Sunni, from A Fashionable Stitch has a fantabulous assortment of sewing tips and tricks on her creation-obsessed sewing blog, including directions for making a dependable ironing board cover….and we all know that proper pressing is necessary for correct garment construction! As she so succinctly put it, she wanted “something that would last a good long while”, that would “use all natural fibers that would “breathe.”, and lastly “did not want that stupid drawstring thing, which does not really work unless the drawstring is encased in a casing along with elastic. Encasing a drawstring alone in a thread serged casing is AWFUL!!! The drawstring and casing has broken every time for me.” Well, the last wasn’t so succinct, but we agree nevertheless! And to work your new fancy-schmancy ironing board cover, here is Sunni’s method for ironing newly washed fabric in preparation for cutting and sewing.
Britex Fabrics’ online store now carries three weights of Japanese monofilament silk thread – carded silk buttonhole twist, 30 weight silk top-stitching thread, and 50 weight silk all-purpose sewing thread. Some of these Japanese silk threads are a Britex Fabrics exclusive! In a plethora of luscious colors and three weights, these monofilament silk threads are perfect for making hand-made buttonholes, top-stitching, hand-quilting, and other fine tailoring techniques. In addition to tailoring, these luxurious silk threads can be used for many other hand-crafted needle arts. Once you have tried silk thread for machine sewing or quilting, you won’t want to ever return to mundane polyester or cotton thread!
The clever and creative Dana from Dana-Made-It, has posted a set of free tutorials for sewing children’s pants. We particularly like the fact that these trousers have flat front and lined versions, and include bodacious pockets…. humongous enough for a peanut butter sandwich, a rock collection, a handful of crayons, and with room to spare!
We heard that Peter sewer extraordinaire from MalePattenBoldness has a weakness for the ever iconic Ken® doll by Mattel. Here are some swingin’ free knit patterns from “Clothes for Fashion Model Dolls” (Hilda, 1963) for that handsome all-American dude, courtesy of the fabulous folks at VintageKnitting. We are particularly enamored of this bulky turtleneck pullover sweater, and would love to see it made up in a hip-tastic heathered charcoal grey yarn.
We love monogram and font aficionados! Why not get a head start on hand-sewing holiday gifts? Embroider initials or a secret message on a beloved’s shirt cuffs, or personalize a set of luxurious new towels with Art Deco monograms. We adore the retro chopstick-inspired font on page 13, and the rose adorned letters on page 35! Monogrammes is a collection of charming monograms published by Cartier-Bresson in 1915. This pattern, along with a plethora of other free needlework instructions, is also available at The Antique Pattern Library.
There is hardly anything better to do with the hot lazy days of summer than to make an icy pitcher of mint tea or tangy lemonade, learn new sewing techniques, experiment with patterns, and make autumn duds. We forecast the recurrence of fabulously dapper casual clothing; the suave vintage-inspired Norfolk jacket is perfect for chilly days spent drinking hot chocolate while strolling through fall foliage. Kass at ReconstructingHistory has published patterns and directions for men’s Norfolk jackets and women’s Norfolk jackets, including embellishment suggestions, historical notes and period tailoring. We are planning on making our own sportif Norfolk jacket from coffee brown and cream wool tweed, lined with brown and cream geometrically patterned silk, and fastened with woven brown leather buttons….with all fabrics and buttons are available at Britex Fabrics!
The ever clever Jodie from VintageRicRac made this zippy little pouch out of spare tape measures, a scrap of cotton and a zipper..and then posted instructions on how to make one ourselves. It would make a dandy pencil, knitting needle or luncheon utensil case! (Perhaps you could even make a matching bag to carry your sandwiches)
Jody, San Francisco mommy blogger of RocketCityDigs and newly hatched seamstress, whipped up this sweet jumper for her toddler from Britex Fabrics mushroom-sprinkled cotton. This simple style is perfect for wee ones, and once they have gotten too tall to wear it as a dress, this frock performs admirably as a top!
Elaine from the SelfishSeamstress made up this classically simple ballet skirt pattern for grown-ups: a simple and elegant ballet skirt with no frou-frou! It is practically tailored. This floaty skirt only needs about a 1 1/2 yards of polyester georgette or polyester chiffon, and about 2 1/2 yards of narrow grosgrain ribbon. This skirt would be lovely in this Italian lemony floral silk chiffon…perhaps with a charcoal leotard and leggings.
Ashley from BandyCanyon created a pattern and tutorial for this spiffy drivers cap on her blog and on SewingCrafts! Make it out of a scrap of suiting or vintage fabric for a swank retro look. This is perfect for summer; just tilt this chapeau to one side, take a long draw of your sweetened iced coffee, and hunker on down for an afternoon of doing absolutely nothing.