Tag Archives: Etsy shop

New Year – New Dress

 New Year – New Dress

In this new dress sewing post: Project organisation; Matching Checks/Plaids; Creating a Neck facing; Inserting a Zip; Inserting Sleeves; Using Tacking

My new dress has both a high waist and both bodice and skirt darts which are flattering to my curves.

Project organisation

My aim is to use up the fabrics and resources I already have, reducing my storage needs and simplify finding everything.

I had already prepped some red, brown and navy plaid fabric: washing and drying it and then pinning the selvedges together, matching the plaid pattern up. Having decided to use a high waist winter dress pattern, I had stored the fabric and pattern together in a stacking basket, complete with thread and zip notions.

This is one of the ways I organise my projects.

After hearing a podcast on fabric and pattern organisation I’m considering options for my New Year goal of simplicity.

I already use Evernote for general organisation so this may be best for specific sewing project organisation. I would then have the info on fabrics and patterns, including the fabric & notions required on my phone with me when out.

Cutting Out

When I realised I had a spare afternoon towards the end of December, when the rest of the family went off to the cinema, I washed down the Kitchen Island (which is just the right height for me to cut out fabric without back issues), and grabbed the basket for this project.

Having the plaid pattern already matched up, and using my fabric weights, which I find quicker than pins, I had my dress fabric pieces cut out in no time.

 

I made my own fabric weights, filling them with rice, and you can order some  yourself choosing your own colour fabric, from my Etsy shop.

These pattern weights are not just handy for sewists, but make great paper weights or for  juggling practice!

All the pieces were returned to the basket to take back to my studio and stay together during construction.

Over the following week, whenever I had a little time spare, I went to my machine, and pieced my new dress together. My aim became to have it ready to wear on News Year Day, and I did achieve this, even though I sat sewing the hem by hand at my sister in law’s New Years Eve gathering!

Matching Plaids

As I mentioned I had already pined the selvedge edges together, matching the plaid pattern up.

Fabric is not always folded up on in the bolt straight to the pattern so the first step to pattern matching is to straighten it out.

Pre washing means I know there will not be any distortion after making up.

When placing the pattern pieces on the fabric I considered what would need to match up.

My pattern needed matching horizontally and vertically, so I needed the skirt and bodice plaids to match up, as well as the front and back pattern to match horizontally.

I placed the pattern pieces to allow for this.

I also added an inch to the bodice armhole as shown, to give a little more movement.

In places, even after pinning the plaid to match on seams, there was some slippage. So the plaid did not quite match after pressing the seam. This is an instance when tacking, in this case sideways on the plaid line, as well as just inside the seam line, saved unpicking and resewing!

Creating a Neck Facing

An interlined facing creates a neat neck edge. I attached iron-on grey interlining to the fabric facing pieces. (It is not necessary to try to do any plaid matching, as the facing is turned to the wrong side and is not seen when you wear the dress).

The shoulder seams both of the bodice and the facing are sewn first

The facing is then sewn on to the bodice, right sides together. This curved seam needs clipping to ensure the facing lies flat.

I then pressed this facing seam to ensure a smooth neck edge.

Especially when pressing curves, a tailors ham makes a really good accessory, giving a firm surface to press against.

I made my own tailors ham, filling it with sawdust and you can order one yourself (choosing your own colour fabric if you choose) from my Etsy shop

I then used understitching the facing to give extra strength to the neck edge and help ensure the facing lies flat.

This involves a line of stitching on the opened out facing.

When the facing is folded under you don’t see the stitches.

An alternative would be to topstitch the folded neck edge, where you will see the stitches. This can add an extra design feature, especially if you use a contrasting thread colour. As my fabric already had plenty going on, I chose to understitch.

Inserting the Zip

I used a regular zip, rather than an invisible one, as that is what I had in.

When your fabric has several colours, it can be tricky to decide which colour zip to use. I had brown and red zips, so held both against the bodice pieces to choose which blended best. I went for the red zip and made sure the thread blended well too.

My zip method: tack the seam together, press it open and then lay the right side of the zip down centred over the seam.

Tacking again helps keep the centred and in place during stitching. Using a zipper foot helps get the stitches close to the zipper teeth.

