Sewing classes at tchad: workroom: studio: draping: Joy: dressform: sweater: 2

If you are draping a garment like coat or jacket, it is easy to over-fit it as you drape against the dress form.  To keep the garment from being too tight and needing alteration right off the bat, pad the dress form with a heavy sweater, jacket, or coat.   This will give you the extra volume you need to play around on the dress form and give you a better result without having to figure the ease geometrically after the garment is draped and you are correcting the pattern. As a side note, remember as you are fitting the sample on the person toRead More →

Sewing classes in chicago: tchad: workroom: stdio: christen: sequins: bodice: blouse: darts

Sequined fabrics come up a lot in classes – from Indian to more Western pavé yardage and everything in between. Sometimes the conversation about them revolves around how hard on the machine and how uncomfortable they can be to wear.  This tells us that these people have only been wearing clothes with the sequins sewn into the seam.  To make the piece less scratchy and irritating, and to give it literally a seamless look, remove the sequins from the seam allowances, saving them to fill in the voids once you are done.  It takes longer, but it is entirely worth it – especially when youRead More →

sewing classes in chicago: tchad: workroom: studio: netta: pattern placement: lace: under

A quick tip if you are either having trouble placing you pattern on top of a lace or sheer or you want to be able to mirror or otherwise position the pattern on the piece nicely: Put the pattern itself under the fabric you are using and then either gingerly cut from there or throw a few pins in to keep it from sliding.  If you cover the table with a flannel or textured fabric that contrasts to the fabric you are cutting, even better to see what you are doing.  We use this all the time – especially for decorative placement.Read More →

sewing classes in chicago: tchad: workroom: studio: sylvia: wrap dress: front

Learning how to sew and think about sewing doesn’t just make you able to build things from scratch and take them out into the world, it can also make you a better shopper for ready to wear in that you will know what to look for.  In a lot of ways, even if you never sew another stitch after a sewing class, you should end up being more informed generally about construction and design. This wrap dress Sylvia wore in is a good example.  We initially thought it was something about the level of Banana Republic or maybe something she had made outside of classRead More →

sewing classes in chicago: tchad: drafting: label and date patterns: workroom: project

Whether you are altering a pattern and retracing it or making a new pattern from scratch, we cannot stress this enough: Label and date your patterns. Label and date your patterns. Label and date your patterns. Ok, got it? The thing is that as you work, you are going to be developing patterns and shapes and then forget their contexts.  You don’t think you will, but then 2 years have passed and you pick up that pair of pants you started and… where was I again? If you label and date your patterns you will find that you will have an easier time picking thingsRead More →

Erin trims out under the bustline of her Uniquely You form to get the perfectly shaped bosom.

We’ve written before about how much we enjoy the Uniquely You forms.  They are really the best way to get the most use out of an adjustable dress form while maintaining flexibility. When you are getting into the initial stages, you may find that the form is too big so that even when you get the shaped cover on, it still bulges because of the pressure. Not to fear!  If you use an electric knife or bread knife to pre-cut it, you can trim the shape down a bit so that it doesn’t give you an undefined bulge.  This is especially good to keep inRead More →

Tchad's buttonhole template with notes for placement.

If you have a pattern you make a lot and you already know the ins-and-outs of the general sewing but always drag your feet when it comes to making the final marks for buttonholes and other finishing details, make a template to keep with the pattern.  Also be sure to note any of the regular measurements you use.  We find that a 3.5″ buttonhole spacing is perfect for dress shirts, so that is the spacing we use on ALL dress shirts or garments that are in the dress-shirt-adjacent family.  Just make a template and a note about details and off you go. We use aRead More →

Progression of pattern manipulation from straight to flare

We’ve recently had a ton of students telling us that A. We don’t update the blog enough (and seeing as how we have 72 stored drafts in the draft folder, we’d be inclined to agree).           and B. They want to know how to do specific stuff and want tutorials. So, to keep the revolutionaries in check and anarchy at bay, here is our first update in a while to walk you through turning a straight skirt pattern into a flared pattern.  A little shout-out to Sophia here (Thanks Sophia!) for making the classes worthwhile for us and off we go!Read More →

Clamps holding down denim belt loops for perfect flatness.

One of the things that happens up here when people are sewing tough or rigid fabrics is that they can’t get a good professional press. If you have a tailor’s point press, anvil, clapper, and some clamps you will be able to get that thing to lay flat as a flitter. Get a lot of live steam and heat in the seam, then clap it between two pieces of wood and fasten.  You can take the clamps off when it cools and move on to the next section. It is especially helpful when you are doing belt loops or complex junctions in heavy fabric. ItRead More →

There was a question recently over on Metafilter about how to fix small holes and tears in a set of sheers that the asker didn’t want to let go of yet.  They looked something like this: The answer is that you can’t really repair the holes or recreate pristine fabric, but you can mend them so they are as inconspicuous as possible. Here is the best way to do it without driving yourself crazy. Get some sheer fusible interfacing. Nothing too heavy. You are looking for something like Pellon SK135 by the yard. Get a yard or two of it. Have an iron, a pair ofRead More →