Sportswear: Embellishing a T-Shirt with Coverstitch

Sportswear: Embellishing a T-Shirt with Coverstitch

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:

Materials:

  • Angela Wolf Ruched-T Pattern  (Click 👉🏻 here to order and use coupon code BROTHER20 for a 20% discount)
  • Stretch Fleece Fabric
  • 4 spools of serger thread
  • Tailors chalk

 

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

Cheers,

Brother Expert Sewing Consultant. This blog post may contain affiliate links.

DIY Upcycle & Recycle 2 Denim Shirts into 1 Dress

Upcycle Denim Shirts My husband was cleaning out his closet and handed me a couple of denim shirts to donate.  I couldn’t help but notice the logo on one of the shirts from a marina we frequent on our summer boating trips – I couldn’t bear to allow that one to go.  A...

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Embellishing – Fabricate with Applique!

  Fab-ri-cate (from dictionary.com unabridged – based on the Random House Dictionary) To make by art or skill and labor; construct To make by assembling parts or sections To devise or invent To fake; forge That definition pretty much leaves the door open for...

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50% OFF CREATIVE SERGING ONLINE CLASS!

CLICK HERE

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!

CLICK HERE

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.

Fringe Skirt Sewalong Part 5: Quilting the Lining

Fringe Skirt Sewalong Part 5: Quilting the Lining

Quilting the Lining

Why not add a touch of couture to your tweed fringed skirt and quilt the lining. Similar to a Chanel style jacket, the quilted lining is stylish and luxurious. There is a lot of hand-sewing involved in this process, but it’s worth every stitch 😉 As you know, I sew many of my skirts and jackets this way and once you wear a quilted garment you will be hooked!

Lining

I mentioned in a previous lesson in the Fringe Skirt Sewalong that is is best to use a natural fiber for the lining.  Here are some of my favorite options:

  • china silk
  • silk charmeuse
  • lightweight cotton
  • sueded silk
  • cotton knit

Cutting the Lining

When quilting the lining you will need to cut your lining fabric a little bit wider than your fashion fabric.  I usually lay my muslin or garment fabric on top of the lining as shown:

  • cut the sides of the lining at least 1″ wider than the skirt
  • fold up the fringe hem allowance and cut the lining 1″ longer than the top of the fringe marking

Preparing the Lining and Fashion Fabrics

  • Sew the darts on the lining, the same way you did on the fashion fabric.  Press the darts toward the side seams or the opposite direction the dart are pressed on the fashion fabric.
  • Prepare the zipper area on the skirt by pressing the fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric
  • If the fashion fabric fabric or lining frays easily, serge the edges of the fabric with a 3-thread wide overlock stitch (DO NOT serge the hem on the fashion fabric!)

Baste the Lining

With wrong sides together, lay the tweed fabric on top of the lining. Starting at the waistline, line up the darts on both fabrics.  Pin or hand-baste the fabrics together, starting at the center and moving out toward the side seams.  (see my blue pins in the photo below)

Mark the area that you will not be stitching:

  • Depending on the waistband: 1/2″ from the top edge
  • 2″ from each side seam
  • 2″ from the top of the fringe hemline

 

 

Quilting the Lining

Starting at the top of the waistline in the center of the skirt, line up the needle with the grainline and stitch from the top of the skirt down.  I am using a stitch length of 2.5.

Stop the stitching 1″ to 2″ higher than the top of the fringe placement

Continue to stitch parallel rows 1/2″ to 1″ apart, depending on the fabric design.

Stitch around the darts; stopping or starting the stitches around the dart, not through the dart.

Do not quilt rows within 2″ of the side seam.  This leaves room to sew the seams together and press the seam allowances open.

Quilt the front and both side back pieces

 

So what do you think – are you going to try this touch of couture on your next tweed skirt?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to join the Angela Wolf Patterns Private Facebook Group to share photos, ask questions, and share ideas with your fellow sewer’s!

Cheers,

The Sewalong Schedule:

  1. Fabric & Sourcing (February 10. 2017)
  2. Fitting & Patternhacking  (February 16. 2017)
  3. Cutting & Prep  (February 21. 2017)
  4. All About Darts  (February 23. 2017)
  5. Quilting the Lining  (February 28. 2017)
  6. Invisible Zipper’s  (March 2. 2017)
  7. Waistbands  (March 7. 2017)
  8. Hemming & Fringe  (March 9. 2017)
  9. Show off in the Angela Wolf Facebook Group! 

Episode 36 Behind the Scenes LIVE

Episode 36: Behind the Scenes LIVE This week's Behind the Scenes LIVE show includes: Hand dyeing antique crocheted lace NEW Eloflex stretchable thread by Coats Towel hoodie pattern measurements Draping Lace on a dressform Canvas tote bag sewalong part 1 - 4 Upcycle a...