Inserting Sleeves

Tack the sleeve heads, with the thread secured at one end. Pull up these stitches then to match the bodice armhole.

I place the pins sideways to the seam. Wind the unsecured end of the tacking round a pin in a figure of eight, after pulling the gathering to match.

The regular sewing machine foot used, glides over pins that are sideways.

My finished new dress for the New Year and Burns Night. Bring on the neeps and tatties!

I would love to hear from you. Please comment here, or using the contact form.

What is your most recent make?

How do you organise your fabric and patterns?

Enjoying My Textile Art Landscapes

Helen Moyes Designs Landscape cards 20162

This Summer my Landscape Textile Art cards have been popular, especially on the cream card. These are available at my Etsy Shop Helen Moyes Designs

I have started to produce Card Kits so that others can get creative with (most) of the necessary materials to hand. These will be available in October.

I thought I would share with you here the process of making up the cards so that if, like me, you have lots of fabric scraps you could have a go yourself.

I love to produce sky effects with two of my favourite materials: tyvek and brusho paints.

Made from 100% polyethylene, Tyvek® can be used to create many unique surface effects. It shrinks and bubbles when heat is applied – which is another story I will save for another time. Tyvek produces interesting distressed/3D effects when used with a heat gun, can be moulded, overprinted and layered. I use different weights of Tyvek for different textile art. I cover  the different uses in my popular Paint and Stitch workshop. Future workshops can be seen on my facebook page.

Tyvek Paper

For the landscape sky,  I like the stability of Tyvek Heavy Weight Paper

You may have a tyvek envelope that has been sent to you that you can open up and upcycle!

BrushoImage

Brusho® is a non toxic,  water-based paint medium. It’s super-highly-pigmented, unpredictable and it’s bags of fun to paint with and you only need a small amount as it goes a long way. I use it on paper, fabric as well as on tyvek. It works really well on watercolour paper. It is made in Sheffield by Colourcraft.

I wet the tyvek paper and then sparingly sprinkle on some brusho powders. You can use a brush to alter the spontaneous design.

When dry, cut the painted tyvek the right size for a third of the card design. The size will depend on the size card you use and how much of the card front you want to have as textile. The card border really adds to the finished design so don’t make your textile too big!
I use a piece of calico as the base for the land and attach this to the tyvek sky with a row of stitch.

Another textile art material I love to use are silk carrier rods. Again I buy local

silk carrier rod

Silk carrier rods are a by-product produced during the silk reeling proces, They come in lots of different colours, including varigated, which I also use in my art and workshops. They contain the natural gum which makes them quite rigid, but they can be split down into thinner layers which are more pliable. Put the piece of natural silk carrier rod into water to soak.

Helen Moyes Designs Textile Art Landscapes 2
This will be used for clouds later.

Layer different textile pieces to create a landscape.

Helen Moyes Designs Textile Art Landscapes 3

Audition pieces until you are happy with the effect.
Choose appropriate threads. As a minimum use a green for the land and a whitish one for the sky. I love to use embroidery threads, especially varigated ones.

Sew along one of the layered fabric pieces, to join it to the calico base. I usually start at the horizon.
When you reach the side, turn around and come back, incorporating more pieces as you move down the picture.
You can stitch by hand or by machine.

 

Helen Moyes Designs Textile Art Landscapes 4

Trim the sides You can use the off cut to add depth in the foreground as shown

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Helen Moyes Designs Textile Art Landscapes 5

Take the silk carrier rod from the water and gently tease it out to create wispy pieces that can be used for clouds.

Helen Moyes Designs Textile Art Landscapes 8

I also use some sheep wool that I collect from barbed wire when out on walks. Arrange these and stitch down.

Helen Moyes Designs Textile Art Landscapes 9

Add some details, such as trees, using small scraps of fabric and stitching. Variegated thread and different kinds of stitch can produce good details.

Helen Moyes Designs Textile Art Landscapes 10

Helen Moyes Designs Landscape cards 2016 detail

When your design is finished, apply double sided tape or glue to the back and attach to the front of the card. Don’t forget to initial your design!

Helen Moyes Designs Landscape cards 20164

I would really like to see your textile landscapes and to hear how you get on. Please comment below or email me.