut a band for the top of the pocket 1" wide and 7" long.

Iron a small crease in the centre of the pocket and pin a little pleat into the centre crease, ensuring there is a finished measurement of 7" across to match the band.

Iron the band in half lengthwise and fold one half into the centre and iron again giving a 1/4" turn-over that will be top-stitched down on the right side of the pocket.

The blue thing you see is called a Clover Ironing Finger and it's just fantastic.  It's a heatproof rubbery stick that is used to hold things in place while you are ironing, preventing steam burns to fingers (trust me).

Place the right side of the pocket band against the wrong side of the pocket and stitch with a scant 1/4" seam.

Fold over to the right side and top-stitch right along the edge of the band.

Press under 1/4" all the way around the other three sides.

Pin in place on your garment.  I put a cutting board inside the garment to give something to pin against.  I use an LP record cover for smaller garments (showing my age here!)

Stitch pocket in place using a little reinforcing triangle of stitching in the corners.

and voila!

A dress for Summer,

or Winter,

or bloopers!

......such is the life of a model!

I'm still learning to use the self timer on my camera and I couldn't get it to focus properly unless I had something for it to focus on.  Thankfully my trusty mannequin 'Ivy Florence' (Flo for short) kindly agreed to be my very capable assistant.  Unfortunately she's a tad slow on her feet and needed a hurry along so I could get her out of the picture.  My camera is just too quick for Flo.  🙂

Your tasks for this week.

Attach the bottom band of your garment.
Hand or machine stitch the hem.
Attach pockets if you're having them.

Further Reading.

Boro hand stitching how to.
Pleated pocket tutorial by Made by Rae.
A one year sustainable fashion challenge at sustainablethreadsblog.wordpress.com
Ten tips for transitioning to a (mostly) hand made wardrobe at sewmamasew.com

Where to from here?

That's such an exciting thought isn't it?  You can take the craft of stitch as far as you like, as far as you can imagine.  

If you're still not feeling that confident, you might like to stay working with New Look patterns for a little while until you feel ready to try something different.  Now that you've made one New Look pattern, the next one will be so much easier.

For those wanting to investigate a handmade wardrobe of clothing or you feel ready to jump into something more, here are some ideas -

How about trying one of the Japanese sewing books, a Merchant and Mills wardrobe, the newly published Tunic Bible, the simple Scandinavian style of Lotta Jansdotter, the gentle hand stitching of Alabama Chanin  or for more of a challenge - recreating some of the fashions from a vintage sewing book.  The best part?  These books all include the patterns!
These projects (and more believe it or not) are all just waiting for me in my 'stitch queue' (!) because I truly do believe we are only limited by our imagination.

Thank you.

To the girls on the Down to Earth forum, thank you so much for your enthusiasm, conversation, photos, questions, positivity and for supporting each other (and me) through our first Sew Along together.  It's been lots of fun and an absolute honour to be your host.  I've learnt so much along the way and can't wait to see what the future will bring should our paths cross again.

...........and remember.  Mistakes are part of the journey and how we learn, so.........


Nanna Chel said...

What a wonderful tutorial, Fran. Such clear instructions with lots of humour thrown in too. You will have to do something to speed up Flo though :-)

Thank you so much.

Fran Ponta said...

Thanks so much Nanna Chel. Yes, Flo can be a problem........we generally work well together if no camera is involved though!

Meg Hopeful said...

Hi, Fran! I found you via Nanna Chel and can't wait to give making up this pattern a try. Thank you for such clear photos and instructions. I need them because I am learning to sew and they help a lot! Meg:)

Fran Ponta said...

I'm really happy you are insired Meg! Perhaps start with a vintage sheet from the op shop to make a nightie as some of the other girls have done, to gain confidence and get the fit right? Then you can cut into your good fabric. :)

yvonne J said...

How can I subscribe to your blog?

Fran Ponta said...

Yvonne there is a little blue 'follow' underneath my profile pic on the right hand side at the top. Just click on that. Thanks so much for following!