Spadea’s Collection of Designer Sewing Tips Vintage |Dust and Cut | The Golden Chain | Pages 18 to 29

Dust and Cut –marking and cutting out your pattern is the most time-consuming and tedious task, here’s an interesting idea from the workrooms of Shannon Rodgers.

Duct and Cut

Dust and Cut

A Pressing Matter – pressing not ironing is one of the most important task in the dressmaking process, if you want a professional looking finished piece, this is one step that you can always improve upon. According to Madame Biki any fabric having a specific nap or pile, such as velvet, or any embossed fabric having a raised design such as matelasse or cloque, could not be pressed. The fabric with the pile surface would become matted and the embossed fabric would lose its character pattern or volume. A system has been found whereby the fabric returns to its original freshness even after lengthy handling have you ever used a velvet board? They are still expensive but worth the investment. Instead use a double layer of thick terry surface towels placed over the ironing board instead.

A Pressing Matter

A Pressing Matter

How to Handle a Delicate Drifter

How to Handle a Delicate Drifter

How to Handle A Delicate Drifter – Modern techniques have helped to lessen the trouble with handling and sewing these mysterious slinky fabrics as they slip and slither when you’re working with them. Jo Copeland has a bit of magical know-how from her workrooms. Here’s a little tip that you learn early on, try to have a surface large enough to accommodate the fabric width and length. Use a roll of tissue paper to underlay the fabric. If the paper isn’t wide enough, pin or scotch tape two or more widths together. You stitch right through the paper and fabric.

How to Handle a Delicate Drifter Continued

How to Handle a Delicate Drifter Continued

The Golden Chain – To keep the perfect hang of your suit jacket, designer Bill Blass uses a wonderful golden chain. You don’t have to use a gold chain but whatever metal you decide to use make sure it will stand the test of time. The chain makes a wonderful finishing touch that is not only practical but it’s decorative as well. By the way, check our a wonderful video on making the Chanel little black jacket which uses this same technique. Suit jackets, especially those made from woven fabrics will shag over time if this method is not used. The chain acts as a gentle weight and importantly keeps the weight evenly distributed along the entire lower edge of the jacket.

The Golden Chain

The Golden Chain

The Golden Chain Continued

The Golden Chain Continued

Why An Underlining? While each step in the dressmaking process is important, based on my experience I think the pressing and choosing the right underlining and interfacing is of the utmost importance. A wide and confusing choice of fabrics are available for underlining and each serves a definite purpose. How can you know which kind to choose, first read Understanding Underlining.

Be sure to understand that underlining and lining a garment is two different processes. I suggest that you read Underlining Vs Interfacing.

Anthony Blotta gives some help and aid in your choice. For loosely woven, knitted or soft woolen fabrics, the underlining is used for shape retention. To define molded contours or shape bouffants. Read more about underlining…

Why an Underlining | Anthony Blotta

Why an Underlining | Anthony Blotta

A Fitting Shortcut – One of the most important things you’ll want to carry out a flawless fit. Vincent Monte Sano suggests that you should always make a trail copy to test the fit of a garment.

Vincent Monte Sano | Fitting Shortcuts

Vincent Monte Sano | Fitting Shortcuts

Tips for Interfacing – the tips discussed in this book by Monte Sano and Pruzan will help you to cut the bulk of interfacing. in one example using their suggested method reduces the bulk when working with darts becomes immediately clear. Remember usually, you can’t find the correct type of interfacing in your typical fabric store, use the link resource below to understand and indulge in the finer more upscale materials for your project.

Make the Most of Exceptional Interfacing and How to Interface Jackets: Lessons from a Yves Saint Laurent Garment.

The first article especially provides insight and resources for purchasing these linings because they do make a big difference in how your finished piece will look.

Tips for Interfacings

Tips for interfacing

Tips for Interfacings continued | Monte Sano | Pruzan

Tips for Interfacing continued | Monte Sano | Pruzan

The Iron-On Fabric | Today’s Fusible Interfacing – Biki of Milan claimed that it could be used as a wonderful shortcut for stiffening extensive areas and to give a better value and new weight to certain fabrics, especially those used in making suits and coats.

Biki was correct in some cases fusible interfacing is used as underlining giving your garment a sculpted look, I hope this handy Chart of Fusible and Sew-in Interfacing is helpful.

The Iron On Fabrics

The Iron On Fabrics

The Iron On Fabrics Continued

The Iron On Fabrics Continued

I thought you might like this next article because the project allows you will use many of these techniques to complete the Jacket.

The 70 Hour classic French Jacket

Couture Sewing Techniques | The Art of Sewing Part 1

Discovering Couture Sewing Techniques

It’s been two weeks since my last blog post, during that time away my hard drive failed and I couldn’t think of anything interesting to write about–primarily because I am worried about my data being lost. I didn’t want to just list patterns with “press this”, that’s not interesting and it wouldn’t give you my readers a reason to check in..

I decided on combining two of my passions, the first being my love of dramatic detail on relatively simple pieces as shown in this post titled Vintage Sewing Pattern Fashion Trim Detail a few weeks back with my passion for fine sewing techniques.

The art of couture sewing is slow sewing–these are not quick or simple but they are works of art if executed properly.

Since I really needed to replace my sewing bookmarks, I decided to share the websites and resources that I found interesting.

First I would like to recommend the  www.vpl.orgVintage Pattern Lending Library, it’s well worth the membership. It is a great source for vintage patterns reproductions from the 1860s through the 1950s. If you venture into the world of period reenactment and costuming, it’s also a fine place to checkout.

NextA French needlepoint lace with a floral design. here’s  Alencon Lace Sample a few of my favorite sewing related websites; Sew Country Chick, and her tutorial on “Making Alencon Lace Seams

Sewaholic is next on the list, I especially like her Sewtionary, Couture Bound Buttonhole I think that’s a new word, this page is a visual encyclopedia or dictionary of hand sewing techniques. Here’s a tutorial on making Bound Buttonholes. In her post ‘A little vacation reading: Couture Sewing Techniques”, her definition of couture sewing is spot on.

Welt Pocket

Welt Pocket

Are you intimidated by Welt Pockets,  here’s a crash course with step-by-step images to guide you through the process. LLadybird took plenty of pictures and provides a really good step by step–remember measure, mark and cut only after measuring and marking once again.

There are many other techniques that include hand stitching, quilting, lining, underlining, rolled lapels and much more, so I will end part one of this series with links to what I think is a great blog for advanced sewing tutorials.

Checkout Frabjous Couture, the tutorial is for a Boucle Chanel Jacket with a silk charmeuse lining quilted to support the shape of the jacket because boucle has a tendency to stretch our of shape and you end-up with the lining hanging below the hemlines. This is a three-part tutorial.

Part 1: Boucle Charmeuse and Quiltiing a la Chanel

Part 2: Boucle Charmeuse and Quiltiing a la Chanel

Part 3: Boucle Charmeuse and Quiltiing a la Chanel

Inside the Chanel Jacket

Inside the Chanel Jacket

“Inside the Chanel Jacket”, first appeared in Threads magazine in the October/November issue 2005, number 121, pp. 34-40.

Tell me what are your most challenging sewing technique? Part 2 will cover hand sewing techniques.