Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

I have been sewing this weekend but since I still have no camera software, all photos will be in upcoming posts. For someone who had a sewing plan, I didn't bother to follow it. I did finish up the Ralph Lauren Linen dress - the dress that I started last named for the fabric that I used to construct the dress.

This weekend I've been in the mood to finish up all of the garments that have been hanging around, so I've temporarily moved away from the plan. Yeah, I know, right after I got one that I was excited about! Anyway, today I'm completing The Dreaming with Spring dress...I have about 2 hours worth of finishing to do to it so that I can wear it tomorrow.

As always when sewing, the thoughts are racing...and yesterday I realized that I have a color coordination issue. Yeah the thread, zipper, hem tape and lining must all color coordinate with the fashion fabric. And when making the RL Linen Dress, I used three different colors of thread to insure that it all worked together. This is alot of color coordinating during the construction of a garment, especially since I am the only one who will see the inner workings of the dress. But I really can't stand when the threads don't match the fashion fabric. Does anyone else have this issue?!

My other issue yesterday was hanger straps for the dress. I searched through six of my vintage sewing books trying to find the best way to insert one. Before I read about how Summerset included one in her vintage garments, I used to pin my dresses to their hangers. After seeing the dress hangers I've decided to include them in my own dresses. See this is the downfall to not owning any RTW, you can't pull something out of the closet to check it out! So if anyone has any tips on how to insert the hanger straps, it would be appreciated!

However, while reading through the Adele Margolis book, "Fashion Sewing for Everyone," I found this passage entitled, "Anything Goes - If It Worked!"
The comforting thing about clothing construction is that there is nothing sacred. There is just no one way to do anything.

No one way to design. Make rules and along comes some design genius who defies them all.

No one way to sew. New techniques follow new styles, new needs, new technology, new fabrics.

No one purpose needle or pin or thread or iron or anything. There are
specific tools for specific purposes.

Following are some techniques that have stood the test of time. New ones are constantly developing. If you can invent some of your own - go ahead. Anything goes - if it works!
Finally, I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day. A day full of fun, family and good food! And while you are enjoying your day, please take a moment and think about or say a prayer for the men and women who are presently defending our country both here and abroad. Also think about the ones who have come before...we are truly blessed that they and their families are willing to lay down their lives to insure our safety!

As always...more later!


  1. I know what you mean about not having much RTW. I went upstairs one day looking for a RTW dress to check a zipper finish and at that point in time, I didn't have a RTW in my closet! I have three now, but my husband paid for them. I would have just made them.

    Regarding dress hangers. They can be inserted in many places, most common are the shoulder seam or side seam near the armhole. The side seam is what I see the most in RTW because it can hang down inside the dress when wearing. Of course this means that you have to remember to put them in when you're making the lining! It is also nice to make a thread eye or sew a metal eye near the shoulder or neck to thread the hanger through to support the shoulder area, too. You can also put them in the waist seam of the lining and make them extra long to go up the sides of the dress, through a thread eye at the underarm through another at the shoulders and then around the hanger. That's a lot of work for just a regular dress, so I'd put them in the side seam. If there is not a lining, then they can be stitched in the facing side seam or securely to seam allowances, although that would not be my first choice.

    Um, was that long enough? Maybe you'll get some other ideas.

  2. I have 2 Margolis books and I was just looking through them yesterday. She seems like she was such a neat woman.

  3. I have the "notions must match" issue, too. Thread, hem tape, whatever. And no one will see it, and even I won't see it sometimes because the lining will cover it up.

    I know Claire Shaeffer expects "you" to put hanger straps inside her V7881 trousers. I made them but didn't do that part, mainly because I don't hang my trousers from the waistband or the hem but drapew them over the hangar. If you have any CS pattern for reference, perhaps you will find instructions inside. Summerset's sure sound spot on, though.

  4. "But I really can't stand when the threads don't match the fashion fabric. Does anyone else have this issue?!"True confession time! I buy three spools of matching thread for a garment. One is for the conventional machine and two are for the chain needle and looper on the serger. I'm not always quite so picky about the overlock loopers. If thread isn't supposed to match, why does it come in so many colors?!?!?!?!

