One of my favorite items to make is a simple t-shirt. It’s fast and easy when sewn with a serger. Then I use the Brother Coverstitch machine for hemming. But what about embellishing the tee with coverstitching! If you have used the Coverstitch before you will notice the back side of the coverstitch has a sporty look, similar to what we see in sportswear. For this tutorial, I am going to show you how to utilize the 3-thread Coverstitch to create this fashionable look! Let’s get started:
DESIGNING THE LOCATION FOR THE STITCHES:
Cut out the pattern. My T-shirt pattern pieces consist of 1 Front, 1 Back, 2 Sleeves, and 1 Collar. There are not princess seams, but I want to add the illusion there are princess seams. Starting with the front pattern, on the wrong side of the fabric, draw a line from the armscye to the hem. Use a curved ruler if you need help drawing the curve .
Fold the fabric in half and use your hand to brush the fabric. This will trace the chalk mark to the other side of the fabric.
Open the fabric back up and you should see a faint line from the first chalk marking. Use the chalk to trace over this line, making it darker and easier to see. Do the same thing for the BACK pattern piece. For the collar and sleeve, draw randomly placed chalked lines.
SET UP THE COVERSTITCH MACHINE
Choose the color of thread for the decorative stitch. Ideally the color should be in the same color family as the right side of the fabric, but enough of a contrast that you can see the stitches.
Decide which stitch looks the best on your fabric:
- Stitch a swatch of fabric with a wide coverstitch (using the left and right needle)
- Stitch a sample with the triple coverstitch.
Keep in mind you will be stitching with the wrong side of the fabric facing up. Check the look of the stitch on both sides.
I prefer the triple coverstitch on my fabric, so I will set up the coverstitch machine with all three needles using 4 spools of thread. It’s a little faster to stitch from piece to piece, so start stitching on a scrap of fabric and then add another piece of fabric. This allows me to check my stitch quality and I won’t have to worry about threads falling off at the beginning or end of my garment pieces. (All of these stitches rows will be sealed in a seam, so no worries on threads unraveling).
For the full tutorial, check out my post on the Brother Stitching Sewcial blog. I always love to see what your are working on, be sure to share photos of your sporty tops using #angelawolf #brothersews
Brother Expert Sewing Consultant. This blog post may contain affiliate links.
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50% OFF CREATIVE SERGING ONLINE CLASS!
Coupon Details: Get 50% off the full retail price of select Craftsy classes taught by Angela Wolf. Cannot be combined with any other coupons. Expires August 15, 2017.
50% OFF SEW WITH YOUR SERGER!
Coupon Details: Coupon Details: Get 50% off the full retail price of select Craftsy classes taught by Angela Wolf. Cannot be combined with any other coupons. Expires August 15, 2017.
With October’s Wardrobe Challenge including zippers, I thought now would be a good time to share a few easy ways to embellish with exposed zippers.
A fun way to change the look of a pair of jeans is to embellish the leg with an exposed zipper. Follow along:
Step 1: On the wrong side of the fabric, mark the center of the pant leg (could be front or back, wherever you want the zipper).
If marking an existing pair of jeans, rip out the hem at least 5″ from each side of new mark. Press the fusible interfacing along the newly marked center line.
Step 2: Mark the hem, hem allowance, and the length of the zipper opening down center of the pant leg.
Step 3: Determine the width of the zipper opening (depends on the width of the zipper teeth). Draw in opening, top edge, and then add a triangle from the center cut line to each corner (as shown above).
Step 4: Cut along center marking. Cut each triangle point (if you are worried about the fabric fraying, add Fray Check to the top corners)
Step 5: Press the seam allowances back and press triangle tip up.
Step 6: Line up the zipper with the metal teeth in the center of the opening. Check the placement of the zipper stop and zipper tab.
Step 7: Fold back the zipper tape and press in place at the hemline.
Step 8: Pin zipper in place.
Step 9: In this example, I am using standard polyester thread, cotton or silk thread would work too. Set the sewing machine to a triple stitch and lengthen the stitch length to 4.0. (Note: if you don’t have this feature, use denim thread, straight stitch, stitch length 4.0)
Step 10: Stitch along the edge of the zipper. Open and close the zipper as needed in order to get the foot by the zipper tab. Step 11: Notice how I have lined up the edge of the zipper foot with the metal teeth, a very easy to get a straight stitch … or this would be a great time to utilize the laser vision guide feature on your machine! 🙂
Step 12: Press up the hem with the tailor’s clapper for a crisp crease. By the way, did I mention WAWAK Sewing is now carrying my tailor’s clapper! Yeah!
Step 13: Hem the jeans and move onto the other leg.
That’s it! Now this is just one quick, easy way to install a hidden zipper. I will give you some more ideas next time.