Fringe Skirt Sewalong Part 4: Sewing & Fitting Darts

Fringe Skirt Sewalong Part 4: Sewing & Fitting Darts

Darts have a unique role in clothing.  The obvious reason for adding darts would be for fitting purposes, but they are also used as a design element.  After you try on your muslin, you might find that you need to add additional darts to the front or back waist – this is common if you have a tiny waist.

Any easy way to determine if you will need to add darts is to measure your waist and hips.  A standard pattern will have the waist and hips with a 10 inch difference.

For example:  your natural waist measurement is 26″ and your hips are 40″

A standard pattern would have 40″ hips with a 30″ waist, you would probably need to add 2 darts in order to take in that extra 4″ or your waistband would have a big gap.  Get the idea 🙂

TRANSFERRING DARTS TO THE FABRIC

 

  • Start by clipping small notches at the waistband at each dart location: a snip at each dart opening.

 

 

 

  • Place a pin through all the layers of muslin and fabric at the tip of the dart

 

 

 

 

 

  • On the wrong side of the fabric, find the pin marking the tip of the dart

 

 

 

 

  • Fold the fabric with right sides together at the dart location

 

 

 

 

  • Match up the snips at the waistline

 

 

 

Sewing the Darts

 

 

  • Start stitching at the largest part of the dart

 

 

 

  • When you get toward the tip of the dart, instead of back-stitching, shorten the stitch length and stitch.  This is less bulk than back-stitching.

 

Pressing Darts

Pressing is the most important part of sewing!  Here is a “Dressmaker Ham”.   On the main side of the pressing ham, the curve matches the curve of a dart.  Why not just press the dart flat on the ironing board?  Because the point of the dart is to accommodate your curves, so you need to press the same curve. Remember to use a lot of steam and the tailors clapper for a crisp edge.

Angela Wolf’s Weekly Facebook Live Show … Lets Talk Dart’s

In case you missed last week’s show, I discussed fitting darts on a dress form and couture sewing tips for altering the curve of the dart for your shape. Click on the video below …

Fringe Skirt Sewalong

It’s not too late to join the fringe skirt sewalong!  Here is the full list of lessons.  See you in the Angela Wolf Facebook Group for comments and questions!  Can’t wait to see your skirts coming together!!!

Cheers,

Let's Talk Darts!

Angela Wolf's Live Facebook Show - Let's Talk Darts

Posted by Angela Wolf on Friday, February 24, 2017

The Fringe Skirt Sewalong Schedule:

  1. Fabric & Sourcing (February 10. 2017)
  2. Fitting & Patternhacking  (February 16. 2017)
  3. Cutting & Prep  (February 21. 2017)
  4. All About Darts  (February 23. 2017)
  5. Quilting the Lining  (February 28. 2017)
  6. Invisible Zipper’s  (March 2. 2017)
  7. Waistbands  (March 7. 2017)
  8. Hemming & Fringe  (March 9. 2017)
  9. Show off in the Angela Wolf Facebook Group! 

Learn to Sew Custom Removable Shoulder Pads

Learn to Sew Custom Removable Shoulder Pads

Ask Angela …: There are countless women like me who must have the same question to ask, so I’ll make an attempt to speak for the group. After reaching those golden years, we start to wonder why our clothes — especially shirts and blouses — seem to have lost all sense of shape. We might just as well be wearing ponchos because our collective shoulders have gradually disappeared over the years. How about a hint on making conservative shoulder pads . . . not like the 80’s kind and not just for jackets/coats and blazers. I would like something that can be used with casual or dress shirts and blouses, so it should not be too bulky.
Sure hope you can address this problem — I’ve seen you on It’s Sew Easy many times and feel that if anybody can solve this issue, it is Angela.
Sincerely,
Sarah
P.S. My next project will be creating a bra with suspenders to keep it in place. Any ideas?

Sarah from Ohio

This was a great question from Sarah, and although I’m not going to talk about making your own shoulder pads, I am going to give you a few tips that have worked for other clients of mine in the past.

All of us have different body shapes, meaning I might not need the same thickness of shoulder pad as you or maybe I don’t need extra padding at all.  With that being said, there are just as many sizes and styles of shoulder pads.

Do you remember the shoulder pads of the 80s – they were very, very, VERY LARGE! In fact, I’m pretty sure the shoulders of the jackets extended at least 2 inches past the actual edge of any female’s shoulder.  I always laugh at some of the old photos where I am wearing enormously huge shoulder pads – my head looks SO small! 🙂

Take a look at these two shoulder pads. Both are considered a raglan shoulder pad, meaning that part of the shoulder pad will be directly on your shoulder and a small part of the shoulder pad will extend past your shoulder to fill in the sleeve cap.  These are typically used for jackets, but the smaller one will work in tops as well.

This shoulder pad is very thin and a perfect option for blouses and tops.  It gives that soft edge to your shoulder and evens out your profile, without standing out that you are wearing shoulder pads..

