Sunday, September 01, 2019

It's All In The Details...

It's September so it's "National Sewing Month!

Happy National Sewing Day to all my sewing peeps! For the last couple of years, I've celebrated this month with a variety of giveaways, blog posts and discounts. Y'all while I loved doing that, it was a lot of work and this year I didn't feel up to it. I just wanted to sew to celebrate the month.

One thing I would like to do this month is highlight a few of my favorite sewing blogs.  I have two to share today...

Mainleymenswear ~
Honestly I mostly follow Duane on Instagram.  I love the shirts he sews as well as love following his journey when he's making pants or coats. He makes sewing menswear look so easy...a definite sign of his talent...cause I know it's not!

La Sewista! ~
Bunny has been sewing a long time and has the skills to prove it! I read her blog for pearls of wisdom because there is always more to learn. She has a unique eye and sewing perspective that I love.

If you have a moment, surf on over and check them out, you won't be sorry!

Otherwise this post is a hodge podge of things I was thinking about as I worked on cutting out my next garments...

It's All in the Details ~
In a number of posts I've talked about how I've complicated simple designs by adding construction techniques and details to the garments.  As I was finishing up this last round of garments, I realized that adding those details was what made the sewing fun.

I look forward to dreaming up the details, thinking about how to make them work, and adding them to my garments. I think these details give my garments distinction, pop, individuality and make them pretty...even if it's in places only I can see!

You know I love piping. Or as Gaylen says, it's become my trademark. I've added it to several of the recent Myosotsis maxi dresses and I know I'm lucky to have access to the garment district with the ability to purchase piping in various colors, widths and types. But on my Simplicity dress I made my own piping to get a perfect fabric match.

This seems to have become the summer of piping and border prints. My love of both has been reflected in the garments I've made this summer.

I also like bias binding. I think it's really relaxing to cut and make binding. I love the I do tend to add home made, as well as, store bought binding to things. Happily using the stash of bias binding I have on hand, too!

Another detail that I do ALOT is I change garments without any closures to one that either has a zipper or button closures. As an older sewist who sits alot in my day job and is adverse to exercise (yeah I know), I've noticed the dexterity I had as a younger woman is not there any more.  So buttons and zippers which give my garments easier access is important to me. I will change or add that detail to a garment in a heartbeat!

A Cut Pile ~ 
One more thing that's working for me lately is a cut pile. I don't know if it's actually a detail but I'm adding it to this post. I love having a cut pile now. I love taking the time to make the alterations to a pattern, cutting it out and walking away to leave sewing for another day. Knowing that when I'm ready to sew that the prep work was done and I can just sit down and sew. 

I've spent part of this Labor Day weekend working on a cut pile. Figuring out what I want to sew next, pulling fabrics and trims and getting everything ready to sew. Which I will be doing for the next couple of days since I go back to work on Wednesday.

My pile has three shirts, one top, one maxi dress and I'm adding one more dress and a tunic. This pile will let me sew for the rest of the month without having to spend time on prep work. This is a pretty large cut pile for me but I'm diving in with both feet since it's been working so well this summer.

Finally, I do have a work in progress...

It's McCalls 7774 in a border print for a fall maxi. I've alternately hated and loved it. It needs a zipper and a hem and it will be done but it's on time out right now. It's keeping Daphne company until I'm moved to work on it again. LOL!

As SNL would say, this is my Weekend Update! Hope you're getting some sewing done too! always more later!


  1. I really like the piping detail on the lemon dress.

  2. This is a great post! Love reading and learning about some of the little insightful things that work for you in a big way. I have begun a cut pile also.... though mine isn't stacked quite as neat as yours. And yes! You are the piping queen, in all the good ways!! Your garments are always finished with that special 'pop' of 'something' that makes them 'you' and beautiful. And the more I make my own bias binding, the less I buy.

  3. I am a huge fan of cutting out projects in batches. Cutting out fabric is my least favorite part of sewing. My productivity improves 100% when I cut out multiple garments at one time. A few weeks ago, I was prepping for a sewing retreat. I decided to prep projects ahead of time and to make simple garments. My goal was to finish summer sewing and to start fall sewing. I used TNT patterns and added twp new patterns. I cut out projects until it was time to leave for the retreat.

    The retreat was great and I finished 5 garments. I've been able to sew a little bit every day since I got home. Another 6 garments will be done soon. I bumped my head cutting out projects because there are 9 project bags on the cutting table ready for the sewing machine. This should keep me busy for the fall.