Sewing jeans are really easy once you get the hang of the process, but fitting the pattern can be challenging. The next few posts are going to deal with exactly that, fitting various body shapes. This pattern alteration is needed if you have a fuller stomach, in the old days referred to as an apple shape. Although, I am not sure where the fruit terms originated from, I really don’t like them. I would rather be a glass! Wine glass, red wine glass, martini glass, goblet, water-glass, I think you get the idea. It just sounds a little more glamorous than an apple or pear 🙂 Anyway, if you made up a jean muslin and the pattern fit great in the legs, hips, and tush, but you just can’t get that center front closed … here you go:
Fitting a Jean Pattern for a Round Stomach
1. Tape the front pocket in place. Start by drawing lines on your pattern (don’t cut yet):
- Draw a line (green) across the hip and up to the tip of the side seam.
- Draw 2 lines (purple) perpendicular to the green line,
2. Cut along the green line, cutting up to the side seam put NOT through the edge.
3. Slide the pattern open. Look what happens, you just gave a little more room in the front tummy area in the width and height of the pattern.
4. The upper waist curve is too extreme if left like this. Cut each purple line, down to the green line, but NOT through it. Slide each line open until the waist curve angles down more like the original pattern.
5. Redraw a new waistline and center front crotch curve (red line).
If you are having difficulty redrawing the front crotch curve, slide the pattern back together. Mark the bottom edge of the facing area and trim off the front fly facing. Follow all the steps and then tape the front facing back in place once the new center front is drawn in, lining up the facing with the marking on the pattern. Draw a line extending the facing up to the waistline ( I used this pattern piece, because I knew someone would ask about that).
Here is your new front pattern piece, use this for the front and left, of course one will have a front facing section and the other will not. This is the same alteration for any pant style when you need a little more room in the tummy area.
How are your jeans coming along for March’s wardrobe challenge? The judges are almost finished with February’s winners, hope to announce them this weekend.
SPECIAL OFFER FROM WAWAK SEWING!
Looking to stock up on jean sewing supplies – zippers, jean thread, jean buttons … WAWAK Sewing is offering $10 off the next order of $80 or more! This offer is good until March 31st, use PROMO CODE: WAGW314 when checking out. What a great treat for the jean challenge! Thanks WAWAK! 🙂
That’s all for today 🙂 Sun is shining and snow is melting, thank goodness!!!!
When I asked what part of sewing jackets you find the most intimidating to sew, many of you left a comment about the collar and lapel. I must have had a premonition, as this week’s episode of It’s Sew Easy gives you a few tips for success. You are right, the collar and lapel is what really makes your jacket stand out … and the good news … it’s easier to sew than you think. In fact, sewing is only a minute part involved in tailoring a collar. The most time-consuming part involves preparing the center front jacket, upper collar, and under collar pattern pieces with interfacing and twill tape, not to mention pad stitching if you are going the traditional tailoring route. The weight of the interfacing will determine the thickness and stability of your lapel and collar, so be sure to test a sample first. My two favorites for jackets are armo-weft fusible interfacing (shown here) and horse hair canvas (perfect if you plan on pad stitching – which I will show in a later blog post). Fusible interfacing can be added in layers if you need more structure at the end of the lapel, keep that in mind if you interfacing supply is limited.
Despite adding interfacing, extra measures need to be taken to prevent the neckline and center front of the jacket from stretching out. Twill tape is the perfect solution! Look closely and you can see hand stitching attaching the 1/4″ wide cotton twill tape to the front edge of the jacket. As I am hand stitching, I am holding the twill tape tight and allowing the jacket fabric to ease in. Not too much easing though! Make sure the jacket doesn’t change shape or become skewed.
What about that perfect roll on the lapel? Again, twill tape is hand stitched to the roll line (the roll line should be printed on your jacket pattern)
When hand stitching the twill tape to the roll line, keep the twill tape tight (tighter than when we added twill tape to the center front and neckline). Again, easing in the fashion fabric. I use a pin to hold one end of the twill tape and start stitching from the other end. You can see below how much I am easing!
Here I started hand stitching the twill tape in place, the main part of the stitch is on the twill tape and I am just picking a short fiber in the fashion fabric, then back through the twill tape. You can barely see the stitching from the right side of the fabric. When you are finished steam press the lapel roll using a seam roll. Again, for more details see this weeks episode of It’s Sew Easy, scroll to the bottom of their page and click on the video.
Another Giveaway, this one is for my online class: Sewing a Designer Unlined Jacket on PatternReveiw.com. Does your favorite jacket style close in the center front or asymmetrically? Just tell us your preference to enter the jacket class giveaway. (A random winner will be drawn next Monday) Congratulations to last weeks winner JRP53 who will be joining me in the Beginner’s Guide to Sewing Jackets on PatternReview! Good luck on your jackets!
