Today's video! LOL (This is going to be a LONG post....I tried not to lol)
Things mentioned in the video:
My completed items:
Simplicity 3631 Review on PR (I look crazy...my arms are just bent...the back view looks better lol)
I pressed the hell out of my pleats...PRESS AS YOU GO!! Right Ann??? LOL
Hand stitched hem...so proud of this lol. Looks SO much better than machine stitched.
Fabric from Fashionista Fabrics
I did a blind hem on this, because it looks better on knits....IMHO....
Interview with Tany
How long have you been
How long have you been sewing?
I’ve been seriously sewing since I was twelve (I mean using a
sewing machine to sew) but I remember sewing by hand long before that (making
clothes to my dolls); when I was twelve I learned how to thread a sewing machine
and that was the turning point towards making my own clothes.
What made you want to learn to sew?
I remember my parents not letting me choose my own clothes when going
shopping; most of the clothes they bought were too big (the excuse was that I was
growing up and they wanted the clothes to last longer). I also remember inheriting
my aunt’s old clothes (which I hated at the time) so I felt the urge to alter
these clothes so they fitted better and were more like the clothes my school colleagues
were wearing at the time. Building up to make my own garments was the step that
Who taught you to sew?
There was a next door neighbour who was a very skilled dressmaker. My
parents both had day jobs so sometimes they used to ask her to take care of me when
I was back from school. Since very young age I was used to the smell of new fabrics
and the noise of the sewing machine. I was fascinated by her work and stood by her
side observing everything she was doing. I have a very strong memory: she telling
me then the only kind of well made buttonholes where the tailored hand sewn buttonholes;
she wouldn’t make machine buttonholes ever. I also remember when I asked
her to teach me how to use the sewing machine; she had me machine stitching (I could barely
reach the large pedal underneath her mechanical sewing machine) with no thread over
a piece of plaid fabric so I could manage to sew on a straight line with no effort.
She also used to thread trace everything, like I do. From there on I was self taught
by my experience. I started with BWOF’s patterns and learned the basics from
them. Sewing is a never ending learning experience and I’m still learning!
What are your favorite fabrics to work with?
I like woollens the most. I also love sewing with linen and cotton.
I like fabrics that behave well when ironed.
Do you have any notions that you use each time you sew?
The one notion that is common to all my sewing is the basting thread. It’s a special purpose cotton thread, loose twisted and made of short cotton fibres that breaks easily; it’s thicker than normal sewing thread but softer. I think you don’t have it in the US but it’s very common in Portugal. Its only purpose is hand basting.
Do you have a certain time of day that you sew?
Well, I consider myself a morning person but I would sew in any time of the day if I could. I prefer sewing in the morning because it’s quiet. I also prefer the natural light. During the week I sew after returning from work, in the evening. I usually sew 1-2 hours a day during the week, and I sew as much as I can during the weekend.
Where do you buy your fabrics?
I buy most of my fabrics locally and in Porto (a bigger town 60 minutes away by car). Online fabric purchasing is not available here yet. I wish the custom taxes weren’t as high as they are because I often feel temped by the fabulous fabrics you can order online in the U.S.!
What are your most favorite garments that you have made?
The Orwell coat is my favorite and I have a special feeling for this coat because it was the opening garment at my blog! It was very labour intensive and I shared all the construction process. It was my introduction to the online sewing community! Another favorite is the red organza blouse which I dedicate to Els (from The Sewing Divas Blog) because she helped me so much feeding me with sewing tips and references; I also connect this blouse to my Graduation day (I made it for wearing at the Graduation ceremony) which was very important day in my life. The third garment is the Roland Mouret’s Galaxy dress, my first Vogue! It’s my favorite dress so far!
The tracing and cutting process is very different; with BWOF’s I have to trace the pattern (copy it from the pattern sheet) and there are no SAs(seam allowance) included. I use my shears and I don’t mind cutting uneven SAs (they will be trimmed later). I also thread trace all the stitching lines, notches and relevant markings.
I also copied the pattern from Vogue because I couldn’t bear the idea of cutting the original pattern but I kept the SAs. Instead of thread tracing everything I only thread traced the darts and the notches. Instead of shears I used a cutting wheel and the cutting process was much quicker.
Another thing I found very useful when working with the Vogue
pattern was that the finished garment’s main measurements (bust, waist,
hip) were marked on the pattern; Vogue also illustrates every sewing step,
making the construction process easier to the beginner. This doesn’t keep
the more advanced sewer from looking beyond the instructions and finding other
methods that work best for her/him.
What are some couture techniques that you find yourself using often?
No hesitation here: thread tracing. I had no idea this was
considered a Couture technique until I read “Couture, the Art of Fine
Sewing” by Roberta Carr. That was one of the first sewing books I ordered
from Amazon and one of my favorites, together with the Claire Shaeffer’s
What books are a constant refrence for you when you sew?
I have a LOT of sewing books! The
one I refer the most is the Burda sewing book (Portuguese edition) because you
can find every BWOF’s technique well illustrated in that book. The
patterns I sew the most are from the BWOF magazine so I find myself consulting
this book very often when I try to break down the instructions on BWOF’s
patterns. When I’m working on a particular technique I pull out every
sewing book that features that technique and compare the processes. That gives
me several perspectives and helps achieving a better judgment on what works
best for me. I often use the Singer Sewing Reference books, the Claire Shaeffer’s
books, the Susan Susan Khalje’s books and the Taunton Press Easy Guides. I
also have a couple of Sandra Betzina’s books: Power Sewing and More
Fabric Savvy. These are just a few among many. My last acquisition was the Zapp
Method of Couture Sewing.
Any tips for beginning sewers?
Well, start with the easy stuff and build up from there; if you can find a good teacher go for it; it’s much easier when you learn from actually observing an expert than trying to figure out all by yourself. If you don’t have access to sewing lessons from an expert, then you can buy a few books that will help you through the basics. Practice, practice, practice! Be patient when building up your skills; you won’t be sewing professionally looking garments in a week time so enjoy your learning process and learn from your mistakes. With time your sewing will get better and better. Observe the details on good RTW and learn as much as you can from it. Test everything before you apply it.
That is it you guys!! This was a long post! I'm tired! LOL
Have a great day!