Posts under ‘Techniques, tips’

Tips on taping together Dress Shop App PDF patterns

I have been using Dress Shop a lot lately and I have discovered a few things that make the taping-together process a lot quicker for me. Use the thinnest (and cheapest) printer paper possible. Thinner paper makes it easier to see the registration marks when one sheet is on top of another. I use Office […]

Singer Fashion Mate’s pedal fix!

Do you ever wonder what’s the average age of sewing machines of all serious sewists out there? Maybe when you’re trying to justify that Husqvarna Super Automated sewing machine, the one with the built-in kitchen sink and waste disposal? My Singer Fashion Mate Model 248 is almost 40 years old. It weights like it’s 40 […]

A better mouse trap: an improvement on how to cut a continuous bias strips!

How often do you hear of a better mouse trap? Probably about as often hearing of a better wheel. That’s not square. Or does not rotate around a single axis. However, I guarantee you that you will get your money’s worth with this new and improved method of cutting bias strips! I am so confident […]

Austin Carnaval costume

You may have seen from an earlier post on making the mohawk headpiece for my Austin Carnaval costume. I found this braided metallic mesh tubing at Jo-Ann Fabrics: …and decided to add fringes to the back of the mohawk: Beyond that, it was on to making the rest of my “Road Warrior in White” costume: […]

Clever way to correlate fabric to pattern

As you may know, I started using Dress Shop to generate patterns. Dress Shop generates a PDF file which is printed out on a normal printer on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. I would then tape the pages together to form the pattern. One artifact of printing patterns this way is that they are too sturdy […]

Austin Carnaval costume: “mohawk”

I made an all-white “road warrior” costume for the 2017 Austin Carnaval Brasileiro. I’ve been “incubating” the idea for several years, and this year I finally “pulled the trigger” on it. Since the costume is for the Carnaval, it needed to be super sexy! That means short skirt, bared midriff, spike heels, etc. However, one […]

A pressing matter

Pressing and steaming differentiate great garments from home-made looking ones probably more than anything else. Mismatched plaids and stripes, uneven hem, and wrinkly sleeve caps also say “home made” instead of “tailored”, but not to the same degree, as it takes a bit of scrutiny to see those things. Unpressed seams, however, says “done at […]

Pin sizes

I have written before about sewing over pins. There is always a “religious war” over whether or not to leave pins in place and sew over them or to remove them as one sews. I think at least some of those who are in the “remove pins” camp use pins that are sturdier but as […]

“Chatelaine”

A chatelaine is “a set of short chains attached to a woman’s belt, used for carrying keys or other items.” (It also means “a woman in charge of a large house”, presumably because she’d be carrying a large cluster of keys etc.) I saw “Dior And I” at the Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival […]

Sewing machine presser foot as helping hand

A “helping hand” is not new in sewing, nor in many crafts, for that matter. For example, there exist antiques of the “bird’s beak” clamp. Similar devices exist in jewelry making, watchmaking and other tiny-scale crafts, such as fishing lure tying. I’m reasonably dextrous so I can manage manual tasks well. There are times though, […]