Getting back to sewing jackets … by any chance did you happen to catch last weeks episode on It’s Sew Easy TV where I demonstrated adding a curved welt pocket. Welt pockets can be a little intimidating because once you cut into the garment, you can’t change your mind! In case you missed the episode, here is a quick recap:
1. Interface the entire jacket front and side front pattern pieces (not only does that prevent the fabric from fraying, it supports the pocket). Similar to a standard welt pocket, take two bias strips of fashion fabric, add fusible interfacing, and press in half. Draw the curve line of the pocket onto the right side of the fashion fabric. Turn the welts with the fold side away from the chalked in line (or make sure the raw edges are touching) and stitch along the center of the welt flap. Notice how I have also chalk marked the ends of the pocket opening.
2. Turn the jacket over and on the wrong side of the garment you will see the stitch lines (I obviously used a yellow thread so you can see this :)). Starting about 1″ in from one end of the stitching, cut into the fashion fabric. Cut right in the middle of the stitch lines and end the cut about 1″ before the other stitch end. Going back to the 1″ that we left alone, snip each corner from the cut line to the edge of the stitch line. Do this for all four corners – as shown above.
3. (See below) What is left is a slit with each welt on each side. Pull the welts through the open slit, toward the wrong side of the fabric.
4. Align the welts and press. Run a basting stitch through the fold of each welt. Now the pocket opening won’t slide around while finishing the pocket.
5. Topstitch 1/8″ from the edge of the welt pocket. The pocket shown above is a straight welt style, yet the topstitching you see would be the same on the curved welt. Add the pocket lining. That’s it!
This weeks It’s Sew Easy episode demonstrates preparing the jacket collar and lapel. Have you been following along and sewing your own jacket? On that note, I better giveaway another one of my online jacket classes: Beginner’s Guide to Sewing Jackets on PatternReview. Entering to win is easy, leave a comment below about what you find the most intimidating about sewing jackets. (A random winner will be drawn on Friday).
Don’t forget ALL my PatternReview online classes are on sale for the rest of the week. Why? Just a special thanks to all of you that support my teaching. Speaking of support, thanks to your votes in the Craftsy 2013 Blogger Awards, we won Runner-Up for Sewing Best Instructor’s Blog! You all are awesome!!!! Thanks 🙂
Congratulations to Stephani the winner of my PatternReview class Create a Jacket Muslin !
There is only one reason I have not moved South in order to enjoy beautiful sunny weather all year round … jackets and boots! This is the time of year I rearrange my wardrobe, bringing out all the cute jackets I finished last March and never had a chance to wear (remember in the fashion industry we are always designing a season ahead). Of course while I am pulling out the fall wardrobe, out come the fabulous boots. I LOVE shoes! I sew all my own clothes, I have to find something to shop for besides fabric 🙂
Speaking of sewing all my own clothes, about 15 years ago I set a goal of only wearing clothes I had sewn myself. It was a great idea, but hardly possible. I spent all my time sewing custom garments for clients and I could never find time to sew for myself. You know, like the shoemaker that wears worn-out shoes. Those of you that are in the sewing business know exactly what I am talking about.
Once I started designing a ready-to-wear line and a pattern collection for the home sewer, I found a perfect reason to sew for myself. Someone has to test the fit, right 🙂 Over the last few years I have been adding my label to the closet with jeans, tops, jackets, dresses, skirts, slacks, … In fact last night after admiring my organized closet (now is the time to admire, it never seems to stay that way very long), I realized I finally accomplished my goal! Every garment carried the Angela Wolf label. I could hardly believe it! In fact, once you get going on sewing for yourself, the outfits flow in much faster than you think. Have you ever had the desire to sew all your own clothes? I challenge you to try. I am going to celebrate this accomplishment and try to focus on doing the same for the spring wardrobe swap. I feel a 2014 wardrobe sew along coming on … what do you think?
In the last post, I mentioned how thankful I am to all of you readers and a special thanks to those that voted my blog into the finals for the category sewing – best instructor blog for the 2013 Craftsy Blogging Awards. Voting in the final round is still going on, so make sure to vote for your favorites again (hint, hint). I couldn’t think of a better way to thank you than give away a few online classes, which I will do over the next few weeks.
Not everyone can win, so I asked my friend Deepika – founder of PatternReview.com – to place all my online classes on sale for the rest of the month. In case you haven’t visited the site, PatternReview.com is a great website for learning and connecting with other garment sewer’s. I offer quite a few classes there, including sewing jackets. No, my jacket patterns are not ready to launch yet, so this is the next best thing. The next few giveaways will be for my online classes. The first one is Create a Jacket Muslin on PatternReview. Creating a perfect fitting muslin is the most important part of sewing a jacket. If you would like a chance to join my class on sewing a muslin where I offer fitting tips, solutions, and you can even upload photos of your muslin for personal fitting advice, simply share a comment about your experience in fitting jackets. Never sewn a jacket, even better reason to start with the muslin class (a random winner will be chosen and announced next Friday). Speaking of jackets, have you been watching season 5 on It’s Sew Easy and following along as I sew a jacket? If your PBS doesn’t carry It’s Sew Easy, you can catch a new episode every week on their website.
Good Luck 😉