Thursday, December 25, 2008

Fly Front Zipper - Tutorial or How I Do It!

I promised some time ago I'd post a tutorial on how I apply a fly zipper to the front of pants.
Start with cutting your fly piece and your fly facing piece:
  • Fly piece: Line it with stable lining fabric, pocketing fabric, or other lightweight cotton fabric. Lining is done by cutting another piece from the lining fabric and sewing it to the curved part of the fly. Turn to the right side, press and edgestitcg along the curve. Serge the raw edge. Trim SA of fly to the width of the zipper tape you are using.

  • Facing piece: Interface the facing. Serge or bind the curved edge of the facing. You do not have to treat the remaining raw edge in any way. Trim the SA to 1/2".

Mark the CF 5/8 SAs and the zipper notch on both front pieces.

The following phos shuld illustrate the rest of the process:

Apply zipper, as shown, to fly, matching edges of fly and zipper tape.

Apply fly facing to right front, matching raw edges as shown.

Stitch fly facing to right front with 1/2" SA. Turn under and press facing down, folding the right front at the marked CF line.The left front should look like this from the right side

Snip at notch of left front almost to the CF marked line.

Fold left front down 1/2" - 1/8" away from the CF.

Baste left and right fronts together to about 1/2" below the zipper notch.

This is what you should have at this point.

Baste the fly to the left front.
Machine stitch the fly to left front.

Baste together left and right fronts so that the CF markings meet.

Baste the right side of he zipper tape to the zipper facing for the right front - only to the facing, not to the front piece.

Stitch down the zipper to the facing.

On the right front mark the stitch line.

Stitch by machine on the marked line making sure you do not catch the flyStitch by machine on the marked line making sure you do not catch the fly.

See - the fly is not caught in the seam:)

Machine-tack the zipper tape about 1/5" below the fly and cut under the tack.

And... You are done:)

Hope some will find this helpful and please ask if you have any question!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

High Waisted Skirt - V8425, View A

I apologize for the see-thru cami... but don't have another picture at this time!

Pattern: V8425

Rebecca Taylor Pencil skirt retailing at Nordstrom for $250.

My size according to pattern envelop is between 8 and 10 for hips and 12 for waist.
After consulting measuring the pattern I decided on cutting size 4 in the hips blending into size 6 at the waist. The WB is cut in size 6. Also, I did some reshaping at the side seams due to me not having much of a hip curve and ended up downsizing the pattern at the hips with a whole size.
In conclusion on sizing, this pattern runs big. My advice: do not go by the size as on the pattern envelope, rather decide on which size to trace after consulting the finished garment hips and waist measurement (indicated on the pattern) and cut your muslin with 1” seam allowances at the vertical seams.
Also, a conclusion I arrived at: when making muslins for particularly fitted garments I find it more accurate to work with some cheat heavier weight cotton, instead of muslin. What I have observed on both pants and skirts is that in these instances muslin stretches and gives a wrong idea of fit, at least with me.

Other alterations:
I performed a petite alteration by shortening the pattern with 1.75” at the shortening line.
Drafted lining pieces:
Redrafted the CB seam to allow for the pleat
Eliminated the front and back vertical seams and converted then into waist darts.

Design Changes:
I tapered significantly at the hem (app. 4”), blending to nothing at the hips.

Japanese Woven fabric – “Roam If You Want To” - from
The fabric has no stretch in either direction. Ideally, for this pattern it should have some crosswise stretch.

I followed Laura’s advice and used boning in the waistband. The facing of the waistband in underlined with black cotton pocketing and the underlining is interfaced with fusible woven interfacing.
The skirt is lined and the lining is anchored to the shell at the back pleat and to the side seams.
The front and back vertical seams, as well as the waistband horizontal seams are pick stitched by hand (somewhat of a surprisingly calming activity, actually) with black buttonhole twist.

My gripes about this pattern:
Sizing: I truly believe the Big 4 should work on sizing their patterns better so that they a/correspond to the respective body measurements and b/reflect the intended style.
The pattern does not include lining. IMO, this style DEFINITELY needs lining. While lining a skirt is no rocket science, the back pleat makes it a bit more difficult and separate pattern pieces for the back lining as well as some directions would have been very helpful.
While boning is not a must in this case (although, if you are less that a six-pack person, it is kind of a necessity…), I still think that the pattern should at least have included a suggestion to bone the waistband.
It just seams to me that Vogue took the easy road with writing the instructions for this pattern. They are not bad by a long stretch, just not good enough.

Pattern re-use idea:
Completely by accident I came across this dress by Rebecca Taylor, again. It is called “Faux Two Piece Dress.” While I am not a ruffle-person, I love the visual of separates and the fact that it is a dress. Also, how fabulous is the back exposed zipper?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Sweater – Your Sweater: Continuation on Sweater Reconstruction

I posted earlier about three dresses I made by reconstructing three of my own sweaters.
Recently, I took it a bit further: cut up two off-the shoulders sweaters and made a top and a skinny pant (leggings) for DD.

On making the top:
The sketch below should help better than me trying to verbalize the process.

In addition to what you see on the sketch:
· I used the neckline ribbing and reattached it to the new neckline, which resulted in something similar to a mock turtleneck.
· In the back I cut a slit, bound it and make a closure.