It can get rather expensive to add shoulder pads to every top that you own, not to mention shoulder pads turn out disastrously after being washed.  So why not design your own removable shoulder pads!

You will need:

1” wide Hook & Loop tape; which comes in a variety of colors including beige, black, foliage green, olive drab, and white

Shoulder pad options I would consider:

Hand Sewing Needle and Thread

CHOOSING A SHOULDER PAD

Shoulder pads are listed by thickness and length.  The thickness is the height of the shoulder pad, so if you are looking for the bare minimal to even out the shoulder area – start with the ¼” thick shoulder pad.  For unlined jackets and sweaters consider using the raglan shoulder pads (which is what I will be using here). For knit tops and blouses, choose a flatter shoulder pad that won’t extend into the sleeve cap but the straight edge will line up with the edge of your shoulder.

PREPARE HOOK AND LOOP TAPE

Take a close look at the hook and loop tape.  There is a softer side (which will be attached to your garments) usually referred to as the loop side.  Then, there is the hook side that is (more…)

Sewing Tutorial: Hemming Pants with Cuffs

Sewing Tutorial: Hemming Pants with Cuffs

Although I teach three Tailoring Ready-to-Wear classes on Craftsy, there are a few alterations that many students ask about that were not included in the classes.  One of the most common questions: “How do I hem pants with a cuff?”  Hemming cuffed pants is very simple, but its important to pay attention to the measurements or you run the risk of hemming the pants too short.

To get started these are the supplies from WAWAK SEWING you will need:

Let’s Get Started … Hemming Cuffs!

STEP 1:   Mark the hem. Try on the pants and turn up each pant leg.  Mark the bottom edge of the new hemline with chalk.
STEP 2:  Measure the amount to be hemmed: measure from the original hemline to the chalk mark.
j
Designer Tip: Be sure to measure both legs, as quite often there is a difference!
Step 3: Measure the width of the original cuff. (more…)

How to Make Covered Buttons

How to Make Covered Buttons

All About Buttons!

Embellishing is one of my favorite things to do, in fact sometimes I even add touches to ready-to-wear garments.  One of the easiest ways to restyle is to change the buttons.  Even better, your own custom covered buttons!  From simple to couture, this is what I will cover in the next series of blogs.

how to cover buttons6

First, lets start with the basics on how to cover a button.  The base of the button looks just like the ones above and they come in many sizes.  There at two kinds available, I prefer the ones with what I call “teeth”, like this one from WAWAK.

how to cover buttons2

 

Each button has 2 parts: a top that you will wrap your fabric around and a base that snaps onto the back, securing the fabric.

how to cover buttons7

Let’s get started!

  1. Cut out a circle from your fashion fabric,  just little bit bigger than the button.

how to cover a button Angela Wolf4

Note:  the circle above is too large for that button, it should look more like the photo below

how to cover a button Angela Wolf5 2. Wrap the fabric around the curve of the button top, securing edges of fabric in the teeth.  If the fabric is plaid or striped, take care in placing the button and check the alignment of the shank to make sure its the same on every button.

how to cover a button Angela Wolf1

3. Continue all the way around until the fabric is tight and secure.

how to cover a button Angela Wolf2

See why I prefer the teeth, so much easier to tighten the fabric!

4. Place the backing on and snap into place with needle nose pliers.  Snap all the way around the button to make sure the back is tightly closed.

Trouble Shooting:  If you can’t snap the back of the button in place, you might have too much fabric inside.  This means the circle of fabric was too large, but you can still trim out the excess fabric to make it work.

how to cover a button Angela Wolf6

That’s it!  Super easy and  trend with a touch of couture 🙂

how to cover a button Angela Wolf3

I have quite a few more buttons to go, but this jacket has been cut and sitting in my “to do” bin for over a year!  Hand-dyed silk charmeuse lining and all, I must finish this before spring!

angela wolf jacket

One more thing about covering buttons:  A little trick that I do to make my buttons look more professional is to add a touch of cotton.  You can use cotton balls, make-up remover cotton, batting, even a thin piece of polar fleece.

how to cover buttons8

how to cover buttons5

Center the cotton on the button, then wrap the fabric over the cotton.  Now when you secure the fabric tightly you won’t see any metal through the fabric and it softens the look.  Now when I want to add beading to the button I can actually get my needle through the fabric.  If you have a hard time keeping the cotton in place, use a tab of super glue, just let the glue dry before covering with fabric.

Buying Covered Buttons:

There are so many covered buttons to choose from it can get a little overwhelming, so I have included links to the ones that I use from WAWAK Sewing:

These are all 12 packs, but trust me you will go through them.  These buttons have a curved top, they also carry a flat top.

Next time I will show how I made these custom buttons:

how to cover buttons4

Hope you had a great week!  Off to work on samples for It’s Sew Easy TV taping next week.

Cheers,

Angela WolfWAWAK_SEWING_Logo_Web

 

 

 

 

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