  4. You are the one that I copied when I began piping things. I love the detail and probably never would have done it if not for you showing us the way.
    Bias binding has not made much of an impact 'YET'. But have done some.
    A 'cut pile' does not work for me. I tried it and I feel pressured to sew it up then get irritated over it and shove it away somewhere. Or something new and shiny comes along and I want that instead. I still have a couple of mens dress shirts for the hubs cut out and a couple of blouses for me from about 2 years ago that have not been sewn up. I really need to get to them. Short story is I am a start to finish project person. One at a time. I may use the same exact pattern but I don't cut until I am finished with the previous item.

    1. Garnet128 - for years a cut pile didn't work for me either. For all the reasons you listed, it's just in the last year that this is working for I totally understand! Glad you're liking working with piping!

  5. I like that mint green and black border print. What a great style/fabric match. Hope she behaves...would love to see it on you.

  6. Oh my, the piping just makes me want to try it. Your blog is being added to my must-read as you are inspiring (I admit to being scared when I start working on clothing, partially because it is usually for my mom and she is hard to fit and doesn't live close).

  7. Your cut pile at Sew Camp inspired me to start figuring out what I want to do with each piece in a bundle, cut and pile it so I can just sew to my heart's content. So my thanks again for that handy idea.

    And after I read your post about putting the zipper in the back of that Simplicity dress we've both made (mine with the sash, yours without), I took that idea for my fourth one, this in a linen from our Fabric Mart expedition. It's so much better! (That's really why I bought the hundred pack of invisible zippers...)

    And some time this month I'll be making a maxi skirt out of the balance of my green linen. Sorry you had to put yours in time out, but I'm sure that when it decides to play nice with you again, you'll love it!

    I should figure out how to make piping. I don't have any here...of course...

    Happy Sewing Month, Carolyn!

    1. Marji - I'm glad you've found some useful things in my obsession! LOL! Though I have to admit your use of those bundles is amazing and admirable. I will have to find some online piping sources for you cause piping will change the way you look at garments.

  8. Carolyn, I've been reading you blog for some time and am awe of your piping skills. When I happened upon this YouTube video,(don't know how but I did subscribe as there is some great skills to learn) I immediately thought of you. So here it is:

  9. My problem with a cut pile is that I put everything for each cut garment in a nice plastic bag, then put them in a box and almost immediately forget they are there. I have a sparkly set of pants and top from the 1980's and a weight of 105 lbs still ready to sew. I will never weigh 105 lbs again !!!!

    1. My cut pile is front and center! I keep it on my cutting table so I can work from it. I also only cut things that I want to sew right away and like I said before this is a new development. It didn't work for me before but I'm thrilled that it's working for me now!

  10. I really like how piping finishes an edge. I use a lot of prints, and a solid (or semisolid, given how a bias cut shows the print) line at the seam or edge corrals the eye and gives the print a frame. I owe this to reading Kenneth King's Cool Couture several years ago; it's easy to add it in and it adds a lot.
    I love it when a new process gets the mojo going. I've been using project boxes, which are working like your cut pile. I can keep the notions together with the pieces, and can whittle away at a bigger project and put it back when I have to do something else (like sleep). The rest of the sewing table is utter chaos as usual.

  11. Carolyn, I'm doing your cut pile system and it's working for me too. As far as details your piping has also inspired me but you have earned the title of Piping Queen! As always I'm anxious to see your makes. Karen

    1. Karen - as honored as I am that you call it my cut pile's not something I devised or dreamed up. I learned of it early on in my sewing life and just now made it work for me. Though I'm thrilled it's working for you now!

  12. I love your usage of border prints! I actually found your blog by googling border print layouts and spent a delightful afternoon checking out the border print tag. It looks like your maxi dress in progress will be another lovely example of border prints in action. I think I am going to follow your lead on making a cut pile as well. Part of that is due to necessity-- I don't have a table big enough to cut on in my apartment, so I should maximize my MIL's kitchen table whenever I get to it! Thanks for the continued inspiration.....

    -Caroline (@carobanano on IG)

  13. Thanks you so much for the props, Caroline! I have been inundated with company recently and missed this when you posted it. It is always sweet to get a bit of recognition.

    I have always loved your use of piping and find it particularly sweet on your necklines. Keep your empty thread spools and you can start cutting bias scraps and wrapping them on the spools for when you need some and can't get to the store, just a thought! I love piping too! Happy Sewing!


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