On making the bottom:
As you can see from the sketch below, I used the sleeves to make the pant sleeves. Next, I cut out inserts for the back and the front.

The sketch below illustrates the construction ides.

Lastly, I turned down the waist edge to make a casing for elastic.

That is all. Hope someone will find it useful. It was fun making this set, especially the pant!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ruched Sleeve Turtleneck - The Sleeve Pattern

First, I want to apologize for not being able to post the pattern picture earleir; I was on vacation.

This is the photo of the pattern for the sleeve:

Hope this helps!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ruched Sleeve Turtleneck(s)

I like ruched sleeves and turtlenecks, so I thought, “How about a ruched Turtleneck?” I was not sure how I wanted to do the ruching until I saw it in a RTW garment. The store had it only in black and the price was great considering the quality, so I bought it with the clear idea to copy it in other colors (which I did - in white and gray). BTW, the original top is by Miss Me, a line that delivers as-of-the-moment fashions at an affordable price.
Fabric: The RTW top is made from tissue-weight jersey (the black in the middle), whereas both mine are made from lightweight jersey – white and cobalt gray – from

Copying: For the purpose of copying RTW I like to use Glad Press’n Seal Multipurpose (indeed!) Sealing Wrap. It clings to the fabric and I just mark the lines with a marker, and then transfer to paper. The sleeve, of course, I could not copy this way. I basically redrafted it using the width and height of the sleeve cap. Finally I did a test garment and the sleeve needed very minor adjustments only.

Construction-wise, the interesting part about this top is that instead of bottom hem, the bottom edge is finished with a 3.5” wide band. Also, the front neckline is fairly low, more like it would be on a crewneck tee.

Personally, I love this style – a basic bodice and a different enough sleeve!

Below is something I found while browsing - it is a 3.1 Philip Lim Rosebud SleeveTurtleneck:
Fairly similar, right!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Striped Dress

So, while working on something tailored for myself, I have been having fun making outfits for DD. This one I drafted myself, starting from a tee and a pair of leggings she has and adapting them.

The fabric is a double faced double knit from Loooove that store... As you can see I've used both sides of the fabric. The trim and buttons are from Joann.

0.25" elastic is sewn at the top of the dark brown inset to keep it from stretching. The insert itself is two layers and the elastic is sandwitched between them.

I also added a tiny bow with a button at the hem of the leggings to corespond to the bow and button at the empire waist.

BTW, the boots she is wearing are not Ugg. They are, however, the Target version (knock-off) of the famous UGG. So far, I have been very impressed with them, the looks, the color variety(they come in chestnut, brown and pink), the craftsmanship, how comfy they are, the low price compared to the original. Besides, they have a side zipper, so DD puts them on by herself! So, yes, if you are looking for boots for your kid, these are great! Oh, other than I shop at Target sometimes, I am in way connected to them:)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Village Frock

This is a pattern offered by the ladies behind the Sugar City Journal (
You can see the pattern here:

I cut size 2 for my DD.

Fabric: Denim

The pattern: It is very well drafted. The only alteration I made was to lengthen the dress with about 3”. The dress has details but is easy to make. The authors of the pattern also offer you EXTENSIVE instructions (they actually come in a booklet) and options of how to make various looks from the same pattern pieces.

I love the dress and I will be making it more for spring/summer as it renders itself to lighter-weight fabrics.

Monday, September 29, 2008

LhBD - Little Heather Black Dress And an Award!

Well, to start off, Lisa from has awarded me with the Brillian weblog award! Thank you, Lisa! It does mean a lot to me when fellow sewers notice what I do because it is more than a hobby at this point and somewhere between a passion and obsession:) Secondly, I finally finished the jumper and here is the review:

Pattern: Burda WOF : 09-2007-121

So, it took me awhile to get this jumper done. After finishing the muslin I was not sure if I liked it. With it, for me, everything was about the right choice of fabric. First, I decided to make it from a striped jersey but was not sold on it. Then, I found great heather black wool knit and I just knew that was it!

Fabric: Wool knit and satin lining from Textile-o-philes (a local independent fabric store: Btw, if you are ever in the Denver/Colorado Springs area - this store is a MUST VISIT! It has an assortment of fabrics comparable to Emma One Sock and better (think silk jersey, angora, camel hair, cashmere, wool knits, designer print silks, designer cottons, etc.)!

Construction details:

- The skirt of the dress is interlined and lined at the same time with medium-weight stretch lining that has a nice tonal satin stripe.
- The hem is finished with lace.
- The lower edge of the bodice band is reinforced with a strip of the lining cut on a bias.
- The fronts are cut not on a fold but as two separate pieces and the front neckline is stabilized and understitched.

So, that is about it. I wrote about my fit and design alteration when I posted my muslin entry, so I won’t repeat myself here. If anyone is interested, pls refer to that older post or to my review on PR.

Having started with immense hesitation, I actually live how the dress turned out! I was afraid it would look dowdy on me but, to my pleasant surprise, it actually looks modern.

Would recommend it to anyone with two caveats:

1. muslin is a must because fixing the fit of the bodice during construction may be a nightmare (due to the way the dress is constructed and sewn), and

2. I had to rethink the placement of the back pleats to flatter my deriere.