  5. I adore that you take so much time to enhaunce the inside finishing of the garment, even though you ar the only one who sees it. It not only brings satisfaction but also makes you feel differently, more comfortable when you wear the garment! Coco Chanel understood that and put wonderful touches in her clothes because of what they did to the wearer. It's so inspiring. Happy Sewing!

  6. I find that very few styles of dresses really require hanger straps, definitely strapless and thin strap dresses. Years ago I purchased an Anne Klein sleeveless sheath and I cut the hanger straps off because they drove me crazy. I had a couple of occasions in which I didn’t make sure the straps were inside the dress before walking out the house. Good thing I wore the matching jacket. The shoulder of the dress is three inches wide, it has a bateau neckline, and the dress is a lightweight crepe, so the hanger straps served no purpose.

    If I am sewing in hanger straps, I like to use the lace hem tape to make the straps. It’s just a pretty touch. For each strap, I cut a piece of the lace tape twice the length I need so I will have a loop that reaches the hanger. Fold the lace tape in half with right sides together and stitch a 1/8”seam across the cut ends of the tape to form a loop, stopping the machine as soon as the needle clears the edge of the lace tape. Don’t cut the thread! Lift the presser foot, fold the loop wrong sides together on the seam, and stitch a scant 1/4” seam, encasing the raw cut edge for a clean finish. Now you can remove from the machine. I just quickly hand sew the straps to the side seam about 1/2" to 1” below the armhole.

  7. I, too, prefer everything to match. However, right now I'm also trying to use up that little bit of thread that usually remains on the spool after a project is done (and I've got LOTS of those spools taking up space). Basting uses up lots of it but I've also been cheating a little bit by using colors that are *close* but don't quite match.

  8. The other day I was riffling thru my stash of Threads and recall a great idea but can't remember by whom. They used a padded hanger, the type with a tube of satin or such sewn on each end that meets in the middle at the "hanger part". (Is it just a big hook?) A snap was sewn to the shoulder seam of the dress and the corresponding snap was sewn to the padded hanger. You just snapped the dress in place on the hanger. I thought that was brilliant and wish I knew who to credit.

  9. Might I just add a ditto; to what Summerset said... And as for the thread thing... yep... I've been known to rip out things cause I hadn't thought of it before hand! What is really the pits is if you put a zipper in and the threads need to co-ordinate with the different colors. Otherwise it just looks tacky! I have seen store bought stuff where they didn't do the matching... let me just say... tis..tis...tis...
    Yes... I am thankful for our service men and women... they give a lot for their country and sometimes, well we don't appreciate them the way they should be!

  10. Even though I don't have a lot of RTW, the items I have tend to have hangers. They show up in one of two places, in the shoulder seam (about an inch in from the neck side) or in the arm pit seam (for lack of the more proper technical term -- I have only had one cup of coffee), while many of them in the past have been made of satin ribbon, my more recent acquisitions (recent being last year), the hangers have been made of the clear elastic. I find the ones at the armpit seams the easier to maneuver during the day since they don't tend to peek out. When they are at the shoulder, you have to remember to tuck them under the bra strap. Oh yes, I forgot the other spot -- along the shoulder seam with a snap closure -- this generally occurs in the sleeveless dresses made by Lilly Pulitzer and Ann Taylor -- there is a piece of satin ribbon that sits atop the shoulder seam. It has a snap closure so you can keep it closed while wearing the garment and it stays out of the way, and when you hang it, it helps keep it on the hanger. That being said, I also have purchased RTW (probably the same vendors--my RTW brands experiences are very limited -- mostly Ann Taylor and Ralph and occasionally Lilly P. -- but I also have purchased trousers and skirts that also have hangers. They are longer than the ones traditionally on the shirts and dresses. These are placed either under the facings so they peek out at the bottom, or in the seams of the facings. Hope this is helpful. For some reason, I keep forgetting to add them to the clothes that I made. Considering how much I rely on the hangers, you'd think I'd make sure to add them. C'est la vie.


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